Yuri Kruman is a CEO of MasterTheTalk.com. He is also an author, speaker and member of Forbes Coaches Council. His mission is helping top millennial talent successfully change careers to tech & build their first startup.
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3 Value Bombs
1) Outsourcing is a way to eliminate the pain points in starting a business.
2) Make sure that you know your LVOR: Life Mission, Values, Outcomes, and Roles to help you find your purpose.
3) Giving value without expecting anything in return will eventually pay off.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[00:59] – Yuri helps millennials leave their jobs and start their own tech companies
[01:25] – He’s a husband and a father of two wonderful children
[01:44] – His area of expertise is in helping people who are mid-career and are wanting to rediscover their life mission, figure out how to pursue it, and eventually monetize it
[02:15] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: Anyone with an idea will soon be able to outsource the pain points involved in starting a company
[03:09] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: When Yuri started Master the Talk, he decided to make a large investment in marketing his services on an online platform. Unfortunately, he saw his money go down the drain. Suddenly, his two-month old baby was diagnosed with cancer. And, apart from all of that, he was still dealing with $250K in law school debt
[04:21] – Yuri switched careers four times
[04:55] – LVOR is Yuri’s major insight that stands for: Life Mission, Values, Outcomes, and Roles
[06:43] – “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why” – Mark Twain
[07:43] – Your life mission is based on the lenses you have
[09:05] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Yuri has always loved writing. His ah-ha moment happened when he started answering people’s questions on Quora. One response he wrote was 50 Tricks of Life that Everyone Should Follow Every Day, which others reposted on their blogs and websites with his permission
[10:29] – Trying to help somebody is the KEY
[11:14] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I actually just started a pretty cool teaching gig today called 20/20 Startups”
[15:10] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “It’s the language and psychology I had in my mind – not just the language and psychology I used with others – that prevented me from actualizing myself”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “It’s consistency in my routine”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Tailor Brands and Just Reach Out
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Reinvent Yourself – “it teaches the best storytelling and advice only James (the author) is capable of”
[19:17] – Yuri reiterates the importance of always negotiating
Interviewer: Oh, yeah! Yes! Yuri’s the CEO of masterthetalk.com. He is also an author, a speaker, and member of the Forbes Coaches Council. His mission is helping top millennial talent successfully change careers to tech and build their first startup. Yuri, take a minute. Fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Yuri: Well, let’s start with the business first, and, so, as you mentioned, I help mid-career millennials to leave corporate, usually a large bank or hedge fund, or maybe healthcare organization, and get their first taste of tech. And, for those that don’t want the taste of another boss, and just wanna start their own company, I certainly help them with that, as well. And, my focus is in teaching them a specific language and psychology, and messaging they need to succeed with each audience that they pitch. And, in terms of personal life, I’m a father. I’m a husband. Two beautiful daughters. One is almost four. One is 18 months. We live out in Brooklyn.
Interviewer: Nice! Well, Yuri, you’ve really talked to a lot of entrepreneurs over the years. You’ve learned a lot. What would you say today is your current area of expertise? What’s your specialty?
Yuri: My specialty is really helping those that are in a mid-career. They’re already successful in something. They’ve shown a track record, but they don’t wanna put that face on in the morning anymore. They’re really tired of it. And, they’re ready to re-discover their real life mission and how to pursue it, and then, of course, to monetize it. And, that’s exactly where I come in.
Interviewer: And, what is something that you find, over and over again, that entrepreneurs like myself, like Fire Nation, don’t know about your area of expertise, that frankly we should?
Yuri: Sure! This is something I’ve written about recently. In Forbes, they call it “Start-Up-As-A-Service”. And, this is something that’s already here, right? It’s not just coming from corporations looking to test concepts and accelerators. It really means that anyone within an idea will soon enough, if not already, be able to, essentially, outsource many of the pain points of starting and validating a company with a crack team or accelerator, or other means to really shortcut the time and cost, and risk of starting a company.
Interviewer: So, Yuri, I wanna talk now about your journey as an entrepreneur. Because, you’ve been doing this for a while. You’ve had the ups. You’ve had the downs. I wanna talk about what you consider the worst entrepreneurial moment you’ve experienced to date. So, Yuri, don’t hold any punches back. Open up that curtain. Take us there. Share with us that moment. The worst entrepreneurial moment.
Yuri: There’ve been quite a few. I have to be frank. And, that’s not just two companies that failed before the current one, right? So, when I started Master the Talk, I was a coach already in a couple platforms. And, at one point, I decided to make a really large investment into marketing my services on a Groupon-like platform, which shall remain nameless. And, seeing that fall through, and my money go down the drain, and at the same time, I’m a stay at home dad, and taking care of two kids and all of a sudden, my two month old gets diagnosed with cancer.
Yuri: Yeah. So, of course, at the same time I’m having the cash flow roller coaster that so many of us are familiar with, and that’s messing with my finances, of course, it’s messing with my marriage. And, while I’m sitting here in Brooklyn, I’m mostly dealing with $250k in law school loans. So, the usual kind of stuff.
Interviewer: So, Yuri, looking back at that incredibly tough time, both personally and business-wise, what are some life lessons you took away from that? What can we, Fire Nation, learn from that very difficult time in your life?
Yuri: Okay, so, I wanna give you just a little bit of background here. So, I’ve switched careers four times before discovering conclusively, “What am I here to do and whom I’m here to help?” And, of course, I’ve mentioned that I’ve built a thriving coaching consulting business and been around a year, despite taking care of a sick kid and being a stay at home dad. And, the key insights I’ve had are around mastering the language and psychology of creating and building opportunity for myself and my clients, and, of course, investors, employers, etc. So, the major insight that I’ve had, I would call it, there’s an acronym I use. It’s called L-V-O-R, LVOR. And, that’s around “Life mission, Values, Outcomes, and Role.”
And, just very briefly, “Life mission” is when you wake up on vacation in the morning, and nothing is worrying you: bills or relationship issues. What do you work on for your own selfish needs? What problem? “Value” is about, what are the kinds of people that you enjoy spending time with in your life? Are they terribly kind, generous, brilliant, successful, etc., etc.? “Outcomes” are around what you like to deliver to other people. Meaning, not reports or spreadsheets, but perhaps delight – you love writing music and performing it, or you might want to deliver a cheaper, better, faster business processes, or you might like to empower other people to solve their own problems, for example, as I do.
And, the last one is “Role”. Role is not about your title. Role is about, what is your natural tendency in any situation or organization, when a problem comes up. Are you an evangelist/visionary that’s the CEO type, meaning you’re always trying to persuade people to invest in you, and to work with you, and so on? Perhaps you’re the COO type, who is kind of no-nonsense, let’s just get this done. Perhaps you’re a caretaker, where you’re empowering others to do their life’s best work with material and emotional support. Perhaps you’re a niche expert in, I don’t know, the Saudi economy or what have you. And, again, going back LVOR, “Life mission, Values, Outcomes, and Role.”
Those are the four things that really help me throughout those four career changes to find, “Who am I? What am I meant to do here on Earth?”, right? There’s a great quote by Mark Twain that says, “The two most important days of your life, are the day you’re born and the day you find out why.” So, LVOR and plus two other components, “Founding Stories”, meaning encounters, books, hobbies, any other experiences that have shaped your world view and relationships, and how you see yourself and your place in the world. So, “Founding Stories” and “Negative Scripts”. This is a really big one, because even if you figure out your life mission, you still have that proverbial monkey on your back.
You have all the baggage, perhaps what your mom said, “Oh, you’re a nice boy, but bad at math.” Or, you had disappointments in your work, or relationships, and something is holding you – preventing you from making progress towards your goals. So, when you’re doing this – I have this on a worksheet, you have to write all those things out. And, sometimes, for negative scripts, you write them down and you burn the paper. Sometimes there’s something cathartic about that. And, I wanna just dwell for a minute on Life Mission, because this is really my specialty. This is why I do what I do, and why I love it. The Life Mission is quite often not based on the education you’ve had or the work experience you’ve gained, or even the titles you’ve held.
It’s really actually framed by the lenses you use to process information flows, create and evaluate relationships, plus how you help others in any human situation where you’ve had the same pain and managed to solve it. And, the way I turned this idea into a success is by really taking the same rules of language and psychology, what I like to call “the language of opportunity”, that I’ve used to successfully change careers four times, and start and build a successful startup and career coaching business, in really just a year. And, I teach those rules and strategies, and tactics to my clients, who’ve really seen tremendous success applying it to build their first business and drastically improve their careers.
And, for me, I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve managed to do this because of, and despite, having a number of massive setbacks in my life.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, hope you’re taking notes. Hope you’re listening to Yuri, as he breaks this down. He’s talking from experience. He’s speaking from the heart. These are tried and true principles. Make it happen. Apply. Absorb. Now, Yuri, I want you to talk now about another time in your entrepreneurial journey, when you had a great idea. You obviously had a bunch over the years, but take us to one of those special “Aha!” moments. Tell us that story.
Yuri: I’m gonna tell you the story of how I had my first viral article. I’ve always really loved writing and sharing the insights that I’ve gained the hard way, right, getting through the $250k in loans and trying to understand who I am, and all of that. The simplest and maybe best thing I’ve ever done is just done is just go on Quora and answer people’s questions, right? There’s a little guideline I figured out – look at the questions that get the largest following, because that just means the largest number of people have that kind of question. And, I would just go and see what others have written. Let’s say, you might have a James Altucher, Tim Ferriss, or anybody, and I write my own perspective on there.
So, there’s one which I wrote, it’s called essentially, “50 Mini Life Habits to Help You Succeed” in so many words. And, I just wrote it. It came directly out of my experience and I just thought, “Okay, I have it for myself. I’m happy.” And, suddenly, I had somebody reach out from Quora to publish it on their Inc. blog. I had somebody reach out from PBS that published it. There’s a viral video, and all of a sudden it just really – I didn’t expect this of all things to have that affect, because I’m a coach and I’m talking about Life Mission, so sometimes, when you just go and you try to help somebody, sometimes that’s really the key. It’s not about, “Oh, I need revenue. I need to make money from you. Let me just help you.”
And a lot of the best moments I’ve had are when someone maybe can’t even pay me. There’s nothing they can do for me, but I help them anyway. And it comes back to really help me later in some way.
Interviewer: So Fire Nation, again, take from Yuri the experience. He looked to others, like James Altucher, like Tim Ferriss – what’s working for them. What are they doing? And, he’s applying these principles and he’s making things happen in a really powerful manner. And, Yuri, with everything that you’ve been accomplishing, and everything that you’ve been doing, what is the one thing today, right now, that you are most excited about, that gets you most fired up?
Yuri: Actually, just started a pretty cool teaching gig today at something called 2020 Startups here in New York, which is an accelerator for startups of stripes. And, I’m really excited because it’s my first teaching gig, in a way, and I get to help top entrepreneurs from many different fields and walks of life, and actually all over the world. Interestingly enough, I think 95 percent of them are not even American, and I help them build and improve and grow and scale their startups. Just sharing my experience, my set of best practices, that I bring and all of this I gained, kind of the hard way. And, what I’m doing is something that I haven’t seen addressed in a million of these startup advice articles.
And, actually based on what I’ve talked about, “the language of opportunity” and “the language of psychology” that someone needs in order to create opportunity, not just hope that it comes, right? I’m writing a book based on that, which is called Language of Opportunity. And, my hope is to bring that message to millions of people who that business in them, but they don’t know where to start or how to succeed, despite having no connections of little experience. So, essentially everyone that may be in the middle class squarely, or below that, they just don’t have the perspective and tools, and language and psychology to create opportunity. And, that’s my mission.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, I hope you’ve been hearing those value bombs that Yuri’s been dropping. They’re not stopping. We got more coming up in the Lightning Rounds, when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
So, Yuri, we’re back. Quick question for you: Are you ready to rock the Lightning Round?
Yuri: Hell, yeah!
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Yuri: Well, looking back on my whole journey, I would say it’s the – again, not to keep repeating myself, but the language and psychology I had in my mind, not just the language and psychology I used with others, that prevented me from actualizing myself. I was too focused on external validation to really discover and pursue my life mission. And, once circumstances got me off the path of that external validation, I like to say that I fell off the treadmill, really. I had to make myself whole again, to discover, “Who am I? What am I here to do, and how am I here to help others?” And, I found that ways to help others put themselves together, and find and pursue and monetize their life mission.
Interviewer: What’s the best advice, Yuri, you’ve ever received?
Yuri: I would say that it’s “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”
Interviewer: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Yuri: It’s actually very simple. It’s consistency in my routine. So, every day I try to get up at the same time. Of course, having kids forces you to do that. But, eat the same kind of breakfast. Condition myself. I pray and meditate every morning, and I really try to just do the same things so that I don’t have to make nearly as many decisions. And, that sets me up for a positive mindset. I practice gratitude when I pray and meditate. And, I’m just lucky to see my family and spend time with them, and then I go and do my work. And, I start a new day the next day.
Interviewer: Recommend one internet resource.
Yuri: There’s so many, but I would say that one that comes to mind, which is especially amazing, is called tailorbrands.com. And, this is a really cool tool where I’m able to go in and create an entire brand book, not just a top notch professional logo. But, we’re talking about, let’s say, a deck that has my logo and has all of those things baked in, plus all the social media posts, all of that kind of thing, in just a few minutes, for around $100, and I haven’t seen anything like that. I’ve used Fiverr. I’ve used all kinds of different things. And, I would say for PR, which is really my specialty, I use something called justreachout.io, and that’s something that I’ve used really indispensably to find and fish the right journalist and bloggers about my business, which really has led to great results.
Interviewer: Recommend one book, and share why.
Yuri: It’s the one I’m reading right now. It’s really incredible. I love James Altucher. His latest is called Reinvent Yourself. And, it takes a lot of the best advice and storytelling that I think only James is capable of. This kind of storytelling – I’m sure you’re ready a lot of his stuff. He really opens his guts and really shows what it’s like to fail and fail over again, in every part of his life, and still rebuild and come back, and minimize the distractions and just really live a meaningful existence. And, he really turns it up a notch. This is a lot of his best work, plus a lot of new things that he’s learned from guests on his podcast. I really cannot recommend this enough. It’s really, essentially, this is the book that I would have loved to write myself, but he kind of beat me to it.
Interviewer: Yeah, James is a good friend. I’ve actually had him on my show multiple times. Been on his show, as well. He’s just a great guy with his multiple books. And, by the way, Fire Nation, if you like James Altucher writing, you have to get the audio book. Because he reads it himself, and he actually just goes on these little rifts that you don’t even get in the book, either, which I just love. And, if you’re not a member of audible, where you can actually get any of James Altucher’s books for free – you can actually choose one of them for free if you go through the link eofirebook.com. Yuri, let’s end today on fire, brother, with you giving a parting piece of guidance, sharing the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Yuri: Sure! I would say the parting piece of guidance for me would be to always negotiate, right? I mentioned this. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. And, a lot of the best things that have happened in my life, a lot of the most difficult things that I’ve managed to overcome, have come because I’ve learned to negotiate. God knows I was born very shy to academic parents. Soviet Union, you name it. And, partly because of my wife who is from North Africa, where negotiating is second nature, I’ve really learned that everything is negotiable. I don’t just mean in the market or the bizarre. I mean, everything in your life, your relationships, the way that you run your business, the way you build things, everything is negotiable. You can always find a way forward.
And, the way to find the way forward, even if you might be at your absolute lowest, and you can’t pay your bills, and your marriage isn’t working, and whatever, read how others that have become have successful, how they managed to beat this kind of situation. Because, for me, I’ll be very frank, when I read James Altucher’s stuff a few years ago in one of my lows, it helped me to come back to something like normal from that low. So, learn from the masters. There’s absolutely no better guidance that I can give. Now, best way of connecting with me is through my website. It’s masterthetalk.com and you’re more than welcome to email me directly.
It’s firstname.lastname@example.org and for a parting gift for the entire Fire Nation, I would love to direct you to my ultimate growth hacking guide for startups at masterthetalk.com\fire.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And, you’ve been hanging out with YK and JLD today. So, keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type “Yuri”, that’s Y-U-R-I in the search bar. His show and his page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz. Timestamps, links galore. Of course, head directly over to masterthetalk.com/fire. Why? Because Yuri has a great gift for you. And, check out his website while you’re over there, as well. And, when somebody on eofire drops our email address, Fire Nation, and you connect with them in any way, shape, or form, make it happen. Drop them a line. Shoot them an email. Yuri@masterthetalk.com.
Just say, “Thank you,” if he helped you in some way. Just say, “What’s up?” Just say, “Hello.” Ask him a question. Make it happen. Reach out. Make that connection. Yuri, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Yuri: Thanks so much, JD. Really appreciate it.
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