In this week’s episode of the Impact Unltd Podcast, we sit down with Eric Yusko and discuss identity, potential, and rituals.
👉 To learn more about Eric, head to: https://www.manofclass.com/
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Ben Donovan 0:02
Welcome to the show today, guys. Great to have my friend, Eric Yusko with me here. Welcome to the show today, Eric. Great to have you on.
Eric Yusko 0:09
Ben, thank you for having me. Glad to be here.
Ben Donovan 0:11
Awesome. It's a really, really interesting topic that we're going to be discussing today - all about how men can actually unlock more of their potential and do more in their lives. Tell us a bit more about yourself and how you really came to really go on this journey of helping men discover their full potential.
Eric Yusko 0:29
Yeah. So my name is Eric Yusko. I had gone through an interesting road. So I was always the small kid. When I go back through pictures. I was the shortest kid in the class. I was the smallest like, always made fun of. But I was always really inspired by learning about these Renaissance men, the men could do it all. And they just had higher standards for themselves. They were the readers, they were the poets, they were the businessmen, they were the jokesters. I think they could literally just do it all and I was so inspired by that. And that always fit in my background of like, "How do I become better? How do I become better?" And as I went through life, I realized I wasn't alone in this. Many men feel that but they don't necessarily, they were taught to suppress all of that to just be the rock and the foundation, to be the breadwinner, to not be so jokester, because if you're a jokester, no one will take you seriously. So you have to be very serious all the time. And I want to blow that whole model up. And so that is really the founding of "man of class" is to help men kick ordinary to the curb, and start to live an exceptional life.
Ben Donovan 1:38
So this, you know, just as we start out discussing this, your organization, men of class, obviously, it's quite explicitly aimed at men, but also I imagine it can be very helpful for women too because they can also facilitate this growth in the men in their life. You speak to us a bit about that.
Eric Yusko 1:56
Yeah, absolutely. I chose men specifically because, within the coaching space, there was this massive movement. I love this movement, women empowering women. And there were so many. There are so many companies, so many people really rallying behind that. But sadly, we never brought the other gender up to speed, if that makes sense. Yeah, for sure. You know, women can go do everything. They can be the entrepreneur that can be the mom, they can be everything. And it's wonderful, and that's exciting. But then oftentimes, they just looked at men and they're like, well, you kind of like ruled the last hundred years. So like, get out of our way. Yeah, but men really need to be there to be supportive to know how to show up in today's world. And so I chose to focus on men but all these same principles can help women and have helped women. I've helped many women actually, whether starting their own business or different coaching styles in order to get them to that specific goal. So yeah, it's completely gendered unspecific, but I chose men because there hasn't been a lot of focus on men. And male depression rates go up every single year. So I thought, we need to help to bring that other gender along for the ride.
Ben Donovan 3:09
For sure, I think, you know, in the world of entrepreneurship and business, as much as any sphere of society, we need people talking about mental health, about being great, about doing the best you can, become an all that you can be in. So I think it's a really great endeavor that you're sort of taking on here. And you talk to me about how one of your great passions is helping men or just in this fear of dying after living an ordinary life, you know, just living ordinary lives. You know, is there anything that sort of sparked that passion in you? And how are you hoping to help those men achieve that extraordinary life?
Eric Yusko 3:49
Yeah, this is a really depressing topic because when I go and talk to men that are in their 70s or 80s, the things that they'll tell you in their life are either the glory days, the few stories that they really like that was their identity throughout life. Or they'll talk about all the things that they never did. They never asked Sally to dance at high school. They really wished they would have maybe married somebody different. They wish they would have been in better shape because right now their bodies are falling apart. They wish they didn't smoke, they wish they didn't eat certain foods. It's all about regret. And it saddens me because you know that these guys are right, getting to the close to the end of their life looking back going, "I would have done this so differently". And it breaks my heart whenever I hear men talk about that, or just in general women say the same thing. And so I wanted to fast forward and say okay, if that's where we're going, right, all of us, no one has escaped death yet. So if you go all the way down into that realm, then you say, "If that's where people are leaving to, how do we pull that knowledge forward to people in their 20s, in their 30s, in the 40s, to say, in 50s"? And it doesn't have to be, you know, early on, but how do you reshape that? How do you get out of instead of living that ordinary life that's going to take you to your deathbed feeling all those regrets and wishing that you would have done something, to make the necessary change today, to really completely shift the foundational course of where you're going to go so that you can start to live a life where when you die, or you're like on your deathbed, you'd look back and go, "I crushed it". I helped so many people, I've really made an impact. People are, you know, I feel like I'm done, right? If you were to say you're the best of what you could have ever been in life, and who you were, you want them to be the same person. You don't want to meet that potential self and go "holy crap, I could have done so much more", right? So that's really the motivation and really how I want to start pulling some of knowing that regret pulling it into today for everyone on how to make that shift.
Ben Donovan 6:08
You know, and you talked about that, you know, making those changes now rather than later on. For the audience listening, watching, how can they begin to make those changes now? Because I know for me as a, you know, 32 years old, I've got two young kids, I'm like, these are the thoughts I'm having. I'm like, I don't want to allow the ordinary to define my life. I want to make an impact so how can I, how can we begin to make those decisions that, you know, bring that, like you say, bring that forward to now?
Eric Yusko 6:35
The tricky thing that we do, it's always through change, right? Change is defined as you want something different than what you're doing today. It's just about like New Year's resolutions are so appealing to us. And it's not even just resolutions in today's world. This goes all the way back to like Babylonian times. There are actually records of people holding yearly now they attributed to the gods so there's a little bit more at stake. versus now we just want to lose 10 pounds and then realize that we don't do it. But it's change management. And it's how you understand and unlock that tricky piece. And how you do that is really, frankly around your identity.
Oftentimes, we as individuals, we look around and we say, we want to have something, "I want to have another thousand dollars", "I want to be a millionaire", "I want to have healthy eating habits", "I want to have all these things, it's like possessions". And everyone thinks that "Once I have that, then I will do this, and then I'll become this". And it's completely 180 because if you wait for the day until you have something that's just like saying, I really want to start a business, but I'm not going to start a business until I have 1000 followers, I have $10,000 in the bank, I feel fully rested, right? Then once I have those that they hate, then I'm going to start that business. I mean, like, "well, you're never going to start that business". And so it's all around how you be that person because once you define and you create that identity of who I am, everything else will take care of itself. Then doing this, your brain will automatically pull in everything that it needs to, for you to be that person. And then at the end of the day, you'll ultimately have what it is that you really wanted in the beginning.
Ben Donovan 8:32
Yes, kind of like turning everything on its head, like you say, the way the world projects how we should go, especially for entrepreneurs, right? You know, we go into this business so I can have the car, have the house often. That's kind of a pervasive culture around entrepreneurship. But actually the most successful entrepreneurs, you know, I love what Simon Sinek says. He says that "The goal of a business is not money, the money is just fuel in the car". It's just you know, we don't start a business for the fuel. We start a business for where we want to go with the vehicle. You know, and so it's kind of what you know, similar to saying flipping on his head, starting with, "where are we going with this?", "what are the values that we hold?" And you know, I love that.
Eric Yusko 9:13
Oh, I was going to say an interesting example to solidify it is people often think of like, I'll use smoking as an example because that's a very tough habit for people to crack. They can say how often do you run into people where they say, I really want to quit smoking, I want to quit smoking. That's truly in there. They say it until they're blue in the face. But yet you see them still light a cigarette, and you go, but I thought you wanted to quit. Like, "I know, I know. I know, I hate myself for this but I'm still doing this". There's the thought, there's the emotion, and there's the action. And unless those two are linked up, no matter how desperately you know, logically, that's going to kill you. You know that people aren't going to want to be around you because it's burning their eyes, causing them to cough, influencing maybe their overall health. No matter how much that they really know that to their core, if they haven't flipped that identity switch to say that "I am a healthy nonsmoker", they won't be able to change, which is a very hard thing for people to hear. But the people that have recovered, they don't even associate, they're like, "I hate that I used to be a smoker". Okay, that was an identity that I shared a long time and just like a snake sheds its skin. That was old me. The new me is somebody that doesn't smoke. I am a non-smoker. I am a healthy individual. I am living with purpose. I'm living with intent.
Ben Donovan 10:36
Yeah. I think that's like my mom, who was a heavy smoker for a long time and she managed to quit. And you know, the trick of her was it wasn't just I'm going to quit but it's actually going to like therapy, going to sessions, it's like a rewiring of the brain. It's not just enough to make a one-time decision, but it's like a redefining of how you think, right?
Eric Yusko 10:59
Absolutely. Well, congratulations to your mom because my dad was a heavy smoker as well, grandfather, everyone was in the family. A lot of smokers in the family and that's it's a tough pill to crack. But I praise those who can do it because that's a big win for them.
Ben Donovan 11:17
Yeah, no, absolutely was a huge win for her. And then in terms of entrepreneurship, making an impact with business, how does this then translate into like the day-to-day of building a business in terms of practicals, or even sort of the top-level stuff? How does this really affect? I could say the day-to-day inner workings of a business, do you see it played out in businesses with people that you work with?
Eric Yusko 11:42
Yeah, absolutely. I actually had a client one time that was the one from the corporate world and wanted to get into real estate, owning multiple, like 10 to 20 to 30 unit apartment complexes. And his biggest struggle was to turn off the W2 employee and start to turn on the "I am a CEO", "I am an entrepreneur", because it just fundamentally takes two different types of thinking. The W2 employee, oftentimes it's, "Well, I do whatever my boss tells me to go do, I need to have this report done by the end of the week, I need you to start thinking and come up with a plan, make a presentation, present out to the vice president on what your plan is. Don't worry, we're all going to be making sure that you don't make a fool of yourself".
But there are so many safety nets that are built-in that oftentimes it doesn't. It never gives that person the availability of saying, "Where would I really want to take this company?", "What brand vision do I want to have for this company?" It's very, very different. And so people oftentimes make that shift from W2 to an actual entrepreneur and then they're left going, "Oh my, there are so many decisions. What is the vision of? Who am I trying to target?, How do I go? What about marketing? You know, how do I use Facebook ads? How do I build a website? I got to be creative, I have to be decisive" and it's overwhelming. And entrepreneurship is often a lonely road. And because you feel like all these decisions, you're like, "No one else knows, no one else cares. I'm just suffering in this entrepreneurship until I either become a statistic that just closes the doors and goes to get a W2, or I seek that help, I seek out that coaching, I seek out how to shift my identity." I look at its basic core and say, "What are the habits of successful people? How do I model somebody? How do I maybe look at somebody who has been able to create an entrepreneurship life and figure out what their day looks like and how their minds are thinking?" And the more that you can do that, the more you can start to change that identity of "I have all the answers, I just need to find them" versus a complete overwhelm of "I'm waiting for somebody to tell me what to do''; very different mindset that's in place.
Ben Donovan 12:39
Definitely. And I think the more business owners I speak to, the more I realize this is one of the biggest challenges that shift from that employee mindset into that CEO mindset, you know, it's not anyone telling me what to do anymore, but I'm the one that's going to move this forward. And you know, that is such a big shift. So how did your client go? Did you see some success in that as he transitioned over?
Eric Yusko 14:37
It's funny, actually. With just a couple of months of working together, he was able to buy his first deal. His first deal turned into a second deal. He was just about to close on his third deal when the whole COVID, everything kind of shut down. So it's a little just overall, the whole world is in this shaky type thing, there's plenty of opportunities out there. But real estate is semi-tricky. Because if people don't have jobs - if they were furloughed, or if they were deemed not essential, then they're out there without work. And that whole money train of the economy is broken. But to answer your question, the whole mindset and to shift that there were some very key turning points for him of just realizing that he didn't have to ask for permission. He could go after whatever deal that he wanted to go after. And everyone always thinks, "Oh, that's great for them". So there's a limiting belief that "I can see other people having success, but that is successful for them, but I don't know that I can do it". And that's why coaching is so effective, or like, you know, getting into business masterminds, finding other entrepreneurs that you can be around with. Because oftentimes, it's how you break that limiting belief of I can see that you're successful doing it in that space. And that's great. And I applaud you, and I really want that. But I don't know if it's really possible for me. And the more that you're around, the more help that you can get, because you're right, that is the biggest barrier of entry. Everyone's a great problem solver. But you got to know what problem are you trying to solve? And your approach on how to solve it, which is very big, like macro-level discussions, but there's a lot of micros that you can get into in each and every one of those.
Ben Donovan 16:42
Sure, sure. It's so true because there's, you know, so much enticement around starting a business today and the glamour so-called glamour, you know, and everyone, a lot of people are excited to start a business but then comes the weight of actually carrying the responsibility of that business. And if it actually grows to become a real business where you actually have a team and salaries and you know, there comes a lot of weight with that. And so that's where it really tests you, right? You know, like a bicycle tire of a bike, you find out where the leakage is when it comes under pressure under the water. And it's the same with us, we start to see these kinds of cracks and leaks. And so then in terms of like a, I suppose a pathway, you know, if there are people listening to this, and they're saying right now, "Man, I feel like this is me, I'm worried that I'm just gonna live this ordinary life. I don't know if I can fulfill my potential". Would you say there are some easy, 1-2-3 steps that they could take away from this podcast, they could actually outwork, practical steps, things they could do right now, that I suppose would start them on this path of realizing their full potential.
Eric Yusko 17:45
The first step in anything is awareness. Once you have awareness over something, just exactly to your point, that tire on that bicycle, may or may not have always had a leak, but until you put it under pressure, and frankly until you're actually aware of the fact that you're putting in all this effort, but you'd look down and you're just skidding tire, not going forward. Once you're aware of it then you go "oh crap, you know now I have to go actually fix that". And awareness is a big thing. And so the easiest thing that I can recommend to people, to your listeners just starts to take stock of what your "I am" statements are because your I am statements and everyone says well no one sits down and goes like "I am this" and you're like yeah, it's a little less official or formal than that. I'm just really lazy today. Boom, I am lazy. You know we don't think about it, right? Oh, I'm overweight. No, you just said I am overweight. Right, I'm in the very casual slither that happens, right? I'm just really tired today. Are you? Or are you full of energy? Because you're living You know, you're only tired because you're not excited about life. Yeah. If you were you know, let's say the first time that you went on a date that you really look forward to, you may not have gotten sleep for the past two nights, but you were like, I am ready for this date. There is nothing I will crash later. But right now I am so on fire. But just to take stock, take stock of the areas where you don't feel right.
You know, I just really dread going into the office. I really dread having difficult conversations, right? Because whatever you resist will persist, right? And so if you're resisting going into the office, unless there's a change made thereof may be either A - what needs to happen for you to get excited about going into the office, or what do I need to work on the side that helps me get through this tough time. So then I have a light at the end of the tunnel, that date that I'm really looking forward to at the end of it or the happy hour with the buddies that I really strive to hang out with, or a weekend with. For girls, you know, spa weekend like, whatever it is that really lights you up, like how is it that you can get more of that into your life?
And so it's, I guess two things. Sorry, I expanded on that one of them takes? I'd wake up at this time, I'd feel this way. These are the people that have around me. And when you get through that whole exercise, and you look at your current life, that's another way of triangulating, "What is it that's draining me?" Because if, let's say walking the dog I don't know I'm just coming up with a random example. Let's say walking the dog isn't on that white paper list. Maybe that's draining you. Maybe find somebody that does love walking your dog that you know, you pay him a couple of bucks and now suddenly you're happier in life because it's something that you don't have to do, no offense to the dog, by no means any of that. But you know what I'm saying? Like you can start to find the things in life that are really draining you, that is forcing you to live an "ordinary life" that is keeping you from living that white paper life.
Ben Donovan 22:08
Yeah, I think it's so important. And so I think so many people are doing, spending so much time and things that they don't enjoy that don't fill the tank. And I know for me now even starting this podcast and having a little bit of a rebrand. With our business, it's about doing something that really I'm passionate about just helping entrepreneurs. You know, before it was, I suppose, very siloed into we were running eCommerce training, running it like an eCommerce business, but now wanting to expand that out because you know, eCommerce is great, it helps us build a business and reach people. But you know, for me, what really excites me and fills me with energy is helping other entrepreneurs across the board, not just with specific skill sets, but with the mindsets as well. And so I think, you know, I suppose I'm a working example of what you're talking about that we do need to do more of that which we love that really drives us and I love what you said about how you know, what we resist will persist I think that I think that'd be so true for so many of our listeners that are passively resisting, you know, passively resisting, making changes, they're kind of just going along with something that they don't enjoy just because it's what they've always done. But I love what you said, it's like, it's time to make a change. You need to stand up, make changes, and you know, live what you believe in.
Eric Yusko 23:22
The best time to ever make a change was yesterday. Right? The next best change is today. And the worst time to change is someday.
Ben Donovan 23:30
Yeah, for sure. For sure. Well, I'm hoping that there's a whole bunch of people that are listening to this, they're gonna make some changes that are going to be you know, spurred to action because of what you said. So yeah, I really appreciate your thoughts and what you brought today. If people do want to sort of hear more about this and you know, learn more about yours or someplace they can go to find out more about you what's the best way to connect.
Eric Yusko 23:51
Yeah, the best place to connect so I have a website www.manofclass.com. I have a podcast that I release every once in a while. I'm actually working on an eBook on exactly what we pretty much exactly what we just talked about, "How To Live That Exceptional Life". And what are those steps? What are the pillars? What is all that stuff? So sorry. That's my goal is to have that finished within the next couple of weeks. And that'll be out on the website as well. And once you go to the man of class, it'll point you to where you need to go. And then on social media, @ericyusko on I think Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn as well. Because I'm noticing the most unhappy people are working for big business, which I'm sure you're finding because if you're passionate about entrepreneurship, is instead somebody telling you to go do X, Y, and Z. How about you start writing your own bath. So it may not come with as much money. It may not come with as much this or that. But at the end of the day, if you're happy if you're exuding so much happiness, who cares? Money can always be made, money can always be lost.
Ben Donovan 25:16
Yeah, sure, that's Yeah, that's my big passion is, you know, money is a replaceable entity, but time, you never get that back. It is good, really good thoughts, Eric, really appreciate you coming on the show. And I was early for you there over in the States. So I appreciate you getting up, coming on, sharing some wisdom. And yeah, hopefully, a lot of our listeners will get connected and jump onto manofclass.com. Get that, grab that ebook, which will be out by the time this goes live that that should be out there. So hopefully, a bunch of people jump on and grab that and connect with you there. Thanks for coming on.
Eric Yusko 25:50
Absolutely. Thank you for having me. Enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you.
Ben Donovan 25:55
Awesome man. Thank you so much.