Wow! Wow! Wow!
With a New Year there’s so much to share and update you on.
In just the last quarter of 2014 Mavericks were able to enjoy –
- Magical and Mystical Machu Picchu Epic Experience
- 3X Multiplier Retreat in Denver with Rich Teerlink, former CEO of Harley Davidson
- Maverick NEXT Summit (for young entrepreneurs)
- Hanging out with Blake Mycoskie from TOMs shoes and John Mackey from Whole Foods
- M3 Summit in Aruba on the topic of happiness and much more…
Let’s start around the world in Peru.
I have always wanted to visit Machu Picchu and I purposely picked the September equinox because the sacred Intihuantana stone’s shadow disappears. (This only happens 2 times each year).
Machu Picchu can really only be described with superlatives. And even then, it might not do it justice. Although this ‘City in the Clouds’ is pretty incredible, we found all of Peru to be special. There is a deep-felt spiritual attachment you can sense that the Peruvian people hold for the mountains. During our time we got a feeling for the land through the different rituals and ceremonies we were part of, including a San Pedro ceremony.
San Pedro is a cactus that grows all along the Andes and the earliest recorded use dates back over 3000+ years.
This was truly one of my biggest heart-opening experiences I’ve had, one from which I walked away with so many insights and breakthroughs. It would take a couple pages to download all of them but I’ll give you a few here.
Love and Appreciation
The concepts of love and appreciation came up big for me with the realization that there doesn’t have to be a reason to love someone. Too many times in our relationships we withhold love or base it on merit.
Love is truly unconditional but the appreciation part is actually based on a reason.
I believe in so many ways that other people are ‘mirrors’ for you. And our appreciation can be used as a “transparent” mirror to recognize YOUR best or ideal qualities that you admire in others. This was even more meaningful for me because ‘Silver’ is a symbol for mirror.
The phrase of ‘I love you and appreciate you” became a little bit of an inside joke within the group, as I told everyone what I appreciated about them.
Appreciation is so powerful in many ways with all your key relationships – for work and personally.
After each weekly Maverick team meeting we end with ‘Appreciations’ where everyone singles out individuals for what they are thankful for about them. I learned this from John Mackey a couple years back and it really sets a great closing for any meeting.
And this works for everyone. Missy and I play a game at dinner sometimes with the kids where all of us go around the table and say one specific thing we appreciate about everyone. It’s really awesome to see your kid’s heads pop up like little flowers as their brother or sister says something nice about them.
My intention for the San Pedro ceremony was to merge my head (business mind), heart (impact) and divine inner child (fun side). And if you look closely at my sketch you can see a little mustache and top hat on one of the cactuses I drew.
Sometimes you really need that levity and fun thrown in. I think this is probably the one drawing that I’ve changed (by adding the mustache and top hat) after I signed my name to it.
Denver 3X: Re-Invention
After Peru, the next Maverick event was a 3X in Denver. The theme was about re-invention, and we picked several vantage points to explore. From brand new industries being created from scratch (legalized marijuana) to startups with a visit to TechStars and then learning from Rich Teerlink, former CEO of Harley Davidson.
When Rich joined Harley Davidson in 1981 as CFO, the company held a U.S. market share of only 15%, which produced a loss of $15 million. They were facing steep competition from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and were really struggling.
Brought in as CEO in 1989, he went to work on his biggest ‘re-invention’ which entailed turning around the culture of the team. At the end of his term, Harley Davidson recovered its U.S. market share to 50 percent and posted annual sales of more than $1.7 billion.
“Only long term competitive advantage is the people” – Rich Teerlink
I got to spend half the day with Rich in our car and before we left the bike shop. He spent just as much time talking to the grizzled Harley dudes as our Maverick members. Each person was incredibly important to him; he’s a total class act. All the Mavericks were in costume for the afternoon experience but he rolled with it.
Another big part of Denver 3X was re-inventing our impact side of things with an experiment that could have a significant ripple. We were out to ‘change the way business is played’ and tackled a cause that has global implications… Bees!
Ok maybe not these bees
Honeybee colonies are dying off at an average annual rate of about 30%. Experts believe that multiple factors—including parasites, pesticides and loss of habitat—are contributing to bee decline. Bees impact about 1 out of every 3 bites of food we have so this is a significant issue.
Our experiment was pitching new ideas and then having Maverick NEXT members and other young entrepreneurs working together on making the “bee business” happen. We had 5 ideas that were pitched – one even made money in the 2 days the teams worked on them.
The winners were a team of young entrepreneurs out of Penn State. They already had a company, Green Tower (greentowersUSA.com), creating ‘living furniture’ like coffee tables with aquariums and greens on top that support each other. Their idea was to create a living piece of art that would hang on your wall with an actual hive. The bees actually are inside and there is a tube that the bees can fly in and out of your house built into a window. (Similar to how an in-window air conditioning unit is set up.)
It’s a really great concept and something I was so excited to see the Maverick mentors working on within their team. The Mavericks contributed their expertise to help with the positioning and idea which in the end, won Dustin and Mike the $10,000 first prize. I’m super excited to see what happens with this project, especially after a phone conversation I just had with the winners, Dustin & Mike. They are confident their Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign will be coming out in March or early April. Here’s a quick preview mock-up of what they envision:
The impact on the bees will be several-fold following the Evolved Enterprise™ model:
1) We’re planning on funding some sort of in-school education programs about bees paid for by sales of the units.
2) More bees in more areas of the country.
3) Along with the units we’d provide wild flower seed bombs to help improve the foraging for all cross-pollinators around the area.
4) Actually having people live with and interact with bees in their living room creates more awareness and consciousness around the bee situation globally.
You can check out a preview of the first chapters here – www.EvolvedEnterprise.com/preview
Straight from Denver I began the second leg of my 2-week Colorado stint with the NEXT Summit for young entrepreneurs, ages 13-23. It was really great seeing all the young entrepreneurs there who are doing so many cool things in their businesses. And it was great having several Maverick 1000 members there as mentors. For 2015 they will be invited to the M3 Summit and Impact trips so hopefully you’ll have a chance to interact with even more NEXT’ers. I’ve talked to many Mavericks who really enjoy the back & forth of not just sharing their insights but learning from NEXT’ers as well. These guys are many times on the cutting edge of different digital tactics and strategies. (Note: You also can join the NEXT facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mavericknext/). Later in the newsletter you’ll get an update on NEXT from Dima Kozlov, who heads up the program.
I presented a 2-hour workshop on Evolved Enterprise™ concepts. Later in 2015 I’ll put out a course on this material.
Success Summit 3.0
Leg three of my journey was the Success 3.0 Summit in Boulder. I was thrilled to be able to facilitate a discussion between John Mackey, Co-CEO of Whole Foods and Blake Mycoskie of TOMS on the first day.
Hat tip to Aydika James, Mike Cline and my buddy Jeff Walker for helping think through a couple great lightning round questions like ‘Beatles or Rolling Stones’, ‘Peanut Butter or Almond Butter’ and ‘Mary Anne or Ginger’. I loved that John and Blake had exact opposite answers for each question!
Success Summit 3.0 was full of great conversation with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents about what success really means in the 21st century. My notion of Evolved Enterprise™ fits quite squarely in that spot.
It’s about re-inventing, re-creating and re-discovering the true soul of your greatest work. And how an Evolved Enterprise™ actually delivers an exceptional customer experience, team alignment, ‘baked-in’ impact and even an increased bottom line! How to move your business from simply transactional, to transformational, and even, transcending business as usual.
Success Summit 3.0 was over Halloween and Sophia and I took up the mantle of being the ‘Bad Idea Bears’ from one of our favorite shows, Avenue Q. Our buddy, Jeff Marx, who created the show would have been proud (I think). Too bad only 2 or 3 people actually recognized who we were and they were rewarded with cookies.
What the Bad Idea Bears look like from Avenue Q and our at-home version
October 31st also marked a pretty tragic day for me with the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two. It was only fitting that I was at lunch with consciousness evolutionist, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Missy texted and called me several times so I figured something was going on. Hearing the news hit me in a really big way. It felt like a gut punch – Barbara felt like that too. She’s a really remarkable woman in her 80’s and truly a matriarch of wonder. She’s worked directly with Buckminster Fuller and I love her concept of the wheel of co-creation that fits diverse groups and categories together to intentionally evolve our human story. (Actually new Maverick #249, Stephen Dinan’s, Shift Network does extensive work with Barbara.)
I ended up crying later that day. Not because of ‘boo hoo’ for me personally since it’ll take a bit longer to get into space but because of the significant set back for commercial space and for the possibility of what that brings. Thankfully the Virgin Galactic team has used this as a rallying cry and are more determined than ever to continue building the spaceship. Fortunately they were about 60% complete with a second ship already at the time of the tragedy. Here’s a shot of Spaceship Two from last September, where Richard was nice enough to gather 400+ future astronauts right on my 40th birthday:
Aruba: One Happy Island Maverick M3 Summit
Our last event and experience of the year is the annual gathering for Mavericks and this time we chose Aruba.
But it wasn’t just the fun and Maverick mayhem that made this event incredible, it was some of the deeper and more meaningful work we did. This work included me driving into the Return Path for Joy, Happiness and Bliss (yaniksilver.com/returnpath), Maverick #214 Anil Gupta sharing new insights on happiness and a presentation by special guest Philip McKernan.
“A shift in value of yourself shifts everything.”
Meaning, the more we truly value ourselves, or even love ourselves, the more we’ll allow ourselves to deserve everything we get. I can see this in a many ways over the last few years in different aspects of my life. The value we place on ourselves shows up in how we eat, how much we drink, how we exercise, what takes precedence in our life, etc. Last summer I did two different ’33-day experiments’ back-to-back. The first was cutting out refined sugar and then the second was no alcohol for 33 days. It wasn’t to lose weight or anything like that but just to see what would happen and how I’d feel. I ended up dropping close to 18 pounds and am back down to my high school weight essentially. A lot of members noticed in Aruba but it was more of an identity shift than anything else. I simply saw myself as someone that took care of my body in a better way (shifting of value) and everything else physically shifted too. The nice thing is it has stuck after my experiments. Right now I only have 1 day/week that I eat refined sugar and my drinking has been cut back significantly too.
Speaking of drinking…Philip is Irish so it was only fitting he brought up Guinness. He said a 3% change in temperature created a 50% change in taste. That’s remarkable and it was a great analogy for what the small shifts are we can make in our intentions, actions or awareness that can have profound changes.
We ended the M3 Summit with a pretty moving ceremony led by Philip. On the way to dinner the bus let us all out on Eagle beach. This beach was pretty significant for me because I’d been to Aruba about 15 times and Sophia probably 25+ times. I used to come each year for Thanksgiving until my mom passed about 10 years ago. And this was the beach that I grew up on essentially and held a really special place for me and my family.
What’s more, it was a full moon that night and there was a ‘ring’ around the moon. It was really something interesting that I’d never seen before. I found later on that the ring around the Moon is caused by the refraction of Moonlight from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. Pretty cool!
Each member got a chance to write down something on their floating lantern that they wanted to ‘let go’ of and release. Philip quickly assessed the situation with the waves and told me we’d have to get the lanterns out past the breakers. He was the first one to shed his pants and make a go of it with me and Maverick #181, Joey Coleman quickly following.
I felt privileged to have been a part of helping send off the intentions from members out into the water.
And the last two we sent out were in honor of Mavericks, Jordan Guernsey and Dave Zier. Two members we lost this year.
I had the privilege of going out to Utah a few days before Jordan passed on. He had called me and said he thought there were only weeks left. My neighbor Luis, who’s an infectious disease specialist, helped me figure out that I wanted to go see Jordan and interview him in person again.
Like many of you Jordan had touched my life – from our deep conversations to having incredible fun together. I respected him as an entrepreneur but also as one of the most beloved men I’ve had the honor of knowing.
I was re-listening to the interview this morning (and I’ve never actually listened to any of the interviews I’ve done) and the next song that ‘randomly’ came on was from an album called ‘Light Inside’ so called it – Legendary Legacy with Jordan Guernsey –
The Light Inside: Truth in Business, Life and Love
You can share it here – www.YanikSilver.com/lightinside/
My wife, Missy, suggested we do an Impact 2.0 type event for Melanoma in his honor, which I think would be great. We’ll keep you posted with thoughts/ideas on how to honor his legacy.
I made the trip to Utah in one day so I had woke up especially early. I saw the sunrise over DC from my plane window and while heading home, saw the sunset over the mountains of Utah. Seemed pretty fitting…sunrise and sunset.
I sketched this out in journal following one of our last conversations where I asked Jordan if he had a magic lamp – what would he wish for. Seems like a pretty good roadmap for 2015 that I’ll leave you with…
All the best!
P.S. We got so many exciting things happening for the upcoming year and Maverick is continually evolving and growing, thanks to you. I had so many members come up to me in Aruba and express their sentiments about this being a true family in every sense of the word and that really gladdens me as this was never intended to be just another ‘mastermind’ group or anything like that. We are truly making big steps into the interconnected Maverick Ecoverse we’ve been talking about with entrepreneurs connecting, catalyzing and co-creating