Have you ever justified absence of financial success with virtue, morality or justice? Have you felt like you had to chose between being a good person and being a rich person? Discover why you don't have to sacrifice your core values or your health or your relationships or any other cherished part of your life.CLICK HERE to read the full transcript
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Jonathan: Welcome back, list builders, to another edition of List Building Lifestyle with your fearless leader, Igor Kheifets. What is up, brother?
Igor: What’s up, man? What’s up, list builders? Great to be here on another episode. I’m just stoked to be doing this podcast, to be honest. If you don’t mind, I just want to take a little step back and just say I want to thank everyone who’s subscribing and downloading all the episodes. I’m getting a ton of messages on social media, a ton. It’s people with questions and requests, and I appreciate you guys tuning in. I hope that it is influencing you in a good way, helping you make more money, helping you take control of your life. If you have any special requests for any special episodes, or if you’d like for me to interview experts that you believe will be beneficial to the show, feel free to hit me up on Facebook. I’m sure you can find me on there. I’ll do my best to follow through.
Jonathan: Cool, man. Yeah, it’s been fun to see the interactions, see the reviews coming in, and see the impact you’re having. I’m happy that it’s really starting to take effect.
Igor: So, Jonathan, let’s talk about poverty.
Igor: Yeah, I mean, we talk about rich people all the time and how to be rich, how to be rich, but we never talk about poverty. The truth of the matter is this is where we all come from. I mean, you shared with me earlier that you came from a pretty…
Igor: Modest background, yeah, and so have I. I mean, my childhood is divided into two stages, if you will. The first one was where we were rich, and the second one where we lost everything because we moved to Israel. I pretty much tasted both ends of that stick, and I’ve got to tell you, man, as someone who’s been both and is now back being rich, I find that there is no righteousness in poverty. There is no honor in being poor, you know what I mean?
Jonathan: Uh oh. Some people are going to disagree with you.
Igor: Yeah, they will, for sure, but I don’t care, honestly.
Jonathan: They have the right to be wrong.
Igor: I just know what really works. In this world, in this society, there’s really no honor in being poor because, first off, you can’t touch any lives if you’re poor. You can’t contribute to a cause. You can’t do anything. Second, you’re so busy dealing with money problems, you can’t deal with anything else. As a result, your life sort of crumbles. When my mom and dad were consumed with money problems, I was the last thing on their mind. She would go to work, and she would cuss all the time about downsizing and stuff [3:00] if she didn’t feel like going to work. My dad would often lose his job, constantly be at home, often drinking vodka out of frustration. It’s like the last thing they cared about was my future, for example. Sure, they sent me to a good school. They sent me to a military school or a boarding school in hopes that it would make me into a reliable person and get me a good job later, but the problems related to money were so all-consuming that everything else became secondary.
Jonathan: Igor, I don’t know where I heard this quote. I wish I could credit it to someone, but the thing I hear about poor people - rich people have many problems, yes, but poor people only have one problem, and that problem is life. That’s what I hear you describing here.
Igor: Yeah, pretty much, because everything becomes a problem. I remember when me and my wife were just she was a waitress and I was a security guard. We were young. At the time, we were like 24, and all of our friends all of a sudden starting getting married. You know how this is the time in your life when all of your friends are getting married, then everybody has babies. It’s like a wave, you know what I mean? All of a sudden, everybody’s getting married. Every month, we would get an invitation to a wedding.
Now, for her, it was like, “Oh, yes, we’re going to a wedding! We’re going to dance. We’re going to have some fun. We’re going to eat some good food.” To me, that was like a traffic ticket because every wedding, I’m not sure how it works in America, but in Israel, that’s like a minimum $250.00 entrance. You’ve got to show support for the newlyweds and stuff like that. I’m barely making $700.00 a month in a good month, and now I have to fork out $250.00 to go to a wedding.
Every single time we would get an invite, she would jump up and down. I’d be like, “No, we’re not going,” and then we’d have an argument. Then she would win the argument because I would be wussy and I would give up, and we would have to spend this money. Trust me, I swore, okay, that it doesn’t matter what I do; it doesn’t matter what I have to do as long as I don’t have to do anything unethical, or kill people, or whatever, I am going to make sure I make so much money that I don’t even feel the weddings. They’re mosquito bites, you know what I mean?
Jonathan: I like that.
Igor: It was so frustrating because that’s life, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got birthdays. You’ve got Christmas. You’ve got different holidays. You’ve got special events. Now, I’ve got a dating anniversary. I’ve got a wedding anniversary or engagement anniversary.
Igor: Yeah, and I’ve got a mother-in- law birthday. I’ve got a wife birthday. I’ve got mother birthday. I’ve got father birthday. I mean, there’s so many events where I have to fork out money to buy gifts [6:00] because I’m not this sort of guy that does it himself, if you will. I’m not good with my hands besides typing on the keyboard. That’s the best I can do. So, there is no righteousness or honor in being poor because every single thing that comes up in your life, even a very tiny little thing, becomes a huge problem. That’s one thing.
Now, the other element to poverty and feeling that being poor is somehow more righteous than being rich is that while you think that way, at the same time, you look at the rich people and you have a duality about it, right? You look at the person who drives by in a good car, wears a great suit, or maybe it’s a lady with the Prada bag or a Louis Vuitton suitcase, or whatever, or they live in a big house, whatever it is that being rich means to you. You look at them, and on the one hand, you want to be like them, right? On the one hand, you want that life. On the other hand, you sort of resent these people. You say, “Oh, these people are probably just assholes, or maybe they’re bad people. Maybe they’re criminals. They’re making their money in an unethical way, and I don’t want to be that.” Whatever that is for you, this duality and resentment, specifically, is what might be preventing you from becoming rich in the first place.
I’ve just been telling the story where I have a friend who is a business owner. He is a friend who works at an Intel facility, Microsoft Intel, where they make the computer processors. The facility is here in Israel, and I was talking to this guy a couple years ago. It was my friend’s birthday, and it was like the second time we met or something. Somehow, with me, whenever I go to a social gathering, I end up talking about money with people. Money, marketing, influence, human behavior, somehow it always ends up there. I don’t think it’s my fault, though.
Jonathan: Yeah, right.
Igor: I’m not the common denominator in all these conversations, not at all. So I was talking to this guy, and we were talking about money, health, happiness, and the opportunity that money allows you to create and take advantage of.
He said something so profound and so stupid that I think I’m going to remember this the rest of my life, and I will keep bringing this up probably on future episodes of the show, as well. He says, “You know what, Igor, look, I prefer to be healthy over rich.” Now, I say, “Why do you have to choose?”
Igor: Why can’t you be both, right? You can be rich, and healthy, and happy, and fulfilled. You can have a good marriage and a wealthy household. Why do you have to choose? I see this with Russian women, by the way, all the time. I’m close to the Russian community, and Russian women, for some reason, believe that there is more righteousness and honor in falling in love with a poor guy, a guy who doesn’t make any money and who doesn’t have any chance of making it because of his behavior and habits, [9:00] than falling in love with a rich guy.
Igor: Yeah, but it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich guy, isn’t it?
Jonathan: It should be easier.
Igor: Yeah, probably much easier because you don’t…
Jonathan: No stress.
Igor: Yeah, I know. Anyway, the point is money doesn’t prevent you from being a good person. A lot of rich people contribute a ton of money to causes.
Jonathan: Money amplifies you is what I’ve found. Whatever you are, if you’re an asshole and you have money, you’re just a bigger asshole with money. If you’re a good person and you have money, you’re just a better person with money.
Igor: Absolutely. I completely agree with that. At the same time, people will change the way they see you, though. People will adjust their perspective about you when they learn that your financial situation has changed. For some reason, for the people in our society, it’s easier for them to like someone who either makes less money than them or doesn’t make too much money. That seems to be the comfortable zone, right? So you have to downplay that a little bit. At the end of the day, money doesn’t change you as a person. There’s no honor in being poor.
The third point I want to make today is very interesting, by the way. You will probably agree with me on this one. Basically, I believe that society today respects success not failure. While we may feel sorry for failures, we don’t necessarily respect people who are failures. We might root for the underdog in a story. Think Rocky or think The Karate Kid, right? We will root for the underdog in a story where he has to overcome challenges to become something he strives to become, but we will only respect success. We will celebrate success. That’s why all the celebrities - you don’t see failure celebrities, do you?
Jonathan: They’re gone.
Igor: Yeah. As soon as they fail, they’re gone. They disappear. The media doesn’t want to cover them anymore besides, of course, that initial time when, oh, a celebrity made a mistake and failed; let’s make fun of them and then forget about them. The people who are continuously celebrated are success-driven people, people who are successful in their endeavors. If you are, society is going to reward that with respect. Now, the people in your life will probably resent you because you’re more successful than they are. Society as a whole, the message the media and the society project, is that success gets more respect; failure does not.
Jonathan: So I heard an interesting quote. I was at Strategic Coach a couple days ago recording this, and I wanted to get your thought on it. The coach told us that failure drives innovation. [12:00] Your failures are what take you to your successes. What would you say about that, Igor?
Igor: First, I would agree. We’ve spoken about how, for me, a lot of it has to do with fear, how my fear drives me to achieve and strive for more all the time. Failure can be one of two things for you. It can either be the bad thing that makes you want to say, “Okay, so I believe I’m inferior in some way, and this failure only proves it.” If I approach a girl and she shuts me down, I’d be like, “I’m unlovable. I’m unworthy of female attention, and this just proved it to me. I’m not going to approach women ever.”
Igor: I mean, I did arrive at that conclusion at some point. Eventually, I learned to see failures in different ways. If I were to approach a woman and she would shut me down, now I would assume, “Okay, I did something wrong. I didn’t execute the technique right. I didn’t know what she was all about. Maybe I need to find out more about how she responds to people, maybe talk to her friends or something,” or maybe just take it as an opportunity to say, “Okay, I’m not perfect. Let me find out what my mistake is,” which is the healthy attitude here, of course. For that attitude to exist within you, there has to be another basic premise to it, and that is that you are in control of the results you get in your life.
Jonathan: Personal accountability again.
Igor: Yeah, because a lot of people, believe it or not, Jonathan, they have this weird - I mean, it’s a phenomenon. I can’t explain it, but I used to be guilty of the same thing. People believe in predetermination. People believe that, for some reason, they are not destined to achieve something. A lot of people will tell you, especially the older generation, when it comes to making money online, you want to show them how to write an email or load an email into an autoresponder, they don’t even try. They say, “Well, it’s impossible for you to teach me something.” “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” they say. I used to believe that.
My business partner Dennis, he said the same thing. He said, “Look, you can’t teach these people. You can try to help them, but they will not succeed,” and I disagree with Dennis. I’m stating this publicly now, and it’s great because I have the microphone and Dennis does not. He cannot answer me, but I disagree with that. If the person actually believes he can, he will. I’ve seen it happen before.
I’ve had a client who was, I believe, at the time, 62. Don’t take my word for it. He was over 60, for sure. He’s a chemistry teacher from the UK, and he actually built a sales funnel, put together squeeze pages, wrote emails, and he was aggressive about his marketing. Ever since then, I learned that if the client actually wants to learn and he believes that the results he’s striving to achieve are in his own hands, then he will eventually succeed. It is just a matter [15:00] of time and the proper use of strategy.
Jonathan: Yeah. Dude, I had those beliefs, too, when I failed my first business. It was two years of me saying, “See, you shouldn’t have tried that. See, that’s what you get. See, you suck.” That was the roughest two years of my life, but realizing that I was in control of it and taking it all back has been one of the best things that happened. I want to just touch back on another point that I think needs a little bit more attention. It’s the fact of looking at other people and not so much envying them.
One of the big changes I had in my life - and I’m sure you went through this too; we’ve got some similar paths that we’ve walked on. When I was a blue-collar worker, I used to look at people with money and look at people that were successful and be like, “Oh, that guy’s an asshole. He probably doesn’t deserve that. He was probably born with a silver spoon,” whatever. I’ve found that, later on, with a lot of personal development, I got into seeing people that I didn’t like and were doing better than me, and just making the slight shift of saying, “Oh, man, look, this guy’s doing good, and he’s an asshole. Imagine how good I can do.”
Igor: Yeah, that’s right. I had a very similar attitude both for successful people, and when I was teenager, I had the same idea about the dudes who actually had girlfriends. I was looking at them, and obviously when you don’t have a girlfriend, pretty much every woman that has a pulse is hot. I’m looking around and I see all these guys who have girlfriends, and I’m like, “How come all the assholes get all the good girlfriends? How come these girls don’t pay attention to me? I’m a nice guy. I’m a good guy. I’m going to treat her well.” I just don’t want to talk about it, I guess. It’s just very painful for me to talk about that sort of stuff.
Igor: I truly believe you’re right. Yes, I too went through a shift in my thinking when I would look at other people, even marketers in other industries, not just my own peers and my own competition, which I naturally sort of hate, but I was looking at them and it would be like, “Man, I hate that guy because he’s making more money than me, because he’s appearing as a speaker at a seminar and I’m not,” but eventually you learn to see it as, “Hmm, interesting. There might be other things I’m not going yet which allow me to explode my business even further. Thank God. If I got here and I’m not doing what he’s doing yet, imagine what’s going to happen when I figure out what he’s doing.”
Jonathan: Just a little shift.
Igor: Yeah, that would serve as a reason to change direction or to investigate a new avenue for my business. I got to be honest, Jonathan, even to this day, I see someone who makes more money than me, and there’s three to five minutes of [18:00] hate and resentment.
Jonathan: That charges you up.
Igor: Yeah, and then I’m like, “Okay, all right, so we have the hate party. Now, let’s shift the attention back to a more productive stream.”
Jonathan: Yeah, man, good stuff. So, Igor, what do you have coming up for us next time?
Igor: Next time, we’re going to talk about the marketplace. I’ve found that a lot of people believe that the marketplace is much smaller than it really is. I want to address that growing concern about saturation and the inability for the new folks to tap this giant marketplace. Again, it’s truly giant, Jonathan. Not one single person or marketer can tap it alone. It’s just the ideas that people have about how big it really is are skewed. It’s just fascinating. Next time, we’re going to talk about that. If you’re having trouble getting fresh leads, you might want to tune in.
Jonathan: Sounds good. That is a wrap for List Building Lifestyle number 18. Thank you, Igor, and thank you, list builders, for tuning in. We’ll be back in your earbuds next time. Thanks for tuning in to the List Building Lifestyle show. If you’re digging what you’re hearing, your next step is to go to iTunes. In the search bar, type List Building Lifestyle. You’ll see Igor’s face smiling at you. Go ahead and click on that, subscribe to the show, and if you’re feeling really generous and you want to help us out, then give us your rating and review to help other smart people like you find the show. Thanks for tuning in. We will see you on the next one.
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