Awaken The Igor Within

The new episode of LBLS talks about the “breaking point” of my Internet marketing career, my personal motivation rituals and my way of dealing with the fear of failure which never fails me.

I also, for the very 1st time, reveal my love-hate relationship with my dad and his drinking problem.

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Jonathan: Welcome back List Builders to another edition of “List Building Lifestyle” with your host, Mr. Igor Kheifets. Igor, what is up my man?

Igor: Jonathan, today I would like to take you back in time. Let me take you back to 2009, I quit my job six months ago, I worked full time scrubbing hotel rooms. It’s about a 40 minute bus ride both directions so I start about 6:30 am in the morning and I get back around at 7pm at night. Okay, I work on my business in the afterhours. Naturally, I’m exhausted although at the time I’m only like 22 or something, 21. But I’m exhausted and mentally, once you worked a 12-hour shift scrubbing rooms and toilets and the floors like you honestly kind of lose interest in everything else. You just want to go home, watch TV, eat Pringles and go to sleep. But I try to push myself the best I could so at the same time, my dad got laid off work about two months ago so after making a couple of attempts to find a job, he sort of gave up looking. That’s how my dad is. That’s why growing up he was my hero and by the time I got to the age of 14 or 15 or 16 or something like that I looked at my dad, this guy complains, he drinks, he smokes, he mistreats my mother and I’m making my dad into this monster in the recent episodes but that was how I felt towards him back in the day. Today though, it’s completely different by the way. He’s my biggest fan of course and we are very close and it’s totally different. I realize that I was just as big of a problem in that relationship as was he. So basically, he makes a few attempts to find jobs, no luck and he gives up. So that means that he spends lots and lots of time at home watching TV and he is an avid soccer fan and snooker fan which means football, snooker, football, snooker in between there is tennis. That was his life back in the day. So one night, I get out of my room, it’s like 10 pm or something to get a cup of tea and my dad corners me. Now I smell vodka so the guy is drunk. Another hobby that he used to have at the time so I’m thinking here we go again because my dad didn’t like me to trying to market online. He thought I was wasting my time and he made sure to remind me about that every time he got plastered. Because when my dad got drunk on vodka, it’s not like he got violent but he got very aggressive. It didn’t take much to tick him off. In fact, you could not say anything to him and that would tick him off.

Jonathan: Hmm.

Igor: So anytime my mom that worked the night shift, which she would occasionally do just like she did in this particular case, we would end up having a fight about something so this time the fight was about me trying to market from home and wasting my time and instead I should be go looking for a better job than just scrubbing hotel rooms which I knew that it was a temporary job, I really did. I mean I was willing to suffer through it because I needed to put food on the table and I need to support the family and I need some extra money to put towards advertising and buy some software. I mean I couldn’t even afford the Aweber account. As much as it hurts me to admit, my dad, the biggest naysayer at the time he was paying for my Aweber account.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: A measly 19 bucks per month and the hosting another 3 bucks per month so I had to get a job to pay at least a little bit so now we have a huge fight. I grab the car keys, we had a shitty car, man. Man, we had such a shitty car. It was a 1999 Daewoo Nubira.

Jonathan: Wow.

Igor: I’m not even sure if it exists anymore but if you Google that. Google Nubira and you’ll be able to see. It’s like the shittest car you can ever imagine. It was ugly as hell too. It was just embarrassment. I could not ever get laid in that car ever.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: Not attractive so I needed to go off so I grab the car keys and I storm out and driving is something that helps me to cool off sometimes. When I’m in midst of a crisis situation I would often drive to a different city just for the sake of a long straight road, if you will, because that just kind of helps me to cool off, to think, to listen to some music and so I come back and it’s easier, it’s easier to deal with life this way. So I drove for miles upon miles upon miles until I realized that I needed a cloth to clear my glasses. At the time, I was still wearing seeing glasses. So I reach out to the glove compartment and what I find there, shook my world completely. So don’t get me wrong, I know that we weren’t in the best shape financially with my family. I knew that we were in debt if you will but I had no idea that my dad just a couple of days prior to that took out a loan, Jonathan, to cover a loan.

Jonathan: Ooo. Yikes.

Igor: So yeah, he takes on more debt to settle debt. How fucking retarded is that?

Jonathan: That’s scary.

Igor: Naturally, I go like wow he is such an irresponsible human being, of course I used different.

Jonathan: More colorful language?

Igor: Yes. Different language to describe it but very, very soon a mere 10 minutes later as I was sitting there just pissed off. I realized hold on a minute that’s like a natural result of the way we live our life right now. I mean he’s not working, I’m bringing some money, my mom brings some money even together that rate, me and my mom’s paycheck together, it ain’t enough so we sink deeper and deeper in debt and so that means that unless something changes today, we are going to soon end up in the street because the bank will only tolerate this I guess for so long until we can’t follow through on any payments whatsoever. So that was the defining moment for me, that was the moment when I decided that whatever it is that I was afraid whatever it is that I could not overcome, that didn’t matter. At that point, no obstacle was great enough, you know what I mean? No obstacle could ever stop me.

Jonathan: Yeah, yeah.

Igor: Because I realized that the only shot my family even at the time when I really didn’t like – I mean I love my father but I hated him as well and so …

Jonathan: [laughter]
Igor: Even during that time, the enemy was not my dad, immediately the tension shifted that the enemy was poverty.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Igor: And it’s interesting that my dad ended up like that as in ended up being sort of useless at the age of 45 especially because he was a very important person back in Ukraine so this new environment was not able to adapt to it. Now the reason, I told this story is because there is a magic in what I just said, that defining moment. It is really important to get clear what that moment is for you. If it’s still not there, if you still don’t see it then you need to either create it or to to find it. Because this moment, Jonathan, this picture of me in that shitty car realizing that my family hit a dead end and I was the only person in the whole world that was able to pull them out. That moment, it was enough one moment was enough to change everything for me. One moment to overcome all fears that I let hold me back; so fear of writing copy and not being a good writer, fear of having really poor language skills and still going for it still doing the thing that requires language skills, the fear of investing money in my business and putting money on paid advertising especially money I didn’t have, that fear gone. You know why because the alternative to all of that was so much worse, so much worse and we spoke a lot about fear driving the action forward but I just wanted to share with our List Builders the story behind it and just so you guys can feel how real it was because the only way you can feel the reality of it in your life, your life changes. That’s the only way it changes.
Jonathan: So a lot of people need to hit rock bottom to be motivated and you’re talking about a rock bottom for your family where they were taking out debt to cover more debt. I’m wondering is there a way to get motivated without having to go that low or do you think that’s what people need?

Igor: Well, it’s really difficult for me to answer this question because different people get motivate in a different way. I know that I’m negativity driven or fear driven. I got this motivation in me. There’s two types of people, there’s the type like me who get motivated by the scary stuff and there’s a type like for example my buddy who gets motivated by great ideas. You share a great idea with him, you see him light up. Now you see the problem, I see with positive motivation and with motivating people using big ideas is it doesn’t last. On the other hand, the way we are wired fear does not go away unless you do something to make it go away. So as far as which one is more effective for me, it is the fear part and how do I know motivate my clients? Well, I try to do more positive motivation first but if I don’t see it working, I start pressing the fear buttons.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of motivation you’ve got, what kind of motivation you respond to, what matters is are you getting the results or not and if not then as far as I’m concerned when it comes to motivation, the means justify the results.

Jonathan: Is there a way to figure that out? Can you think of a way that you can figure that out where you know whether you’re motivated one way or the other because sometimes I mean I got out of my electrical job because I hated it so that is kind of fear of being in something I hate forever but I’ve taken my business to another level because I’m going to have a kid soon and that is more of a positive thing. So do you know of any way that you could just kind of determine that and use it in your favor?

Igor: Well, you just know. I mean you know what we do, Jonathan, as marketers, we look for patterns. We look for clues and cues so in my life, the negativity in my life is definitely a cue and a pattern. So the moment, I feel negativity, I immediately try to formulate into a desire of some sort and go after it so all my desires take birth from the negativity. From that point forward, it just depends on where you want to put more attention on. So naturally for me, it probably has to do with my upbringing, you know the Soviet upbringing where it’s mostly negative of course. The environment that I grew up in it was always negativity driven so I naturally tend to kind of steer that direction. I find that for each his own but you can leverage both if you wanted to.

Jonathan: No and I think that is the key and really it’s not knowing – the knowing you figure out but how you use it is the key, using that to power what you want.

Igor: Yeah, absolutely. My mentor, Tom, he says that like whenever I talk to him about something. I’m like dude I want to do this thing and I’ve been wanting to do this thing for two months and for some reason I'm just fucking procrastinating about it.

Jonathan: [laughter]

Igor: For me, procrastinating about anything is a big deal because I consider myself to be a go-getter.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Igor: So the moment that I don’t live up to my own sort of like perception of me is something ain’t right. So I’m like, “Tom help me, man”. He says you know what you should do is sit down and write down 100 reasons why not taking this action will result in something bad happening.

Jonathan: Ooo, he’s got your number doesn’t he?

Igor: Yes, yes he knows me. So I sit down and actually make myself do it. Now, I’ll be honest it’s rare for me to sit down and write 100 things because once I’m down to 15 I’m like terrified, okay? [laughter] I’m in fight or flight mode, whatever that thing is called. I’m like okay got to get to work and it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 am in the morning. I’ll go ahead and do something to sort of lock in the commitment. On the other hand, what he is doing, he’s a very positive guy like extremely positive guy in spite of kind of having a rough childhood plus he is an ex-marine so I don’t remember marines being very positive people especially if you had to kill somebody or see a lot of violence so Tom is very positive and he is very caring. So for him, the trick is to write 100 things that are the benefits of taking the action. So if you’ve been procrastinating about filling out the papers to file whatever it is, let’s say adoption. Let’s say you’ve been kind of procrastinating about adoption and you’ve been procrastinating about the whole process then you need to sit down and write 100 things that are the benefits of actually making that happen, actually making that process happen. So all of a sudden, you think of your future space and you think of how great it would be to have a kid, you think of how great it would be to feel the responsibility as a parent, give yourself more meaning and even those kinds of goals on and on and on. Again it’s up to you like positive/negative doesn’t matter, you can build this up to a point where it has a lot of weight in your life and it’s all you think about.

Jonathan: I like that tip that you gave, which ever one motivates you, use that list and it’s true, it won’t take more than 10 or 15 of them until you’re like holy crap, I got to do this.

Igor: Yeah, absolutely. You know what’s another thing that’s really interesting is that if you do both, obviously will have a much more powerful effect on you but if you do both, you can’t lose. Like in my copywriting for example, what I do is I use both. I use the negative motivation which is talking about the things that are missing out or have missed out or the things that might happen or even the things that are going on in their life right now which are negative. So that’s all negative, right? You got the other element which is the positive so if you take this section that’s what’s going to happen, these problems will go away so you kind of mix both because you never know what kind of person you’re talking to, you might be talking to a positive person, you might be talking to a negative person but if you do both, it will resonate either way. You can study more on this from Tony Robbins, I think. I think the first time I heard the whole concept of positive motivation versus negative motivation was in “Mastering Influence”, a great program, I really recommend it.

Jonathan: Cool, very cool. So Igor what do you have coming up for us next time?

Igor: Well, next episode is a big one. A big one for me personally because I’m hosting an actual celebrity, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Wow.

Igor: At least in the niche that we are in. He’s one of the world’s paid copywriters. He’s definitely one of the world’s most ripped off copywriters because everybody else knocks off his copy. It’s Mr. John Carleton, one of my mentors.

Jonathan: Wow.

Igor: Yes, yes. So we’ve got Carleton and we are going to be talking about sales and broke people and how one is the cause of the other so I’ll leave it at that.

Jonathan: Hmm. Look at you. Look at you getting the A-list out here. [laughter] Man. Good stuff, looking forward to that so that is a wrap for “List Building Lifestyle”. Thank you List Builders for tuning in and as always thank you Igor for sharing your insights with us.
Thanks for tuning into The List Building Lifestyle show, if you’re digging what you’re hearing your next step is to go to iTunes and 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, give us your ratings and review to help other smart people like you find the show. Thanks for tuning in and we will see you on the next one.

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Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the founder and CEO of Igor Solo Ads, world’s largest Solo Ads agency. He’s the guy the gurus call when they need high quality business opportunity leads that convert.

Igor’s passionate about sharing up-to-date traffic & conversion strategies that work with beginners who want to make six figures while traveling the world full time.

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