The Journey of a Priest: Father Nathan Cromly’s Path with WHY

In this enlightening episode, we delve into the life and insights of Father Nathan, a Catholic priest who defies stereotypes by forging connections between spirituality, business, and relationships. Father Nathan’s unique approach challenges the status quo and offers a fresh perspective on how to navigate life’s challenges with love and purpose.


  • Gain valuable insights into blending spirituality and business, and how these principles can enhance personal growth and professional success.
  • Learn about the importance of seeing others as individuals to serve, cultivating deeper relationships, and spreading compassion.
  • Explore the concept of challenging the norm, breaking stereotypes, and embracing humility as a path to personal development and making a positive impact.

Tune in to this episode for a thought-provoking conversation that encourages you to rethink conventional boundaries and consider how love, challenge, and humility can transform your approach to business, relationships, and life.

Connect with Father Nathan Cromly!




Watch the episode here

00:01:00 Challenge the status quo.

00:09:28 Embrace challenge and give yourself.

00:16:28 Living for the ultimate challenge.

00:19:00 Dedication and sacrifice in religious life.

00:25:27 Choose love over self-fulfillment.

00:35:24 Love is the strongest force.

00:38:08 Faith and business can intersect.

00:47:46 Don’t take yourself too seriously.

00:47:56 Life is like a firework.

00:54:09 Listening to confessions humbles priests.

Listen to the podcast here


Bridging Spirituality and Business: Insights from Father Nathan’s Journey

In a world often divided between the realms of spirituality and business, Father Nathan emerges as a unique voice, challenging norms and defying conventional boundaries. In a recent podcast episode, we had the privilege to explore the profound insights of Father Nathan, a Catholic priest whose mission is to bridge the gap between spirituality, business, and relationships. As a revered figure, Father Nathan’s wisdom offers a fresh perspective on how love, challenge, and humility can transform the way we approach every aspect of life.


Discovering Father Nathan: A Remarkable Journey

Father Nathan’s journey is a testament to the intersection of diverse experiences. Transitioning from an engineering background to priesthood, he embodies the blend of analytical thinking and spiritual depth. His compelling journey highlights how diverse paths can lead to unexpected destinations, challenging the notion that certain pursuits are mutually exclusive.


The Power of Love: Uniting Spirituality and Business

A central theme in Father Nathan’s philosophy is the profound power of love. He emphasizes that love is not limited to personal relationships; it is a force that can drive success in the world of business as well. Father Nathan’s approach encourages us to see others as individuals to serve, creating deeper and more meaningful connections. By incorporating love into professional endeavors, he redefines how we view success and fulfillment.


Challenging the Norm: Finding Growth in Every Challenge

Father Nathan’s life journey is a testament to embracing challenges as opportunities for growth. He advocates for stepping out of one’s comfort zone, daring to question conventions, and striving to make a positive impact. His remarkable journey from seminary school to founding Eagle Eye Ministries and the St. John Institute exemplifies his commitment to pushing boundaries and creating meaningful change.


Humility as a Path to Transformation

In a world often characterized by ego and self-centered pursuits, Father Nathan champions humility as a transformative force. His message resonates deeply with those seeking personal development and spiritual growth. By humbling ourselves and acknowledging our limitations, we open the door to profound growth and a deeper connection with others.


Rethinking Spirituality, Business, and Relationships

By listening to this insightful podcast episode, you’ll gain invaluable insights into blending spirituality and business, cultivating deeper relationships, and challenging the norm. Father Nathan’s approach showcases how the pursuit of love, humility, and meaningful challenges can reshape your outlook on life, regardless of your faith or background.


A New Perspective on Life’s Intersections

Father Nathan’s journey and philosophy serve as a reminder that life’s intersections are rich with opportunity. By infusing love into business, embracing challenges with humility, and viewing relationships as opportunities for service, we can lead more purposeful and impactful lives. Father Nathan’s insights are a call to action for all, inviting us to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation.

Unlock a new perspective on spirituality, business, and personal growth by listening to this inspiring episode.

Discover your WHY.os now for 50% off! Click here to purchase today or visit to learn more!

If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using. Thank you so much for being here. I will see you in the next episode.


About Father Nathan Cromly

Father Nathan Cromly is a nationally recognized speaker, writer, retreat leader, explorer, innovator, educator, and he is totally devoted to Our Lady. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, he has joyfully served as a Catholic priest of the Brothers of Saint John since 2007, and currently ministers in Denver, Colorado. Father Nathan’s teaching and dynamic witness has touched the lives of tens of thousands of teenagers, married couples, families, and business professionals.

Father Nathan is the President and Founder of the Saint John Institute whose ministries have been inspiring, equipping, and engaging Catholics since 2003. There are three integrated ministries: Eagle Eye Ministries whose outreach and formation to young adults through retreats and excursions inspires them to lead; the Saint John Leadership Institute that equips Catholics to lead through in- person courses and on-line classes and webinars; and the Saint John Leadership Network that engages business and family leaders to Dare Great Things for ChristTM by integrating Catholic leadership into the family, culture and professional world through formation, fellowship and prayer.

Besides leading international backpacking trips and making documentaries, Father Nathan launched a weekly podcast titled Dare Great Things for ChristTM with over 150 episodes available on popular

podcast apps and airing soon on EWTN. His 2-minute Glance at the Gospel can be heard weekly on EWTN and local Catholic radio stations.
Above all else, Father Nathan is a Catholic priest. He has dedicated his priesthood to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and is humbled to serve Christ’s people so long as God gives him the opportunity.

Father Nathan is the President and Founder of the Saint John Institute whose ministries have been inspiring, equipping and engaging Catholics since 2003. There are three integrated ministries: Eagle Eye Ministries whose outreach and formation to young adults through retreats and excursions inspires them to lead; the Saint John Leadership Institute that equips Catholics to lead through in- person courses and on-line classes and webinars; and the Saint John Leadership Network that engages business and family leaders to Dare Great Things for ChristTM by integrating Catholic leadership into the family, culture and professional world through formation, fellowship and prayer.


Ignite The Hunger In You: How To Develop Your Greatness And Ignite Humanity With Les Brown!

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness

Every single one of us holds unfathomable greatness waiting to be unleashed. It all comes down to igniting the hunger within you to develop that greatness. Who better to teach you how than the Great, Les Brown himself! Les is one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers and a sought-after coach, personality, and resource. He chats with Dr. Gary Sanchez for a deep dive on the inspiration of his latest book, Ignite the Hunger in You: How to Develop Your Greatness and Ignite Humanity. In their talk, Les discusses his anecdotes of people and events that helped ignite the hunger in him and how he aims to inspire personal growth to many more. Listen to their moving discussion on achieving that greatness and passing it forward to ignite humanity.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Ignite The Hunger In You: How To Develop Your Greatness And Ignite Humanity With Les Brown!

Welcome to the show, where we go beyond talking about your why and helping you discover and live your why. If you’re a regular reader, you know that every week we talk about 1 of the 9 whys and bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. We are going to do something different and something that we have never done before. Usually, what we do is we reveal our guest’s why before the interview, and then you get to hear their stories about how their why has played out in their life. We are going to do the reverse. The reason we’re doing that is so many of you already know our guest.

You have heard him for many years and experienced his presence and talks. I will be interviewing him. I want you to read and figure out what his why is from the stories that he tells. We will reveal his why online to see how you did. Read and try to decipher his why. We have a very special guest for you. I have been looking forward to interviewing this guest for many years. I have been trying to get him on the show but things didn’t work out at certain times.

For a man who needs little to no introduction as one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers, and one of the most highly sought-after resources in business and professional circles for Fortune 500 CEOs, small business owners, nonprofits and community leaders looking to expand opportunity. His charisma, warmth and humor have transformed ordinary people into extraordinary achievers by using his own life and in-depth study of others’ challenges to build an understanding of what works, what doesn’t work and why.

He never tires from energizing people to meet the challenges of the world around them. He has a way of turning what he touches into gold. He is here to talk about the book he co-wrote with JB Owen called Ignite the Hunger in You: How to Develop Your Greatness and Ignite Humanity. Les Brown, welcome to the show.

Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and spend some time with you. I want to congratulate you on the work you’re doing, helping people to discover their why, and giving enlightenment on what can help to sustain people in very challenging times. Nietzsche said, “If you know the why for living, you can endure almost anyhow.”

As we are going through this pandemic, we felt that it was about to be something of the past, and now there’s a new one out there. People need something that can sustain them. Their why will be their rod and staff to comfort them, to give them the wherewithal, the perseverance, and the courage to keep moving forward and do the things that they are called to do. What you’re doing and the work that you have is a calling. It’s needed now more than ever before in this place where we are.

Thank you, Les. I appreciate that. There are very few readers who don’t know you or your story, but for those that don’t, could you take us back in your life? Where were you born? What was it like when you grew up? How did you transition from where you were to where you are now, speaking all over the world to millions of people? Take us through the quick version of Les Brown’s life.

We learn from our conversations, observations, experiences, and circumstances. Click To Tweet

I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. I was born in a poor section of Miami, Florida called Liberty City, with a twin brother. We were born in an abandoned building on a floor. We were taken in as foster kids by Mamie Brown. I feel like Abraham Lincoln who said, “All that I have and all that I ever hoped to be, I owe to my mother.” I constantly say that God took me out of my biological mother’s womb and placed me in the heart of my adopted mother. I saw a picture of my birth mother and father, and connected with the birth family that I had no idea. I’m in Atlanta and they live in Gainesville, Georgia, and here I am an hour away. I always felt a connection with Atlanta.

I know the moment that my birth mother, Dorothy Rucker, came to see me. I remember I was on a book tour and this lady was watching me very intensely. It was her and a guy. She came forward and said, “Hold your hand out, son.” I held my hand out and she put a picture, closed my hand and walked away. I put the picture in my pocket and then something said, “Take it out.” I looked at it and it was a picture of my brother and me. I said, “Lady, where did you get this from?” She just turned around, waved and kept walking. That was a brief moment, and then here we are. My son did a search. He went on to find and locate my birth family. It has been a process. I’m just now discovering my roots.

What has got me here? I always say, “I’ve got a new narrative.” My birth mother gave me life. My adopted mother taught me how to live life. When I was in the 5th grade, I was labeled educable mentally retarded. I was put back from the 5th grade to the 4th grade, and failed again when I was in the 8th grade. I had a high school teacher like you in my junior year. He’s very much like your personality. He was the kind of person who always look for the good and bring out the best in people. That’s who you are and how you show up.

He said, “Young man, go to the board and work this problem out for me.” I said, “Sir, I can’t do that.” He said, “Why not?” I said, “I’m not one of your students.” He said, “Do what I’m asking you to do anyhow.” The other students started laughing and saying, “He’s Leslie. He’s got a twin brother, Wesley. Wesley is smart. He’s DT.” He asked, “What’s DT?” “He’s the Dumb Twin.” I said, “I am, sir.” As they laughed at me, he came from behind his desk and looked at me. He said, “Don’t you ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. Do you hear me?” I said, “Yes, sir.”

The program that you host does something for people. How people live their lives is a result of the story they believe about themselves. What you do in promoting people discovering their why, you distract, dispute and inspire. You distract them from their current self-explanatory style as psychologists would call. Through your guests and conversations, you dismantle their belief system on how they see themselves and how they are showing up in life. You give them the courage to ignite a spirit of becoming an active force in their lives, to take their lives in another direction, to live a life that has meaning and purpose, and a life that will outlive them. Thank you for how you show up.

Thank you. When you were in high school, you had a label. How did you remove that label from yourself? How long did that take? What was that like for you?

It’s an ongoing process. Even now, I don’t think that you just have a moment, and you’re able to disrupt the things that you have embraced about yourself. As you are aware, we learn from conversations, observations, experiences and circumstances that we have. I came along during a time when they had signs on Miami Beach, “Jews, dogs and coloreds, not allowed.” There were places on Miami Beach where I couldn’t go that a dog could go. That’s a dominant culture that’s designed to destroy a person’s sense of self.

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Ignite the Hunger in You: How to Develop Your Greatness and Ignite Humanity

That’s an ongoing process. What I learned from going to work with my mother, and she worked for wealthy families on Miami Beach is what you listen to, you turn into. She worked for this wealthy family, the Swiderski family. Mr. Swiderski, I had to clean his office. He listened to motivational messages regularly. Zig Ziglar, “If you give enough people what they want, they will give you what you want.” Earl Nightingale, “You don’t get in life what you want. You get in life what you are.” Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, “You have something special. Don’t allow negative thoughts to dominate your life. You must think positively.” By listening to those messages regularly, unbeknownst to me, it was interrupting my vision of myself. It gave me a vision of myself beyond my mental conditioning and circumstances. It created a hunger for more and to live a greater life outside of what society said that was available to me.

As you speak around the world and meet people that have transformed their lives, what part does personal growth play in the changes that you have seen in people around the world?

Personal growth is everything. There’s a quote that Bishop TD Jakes says, “Lord, don’t let my talents take me where my character can’t keep me.” It’s self-awareness, knowing who you are, and being willing to work on yourself continuously. That discovery process empowers you because life is full of disruptions. Things are going to happen that you never saw coming as what happened with the pandemic. We never saw this coming. It’s to be able to define yourself and don’t allow the disruptions of life and the things that happen to you to disrupt how you feel about yourself and how you see life.

There’s something that LC Robinson said, “Things may happen around you, and things may happen to you but the only things that count are the things that happen in you.” It’s being anchored in a mindset of mental resolve that, “This will not define me. It will refine me but it’s not going to define me.” I’m looking at this from the perspective of not, “Why did this happen to me?” but from the perspective of, “What do I do with this? Now the power is in my hands. How am I going to handle this?”

The self-awareness and the ongoing process of working on yourself are meaningful. Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had six hours to chop a tree down, I’ll spend four hours sharpening my ax.” That’s what people have to do. The divorce rate is up 40%. The suicide rate has increased dramatically. Unexplained violence is taking place all over the country. Millions of people have been told, “You don’t have to come to work. You can do it from home.” They then say, “It’s safe now. You can come to work.” People say, “I don’t know if I want to do that anymore,” because they had time to rethink their lives.

We’re going through a place where people are reflecting and making decisions. We make decisions and our decisions make us. That’s different from what we have been able to see in the past. We have a culture that trains and educates people to be employees. Now, there are people saying, “I want to be my own boss, control my destiny, and live life on my terms.” This place where we are is very special.

That’s a good way to put it. Let’s keep going. You are now a young boy, and you have learned about personal growth. How did that translate into the changes that you made in your life? How did that take place?

Define yourself and don't allow the disruptions of life and the things that happen to you to disrupt how you feel about yourself and how you see life. Click To Tweet

What it caused me to do is to continue to pursue listening to messages that would empower me and inspire me, that expand my vision of what’s possible in my life in spite of being in a culture that demonizes you, works to destroy your sense of self, and dismiss you. It helped to fortify my drive and hunger to want to live a larger life beyond my mental conditioning, and the circumstances where I found myself. It’s that process and I’m still engaged in it. I believe you’re never too old to learn and you’re never too young to teach. I’m always learning and studying.

I left on my telephone a message for people who call me. There are people who call to hear what the message will be and it’s, “Most people have dreams and goals that die between two thieves, regret of the past and fear of the future.” You have a gift. Don’t let the regrets of the past, the mistakes that you have made in the past, the things that you have gone through, the fear of failure, and the fear of what’s going on rob you of why you were here and the work that you are supposed to do.

What were you like in high school? Where did that take you in your life to get into speaking? You have been speaking for how many years?

Fifty-two years. That’s before you were born. I thought of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abbott, Malcolm X, and Billy Graham speaking to people in a big stadium. I was fascinated with their oratorical skills. My high school teacher, Mr. LeRoy Washington, was a Speech and Drama teacher and he was awesome, “You have something special. You have greatness in you. You have the ability to do more than you can even begin to imagine. You can make your school proud. Booker T Washington High School is not the largest but the best. You can make your family proud.”

I remember following him after school after he gave a speech and I said, “Mr. Washington, I heard your speech.” He said, “Aren’t you in the eleventh grade? I said, “Yes, sir.” “That was for the seniors.” I said, “I know but I heard your voice and I felt like you were talking to me. I came and stood in the back and listened. You said that we have something special and great in us. Do I have greatness in me?” He said, “Yes.” I say, “How do you explain the fact that I have to go to summer school every year, that I have been labeled educable mentally retarded, and my twin brother gets As and Bs. I have never gotten that. He has been on the honor roll. That has never happened for me.”

He said, “Mr. Brown, your grades don’t determine who you are. It just means that you have to work harder.” When he turned to walk away, I said, “Sir, I want to make my mother proud. I want to buy my mother a home. You said that if one person heard you that you’re being brought here from Stuart, Florida to Miami in Liberty City, you being brought here would not have been in vain.” He said, “Yes.” I said, “I’m the one, sir. I heard you. I’m going to use what you said.” He said, “It’s possible, young man.” He turned to walk away.

I said, “Don’t forget me. My name is Leslie Brown. I’m Mamie’s boy. One day, you’re going to hear my name. I’m the one. You touched me. When you spoke, you spoke to my heart.” That journey and that transformative experience created an opening in my mind that it was possible, that I didn’t have to die on the streets of Liberty City in Overtown in a violent and drug-infested poverty area. I can see the world before I leave the world, and that I can make some choices that will liberate me to become a person of substance and live a life of impact and live a life that’s counted.

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: The self-awareness and the ongoing process of working on yourself are meaningful.

Do you have any idea of how many speeches and presentations you have given?

No. I gave a speech that a lot of people love called It’s Not Over Until You Win in the Georgia Dome, which no longer exists. It was before 80,000 people. I don’t even remember giving the speech because I was so afraid. I went to the bathroom about 6 to 7 times. They had to get me out of there. I said, “Have you looked out there?” No, I don’t. I have been doing it for so long. I enjoy doing it virtually now. We have gone from brick-and-mortar to click-and-order. I’m training people how to take their story, knowledge, and skills, and how to train others and do it virtually in front of the computer like how we’re speaking now.

I do miss speaking on stage but not that much. I enjoy speaking in front of the computer because I know how to connect with people in front of them or in front of the computer. That’s what I now specialize in. I don’t have to get on an airplane and fly from city to city or country to country, and be able to create an experience. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Once a man’s mind has been expanded with an idea of concept or experience, it can never be satisfied to going back to where it was.”

I have listened to many of your speeches and worked out many times listening to you. I am enthralled with the way you tell stories and speak. How did you learn to do that? When did you learn to do that? What is it that you’re actually doing so that I know what it is?

Let me say how I learned. I had a coach. Mike Williams wrote a book called The Road to Your Best Stuff. He has an addition to that, The Road to Your Best Stuff 2.0. I saw him speak and I admired his style of speaking, how he had the audience on the edge of their seats, and how to have them laughing and the next moment crying. I went to him and said, “Can you teach me how to do that?” He said, “I could teach you how to do better than that.” That’s how I got here. He’s still my coach to this day. The other thing is that when you love something and see it as your calling, a job is what you get paid for. A calling is what you’re made for.

I talked to a young man and I said, “What are you doing?” He told me that he was in IT. I asked him, “What are you living to do?” He thought for a moment and said, “I love to help people.” I said, “Do you find yourself doing that in what you are now doing?” He said, “Not to the extent that I want.” I said, “You ought to create that for yourself before you leave here. We don’t know how much time we have left.” He said, “I got to pay the bills.” I said, “We’ll figure out how you can pay the bills and build a life that’s you. Life is short and unpredictable.”

If there’s anything we learned from this pandemic, people are rethinking their lives. Life is fragile. Over 700,000 people are out of here. You owe it to yourself and your family to do something that’s you and that you love so much that you do it for nothing, but you do it so well that people will pay you to do it. I said, “That’s how I got into this.” I volunteered. I gave free speeches for a long time to learn how to do what I was doing. I invested in myself. Warren Buffett said, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” Here’s a guy who has billions of dollars in real estate and the stock market but he said, “In yourself.”

Most people have dreams and goals that die between two thieves - regret of the past and fear of the future. Click To Tweet

He said, “The most important tool that you need if you’re going to build a business or be a voice of influence who could make an impact on the planet, you got to be a communicator. If you can’t communicate, that is like being in a dark room with a beautiful woman and wink, nothing happens.” Steve Jobs said, “The storyteller is the most powerful person in the world.” It sets the agenda. The storyteller creates the vision, determines how people see themselves, and creates the thirst for what you want to do.

When I came into the industry, for the most part, everybody was giving information from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I believe that if the information could change people, everybody would be skinny, rich and happy. Studies indicate that when you give information, that impacts two areas of the brain. When you provide a story, and I use stories, that impact five areas of the brain. That expands a person’s vision of themselves, touch their hearts because we are emotional people, and ignite their courage in them to do something different with their lives.

I was going to ask you this question. Do you consider yourself a speaker, a motivator, a storyteller, or all of those? How would you define if you could what you do?

I aspire to inspire until I expire. I told my kids, “If they told you that I die, tell them don’t embalm me for three days, and then sneak down to the bog and put a microphone in my hand. If I don’t grab it and say, ‘You got to be hungry,’ you say, ‘Dad’s gone now.’” I’m Mrs. Mamie Brown’s baby boy but I got a new narrative. I sing this song, “I’ve got two mothers and I’m not ashamed. I’ve got two mothers and I love them just the same.”

What’s the secret to telling a good story? That is your specialty, for sure. I listened to you waiting for the story. I have even heard this story before and I still enjoy the story more the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th time. How do you do that?

You experience the story continuously. Ladies and gentlemen, I was on a program with a gentleman who has committed his life to helping people to change their lives. His name is Gary, and his name in itself conjures some thoughts about this thing called life. Number one, you got to have a goal-centered life. People who aim at nothing in life end up hitting nothing dead on the head. He has a goal of helping people to discover their why. When the tough times come, and they’re going to come, their why and reason for being will be their rod and staff to comfort them.

The A in his name is for accountability partners. You got to have some people around you that are going in your direction and people that have goals and dreams that they’re working on and will hold you accountable. People who have accountability partners have a 40% greater chance of reaching their goals than people who don’t. The next thing about his name is the R stands for Relationships. You don’t want to do this thing called life by yourself.

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: You’ve got to have a goal to light people who aim at nothing in life and end up hitting nothing dead on the head.

As the Academy Award-Winner Sidney Poitier said, “When you go for a walk with someone, something happens. Either you adjust to their pace or they adjust to your pace.” Whose pace have you adjusted to? Look at the relationships in your life. As Jim Rohn said, “Ask yourself the question, ‘What am I becoming because of this relationship?’” Am I growing? Am I becoming a better person and a better father? Am I growing mentally, spiritually, and financially? What kind of impact that to some people, if you never saw again, it would be too soon?

The Y in his name stands for Yes. Eighty-five percent of people look at their goals and dreams that will allow them to live a different kind of life. They say no to themselves because they have been conditioned to suffer from the possibility-blindness. For Gary, the reason that he does this program is to inspire you to say yes, to encourage you to believe in the possibilities that you can do it, and know that you will have to fail your way through success but you have it within you. Say yes to your dream, to your life, and to a brighter future. I call it the Gary factor. He’s a bad boy up in here.

I know you used my name but take us through what you did there so that we can understand how you did that. What was that? You used my name but what were you thinking about as you were off the cuff?

The speakers speak. When you get coaching on how to do anything, it creates and develops your intuitive skill and gift that’s lying dormant within you. It takes you to a place in yourself where most people who won’t put in the time, focus and effort will never discover that part of themselves. It’s lying there dormant. I’ve got three brothers. They don’t live like I live because they haven’t put in the focus, time, and effort to develop this part of themselves.

I was shocked to find out that my birth mother was a motivational speaker. My grandmother, Beulah Rucker, have the Beulah Rucker Museum in Gainesville, Georgia. She was a motivational speaker but I didn’t know them but because I put in the time, I was willing to invest in myself, because I saw something that caught my eye like this program that you are doing. You could have done a lot of programs but there was something about this and knowing your why.

I think about Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. He talked about the Jews that survived the inexpressible cruelties of slavery. Either they had some loved one that they were determined to see, or they had some cause that they believed in or some spiritual commitment and level of reason that fortified their resolve to survive. When we find something that resonates with who we are and something that we love, it’s just you.

When I think about speaking I have the, “Can’t help it.” I can’t help it. I talk in my sleep. You do this problem. You have a lot of other choices. It’s you. Most people die an unlived life. Most people who die at age 25, don’t get better at 65. They are living a misplaced life that’s not them just to pay the bills and survive. What it takes to survive and what it takes to thrive are two different things.

When you get coaching on how to do anything, it creates and develops your intuitive skill and gift that’s lying dormant within you. Click To Tweet

You have said, “I’m getting out of line. I’m not following the followers. I want to do something different with my life. I want my life to count. I want to make an impact.” I believe what Horace Mann said, “We should be ashamed to die until we’ve made some major contribution to humankind.” I’m going to have a program that will allow me to make a major contribution. You have studied. You are willing to learn. If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re willing to learn, no one can stop you.

I’m with you. I did thousands of why discoveries for free before I started to see what I see now.

You can see things that other people can’t see.

When you talk about connecting, you said, “I can connect to people, whether it’s on stage, on the phone, or on Zoom online.” How do you connect to people? What is that secret you have? I don’t know what it is but I feel it. How do you do that?

You do know what it is. I speak from my heart. Stories touch the heart. Information fills the brain. When you have a heart-centered message, people experience that. You create an experience. Words that are spoken from the heart enter the heart. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Once a man or woman’s mind has been expanded with an idea, concept or experience, it can never be satisfied to going back to where it was.” When you tell a story about something that touched your heart, something that you’ve experienced, or something that you saw or heard, get them out. I heard a young man say on the elevator. He looked at a lady that was being wheeled in a wheelchair and said to her, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

He didn’t know her or me. He was pushing the wheelchair to a gate. That touched me. It’s a random act of kindness. He could have stood there silently like the rest of us but he said, “Have a nice Thanksgiving.” She smiled. I’m reminded of a man who jumped off the San Francisco Bridge but he survived. They asked him, “Why did you want to kill yourself?” He said, “I didn’t want to kill myself but I was going through so much pain in life. I went out for a walk and said that if anybody looks at me and says something kind or smiles, I won’t kill myself. No one did. The moment I let go, I knew I had made a mistake.”

Had that gentleman who stood by me had seen that young guy that day, he would have seen a smile and said, “It’s good to see you.” When he asked the lady how her Thanksgiving was going to be, I chimed in too. We have to create not just viruses of fear but also viruses of love, peace and harmony where we recognize our humanity, connectedness and being willing to, “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand. Make the world a better place if you can.”

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: 85% of people look at their goals and dreams that will allow them to live a different kind of life. They say no to themselves because they’ve been conditioned to suffer from possibility blindness.

I have heard you say that many times but tell us about being hungry, “You got to be hungry.” Your book is about that.

Ignite the Hunger is about people who have gone through things, people who had major setbacks, abused, denied, stepped on, and treated unfairly. It’s about the power of the human spirit. Something happens at a defining moment that they came to know that what they were going through, they would get through. In each chapter and each author, when people read the book, it’s not just a read. It’s an experience and it’s needed now more than ever before because people are going through a tough time. I have a son who is bipolar and has schizophrenia. He’s out of control. He hasn’t taken this medication. That’s a challenging experience.

You realize that there are some things you can control and can’t control. There are some people, even your grown children. You have to love from a distance. I have received the first Cancer Centers’ Award of Excellence of Perseverance. I received that award as if life says, “Mr. Perseverance, here’s something that you can’t control. How are you going to handle this? You motivate people around the world but you can’t control and make your son take his medication.” Has it been challenging? Yes, absolutely. I don’t care how old your children become. They’re still your children. You have to learn how to handle that, how to process that, and how to discipline and manage your thinking around that.

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.” I had to put myself back as an observer. I don’t get to weigh in on telling a grown person, “You need to do this.” If they choose not to do it, there’s nothing I can do about that. What I can do so that I don’t deplete the white blood cells that are available to protect my immune system and continue to beat stage-4 cancer is to find a sense of peace within and say, “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, I can change how I respond to this, and the wisdom to know the difference as opposed to being stressed out of my mind.” That does not serve me and that does not help him.

Does that create a hunger in you?

Yes. We are going to experience challenges in life. My favorite book says, “Think it not strange that you have faced the fiery furnaces of this world.” You will, not might. You will have tribulations. Forrest Gump had a point, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” What we know is that we have built-in power, authority, and dominion to handle whatever life throws at us. I have an affirmation that I read every morning, “Lord, whatever I face today, together, you and I can handle it.”

All things work together for good for those who love God and for those who are called according to his purpose. They say, “All things will be good or all things will feel good but it will work together for good.” I say, “Lord, help me to hold on so I can find the good.” I feel like Mother Teresa who said, “Lord, I know you know how much I can bear. I just wish you didn’t have so much confidence in me.”

Once a man’s or a woman's mind has been expanded with an idea, a concept, or an experience, it can never be satisfied to going back to where it was. Click To Tweet

What is next for you? You’ve got your book coming out. You’re working with people to help them tell their stories online and in person. You’re very young. For those of you that can’t see Les and you’re just reading, he looks about 45 years old. This 77, I’m not sure if I’m buying that. You’ve got a lot left to give.

It’s coaching people and teaching them what I have learned. Being on the planet for 77 years, I feel like I served at the Lord’s Supper. I used to think people in their 40s were old, then I woke up one morning and said, “I’m 77. Who does this?” I would like people to reach out to me at and also go to It’s teaching people how to live a life of meaning and significance. Your life is a gift and how to develop that gift. We have talents, abilities, skills and ideas in us to help people rob the cemetery of their gifts, live full and die empty. That’s what I want to do. I don’t want to work with everybody, just a few people.

They say I have the Midas touch because I don’t touch everything. It’s about working with people who want to invest in themselves and bring out the greatness in them in 2022. People have a story that they want to tell you. Maya Angelou said, “There’s nothing as painful as an untold story buried in your soul.” Help people to tell that story because that story that you’re sitting on, somebody is waiting on. Help them get it out and be able to make an impact, to be a voice of influence, to promote their business or to help them live a life that they can feel proud of. That’s what I’m about. That’s where my focus is, and that keeps me young.

When you talked about telling a story, you said that you’ve got to speak from the heart. How do you teach people to speak from the heart? What does that mean?

I want to ask you a question. When you were coming up, there’s somebody you saw when you’re around 5 or 6 that you admire and wanted to be like. They made you feel safe and good about yourself, who is that person?

It would have to be my dad.

What’s your father’s name?

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: We have the talents, abilities, skills, and ideas to help people rob the cemetery of their gifts, live full, and die empty.

Robert or Bob.

What’s the first quality that you liked about Bob and admired about him?

I’m going to say resolve.

Give me an example.

What he wanted to do, he would stick with it until he accomplished it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Gary. We’re living in a time where lives have been disrupted. I want to share with you my hero, Bob. Bob to me, stands for Believe in yourself, being Open to the possibilities, and be Bold about life. My father is a man that had deep resolve. If there’s something that he wanted to do, he set out to do it. When I think about me, I realize how much he influenced me. I remember as a kid as I watched him, he was my hero. We had Batman, Superman, and everybody else but my hero’s name is Bob. He’s a man’s man and I want to be like him.”

That’s something from your heart. That’s not something you read in Think and Grow Rich. When you talk about Bob, you went to your heart, you got still, you had that faith. Who is that person? Bob is the person that’s special to you. When you tell a story from your heart about Bob and the other things that you learn from him, people can tell if it’s from your head or some script that you had memorized, and you’re coming in to do an information dump. They can tell if this is a person that means something to you and the story that you’re sharing. They can tell and feel it. People will feel your energy. That’s how I teach people to speak. You have to have a heart-centered speech. It’s something that’s in your heart.

It’s very important to have people around you that will believe in you until your belief kicks in. Click To Tweet

I think about myself when I speak at events. There’s a bit of fear in speaking from the heart because it gets too emotional and uncomfortable. It gets to where you almost feel like you’re going to have tears or something like that. It’s a fear to go there.

You pull yourself back because the microphone on the stage is not a place for therapy. I have made the mistake of doing that and I learned. You always want to know where you can go with a story. It’s not about you. It’s about the audience. The audience is asking three questions when you give a speech, “Who are you, Gary? What do you have for me? Why should I care?”

When you give a speech from that place, “I’m sharing with you about my father, Bob and his resolve. Do you know what I know? For us to make it in and out of the pandemic, it requires a level of mental resolve and faith. Faith not tested can’t be trusted. I know that you must believe in yourself. My father was an example of that. Here’s what I know. As you look at yourself and at that man or woman in the mirror when you get up in the morning, I want you to know you’ve got greatness looking back at you. I want you to know that when you believe in yourself, when you’re open to the possibilities, and when you believe that I have the faith that I’m going to make it no matter what I’m saying to you, ‘Life is on your side.’ Angels are activated and saying, ‘We got to go down there and help this one here. They got that energy of Bob. This one here won’t stop.’”

I noticed that you add a lot of humor when you speak.

When people laugh, that shuts the mind down. I use laughter and teach my speakers how to use laughter so that when people laugh, their minds close down but their hearts open up. You then come back with a powerful statement. When you get in the heart, they can’t get you out of there. Now you can work on it. Humor is very important. It’s a lubricant that allows you to handle this thing called life. It’s medicine for the soul.

This crossed my mind when you were talking earlier, and I would love to know what this felt like. You have spoken at many different size events, right now to 80,000 people. What was that like? How was it different to speak in front of 80,000 people? Was it any different?

It was very different. It was frightening but you allow your fear to drive you. It’s very important to have somebody around you who believes in you until your belief kicks in. I was frightened up to the moment they handed me the microphone. My mentor, Mike Williams said, “Brownie, you got this. I said, “Do I, Mike?” “Everything that you have gone through has prepared you for this, Brownie. Make your mother proud. She will get a chance to see this. Make her proud today.” “Thank you, Mike. Give me the microphone, sir.”

BYW S4 11 | Developing Greatness
Developing Greatness: You don’t want to be just a presenter because it goes in one ear and out of the other. You want people to experience what you’re saying to them.

It’s very important to have people around you that will believe in you until your belief kicks in. Fortunately, for me, Mike Williams spoke to me. I believe him and I went out there. If people watch Les Brown speaking in the Georgia Dome, they will say, “He has made me Brown’s boy. He’s got it good up in here.” I don’t remember giving the speech. I have only watched about 5 or 10 minutes of it because I’m very critical of myself. People say that it has been viewed by millions of people around the world and it has changed their lives.

When you are getting ready to go on stage and speak to an audience, how do you prepare yourself?

I have a needs assessment that I sent out to clients. That’s what separates me from other speakers. I train speakers and say to them, “Don’t let what you want to say get in the way of what your audience needs to hear.” I ask them a series of questions, “Who have you had in the past? What worked? What did not work? What’s the unspoken conversation? What is it that you want me to provide so that when they leave here, it will make you look good? They will feel better about themselves. They will be motivated and inspired to take their performance to the next level.”

I conduct communications intelligence, asking them questions, and then I incorporate that in the experience that I create on the stage, having in there the things they told me that they want and the reason they brought me in. It’s not just a presentation to entertain them but to empower them, to impact their bottom line, to increase their sales, and to cause them to say to themselves, “I can do more, “Simba, you are more than that which you have become.” They know that to be so.

I hear you say this word a lot and it’s making me think. You talk a lot about the experience. It’s not the presentation or the story. It’s the experience. Tell us what that means to you.

You don’t want to be just a presenter because it goes in one ear and out of the other. You want to experience what you’re saying to them. Each time you tell the story, you want to tell it with the same passion, power and energy. That gets fresh like you’re telling it for the first time. There are people who have heard me tell the story about how I became a disc jockey. They brought me in and said, “Don’t forget to tell the story of how you became a disc jockey.” Why? It’s because they love that story. It took them to a place in themselves that they could not go by themselves. They want to hear that story again, so I tell that story each time like I’m telling it for the first time.

I’m experiencing rejection. I’m experiencing walking back and forth, looking at Rockin’ Roger who was drinking and could not complete his show. I’m saying, “Drink, Rock, drink.” I go there with the power of telling the story and experiencing the story. You cause the audience to take imaginative leaps. They come into the story. You created an opening so that your story becomes their story. You take them on the journey to another place within themselves that they have not figured out how to get there. The story provides the key to unlock and release what Elizabeth Browning would say, “The imprisoned splendor.” I encourage people to study. I study and read constantly even now.

Don’t let what you want to say get in the way of what your audience needs to hear. Click To Tweet

Have you got time to tell us that story?

No. I can’t go there. Let them go to the web. I’m going to send them the story because I have to get into that mindset.

I have heard it many times and I love it.

Reach out to me at I will send them a motivational message that will have that story. They can see it in action and love it.

I love this because you have shared with us what’s happening behind the scenes of what we’re experiencing upfront, which is super helpful for those of us that want to make a bigger impact and connect at a deeper and heartfelt level. It sounds good to say those things, but until we know what it is, how to do it, and see an example of it, it’s just another thing that we’re trying to do that we don’t know how to do.

It’s caring about the audience. Who you are behind the words is far more important than the words that you speak. Zig Ziglar said for years, “If you give enough people what they want, they will give you what you want.” That to me meant that if you give people your best, if you give from your heart, if you hold yourself to a higher standard, if you create an unforgettable experience and have people know that you care about them and you’re not treating them like a transaction, Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” they will give you what you want, referrals and business. You will have an incredible time in eCommerce in this time where we’ve gone from brick-and-mortar to click-and-order.

Les, if people want to connect with you, they want coaching from you and want more, what’s the best way for them to connect with you and buy your book? How can they do that?

They can get the book on Amazon. That’s number one. If they want one-on-one coaching, they can go to In our training program, we have They can go there and we have an ongoing process and a holistic approach of helping people get out of their heads and get into their greatness.

I have been looking forward to this for a long time. I’m so glad this finally came about because I wanted to connect. I know so many of your stories but I look forward to listening to them every single time. Thank you so much for being here. It has been a pleasure having you on.

Thank you for having me. I still feel a special connection with you. You’re my brother from another mother.

Thanks, Les.

I’ll give you a virtual hug.

It’s time for our last segment, and that is the Guess Their WHY. I want to pick somebody that everybody is familiar with from the Olympics, and that would be Simone Biles. If you’re a member, she lost her confidence. She did her routine and lost confidence in the middle of the air, and came down luckily on her feet. From then on, she decided she could not participate in the Olympics because something wasn’t right in her head. What do you think Simone Biles’ why is? I’ll tell you what it is. Her why is trust. It’s to create relationships based upon trust, to be the trusted source, and to be the one that others can count on.

People with the why of trust educate or develop themselves to extremely high levels quite often so that they can be the trusted source so that they can be the expert, so they can be the one. In her case, she lost trust in herself that she could find herself in the middle of the air and come down safely. I believe that her why is to create relationships based on trust. What do you think her why is? Let us know. If you have an opportunity, let us know what you think her why is.

I want to thank you for reading. This has been an awesome episode. I loved having Les Brown here. He’s one of my idols as far as a speaker. If you have not yet discovered your why, we have a special for those of you that read Les Brown’s episode. Go to You can take the WHY Discovery for free. You can discover your why for free in this episode only. If you love the Beyond Your WHY show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you are using. Thank you so much. I will see you and be with you next episode.

Important Links:

About Les Brown

We’ve all been through a lot recently and for most of us, it’s been hard to catch our breath before something else comes along. The one thing I know is that we are all more than what we’ve been through- but it can be tough to realize that truth in the midst of chaos.

If you are looking for solutions to quiet the noise in your mind and focus on improving your life on every level, you need coaching… and you need a community.

I’ve created the Coach Me, Les Brown community to help transform and elevate the individual and collective consciousness of those who are serious about living a life of purpose and passion- while making profits!

If you are hungry to live out your dreams- both in and out of the pandemic, I invite you to join our community as we do a deep dive into the actionable solutions needed for you to win now and in the future.


How To Simplify Your Life Through Entrepreneurship With Yaro Starak

BYW 43 | Simplify Life


Yaro Starak believes that it’s possible to simplify life and business from a positive angle and make everything easier. Yaro is an angel investor and the co-founder of, an email management company focused on simplifying processes for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and real estate agents.


The digital world has grown massively over the years, but even before, Yaro knew that it was the right path for his entrepreneurial journey. In this conversation with Dr. Gary Sanchez, he talks about how he gravitated toward doing an online business out of the belief that it guarantees sustainable growth. Join in and learn how Yaro simplifies everything he touches – from business processes to the process of life itself.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Simplify Your Life Through Entrepreneurship With Yaro Starak

Every week, we talk about 1 of the 9 whys and then we bring on somebody with that why so you can see how their why has played out in their life. In this episode, we’re talking about the why of simplify. This is a very rare why. Only 5% of the population has this why and if this is your why, you’re one of the people that makes everyone else’s life easier. You break things down to their essence, which allows others to understand them better and see things from the same perspective. You’re constantly looking for ways to simplify, from recipes you’re making at home to business systems you’re implementing at work. You feel successful when you eliminate complexity and remove unnecessary steps.

I’ve got a great guest for you. His name is Yaro. He is the co-founder of, an email management company with a team of 25-plus serving clients, including restaurant owners, venture capitalists, accountants, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, car retailers, online coaches and more. He has made 30-plus Angel investments in tech startups including Steezy, LeadIQ, Fluent Forever, Fitbod and NutriSense. He has property investments in Canada and Ukraine, and in partnership, built a 3.6-megawatt solar farm. During the mid-2000s, Yaro sold his first company,, then built an online education company, selling over $2 million of his books and online courses. Yaro, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me, Gary. You read my full intro. I appreciate that.

I was a little bit worried about saying your last name. How do you say your name?

I generally go with my first name like Oprah and Madonna. Yaro is just the way I go out there. It’s Yaro Starak if you do want to pronounce the second half. It’s unique enough that you don’t meet many Yaro’s in the world. I’ve been able to pretty much own that line in Google search results for most of my online career. I continue to spread the word of one name.

Bring our audience up to speed on you. Tell us a little bit about your story. Where were you born? How did you get into the business? How did you end up building the blogging organization mastermind that you have now?

It’s funny because I’m new to your breakdown of these nine concepts but simplify does resonate as I’ve discovered I am, especially if I look back on my early motivation as a young man in terms of what to do with my life. I do recall I was eighteen when the dot-com boom was happening. I was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia to Canadian parents. I’ve always had a connection with both countries, Canada and Australia. One thing that was very clearly different from my own personality compared to pretty much everyone I knew at the time was I didn’t want a job.

I wanted to be an entrepreneur but it wasn’t for becoming crazy rich another billionaire out there or even hundreds of millions. It was more because I saw that as the pathway for a simpler life. It meant I could create a business that was a vehicle to financially support myself. I would have a fun and fulfilling role within that company. It would be simple. I didn’t see myself being one of those entrepreneurs, fourteen-hour days, wearing all the hats. I wanted to build a system and find a function I could perform that was creatively stimulating but also generated a good return for my effort.

I didn’t know what that was. I’m saying all this now in hindsight. At eighteen, that was like, “I just need to pay my rent and move out of my parents’ house.” I did go to university only because everyone else went to university. It was, “What else can I do? I didn’t want a job.” I studied Business Management but to be honest, the main breakthrough was the fact that I got access to the internet on a high-speed connection for the very first time at university. Because everyone was building online businesses around the world, it was when were happening, I gravitated to doing something online. I did build a hobby website that eventually did make a little bit of money at that time.

Focus on that thing that you’re passionate about and build yourself around it. Click To Tweet

That’s where I got the start. I have to marry that with reading a few key books certainly around money. There were the usual ones like Think and Grow Rich, The Richest Man in Babylon and The One Minute Millionaire. In terms of the business side, there was The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. That’s a great book for looking for the simplest role if you want to move yourself up from being the technician of the company to owning the company and having your team and the systems run for you. To me, that seemed like the ultimate goal. I wasn’t sure what business that would be but reading those books got me jazzed and excited.

Eventually, towards the end of my degree, I started that first company you mentioned called BetterEdit, which was the first time I implemented a simple business model. I’ll go over it in brief. It was an essay and thesis editing service. I had contract editors and a website. I built the website myself. Basically, a student would come in with a paper. You know students are last-minute. They want it to be just proofread, edited and give them some feedback. I get the job and pass it off to the contractor. The contractor would pass it back to the student. I take a cut of that transaction and that was the business model. It’s very simple. I grew that to my first full-time income after graduating from university.

That’s when I tasted what we now call The 4-Hour Workweek. Tim Ferriss has dominated that phrase. Before he even wrote that book, that’s what I was going for and you needed a simple business model to make that realistic. That was my goal and I achieved it around maybe 24 or 25 years old. It took me about five years from being in university and afterward to create that lifestyle that I was looking for. Everything since then was born from that motivation. Obviously, bigger numbers since then but that was the first time where I tasted that freedom and experience and built a simple lifestyle for following my personality type.

Let’s talk about that. I know you did a lot of traveling. Were you building businesses as you were traveling?

I was running everything. The essay editing company was the first one where I got to experience the functioning of a remote CEO or a digital nomad as I preferred to call it at that time. It was funny because it’s so common now. It doesn’t sound as special as it felt the first time I got to do it, the very first time where I was somewhere else on the planet. I left Australia and I did a full-circle trip around the world in 2008. That was the first time I traveled as an independent adult. I went twelve months the entire year. I went from Brisbane all the way through America, then Europe, then back through Asia and the Middle East and back into Australia.

I lived in 26 different cities. Airbnb wasn’t quite available but there was a Vrbo. I lived in a lot of apartments. I was a local and ran my business. I remember launching a course. This was when my education business was starting as well. I had a partner in one of the courses. He was back in Brisbane. I was sitting in a rented apartment in a city called Vouliagmeni. It’s an hour outside of Athens, Greece. We were sitting there. I was writing emails to sell a digital product. In some ways, in a very simple business model, you would sell a digital course. You create it once and keep selling it. I had an email list and newsletter. That’s the predominant source of new customers we had.

My job was as a writer. As we go back to my goal as an eighteen-year-old, I didn’t realize it at that time, but I eventually realized I was a content producer and that’s what I enjoyed. That was the core skill that I developed and I looked for business models that could leverage that skillset. When it came to digital education, I could create courses, sell with an email newsletter and reach an audience by writing blog posts. I did all that. This was after I exited that essay editing company and focused 100% on my education business. That was the tool that allowed me to make more money while traveling than I spent, which to me was a little bit of a mind-blowing experience.

Certainly in my twenties then, most people were in jobs and would save whatever it was $10,000 of their salary to go on that two-week holiday that they might have. I was comparing it to the lifestyle I was leading, coming home with more money than I spent. I spent probably about $50,000 on that round-the-world trip, all said and done with the flights, accommodation and food. That was validating because, I’ll be honest, before that one, I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was not making that kind of money. I didn’t have that kind of freedom yet so I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path. That round-the-world trip was a very validating experience.

For selfish reasons, I have to ask this question because I’m going in the opposite direction. I was a dentist for 32 years where I was tied down to an office where I couldn’t leave. I can’t be a dentist and live in Greece. I’m sure there are a lot of people reading that are thinking, “He did what I want to do.” Me too. Coming up, that’s what I want to do, to be able to work from the road from different parts of the world. Take us through picking your next spot, finding your place there, getting acclimated and meeting the people. What is that like?

BYW 43 | Simplify Life
Simplify Life: No one else controls the decision of how you interpret things. It’s only up to you. You could make choices and recognize opportunities for change and growth.


It’s wonderful, amazing, at times, incredibly lonely, and you can be quite lost. There is a dichotomy there. Initially, if you’re taking with you the thing that you’re passionate about, and this was the insight for me, the work that I did was and still remained the thing I was most focused on. I could sit in a cafe and write that blog post, newsletter or coach a student. I remember doing that in Rome, Paris and Dubai. My function didn’t change. That was amazing to look at a different scenery and be traveling all the time while doing the same work that I always enjoy. It’s a blessing to have that experience.

At the same time, especially doing that perhaps in my twenties, a lot of it was while I was single as well. Where I went next was entirely up to me. It wasn’t a financial choice like so many people’s decisions about traveling. It’s like, “Where can I afford it? How long can I go?” This was I could travel in perpetuity to any place in the world roughly and that is a massive amount of opportunity which can be somewhat overwhelming for me. I’ll be very transparent here too, I was dealing with a fear of flying a lot of this time too. I was forcing myself and said, “I’m not going to be held back by that. I want to see the world.” It’s amazing when you travel for an entire year, you go on a lot of flights and that helps deal with that fear of flying like the immersion therapy.

I tended to make decisions based on a little mix of I might know someone. I’ve got family in Toronto. I know people in Vancouver. I’ve been to Hawaii when I was younger and traveling with family. I loved it. I wanted to go back. I’m a huge fan of Japanese animation. I always wanted to go to Japan. When you look what’s closer, I was afraid of flying. I was traveling via train in Europe for a while. It was good too and a little easier on the anxiety. It’s a little bit random. As I got older, I also made decisions based on conferences and events to go to as well. That would become an excuse, “I want to go to this city because this event is running a mastermind conference.”

It’s a completely open book. That year, especially the first time I did this, it was places I wanted to see. I’m opening up sometimes a map and seeing what’s close by and what I would like to do. Things like what’s the accommodation. You want to make sure you have a good internet connection. You look at your schedule like, “Are you about to do a lot of maybe podcasts or things where you might need a setup. You might want to stay in one city for a month to do some serious work. A good example of that is I created one of my courses while I was traveling. That’s difficult to do if you constantly have travel days.

One time, I created half a course while spending a month in Vancouver. I just have one apartment. I didn’t move around. I sat there and had my studio at home and made video content. Before that, I traveled from San Francisco, Japan and Hong Kong. That was in rapid succession. One week here, one week there. Making a course during that time would have been very challenging but it’s amazing. I strongly recommend it if you get a chance to do it if you’re moving towards it. You’re not a dentist practicing every day anymore, I’m assuming. You could be recording this show with me anywhere in the world, no doubt.

Tell me about the lonely aspect of it. You weren’t married at that time. I don’t know if you’re married now.

I’m not married now. I have a steady girlfriend now but I didn’t have it for a lot of those travels.

You were there by yourself, which could be lonely. Being in a big city by yourself with millions of people around is still a pretty lonely experience.

I’ll be honest with you. A few years ago, I was in Ukraine for the first time. I decided to stay a little longer because I was building the solar plant. It was a bit of a random decision. I won’t go into that story. I needed to stay a little longer for three months for that. I remember sitting in this Airbnb that had no living room. It was a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. It’s very Eastern European style. I was thinking, “I don’t speak the language. I’ve just made new contacts and friends that I don’t know that well, but they’re part of this solar project.” I’m completely isolated. I’m doing the same thing a little bit over and over again, going to the same coffee shop, writing something, rinse and repeat.

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There was this moment where I was like, “If I died in the apartment, I don’t know if anyone would come and look for me.” It’s more of a thought, “How long would it take for them to find me?” That is a fear you go through, especially in my early twenties and maybe even late twenties. It was a sense of loneliness because I was also looking for companionship around my interests in a city. That was harder to find anywhere. Now, it’s a little easier because I feel like more people are online entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an influencer or an eCommerce marketer, we all have that connection to doing something online.

When I was doing this, this was in the mid-2000s. It was rarer and it wouldn’t be easy for me to land in a city, send out a tweet and potentially go and find events and meet people. There was a lot of that sense of, “I’m different from everyone else.” When you say the 5% of my personality type, I certainly felt that. Before, there have been other personality profiles that I’ve done. I’ve often been in the 2% to 4% version that’s quite rare, which makes you feel different from other people, but that’s a limiting belief I feel too. If I was pushing myself to integrate more locally, I would certainly make more friends

The challenge is friendships like most relationships are built over time. This is a real catch with perpetual travel. If you’re even just a month in one city and then you move to the next, you might have met someone and have one coffee session or meetup event. Maybe another 2nd or 3rd time but then you’re gone again. You haven’t built any kind of real solid relationships there with anyone, friends or romantically. There’s a real sense of being this vessel moving with all these other people living normal lives and you’re experiencing a little bit of their culture and little interactions. I wouldn’t want to do that forever but it is an amazing experience that I do cherish.

I benefit from being an introvert in this sense too where I’m quite self-contained. My girlfriend is extremely extroverted. She would need to be with people all the time. The way I’ve traveled in the past would have been super depressing for her, where I’ve been super fine sitting in a cafe. I would go 4 or 5 days without having a conversation with anyone other than the person I was ordering my tea, baked goods or something new I was trying at a restaurant. That lends itself to solo travel well. You push yourself as much as you want to. If you want to meet lots of people, you stay with the backpackers, then you can integrate with more people that way. For me, it was more about finding people like me and that has become a lot easier with the internet.

What was the motivation you had for perpetual travel? Why did you on that trip?

It might be a cliché that people born in Australia are travelers because there’s nowhere else to go other than Australia and New Zealand, which is close by. They’re known as travelers. Everywhere you go, there are Aussies out and about. With that being said, there’s more to it than that. You look at why you even have a business and why you’re trying to get financial freedom. I benefited early on from creating a business that did grant me a lot of time. I got to ask myself the question, “If I’m not driven entirely by paying my bills, rent each day, and having to work 9:00 to 5:00 to do that, I’ve opened up the door to all this extra time. What do I want to do with it? What do I value beyond meeting my basic needs and travel and seeing the world and even experiencing cultures necessarily from a distance sometimes?” Living in the city but not being of the city is still a high priority.

It depresses me sometimes when I think about how big the world is. You never get to see even a tiny percentage of what is out on our planet. I love the traveling and the nature aspect of it. I love the food and just the idea of you’ve never walked down the street and discovering something unique. The cultural aspect like going to Japan. Even reading the Wikipedia page about the place you’re in and learning about the history and what’s interesting to the culture compared to your culture. Geography, history and cultural elements are all fascinating and interesting to me. Most people would agree that they are the same. Maybe not most people but a good chunk of us. They don’t get the chance to do that.

As an entrepreneur, we are lucky in that way. Hopefully, most of us can travel. Besides that, maybe it’s a product of my upbringing as well. I have immigrant parents who talked a lot about my father during World War II in Ukraine, but then in Venezuela as a refugee, and then to Canada and then later to Australia. They’re talking a lot about different cultures, races and histories. My mother is similar, coming from Eastern Europe, Israel, Canada and then Australia. Perhaps because I’ve been a Canadian living in Australia, I thought I was born there. I still always felt like that. I didn’t identify with any one country as, “This is my country.” I saw myself as a citizen of the world and not necessarily 100% nationalistic towards a country. I’ve felt comfortable being somewhere else and observing other cultures.

You were able to develop multiple different businesses in different areas. Many of them worked out well for you so that you could have this freedom. Tell us about your email business.

BYW 43 | Simplify Life
Simplify Life: Entrepreneurship is a pathway to use your terminology for a simpler life. is the name of the company. It’s born from me simplifying that editing business all those years. I talked about how I finally was able to travel. The truth was before I took some of those early trips, I couldn’t travel at all because I was trapped in my inbox. This was also before we had the BlackBerry. It was just on the horizon. That was the first mobile phone with email. The first experience I had of traveling with this essay company was I went to Sydney for one of my trips. I was in and out of internet cafes all day because I had to go check my email. If there was a rush job from a student, we had to process it to get it back on time.

I didn’t have a holiday. I lived in the internet cafe for long chunks of time. I was like, “This doesn’t work.” That forced me to go, “I need to outsource and delegate this customer service, email management role,” and I did. I hired a friend at that time who was just about to have her first baby. I trained her on the role. It was an experiment. I didn’t know whether I could hand over something as personal as email that I felt was my baby. It was what I was doing for my business since day one, but it turned out to be not as hard as I thought.

It’s so life-changing because it took about 3 or 4 weeks to fully train her on the role. There was a Monday where I woke up and my default was to roll out of bed, turn on the computer and check the inbox. I did that but the inbox was empty. For a moment, I was like, “Is something broken?” I forgot she had cleared it before I’ve woke up. I’m a late riser and that was like, “What do I do with the rest of my day?” It was a miracle. There were sales coming in, I was making an income, she was processing the jobs, and the contract editors were doing the work. I effectively built this simple system that removed me from the process of running this business.

Fast forward to my education company, I had someone do my email virtually from day one once there was enough cashflow to justify that. It’s like going first-class. I can never go back to managing my own email. It would be too painful. That education business grew. We eventually had three people doing 24-hour email support and managing most of that email. Finally, I was like, “I want to start a new business.” For the longest time, it has been at the back of my mind that this is a service other entrepreneurs need. They tend to use their email as a to-do list. It’s a massive time-suck. It’s two hours in the morning and two hours at night before they go to bed. They kiss the kids to sleep and then they do another two hours before they go to sleep.

I always thought there was a need for this. It wasn’t until I was at a networking event in Vancouver and the entrepreneur next to me, we were all sharing what we’re spending the most time on and she was talking about how email was such a big waste of time for her. The most amount of hours she would spend is on email. I turned to her and said, “I only do my email once a month. I go into this Yaro folder and there are 5 or 10 messages that are specifically for me and I answer them. All the other messages are handled by someone else.” She was like, “How is that even possible? That shouldn’t work.”

That was when I finally said, “I need to test this business idea.” I call it MVS, Minimum Viable Service test. I had inbox managers for my education company. One of them is Claire. I said to her, “I want to launch this new company. You should be my cofounder because you have the skillset to deliver email management. I have an audience. We can test the idea if we can get 1 or 2 test customers to figure out the business model and see if they like the service, then we can scale from there if it works.” She agreed to be the first inbox manager, although she knew over time that we would hire more people to do that. That’s what we did.

We went to my customer database and said, “Would anyone here be interested in the same people who manage my email to manage your email?” A couple of people put up their hands and say, “Yes, we’re interested.” We did some discovery calls and two of them became customers. They’re both still with us, which is amazing. We took over managing email for one person who was in a mental health disorder business and another one who is in a political podcast and information product business, around that space. It’s very different from my topic. It was a validation that everyone has email and everyone would benefit from not doing it so we scaled from there.

The simple answer is it’s a similar business model to my essay editing company. We have a team of specialist contractors that we train up on how to manage email. They’re very good with English and attention to detail. We teach them systems for managing email and working with a client. Since then, we’ve been all full-growth mode, trying to get the word out there to as many people as we can. What I loved about it is the type of clients that have come our way. It has been bizarre to get from a candy store owner to car retail, the venture capitalists, Angel investors, dentists, doctors and lawyers. It’s typical and what you used to be. I’m assuming when you were a dentist, you probably had a lot of emails too.

Between patients, you run in there, file through it, answer and delete.

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That’s everyone’s story. It’s amazing how we’re all driven by it. It has been a fun business to run and talk about. For a lot of people, they don’t even think about outsourcing as part of their life and it simplifies people’s lives. I love doing that.

Take us through that. Let’s say I was your client. I call you and say, “Yaro, I hate my email. I need to get some help with this.” What do you do? How do you teach someone to answer in my voice? How does that work?

We have a process. We call it a handover period because as you can imagine, there is a need to learn how to manage your email. You need to get comfortable with the human being who is not you going in there. More often than not, we’re not writing as you. We’re coming in as your email assistant. We’re like a receptionist, a part of your team or an executive assistant who specializes in email. We do try and match your voice. We call it building a knowledge base. We’ll go in and learn what your most common situations are that come through email and how you currently reply to them. We’ll build templates, rules and systems from that.

An email comes in and it triggers an action like this email from this client needs this customer record to be updated or this information passed to them. It’s maybe even something simple like an email comes in and needs to go to the webmaster to update the website. You seriously shouldn’t be the person who is forwarding those emails back and forth between the staff or updating the task management software. We do that too. We try and close the loop of email and all tasks associated with email. Only the most important things that you need to be involved with or know about are presented to you. That can be simply a Slack, Microsoft Teams message, WhatsApp message or a phone call, however you like to be updated on what’s going on or what’s urgent for you.

We try and take 95% or more ideally of your email off your plate. It’s different for every person. The most challenging part of this process is letting go. Most people who are in their inbox can’t stop going back to their inbox to see what’s happening there. We have to train our clients not to be pinching the email before we even get there to do it for you. There’s the trust aspect especially with certain businesses like doctors with health information, venture capitalists with financial information, and lawyers with legal information.

We always have to build a system about siloing information so it’s kept secure, separate and private. Some businesses are very easy as candy store owners. There’s not much secret information going on there. It’s just the case of making sure that emails are answered quickly, the appropriate information is given, also people have followed up with and could be potential customers. You don’t want to miss out on them if you don’t send them enough emails to lead nurturing. That way, you go. That’s how it works in a nutshell.

Are you comfortable talking about costs so we have some idea? I’m wondering myself.

Our pricing page is transparent. It’s $1,495 for that first handover period. I’ll say a month, but some people might need 5 or 6 weeks. That does the transition process. We bring on two inbox managers from our team. We would introduce them to you. If you pay $1, 495 for that first handover month, we need a bit of your time to answer questions to build those systems. We need you to review draft emails before we start sending them out. We don’t want your permission to reply. You give us that feedback and away you go.

Pricing then, it’s month-to-month and it scales up and down. If you’re the kind of person or even a full business that has multiple inboxes and you might need 3 or 4 people managing email where you can scale up, it goes up into $500 increments so $1,495, $1,995, $2,495 all the way down to $995 for the smallest inbox where you might only need an hour a day, five days a week to clear your inbox. For most people, we design two so you have redundancy. You have two people working in the inbox. If one gets sick or has a holiday which they will, you don’t have to have that horrible experience of someone coming back to you and saying, “We need you to do your email again for a month while we find someone else,” because that’s not what we want for you. We always have that backup with two people working in your inbox. That’s pretty much it. For most inboxes, it’s about $1,495 a month ongoing. That tends to cover it.

BYW 43 | Simplify Life
Simplify Life: The ultimate reframe in your life is learning to interpret things differently that would help you grow as a person and an entrepreneur.


I could see how that would free up a ton of time.

This is how you can travel. It’s that sense of, if you did take a break, didn’t work for two weeks or even if you wanted to travel for 6 or 12 months, you need those team members in place. You’re not landing in a new city and rushing straight home to work on your laptop to answer the emails. That’s what you don’t want.

It sounds like you designed your lifestyle and then you created businesses around your lifestyle.

I saw problems that would hinder me from the lifestyle I wanted and then realized that other people also would have these problems. InboxDone is certainly a reflection of that.

Yaro, thank you so much for spending the time with us. If the people here want to get a hold of you and they say, “I love those ideas. I love to have somebody help me with my inbox to give me some freedom,” what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you? and then book a discovery call. You’ll see the link on there. You’ll get to speak to me. I’m on a discovery call. My one job for this company is to talk to potential new clients.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received or given?

I go back to the early twenties period for me because I was the most lost, confused, self-doubt, depressed about the direction in life, financial independence, and all the usual things you’re worried about in your early twenties. There was one piece of advice that helped me, which I’ve seen repeated from pretty much every self-help NLP, Tony Robbins. Wherever you want to go, its advice that’s repeated but it was very simple when I first discovered it. Ironically, it doesn’t work anymore. When I first discovered this, I googled for what is the meaning of life, and this is how this piece of advice came up. If you google that now, the same resource doesn’t show up, unfortunately.

The answer to the question was to realize that you’re in control of interpreting your emotional response to events in your life. For me, in that early twenties period, I was very much choosing a negative reaction and seeing the negative interpretation of whatever was happening. If a friend was succeeding in business or relationships, it reflected on me failing and I would think about the negative aspect of that. If I launched something new with a business and it didn’t work well, it meant the business wasn’t going anywhere. There’s a lot of negative self-talk and interpretations of events.

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Spending this late at night reading this whole guide and starting with that one piece of advice that, “No one else controls the decision of how you interpret things. It’s only up to you.” I was like, “I should make a choice to always see the better side of this event and the opportunity it brings or the potential for change. Even if it’s not what I want, it’s the stepping stone that it might be for something that I want.” It has been the bedrock ever since then. I’ve seen it repeated from philosophical documents, religion, personal development trainers and spirituality. It’s always that, “You control how you interpret.” To me, that has been huge. I can’t say there has ever been any other piece of advice more impactful than that.

Say it one more time.

You control the interpretation of events and the emotional response you give them. Simply put, when I first read, it was, “You choose to be happy or sad depending on what happens,” but no one else is telling you, “You have to choose to be happy or sad.” In fact, this was the breakthrough. It was like, “I’m always the one who is creating that response. No one can force the creation of any emotion in me other than me.” That means it gives me the power back to choose my interpretation when an event happens.

It was huge, especially with things like dating. If you get rejected, it’s like, “I’m ugly and hideous. No one ever liked me,” versus you get rejected and it’s like, “What did I learn from that experience? Let’s not use that lame line and try another line with the next person.” It’s something simple as that. That was a powerful reframe. NLP talks a lot about reframing. The ultimate reframe is learning to interpret things in a different way. It simplifies to a positive angle and thus makes it easier.

When I worked with companies around the world, I see a lot of companies that struggle and a lot of companies that are doing extremely well. The ones that are doing extremely well have a few things in common. One of those is they have somebody on their executive team with the why of simplifying or the right way. There’s another why. That’s the right way. It’s a structure, process, systems-based why, which is a lot of what you do. You simplify it down even more to where it’s useful and easy to understand and anyone can do it. Why is it important for you that things are simple? Why do you want things simple?

If I think about it, it’s probably because seeing chaos results in emotional turmoil from the confusion and the lack of control. A lot of people think a desire for simplicity is a desire for control and I would agree with that. I think of two sides of the same coin. I feel what is simple is easier to control, so less chaos. With that being said, you can’t control everything completely but simplifying it makes it much more manageable and easier to do so. What we all want is that sense of controlling our own destiny. By simplifying, that gives you the power to do so.

Also, simplifying the outcome as well. That’s why for me, that reinterpretation of events too was a way to be happy. I can simply make a choice. That’s so simple rather than the chaotic potential of all the other ways I could interpret this, especially if there’s a linear outcome. We’re just trying to get somewhere and I can focus on where I’m going rather than all the things that are not working. It’s the same with a business. Growing a business is a very chaotic experience but if you simplify, you then have one goal to work towards and you take steps to get there.

How do you feel about complexity then?

I enjoy the fact that complexity exists, but I find it frustrating not being able to necessarily feel completely understand the cause of the complexity. Even something as grand as what happens after you die. If we knew what happens, it would be different but it’s something super complex that we can’t comprehend while we’re alive. Even with what I said about traveling, I would love to have been everywhere on the entire planet. I know I can’t and it is overwhelming and complex to think about everything going on on the planet, but I’m glad it is that way too and that also makes it more exciting. Would I simplify it so I could understand everything? I probably would.

BYW 43 | Simplify Life
Simplify Life: You can’t control everything completely, but you could simplify things. If you simplify, you then have one goal to work towards, and you just take steps to get there.


I don’t know that you realize the value that simplification has for the rest of us that may not be able to do it as you do. I see CEOs in desperate need and desperately looking for your talents, but they don’t quite know what it is that they’re looking for or somebody with your why of simplify. It’s because complexity kills execution. You cannot execute as a team if it’s so complex that the only one who knows what we’re talking about is the person who created that complexity. Whereas you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum, “Let’s simplify this complexity to the point where anybody can do this. I can hire somebody to do this for me so that then I can be more effective in another area.” It’s such an amazingly valuable skill.

For those of you that are reading, if you’re struggling in your business with overcomplexity, nobody else can do things and everything ends up back on your plate, you need to find somebody with the why of simplify, even though that’s hard to do, or the why of right way to help get that stuff off your plate so that then you can move forward. I had another gentleman on with the why of simplify. He had taken over his father’s auto-mechanic business and it was a big one. They sold a couple of hundred cars a day, but it was in bankruptcy because they had overcomplicated everything.

He took it and stripped everything down to the basic elements of what they were doing in a way that they could communicate with their clients, especially women, in a way that they would understand it. The business took off. It’s now in the top ten in the country because he simplified things, but he did exactly what you did. I remember in that interview, he said to me, “Gary, now I don’t even know what to do with myself. I don’t have to show up.” That’s what you said.

That’s the goal. You have the space to ask the question of what you want to do next, which is a nice place to be.

Yaro, thank you so much for spending this time with us. I look forward to staying in touch as we move forward. I appreciate you being here.

Thank you, Gary. I have to say that was a very untypical interview of many shows I’ve done. I appreciate going in some of the directions that you took the interview.

Thank you.

It’s time for our new segment, Guess The Why. I want to use TV chef Gordon Ramsay. What do you think his why is? I think his why could be right way or to do things the right way because he believes cooking should be done a certain way. He will yell and scream at people who do it the wrong way even if he is teaching them. That’s one of the things about the why of right way. They’re willing to have a tantrum, yell at people and make a scene in order to get things done the right way. There are many people that love him and many people do not, which can be a common trait in right way as well. He is particular and he will have his mind made up on someone or a dish, but he is very specific. He knows what he wants, how he likes it, and he is willing to make a scene to make that happen. What do you think his why is? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you so much for reading. If you’ve not yet discovered your why, you can do so at Use the code Podcast 50 and it will be half price for you. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe below and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you’re using so we can bring this to more people in the world, and meet our goal of impacting one billion people in the next five years. Thank you so much. Have a great week.

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About Yaro Starak

BYW 43 | Simplify LifeYaro is the co-founder of, an email management company with a team of 25+ serving clients including restaurant owners, venture capitalists, accountants, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, car retailers, online coaches, and more.

Yaro has made 30+ angel investments in tech startups including Steezy, LeadIQ, Fluent Forever, FitBod, and Nutrisense, has property investments in Canada and Ukraine, and in partnership built a 3.6MW solar farm.

During the mid-2000s Yaro sold his first company,, then built an online education company, selling over $2 Million of his books and online courses.