Delegate — When starting out, I was doing everything on my own. Part of the reason for this was because some of the “gurus” were claiming that if you’re not good at something than “get good!” and similar platitudes. The reality is that time is so limited, particularly if you have an existing business and joint custody of 5 kids(!) that it is much better spent doing what you excel at and delegating the rest. For example, only recently I began delegating technical parts of my business such as data analytics. Wish I had done that earlier.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yoel Farkas.
Yoel Farkas is a mentor and coach empowering men to take immediate and impactful action to recover from their divorces. He is the author of the Recover From Your Divorce in 4 Steps:The No-Fluff Guide for Divorced Men By A Divorced Man. His website is www.YoelFarkas.com.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I am the third son in a family of 4 boys. I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in what I would describe as an upper middle-class home. I excelled at sports and was popular among classmates. I was always a bit different than my siblings in that I tended to pursue entrepreneurial initiatives even from an early age. For example, as a young child I used to arrange sofa pillows in my parents’ living room, imagining myself as running a store. I am also unique in that I am really the only one in my family to have an interest in spirituality — or at least spiritual pursuits such as the subconscious mind and meditation. This became relevant in my reinvention as a mentor and coach. I could have never reinvented myself if I hadn’t been spiritual-minded.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Well, the quotes I enjoy are always evolving, but I will share two:
- “The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at the moment of some crisis through which they are introduced to their other selves.” — Napoleon Hill from Think and Grow Rich. — This is enormously relevant because my reinvention came on the heels of a major crisis in my life, i.e., divorce after 18 years of marriage.
- “In a world full of people only some want to fly, isn’t that crazy.” — Seal in the song “Crazy”. This quote speaks volumes to me because I find that cynicism is such a destroyer of dreams and aspirations. I consider myself as part of the “only some” who want to fly.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Wow, it’s hard to drill down to 3, but if I must, here they are:
Resiliency — Many men unfortunately find themselves mired in depression after a traumatic event such as divorce. I was able to get on the road to recovery from my divorce very quickly to the point where I am already helping other men do the same by modelling my method.
Creativity — I have always had an ability to creatively come up with ideas and take action on them to the point where they are actualized into concrete businesses. Creativity has also helped me in promoting and marketing my businesses. I believe that every entrepreneur must possess a high degree of creativity in order to launch and grow a business.
Courage — It takes courage to forego the security of a salary and start a business. It takes courage to “put oneself out there” by going in front of the camera to market oneself. It takes courage to make oneself vulnerable by sharing one’s stories and experiences in divorce. I am grateful that I am blessed with courage.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
I passed the Ontario, Canada Bar in 2005 and became an attorney. I worked as a commercial litigation attorney at a boutique law firm for 4 years. In 2008 I left the firm to move to Israel and immediately started a unique law firm assisting people with small claims court advice and representation. I did that for a little under 10 years. While I enjoyed assisting people, and indeed received scores of thank you letters, I did not enjoy it because I am not a litigious person, and the career did not suit my personality. In 2017 I founded a notary and translation firm based in Jerusalem, Israel. I still maintain that business, though my second chapter reinvention is my true passion!
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
I became a mentor and coach to other divorced men following my divorce.
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
Well, not to sound like a broken record, but obviously the divorce was the big trigger.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
I began going to therapy. While previous therapists, were helpful, I knew I was looking for something more. I persisted in finding the right therapist, and when I did, it opened a whole new world to me, specifically the subconscious mind and personal development. I began reading books by every personal development master I could get my hands on such as Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Napoleon Hill and the many more. At the same time, I began changing my diet, exercising and meditating each morning, and before I knew it, I had lost probably close to 30 pounds, felt great, and discovered that I was on to something here: Namely, that my method of combining the right therapy with the right therapist and personal development can be taught to other divorced men to help them as well.
Overcoming barriers happened organically as I continued to grow in personal development. I began expanding myself and shifting mindsets. For example, whereas fear of money played a huge role in my life until divorce, I began internalizing the idea of abundance and manifesting through the Law of Attraction. Or, whereas in the past I was scared to make a decision and delegated all decisions to my then-wife, I began making decisions for myself which, by the way, is a crucial part of personal development. I discuss this in my book.
How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.
Things are excellent. I am still in early stages of growth and am developing a fuller, more versatile group coaching program. On a one-on-one basis I am grateful to have inspired many divorced men, and even married men who are looking to grow and make changes in their lives to improve themselves and their marriages! That has been a positive outcome that I did not anticipate when I started this, and coaching married men is an avenue I am still exploring.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes. My “therapist” Loren. In fact, I dedicated my book to her. I put “therapist” in quotations because there really is no adequate title to describe who she is or what she does. She works largely with the subconscious mind as well as language we use — related to Nero-Linguistic Programming that Tony Robbins and others talk about, but different. She has done more for me in the short time that I began seeing her than anyone else has done ever.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
As part of sorting out certain issues in my divorce I had a court date scheduled. I obviously wanted to finalize the divorce as soon as possible to put that chapter behind me. My attorney and I had not received any documents or anything frankly from my ex-wife’s attorney, and hopes of finalizing kept fading as the date creeped closer and closer.
After I read in The power of Your Subconscious Mind about a technique for manifesting outcomes that one wants to achieve, specifically within the context of court cases, I made a conscious decision to implement the technique. It consisted of visualizing the outcome and repeating affirmations that everything will be finalized on the court date and to really feel it and believe it to be true. I did this for several weeks, and when the court date arrived, almost miraculously I would say, everything was finalized despite never receiving any documents or indication that the matter would conclude.
Experiencing manifestation which I read about and implemented in my own life was incredible to me and proved to me just how powerful the subconscious mind and manifestation is. It works!
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
I always struggled with this and still do sometimes. This is normal. It’s how we work with this limiting belief that distinguishes us. I overcame and overcome this by meditating with visualizations about what I aspire to accomplish and who I want to be. These are techniques that I read about in my personal development studies and put into action daily.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
It happened organically starting with Loren. She instilled in me the confidence to embark on my passion and inspires me to keep taking action. As well, although nothing is really happenstance, it seemed that way when a friend I shared office space with mentioned to me that he was separating from his wife just as I was beginning to go through my divorce. He ended up being an invaluable source of support whom I still connect with regularly.
In my book I write about ensuring to allow only a select few into my “garden” or trusted circle, and in fact still abide by that rule. Support is crucial as long as it is from the right people whom you can trust and respect.
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
I was always very closed about my personal life. As well, I never liked being in front of the camera. Being a mentor and coach involves making myself vulnerable by sharing my story with the world. From a marketing standpoint, going on camera to post videos throws me into the limelight. I left my comfort one to do these things, and the results have been rewarding.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1 — Delegate
When starting out, I was doing everything on my own. Part of the reason for this was because some of the “gurus” were claiming that if you’re not good at something than “get good!” and similar platitudes. The reality is that time is so limited, particularly if you have an existing business and joint custody of 5 kids(!) that it is much better spent doing what you excel at and delegating the rest. For example, only recently I began delegating technical parts of my business such as data analytics. Wish I had done that earlier.
2 — Guard Your Garden
As I was getting divorced, I would share stories with anyone and everyone who would listen. While this would be helpful in making me comfortable being vulnerable, the reality is that if someone cannot be trusted to “have your back” he is not someone whom you should be sharing with. In fact, it has the opposite effect of sucking energy and enthusiasm from an initiative.
3 — Take organized notes
I am always brimming with ideas. In the beginning, I would take videos of some of those ideas but not all. Without writing down my thoughts and ideas in an organized fashion, they ended up getting lost. I am now very meticulous about writing down all ideas, even if they seem silly, and I have the ideas itemized and categorized so that I can reference them if needed for a video, book, etc.
4 — Look for value not price
Although I now have an abundance mindset and look for value, not price, it wasn’t always this way. In the beginning I would look for the “best at the cheapest”. As you can imagine, this approach to money and value is not exactly conducive to growing a thriving business!
5 — Make things your own
I have invested in various coaching programs myself to help me expand my knowledge and grow my business in the process. In the beginning, if I didn’t do things EXACTLY the way the course or coach prescribed, I would believe I was doing it all wrong, and this led to lots of anxiety. I realize now that I must trust myself first and foremost. There is nothing wrong, and in fact it is preferable, to take advice but then “make it my own” by approaching it from my strengths.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
While I am very gratified to help men get on the road to recovery from divorce, I would much prefer that divorce never happens in the first place. While in some instances such as physical abuse divorce is necessary, if I could inspire a movement to bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people it would be to inspire every couple to understand, and really understand, how difficult divorce is and how to take action to avoid it.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
There are so many, this is a hard one! I am going to choose from different segments, forgive me if that’s against the rules!
Personal Development — Tony Robbins — The master of personal development, need I say more?!
Podcast — Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris — They are at the top of the game, and I learn so much from them and their guests.
Entertainment — Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Hart — They have both accomplished so much coming from humble beginnings.
Sports — Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan — I idolized them growing up (more so Gretzky as a fellow Canadian), and I am fascinated by their competitive spirits, albeit manifesting in different ways.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Website — www.YoelFarkas.com
YouTube Channel — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKdOXZfyu-qIsn_gxOIvmrA
Twitter — https://twitter.com/FarkasYoel
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/coachyoelfarkas/
LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/yoelfarkas/
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
My pleasure, you too!