My next guest is reminding us that if we’re still sleepwalking through life, stuck in a rut, lost in the dark, then it’s time to GO ALL IN.
Welcome back to the Author Hour Podcast. I’m your host, Hussein Al-Baiaty, and my next guest is Colin Yurcisin. He’s here with me today to celebrate and talk about his new book, GO ALL IN. Let’s get into it.
Hey, what’s up everyone, welcome back to the show, I am here with my friend Colin Yurcisin, and I‘m super excited today because his new book, it’s something that I believe most of us need to at least pickup and glance. Colin, thank you so much for joining me today, really appreciate you.
Colin Yurcisin: Yeah man, no problem, I’m excited.
From Nothing to Everything
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, I’m excited to have you. You’ve penned a really cool book here. I’ve had a few days to skim through it and see the lessons and stories and overall, you have a pretty profound story, man. But I want to start us off at the early stages and just share with our audience a little bit about you, your background, where you grew up, perhaps high school and then college, and what happened after. But I’ll navigate the story. Start us off at the early stages, man. Where did you grow up?
Colin Yurcisin: Yeah, so I grew up in New Jersey, a really small town called East Windsor. It was a pretty, I would say, lower-middle-class area. I had a pretty normal childhood, my mom ended up getting to take off work and stay home to raise me. My dad traveled, did outside sales for work, and I was pretty much an only child for the first four years until my other little sister was born, and then I had another sister born two years after that.
So yeah, I have two little sisters as well but growing up, I was always alone, separated, just because they were really close in age and I wasn’t. So I feel like I accessed a lot of creative outlets in my younger days. I picked up a camera really early on when we moved to my new town, which was a little bit more upper-class and, I would say, had a little bit more diversity. And I was experiencing a lot different things than what I was used to.
So one of those things were skateboarding. It was big — the town I moved to so I picked up a skateboard, I started filming, I borrowed my mom’s camera, I started making YouTube videos in 2008 and was just really immersed in the process of creating. Whether that be like, little skits with my friends in the backyard or YouTube videos filming skateboarders or finger boarding with tech decks and whatever, just learning how to film and upload and edit and launch a video to YouTube.
That became a really creative flow in my early days, and I didn’t even know that I was in that flow state early on, but what began to happen was, I received a lot of outlash at school for the things I was doing. I was filming and editing and people found my YouTube, they started to make fun of me for it.
You know, when you’re that young, whenever you’re different in any kind of way, the crowd will usually pick on you until you end up capitulating and going with the flow with all of them, and that’s kind of what I did. I gave up my YouTube after I was bullied for it, I stopped filming, and then by the time I got to high school, I started playing sports because my dad was super athletic and he was a big athlete in high school and college.
That was something that was part of his identity that he wanted me to experience so, I started doing sports and really didn’t have a passion for it, but I did it for my dad and I gave up what I was passionate about, which is my artistic creativity with skateboarding and videography and YouTube, and kind of just got lost. I was just doing things to please other people.
I was pleasing my dad with sports, I was pleasing my friends with not doing the things I liked and eventually became influenced by drugs and alcohol, and then that had a big decision on where I went to college, which was the University of Arizona. I went out to University of Arizona, joined a fraternity, heavily used drugs and alcohol and partied for four years, and just, once again, went with the flow.
Did what 90% of the people were doing. And then that ended me up in a job, working nine to five right out of college, and even though I got a business degree and on the outside, everyone was congratulating me. My life seems so good and normal, whatever, cookie cutter. I woke up, basically on a hamster wheel, stuck in the matrix.
Slaving away at a nine-to-five that I had zero interest in or passion for, selling payroll products, living in an apartment that I could barely afford, in a place that I really rented to impress other people because it was near the nightclubs and all the stuff that everyone thought was cool. Yeah, it got ugly. I was in $20,000 in student loans, I was living for the weekends.
I hated what I did Monday through Friday’s, so by the time Friday came around, I just drank my weekends away. I used a bunch of drugs, I got in a vicious cycle and eventually, one day, I was drugged at a party out of the club and the next day, I woke up at a random stranger’s house, someone laying next to me, I had no idea what the hell happened.
Eventually, got a ride home, I had negative money in my bank account, my bank account was overdrawn, and I just looked in the mirror when I got home that day, no money left to my name, 20, 30 grand in debt, and basically just got kidnapped, raped or drugged, had no idea what really happened to me and I just said, “Fuck it, I’m done.”
I’m either going to die like this or have the most nihilistic, depressing life going down this path, or I’m going to decide right here, right now that I‘m going to accept the fact of where I am and then work to change it, and stop lying to myself. And that’s exactly what I did. I decided that my life was worth something, and I decided I was going to try to at least attempt to create a life that I did enjoy living.
That’s exactly what I worked at every single day from that point. In the book, it’s just the journey of that whole process of knowing my way as a young kid tapped into that intuition, and those downloads from God or the universe, whatever, I was so involved in my work at a young age of YouTube, filming, creating.
And if I want to, just stuck down that creative route and had more positive influence around me, maybe a book or a mentor at 12, 14 years old, maybe I could have been 10 years ahead of where I’m at right now. So obviously, I’m super grateful for God or the universe, whatever you want to call it, bringing me back to the creator path, waking my ass up somehow.
It had to happen, and some pretty brutal ways, and there’s a lot more crazy shit that happened in the book that I described but yeah, ever since I made that decision to change, my life has completely took a 180-degree turn and obviously, became a millionaire pretty fast.
Once I made that decision, it took about a year and a half, I think. I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife. Yeah, and life has been crazy, traveled the world, built a couple of multi-seven, eight-figure businesses, I started really creating content again, grew millions of followers on social media, and life’s been pretty damn good.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Well, that’s remarkable, man. I want to go back to that moment because there’s a moment of transformation. That moment of realizing that you got to change, and that change took some admitting on your part, right? And it’s something we all struggle with whatever we’re doing in life.
And sometimes, I think honesty, when we go through a really rough patch, that helps us reflect deeper. It’s tough that we’re going through it, but it’s the only way that we can tap into and see the darkness that were like, “Okay, I got to turn around here, I got to do something else.” But that urge to want to do something else and just change and shift.
To some people, it’s night and day. It’s like, “I woke up in the morning, and this is the decision I made.” Other people, it’s gradual, right? It may take several months to get out of their predicament or whatever it is, the situation, for them to realize that. But for you, it sounds like, it was this immediate, just literally stark change. So what happened the day after?
What are the changes that you started making and implementing to help you through that transformation come out of the other side? What would you have to come really disciplined with, give up, or attract?
Colin Yurcisin: Yeah. Well, I would say that I can’t just credit all of that one day, that one event. I would say that seeds were starting to be planted months prior to that, like I did meet a friend at work that I attempted to start a clothing company with. So my creative juices were flowing a little bit, I was starting to wake up a little.
I was following some other people on Instagram, like Grant Cardone or Gary Vee., Ed Millet. So I did have some positive influence, and I was starting to wake up to that direction of life. But then that event just put it all set in stone, that was the turning point where I was like, “Okay, like this is my ticket to GO ALL IN on this other creative path of life.”
And yeah, I mean, I like to think of it as when you have a relationship, usually the breakup time has to be at least half the time you spent with them. So, I’ll be here with a girl for a year, and you break up, you’re probably not going to feel normal for the next six months. You’re going to have excruciating pain.
If you’re in a relationship for two years, it’s going to take a year, and so for me, I’m still battling my demons of the past. I lived a life of a lie, you know? Just a cover up for, I don’t know, since I was about 16 to 23. That’s a good seven years, eight years of just being someone who I really was not in my soul, in my identity.
So yeah, I still battle with it today, but I mean, it’s an everyday process, right? It’s 0.01% every single day, and to start out, you really just have to replace your bad habits with good ones, and you still have to give yourself rewards and pat yourself on the back because you can’t just give up alcohol and smoking and drugs and just be 100% at the gym, the healthy diet, cold plunge, biohacking, it’s not going to be that easy, you have to start super small.
So for me, it would just be 0.1% a day which means like, “Okay, today, I’m going to write three things I’m grateful for, and I’m going to do this for the next five days. And then, once I get comfortable with that, I’m going to add something on top of it. So now, I’m doing the five things I’m grateful for, plus I’m going to do a podcast on the way to work. Then after a couple of days of that, maybe I’ll add a podcast on the way home. Then I’m going to add waking up at 5 AM, and then I’m going to add going to the gym.”
So slowly you start to just add and replace your bad habits with good ones, you don’t even get comfortable with them, you just grow a tolerance, like a callous to doing hard shit. So I just got used to being disciplined and doing hard shit all the time, you grow a muscle for that.
So it’s not like waking up at 5 AM and getting in your car in the cold and going to the gym. It’s not even that big of a deal anymore, you just get used to it over time. So I think over the next six months until the point where I quit my job, I just work slowly, you know? Just grind it out of that rut. I hit complete rock bottom and just took it day by day, really. I mean, nothing happened overnight.
It might have seemed like that, you can make an overnight success case seem like an overnight success case if you do it over two years, three years. Usually, when you go back to Thanksgiving or Christmas with your family, everyone’s pretty much the same very single year, right? And if you change over a one year, two year period, people are going to be absolutely shocked when you show up that next year and you’ve accomplished all this stuff.
Because even though it wasn’t an overnight success, to them it does seem like an overnight success just due to the fact that people are so damn lazy and people are so stuck in their ways that no one really is making those changes. If anything, they’re just getting worse over time. So just by you doing these small, little, compounding habits over time, really adds up to a whole new life, and it’s pretty shocking.
If you just keep these little things in place, over a consistent period of time, one, two, three, four, five years, I mean, it’s going to be amazing but now imagine a decade, two decades, three decades. I’m only three years into the journey, I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I mean, I’m still, as I said, dealing with some demons from the past. Alcohol, is very hard for me to strip away from my life.
I still feel in social settings that like, “Ah, I need to have a drink to have fun,” and that’s all from the bullshit that I did for eight years, in my younger days.
Creating a Social Media Empire
Hussein Al-Baiaty: Right, yeah man, that’s really powerful, and it starts off, obviously, you mentioned and spoke through experience here that it really starts with the self and igniting that fire, you got — it’s up to you, right? It’s that idea of changing one habit at a time and, you know, adding and subtracting until you find more balance, and that’s beautiful, man.
So what? Did you start a business, go back to YouTube? What was your thing that got you out off the hamster wheel and into more of an entrepreneur mindset and creator mindset?
Colin Yurcisin: Yeah. Yes, so as I said before, I first started a clothing business that was at least me buying a camera again, starting to create again, doing videos, editing. So it got my creative juices flowing. Then, I knew the next step was to start using these social media platforms as a business, to make money on them, and in order to make money on them, people have to know you on them.
At the time, I had 1,500 followers on Instagram just from posting party pictures and travel stuff from college. It was just like a fun app. You look up girls, you DM girls, you post your buddies, I had no use for it other than just being social. And when I took a look at what was happening online, looking at Gary Vee., reading his book, Crush It!, talking about how he predicted in 2008 that people would literally be creating a new economy in the online world, with social media platforms building your personal brand.
I watched him blow up, five, six million followers on Instagram at the time, Twitter, TikTok , all of these platforms were just being used to build businesses on. And you are your business now in 2022, 2020, whatever year it was. So I realized I needed to get at it with the social media stuff. I was so far behind I just wasted four years away in college posting nothing, not learning about any of this new economy, this new world.
College doesn’t teach you shit about how to really do anything that’s useful today, if you are trying to become an entrepreneur. Just being honest. So yeah, basically, I went all in, I had nothing else to lose, so I started posting my thoughts and my inspirations on Instagram, to my stories. I would go and attend a networking event. I went to a Grant Cardone event for free in Phoenix where I lived at the time, and I just got on Instagram stories, and I just shared my experience at the event.
Telling people that, “Hey, maybe you guys should go to networking events. I learned that you can use credit to buy real estate.” And just little things like that, and people started to reach out, follow me, whatever, and so I would then post all of my journeys. Gary Vee said, “If you don’t know what your brand is, post your journey, and your journey will become your brand,” and that really hit me.
I was like, “Holy shit, my life is a mess, I can be transparent, drop my ego, show people really where I’m at in my life right now and tell people where I am going, and they can follow the journey.” So I made a post the day I quit my job. I quit my job literally $50,000 in debt. I had about $2,000 left in my credit card that gave me enough runaway, to survive another month before having to go home with my parents.
I mean, that wasn’t even an option, but I knew in the back of my head that I could do that if I need it, and the day I quit, I posted an Instagram picture saying, “Guys, you know this is who I am. I want to become an entrepreneur. I have been holding this inside of me for so long. I am super inspired, and I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I am going to give it my all. Follow me if you want to see my journey.”
From that day on, I would literally wake up at 5 AM, I would record everything. Me going to the gym, me trying the wholesale real estate business, me trying to place ATMs at hair salons and bars, me going and trying to grow other people’s Instagrams, and I would just start and fail at all of these businesses. And the one thing I realized was that all of these physical businesses were wasting so much of my time, I wasn’t having any success.
But what was getting traction, what was getting success, was the growth of my Instagram. I was getting a lot more followers, a lot more engagement. People were watching me, and so I took a step back and I said, “Why am I focusing on the physical shit?” I could have done all of this stuff in 1980. Why am I not focusing on this stuff that’s brand new that people don’t even, aren’t really doing yet, comparable to the masses, and why don’t I focus on that?
So I really went all in on teaching people how to grow their social media presence. So I started partnering with celebrities and doing campaigns where you basically join a shoutout campaign, and they shout you out, your account, and in order to win the prize, a bunch of people have to follow this celebrity, and if they’re picked then they win the prize, and you gained 100,000 followers or 30,000 followers, whatever.
So I would sell all of these things back to people. I would use them myself, I grew my account to like 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, and I started selling Instagram engagement, Instagram growth, and then I one day invested into a businesses that ended up being a scam. I took out a loan, like a $20,000 personal loan. Once again, I had no money at the time, but I did have decent credit, eventually got scammed.
From that, I figured out that the person that I paid was someone that was pretty fraudulent, and I was not going to get the product that was promised. So I wrote it off as a loss, and the credit defaulted, the loan defaulted, and so now I had horrible credit, but I was documenting everything. So once again, just being transparent, showing people the situation I was in, “Hey guys, you know I failed on this file. It defaulted.”
“Now, I am going to try to remove this from my credit file because you can use the fair credit reporting act, and you could use consumer protection laws, and if they cannot prove that this item is yours, they have to remove it by law.” So I started learning how to analyze my credit file, send in dispute letters to Equifax, Trans Union, Experian, and one day after sending in four rounds of disputes, the collection got removed because they couldn’t prove one of the inconsistencies in the filing, and so, therefore, they couldn’t prove it was mine.
So they removed them, my credit shot up to like a 730, once again, documenting this whole thing. People are going crazy. “Colin, how the hell did you do that? I got this credit card I didn’t pay off from four years ago. I got this collection.” I got all this nonsense, everyone’s credit I found out is completely screwed, no one is talking about their mishaps, but they see that I solved the problem that they have.
Then I took it one step further. Since I had good credit, I started looking at the way people were utilizing credit to travel for free, getting signup bonuses, points, airline credits, TSA pre-check, and I was like, “Holy crap, I want to travel the world. I’ve always loved to travel. What if I just GO ALL IN on this credit stuff?” I can get capital for myself to start businesses, and then I could also get points and signup bonuses and free hotel status to travel the world for free.
So that became my new path and objective. In a very short period of time, I applied for seven credit cards, got approved for $75,000 in credit lines with $30,000 of it being at zero percent interest on a business card, and I documented that entire thing. So now, I knew how to repair credit, and I knew how to seek one’s credit cards in the correct order, to get people approved for the best cards and the best limits.
I then went back to the drawing board, I said, “Okay, I think I got something here. This is definitely the most value I can provide to the masses, and what is the best way to showcase this value? Social media.” So I got my tripod, I put my camera on it, my iPhone camera, and I started recording one-minute value videos all about credit. The five best travel cards to get, how to remove something off your credit file.
What are the five factors of your FICO score? I would just post these videos, I did this for like four weeks. Within four weeks, people were calling me a credit expert. You know, I knew far more than anyone else about credit, especially in my city that I was in, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and my videos are being passed around, shared all over the place, and I partnered with a credit repair company.
I am arbitraging this company, basically charging people $1,500 bucks, keeping a thousand, and paying the company 500, they would get their credit fixed. I would profit a thousand dollars, and then I was like, “Okay, I need to arbitrage this information that I have acquired about credit. How do I do that?” Well, it looks like Gary Vee. says, “Once you have a brand and you’ve showcased your knowledge and people think of you as an expert, you need to then go ahead and monetize that value.”
How do you do that? You create a course, or you create a private group. I went on Instagram, I created a private Instagram page called Credit Class, and I launched that on Black Friday, so literally four years ago today or three days ago, and I launched that and I created a group where basically I taught you how to leverage credit, build income, and travel the world, and I put all the knowledge that I had gained over the past few months into a private page, and I charge people $250 to get access to that page.
I never set up an LLC, I didn’t have a website, no payment processes, I didn’t have shit. I had an idea, I had information that people wanted, put a price tag on it, people started sending me Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, and within 12 hours, I made $6,500 selling my credit class private page access, and that day changed my life forever because I created something out of nothing. It cost me zero dollars, and I literally just created 6,500 bucks out of thin air for my value, and that is when I realized that I could do this for the rest of my life.
So I went all in on credit class, I built that to like 250, 300 members over the next year, that was in November. By January, I had moved to Bali on a one-way ticket. I paid off all my student loans, got out of my apartment lease in Scottsdale, left all my old friends and started traveling the world with a new friend of mine, and yeah, everything kind of escalated from there. The day I moved to Bali, I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife.
So you could say it is like a gift from God or whatever, but everything started to fall in place once I went all in, and that’s really the mindset you have to have in life, we only know that we get this one life. Who knows, maybe we get 100 lives, but we have no factual evidence of that. So, with the facts we have in front of us, we have one life, so why the hell are you not going all in on that one life?
You have to think, if you could have whatever you dreamed about and if you knew you weren’t going to fail, how big would you dream? That’s really how you have to have to do it in life. I mean, shit, if you die trying, you die trying, but if you don’t die, imagine the things you’re going to accomplish. So that’s kind of the mindset I adopted and shortly after the credit class thing, I got relentless.
Tattooed on my leg, no one in my family has ever gotten a tattoo, it’s completely frowned upon, and I was like, “I am breaking out of this matrix.” And got that tattooed on me, moved to Bali. I got 23 tattoos on my chest, which signifies the age that I’d completely reinvented myself, and I’ll never go back to that person from before, and yeah. Since then, life has been pretty crazy.
Confidence Is Everything
Hussein Al-Baiaty: That’s amazing, man, what a journey. I love that. I love that you walk us through it. Throughout your book, you go into some depths, you share a ton of stories and insights. I have learned a lot. I am inspired by you, man, I love this idea of just going all in. What would you say is the most important thing that you learned that’s saying, “That thing right there made me shift everything” what would you say that idea would be?
Colin Yurcisin: Yeah, I would say confidence. Confidence is everything. I mean, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else is going to believe in you. So you literally have to sell yourself first to yourself. Like if you don’t love yourself, then no one’s really going to love you either. I mean, you are going to get in relationships that are toxic, and your outside world that you are looking at right now is a direct correlation to what is going on in the inside.
It is just a mirror what is going on in your mind. So if your life doesn’t look good right now, if you look around and you have some pretty shitty friends and maybe you don’t have a good relationship with your family, your bank account is negative, you have credit card debt, there is stuff going on inside you is not good, it is just a reflection. So for me, once I’d change all of that about me, and I started to respect myself, I gained extreme confidence in myself.
Pulling myself out of that hell hole that I was in to where I am at, and even just making little accomplishments along the way, like getting that credit class sale done on Black Friday, making 6,500 bucks for my first product, that gave me immense confidence that I was able to drive more momentum off of, and that’s key. Just building the momentum off each little goal and each little accomplishment, that is going to keep increasing your confidence, and you got to love yourself and have confidence in yourself to win.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love that. Very insightful, my friend. I think you’ve done amazing work. I am excited to link up with you soon. Colin, again man, just congratulations because writing a book is no easy feat. If there was one thing, I mean I know besides confidence, if there is one thing that you hope people would walk away from having read your book, what would that be?
Colin Yurcisin: Go all in, you know? Go all in with your life. You only have one, and it is a lot better when you enjoy the life you’re living rather than regret things. So when you’re on your death bed at the end of your life, the only one that you can really talk to is yourself, and you are going to ask yourself, “Am I happy with the things I did, or was I living a lie? Was I just living to please other people?” You want to have no regrets at the end of your life, so GO ALL IN.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: It’s powerful, man, very well said. Thank you so much for joining me today, Colin. I appreciate you. Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences, of course. The book is called, GO ALL IN: How I Went from 50k in Debt at 23 to Multimillionaire by 24. Besides checking out the book, where can people find you, Colin?
Colin Yurcisin: So you can find me on Instagram @colinyurcisin, Twitter @colinyurcisin, YouTube @colinyurcisinyt for YouTube and yeah, Facebook, Colin Yurcisin, TikTok, Colin Yurcisin. I’m on every platform.
Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love it. Well, thanks again, man, for sharing your insights. I appreciate you. Have a fantastic rest of your day.
Colin Yurcisin: Thank you, brother.