YOP066: Finding Your Identity with Allen Vaysberg

By November 17, 2015 Podcast Episode No Comments

Bio: Allen Vaysberg is a Recalibration Expert and creator of the SEAMLESS method who facilitates people’s transition from unfulfilled and stressed to doing what they love and being at peace. He speaks on life purpose, career change, work-life balance and the recalibration process and runs online programs helping people re-calibrate their lives. For more information and practical inspiration visit www.allenvaysberg.com and www.seamlessmethod.com


Zephan: Hey, everyone. This is Zephan Blaxberg on the Year of Purpose Podcast and today I’m joined by Allen Vaysberg. Allen is a recalibration expert and creator of the SEAMLESS Method who facilitates people’s transition from unfulfilled and stressed to doing what they love and being at peace. He speaks on life purpose, career change, work-life balance, and the recalibration process and runs online programs helping people recalibrate their lives and today he’s joining us. How’s it going, Allen?

Allen: Thanks for having me. It’s going great.

Zephan: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s great to have you here today. And I love to just jump right in to your story because I was reading a little bit online and you’ve got a very unique story. You came to the US, actually the year that I was born so I’d love to share what that experience was like for you and how that all came about.

Allen: Very true. I came in 1989, as you’ve mentioned. I was fourteen years old. My parents wanted to have a better life specifically for me and they came here at the age of fifty-two for themselves in order to give me an opportunity to have that life. I came from the farmers of Ukrainian, from Ukraine technically, which at that time was not its own country, we’re just a state. It was a little interesting because I wanted to be a professional tennis player, I wanted to be an actor and when I brought those things up to my parents, they said “No. You’re going to get a real job.”

So I try to figure out what that actually meant for me. I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I decided not to go into law because I figured out very quickly that being a lawyer means looking at lots and lots of contract language and I’m not that detail-oriented. So I went into business and then I went into IT because that’s where the money was, and money I found until about 2012 when I decided that I’ve had enough of it and I was completely unfulfilled and needed to make a change. That’s when I started my transition away from IT into doing what my heart desires which is to help people. That’s where I became a recalibration expert.

Zephan: So, ultimately for you, money was not the solution because I know that so many people think “Oh if I make a successful business or if I make this much money, things are just going to work out for me.” It sounds like it really wasn’t about the money.

Allen: It was not. Again, I’ve certainly like money quite a bit. Money affords me a lifestyle that I like to live. I like to take tennis lessons. I like going to a nice health club or on vacations or I have my kids go to any courses and classes that they want to take. Money is a very important part but money was not the reason why I was doing it. Because I went into IT just for the money, I was missing that essential element. I didn’t love it. And I was never as successful as I could’ve been even though I built business from nothing into two and a half million dollar a year revenue business. It could have been twenty million a year if I actually cared about what I was doing. But I liked the entrepreneurial aspect to it because I am an entrepreneur and that’s not going to change.

I didn’t like the IT part so I was never into it. And once you’re never into it, you’re never going to become professional. If you’re not a professional, you’re always putting a block energetic and professional in order to be as successful as you can be. For me, money was a part of the reason why I stayed so long but it was not something that made me fulfilled at all.

Zephan: Do you remember when that they happened where—I don’t know maybe you woke up or maybe you had an experience at work where that decision started to pop up in your head? Because I know for me, when I left working for the corporate world, I remember a very specific moment where I turned to a bunch of people and I was like “I’m just going to quit.” I can remember that. I’m sure there was probably something for you there where you knew it was going to happen.

Allen: Yeah. For me, it was four—I left towards the end of 2012, but for a couple of years prior to that and all throughout, I kept on hearing that voice in my head, like Ray Kinsella kept on hearing to his head “If you build it, it will come,” I kept hearing in my head “Live your essence.” I knew what that meant and I knew that I wasn’t living it. So my point that you’re referring to came when I get so fed up with introducing myself to people that I have to stop. Because when you introduce yourself to people, you have to say what you do for a living. They ask you who you are but they mean what you do. I have to say that I’m an IT consultant and everything within me, within my stomach will churn and yell out “No. That’s not who you are. That’s what you do for a living. You’re an author. You’re an actor. You’re a spiritual teacher. You’re all of these things and you do none of them.”

I promised at that moment to never introduce myself anymore as who I am not. I was going to introduce myself as who I really was. So I started doing that and I introduced myself to people at work as an actor or as an author. And it became very interesting because people was like “Oh! Really? You’re an actor? What have you been in?” I said “Nothing yet but I’m an actor.” You have that look on their face that you can imagine of “What the hell are you talking about, dude?” Same thing with an author, same thing with others but for me, it was freeing. It was coming out of that proverbial closet. It was being truthful and authentic, and that’s where my journey really started.

Zephan: I really like what you said there because I feel like this is a good tip for anyone who doesn’t feel like they’re doing where life is leading them. It’s no longer identifying with what you do for a living because it’s not really who you are and, more often than not, it has nothing to do with the character or the type of person that you are. Just as you saw, people light up right away when they hear actor or anything else, really. You tell them, “I run an IT business” and they’re like “Oh. Okay. That’s nice.” It doesn’t lead to a conversation after that unless it’s someone else in an IT field. It’s very interesting to hear that as soon as you started to tell people what you really were that it really lights up on everyone’s face and everyone’s interested in that.

Allen: Yeah. You have to be true to yourself and it also brings up the question of, if you say that you’re an actor, do you have to be a paid actor in order to be considered one? The answer is no. Just because you’re not somebody who has published books yet, that doesn’t mean that you’re not an author. It’s not about your professional choice, it’s about who you are inside and the rest is just marketing and sitting down, writing and releasing that book or auditioning for a movie and making—both of which things I’ve done since. So it’s really being true to who you are and then pursuing those.

Zephan: Absolutely. That’s something that I myself have gone through. I started to identify as being a story teller, not necessarily a videographer. A lot of things really started to click into place and people started to understand me a little bit better because they always wondered why my stories were so long and drawn out and detailed. I guess that’s just my thing.

Allen: Do you have desire to drop at—I think I have the same issue. When I give a toast or when I give a speech, everybody is waiting for me to stop because I have a hard time telling that story or the poems that I write. I write poems, so usually when I give a speech, it’s in a poetic form. When I do that, it’s long drawn out because I’m going somewhere. It’s not “Hey! Let’s raise our toast because we love you so much and thanks.” No, it’s a lot more than that. So you have that too?

Zephan: Yeah. Absolutely. I will tell friends and I’ll even identify in the middle of the conversation saying “and I know that I’m talking a lot” and then I’ll keep going because, much like you, I’m getting to a certain point. I’m trying to get around at something at the end of it and I want them to hear it so I’m sure that happens a lot with poetry too.

Allen: It does because my dad keeps on asking me why can’t you make something short? I did just to appease him, I made very short poetic forms which are only four lines or two lines or eight lines but most of my poems are two pages long because it’s somewhere that I’m going with. For you by the way, I’ve something that I did after I left is I went into improv and I went and I did a year and a half—a little less than year and a half—at Second City in Chicago. As a storyteller, it was a difficult transition because when you’re doing improv, you have no time for a story. You have no time to write it. You have no time to think ahead or to go back in the past and try to figure out an angle. All you have to do is react to what’s there so I think for storytellers specifically, it was immensely important for me to go and do improv, because it allowed me to be concise when I need to.

Zephan: Very interesting. It hasn’t gotten rid of your ability to tell the long story, which is nice too because I’d be afraid of that.

Allen: No. It just put you in a different frame of mind. Your improv allows you to be very present. You have to be in the present moment. You cannot think. So you’re basically taking that part of yourself away and all you’re doing is just being and you’re reacting and you’re adding to it. You cannot script anything. That’s not improv, that’s scripted comedy. Which is okay too, but that’s not improv.

Zephan: Very interesting. So I have this question. When you ultimately decided to leave the business, going from probably what was a much larger amount of income to—

Allen: Nothing.

Zephan: —something that wasn’t as guaranteed. I mean, is there fear in there that could’ve held you back?

Allen: On my end, no. On everybody else’s, yes. Everybody else around me said that I was an idiot which is interesting because you’re flying in these wings of happiness saying “Hey! I’m doing something that are so authentic. I’m doing something that are so real and so breathe.” You are completely optimistic at that point, and everybody around you wants to shoot you down. Which is an interesting process and that was probably the most difficult one. From my perspective, no because I had certain amount of money in the bank. I knew what I accomplished and I knew that I had a fallback plan so for me it was a matter of just going and doing it.

As I ended up doing, I started doing some part time work to continue funding my new expansion, which was something that I ever recommend to people. Don’t just quit your job, maybe transition into a part time or consulting capacity. Keep utilizing that bridge that you’ve spent the long time building. So money was not an issue for me. It was for everybody else. They said “I cannot believe you’re doing this. You spend years building this business. You’re at the top of your success and you’re quitting cold turkey and you’re going to who knows what into basically no income.” It was a much bigger deal for everybody else.

Zephan: That has to be a tough experience only because you’re probably really excited about everything that you’re doing and it’s probably the biggest time for you to share what you’re about to do with so many others. And to have them all come back and shoot it down, I mean, that’s probably why so many other people don’t take a leap and don’t actually step into their purpose and do what they’re meant to do.

Allen: It’s true. This is not a great simile but I kind of equated mentally, when you’re doing that, you’re coming out of the closet. I’m straight, but I have many gay friends and that’s probably the closest that I’ve come to coming out and feeling what they must’ve been feeling. When you are who you are, you don’t care about what other people are saying, you have to be true to yourself. But then you start hearing from everybody else “Why did you do this?” Or “Who cares?” Or “Don’t tell anybody about it.” I have the same experience in my end. “Don’t tell anybody what you’re doing.” If you’re an actor, “no you’re not an actor. When you make a movie then you can tell other people that you’re an actor.” “When you write that book then you’re an author. Before that, you’re not. Right now, you’re just a this.”

Basically, you have to remove yourself from those voices and you have surround yourself with people who get it. They’re the people who you can share it to but that ability to share is an extremely important thing and thank God for the internet because you can find people on Facebook, you can find people on social media or around you in Meetup groups that get it and you need that support otherwise, you’re going to go crazy.

Zephan: Yeah. That’s exactly where I was and I’m sure that for many listening in—because I know that a lot of people that listen to the podcast are very interested in taking the leap to start their business but it’s tough because everyone around you is going to do that. I have a very Jewish mother and so when I first said that I had quit my job, I was still living under her roof and I thought that I was going to be out on the street by that afternoon. I mean, there was just—I thought that I was done for. I think that it’s really a matter of the successful ones or the ones who are going to be strong enough to, in a sense, ignore most of your friend’s warnings and realize that it’s just because they care about you and they want to see you succeed. The truth of it is the only way you’re going to succeed is if you’re staying true to yourself.

Allen: It’s true. What it taught me is that by me doing this, it essentially put some mirror in front of everybody else and says “I’m doing it. What are you doing with your life?” and nobody likes to do that. Nobody wants to look at that mirror because that’s a hard conversation to have with yourself. Instead, most people choose to criticize, and you have to tune that out. But you have to be open-minded enough or you’re hearing people because there’s a lot of value and understanding what they’re saying because we tend to be myopic, especially at that point when we’re quitting and when we’re on our wings of happiness and we know that we’re going to accomplish great things, we have a very focused perspective and we don’t see any other perspectives. So hearing those is important, letting them affect your flight is not.

Zephan: Very good point there. It’s kind of like if I were to go to my friend and say “I’m going to go stick my hand over this candle. You can’t stop me.” If they say “It’s going to be hot and burn you.” Well, yes, it is. You have to make sure that you don’t tune out that voice entirely because some of them are actually very reasonable warnings from their own experiences but many of them are their fears being projected on you. So being able to sort through and figure out which one is actually going to impact you. It’s definitely a skill and it takes time to perfect.

Allen: It does and just again, have that inner knowing and have that voice but make sure that you realize that many of the advice that you’re getting and many of the things that maybe coming from your ego at that point are based on prior experience, based on the pre-program things. “If you do this, you get that result.” Well, that’s not necessarily the way it’s going to be. You are the co-creator and you’re deciding how it’s going to turn out. It’s this beautiful dance of all of these energies and you’re trying to find your way through them.

Zephan:  You were saying that when you originally were considering leaving the business, you kept hearing “Living your essence” or “Live in your essence.” Tell me what does that mean to you and what ultimately did that turn into?

Allen: To me, that means pursue your sole purpose. Live your essence is get in touch with who you really are, align with that and then start living from it. That means careers, that means the way that you present yourself to the world, that means remove the blocks that you put around yourself in order to fit in and be you. That’s what it meant. For me, that meant allowing myself to pursue the things that I really cared about which was I always wanted to try it myself as an actor, so I went to Second City and I auditioned for a movie and I studied acting in different places until I realized that I love it. It is who I am but it’s not the core of who I am. It is an expression of what I am about.

I am a very spiritual person and I have psychic and intuitive ability so I went in and I studied with teachers in order to see if this is something that I want to do as a career. I saw that as much as I love it and it’s always going to be a part of me, that’s not my core either. It took a while to go between these different places and find that balance. I was very careful to find the balance that expresses me fully which means, I needed to have something that is mainstream and esoteric, instead of focusing in just one. I cannot be mainstream because that’s not who I am. I talk to Angels and root for the Cubs at the same time. If I’m not doing something that expresses both of those pieces, I am not complete and that took time.

Living your essence for me meant that I’m here to inspire and to help others so I always tell people that when you’re trying to see who you are, explain yourself in one, two, or three words. For me, that one word is inspirer. I’m inspiring others and that goes through different mediums such as radio, such as writing articles that I write, having my online courses, speaking one on one. All of these things are just different mediums to inspire others.

Zephan: Very interesting. And so, did you ever find that through this journey you were picking up different skill sets or hobbies along the way?

For example, when I’ve left working for Apple to start video production company, one of the big things that I picked up was rowing. I found that I’m extremely passionate about being in a single boat on the water rowing off into the sunset or training for competition and races. That is really—kind of bled into every other aspect of my life. There’s such a balance of being on the water. You learn a lot from working on a crew team and there’s a lot of discipline there. Have you found that any of the skills that you took on really seep into the other aspects of your life?

Allen: Yeah, absolutely. Again, improv was a big, big thing. I did two years of radio where I hosted my own show up until very recently and improv was just a so natural application for a radio. Because you’re at a point where you have to flow with the conversation. You cannot script things out. You really have to be able to react and then when I’m being interviewed, I’m asked question from left field all the time. People are trying to playfully stump you. Because of my improv experience and because of who I am personality-wise, I could care less because I find that fun. So improv has been a huge, huge change. Being in that present moment, not have to worry about what happened before or what’s happening next. Just being in that present was a very, very big thing.

Then spirituality, all of the things that I’ve learned allowed me to understand myself better and it’s always that backbone. Everything that I do that has integrated with it because when I’m trying to help people, I’m removing blocks and I’m getting them to love themselves. It’s many, many things that are weaved into it but those two, I would say are the biggest ones. The final one is the entrepreneurship. I have done entrepreneurship before. I’ve built my businesses. I’m not a person who works for corporate, I’m a person who builds companies. So that always will continue because that’s who I am and everything that I do including my new business is just building another business in a different space.

Zephan: And I feel like once you’ve done it before, you’re not really scared of doing it again because no matter how many people say that you can or can’t do something, if you’ve already done something very similar, I feel like—when I left my job I was like “All right, I know how to interview and get a job. If I ever had to go back to this and had no choice, I know how to do this again.” That’s the great part about selling your business to move on or moving out of the business to create another one is that you already know how to make one so it’s completely in your hands to just do it again.

Allen: It’s true. Yeah.

Zephan: You have the SEAMLESS Method. I’m curious to hear a little bit about this.

Allen: When we talk about balance, that’s kind of it for me. It’s one of the practical tools because everything that I used and I’ve noticed that many of the people on the esoteric spectrum are excellent in looking at life and figuring out the meaning behind that and what other great elements are from it but they’re not very practical. I come from a very practical perspective. I come from the business side. So for me, it doesn’t matter unless you can apply it to real life right now. So everything that I do including the SEAMLESS Method is a very practical approach that kind of marries things and allows people to utilize it immediately.

SEAMLESS came out of me trying to balance my life. I was very stressed out, unfulfilled, unhealthy, and I just try to fix that. I’ve noticed that the only times that I felt good were on vacation. On vacation, you’re unfortunately going twice a year and I was not okay with feeling badly for fifty weeks out of the year and feeling great only for two weeks. But I started analyzing what is it on vacation that actually works for me that makes me feel good? Is it the lack of stress? No, certainly not, because I have two small kids and travelling to Mexico and back and them always wanting to do things that we don’t want them to do so there were plenty of stresses. That was not the answer.

Was it me eating better for instance? It certainly was not because we would go to an all-inclusive resort and I’m eating twice as much as normal and I’m not eating healthy things, ice cream everyday, so it was not the food either. I started thinking, “What is it? Because I’m getting more stressed, I’m eating like crap and I’m still feeling awesome.”

I noticed that it was the abundance of sleep. I was sleeping a lot more. I was being very active as opposed to sedentary life. I was writing, I was biking, I was swimming, I was always outside—so sunshine and fresh air. It was those things and then I said “Okay. Well, what else can I do?” Obviously, I should eat better. Can I do these things when I get back to work? Can I go outside during lunch for instance? Yes, I can. As I started putting those pieces together, that became SEAMLESS. SEAMLESS now stands for eight elements that all of us should do on a daily basis that are no-brainers. We all know we’re supposed to do that. We all know how important they are and yet none of us do them. SEAMLESS became a way to help people who know that they should be doing it that are not doing it to figure out how to actually do it. It’s an acronym that stands for those eigth elements.

Zephan: Very nice. Would you mind sharing with us what each letter stands for?

Allen: Not at all. So, SEAMLESS. S is for sleep, as I mentioned the one of the most important ones. E is for eating and drinking enough water. A is for activity or being active for at least thirty minutes a day. M is for meditation. L is for three types of love. Loving yourself as the first one, loving others as the second, and loving your day is the third. E is for expansion and growth. We have to go beyond our fears. We have to continue learning. The last two S is one is for stress-reduction and the final one is for sunshine and fresh air.

Zephan: Very nice. I will be the first person to tell you that sunshine is actually very important. I tend to, in the winter time as it gets cooler, spend more time inside and I know that it impacts my mood greatly. So being able to get out in the sunshine actually does magical things for the body and I think that there’s a reason why sunlight is a big ingredient in making a plant grow. It has a lot to do with how we grow as well. I’ll be the first one to tell you that if you’re not getting enough sunshine, definitely you take a step outside for an hour or two and you’ll see a big difference.

Allen: At least twenty minutes. That’s the recommendation. Be outside for at least twenty minutes a day.

Zephan: Very nice. This is a great way to remind us of things that we already know we should be doing and I really like that you make it so simple. There’s no secret, right? There is no key secret to how to live a great life other than doing that things that we already know we’re supposed to do because most likely, more often than not, we’re not doing all of them so it makes perfect sense.

Allen: The funny thing is and what I did realized when I put these things together for myself is that all of these elements, as simple as they are, are completely flexible and require no investment. People can do them regardless of their age, their health, their income level. If you do those things—the thing that shocked me in this case was that I looked at the top ten health related killers in the United States, like cancer or Alzheimer’s or kidney disease and all the other ones, and when I looked at the prevention methods, that’s SEAMLESS. They’re telling you to get more sleep. They’re telling you to eat better. They’re telling you to exercise. They’re telling you to meditate. They’re telling you to reduce your stress. Amazingly enough, these simple things if we do them and we do them on a consistent basis can help us lower stress, can help us lose weight and get into a better shape, can help us learn to love ourselves and improve our relationships and lower the risk of the top ten health related-killers in the US.

Zephan: Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

Allen: Exactly!

Zephan: Share with me, just real quickly as we round this all off, if somebody were looking to really recalibrate their life and hit that reset button, start over fresh. What are some of the things that they should be looking to do right now?

Allen: Start with SEAMLESS. And you already know what the whole system is. If you choose to work with me then we can actually help you install it and make sure that these eight elements become habits. Of course, as I have one on one counselling, you can do that. This system you already know so start with SEAMLESS and start implementing those things throughout your day because that’ll make a huge difference already. Once you do that, start asking yourself the question of why you’re here and then take that and transition and build a bridge from who you really are to the job that expresses that. That’s the recalibration process from my perspective.

Zephan: I would definitely say that—you used the great word there install. I would pull out the example of about a week or two ago, we had to replace the kitchen sink faucet. My roommate and I thought, “Okay. We’ll go to the store. We’ll buy a new faucet and within about half an hour, we’ll have a new one and there.” Well, I don’t know about you but I’m no plumber, I’ve no experience in plumbing. I’m just a guy with a toolbox and it’s one of those things where it really came down to while we knew the part that we had to get, the installation process is really something that you have to leave up to the professionals. I would say, for anyone listening, I really like that you said install because it really means that you have worked in your craft and in your profession and that you are the person to help make this happen.

Allen: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. We do. By “we” I say me and all of the people who have done this already. What I was surprised with is I didn’t expect the results to be so cool. We had 92% of people who participated that lowered their stress significantly. We had 64% of people who got into much better shape. We had 74% or 75% or people who balanced their lives. It’s cool stuff and it’s simple. When I talk to people initially, they said “Are you kidding? I’m already too busy. You want me to do eight more things during my life?” When I show them how to do that, that it’ll only takes few minutes extra a day, it’s amazing what happens.

Zephan: Yeah. Absolutely. So, Allen, what’s the best way for people to check out more from your online courses and to learn a little bit more about what you do?

Allen: I think the easiest would be to go to courses.allenvaysberg.com, or you can go to seamlessmethod.com.

Zephan: Perfect. Is there anything else? Any final words of wisdom you like to share with everyone listening in?

Allen: Yeah. Aside from live your essence, for me, the wisdom comes in from listening to yourself. Spend some time every day, we can call it meditation or we can call it just closing your eyes and listening in, but spend some time with yourself because that’s where all the answers lie.

Zephan: Perfect. Thanks so much for spending your morning with me, Allen.

Allen: Pleasure.

Zephan: Appreciate having you here and I’m sure we’ll be talking very soon.

Allen: Thank you very much, and I appreciate you having me on the show.