Social Capital Is the Key to Success in Business and Life

A friendly talk about childhood, passion for reading, traveling and daily running with co-founder of the Young Business Club — Andrew Ostapchuk.
I've recently had a friendly talk with my partner — a co-founder of the Young Business Club — Andrew Ostapchuk. I've made some notes about his childhood, his passion for reading, traveling and daily running.

We've also talked about business people around and reliable social capital. And, of course, about the Young Busines Club: how it began, the current COVID-19 situation in the company, and about some future dreams and plans.

Andrew has already attracted a lot of attention for being the co-founder of the Young Business Club in the United States, Great Britain, and Ukraine. He gathered together many successful entrepreneurs, start-up founders, business owners, and investors, giving them something they needed a lot — the confident private communication on the same level, the personal growth, and the motivation for big goals.

In day-to-day life, Andrew is very open and friendly to everyone he meets. He has a popular blog on Youtube, where he interviews leading people in the business. He runs 45 minutes every day with different interesting people and calls it "forming social connections."

So, here are the notes I made for you.
The Childhood and Andrew's Early Dreams

In primary school, I wanted to become a diplomat to make agreements between the countries. I don't know why this was so interesting to me. I haven't studied how to make agreements but practiced it. At that time, the most challenging task was to agree with the teacher about the needed mark at school.

You know those situations when you did not have such excellent preparation for the class but have to make a report. That was the highest art of communications and making deals for me. I believe so.

I grew up in a small town and moved to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, eight years ago.

I remember how I was sitting on the main street Khreschatyk near McDonald's and ate Chicken Bacon Menu. Its price was about 2 dollars (a lot for me at that time), and it was so incredibly delicious. I dreamed back then just always to have money for this Chicken Bacon Menu. I remember when having a meal in McDonald's was not possible for many people living in a developing country.
Later, I started working in McDonald's nearby. I could become a director, but I denied the offer, saying that I'd open my own business and go further. People smiled skeptically, and it was completely natural.
If you can have your own business, why would you work in McDonald's? I dreamt like everybody else to have an apartment, not just a shared room. I always had enough energy to handle three jobs: one in McDonald's and two others, one as a photographer in various places — and doing sports.

In 2014 I wrote 88 goals for my life. I earned around 200 dollars a month in those days. I wrote down that I wanted to visit 22 foreign cities. The guy who wrote those ideas was utterly unsure about how to achieve them, but had big hopes. And it helped. I'm one of those who succeeded in reaching their goals after McDonald's.

I met the right people in the right places, and so on. I believe that everyone achieves their dreams.
Reading Books That Change Your Life

The first book that strongly influenced me is "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi. I accidentally found it. It was the situation when reading a book changes a person in a fantastic way. I always loved reading, and it worked for me, driving me toward success.

Right now, I am reading two books simultaneously — "Hooked. How to Build Habit-Forming Products" by Nir Eyal, and "Never Split the Difference. Negotiating As is Your Life Depending on it" by Chris Voss.

Reading is my passion. I read to get ideas that can come to you only when you are reading. I like to have a book in one hand, a MacBook in another and note the ideas I get from the book as I read.

I am disappointed with myself that I do not read as much as I'd like to due to my lack of time.
I love writing down thoughts about my persona development and the growth of our company. It's an inspirational task that can change your life. Maybe it sounds a bit simple, but those who read books will always lead those who watch TV.

I adore Forbes. It's the best magazine ever. And you know why? Because Forbes publishes stories about people. I don't like reading about companies — I love reading about unique characters and their lives.

I like to analyze the behavioral models of successful people. In general, my advice is to learn everything you can about prosperous people, especially by reading their autobiographies.

To be successful in this life, you should have specific behavioral models and follow them. Of course, you can create them yourself, but it's easier to add other people's experiences to your own and move forward at an even faster rate.
Traveling Over 50 Countries

I already said that I was dreaming of visiting 22 cities in 2014. And as of now, I have visited only 6 of them. I wrote a post on Instagram about my attitude to travel in general.

I think that people who need to travel very often have lost themselves. They run from their world, work, relatives — I have made this conclusion after visiting 50 countries.
You may have visited many countries and met many women in your life, but you should choose for your life precisely that country and that woman who shares your interests.

I don't mean to say that we should stop traveling. I just want to say that we have to change our perspective of it. Going for a trips is not the ultimate goal in life, just like having a family and kids is not the only goal of life for many women.

All these are generally must-haves, but not a reason to leave everything suddenly behind.
Running Every Day for Building Social Capital

Since I'd read the book that had changed my life, I got a chance to meet the author. I booked the tickets from New York to London and flew the same day just to meet him there.

After many talks, I asked Keith Ferrazzi: "If I use the concept, "Never RUN alone," it's ok?" He smiled and said, "no problem".
I always run with somebody. It's the best way to have shared emotions with a person. When you run together 3 or 5 miles, your conversation becomes different.

I like to start my day at 6 am by running for 45 minutes, then having a coffee and turning my attention to work. Sometimes I don't feel like running. But people motivate me to get up and go.

When I understand that someone is waiting for me at 6 am to run together, I can't keep sleeping. I am a "night owl," but today, for example, I woke up at 5 am.

Running means discipline, smiles, and conversations for me. There are people that I have run with for many months already. Sometimes new people also join us for daily runs. Running is a way to get acquainted with others, get inspired and also a kind of meditation when you are running alone.

I ran daily for 1, 794 days as of today (July 7th, 2020). By now, I have already run more than a distance of five thousand miles. I even own an official record for daily runs.
Andrew's Vlog on YouTube

I don't remember how I decided to start the blog. But I know for sure that it happened in Bangkok. I was so impressed with this city and wanted to tell others about it.

But then I switched this idea to a vlog for sharing business stories on YouTube. I did the first interview with the founders of Fozzy Group (a famous retail company).

I had a wide variety of various interviews. Some of them were not successful at all. I even had cases when guests told me that the conversation was over and they just went away.
Since those situations occured, it became clear to me that every meeting for an interview needs the proper preparation. Sometimes I read books about or by my interviewee, you can look through all the interviews.

When I have a conversation with a famous, influential and powerful person, I'm always nervous. It's natural.

I don't earn money from the blog. It is my hobby, and I spend a lot of money and time on it.
Pay attention to the People Around You and build Reliable Social Capital

I arrived at my current status in life thanks to many factors. And one of the most important of them is the right people who appeared at the right time in my life. I think that people nowadays don't pay enough attention to their selection of whom they communicate with and choose to associate with. And this is a critical problem.

When you make vital decisions in your life, you need to always ask for good advice from someone that you respect. And those people that you ask for this piece of advice, impact your success in a powerful way.

If you are a business founder, and if you surround yourself with other successful and experienced company owners, there is a high probability that you will make better and more profitable decisions than if you are only surrounded by your family, employees, and partners.
You have to start building relationships with people before you need them. And one more thing: by relationships I don't mean the number of friends in social networks. It's the number of those people who want to help you without getting anything in return.

The ability to create social capital consists of attracting powerful people willing to help you. It is one of the main conditions for developing a charismatic and successful personality. Don't forget that every business founder needs someone more experienced or someone from another business area to talk with for pushing the envelope and getting out of their comfort zone and thinking outside of the box.

I (Denny Copy) want to note that Andrew is the person who actually started the YBC. He is the visionary of the YBC, its first founder, and its inner, dynamic energy. The Young Business Club is a powerful phenomenon of business, one which makes people believe that anything and everything is possible. I've asked Andrew to tell us a little more about the club's idea, current positions, and ambitious plans.
What Is the Young Business Club?

YBC — is an organization of businessmen (or business people, or business men and women?) of a certain age, location, and income. Members of the club get acquainted with each other, sharing their experiences and knowledge.

YBC has a mission to help its members find the right mentors, partners, friends, and someone who helps them to understand clearly all of the challenges and the day-to-day issues that they each have.
Of course, one can talk to employees or family members, but they probably won't understand all of the business details. It's possible to find like-minded people who have already passed through the same way and found a solution to your particular question and can share their unique knowledge with you in the Young Business Club.

We select members on a very strict basis. By now, we have received more than 12K applications, but only 685 people have became members worldwide. Some of them have already paid for a membership for three years. It means that they have found something precious and valuable in the YBC.
How It all Began

About five years ago, I created CPI (Community of Powerful Individuals) for ambitious students and business beginners who wanted to help each other. In Forbes, I read an article about a founder of the CEO Club that already had 130 members among the most successful businessmen.

I understood that there is a connection between him and me. It seemed that we had the same business, and it'd probably be a good idea to get in touch. With the help of my friends, I arranged a lunch with him and shared my thoughts. That was the beginning of the Young Business Club.

Of course, I was a bit afraid at the start. But I believe that getting into the fear zone means personal growth. Today we operate in 5 cities in three countries — Ukraine (Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv), United Kingdom (London), and the United States (New York).
This year we stopped launching new clubs in other cities and concentrated on developing those we already have. We have a strict policy to grow without losing the quality of our members, our events, and the communication within the club.

The main thing in this business is not just to create a business club but also to make it valuable and successful. Members of the YBC attend regular online and live private meetings and events, communicate and collaborate, and even launch sub-clubs.
Doing Business During the Quarantine (COVID-19)

During this period, some of our members and friends lost their businesses. And we were supporting them and did our best to search for ways to rescue the situation for them.

For example, our members came together and organized new activities in digitized shops and pharmacies near their homes. They launched online shops in one business day, and now their clients can order goods from stores nearby.

The quarantine was a challenging yet very productive time for the YBC team. Since the first day of the quarantine, we switched to online sessions, and we actually started living in Zoom.
Despite every challenge we had during the quarantine, we attracted 64 new members all over the world. That was hard work, but the result was worth it.
Dreams and Plans For the Future

When someone asks me about strategies, I say that the YBC has to become a private, invitation-only social network for business founders.

My dream is to launch the Young Business Club in a hundred of the most significant cities worldwide.

It's also my goal, and we are on the way to it. Let's keep rocking!
Here, I (Denny Copy) would like to finish the story saying that I can't physically remember and publish everything I hear from the incredible people of the Young Business Club of New York City. Moreover, I'm not a professional writer. I'm a business owner and co-founder of YBC NYC.

If you like me to continue writing such stories on Medium, you are welcome to let me know about it in any way you prefer. Should you like to reach Andrew, please, message me, and I will connect you.

And if you want to hear such insights yourself, or if you were inspired to get out of your comfort zone and think outside the box, find investors, trusted contractors, and close friends, who'd help you upgrade yourself and your business, you are welcome to apply for joining our community.

We'll do our best to find a seat for you among the business founders from New York, London and Kyiv, in a safe place for trust, growth, and interaction. Just google us.

Denny Copy, co-founder of YBC NYC