Millionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth & Prosperity – Dean Graziosi | PREI 087
We have a very special show today and an incredible guest, someone who I’ve been looking to get on the show for a while now. I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and meet with him about three months ago at one of my Mastermind meetings. We got talking about his new book and habits and whatnot. I asked him to come on the show. It took me a while to get him on the show because he’s always traveling and he’s got a busy schedule. We’re going to talk about his new book and habits and some amazing content here today.
One thing about habits I want to say is that habits are the basis of your success and they could also be the basis of your downfall. Despite the importance of habits, few people know much about them or even how they work. Habits are thought about negatively, usually they relate to gambling habits or drug habits, but there are a lot of good habits and things that we should incorporate into our lives such as exercising regularly or how we think or meditate or what we do and what we eat and how we treat our friends and our family. A habit can be something that we do regularly without even consciously thinking about it. To be aware of our habits and how powerful they are and what subtle changes we can do to affect the trajectory and the path of where we’re going is just an amazing thing. I have an amazing guest today. Please stay tuned, right to the very end, he’s got a great little offer for you.
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Millionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth & Prosperity – Dean Graziosi
It’s my pleasure to introduce Dean Graziosi to the show. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen Dean and his real estate books on television for the last 20 years. I’ve had the privilege of having Dean come and speak at one of my Mastermind events a few months ago and then we got talking a little bit afterwards, which is when I invited him to come and join us on the podcast here today. Dean is perhaps best known for his long running interview style TV shows, but he is well known as being a real estate expert, an author, speaker, entrepreneur. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, he has written multiple New York Times bestselling books and has touched the lives of millions of people around the world with his powerful investing education and that includes myself too. His most recent great book is called Millionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth and Prosperity. Dean, welcome the show.
It’s great to be here, Marco.
I love that you’re on the show here because I spent so much time on tactics that I don’t spend enough time on talking about what’s between our ears and the success habits that we need to build. Let’s set a little context here. People recognize you as that longtime real estate infomercial guy. I know that might be sometimes hard to shake off. Share with our listeners how you got into that. We’d like to learn a little bit more about you as a person before we get into these more specific types of questions.
First off, everybody listening right now, you’re my peeps. I’ve been in the real estate space for literally 30 years. It’s my life, it’s been my obsession. I write on it, I teach on it, I own hundreds of buy and holds. To be on a podcast like this, Marco, it’s an honor and a privilege. I know some of you are just starting out, scared, wondering if you can do it, some of you might even be skeptical of real estate and some of you listening are doing great and you’re going from being a real estate investor to maybe wanting to be in the real estate investing business. That’s a whole another evolution too. You start flipping deals and all of a sudden, “I’ve got to get an accountant, I have to get a crew, I have to get a team. I have to buy an office.” It’s a scary and awesome evolution. Some of you listening might be doing 30 deals a month.
What I hope to do today Marco, yes, I’ll share a little bit about me so there’s a backstory and you’ll understand why I’m here. I hope today that we can deliver true capabilities that you guys can put in place right now, immediately. The best thing I could say, with all the podcasts I’ve gone, you go to live events, you might be in Masterminds and you get courses and all that stuff. Sometimes there can be overwhelmed. You don’t know where to start. Here’s what I’d suggest to get the most out of today: take what serves you. Take something I say today, something Marco says that just hits your heart and take action with that. Write it down and go do something with it and then throw the rest away. We can’t do everything. You can’t do everything we talk about, but you’ll get the most out of life, the most out of this interview or the part that resonates with your heart or you go, “Wow, yes,” then go do it today, don’t put it off until tomorrow. That’s why I like to set this up. I hope that works for you, Marco.
Getting back to me, I grew up in a small little town in upstate New York. My parents never had money. I didn’t go to college. In fact, I lived in a bathroom with my dad one solid year, with no electric heater. We lived in a trailer park until we got evicted from it. I just remember being naïve fortunately because the world hadn’t told me no enough yet. I remember just looking in my little town and the only people I saw that had money I can remember, it was Dominic Affuso. I grew up in a town where everybody was Italian. It was Dominic Affuso and Richard Nodo. Those two, they seemed happy, they had money, they had nice cars, they did crazy vacations. My family didn’t, we struggled. My family couldn’t go to Little League or do all those things because they were worried about money all the time.
Real estate just got under my skin and again, being naïve, I just said, “I heard people could do it with no money down.” I knocked on a gazillion doors. I was fixing cars at the time. I got my first real estate deal before the age of 20 with no money down and sweat labor. I had worked all day on cars and all night on real estate. I learned to be a carpenter and a sheet rocker and a plumber and lay tile. I don’t teach people to do that now, but I did because I didn’t have any money, I didn’t know. It broaden my horizons. By my mid 20s, I owned 30 apartments, I started subdividing land, I started building houses. Then the market boomed, this was the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. The market boomed and I happened to be in control and have a lot of properties locked up.
In my mid 20s I became a millionaire. I had well-over a million dollar in assets, I had cashflow coming in, I had apartments coming in. It was just a change in life. I was a huge fan of Tony Robbins, I love that guy, loved his infomercials. I’d watch him all the time, I got his course. He helped changed my life. I had different thought processes because of that man. I feel blessed today, he’s one of my best friends. We talk three times a week, but back then, he was just somebody I admired. It’s when I decided in the late ‘90s, 1998, I said, “I want to share with people how I did this.” I had no clue what I was doing. I wrote a course. I got up at [4:00] in the morning, I’ll write until 6, then I’d go work on cars, then I’d go work on houses, then I’d come back and write. I hired a crew, used credit cards and I filmed my first infomercial in 1998. I failed miserably at first, worked hard. I was flipping houses to fund the infomercial. It was an information business. I want to people to know what I was doing. Of course, I wanted to create a thriving business, but I wanted people to see that if a dumb upstate New York kid with no money, no mentors, nothing, can do it, why can’t they? It was just an obsession. Over the years, I figured out how to sell on TV, I wrote better books. In ’06, I wrote my first New York Times bestsellers that just went viral and crazy.
My next book, in ’07, was Be a Real Estate Millionaire. That was right after the market crashed. I’ve taught people how to be safe and make money on the way down while a lot of my competitors were still teaching old school stuff. That book just hit off, I think we sold a million copies of Be a Real Estate Millionaire. It really just put me in the space of “Dean is the trainer.” Sometimes people go, “He’s just that infomercial guy. He probably doesn’t even really do real estate.” I know I have to deal with that and I have to deal with people who see me and write something negative online, “I never buy his stuff. He’s a huckster.” I’ll take that because I know on the other side, I get to deliver wisdom and capabilities and a recipe and the ability to have a proven plan. I get to deliver it to the rest of the world, so I’ll take that little bit of negativity. It’s not a problem at all. Especially when someone reads my book, they only have to read ten pages to go, “Wow, this guy knows what he’s talking about.”
It’s true. Be a Real Estate Millionaire was actually the first book that I had purchased that was yours. It was a great book. I read it from cover to cover and that was a long time ago, but I still have it on my bookshelf here today. It helped me out. Everything you’ve just talked about, it clearly shows that you’ve put success habits in place, which is a great segue to this new book that you put out. Millionaire Success Habits, I bought it recently. I couldn’t put it down, I haven’t finished reading it. It’s great, it’s very well-written. It talks about all the things that you really need to think about as far as your journey to being more successful. What I’d like to hear is why the new book that’s unrelated to real estate? Why did you go from real estate books to this Millionaire Success Habits book?
Now, I’ve been doing real estate. I’m 48, I did my first deal before eighteen. It’s over 30 years of real estate. I’ve been 20 years now in the education space, which is crazy. Nineteen years of teaching people. I just got off stage with Tony Robbins with 10,000 people. I’ve read tens of thousands of my comments from my students. As you evolve, knowledge becomes wisdom. Being in the game, you realize what works and what doesn’t. What I realized, there is a lot of incredible tactical tools taught out there by incredible people like you, Marco, by teaching how to do turnkey or buying turnkey or fix and flip or wholesale. There’s a lot of great tactical stuff. I believe my education is some of the best ever created because that’s what I do, but as I evolved, I realized it’s only about 20% tactical. It really is. People struggle with the strategies and, “How do I fill up this contract? How do I make an offer? If the are no good deals in my area, how do I talk to this realtor? I don’t like selling. I don’t like buying. I don’t like negotiating.” They get so stuck into the tactics. They get so stuck into the process that they don’t realize the only reason they’re not successful, the only reason they’re not going to the gym, the only reason their relationship might not be working, the only reason they’re not connected with their kids like they’d like to be, it’s really the core foundation for success. I believe it’s not 50/50, it’s 80/20, maybe 90/10. Libraries are full of wisdom. We have an epidemic of rich librarians if it was just the wisdom.
What I realized and became obsessed with, especially two years ago. I’ve been obsessed with it forever. I’ve been doing a weekly wisdom for nine years every single week for my students that has nothing to do with real estate. I just said, “I want to compile the habits so people can replace habits that don’t serve them and put habits that can only help them to succeed, overcome those obstacles, get through the tough parts, make it out to the other side.” That’s been my obsession. I realize that’s what people need. This book is going viral right now. In Facebook, it’s going crazy. Amazon, it’s all five star reviews. People are seeing like, “It’s Millionaire Success Habits, you can use it for real estate, but I can use it for relationships. I can use it for anything to take my life to that next level.” I’ve been in obsessive study of habits. I didn’t just throw a book together with some things that made me rich. It’s not that. You know because you’ve read some of it. I’m blessed to be friends with billionaires and presidents. Tony is a dear friend and Richard Branson is a dear friend. I just get to rob all their habits, combine them with mine and that’s what people get in the book. I’d love to share some of those today that people could literally takeaway and use, if that’s cool with you?
Yeah, in fact, we’re going to touch upon some of that. I’m just listening to what you’re saying here and it reminds me of a quote in your book, in fact it’s in the beginning part. It says, “You can make small, barely noticeable small shifts in your daily routines by nudging out those things that don’t serve you and replacing them with habits that create a path to wealth and abundance.” When I read that, I had to go back and read two, three times. I highlighted it because you really just encapsulated so much in such a small space. I’m sure you know that our lives are the results of the stories that we tell ourselves and the actions we take from day-to-day. You mentioned Tony Robbins several times here. I love what Tony Robbins said. This is one of my favorite quotes from Tony, he says, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” It’s such a profound and powerful statement. It’s huge. How does a person get themselves to do the things that they need to do or don’t want to do?
There are a lot of different ways. From Tony back to Earl Nightingale and Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill to Wayne Dyer, success and how to breakthrough, it’s been around forever. What happens is we want to migrate or attach to somebody who gives a message that sticks. You may have someone tell you to quit smoking for 20 years and finally somebody does it in a way and you go, “I’m never going to smoke again.” It’s just the way the message was delivered and that’s what I’ve always obsessed on, is how do I deliver it in a way where it sticks?
I’ll share this one thing with you that I think is probably the number one thing that I noticed with the most successful, I mean successful with wealth and also happiness and joy and living a fulfilled life. When I compile that, and some days I’m in a room where there’s a billionaire, two presidents; I’ve had dinner with Michael Jordan, Joel Osteen, you name it. I can’t believe the people I’ve been blessed to meet. I don’t say that to namedrop other than there’s a common thread and some of it is simpler than people think. I was with Richard Branson for a week on his island and I watched people come up to him. They all want this, “How did you become a billionaire, Richard? What was it?” People are wanting this one thing, “I lifted up this rock and there was this thing, I did it.” It’s never that. It’s a compilation of little things. What all successful happy people have is vision and clarity of where they’re going. I really want people to think about that, is vision and clarity.
Do me a favor, and I’ve done this with thousands of people literally. Ask ten people this week what they don’t want out of life. “What’s not working for you? What don’t you want?” People will rattle shit off, for lack of a better word, faster than you can stop them. “I don’t want this job. I don’t want this. I don’t want the deals to be eaten up my area. I don’t want my wife to be a pain. I don’t want my husband to bug and not listening to me.” Rattle off. Do me a favor. Stop them in the middle and say, “I got that. What do you want?” Nine out of ten people will go, “You know that’s a really good question. Let me think about that.” Think about what’s happening is we’re running around focusing on what we don’t want all the time. All that’s doing is adding complexity and stress to our life when we really don’t know where we going to go. It’s like being in a Ferrari with no GPS or running on a treadmill. You want to go faster and you put the treadmill to ten, you’re still not going anywhere. When I hear people say, “I’m overwhelmed. I don’t have time. I’m stressed. There’s too much complexity,” all that means to me is you don’t have a clear vision.
I want you to think about this statement and I want to tell you a story if you don’t mind. As entrepreneur and, Marco, for you to be here and serving other people in the business as you have, to be in the groups you are, you’ve said yes to so many things. You’ve overcome obstacles when everybody thought you couldn’t do it. Entrepreneur sometimes, it’s a lonely road remember that, everybody listening. That’s why you should be a part of groups, that’s why you should listen to Marco and things like this because entrepreneurs are lonely. We think completely different than everybody else. We want to run our own business, we go against the grain, so sometimes you’re lonely. You’ve been through lots of stuff in your life. You’ve said yes more than most people. You said yes to the overtime, “Yes, I’ll start the podcast. Yes, I’ll get these interviews. Yes, I’ll get uncomfortable and ask this guy if he’ll do.” You said yes, but I want everybody to think about this and I’ll tell you a story. Yes, this is from one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan, a strategic coach. Yes, he got you out of Egypt, but no, we’ll take you to the promise land.
Warren Buffett says I say no to everything. He doesn’t say it most cases. I say no to everything and a couple of things slip through. Think about this. I tell this story a lot because it really hits home. I’m going to hammer in the vision here for you. If nothing else, from this interview today, if you got a clear vision of really where you want to go, you’re ahead of 98% of the world. I don’t mean kind of know what you want or kind of the money you want, I’m talking crystal clear, someone stops you and says, “What do you want?” You go, “In a year from now, this is exactly what I want and it’s hard to get.” Let me just tell you this quick story. A buddy of mine, he’s in his church group. Him and a bunch of dads take all the seventeen to twenty year old boys, they’re going to take them white water rafting, 20 kids. They go to Colorado, they get there and it rained five days straight. They’re all nervous. These dads are responsible for all these kids. The kids are nervous. This guide comes out, he’s been doing it for 25 years. He comes out and he goes, “Dads, calm down. No worries. Kids, get in the rafts.” He says, “You see this finger, boys?” He held up a finger, he goes, “This is the positive point. We’re going to be totally safe today. Because when I point this finger, you guys are the paddle your guts out towards wherever I point because that will take us to where we’re safe. Here’s what I want to do. I’ll never point to the down tree. I’ll never point to the rock that could flip us over or the big rapid. Because if I do, you’ll focus on it, we’ll run right into it, then we will end upside down. I’ve been doing this long enough.” That’s really something we all need to take in life. If you point at the rock, if you point at the rapid, if you point at the tree, you won’t know why you keep running into the crap that you don’t want. We have to get a vision and be clear on where we want to go, massively. That’s where our attention needs to be. If you focus on what you don’t want, you get more of what you don’t want.
I want to give you a quick little lesson here. This was a game changer for me. With social media and text messages and cellphones and Instagram, we are so busy and we’re so occupied. Here’s what I believe: I believe there’s a desk cloud around us. If you ever watched the Roadrunner when you were a kid, there was the Tasmanian devil. He’d spin so quick there’d be dust around him. That’s most of our lives. What happens if someone says, “Set a goal,” you’re like, “Set a goal? I can’t even see two feet in front of me. I’ve got to get through the day. I’ve got to get through the crap I’m dealing with. Maybe tomorrow I’ll set a goal.” Setting goals can be hard in today’s world. Here’s the best way I know to get vision and this could be a game changer. Say it’s in your real estate business, it’s in your financial world, pretend it’s a year from now and we’re all back here. We’re on this podcast again. It was the best year of your life. Let’s just say it’s your finances, it could be relationship, it could be anything, but let’s just pick finance. It’s the best financial year of your life. What does that look like? What had to happen to make it the best year of your life? Then not only what had to happen, it’s like how much money you make and how many deals you’re doing? Where was your breakthrough? Then take it a step further. How do you feel when you look in the mirror? When you walk in a room where people are like, “Damn, what did he do? Did he lose weight? Did he tan? Is he working out? Does she got a new relationship? She’s on fire?” That feeling when you walk in the room and your husband or wife looks at you and go, “Damn, what’s up with him or what’s up with her?” Attach all those emotions. It’s a year from now. It’s the best year of your life. How do you feel? Then just start writing it down, “This is the money I’m making. This is how I look when I’m in the mirror. This is how my wife looks at me. This is how my kids look at me. This is how my husband looks at me. I’m starting my own company. I’m no longer in this job,” whatever that is, you write it down. Then take what’s there and that becomes part of your vision, that becomes part of the clarity on where you want to go.
Here’s the byproduct of that, when you have that clarity, when you have that vision and you craft the perfect year, that’s when that saying, “Yes, got you out of Egypt. No, we’ll take you to the promise land,” comes into play. Because every time someone asks you to do something or new opportunity or you’re surfing an hour a day on social media, bump that up against your bigger future. If it’s not serving that vision, that clarity of where you want to go, then it has to be a no. That’s where time opens up. You’re like, “How did they get all that done? How did they run all those companies? How do they still be a great dad and go to Little League and softball? How do they do it all?” Because they know what to say no to while most people are staring and pointing at the things they don’t want, the person with vision and the clarity is on the fast track. He’s in a Ferrari with GPS. He’s not on a treadmill. He’s on a ladder walking his ass past you. It’s as simple as that for a core foundation, is take the time today to get crystal clear on where it is you want to go. I promise you, I’m not talking about real estate today and I’ve done thousands and thousands of deals. I know real estate. You can gain access to the wisdom, you’ve got Marco. Tactical skills are out there, the thing that will stop you is what goes on between your ears.
That’s very powerful, Dean. Just saying no is very liberating. A lot of people don’t say no enough.
Arianna Huffington became a good friend. She started Huffington Post, sold it for $300 million. She said, “One of the greatest ways to finish a project is to quit it. So many times we have these things in our past selves, a year ago or two years ago, five years ago, we thought was important to us. If you really analyze it, “Shit, I really don’t want to do that anymore. I’m done.”” She’s like, “Sometimes, quitting a project is the best way to stop it.”
Everything you said about being very crystal clear about where you want to go and envisioning yourself there is very powerful. Every time I hear that, it reminds me of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. I believe it was the Cheshire cat that said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Get clear and if you can visualize it and you can see it in your head and you can almost taste it, then you know exactly what to do next. I just wanted to drill down a little further in this. The recurring theme in your book is about habit. I want to just drill down into that a little bit further. Are there specific routines or habits that are crucial for an individual or me or you to have a good day, a good week, a good life? What do you do?
I’m going to give you one right now. This is something I learned myself, but I like the way Dan Sullivan says it. Dan Sullivan, I pay him $25,000 a year to be in this Mastermind. He’s taught more entrepreneurs than anyone on the planet. He helps me get great clarity. Dan always says, “One of the main reasons you pay me is to help you protect your confidence.” It’s a habit of mine, and I call it a habit, is our confidence as entrepreneurs, as visionaries. If someone’s going to start your own company when everybody says no, when the market might turn, when the deal doesn’t go through, when your spouse isn’t supporting you. If we lose even 5% of our confidence, we play small, we play scared, we sit on the sidelines and we miss another opportunity. How many times in your life has lack of confidence, lack of clarity, let the opportunity go by and someone else got rich, someone else got the deal, someone else got in real estate, someone else flipped the house, someone else is making the money that you should be making? Protecting your confidence is everything.
I’m going to give you a routine that protects my confidence on a daily basis. There are lots of things, but this is how I start it. You guys can manipulate this any way you want. Again, take what serves you, throw the rest away. Here’s some habits of mine. I go to bed at night and I put my phone on airplane mode. I’ve been doing it for about a year and a half now, I wish I would’ve done it sooner, maybe two years. What happens is, if you wake up in the morning and you roll over and look at your phone, you look on something on social media, look at an email that the deal didn’t go through or friends sent a stupid text to you, your emotions, you become the thermometer of your morning not the thermostat of your morning. That email just persuaded you, adjusted you and puts you in a certain mood and some of that is taking away your confidence. Habit one, phone on airplane mode. I’m just going to tell you, Marco, I don’t do this every day because I screw up. I miss it some days, but I do it most days. The days I do it, it’s a completely different day. I play a day of offense rather than defense. When your confidence is down, you’re trying to fix problems, looking for emails. Sullivan said, “When you’re playing offense, you’re out there crushing it, getting new deals, saying yes, being motivated, making the sale, being persuasive.”
Everybody knows gratitude. You can’t be grateful and sad, grateful and depressed. Sometimes, gratitude is hard to find. What I have done is lowered the bar of gratitude and I want to feed my mind as soon as I wake up. As soon as I wake up, I try to think of something really small I’m grateful for. It could be like, “These sheets feel amazing. It looks beautiful and sunny outside today. Wow, my kids slept through the night because they didn’t come in.” That’s it. Just one little thing. Or read chapter out of a book like The Untethered Soul or my book or a book that empowers you, two sentences. Because that triggers your mind in a different way. It just positions your morning completely different. I still haven’t looked at my phone. I feel like I feed my soul doing that. Then what I do, another habit, I want to feed my body. I immediately walk downstairs. I get up at five every morning, I walk downstairs, I do a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, I do a tablespoon of MCT oil, I do a scoop of green juice and I squeeze a whole lemon into a big huge glass and I down it. Habit one was the phone. Fed my soul for habit two. Fed my body, habit three. The fourth thing I do is for me only because I get so busy, I don’t want to work out in the afternoon, it’s just hard for me to fit in, I just go move immediately. Drink that, I down it, I feel like that’s my coffee, that’s my natural energy and I go workout, I go move. I get all that done. I’m usually done by [6:30]. I get to wake my kids up and I do my morning routine with my kids, which I love. I cook them breakfast, we have great conversations.
After that, here’s what I would share with everybody, is this is building your confidence so you’re in the offense. You have clarity for the day. The next thing I would do is everybody makes their to-do list or, “Today, I have to go look at that house or I have to make that call. I have to read that one piece. I have to, I have to.” Get rid of that terminology and make your what-you-get-to-do list. Think about this, 150,000 people die every single day. Today, tomorrow, the next day, 150,000 people die each day. We’re not one of them. I know you might be going through some tough times, things go wrong, shit I complain all the time. Yesterday, I had a flat while I was in Utah. I stopped in the side of the road, changed the tire myself, got to the airport and flight was delayed two hours. Stuff happens, but when you think through life this way, who cares? We’re alive today so make yourself a get-to-do list.
I hate conference calls, but when I look at it like I get to change people’s lives, I get to flip property, I get to write books. If I have to do 20 conference calls a month, damn it, I’d get to do those because it’s part of my bigger future. When you frame it that way, then I’m happy and excited to get on a conference call because I get to do it. If I didn’t get into real estate, maybe I’d still be fixing cars and pounding fenders and changing engines or working on a roof when it’s 120 degrees. I just passed somebody doing a roof next door to me in Phoenix, it’s 120 today. I get to be here with you guys right now. Wherever you are, you get to do it and then prioritize what’s the most important. If you have your vision and clarity on where you want to go, you get to make your get-to-do list. Sometimes we put stuff on how that’s busy work. Make sure you’re prioritizing the things that take you closer to where you want to be in a year from now. Just those little habits alone are massive shifts that most people don’t do. If you follow this for the next two weeks, you won’t believe on how productive you are, how clear you are, how you’ll start saying no, how you tell people, “I can’t hang out with you on Thursday night because there’s something bigger for me to do.” Or when you’re surfing on social media for an hour and a half, you go, “I’m not wasting an hour and a half of my life on social media. It doesn’t take me to where I want to go. I’m going to go read more up on real estate. I’m going to go make offers. I’m going to go try to buy a turnkey property and diversify my portfolio.” Those things start opening up and that’s how successful people seem to get so much done in the same amount of time you have.
I really love that subtle change from a to-do list to I-get-to-do list. It’s not so much that I have to do it, it’s I want to do it and I have luxury and the ability to be able to do that. That’s huge. You’ll be happy to know that I just ordered three journals from Amazon. I’m going to give one to my wife, one to my daughter and one for me. It’s going to be a gratitude journal. My plan is every night, before we go to bed, we’re going to write down one to three things that we are grateful for. That’s my plan. It wasn’t going to be in the morning, but we’re just so busy in the morning scrambling to get to here and get to there that it just makes more sense to do it before bed because you can pause and think.
I believe nothing stronger that you could do for your daughter than that, and you and your wife. It is to get your kids in that mode. Believe me, I do it with my kids and now that you say it, we do it a couple of days a week, I need to get back in the routine on making it daily. If we were at dinner, we’d go around the table and say one thing you’re grateful for today, just one thing. My kids sometimes are like, “I don’t know.” I’m like, “One thing,” I press until they got it because it’s just a different way to look because we could talk about what we don’t have and what went wrong and the teacher was mean and I got a bad grade, but what about being alive, being here, being with each other? That old saying, “You can’t be grateful and sad, grateful and depressed, grateful and unhappy.” It’s almost impossible. To give our kids that gift, then it’ll make us better people too.
Touch upon this, I don’t remember where I picked this up, but Joe Polish, awesome guy, an acquaintance of mine. He’s in my Mastermind group. He’s a good friend of yours. He was telling me about his charitable work. He’s got Addicts for Artists, I believe it is. Great stuff. I don’t remember if he was talking about this or if it was you, but you were talking about three different types of entrepreneurs. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Can you just touch upon that? Because when I heard that, it just hit me between the eyes. I thought, “Wow, that’s awesome.”
Joe talks about that a lot. I’ll tell you the three different entrepreneurs and you can identify yourself in these. I’m blessed to be one of them and work with lots of others. The first one is the entrepreneur basically who will work for someone else. It’s that person that you see is the second in command to the company, treats the company like it’s theirs, wants to flourish the company, wants to expand it, they’re an implementer, they take the visionary’s ideas and they put them in place. They’ll talk sometimes and you’ll think it’s their company, it’s because they have pride. I have two or three that work for me I think of right now that they work in this company. They’re going up through the ranks, they take chances, they don’t want to be the nine to five person, but they like the security of being under a company.
Entrepreneur number one is the security of being underneath a company, but you run it like it’s yours. Entrepreneur number two is a lifestyle entrepreneur. A lifestyle entrepreneur is working hard doing things, saying yes, overcoming obstacles, getting through the fear, going after it, but then they get to a certain level of income and it matches the lifestyle they want. My buddy Dean Jackson, he’s got a list, he’s like, “I know I’m being successful when…” When he doesn’t have to use an alarm clock, when he can dress the way he want, when he plays at least five rounds of golf a week. When he makes $50,000 a month. If he’s there at $50,000 a month, he did all that work and got there. Now, his whole life is maintaining for the lifestyle. That’s a lifestyle entrepreneur.
The third is an accomplishment based entrepreneur. That’s more of what I am. I thought it was because I want to get to a certain amount of money. Now, I want to accomplish more, I want to serve more people, change more lives. I live no different now than I did ten years ago. Fifteen years ago, my income is significantly higher. My life hasn’t changed, the way I raise my kids hasn’t changed. I didn’t buy 60 cars. I don’t have fourteen houses, vacation houses. I live a damn good life, but I’m always going for writing the next book, the next company because it’s an accomplishment that fills my soul. My kids get to see their dad accomplish some really cool stuff; the entrepreneur underneath somebody else, the lifestyle entrepreneur and the accomplishment-based entrepreneur.
I think they refer to the first one as an implementer.
Exactly. If you read the book Rocket Fuel, it’s one of the best books ever that talk the difference between a visionary and an implementer. When a good visionary gets with a good implementer, it’s game over.
Great book, Traction.
Traction was first and then Rocket Fuel.
This is the big one for me. I found through your book and the one thing that just jumped out at me and I know that a lot of people will resonate with this, you talked about an exercise of going seven levels deep. I think it’s just brilliant and powerful. This would be such a great takeaway. Dean, please explain this seven levels deep strategy or habit.
This is a habit too. We talked about vision and clarity. If you really do that, take the time, a year from now, best year of your life, you know where you want to go. You set your day up for success. The driver behind that, the passion behind that, the stamina to get through the obstacles and the things that go wrong is knowing your why. That’s a buzz word now. I found a way through a consultant I hired ten years ago that really got to your true why. I call it the seven levels deep. It takes you out of your brain and it gets you into your heart. How that works is if I said to you if you guys were in front of me right now, I’d do this exercise with you live. If I said to you, “Why are you listening to this podcast?” A lot of people might say, “I want financial freedom. I want a different source of income. I want to build security.” All true, really strong. Let’s just say, you said you want financial security and I said to you, “Why is financial security important to you?” It’s like, “People are living longer in today’s age and I don’t want to run out of money before I run out of the age.” That’s great answer too. If the third time I ask the question again, I’d say, “Why is it important for you with your last answer to build security so you don’t run out of money?” You might say something like, “My parents ran out of money and I watched them suffer.” “Why is it important?” You just take the last answer and you do it seven times.
I’m going to give you my example so you could understand it. I hired a consultant for $10,000 to come in for half a day to help me get my students to engage more, to learn more not just to get the wisdom, but actually use it. He taught me the seven levels deep. I was expecting him just to give me the tool and he made me go through it. I was crying like a baby by the time I was done with it. He’s like, “Why would you pay me $10,000 to be here?” I said, “I want to create a business. I want to set the bars high. I want other companies to raise the bar or get out of my industry.” He’s like, “That’s great. Why is that important?” Then why and why and why. When I got to the fifth question that was coming from my head, from my thoughts, I felt my physiology changed, I felt my body changed, I felt chills in my body. I thought of a real why and it came from my heart. I was like, “I never want to go backwards.” I didn’t even know where that came from, but I started thinking of being broke as a kid and having hand-me-downs and not having lunch money and living in a bathroom. I don’t ever want to go back there. He’s like, “Dean, thank you for getting to that. Why is it important you never want to go backwards?” It just came out and tears started going, you have a daughter, you understand, I’m like, “I want my kids to have choices. I don’t want them to be entitled brats, but I want them to have choices.” Guys, I’m talking about me, but I want you to be thinking about you or do this exercise afterwards. Ask yourself or have somebody ask you seven times. Once I answered, “I wanted my kids to have choices,” I thought that was it, but that was only six levels. He said, “Dean, I think that’s really noble. That’s amazing, but why is it important that your kids have choices?” It just came out and I found my true why. My number reason is I want to be in control.
When I was a kid, my parents were married nine times. I moved 20 times, I had new stepparents and grandparents and stepsisters and stepbrothers and new schools and moving and leaving and evictions. I never was in control, I felt completely out of control as a child. I realized why I work so hard and why I want more is because I want to be in control of my time, my life. I do coach Little League, I do coach softball. I take vacations when I want them, living early today just to go hang out with my kids. I don’t want anybody telling me what to do, when to do it or how to do it. I want that control. When I have a tough day, when things go wrong, when I lose money, when I’m scared, if I say, “I want financial freedom or I want to set a legacy,” that doesn’t get me through a good day. To go, “I’m never going backwards. My kids are going to have choices and I want control of my life,” there’s nothing that can stop me. When I touched that why to my vision of where I’m going and to know what I get to do that day, I’m on fire all the time. I’m enthusiastic all the time. Even when shit goes wrong, I can power through because I know why the hell I want it. If you guys just did those few things, I promise you, life will be different tomorrow. Not in a year from now, not in six months from now, life can be different tomorrow with these few little things.
I’ve tried doing the seven levels deep. I seem to get stuck around five. When you get to five, you really have to start to dig down, dig deep into yourself to pull out the real reason.
You do because what happens is, your thoughts block you and says, “That’s all of it.” It’s not. I’ve done this on stage for six years straight and I get people come up and say, “No, it’s this, it’s that.” All of a sudden, I watch them change and I watch their tears come out. It will be, “My husband left me nine years ago and told me I was a pathetic loser, I’d never amount to anything and I want to show him.” Damn, if that’s the inspiration to get her to move. Another one, he was a drug addict when his mom died and he wanted to show her in heaven the man she helped raise. Everybody gets these things that they forget, “My parents neglected me and I want to be the stay-at-home mom.” When you get to that gut wrenching where you’re just like, ” I didn’t even know this was in there,” that’s when you’re getting to your true why.
I just want to shift focus to fear for a moment. Fear tends to hold a lot of people back. I’ve actually talked about fear on several other episodes of this podcast. How do you overcome fear or how do other people overcome their fear? What is your advice or your habit there?
The best thing I could tell you the habit on fear, I still have it. I still get it, I can get anxious in a day because I’m doing big projects now. Sometimes I’m betting on the whole next level. We’re human so you get fear. The best thing I can tell you is two things. First of all, stop and realize you’re okay. Most of the fears that we have are lies and not true. If you’re in a fearful mode, immediately just stop and go, “I’m okay. I’m an adult. I’m here.” Then look at that fear and see if it’s something from your past, from your future, why it’s there. In most cases, there are three things you could do. Most of the things we’re worried about never come true. Try to prove that fear or that thing is a lie or just your brain telling you the wrong story. The thing that really works is to get your confidence back up. The best way to do that is to look backwards and look at all of the things that you accomplished. Write down the things that you’ve overcome. You’ve done so many amazing things in your life that you forgot to give yourself credit for. Things that if you told your eighteen-year-old self you would’ve accomplish, you would say, “No way, I get to do that? I get to have that wife or that kid or that baby, that husband or that job, that business, be on podcasts, doing flipping a real estate deal and making $50,000 or owning 200 properties?” All the stuff that we do, if you told your eighteen-year-old self, they’ll be like, “Damn it. I get to have that life.” Now all of a sudden, we’re scared and forgetting it. We forget to turn around.
I would say, if you’re fearful, if you’re anxious, you’re worried about something, turn around and look at all the badass stuff you’ve accomplished. Look at the stuff that went wrong in your life that you failed at but you still came out okay. Take what serves you from your past, the research and development, let the rest burn, bring that confidence into the present and realize that no matter what happens in the future, if you’re pointing in the direction with the capabilities you have, the wisdom that you’ve gained from your past, you’ll get through it. That’s literally what I still do. I get back, I get empowered, I get encouraged and I’m ready to take it on.
If I may add to that, you talk about your confidence, increasing your confidence. One quick way I have found to increase my level of confidence is to increase my competence. That just doesn’t come out of your past, it’s also what you do now and going forward in learning more educating yourself, building your level of knowledge. When you increase your competence, you automatically increase your confidence.
I never read books as a kid because I had dyslexia and I was always embarrassed. I’d read, I couldn’t comprehend it until I realized that I’m an audible learner. I can listen to a book and remember every word of it. Now, literally with all I have going on, I still listen to a book about every nine days. I know my life has evolved just from the education, being a strategic coach, being in Joe Polish’s group. Joe and I have a group. We have $100,000 a year group, people pay us. That group is amazing. I’d read a book, I’m always learning. I spent time with Tony Robbins and I’ll absorb the knowledge because you’re right, when you get the capabilities, when you get the proven plan, when you expand your mind, fear goes away. We’re usually afraid about something because we don’t know enough about it.
I know you can’t limit this down to just one, but what would you say is one of your greatest life lessons that you’ve learned?
Our thoughts lie to us a lot. The life lesson I’ve learned is when I’m feeling off, when I’m feeling scared, when I don’t feel fulfilled, I don’t feel grateful. If I just stopped for a moment and analyze my thoughts, it’s always my thoughts. It’s not the outside world. If I told that to my dad, he’d say I’m living on the West Coast too long as a joke. It’s never what’s going on around us. You could get in a car accident one day and get out and scream at the person and say, “Are you idiot? Why did you do this to my car? My insurance is going to go up.” The next day, be in the same car accident. Just get out and have gratitude and say, “Everybody is safe, who gives a shit? It’s a car with bent fenders and we have insurance for that.” Same circumstance, it was a car accident. Someone steals your parking lot at the mall. One day, you’re like, “That person probably needs it.” Another day, you want to flip them off. Same circumstance, it’s our thoughts that mess with us. When you realize that you are the controller of your thoughts, you can be the observer of your thoughts and you don’t have to believe your thoughts, if someone would’ve told me that at eighteen and told me to obsessively understand that, it would have allowed a lot less suffering in my life, a lot less worry, a lot less sleepless nights and a lot more success.
Just to share something that I really like, it’s a quote from Dharmesh Shah. It’s not so much of a lesson, but something that helps drive me. I’m quoting Dharmesh Shah, “Success occurs when we shift our efforts from making a million dollars to helping a million people.” I think you just do that naturally and maybe even subconsciously. That’s what I’m trying to stay focused on. The more I can help people, I realize the more it will turn around and come back to me. That was one of the lessons I learned a long time ago. That originally came from Zig Ziglar when he said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will have everything you want,” something to that effect.
Even when you’re in Mastermind and things like that where you share and you coming on here and giving away your best stuff, it’s not about giving away a little and then you have to buy all my stuff. It’s like move the free line. I watched my business grow. The more I gave away in my business, the more I shared my greatest secrets, the more people came and wanted to buy all my stuff. Because they’re like, “If I got all that for free, imagine what I’ll get if I buy this guy’s book or I get his course or I get into his training.” It’s been an obsession of mine to help a lot more people, especially at this phase of my life. I can tell and see it how you serve and what you give and what you deliver, Marco. I want to commend you too. Keep up the good work.
I appreciate it. Dean, this has been amazing. I want to thank you for your time, your inspiration and the education you’ve provided over the years, including to myself. Please tell our listeners how they can find you, more about you and get your information and your books?
Here’s a cool thing, we created a link that you guys can all go grab my new book. It’s the hardcover. You can grab it for free at DeansFreeBook.com. All I ask is you cover the shipping and handling. You can also get it on Amazon, it’s $19 on Amazon. If you go to the DeansFreeBook.com, I think it’s $6.95 shipping and handling and there’s a couple other bonuses and we send you everything.
You also have a weekly wisdom, which I know that I try and catch from time to time.
Dean, I appreciate you being on the show today. Thank you for your time.
It was fun. Thanks, Marco.
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