Advice from the 50 Billion Dollar Man

This is Billionaire Dan Pena’s Ultimate Advice for Students and Young People. Now 73 years old and one of the richest men alive, he has a working class background and failed out of University 3 times before eventually graduating from college and becoming known as the trillion dollar man.

Transcript

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Unless you want average, in America married two point four kids with one and a half dogs

But I can guarantee you, you will never achieve anything greater than your highest aspiration. If you want a million you’ll make a million, not a $1.5 million. If you want $10 million, a $100 million and you’ll never exceed that. If you change a billion lives, that’s the formula to become a billionaire and change the world. Time costs lives.

Ted Turner just gave his 75th anniversary party on CNN a few months ago, he makes a couple of comments and he says number one, and I’m not suggesting this for everybody, it’s how I lived though.The first 10 years of my starting CNN, I slept on my couch, I didn’t have an apartment. Bill Gates slept in the office, Steve Jobs slept in the office and I can go down a whole list. Now these are super successful mega-wealthy guys. I slept in my office, not everybody is willing to make that sacrifice. But it’s not the only thing but even if you don’t want to sleep in your office, if you want to send your kids to a better school, if you want to be able to take care of your mother when she gets dementia, this all takes money.

When I…my children aren’t getting any of my money when I die. Not not one centavo, not one penny. And Two of my kids are cool with it, one of them is not so cool with it.

I think Andrew Carnegie the way, Andrew Carnegie arguably the richest most successful entrepreneur of all time. He said, the best thing that you can have for a child is him to be born into poverty. And I agree. Lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth. Now they think they have self-worth, they think because they made a few bucks but in actuality,and when they measure it against the other 8, 10, 12 people sitting around the table they realize or they start the question “Hell, maybe I was just lucky.” Now all of us,when you’re only a one-trick guy or gal think, “Was I lucky?” Now I’ve done it so many times, I know I wasn’t lucky I might have been lucky the first time but I haven’t been lucky the 15, 20, 40, 50,- I know that. – Okay But maybe I was lucky the first time.

My life changed when I went, I was a pretty much…a haphazard kid got in a lot of trouble, got arrested 4 or 5 times,thrown in jail and this was with my dad as a cop. But then I went, I volunteered for the draft in 1966 at the height of the Vietnam War and I went to OCS and that changed my life because it was the really first real high performance thing that I could measure myself against, with other people.

Two-thirds of all Fortune 500 CEOs have one thing in common- military background. – Really Two-thirds of those two-thirds have something else Martial Arts.What do you learn in martial arts Brian? Discipline, focus. A lot of people don’t believe they deserve to be there I convinced them and we have these drills, why you belong there? A lot of people that come there,you know with money that have made money think they made it by accident.

I just had one of my super stars whose made a hundred million bucks tell me in the last week,”You know, I’m not sure I’m going to have another lucky accident.” And I said, “You did it.”I mean, you know, you tried a lot of things. Thomas Edison, I would, I wouldn’t have done it 10,000 times. I would’ve hired an engineer from MIT to do it. But I mean, I’ve tried a lot of things, nobody’s failed at more things than I have and the first 100 million are successes but I could write a book about failures that’d be, I mean because I’ve tried a lot of different things because failure is just testing and one of the reasons I’ve been so successful in generating this equity and value in my kids-and I call you all kids-is because I convinced them that making a mistake is okay.

Your parents probably told you, you can be anything you want,but you can’t. That’s ***. You can’t. If it’s all juxtaposed So but what you tell them is that you can do anything you want that you have passion for. Because that eliminates most of the crap, because most people don’t follow their dream, you know, like they say in the sound of music. “You can’t have a dream come true unless you have a dream”

Now I still dream, I dream in technicolor, I say my affirmations and goals every single night.It’s bloody hard to be a high-performance person. Perfection equals paralysis. If you left it to the engineers, no car would ever come off the assembly line.

No car would ever come off the assembly line and I’ve been in business with enough engineers that I can tell attest to that with my hand on my heart. They’d still be…Trying to make it better and the internet business is very much the same.

The internet kids want to test and test and test and they will want the landing page to be Perfect, But Just roll it out and see, the great thing about the internet is your results are instantaneous.

If something that I’m overseeing at a Concorde level 60,000 feet doesn’t work in two days forget about it move on. And today I had our meeting now the young kids are, “We ran it three days sir, and we closed it down.” And they are thinking I’m going to ask why, I said, “No, that’s fine next” Because without them making mistakes,and without them being allowed to make the decision they never get any better and 95% of the time I know probably better than they do,

We’re never going to be able to know everything or have them know everything unless they make some mistakes and get comfortable with making mistakes.What gets measured gets accomplished.

Without measurement you’re just fooling yourself.

Before I had any money I used to go to the Rolls Royce dealers and sit in the cars and smell the leather and touch the leather. I went to million dollar houses and my wife and I would walk through the house and they’d say, “When are your parents getting here kids?” No, we are the buyers. “Practice within when you’re without. Practice being successful. How many people listening to this today practice being successful today?

Through affirmations, through going to the Rolls Royce dealer. Maybe Lamborghini, maybe something else. In my particular case it was Rolls Royce. And within a year of me going to a Rolls Royce dealer, I had a Rolls Okay Within…19 months of me dreaming and. adding it to my goals a castle on an island, I owned Guthrie castle.- 19 months – Okay Go to stores you can’t afford. Go hire lawyers, you can’t afford. Lawyers will meet with anybody, accountants will meet with anybody. Go to the big four accountants. With a business idea, the first couple meetings are for free. Jettison, probably a lot of the people you hang around with. If you have poor public speaking skills join Toastmasters. Do these. If you go, if you went to a good school and you’re not successful, go to the alumni deals Okay I didn’t go to a good school, I’m a perfect living example that a lot of trouble as a kid,working-class background, my parents,went to just a mediocre university that I flunked out of three times before I finally graduated with honors, but…And I had no money to begin with, just $820.

So it’s all possible But I, you know, I devoted myself to feeling successful. I was wearing suits like this, before I could afford them.Most people procrastinate because they’re unsure.So just do it.And, but I’ve never had a problem just doing it because one of the things you learn as a young combat,infantry officer is time cost lives.We over analyze because we’re unsure,we’re not- over analyze,we don’t over analyze because we are not sure.If it will work or not,we’re more worried about on the emotional side it embarrassing us.

Speaker: Dan Pena

also known as the 50 billion dollar and trillion dollar man, is an American businessman and multimillionaire. He is the founder of Quantum Leap Advantage Methodology and chairman of The Guthrie Group, an investment consortium.

This is a compilation of Dan Pena’s advice for young people


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