Your First 100 Million | Dan Peña | Book Summary | Bestbookbits




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Your First 100 Million by Dan Pena

Dan Pena is a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and motivational speaker. As a high-performance business coach, he has consulted in various industries such as coal, natural gas, and oil. He is famously known for his personal net worth and the net worth that he has helped others create.

Over the years, he has developed the Quantum Leap Advantage from his endeavors in the business world, where he teaches his methods to eager entrepreneurs on how to create wealth.

Today Dan Pena has a net worth of around $450 million. Pena is referred to as the $50 billion dollar man because that is how much wealth has been created by those he mentors using the Quantum Leap Advantage. With each year, that number is growing to the 1 Trillion dollar mark.


The Price of Fear … the Reward of Courage

We cannot change the past, only recover from it. And perhaps learn its cruel lessons.

The paralysis of fear can cost dearly; while the rewards of determined courage are incalculable.

“Always try to go into business with an unfair advantage. ”

You will never have read a business book like this one.

It’s about achieving the mental toughness and laser-beam focus you need to make a ton of money.

Through Dan’s Quantum Leap methodology, he show’s you how to prepare and focus your mind and spirit for executive battle against entrenched institutions vicious corporate assassins.


Chapter One: Super-Success – Not for the Touchy-Feely

‘Super success is not for the wishy washy. Victory in business, like war, comes to the toughest son-of-a-bitch in the valley.’

This is a book about making money.

Accumulating money without taking risks is a fantasy fed to the faint-hearted or the elderly who are not so much interested in achieving wealth as they are terrified of becoming poor.

The high performers – the super successful- do take risks. Anybody who’s not taking risks in business is not making real money. There is no super success without risk. There just isn’t. And no safety in being a high-performance person.


When you make a lot of money, then you’ll feel good about yourself.

Be all you can be.

The Nazis taught us how effective a Big Lie could be. They shouted their propaganda so loudly and so often that we in the “civilized world” accepted their crimes until the brutal truth slapped us in the face.


The basics of becoming super successful. To begin with, it’s not easy. Every worthwhile goal in life has what Dan call’s a “Pay Price to Action.” To achieve that goal you must take action that requires you to pay a price in some other area. It’s a trade-off. The mooches in the seminar circuit tell you, “You can have it all. You can be a well-rounded parent, make a bundle of money and be loved by all. ” That’s crap. The truth is, you have to give up something to get something.

Throughout this book, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up, or to trade-off, to get what I want?


If you want to become an Olympic javelin throwing champion, for example, your Pay Price the price.

Action is giving up evenings and Saturdays with the boys (or girls) and throwing the javelin a zillion times.

Mark Zuckerberg followed the classic American success formula set by Bill Gates and other “technowhiz” kids. Mark paid the price, spending more of his young years tinkering over a computer than he did being a typical teenager. The payoff? He redefined “social networking” for the 21- Century and founded the popular Facebook.


A lot of people Dan talk’s to assume you have to be incredibly intelligent in order to be highly successful. Dan’s living proof you don’t.

So it’s not possible for anyone to have ten times our IQ – or even five times for that matter.


So how in hell do people make ten times more than you make? How do people make a hundred or a thousand times what you make if they can’t have a hundred or a thousand times our IQ? How? Dan will tell you how! Because they dream bigger than you. Their expectations are higher than YOUR’S. That’s how.


Dan is often asked, if he had his life to live over again what would he change. He would only change one thing. He would set his goals higher. That’s right. With all his mega-success. He would still set his goals higher.

What about you?

Have you set goals that allow you to “be all you can be?

Change is absolutely essential. I want you to understand right now that doing the same things over and over, like you’ve always done them, and expecting different results, is insanity.


You see, these high-performance individuals like Dan, achieve super success because they want it more than you. They forge favourable circumstances by using the two advantages of high-performance businesspeople – practiced skills and force of good habits.


Motivation gets you started; habit keeps you going. Trust Dan on this. Intelligence has nothing to do with it.

Take some risks.

The genuinely super successful understand that risk is necessary to grow. In Dan’s seminars he refers to the “Quantum Leap,” an explosive, geometric growth in your company that merely more sales or new locations could never achieve. A Quantum Leap requires risk.




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You’ve got to take risks to be really successful. You’ve got to be willing to throw your hat over the wall and commit yourself to your dream.

Most obstacles to success are created in an imagination driven by fear of defeat, and by listening to the platitudes of conventional wisdom.”

Dan believes that if you’re not taking risks to grow your business, it begins to wither. Dan hates when someone tells him everything is running smoothly. By definition, he know’s their business is not growing anymore – and probably dying. They have forgotten that from chaos comes order.


Some people take a risk or two, and fail, and retreat beneath their shell of safety. Failure destroys their self-confidence, sometimes for the rest of their life.

One failure can drain your resolve to ever take another risk.

Never fear failure, Understand it.


The super successful also have a different take on failure. They understand that failure is what happens when you do something. The greatest successes in the world also experienced the greatest failures. The all-time strikeout record in major league baseball is held by… Babe Ruth. But we don’t remember him for his strikeouts. We remember him for setting a home run record that stood for decades.


The point is he kept swinging the damn bat!  Most of us never get out of the dugout – let alone up to the plate. Those people not only wonder why they never hit a home run – they even begrudge the determined hitters who do.


Donald Trump has lost billions in his financial deals. But who cares? He has made billions more with his successful ventures, and he just keeps swinging the bat. After stumbling into the New World, Christopher Columbus failed in his subsequent explorations and died a poor and disappointed man. But on Columbus Day do we celebrate his dying destitute? Of course not. We celebrate his success.


Tom Watson said, “Double your failure rate,”

More failures could only result from more tries, more initiative, more risk taking … all the actions required for growth.

Most of Thomas Edison’s experiments failed miserably – thousands of them. He thought direct electrical current (DC) was the answer to lighting the world, and that alternating current (AC) was a passing fad. He was wrong. And nobody cares. Instead, we’re indebted to Edison’s genius and his determination whenever we turn on a light bulb, or hear recorded music, or watch a movie.


For the super successful, failure is a valuable lesson. It’s a road not to take again, or at least under the same conditions. And then they move on. Failure is nothing more than testing. As Edison said, “Success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” To the high performance person, “Fear” is False Expectations Appearing Real.


The sure-fire formula for failure? Try to please everybody. That’s the biggest reason most people never achieve Success. They try to keep everybody happy. As a result, they fail and the people they were trying to please don’t give a damn. Instead of listening to everyone around them, they should have consulted within themselves. They should have trusted their instincts. They should have listened to their intuition.


As a high performance person, you have the confidence in your judgment to stand by whatever decision you make.

Listen to your intuition -It’s almost always right.

Intuition plays a strong role in the decision-making process of a high performer. All of us have a sense, a gut feeling about situations affecting our best interests.


Usually, we run into problems when we ignore our intuition.


Nowadays the tyranny of computers has undermined our reliance on intuition. Too often we “Excel” things to death. Suppose you’re a guy at a party and you meet an attractive woman. Her smile seems, well, more than friendly. She touches you a lot, innocently. You know she’s hot. You don’t need to run back to your office and “Excel” it. You don’t have to think about it. You know. Business is much the same. But conventional wisdom dictates we over-complicate issues because, after all, our world is very complicated now.


The Internet, personal computers and other electronic breakthroughs we wouldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago give us access to a universe of information we can use. Dan personally believes that reliance on the computers can be the single biggest drawback to being a high-performance entrepreneur.


Forget what others think.

Too many worry more about what others will think about their decision than they do the wisdom.


Come on, do you think Bill Gates gives a shit what others think? You think Trump gives a damn for the opinions of “experts” making a fraction of his money?

In contrast, the high performance person such as Dan measures the risks, makes the decision, takes action … and never thinks.

I may be wrong – but I’m never in doubt.


The high performance person never looks back.

Make the sacrifice of Pay Price to Action, take risks, don’t fear failure. Listen to your intuition. Avoid conventional wisdom, Ignore what others think and never look back.

Super success is not for the wishy washy. Victory in business, like war, comes to the toughest son-of-a-bitch in the valley. Not the touchy-feely. High performers are the gladiators of the glass towers. They’re tough, they take action, but never take prisoners. They make mistakes and never look back and they make alot money.


If you aren’t prepared to die for your dreams, you aren’t prepared to live for them.

One of the differences between man and the lower animals is that we humans continue to evolve throughout our lives. We have the capacity to make mid-course corrections. We experience pivotal, life-changing events. Men, for example, can be changed forever by the experience of war. Women are often transformed by the experience of childbirth.

In the arena of world diplomacy only allies of convenience. No acts of benevolence only strategies which advanced one’s best interests. The instinctive tactics of survival, which had served Dan so well in the barrio, were the same one’s nations were using as instruments of policy. Later, when Dan entered the business world, he discovered that corporate America operated the same way.


Dan long felt that we all have many opportunities presented to us in life, doorways that suddenly open and give us a glimpse of what we could achieve. But because we’re so pre-conditioned, and so fearful of failure, we stand there each time telling ourselves to let the doorway close, rationalizing our inability to take action. Then the doorway closes forever.

The Beauties of a Joint Venture: Other People’s Money and Other People

Conventional wisdom is almost always wrong! Visionaries have always flown in the face of conventional wisdom.


Another phrase Dan detest is “common sense”.

Common sense is an excuse for mental laziness. Common sense is the biggest alibi of all for screw-ups caused by using conventional wisdom.

Think about this: common sense would have to stem from common experience. If we were all born, raised, and educated under identical circumstances, what sense we had would certainly be held in common. But the fact is, we’re all from diverse backgrounds, and imprinted with a rich diversity of experiences. So how the hell do you suppose we all have common sense? There is no “common sense!”


Before you can create and run a super successful company, you have to re-create yourself. You have to cleanse your mind of years of conventional wisdom, and in the void, that’s left, build a personal foundation based on all new rules.

The first New Rule is an old one: there are no rules. Rules by definition are limiters – walls beyond which you don’t allow yourself to venture. Rules, even your own, put you into a self-imposed box with four side.

To become super successful, you’ve got to think outside the box.


Your own mind, pre-conditioned by conventional thinking is your greatest limiting factor.

It Doesn’t Matter What the Morons Say My definition of a moron or a doofus (pronounced “doo-fus”) is anybody whose advice or attitude would limit my success potential.

Morons are everywhere. They work with you, they commute with you, go to your health club, live next door, and are even in your family. They’ve limited their thinking and would feel much more comfortable if you’d limit yours too.


New habits begin with developing the habit of decision-making.

Put decision-making in perspective. Ask yourself ‘Will anybody die as a result of my decision?

Think of it this way – you’re not taking a chance – you’re making a chance!

I may be wrong – but I’m never in doubt.’


Other people’s money is what it takes to become rich.

In order to remove Other People’s Money from Other People’s Pockets to build your dream, you have to build a gold-leafed perception of value around your company.

Keep Your Eye on the Vision – and You Won’t See the Obstacles.


As an individual pursuing super success, you have to keep your sights above the rush and worries of today, and free of the nitpicking details which will be required to realize your vision. In other words, building your personal foundation includes the newfound ability to focus on the ends – not the means.


When you keep your attention focused on the exciting, successful future that awaits you, a strange phenomenon occurs. You begin to transport yourself into that future. As you keep your eye on your goal the question ceases to be if you can get there; it quickly becomes a logistical one of how and when. You assume success. You visualize success as if it were already a reality.


Because the high performance individual is impatient to get to the future, he’s not afraid to take action. He’d rather “do it right away- instead of doing it absolutely right”. Don’t wait until every little detail is nailed down, until every variable is perfect.


The name of the game in business is revenue. Lots of revenue. You can control expenses and cut costs all you want and you’ll realize nickel-and-dime improvements in profitability.

High performance, super successful people are passionate about their business, obsessed with its rising revenues and rapid growth.


Play not to lose, Play to win. There’s a big difference. Even successful business people who make it big often begin to play not to lose, They lose their nerve because they’re not sure if their first win was an accident of luck or timing, They’re afraid they can’t repeat that success, so they fold into a defensive mode to hang on to what they’ve made. That’s not passion – that’s just shutting your eyes, ducking your head and hoping to survive, But the truth is, they’re already dead, I call that, “sitting on your assets!”




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The wellspring of passion varies with the individual. Some successful people, such as Jobs, are passionate about computer technology. Others revel in manipulating the stock market or developing joint ventures, or setting the standard for high performance achievement in a given industry. Dan takes particular delight in growing a company by Quantum Leaps, then selling it at the very zenith of its performance for tons of money.


The source of your individual passion stems from your own personality. But whether you love dealing in the manufacture of hard goods, or buying and selling real estate, or the prospect of striking oil in a remote, windswept field, you’d better be driven by the relentless fire of hot passion.

Passion is required because being a super success is a full-time job. There’s never been a part-time high performer.

Remember what Dan said – super success isn’t for everyone. But is for the very few who are willing to build that foundation, make those sacrifices and create major sea changes in the currents of their thinking.


The Strength of Self-Confidence – and Self Regard

The quickest way to begin your quest for super success is – to take action. Make a decision you’ve been putting off. Don’t let it ride another day.


What happens is, as soon as you take that action, and see how easy it really was, you’ll have a higher level of confidence to take another action, some inevitable decision you’ve been delaying. And another. Now you’ve got your aspirations in gear! Now you’ve got the taste of what you can become, because success feeds on itself-and is insatiable! It transcends any lust you’ve ever had for anything!


Ignore conventional wisdom because it is almost always wrong, and serves only as a crutch to support the weak.

What we are doing here is creating a whole new mental arena in which you can not only visualize your future success, but also predict it.

After all, the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself

“Success can be as frightening as failure. Begin preparing now for the new style and tempo of life that will come with success. ”

Practice makes … comfort.


If you know you’re going to a destination, it only makes sense to prepare yourself for your arrival.

You can expand your comfort zone by pushing its limits, by having experiences beyond its perimeter.


An individual’s comfort zone is the area in which he or she performs most capably, because that person is comfortable in that area, or at that level or that intensity of activity or pressure. One’s comfort zone is not fixed forever, like a locked thermostat. You can expand your comfort zone by pushing its limits, by having experiences beyond its perimeter. The problem with many people, mostly the doofuses who tell you that you can’t do this or that, is that they stay encased in the limited zone they’ve created just by continuing to breathe.


Most Americans, for example, live in the same state, work at the same job, have the same friends and take the same vacations all their lives. Their comfort zone is like a coffin in which they live until they die.

Practice being successful with as much determination as a world class athlete practices his skills. It’s true: like a moth to the flame, money gravitates to those who know how to handle it with class.

Being a high performance super success is a learned behaviour.


What are the alternatives to expanding your comfort zone? Boredom, anxiety, even fear. And the certain death of any growth potential for your company and most assuredly you!

Constantly expose yourself to situations that by definition make you uncomfortable.

You have to expand your comfort zone. Another and easier way to begin getting comfortable with high performance is through visualization.

Clarify Your Vision


One of the best clarifiers is the written word. If you talk about an idea or a plan to a dozen people in the same room, you create a dozen interpretations of your plan. But if you write it down, one plan exists for a dozen readers.

Focus so clearly that the day your vision becomes reality, you experience Deja vu, the distinct feeling you’ve already been there.

The need for laser focus.


The Five Credos of Success


  1. Yesterday’s dreams are today’s realities.

This is another way of saying “Today’s dreams are tomorrow’s realities.” Dreams come first, lighting and energizing your imagination, and gradually crystallizing into reality. Without dreams, you never progress. You never make any leaps, let alone Quantum Leaps. Instead you trudge through life taking whatever chances come along. Like the song says in the musical South Pacific, “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna make that dream come true?”


  1. See your dreams ahead of time now.

This is a call to action. Don’t just talk about dreaming. Dream! Virtually everything Dan has accomplished of any consequence he visualized and dreamed of before it happened.


  1. Simulation: Practice within when you’re without.

This goes back to practicing being super successful. Learn to think and act like the high-performance person you’ll become, so you’ll be ready to act when the doorway of opportunity opens.


  1. Act as if there are no limits to your abilities.

Once you draw a line and say, even to yourself, “That’s all I can do. After all. I’m only human.” you’ve set artificial, arbitrary limits on yourself. Why sell yourself short?


  1. “Enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word “ethos”, which means “god within”.

Regardless of your beliefs, you have the ability to draw special power from deep within yourself when you harness enthusiasm. Enthusiasm generates the passion, energy and determination to succeed that are absolutely necessary to achieve high performance. You can’t borrow enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm can’t come from deep inside your business partner or your spouse. You must generate your own fire and carry its flame yourself.


The value of the mentor is perhaps the most universally acknowledged truth in the business world. A mentor, of course, is an individual who’s been there, who’s travelled the road you’re embarking on, and sees the potholes and detours from the other side. A Chilean poet wrote, “He who has not been down the road does well to heed the traveller.”

Andrew Reid summed up the advantages of having a strong mentor. He concluded, “You can’t be the best if you’re not learning from the best.”

The best way to become a bigger fish is to be trained by one.


Get comfortable with super success before you achieve it, by practicing to expand your comfort zone. Clarify your vision, without focusing on how you’ll bring that vision to reality. Instead, focus on the details of how that reality will look and feel. As a step toward clarification, write down your vision and carry it with you, so that it becomes part of your being.


Building Perception to Become Reality

“Super success begins with your masterful illusion that it already exists.

Never underestimate the power of illusion.


Not only does it help create what you’d like for other people to believe, it helps you create what they must believe for you to achieve your goals.

Illusion is one of the skills of leadership.

Perception is reality in any business.


You only have one opportunity to establish a powerful initial perception of yourself. The cliché is correct you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Assuming an assertive posture of strength in doing business in order to gain and hold the initiative.

Attitude and eye contact are among the most important non-verbal signals you can send to create the perception of power.


Creating Your Dream Team


‘The first method or estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. Niccolo Machiavelli

No matter how good you are, you can’t do it alone.

You can do the work of two or three people and to achieve super success you’ll work that hard most of the time but you can’t be two or three people.


Your company, your entrepreneurial creation, is understandably a source of pride. Nobody else loves it, frets over it and perceives your vision for it like you do.

Nevertheless, the time comes when you must give up some, in fact a significant portion, of that creation to others in order for it to become what you dream for it. You must relinquish pride of authorship to the hands of others inside and outside your company.

Pride of authorship has been the death of countless promising companies because its “founding father” wouldn’t let it go.


That’s why you use two levers to pry open the way to super success – Other People’s Money .. · and Other People. These other people, recruited from a variety of sources, are what constitute your Dream Team.


The most immediate benefits your board of directors bring to your Dream Team are credibility and prestige. The best source of directors is recently retired CEOs and other top executives of local, regional and even national companies. And they’re not inaccessible.

Individuals perform beyond their normal capacities when they are teamed with a partner who is better than they are. In sports competition, we quite often see a tennis player or a golfer stretch their potential to keep pace with a higher ranked player.

Choosing a superior partner is an instinct we have in childhood. The smaller playground team captain automatically chooses the biggest kid for his team. As we grow up, however, we become aware that our own performance is being judged and compared against others.


Self-interest makes us seek weaker partners who make us look stronger by comparison.




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The toughest thing about being a leader is that you’re always alone in the lead position. Leadership is a towering peak with standing room for one. Sure, you can tum and get advice from this or that team member, but there’s only one captain, one driver, one pilot in the cockpit. You. You can save your company from mistakes the others may make, but the others can’t save the company from you! The guy who said “It’s lonely at the top” had surely been there. Dan often tells his business partners they must learn to be alone without being lonely.

Any CEO who is not moving his or her company forward is not leading. The word “leadership” implies action. Leading is convincing others to move, to follow you as you proceed forward in a predetermined direction.


World history has proven time after time – people much prefer to follow a madman with a clearly defined purpose than a nice guy with no apparent goals. And high-performance people are often perceived as madmen.


One of the most demanding high performers was Thomas Edison. In 1884 he hired a young Croatian engineer, Nikola Tesla, to work in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Edison was convinced that direct electric current (DC) was the way to light the world. Tesla believed that alternating current (AC) would be more practical. Already a world-famous inventor, the supremely self-confident Edison had little patience with employees and disagreed with him, and fired Tesla. In 1889 Tesla patented an AC power system, and sold it to George Westinghouse who built an empire generating AC electricity.


Give your employees the latitude they need to be creative on your behalf. Exponential creativity and imagination by your people will accelerate your achievement of exponential and Quantum growth. In fact, you can’t achieve it without it!


Keep your eyes focused on the macro picture, and leave micro-management to your staff.

You have three jobs and they’re all outside the office. The first one is … kissing frogs. You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. So get out there, smile and start kissing frogs!


Your second job as senior executive is to look for expansion opportunities. Dan is talking about deals or “schemes” as they say in the U.K. That’s how you make the big money, equity on deals. Get out into the market, go to trade shows, overhear conversations, talk to your moles, keep your ear to the earth of the financial world. You become wealthy from equity in a string of transactions.


Your third job is finding Other People’s Money – OPM.

Bankers make their money lending money.


So while you’re out looking for frogs, deals and money, who’s running your show? Other People. Your carefully hand-picked Dream Team. And hopefully, with a free hand from you – and with their owning a part of it themselves.


I discovered long ago that less control, not more control, is the key to effective management. You hire people you trust, empower them, and then trust them to perform. If they can’t, and you can’t trust them, find people you can pay your people good money, and they’ll do anything.


Uncommon loyalty was loyalty uncommonly rewarded.

As Napoleon Hill said in his classic, Think and Grow Rich, after some 20 years of interviewing the 500 richest men in the world, “The financial motive must prevail” above all. It was true 80 or 90 years ago, and it’s true now.


The smart CEO uses that ability to “de-control” his organization, to let responsibility trickle down to competent people eager to accept that responsibility.

Train one or more employees for your job. Or your jobs, which are to kiss frogs, find deals and raise capital. You want to train others to do what you do, so together you can get to more frogs, ferret out more potential deals and get in front of more lenders. It is essential that you bring your people into a sense of ownership by doing what the CEO or owner is doing. They’ll work harder, longer and with more commitment when you allow them to help steer the future of the company, and not just its present.


Never make decisions for your employees. Once you give them the information they need, allow them to make their own decisions. At the same time, give them the responsibility and authority to implement their own actions. Give them chances to make mistakes from which they can learn.


Your employees must grow as your company grows. It is far preferable to have the same number of enthusiastic, capable employees handling more jobs than it is to hire, say, seven more people to handle seven new tasks.


Step One – Identify the Idea.

Step Two – Investigate Generalities.

Step Three – Investigate Specifics.

Step Four· Commit to the Idea.

Step Five -Make the Preliminary Decision.

Step Six – Continue the Investigation.

Step Seven – Formulate Your Action Plan.

Step Eight – Establish Your Critical Path.

Step Nine – Implement and Follow Up.

Step Ten – Execute!

Step Eleven – Review and Re-evaluate.


The leader who anticipates the failure of a bold plan, and prepares for it will fail.


For five millennia, Chinese militarists have subscribed to the strategy of “burning the boats and breaking the cooking pots,” acts that told their armies, in effect, ‘We have no Plan B. We fight or die.

Without personal discipline we are little more than animals. A leader with a self-imposed code of discipline commands the high ground to impose discipline on others, and to lead, whether platoons or corporations, by moral force. And make NO mistake, much of being a high performance super star is leading yourself and others against the popular pap of conventional wisdom.


The military trains you to be decisive, quickly to analyse information and take action immediately.

The lesson is that you’ve got to plan for and expect success. That means no backup plans. No ripcords. No fail-safes. Or you will fail. The finest high-wire acrobats work without a net. The only faint hearts are in the audience. With no alternative, the hungriest salesman closes the hardest. Facing death, the cornered animal is the fiercest.


Look for ways to make your people “dangerous opponents” when the stakes get high by creating for them – and yourself – a level and an atmosphere of risk. This goes back to your comfort level for taking risks. No matter how many risks you take and how often, they’re still scary.


Let’s talk about dealing with fear. Fear and pain are related in that they’re both signals that you’ve crossed a line beyond which your mind or body is not comfortable. Just as a blister creates pain, risk creates fear. They’re both natural, primal responses. The trick is to become comfortable in the presence of those responses. The athlete who learns to win regardless of pain has raised his or her comfort level to deal with pain.


The fear never goes away. you just deal with it, and become comfortable in its presence.

High performance individuals flourish in an atmosphere of conflict, crisis and trouble. In fact, progress often masquerades as trouble.


Conflict is part of life. It is a natural phenomenon that results when people act in pursuit of varying Interests, priorities and desires. Kids fight over toys. Primitive tribes fight over territory. Gangs fight over turf. Companies fight over market share.


Contrary to what mush-brained idealists would have you believe, conflict is not necessarily bad. Conflict weeds out losers, while confirming the right of the superior to prevail. It is how conflict is managed or mismanaged that defines its quality. It’s very evolutionary, almost Darwinian, how the doctrine of survival of the fittest reveals itself across the corporate landscape in the form of downsizing, mergers and major consolidations.


Business deals, especially at high predominance levels, distil and concentrate conflict, because the stakes are so high. In global politics, when negotiations break down irretrievably, the parties can go to war, since killing in war is not illegal. But in business the force of law and ethics – mostly law probably – discourage executives from physically harming one another to get their way. So the ultimate corporate arena for conflict resolution, short of legal action, is the negotiating table.


Winning on Your Turf, on Your Terms

Negotiating, like super success itself, is not for the touchy-feely. People who’d rather be loved than victorious invariably lose their ass at a negotiating table.


The most successful negotiation is the “win-win” deal. That doesn’t mean necessarily that both sides win, although that could be the case. An apparent “win-win” means that each side believes it got enough of what it sought to declare victory.


Don’t be afraid to walk out. A dramatic exit is a killer because it’s always unexpected.

Learn to thrive in the conflict of negotiation. Know your foe, master your tactics, enjoy the poker game… and win! No matter what happens!

So … create a plan with no safety nets, no escape. Make sure Strategy drives Structure – not vice versa. Learn to thrive in conflict … and become a master poker player at the negotiating table.

“How do I get the money?”


Borrowing money from a bank is like having sex. You both want it, but they need reassurance of your intentions and foreplay.

Most potentially super successful people are still held back by a residue of fear about asking for money.


The two primary jobs of a CEO are to find money – Other People’s Money-and to find deals. If you’re the owner or CEO of your company, ‘you should leave operations, marketing, administration and group insurance to the competent people you’ve hired, and spend 95% of your time kissing frogs! And if you don’t have any employed yet, find people to handle these tasks as quickly as you can.


You want to grow your business exponentially, in Quantum Leaps, “as fast as humanly possible.” While arithmetic growth means 1+1=2, 2+1=3, etc., exponential growth means Ix10 =10, 10×10 =100, 10×100 =1000. Isn’t that a little more exciting?

There’s an old Chinese proverb, “You don’t leap a chasm in two bounds.” For high performance business people, that translates to, “You don’t pussyfoot yourself to Quantum growth.” After you’ve practiced for success, flushed conventional wisdom, visualized your dream, incorporated new rules and Started running toward that chasm between you and Quantum success, you’re probably going to need more money than you’ve got to finance your leap. Besides, not even the most obliging banker is likely to lend.


Locating Your Financial Partner

No matter where you live, you have a choice of financial institutions to consider when you begin thinking about borrowing capital. Banks, savings & loans, venture capitalists, finance companies and other sources. Banks fund about 60% of business ventures.


The fine points of how to deal with your financial institution begin to surface during the selection phase we’ve just discussed. The operating premise is that you want to develop rapport, understanding and chemistry with a banker from the first words he hears you speak, and from the first time he lays eyes on you. That’s why you practice what you’re going to say before you blurt it out to the banker. And that’s why you dress like the sort of business executive that a banker feels comfortable talking to and being seen with in the restaurant where he buys you lunch. Remember our discussion about comfort zones? Bankers have comfort zones too, and you want to put yourself smack in the middle of it!


Do you recall what I said about demonstrating your enthusiasm? Whenever you talk to your potential lender, let him see the fire of enthusiasm in your eyes and hear the dream in your voice. But enthusiasm also includes the language in your business plan. Write it like your deal is going to change forever the way people live their lives.

Bankers are not gods, regardless of what some of them would have you believe.


They’re people with human needs representing an institution with corporate policies and guidelines which have a great deal of resiliency. Make your banker your partner, your co-conspirator in helping you realize your dream. If you’re prepared, if you’re knowledgeable and professional, and court your banker step by step into what promises to become a long term, mutually profitable relationship, it will suddenly seem he’s working for you instead of his employer.


“The business community offers a universe of funding

With banks, you start romancing in May for sex by September

Stop Writing Checks on Your Emotional Bank Account!


We all have two bank accounts – financial and emotional. As low as you think your financial bank account is. you may drain your emotional account even faster. Fear of failure drops the balance. Fear is “False Expectations Appearing Real”, at least in your mind.


Dan’s emotional bank account stays high, because years practicing his skills in uncomfortable situations have reduced his fear and anxiety level to virtually zero. As he said, he may be wrong from time to time. but he is never in doubt.

Failure is testing. Failure is learning.

So get moving. Make those financial presentations – and make some more. You’ll find somebody somewhere to lend you the money to reach your dream.




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Acquisitions – The Secret of Quantum Growth


“For the high performer, arithmetic growth is unacceptable. Geometric exponential growth is demanded. ”

The best way to Quantum growth is through acquisitions.

But first, I want to focus a minute on one of the most abused words of the current generation. “Success” has almost become a cliche in a world where everything is relative. The feel-good mooches in the seminar circus will assure you with a straight face that you’re a success if you’re feeling better about yourself.


The Perils of the Leap

If you’re contemplating your first business transactions, you need to approach your venture knowing in advance the three greatest personal hazards you face. Having the will and determination to clear these hurdles, as you’ll recall from our first four chapters, is what becoming a super successful high performer is all about. Here are the three hazards:


The depth of personal commitment required. Your acquisition deal must take precedence over normal personal considerations. You have to make a total commitment of time and energy. Buying a business, especially the first business, is a full-time proposition. If you are trying to hold a job at the same time, you’ll either have to quit that job or give up making your Quantum Leap through acquisition. You’ll be spending days and nights figuring, re-figuring, analysing and strategizing – and then doing it all over again.


You must have a commitment of support from your family. If not, you have to make a decision – your Quantum Leap or your family. Dan is not fooling around here. When he holds his week-long seminars at Guthrie Castle, he stresses the importance of couples attending – wives or “significant others” – because the depth of commitment required is such that the “other” in the personal relationship must be a signatory to the Quantum Leap his or her partner is about to make. On occasion, a castle attendee has ultimately divorced his or her spouse or business partner, because the other person was unwilling to make a corresponding commitment to “The Dream.”

The total financial risk involved. You must be willing to make a total commitment of your financial resources … to put everything you own on the table. Sure, a lot of Other People’s Money is available. But many sources of OPM are looking to see how willing you are to lay your resources on the line first.


Mark this sentence: If you’re not willing to risk everything you own, now and in the uncertain future. Don’t try to buy a business. If you can’t afford to, or are unwilling to risk your savings, your home, your car, your child’s education – everything you own – find another way to earn a living and file your Dream under “Nightmares I have Avoided,”


The degree of stress you must endure.

life after death isn’t so important as life before death. So I live the son-of-a-bitch, play the cards, and seize the day, stress be damned. I give ulcers, I don’t get them! If you can’t handle stress, if your health is of more immediate concern than your Quantum Leap – move away from that terrible chasm. Once again it is not for everyone.


How to find Your First Acquisition

Your first question is – what kind of business?


First, as Dan preaches to his disciples, “Stick to your knitting.” Look for a business in which you already have expertise. You’ll face enough problems (not “challenges”) borrowing capital, assembling your Dream Team, taking over your company and learning to become a CEO, without having to acquaint yourself with the technical processes and jargon of a whole new industry. Do what you know. Later, after you’ve made several Quantum Leaps and become more comfortable with the acquisition process, you’ll see common characteristics, and be able to handle acquisitions regardless of the industry, much as Dan does now.


Do what you like as well. Regardless of the problems you run into, your Quantum Leap will seem less harrowing when you’re making it in an area you know and from which you derive pleasure.

You want to make your acquisitions in an industry which is fragmented, and dominated by mom-and-pop companies. You want an industry that’s large enough to handle your acquisition aspirations

You want industries that enjoy a 20% to 40% margin. If you get into a business with 3% or 5% profit margins, you’ll take forever to build your dream. Narrow your focus. You might be interested in healthcare, for example, but you need to find a niche no one else is consolidating, such as childcare or senior living facilities.


The size of business you want to acquire depends on the size of your goal, and the clarity of your vision.


Selling the Seller on You

Most business owners, particularly those who have founded and grown their company from scratch, are very protective about their firm. It’s their baby, and even though they’re entertaining the idea of selling it, they want that baby in good hands. They want their employees protected and secure. They want their customers taken care of.


The first question they’re going to ask, at last in their own mind, are, ‘Who are you?’ … and ‘How do I know you can run my company the way it should be run? ‘They do not want to sell it to a kamikaze pilot who’s going to drive it into the ground.


The fact is – everybody wants continuity. Especially you. Continuity of operations, and the strength of that continuity to generate increasing profits, is what you’re buying. A Quantum Leap is actually a direct leap from zero to full profit-making capacity, giving you the opportunity to skip all the growing pains in between. And your ability to convince employees, suppliers and especially customers that nothing will change after the buyout, and make them believe you, will do more than anything else to get your money’s worth out of the new company.


Your Grand Exit – Dying or Selling

“Some long for the glories of this world; and some sigh for the Prophets Paradise to come. Ah, take the cash and let the promise go … ”

Owners sell their companies for several reasons. Some are simply ready to retire, take the cash and enjoy a more leisurely life. Others want an injection of capital to continue to grow their company, or an affiliation with a larger company for greater distribution, marketing or manufacturing resources. The best reason Dan can think: of to sell a company is to free up assets and tum equity into cash. Lots of cash!


Selling is the natural end of a cycle that began when you decided, years ago, to begin or acquire your first company and make your Quantum Leap.

If you’re young and energetic enough – and most of us are – you can take part of your newly liquefied assets or the leverage it provides and acquire a second or even third company, and start the process over again. One thing Dan learned quickly – making an enormous amount of money suddenly, from a single transaction, is habit-forming. Absolutely erotic! You’re 18 again – and you can’t get enough. The more you do it, the more you want to!


Pay Yourself First!

Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of you.

How Much is Your Company Worth?


The market – not you – will determine how much you will ultimately get for your company. The fair market value is what your company, or any commodity, can bring in open exchange between a buyer and a seller in an uncontrolled market environment. You should bring in professionals to perform valuations so you have at least a ball-park estimate of how much to ask.


Take Action Now Or Never!

You also know you have to get comfortable with making decisions by realizing that every decision is not a “Sophie’s Choice,” and nobody is going to die if you screw up. You have to take risks too, understanding that failure is only a learning opportunity, not a social disease.


Risk means you’re not taking a chance, you’re giving yourself a chance for super success.

As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to think big, not only for yourself but for those you take along with you. Your dream – and that’s what it is must be big enough for everybody to see.” like the flag at the front of a parade… like a beacon of clarity that cuts through the fog of bullshit. You must have passion, and be obsessed with your dream, and the values it represents. As we learned from President Ronald Reagan,. when values are clear, decisions are easy.


You have to practice success. Take actions that assume you are successful. Act as if there are no limits to your abilities. Put yourself in risky situations and work your way out. Build your confidence. Expand your comfort zone. And all the time, visualize your dream down to the smallest detail. The carpet style in your comer office … pictures on the wall.


I agree with the strategy voiced by success guru Denis Waitley: write down your dream, keep it in your wallet and read it every day. Don’t just think it – “ink it!”

Find a mentor too – a super successful executive or CEO who has been where you’re going. Some of the nation’s finest minds are retired from active business, and have the time and wisdom they’d love to share with you. Retired successes are national treasures we ignore. Claim one as your own!


While you’re taking care of all these substantial tasks, you have an image-building task as well – to create and feed the perception that you already are who you want to be.


Act successful. Dress and travel in the style of your success. Never share your doubts. Like Trump in bankruptcy, keep on smiling and keep on dealing. If you are perceived to be successful, people will want to be associated with you.

Start working on your Dream Team immediately. Today! Make the first telephone call. You’ll need first-class accountants, lawyers, bankers and associates. Why? Because you can’t do it alone. Get help. And give equity. And don’t hire credentials so much as attitude … people with an appetite for adventure! Then lead them on that adventure. Give them responsibility; enable them to make decisions – and mistakes.


Pay them well, but pay yourself, directors and team – first!


And forget about Plan B or safety nets. Just like the Chinese general who posted his troops with their backs to the river, fight or die. Commit yourself and your people to fight for your deal, your dream as if there’s no tomorrow. If Dan had to identify one factor which is seriously lacking today, it is guts. And that grim unalterable determination to fight and win. If you are a gutless tree-hugger, a new age mystic or at all touch-feely, then this path is not for you.


“Perception is reality, ”

“Share your dreams, but never your doubts. ”

Action really is the key to making it big in this world littered with lay-abouts and armchair dreamers. Anyone can say they want super-success. Anyone can set goals for super success. Anyone can dream of super-success. But the rewards come only to those who actually DO SOMETHING, not talk about doing something.


21 Steps From An Idea To Its Execution


  1. Identity the Idea
  2. Investigate Generalities
  3. Investigate specifics
  4. Commitment to idea – get obsessed!
  5. Preliminary Decision (you and other decision makers).
  6. Get Obsessed
  7. Live it Totally
  8. Investigation continues.
  9. Action Plan (you and other decision makers).
  10. Get Others Obsessed
  11. Walk Your Talk (never share a doubt)
  12. Critical Path (other decision makers).
  13. Detailed Observation of Timeline
  14. Continual Measurement
  15. Implementation (other decision makers).
  16. Focused Follow up at other levels
  17. Focused Follow up at Decision Maker level
  18. Execution
  19. Laser Beam Focus
  20. Lead From the Front (Never second-guess yourself or others)
  21. Re-Evaluation of monitoring process.


The Four Step Action Plan – Abbreviated

  1. Outcome

Desired Completion

  1. Commitment

Pay Price to Action

  1. Measure


  1. Modify

Change Plan as necessary

Measure Modified Plan




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Words to Help You Make Your Millions



The world’s greatest teachers are able to boil down pages of text and hours of oratory into a phrase or quick parable. Over the years I’ve used the quotes of others and a few nuggets of my own wisdom to better clarify Quantum Leap concepts. My proteges have come to call them “Pella-isms”.


Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

Don’t waste time on things you can’t change.

When you deal with the opinionated or egotistical, always give credit where it isn’t due.


Business deals start and end with people – the interaction of flesh and blood, bone and sinew, heart and mind, emotion and soul.

Dream big think big. be big.

Dream big and dare to fail!


The more you investigate, the less you have to invest.

Never, ever second-guess yourself.

Cash only prolongs death. It doesn’t avoid it.


Dan has never seen a “part-time” super successful, high performance person.

A deal has to sound good before it is good.

During Quantum growth, any problem you solve will be replaced immediately by a larger, more complicated problem.


Every party to every negotiation has a comfort zone. The effective negotiator is the one who can define the boundaries of the other party’s comfort zone, then place the deal inside the boundary of that zone nearest his own interests.


Stick to your knitting. To maximize the return on invested capital, deploy your assets, resources and capabilities in those areas wherein lie your expertise and experience.

Man plans; God laughs.

You won’t always have all the answers. Only take seriously the advice of others whom you greatly respect.


The consequences of a misguided decision are insignificant in the cosmos of eternity.

Always shoot for the moon. Even if you don’t hit the bulls-eye, you’ll at least get 80%

Always, always, always pay yourself and your employees first! Through all economic cycles.


Plan for success. With no back-up plans, no ripcords, no fail-safes, or you will fail.

Management performance sins will always be forgiven during periods of rapidly increasing revenues.

Learn to play bad golf well.


Become more disciplined. The pain of discipline hurts less than the pain of regret.

Hunger makes beasts of men, and demons of beasts.

Everybody else is worried about life after death.  My concern is about life before death.


The business world is divided into people with great ideas. and people who take action on those ideas.

If you want things to change. First you have to change.

A man who dwells on his past, robs his future.


There’s a big difference between playing to win and playing to lose.

The difference between a failure and a high performance individual is how each deals with fear. We are all afraid. A high performance person uses his fear to galvanize his actions.

Ignorance is a steep hill with jagged rocks at the bottom.


The only difference between a champ and a chump is “U”.

To succeed in business, you must do more than take a step in the right direction. You have to take a Quantum Leap.

A good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed next week.


In order to really succeed in business, you must have outside advisors. These must be trusted advisors, professionals at your accounting and law firms with whom you have a very special relationship. These advisors become your moles within their own organization, more loyal to you than their employer…motivated, aggressive, ambitious and bright enough – but not as bright as he or she thinks.


You can’t win at poker or business with scared money. It gives off a stench that is repugnant to the other side. If you’re going to play, leave your money at home and play with OPM – Other People’s Money.


The fulfillment of your dream is directly proportional to your desire to succeed … and how much you’re willing to sacrifice. If you are not prepared to die, then you are not prepared to live.

When you get rid of someone, never give them a “hook” with which to get back in. Always make a clean, definable, and irrevocable break.

Quantum Leap success means fishing with nets, not just with lines.


To achieve “hyper-growth”, avert avoidable mistakes, and let your successes run their course. Do more of what you’re doing right – and less of what you’re doing wrong.

You always need a reason to overlook the obvious.

Never underestimate how wrong you can be. Even the most careful planning can be overtaken by external events and circumstances.


Always maintain your personal relationships on the same plane upon which they were formed. True friends will rejoice in your professional successes. Allow them to enjoy them with you.

Your most valuable natural asset is your own gut instinct. Don’t be afraid of it. Your instinct is more power than all of the conventional wisdom in the world.

Business opportunities abound – but formidable barriers exist. And the biggest barrier is psychological. It is you.


Your greatest idea, born out of revolutionary thinking and passion, will die of indifference, apathy and the cancer of low expectations.

Conventional wisdom is almost always wrong.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because something has never been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The fact you have never seen or heard something is not proof that it doesn’t exist.


Every worthy dream has a “pay·price-to·action”. That means you have to give up something to get something. You can’t have it all.

The old Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler” has a message for CEOs. “You’ve galla know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em.” As a CEO you’ll get more advice from your staff than you know what to do with. But it’s up to you to know when to “hold ’em” and when to “fold ’em”.

Listen to your staff. Listen to your gut. Make your decision and move on.


I never met a super successful, high performance person who wasn’t enthusiastic.

The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.

You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there.   But you do need to know where you want to go.


If you have no destination, wherever you end up will be acceptable.

It costs nothing to aim high – but if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit anything.

FEAR is … false Expectations Appearing Real.


“Thinking it over” is for people who can’t take action.

Quantum Growth eliminates clear sailing. So you’d better learn to navigate troubled waters.

From chaos comes order. In chaos is opportunity.


Whoever said money can’t buy you happiness doesn’t know where to shop.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

More of the same usually just gives you more of the same.


It doesn’t matter what morons say.

Give potential associates and partners the “Doofus Test”. Place them under stress to see how they react to pressure as a high performance person.

You are paid in life not for what you know, but what you can do. Or get others to do.


Ideas are a dime a dozen. The person who puts them into action is priceless.

You’ve known all along it’s tough to be successful. But you’d rather hear the fairy tales.

Half-truths and mis-information sell easier – and return harder.


Excuses are the crutches of the untalented and unambitious.

Everyone knows how to manage success.  But no one ever asks, ‘How do we manage failure? ‘

Regret for the past is a waste of the spirit and makes no money!


Minutia never makes money. It only makes manure.

Super successful people are macro managers who know that less control means more control.

Always respect the individual on the other side of the deal. He is not as stupid as you may think. And you’re not as smart as you think.


Logic can be a logical process which leads to a wrong conclusion.

It isn’t a case of taking a big chance. It’s a matter of giving yourself a big chance.

The more self-esteem you give others, the more you have. And the more you have, the easier it is to give away.


Most successful people do it poorly until they do it well. Just keep blundering along.

You can’t wait until it’s exactly right. The product of your quest for perfection is … paralysis.

High performance people get paid for performing their hobbies.


I may be wrong – but I’m never in doubt!

Don’t hire credentials. Hire attitude.

Surprise your associates and your enemies.


Structure follows strategy. If you base your strategy on your existing structure, you limit your potential to what you’ve already done.

Watch your peaks and troughs. As long as your lows are higher than before, your Quantum Leap Action War Plan is working.

A guarantor is a fool with a pen.


No matter how tempting, never accept short-term solutions to long-term problems.

Too many companies try to patch when they should amputate.

If you want to travel above and beyond the herd, don’t try to be better. Try to be different or better yet, be first!


Your doubts are not the product of accurate thinking, but habitual thinking.

Find your passion and wrap your career around it.

Live your life on purpose!


You’ll be motivated by inspiration … or desperation. It’s your choice.

People with low self-esteem protect themselves by not taking risks. High self-esteem gives you the power of confidence to take chances.


Give yourself permission to make mistakes. It’s called learning.

The only things in this life that you’ll really regret are the risks, and adventures you didn’t take.

Nothing you’ll ever do in business is a matter of life or death. In the cosmos of time, any decision you make is a fart in the wind.


You cannot make a Quantum Leap if you don’t share the wealth with your Dream Team and employees. Be it cash, equity, options or warrants that are tangible rewards for performance and loyalty.

Never, ever share your doubts with anyone.

Being all you can be is possible for anyone, but super success is not for everyone. Period.


Fear of failure is caused by lack of self-esteem and confidence. Dealing with fear is the key to super success.

Don’t take high performance advice from your peers, family or friends unless they are high performance people themselves.

You cannot grow exponentially by yourself. You need the support of others.


Don’t set time limits for achieving goals. They should transcend time.

Set goals you cannot achieve in your lifetime.

Business should not run smoothly while you’re making your Quantum Leap. Chaos is normal. The business on quiet waters is still in the harbor.


Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.

The road to success is always under construction.

Get ruthless about trying something different.


Motivation is your “fire in the belly”. But unless it’s fuelled it goes out.

I have no more mountains left to climb but me!




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