, it’s easy to talk about your success and we will. I want to start our conversation with the thirteen failed businesses. Most people would have given up after one, two or a few.
How did you keep your head down and keep going until you found success?
At the time, because I started early, my whole goal was to make enough money to provide for my mom because my mom and dad got divorced when I was sixteen years old. Shortly after that, within a year my dad went bankrupt in Hong Kong. He lost $1 million. It was US $1 million in debt. A lot of people say, “I’ve always been driven and motivated. I’m always a go-getter.” That's not quite what motivated me. People change because of either motivation or desperation. It was more desperation that I had no choice. I had to keep going. I had to make it happen.
It doesn't matter if it's ten businesses, thirteen businesses or fifteen businesses, I had to keep going. It’s because of all those failures, I was $150,000 in debt at twenty somewhat years old. I calculated. If I was to get a job and put some money aside, it would take me decades to pay the debt off. You either make it or you die trying type scenario. That was it. That's what kept me going. I was hungry and I tried all the things. I tried vending machines with a couple of my buddies. I was doing landscaping. I was delivering stuff. I was fixing computers for people. I tried network marketing. All these crazy little ventures that I wanted to make it. I didn't have the skills and business acumen. I was naive and none of them worked.
When I found my first mentor, Alan, I was sitting down with him. I was asking him, “What should I do?” He said, “Tell me what you’ve tried.” I said, “I tried all of these businesses and I couldn't get customers. I’m not getting enough sales. My competitors, they suck. The government, I don't know why in Canada they take so much and tax dollars.” I was complaining all this shit. My mentor said to me, looked me straight in the face and said, “You suck because you suck as a business person.” That was a wakeup call for me. I learned a lesson. From then on, I focused much more on improving my skills, which is a lot of what you believe in. Improving your own skill sets, improving on your own mindset, learning sales, learning marketing, learning leadership and management, and that's how you grow.
What's the story of you meeting Alan?
I was the guy who would buy all these business magazines, home business magazines. I was desperate. I would reply and send back the ad, get these free reports and free stuff because I couldn't afford to buy them. You would get on a lot of mailing lists. Do you know the direct response? You get a lot of junk mail. I was fascinated when I got these junk mails because they were compelling. I didn't know what it's called. Now I know it's called copywriting, but back then I thought they were fascinating, interesting words. Alan, my first mentor, he used to run one of the biggest financial education seminar company in Canada. He was the first guy that brought Robert Kiyosaki to Canada before he was famous and many other people.
I was on his mailing list and he would send us these direct mail letters. I was getting all these junk mails and I was always fascinated by this person, Alan Jacques, who's sending me these letters. His marketing was the best I’ve seen. I would collect them and put them in the little three-ring binders. One day, I got invited to these free workshops. These free workshops have presentation offers after you teach this. It's a 90-minute talk. In the end, they would drag you to the back of the room if you want to invest further, if you want to continue to learn. I was sitting in the back of the room, and there was a gentleman sitting next to me. I looked over. I was looking at the speaker’s name tag and I said, “Holy shit,” in mind, “It couldn't be. Could it?” It says Alan Jacques.
I said, “Are you Mr. Alan Jacques?” He said, “Yes, I am.” I was star struck. I was like, “I love your work. I love what you do. I’m a big fan.” He was like, “We do a lot of seminars. We do a lot of workshops. We do good seminars.” I said, “Not the seminars. I love your marketing. I love your letters. I save them. I hole punched them.” It's the first time ever in his life that a crazy, Asian, spiky-haired young kid complimented him. I was screaming, saying, “I love your letters.” It's crazy. He was flattered by that. He said, “Thank you.” He was shocked. I was screaming, yelling down there. You can imagine the speaker at the front almost wanted to kick me out because I was interrupting his entire presentation. I was screaming in the background like crazy. I was excited.
I asked him the question that changed my life. I said, “Can I buy you lunch?” I will always remember. He paused, hesitated a bit and he said, “What the hell. I’ve got to eat.” We went to the restaurant and I sat down with him. The first thing I said, “Alan, I’m honored you're having lunch with me. I’m a big fan. I’m a young guy.” I was telling him a little bit about what I do. I said, “I’ve got to be upfront. I’m struggling financially. I’m in debt. I’m honored I can buy you lunch. If you want a little drink, a burger, it should be fine. If you order a steak or anything like that, my credit probably won't go through.” I was that honest. He laughed and he was like, “No worries. A sandwich would do, a burger would do.” That's how we started our relationship from there. He always tells me that incident, how as a young guy I was not trying to pretend, I got my shit together, things like that. I was telling him I was struggling. That's how I found my first mentor.
What did Alan do for you?
After the incident, I was stalking him because I asked him to be my mentor afterward and he said, “No,” because he’s never had an apprentice in his entire life. He never had a mentee. I thought this is someone I will learn from. I didn't even know marketing exists. I just knew this is someone I will learn from. Do you know when you find someone you gravitate towards? He had a home office. I was showing up at his house. I was stalking the guy, which I don't recommend, but that's what I did. I remember I had those landscaping experience in the past. I would mow his lawns. I would take care of his flowers and all that stuff. I would keep bugging him.
Alan's wife back then thought, “Who is this Asian kid who’s showing up at the house every day? What is going on? Did you have another woman, another kid? What is this?” I got into a lot of trouble. Finally, because of my persistence, he said, “I’ll work with you. I’ll take you under my wings, but you’ve got to do whatever I tell you to do.” I was helping him do admin work where I took the envelopes. I would take it to the post office, clean up the office and organize. It's a clerk basically. Alan is an interesting guy. He never sat down with me and taught me. That's not how he teaches people. With a piece of copy, he was like, “Go work on this. Rewrite this.” That’s how he teaches. It's me learning through observation. He's got a massive library. I’m talking a library at his house with probably 2,000, 3,000 books with the best marketing materials you can find.
He would say, “You can use my library.” That's it. He gave me access to it. From there I will learn, I would observe. Finally, he would give me minor editing and then he said, “Write something.” I said, “I can’t write. I flunked English twice when I was in high school.” He said, “That’s what I do. Here, write and then read these books. Learn it.” That was it. I was like, “Okay,” and then I would do it bit by bit. There was one incident, a profound moment that happened. After working for a number of months, I crafted a sales letter to promote one of his upcoming events. Because of the language barrier, I put in a tremendous amount of time to write a good sales letter. It took a lot of time. People think, “No. It takes weeks, sometimes months.” It took me many weeks. I put it together, I brought it to him. He looked at it for three seconds, he crumpled it up and threw it away, “This is shit. Do it again.” I was crushed. I said, “Okay, fine.”
I burned the midnight oil. I worked hard. I rewrote the whole thing, a new headline and a new offer. I put it together and went to see him. He looked at the sales letter again. He said, “This is shit.” He crumpled it and threw it away again. The second time, I was a little bit upset because I was like, “Alan, you have no idea how many hours I put in. This is as good as it gets. It cannot get better than this.” He said, “It’s shit. Do it again.” I do it again and again many nights, I went back, and I showed him the third time. The same thing, he said, “This is shit. Why are you bringing me this garbage?” He tore it apart and threw it in the trashcan. There’s no way in hell. This is everything I have got. This back and forth, the seventh time, then he looked at me. I brought it to him. This time I’m going into it almost expecting to be rejected. I’ve been rejected six, seven times. This is going to be shit again. I was like, “I tried my best. What do you want from me?” He looked at it for a long time. He flipped through it back and forth, looked at pages. He said, “That’s pretty good.” I was like, “Thank God.”
This is after many years later, not that incident, I’m talking many years later. We had a conversation. He said, “Do you remember back then, Dan, when you brought me the first letter?” I said, “Yeah, I remember.” He said, “Let me tell you something.” I said, “Tell me.” He said, “The first draft was good. I knew you'd got so much more potential within you. You’ve given it 100%. That’s not 100%. The second time you thought you couldn't do it, that's 100%. That’s not your 100%. The seventh time, that version compared to the first one is not even 100% better, it’s ten times better. Whatever you thought your limit is that’s not your limit. I want you to learn the lesson that you can squeeze so much more out of your talents.” We laughed. I said, “I’m still mad,” but that taught me a lesson about business and life that when we think this is all we've got, you've got so much more that you could give, you can share, and you can be more. Sometimes we put limits on ourselves. That was a huge lesson learned from him. He didn't tell me the lesson, but he did it to me.
To have someone be willing to do that, that says a lot.
He's never had another mentee in his life. I’m the only mentee he’s ever had.
It’s the power of persistence. I want to talk about your book that's out. Before we get there, let's bridge the gap of how you go from understanding copywriting, understanding how to market and sell, now to writing your fifteenth book. Get us from that moment in time to now. What transpires? What takes place?
After the one year of apprenticeship under Alan, from there I went out on my own. I branched out to start my own advertising agency as a copywriter. In my early twenties, I was a copywriter. I was working with a lot of speakers and trainers in that space. I worked with a lot of different people. From all those failures before my mentor, after mentorship I was making about $10,000 a month as a copywriter, as a young guy. I know $10,000 for most people is not a lot of money. As a young guy, $10,000 is the most money I’ve ever made in my entire life compared to all those failures. That was huge for me. From there copywriting and then the clients coming to me, that's what I referred to as my first high-income skill, which is what I talk about in the book, why I believe you need the high-income skill.
My second high-income skill is as I was writing copy for clients, they come to me and they say, “Dan, you wrote all these copy and sales letters for me. How am I going to use these things?” I was like, “You do this and this. You run a mailing list. You will do this and this. I will teach them about the list, direct mail.” They said, “Can you do it for me?” From my copywriting business, that's my first high-income skill. My second high-income skill is consulting. I was twenty somewhat years old. I was consulting with business owners at a young age. That taught me a lot because I gained a lot of perspectives for different industries, what works and what doesn't. I can conceptualize and simplify things. That's how my mind works. In 2004, I went online. Since then I got into selling things on eBay. I was importing Bruce Lee collectibles and selling them on eBay. I was doing affiliate marketing or digital marketing. Back in 2004, the internet was at its infancy.
The opportunities for advertising, I was running ads on Google, on pay-per-click. I was selling a $47 product. We could get a sell for $5, $10 all day. I had a ton of products on ClickBank. I was a young guy. I was making a lot of revenue, a lot of income, which is good and bad. When you make a lot of money early on, sometimes it's not a good thing because you do stupid things with it. You do and I learned my lesson. I’m interested to hear your perspective too. You know how in the education space, your speakers or trainers, a lot of people come and go. You trained many. You've probably seen this more than anybody else that they come in. They might be popular. They may be a hot pot speaker for a couple of years and then they’re gone. They disappear, whatever business they have. A lot of them don't have longevity. Dustin, you started back then. How many years ago?
It was 2004 when I got started.
Let’s say from that period of time that people started, like our group. Fast forward now. How many people are still around?
It's maybe 10% if you're lucky that had that longevity.
Out of 10%, how many of them still excel and do well?
Even less, it's the 80/20 Rule.
That’s exactly what happens. All over the years, we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. It's a global organization. We have students down in 150 countries that we’re impacting many people's lives from that immigrant kid to where we are now. The books and latest book published by ForbesBooks. It's also going to be available in all the airports. We’re going to do that as well. Life is from there to here now. Anything is possible is what I want to say.
You've written a ton of books. Why this book?
I finished my last book, which was F.U. Money
, several years ago. You know how hard it is to write a book. I swear to myself after the last book, I’m not writing another book. I’m done with this book writing thing. I’m too busy. As I was going through F.U. Money
and we've sold hundreds of thousands of copies of F.U. Money
. Even with give-away, we still sold a lot of copies. I was reading through it. It was several years ago, and that Dan Lok was more brash, less mature, more arrogant. It’s the old me. That's the book that's most well-known. A lot of people read that. Fast forward to now, I’ve evolved. This is more than several years. What's my latest thinking of how I view business, even how I view life?
Since then, my father passed away. There are a lot of different things that's happened in my life. It’s how I view business and I run a much bigger business. I’m like, “People need an updated version of who I am now. What do I want people to know?” I don't have kids yet, but I was talking to Jennie. I said, “What book do I want to give my kid to read?” She said, “Dan, do you want to give them F.U. Money?” Is that the book I want my kid to understand? “This is what your dad is like.” I was like, “That’s when your dad was in his 20s, 27, 28.” That's what inspired me. I need a new book. I said, “I’m not going to do it, but I’m going to do it.” That thinking, finer Dan Lok 2.0, the more mature version of me. How I view business, how I view life and where I am now. That's how this book came about.
I’m always fascinated by this because I look back to my twenties and I can definitely relate to being brasher, more forward, more of a risk-taker. Fast and loose is a better way to say it. What has happened in several years for you? How have you changed? Go a little deeper.
I will say 20 to 30 years old, let's take that period of time. I was struggling financially. I was in debt. I needed to pay off my debt and to grow my business. I was chasing success because I wanted to make a lot of money. It's all about making money. When I was an immigrant, when I was going through high school, I got bullied. We’d go in the whole group psychology, but I was an invisible kid. I thought success would make me feel good about myself. I was chasing success, but not in a healthy way. Back then, from my 20 to 30s, it’s the way I do business. It’s, “I win, you lose.” I was the guy who would grab all the chips on the table. “I don't want you making money. I want me making money.” I was self-centered. It's me, it's arrogance and all this stuff. I’m not proud to admit, but I have to explain because that's what I went through. I wanted to make a lot of money. I wanted the internet lifestyle and did all of that. When you did it, it's like, “Now what?”
The funny thing is my mom is like an angel. If you know the DISC profile, my mom is people person, always helping people, so is my dad. When I got into the business, it’s the first huge business failure I had because my business partner took the money and disappeared. In my mind, I register that all business people are bad people. To win, you have to be ruthless. You have to do whatever it takes to win because that's what I thought. If you don't, you get hurt and you hurt your family. That's what I learned as a young guy and it’s wrong programming. That's how I operated for those several years. I was the go-getter personality, whatever it takes, long hours and a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to that. There was usually a turning point. I talk about that in the book. Thirty years old, one morning I woke up and Jennie, my wife, was with me. Tears were coming down my cheek.
I’m a guy who almost never cries. She's seen me cry maybe twice. We've been together for several years. Tears were coming down on my cheek. My wife was freaking out because she was like, “What is going on? Are you sick? Are you in pain? Do we need to go to the hospital?” I said to myself, “I don't know what is going on. It’s almost like depression coming. This emotion is weird. I can't control it. This is strange.” I was crying, bawling, I couldn’t control my emotions. This never happened in my life and my wife was freaking out. We talked. I explained this emptiness in my mind, in my soul, in my heart. From there, I went onto a self-discovery journey, a deep dive into a lot of the spiritual work, the religious work. At 30 years old, I wanted to find myself. I wanted to find out who I am. What do I want to do? What do I want to be? You had the money, the house or the car and now what? You're 30 years old. Who are you? Who do you want to be?
I know this is a business show, but I want to talk about finding a life purpose because it's important. I said, “When am I the happiest? When are you the happiest in your life?” Back then, I was happiest when I had no money but when I was teaching martial arts. That was it. My goal back then was to open up a little martial arts school. That was my dream. I had no interest in money. It’s because of family and all that I had to make money. That was me. That was the happiest of my entire life. What could I do to structure my life so I can experience more of that? That changed my whole outlook. That changed the way I run a business. That changed everything that I do. From there, I said, “I like to teach. I know I have the teacher's heart because I like to do that. How could I do more of that?” and I did. That's when I got back into teaching but from a different place.
Let's face it, a lot of speakers and trainers are in it just for the money. They want to sell stuff back of the room. They want to close people. They want to do all of that stuff. We know a lot about them. They don't care about people. They walk into a room. What's the buying unit? What's this and that? I get all that. I get the sell. I’ve been making sales and marketing my whole life. I get all that stuff. I’m like, “What if I can do in a way that is different from what everybody else does? I want to be me. I want to give value. I want to do it in a way that it's me. I could give, I could share and I could do all that.” That's what we know the social media and that's why we create content. We do collaboration and do all these things.
From 20 to 30 years old, I was chasing success. It’s what Tony Robbins talks about. I was running on a track of success trying to win the fulfillment game. It doesn't work. They’re two different tracks. I was good at achievement, running on the track. I suck at the art of fulfillment. I switched. I said, “I want to master the art of fulfillment, not just achievement.” It's funny how it works. It changed everything, the way I operate and the scope that we do things. It changed everything. Not only my business is much bigger when I least focus on the dollar, profit, all of that stuff. Now, I attract the best people, brand, everything I do. I’m doing what I love to do, which is teaching all day and that's what I do. It's what I love to do. I’m living my purpose. Here’s a good question for your audience. If you want to know if you are living your purpose, it’s simple. I ask them one question. If you make ten times more money, if you have ten times more money now, would you still do what you do?
If the answer's no, you're not doing your purpose. That's not your calling. I ask myself the question, you can ask me, “Dan, if you make ten times more money now, will you still do what you do?” I can tell you with no hesitation, “100% absolutely.” I do make a lot, ten to twenty times more money than what I was making back then. I’m still doing what I do. It's easy. You could tell now. If a couple of years later I make ten times more than what I make now, what would I be doing? I would tell you, I will do the same thing, and then you know you’ve found your thing. That's how it should be. Entrepreneurs go through this. That's why we can see the subtitle to the Unlock It!
book is The Master Key to Wealth, Success and Significance
. It’s how to transition from success to significance, which is a different thing. That's beyond success.
One of the things I want to make sure we cover is this Wealth Triangle Dynamics. I saw that about the book. Can you break that down? What exactly is it?
Over the years, what I’ve seen and this is the path I follow myself. People talk about, even on social media, they think it’s, “Be an entrepreneur. Go start your own thing and start your own business,” and doing all of that. I tell people, “Don't start a business. Don't be an entrepreneur.” The first thing you should do is develop what I call a triangle, three parts of a triangle. The first pillar is what I call the high-income skill. I define high-income skill as a skill that can make you $10,000 or more per month, basically $120,000 a year. If you think about speaking, that could be a high-income skill. Back then, my high-income skill was copywriting and then it's consulting. You're still trading hours for dollars, but you're trading your hours for high dollars. It's not a high-income job because a high-income job you’re dictated by how much you get paid by the company or by your manager. A high-income skill is a skill set that you have. You can offer to the market place in exchange for money.
The second part is what I call scalable business. If you want to build a business that is scalable, then you could do that. You have people making you money. You have systems making you money. A scalable business generates profit. The last piece is what I call high-return investments. I define high-return investments as investments that would generate at least a 10% return for your year in and year out. It’s not speculation. It’s not like buying something then speculating. I’m talking about solid investments. You think about the triangle. What makes this powerful is it gives you a framework of, “I have a job. Should I quit my job and start my own thing?” No, you should develop your high-income skill first. Once you have the high-income skill, you have something to fall back on that’s your safety net. The worst time to start a business is when you have no money. It's when you're desperate, when you can't even pay rent next month because business takes time.
It sometimes takes years. How long did it take for your business to take off? How many years? Many years. It's not months, it’s years. It's going in something and saying, “I’m going to make this profitable in one year.” You're in La La Land. You're not realistic. When you have the high-income skills, you can always fall back on, then your high-income skills gives you that peace of mind. It gives you income. Income is king. From there, your scalable business gives you cashflow, gives you profit. From profit, then you can now invest in your high-return investments. It builds your net worth. Not all money is created equal. It builds your net worth. I like real estate, but it depends on what people I like. You have this cycle going on. As you keep improving your earning ability, you improve your high-income skills. You have more money to put into your business and then your business also buys some investments. That's the Wealth Triangle.
I’ll give you the artist scenario. Let's say someone comes to me and says, “Dan, what should I invest in? I’ve got $10,000. I’ve got $20,000.” It’s yourself. Don't buy crypto. Don't buy anything. Invest in yourself because it increases your earning ability versus trying to point to investments. Someone is working in a dead-end job and now they're going to go flip real estate. That's a bad idea. I’ll give you a perfect example, someone who has a high-income skill of being a Facebook person. Let's say they’re good at consulting, working with people, helping them with Facebook ads. Let's that’s their high-income skill. They're making $15,000 a month. That means they're good at what they do.
Someone like that, if they want to start an eCommerce business, don't you think the chances them succeeding is a lot higher because they've already been doing it for other clients? Now they’ve got to do it for themselves. They're building on a solid foundation. The chances of them succeeding is much higher versus the people who want to skip the high-income skills and they want to jump into high-return investments or the scalable business. That's what I’ve learned and that's what I teach all my students. You want to know where you're at and what you need to focus on. This gives you the framework. You've got a business that's making a ton of money. You'll know what to do with the profit. Put into high-return investments. If you jump into that hoping the investments would make you rich, that's not how it works. When I invest in something, I put it in. I don't touch it. When I buy properties, I’m not looking to flip. I’m going to put it there for a long time, not touching it. It's a different philosophy.
Dan, I want to vouch for 100% for this triangle. I don't think you realize this, but the high-income skill, I did that at my previous venture. I learned to speak, learned to copywrite like you. I scaled that business. One of the things I was missing in that triangle was putting that money to work for me. I exited from what you know me as that company and now I’m here at WealthFit sharing that message with entrepreneurs. I am thrilled that you're communicating because it's great to have that high-income skill. When you're 50 or 60 or been working for 20, 30 years but you haven't put money away or haven't built that scalable business, you're going to be in a whole world of hurt.
Most entrepreneurs, because we are creative, go-getters and good at making money, entrepreneurs suck at keeping the money. They’re even worse at multiplying money. The skill you have now that is making you money, it is not the same skill you need to manage and keep it and it's not the same skill you need to multiply it. To multiply it, you've got to think like an investor. As an entrepreneur, we take the risk. We’re aggressive. We’re optimistic. We always think things are going to be better. That's what makes sense. That's how we sell the vision. When it comes to investing, you do the opposite.
You need to have almost a split personality that you are much about the downside, about the risk, of not taking risks, about longevity. It’s a totally different mindset. I would say almost all entrepreneurs, it’s why few of them can be able to make that shift. It’s because they're good at making it, but they're horrible at keeping it. They always think, “Let me invest back into the business.” The problem is this goes through cycles. No business goes like this all the time. If you're not taking money out, you put all the money in, then when there's a downturn in the economy, you’ve got nothing to fall back on. The whole thing becomes an identity. You are not your business.
You’re you. When you think you’re your business, meaning you get all your self-worth from your business, then you don't want to do anything else but the business, but you've got a life too. It's a business and it's a means to an end. You need to put money aside where at the end of the day you want to build that wealth for yourself or your family. It's a different concept. I learned this after I joined YPO, Young Presidents’ Organization
. When I hang out with people at a different level, the way they see money is completely different. It's not about making it. It's not like that. It’s keeping it. The name of the game is not getting rich, it’s staying rich. It's how do you keep the money. How to use money wisely? How do you give it away? How do you help other people how to utilize it? That's something I’m constantly learning as well.
The pivot I made was into a SaaS, essentially. Here at WealthFit, we provide courses and education, but it's a subscription model. I noticed you got into that too. You've got Closers.com
. What's the story behind that? When did you realize you wanted to create it? What exactly is it?
I train high-ticket closers. We have students in 150 countries. As we grow, we have trained many students and they have many success stories. Before the platform, I have friends like you, anybody who came to me and said, “Dan, we need some closers to scale. Do you have some good people you can recommend?” I said, “I’ve got all these top students. There you go.” I thought that's not an efficient way of doing it because it's very mom and pop. You can do it that way. I came with the idea, “What if I can create a platform?”
Here's what happens. Let's say, you're looking for a salesperson. Chances are you might say, “I’m going to post on a job post,” and you get hundreds of thousands of resumes. After thousands of resumes, these few look good. You interview them. After you interview them, you put them on probation and then you train them. This is a long process. I thought, “What if I can shorten it to minutes and hours? What would that look like?” I came up with the idea of Closers.com
and I bought the domain name for a huge amount of money. What if I can have almost like an Uber for closers? When you need a salesperson, you don't need to run ads and stuff.
Let's say you're looking for someone to sell one of your programs. What if you could go to the website, you can see, “I’m looking for someone who understands personal finance. I’m looking for someone who has sold X amount of dollars, who is comfortable selling at this price point.” You can click on a profile and you can connect instantly. Do you see how much time that saves a company? When you can do that and you can give them a rating system that if they do a good job, they closed X amount of sales. You can rate this like Uber. If you can do it that way, how much that would help companies to eliminate all the waste, all that effort? That's what Closers.com
is. We have a line where companies and closers connect. They can just connect.
What's the monetization for you on that or for the company?
, we have multiple business model monetizations. Number one, we have the closers where they're using the CRM. They’re managing the bulk of the business. That's a subscription model. That's one pillar. What happens is with most software, you don't know what is going on with salespeople. We don't know. Are they doing well? Are they not doing well? What's going on? It's not an efficient way to manage. I know because I’ve got a hundred closers working for me. I know what the pain is like. You have the company side and then I have the marketplace in the middle. Closers can get continuing education and they can get certified. They earn different badges. The more education they get. You can say, “I’m looking for someone who makes these sales for me.”
You can see, “This person is taking a LinkedIn prospecting course. This person is taking Dan’s course, a high-ticket closing course. This person has done all these things. Plus, you can see the track record and you see the rating.” That gives you so much more confidence in terms of having these people to join your team, to close for you. The great thing is you don’t need to hire them as an employee. You can hire them just as a freelancer and you're paying because of performance. It's an ecosystem. It's a system that helps companies to generate more revenue, eliminate waste. It's a marketplace to help the closers get better so they can earn more, then for closers to manage the bulk of business in terms of what they do. It ties in with what's happening with the gig economy or what I call the skilled economy.
I want to get into this because it was one of your passions early on no matter what. You trained under Ted Wong, Bruce Lee's client in martial arts. You're big on martial arts being more than an exercise. It's more than that. It’s personal development. It is a way of life for you. What is it about martial arts that get you going?
Everything I do as a businessperson, a lot of my philosophies, I learned that from martial arts. I learned that from Bruce Lee. I’ll give you multiple examples. If you think about martial art, at the end of the day, martial art is not about like, “Am I beating you? I’m kicking someone's ass.” It's a self-discovery process. It doesn't matter how good you are, there's someone bigger, faster, stronger than you. Martial art is one of those things where I love how direct it is. You can talk a big game, a tough game. You put on the two gloves, you find out in seconds what's going on. I love how immediate the feedback is. Plus, it is a process of what I call in limiting your own self-defects.
If I’m working on a punch, I can work on one punch. I can hit it with speed, but could you hit with power? You're powerful. You're quick, but can you it hit it with accuracy? You're accurate, you're powerful, you're quick, but do you know how to judge distance? How's your timing? It's something you could always find something to work on. I love that aspect of it and how it translates into a business. I’ll give you a closing example, a sales example because that's a practical example. A lot of martial arts let’s say karate. Someone throws a strike at you. It’s one kick, it’s one punch. You would block it and then you would counter, that's most martial arts. That’s what they teach. If someone throws this punch, you do it, you block it this way, then you counter.
Bruce Lee's martial art, which is Jeet Kune Do, stands for the way of the intercepting fist. Bruce’s philosophy is not to play defense, but you're intercepting an opponent. Before they hit you, there’s that gap. It could be the intention. It could be their move and you intercept them. That's what he teaches. I borrowed that and I put it into closing. When I’m closing someone on the phone, instead of playing defense, the prospect throws you this objection, then I’m going to block it this way and I’m going to throw back this counter line. He's going to show me another objection, then I’m going to counter. That's the whole philosophy. I said, “This must be a better way to do this,” instead of closing that way. That's why I don't believe in handling objection.
I believe in preempting the objection. How can you set up a call that it doesn't even come up? Do you want me to do a demonstration? Let’s say I’m closing you on a program. I’m selling to you. It’s a closing call. One of the most common objections people talk about is after I do my features, benefits, talk about the program, all of that. You're like, “I want to think about it.” That’s probably the most common one, they’ll think about it. Instead of me waiting at the end and say, “I’ll send you some more information. Can I follow up with you in six months?” That's play defense. That's what everybody does. At the beginning of a call, probably three minutes into, I’ll say something like this, “Dustin, I’m glad that we are on the phone and finding out a little bit more about your needs. Before we get into it, can I ask you a simple question?”
At the end of a conversation, you can say three things to me. One, you could say, “Yes, you believe this is a good fit,” and then our company, our product will move forward and we can help you. The second thing you could say is, “No,” and I want you to know it's perfectly okay to say no to me. The third thing you could say, but I don't want you to is, “I want to think about it,” because most of the time when I hear people say they want to think about it, what they really mean is no. I much prefer for you to tell me a quick no. Is that fair? From there, I’ve already eliminated, I’ve intercepted. We will not get to the end of a call and you would tell me, “I want to think about it,” because we already agreed that three minutes into the call. That's an intercepting way of thinking about it. I applied it in into closing. That's one example.
You've got the book that's coming out. You've got Closers.com
. You've got the High-Ticket. What other projects are you working on? What are you most excited about?
The book is my story. It's my latest insights and latest foundings. It's not a profit project. It’s more a passion project. If anything, at best it's a positioning tool. I’ve written many books, it's okay, but it doesn't affect my businesses. My most important project is Closers.com
as a SaaS. The SaaS is to be able to provide more opportunities for my students who are my closers. We get the most amazing stories. When you transform someone's lives, they don't just say, “Dustin, you helped me increase my sales,” or “You helped me generate more revenue.” All that is good, it’s great. I get the most amazing stories. I’m talking people at the brink of divorce. They learned the closing, now they can communicate better and their relationship is better. They’d be able to communicate with the kids better. They now have much more confidence.
It's a changed person through learning how to close because it builds up their confidence and being able to quit their jobs and do this full-time or the ability to take that to the next level. That to me is what I focus on. It's interesting. It goes back to the 20 to 30 years old. When I was focusing on success, I was hung up on how much revenue? What are my goals? What are the milestones? Those numbers. How much do I want to make? Fast forward, if you ask me now, “Dan, what's your goal?” I’ll tell you I have none. I have objectives for the companies, but I don't have something like, “I’ve got to be like that.” Now, I focus on being. I focus on the moment what I’m doing now. I don't feel I’ve got to get to a certain place and I would feel a certain way. I’m like, “No, I’m enjoying the process and see how much we could do, how many more people we can impact.” I will tell you straight in the eyes I have no goal.
Enjoy the moment and enjoy the ride. For folks that want to know more about the book and want to understand the things you're doing in the world and you’ve got a lot going on which is awesome. What's the best place for folks to check out the book and keep tabs with you?
Dan, thank you big time for being on the show. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, paying it forward and reminding us to be present and enjoy the process.
Once you get the money thing handled, you realize the value of money greatly diminishes after a certain amount. From zero to whatever dollars, say a million, that's great. You get a nice house. After that, whatever you buy, it gives you 5% more pleasure. That doesn't work. If you have one house, two houses, three houses, it gives you more stress. It's more stuff you’ve got to take care of. It doesn't necessarily give you happiness, that's what I’m saying.
I appreciate it, Dan. Thanks again for everything you do. Thanks for being on the show.