Share This Episode

Darren Prince: Repping Celebrities, Addiction & Baseball Card Millions

My guest is Darren Prince, a sports and celebrity agent who grew up in Jersey.

Before that started, he has a mail-order company selling baseball cards at the age of fourteen and sold it for $1 million by the age of twenty.

This show is a doozy. We're going behind the scenes of some pretty epic moments in sports and business.

What you're going to get out of this show, we're talking Magic Johnson, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Dennis Rodman, Pamela Anderson, Chevy Chase, and a lot of others.

How did he put together deals with these people?

We also talk about with over $200 million is the key to negotiation.

If you've got a big deal coming up, you're going to love to read about that.

A big thing near and dear to his heart and in our hearts is addiction and recovery.

As you're about to find out, you're going to hear his story of being a highly functioning addict, how he recovered and now is spreading and sharing his message with the world.

With that said, let's get to it.

Dustin
We are with an icon, a guy who prides himself on working behind the scenes with some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. Mr. Darren Prince, welcome to the show.
Darren
Thanks for having me.
Dustin
I’ve got to start off with this question. I want to go back to when things are crazy in your life. I know you're big on talking about this. You successfully sold a business.
You started representing athletes and celebs such as Magic Johnson, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Dennis Rodman, Pamela Anderson, Chevy Chase and many others we can name drop here but a drug overdose and many tough nights. You call them demoralizing nights and mornings where you couldn't get out of bed without taking prescription medication of some sort. What was going through your life representing some of the biggest names in the world yet not being able to face your true self and having to take drugs to get you going every day?
Darren
I tell people that often when you lose the sense of self, that's the toughest loss because when you have nothing and you hit bottom, it's easy to realize it. I was struggling back and forth like, "How could I have developed and built all of this yet this is going on? I'm going through a rough patch. It's a rough time.” That wasn't the case. In the end, I didn't want to live anymore. I knew that I crossed the line. I knew that I had to find a way to get help before it was too late.
Dustin
Did the people around you know or were you good at hiding this?
Darren
I was great at hiding. I'd say I was a highly-functioning opiate addict for a long time. As far as clients, Magic Johnson and Hulk Hogan were two of the ones that I knew towards the end. Also Steve Simon who ran my company, who I've known since I was ten. My father knew the extent of it because I openly talked about it. I knew that something was very wrong.
Dustin
You started talking about it towards the end. Had you come to realize you had needed help at that point and that's why you started like talking about it to others like you were looking for help?
Darren
I was desperate. It got to a point where I figured I have to start telling some people about this because I don't know where to turn. I don't know what to do. In my mind, I was too busy to go to what we have to do it the right way.
By the grace of God, the help came by my uncle and his then-girlfriend, Andrea, visiting my mother on July 1st of 2008. They did a pop-by visit at my old condo and they were both in recovery. I told them everything that was going on.
Dustin
I have a number in my family that deals with it. I feel like this particular person is not ready to hear it. Can people that are in your family that care about you help you if you're not ready to be helped?
Darren
It's got to come within that person. I get so many calls to this day. I speak all over the country from family members, loved ones, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters, brothers and friends. If that person doesn't want the help, they're not going to get the help.
Dustin
It's so crazy. I'm sitting here trying to be logical about it and I know it's not a logical thing, but what do you do? Do you let them hit bottom?
Darren
There are ways to force somebody to their bottom. If there are financial repercussions, if there's a family business, you cut somebody off, these interventions sometimes are effective depending on who's there. Sometimes if children are involved, I've seen that work as a bottom. It's got to be within them. It's got to be within their soul to realize that something is very wrong that they need the help.
Dustin
You said this was turning your bottom into your beginning. How do one that is facing what you faced and many others that are out there facing this problem know it's bottom?
Darren
I got to a point where I was going to sleep at night and hoping I wouldn't wake up because a few years earlier, I'm sitting center court and had dinner with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for this most epic historic reunion. I couldn't be present for that. A couple of years after that I was in Vegas, but Dennis Rodman had an overdose during NBA All-Star Weekend. All by myself, my then-wife in the room who obviously flipped out and called 911 and all these moments that were passing by and it happened.
I was missing life. I wasn't present anymore. I was trying to numb myself from whatever this miserable life that I thought I had was. I was always looking for that outside fix. That was ultimately the inside job.
Dustin
It blows my mind. You were at some of the most iconic things you talked about, the meeting with Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Do you remember being in the room? Do you remember things around it or is that completely erased from your memory and you knew you were there?
Darren
I remember the majority of it, but I also remember on that elevator with Smokin’ Joe and five doors down the suite Ali was staying. An hour before, I was in the room sniffing Percocet and OxyContin because I didn't feel like I belong for a single second. These two kings loved and respected me more than I ever and loved and respected myself.
It all goes back to my childhood. It goes back to deep, underlying insecurities. Feelings of less an adequacy and growing up being labeled as somebody with a learning disability and not speaking up, which is why my passion now. I love speaking with adults and companies, but teams are where it's at because whatever I can do to use my platform to share this gift, to tell these teams, “Don't ever go down there with what Darren Prince did,” is the greatest privilege of my life.
Dustin
How do you help teens realize? I think back to when I was a teen. You got high school and the whole popularity contest and many pressures like the crazy pressures back then. How do you cut through all that and say, "Be you and you are good enough?"
Darren
The truth is you’ve got to ask them why in the first place. Why are you experimenting with these vapes now or weed or drinking on the weekends? It doesn't often come up enough that the parents don't address it that way. There's a reason why it doesn't get out of the experimental stage and experiment becomes a weekend thing.
I didn't have the courage to speak up because that action made me feel good. It gave me that missing link of whatever hole in my soul that I had because I never felt good enough. My story and these kids can look at me now and say, “Look at everything he's accomplished. He's so open and candid about things he would've done differently.” Don't be Darren Prince to put a drug or drink or something in your system to fit in.
Dustin
When you speak to these kids, is it more about listening, be open and communicate? Maybe you did do a drug or maybe you do drink or whatever. Is it more about being open or is it like, "Don't put that stuff in your body?" What is that message?
Darren
You can stop many of them from experimenting in this world. It's that curiosity. It's when it becomes more than an experiment. When you have that mind-blowing feeling that Darren Prince had, that's a problem. It's not meant to do that to you. Most people I know take a pill and they have a couple of drinks in the first experience. If they ever do it to get a hangover, they stay away from it. They take an opioid. They get so violently ill that they said, "I'll never do that again." My brain was the complete opposite.
Dustin
I'm curious for those that do go that path and do get consumed by it, what is your advice to others like chasing that feeling versus maybe reasoning up or saying, "I don't want to chase that feeling. I want to be me.” What's your advice there?
Darren
Remember my story because that was me. I would assume myself 23 years of hell if I had Darren Prince talking to a young Darren Prince and saying, "It doesn't need to be this way." If you speak to a guidance counselor, friend, teacher, a loved one that you can trust, understand this too, other kids, peers, friends in school, everybody is going for something.
There's a reason that bullies bully. There's a reason you've got the nerds. You've got all these different clichés and the groups. Whatever group you're a part of, there's still a pressure to be accepted within that group. Most people don't realize at that age when you're twelve, thirteen, fourteen that there are other ways to deal with it.
Instead of being part of the crew and thinking it's the in crew because you're all smoking a joint together, you're drinking on the weekends or buying illegal drugs. That's not part of the in crew.
The in crew to me now is being cool, being sober, being present and helping people that were Darren Prince with their struggles to speak up and say, "You don't need to be this way. Why don't you be like us? We'll help you to find your real self so you can save yourself decades of hell." Sometimes it's worse. I'm lucky to be alive. I shouldn't be here by all rights talking to you now.
Dustin
That's a pretty profound statement. Why do you think you are here?
Darren
I know that God had a much bigger plan for Darren Prince. I'd often say it wasn't the Magic Johnson and the Hulk Hogans or the Ric Flairs or Dennis Rodmans and Charlie Sheens and all these names. That had nothing to do with my purpose. That's my job. That's what I do. Who I am first and foremost is a recovery advocate, a fan of the movement around the country to make sure people understand that hope and recovery exists. I want to send a preventative message to those teams as well to not do what I did.
Dustin
We talked a little bit about alcohol, opiate and epidemic. While you were talking about those, what occurred for me is workaholism, which is one I can relate to. Do you see them as something similar having done both? You worked yourself to the bone, building your agencies, building other businesses and also you've been a part of the downside of drugs and alcohol. What do you say about workaholism? Is that a thing?
Darren
Everybody has something. A little bit of a balance is okay too. I'm still a work in progress. I don't do therapy much anymore, but I have a call with my therapist once every few weeks. We had a break. I started to put my phone now in my kitchen when I go to bed. I've had the best six to eight hours of sleep in my life instead of waking up and texting. I need that drive too. I can't have it fully removed because that's what makes my success with my celebrities and my athletes.
They love that fact that a big deal gets done. That's good and great. After we did the first-ever casino for a Magic event at the Hard Rock, I'm on the phone with Magic the next morning and we celebrated for the first two minutes of the call. It's like how many other events can we start flying to? That's good you celebrate it, but now go out and get it done again.
Dustin
That's tricky because I can get alcohol and drugs from afar meaning like, "Out of sight, out of mind," although I know people go in and find it. Your phone, that's the thing that brings you money. That's the thing that drives your business and yet you found a way not to let it be a vice by putting it in the kitchen.
Darren
It took me a long time. It was a breakthrough that I saw online. It was Jay Shetty's, one of the inspirational under 30s, him and Lewis Howes at the front of mind. Gary Vee, I watched him all the time. Gary is a good friend and they've got these simple messages sometimes that if you listen to them that can change the trajectory of your life and the quality of your life.
You're never too young or old to learn and make that change. It's great because at the end of the day, what's any of us going to miss in the middle of the night that's going to happen? God forbid it's a tragedy, it’s not going to matter whether it's 3:00, 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. If it's a huge business deal and it's legit, it's still going to be there five hours later when you wake up. If it's a different time zone, it might take another 24 hours to get in touch with the person.
What you're doing by sacrificing your health and I was in being so glued at the hip by it, I can tell already the change has been incredible.
Dustin
Truth is the truth. I can relate to that. I want to talk a little bit about the historical moment of you going to the White House. I find this fascinating. You were a guy consumed by drugs and alcohol at one point and yet you arrive at the White House, 1 of 200 or so people invited when the president signed into law an opiate $6 billion bill. What was that like?
Darren
That was my third time at the White House. This was the most special because I wasn't invited by the guest. I went in by myself and the security clearance is always pretty crazy with four or five layers of it. I remember looking up at the sky and with my dad and not here anymore, saying, "This is remarkable. I truly found my purpose through my pain." Who would have thought 200 people in the world invited to be part of this historic bill being signed.
Dr. Drew Pinsky is a dear friend and client and he wasn't invited. He was scratching his head. When I told him I was there, he's like, "We were waiting for the phone call,” to put him and his wife for some reason. I don't know what happened. He should have been there right in the front row. He's a great guy.
Dustin
How did you process that night? You're there at the signing of the bill. Did you have any special moment or revelation? Did it hit you or did this stuff come after the fact?
Darren
I'll tell you what happened was after it happened, I got to spend some time with Kellyanne Conway and Governor Christie, who went to my high school. I told them. She knew all about my book and she said, "I got it. Thank you so much. Thank you for your service." I told her something that my ex-fiancé and I used to talk about all the time, Priscilla.
That if they develop a program in high school where these kids can start developing better self-worth techniques, self-esteem, self-awareness, it will change the entire course of addiction, alcoholism, depression, mental illness and they were blown away by it. This is something we need to talk about. It's a simple thing that if you put 50, 60 kids in a class and they're all dealing with the exact same emotions.
Even if a bully is covering it up by being a bully because he was bullied or hurting other people because that's what happens. You're all not going to be there as a group talking about this out in the open, being raw, candid and real. You're going to have tremendous breakthroughs. We're able to have that conversation with Governor Christie. It was pretty cool.
If I was President Trump, it's such a simple thing to make sure that every elementary, every junior high and every high school in America would have it. Obviously, he's got his hands full with so many other things going on. I plan on next time I'm invited back for another one of the opiate summit stuff to try to push getting a meeting with somebody very high up in his administration to sit down and talk about it because it is such a simple fix. People don't realize it. That's what it comes down to. Everybody is always trying to, like I was, looking for that outside fix there was ultimately inside job.
Dustin
I can relate to that. I found personal development, personal growth, whatever you want achievement later in life, past me leaving school. If I had learned some of this stuff, self-worth, self-value, it'd be a whole other game. I'm glad you see that and advocating for it. I want to switch us over into when still you were very young, fourteen at the time, you had started a baseball card or sports card business. By twenty, you'd sold it for $1 million. How did you get into it first and how did you exit? What was the exit deal?
Darren
I talked about in my book. I was fourteen and a lot of my friends at that point, baseball cards weren't cool anymore. I have four different odd jobs squeezing orange juice. I was a busboy. I was working at a sneaker store. I was delivering newspapers. I was a late bloomer. Girls weren't of interest to me.
My friends that were starting to date and go out a little bit more than didn't care about their baseball cards. I buy a box for $30, $50. I had to take all my money. Little by little, I had tons of it without even realizing that these price guides, I'd get them each week in the mail because there was no internet back then. That's a newspaper. I met a couple of years before Beckett and the cards started going up. I got the light bulb on my head.
I went to my dad one day with a newspaper ad for a baseball card show. I said, "I need insurance on my cards, about eight or nine." He looked at me and thought I was crazy and said, "I'll call the Homeowners Insurance in case something happens. I'll get you $1,000 insurance.” I go, “Dad, $8,000 or $9,000." He looks at me like I'm crazy. Once in a while, that works at much. I'd go upstairs in my pajamas, I show him the prices and he goes, "Who's going to buy them?" I pulled out this big newspaper ad. I go, "For $30, I can get a table in two weeks and I can sell."
Every day after school, I made sure that I was going to have the most beautiful six or eight-foot display with the prices professionally on each cardholder. It was going to be the most beautiful little store that anybody ever saw. I made over $1,000 on that Sunday afternoon. That was it. I was hooked.
My mom and dad knew that school wasn't much for me. My dad noticed that I was a statistical genius studying the back of these cards. I could tell you what Darryl Strawberry and Madden’s batting average was the year before, how many runs batted, base percentage and it gave me a cool sense of self-worth because I'd come to school. The guys were arguing with for stature who is better, they would always be like, "Ask Prince. Prince will tell us. Prince knows who did better last week or last month." I went for it. That was it.
Dustin
That was like fantasy sports before it existed. Why did you sell?
Darren
Because I was enamored one day at a show in White Plains, New York and I saw a line wrapped around the corner for Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, and I said, "How cool is this?" Something about the whole celebrity thing to being insecure and the coolness of it was so much different and cooler than buying and selling baseball cards to be around these people.
I said, "I'm going to get into this. I want to figure out how to get access to these type of athletes and figure a way to do autograph signings with them and sell the merchandise but also book them for autograph signings." That's what I did. I did that for a few years. I started a company and I sold that in 1995 and started the agency.
Dustin
What prompted you to start the agency? Did some of these guys that you were bringing in, these athletes say, "Why don't you represent me?” Did it start like that?
Darren
I always wanted to. I got in some legal trouble without giving it away. It's in the book with the FBI. I lost all my money. I wound up in a lot of debt for the first time in my life. I kept hearing the expression, “I'm going to take one minute out of lemons.” This was always a big vision of mine. My dad told me that life isn't about what you know, it's about who you know. You don't need to go to school to become an agent. You've got these relationships that any lawyer or agent would do anything to have. It pushed me to speak to Magic Johnson as my first client.
Dustin
He was iconic when you talked to him.
Darren
I was working with him for a few years at that point doing all of his autograph signings.
Dustin
Why does any client but specifically him, go with you? Is it because you had that relationship or because he saw your work ethic? Why does he say yes to Darren Prince who had never done it before?
Darren
It was both. It was my work ethic. He also loved my family, trusts in me, which was everything. He knew I made a mistake. He knew all about making mistakes, which we spoke about in private. It was three years after his HIV announcement. It had a soft spot for me. I didn't talk about a game plan of how I wanted to do this.
I remember looking back and it was probably embarrassing if I videotaped it. I'm hyper, excited and nervous at the same time to ask them in the hotel room. I was thinking, "This is what I want to do. I want to do this. I want to do that."
He's like, "We're going to do this together. I'm going to give you two years. The only thing I'm going to tell you is if you don't use me to knock down every door to bring all the celebrities you can to your agency, I'm going to fire you because it’s not how successful I become. It's how successful I make you and everyone else around me because it's a domino effect in life."
I couldn't believe it. He was sitting here telling me to use his name to build my agency again. It's exactly what I did.
Dustin
I feel like that's some love right there. If he hadn't done that, how do you think life would be different? Would you have just ridden that train?
Darren
Forget it. I can't even imagine because the biggest thing with celebrities, musicians and athletes is them getting exploited. He got it though, which is why he's the most successful businessman/athlete in the world. He knew that it was about giving me those opportunities to go out there and get all different talent from all walks of life. The truth is I can't tell you over the years how many different corporations that I dealt with other clients have all higher Magic Johnson. He was spot on 100% when he told me that.
Dustin
A lot of our audience in the show, entrepreneurs maybe have aspirations to leverage influencers, celebs in some form or fashion. How do you make the case to your client that you're different or your business or that your agency is different? It's a question about differentiation. How do you go about doing that?
Darren
You’ve got to have that hustle. You’ve got to have that drive and nothing is going to come first before it. You are going to let them know that you're going to work 24/7 on their behalf. You're going to go to events and network. You're going to make sure you scrub out the deals that aren't real and bring them all the opportunities. It's as simple as that.
For the years, we've proven ourselves to so many of our clients that they say we're relentless. We're not an agency that we sit back and wait for the phones to ring or the emails to come in. We go out and get it. Me and my guys, that all worked for me. There's no other way to do this because we truly operate on the beliefs that we're only good as our last deal. You've been with 25 years with Magic, 19 years with Hulk, 16 years with Rick and 23 years with Rodman. We're as good as our last deal.
Dustin
I want to give folks a little taste, a little touch of if I want to go and get an influencer, a celebrity or an athlete, how do I go about doing it? It's one thing to make the pitch, but like you can't make the pitch until you make the connection. What's your advice for those people to go out and put themselves in environments where they can rub shoulders or talk or find?
Darren
Not every celebrity event or charity event is like a super-exclusive VIP list. Go online. There's a certain celebrity like hypothetically Bradley Cooper charity event or LeBron James charity event and you'll find information on if it's available to the public or not. Eventually, you'll find some that are somewhat accessible.
It's getting in there and finding a way to fit in and talking to the right people. If it's not LeBron, you might see a few people standing around. You don't need somebody who can be exclusive. You need the relationship. Somebody there to give you the ability to have five minutes with them to say, "This is what I'm trying to do and I'd love to have a working relationship with you."
Dustin
I imagine myself in my earlier years, extremely timid, extremely shy. A lot of people can identify with this and I would love to go to that charity event, maybe sign up. I'm in the environment, there he or she is the athlete and yet I'm so nervous about going and making the pitch or at least introduce myself. What do you say to that person that is a little gun shy about initiating that conversation with that influencer?
Darren
You have to go for it. What's the point of being in there? The whole thing that makes you different from anybody else in that room is most people are nervous in that environment. Most people won't go for it. Most people will be timid and the person will walk by them. They'll be like this maybe for the rest of their life saying, "I've had that one opportunity and I didn't go for it."
Dustin
I can appreciate that. Let's say I find the charity, I put myself in that environment. I work up the gumption to go up. How do I present myself in a way that isn't I'm 716th pitch that night for that person? How do I initiate that conversation and not immediately go, "Will you come to do this deal with me?" Go for that pitch.
Darren
You'll be honest. Let's pick the person. It could be Kobe. It could be LeBron or whoever it is. If you get around them or their people and say, "I'm new at this. I admire what you've done and your accomplishments. It's my dream to be a part of this business and this industry. I know I'm going to outwork anybody. I would love the opportunity to be connected to you or your team to show you that I can produce. If you go in there and say, "I've done this, I've done that." They see why to throw it.
Dustin
They're going to shut you down.
Darren
You will have a breakthrough because this guy is for him and everybody on Tom Brady's team, LeBron James' team, Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, every one of those handlers at some point were you. They were either in a mail room or hoping for an internship somewhere or had all these doubts on would this work or would it not work or what their backup plan was. You're going to find somebody with the heart. I guarantee you, "I like you. Give me your number. We're going to be in touch."
Dustin
I want to do my follow up here. We strike the deal, meaning I get a business card and follow up with me. How many times do I follow up without being in the past or is there no past?
Darren
There's no past. Once you make that initial contact and maybe hopefully push for lunch or dinner or could it be an office. If it's a celebrity directly, a lawyer or a big handler, the main handler, sit down and spend some time with them. Find out what they're looking for or find out what their vision is of their brand. Where do they want to be in a few years? Take mental notes or some physical notes.
When you leave the office that day, see what you can cultivate with those leads that they're looking for or that vision that they still might not have accomplished. Maybe that could be your little niche. If they have enough trust in you and you find that exactly, how to position yourself as part of that team and what they're willing to allow you to do. That's the key. You don't want to step on any toes, go out and execute it. That's all you need.
Dustin
Darren, maybe one or two stories of maybe a younger Darren Prince, who like now you get referrals and I imagine things come easier, although you still work and you still hustle. I'm interested in some of the stories of where you were a little creative to put yourself in an environment or to meet some. Do you have anything that comes to mind?
Darren
My friend, Jeff Hamilton, the famous leather jacket designer, we were at the 1996 Chicago Bulls final. Dennis Rodman took two free throws to win. It was game five. They took the lead in the series. He was a very influential person in my life. He introduced me to my good friend, Harlan Warner, Muhammad Ali's agent who I got tied into Magic because of that.
He’s like, “You should work with Dennis. He's the biggest thing in the world.” I was like, "Can you bring me down to the court? Is there any way?" We're behind the basketball for right down to the court and it was one of those moments I felt good about myself. I already had Magic, Chevy Chase, Joe Frazier, Pamela Anderson. Without being offensive, I told Dennis this. I told his agent who was there at the time and Dennis said, "I broke bread at a strip club later that night. That was how I signed them as a client and became part of this team."
Dustin
What would you say to yourself trying to break this business now? Is it fundamentally the same as it was when you got in many moons ago or is it different? Do you have different advice in terms of if I want to break into this realm?
Darren
It's different in the sense of social media and digital. The younger generation has a much bigger advantage than I did and other agents that are my age because you can carve out a niche and most of the handlers now for a lot of these icons and current superstars, they're not in their twenties. They're at their mid-30s, upper 30s. They might be high school friends or grammar school friends that have been around for years and we can't do it all.
If you're able to find a different platform or something that different to generate revenue and increase brand awareness and what they have going on, that's something you should try to carve out. You're immediately bringing something to the table that none of us have the ability or the know-how to dip.
Dustin
If my research is correct, your marketing group is $200 million in deals in that one business unit alone. With that, comes a lot in negotiation and a lot of deals. I'm curious as to your secrets, tips or your philosophy on negotiation.
Darren
It's got to be fair for both sides first off. We typically never come out with a number unless there's no budget for the corporation. You can always go down. You can't go up. Let me start on the higher side. Hopefully, try to bridge the gap and find a compromise. A lot of times we're big on good faith money because we get so many types of leads where, “This is going to make your client $200,000 a month, $3 million.”
They might be legit. What we've learned to do in those situations is ask for some advance, some guarantee type of compensation. At least this way, if I put a client into a deal and those numbers don't hit or those royalties don't translate into something, I always cover them. They got paid some fair amount of money for their services.
Dustin
What about these deals that we're hearing more and more of where an entertainer or let's call it an influencer gets equity in a company? Are you structuring those deals? If so, how do you get paid because that money doesn't come until later or how does your agency get paid?
Darren
It's the same light. We put the new structure into a deal with Kevin Harrington, the Shark Tank judge, for this CBD skin cream type of product that's going to be revolutionary for women and the same thing. She got guaranteed fees and equity. She's able to partake in the ownership of the company, gets built and sold and we got a percentage of everything we bring in. No matter who the celebrity or athlete is. There's an understanding that we have with our client that they know what they have to pay for us.
Dustin
The same way your agency, your business, you get paid on the frontend and you'll get paid on the backend as well. That's a great deal. Where do you think a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs screw up negotiation?
Darren
They screw up if they don't ask for too much money, their egos get in the way or sometimes personality clash.
You have to understand at the end of the day, especially in my line of work, you're working for your client. If there's somebody that might have a different style, it would be selfish of my agents or me to put our personal feelings within negotiation because somebody has some very different style. We're working for, whether it's something for Hulk, Ric, Magic, Dennis or Charlie, we have to focus on that, put our differences aside and make sure we try to get something done that's fair for everybody.
Dustin
You've built and lost three different barriers. You're on your third iteration of that. It's not what you make, it's what you keep up. What have you learned along the way to prevent the fourth or to prevent another?
Darren
I taped Melcher's podcast down Newport Beach. He's a good friend of mine. He's done incredibly well for himself. We joked about it because he made and lost it twice. I don't want to beat you in the third time. All expenses can be out of control. I understand there are certain people you have to help, but you also have to be careful and understand that there's only so much you can do because he keeps saying yes. You're going to want to put in a spot that you don't want to be in.
Lending money is something I've learned some painful lessons. I'd rather try to find other ways to help people than to say, "Let me give you a check." You have to be okay knowing that if somebody is asking you to borrow, most likely if they're in trouble, it's not coming back. I've had those situations. Certain people that are near and dear to me that I'll know and I'll say, "I'm good with giving $5,000, $10,000 whatever it might be. Knowing that if it comes back, great. If it doesn't, I know that I'm helping them do the right thing.
Dustin
As an entrepreneur, as a guy that can be attracted to deals, how do you prevent yourself from saying yes too much or taking on deals? Is there somebody in your organization or is there some mental trick that you have to keep you from saying yes to everything?
Darren
I've got two people, my business managers Mike and Randy. They look everything over. Whether it's an investment opportunity or somebody that needs some help because it's hard sometimes to put your foot down and say no to people. They're good cop, bad cop. They don't say no to everything, but they also don't say yes to everything either.
Dustin
Before you had them, what would be a strategy that you use?
Darren
I've had them probably since I've been sober so I don't want to say I had the best strategy because back then when you're at your mind the way I was, "Let me help whoever." That doesn't work either.
Dustin
You wrote this book Aiming High. I'm curious as to why you decided to write the book. I always find there's a story behind the book when people sit down to write one. Why did you write your book?
Darren
It was the right time. I met with our mutual friend, Anna David, at Light Hustle Publishing. We met and I told her my professional story and my personal story. She said, "Your story is amazing. It doesn't need to be about the business, which I know you don't want to talk about. If you find a way to make people a fly on the wall during what happened to this business, but also going for your pain, your heartache of the addiction and celebrating when you come out it on the other side. You're going to help a lot of people." That was it.
Dustin
Your book has been out. Have you gotten stories and words of encouragement back from people that have read the book?
Darren
I'd get every week. There have been people's lives that got changed and saved that got sober from the book that either went to rehab or some words of encouragement. Now they're in a twelve-step fellowship and saying, "What you said about this or what you talked about your relationship with your father motivated me. I'm now having a relationship with my dad again." It's amazing what happens.
Dustin
Darren, what are you working on now? What are you most excited about?
Darren
We're busy. Prince Marketing Group at this point, I don't say it takes care of itself, but there are much happening now. For me, it's about aiming high in the recovery advocacy to be honest with you. The more you give out into the world, everything comes back full circle. It seems like the more I'm willing to get out there and help so many people.
By default, I'll be speaking and they'll be a business lead that comes in or somebody is there that says, "I'm a huge fan of Ric Flair and I want to know what it would take to book him for this." I don't do it for that, but that's the way the universe works. That it seems the more now that I'm out there, sharing my truth and feeling so comfortable talking about the uncomfortable, everything comes back full circle.
Dustin
Is that what day-to-day looks like now is you're out there sharing this message, helping, empowering others and the business comes from that?
Darren
The business has been coming from that. Regular businesses that anybody who some tremendous corporate contacts and relationships, but the book does go hand in hand because I'm able to bond with corporate executives like never before. Let's face it, everybody knows someone suffering from this opiate epidemic. I'm able to share my truth again and talk to a new corporate client.
You have that bonding experience over the phone, you hang up the phone like you feel like your life has changed that in there, "We'd love to deal with your agency. Give us an idea on who we could hire for this or that." I never did this for that. It's for me. I realized that I need to stop being selfish and be selfless. Get it out there to the world to show others that are struggling that hope and recovery exist.
Dustin
Darren, I appreciate you being on the show, sharing your wisdom here. I appreciate you even more for creating a course here with us in the library. I'm excited for people to check out the course. Once obviously tuned in to the show, go check out the course. If they want to keep tabs with what you're up to, maybe book you for a speaking gig or get one of your clients to show up for one of their gigs. What's the best way for people to do so?
Darren
There are a couple of different websites, OfficialDarrenPrince.com. That's my personal. There's Prince Marketing Group and also something very near and dear to me is Banyan Treatment Centers. They have eleven properties in four different states. We give people treatment even if they can't afford it, 8886-Darren. I have my own call center. I'm accessible 24/7 that anyone wants to help because let's face it by us doing this podcast that I was going to be a couple of people that are going to be reading this like, "I need some help with what's going on in my life."
Dustin
I appreciate it. Thanks for tuning in. We realize that you could put your time anywhere and that the fact that you chose to invest in with us here on the show, we don't take that lightly. If there's somebody that you would know that would benefit from this fascinating conversation, whether that's growing a business addiction or the sports world or baseball cards or any sorts of things, please share the wealth as we'd like to say here at the show.
Pass it on and let us know on social media what you thought of the show. Go check out Darren's resources and site. We'll see you back here on the next Get WealthFit show.

RELATED TRAINING

 in 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Winning Clients

Winning Clients

The Guide To Lifelong Client Relationships For Agencies, Entrepreneurs, and Sales People

Darren Prince

Watch Now
podcast
Connecting Extraordinary People With Extraordinary Lifestyles

Go behind-the-scenes with real estate agent to the stars, Rod Watson. This former athlete shares his humble beginnings helping struggling families with short sales to now working with high-end clientele. Meet the L.A. VIP Agent and hear his personal branding secrets.

Connecting Extraordinary People With Extraordinary Lifestyles

Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad

How To Free Yourself From the Ordinary, Travel the World, and Make Money Online

Laura Petersen

Watch Now
podcast
Dirty Windows, 'The Pit' & How To Decide

Former options trader, Chris Beer, reveals her journey from the trading floor to consulting business owners how to "escape the grind" by optimizing their business, based on numbers.

Dirty Windows, 'The Pit' & How To Decide

podcast
The Opt Out Life

Rethink success, reinvent rich and realize the life you want by "Opting Out." Listen in as Nate Broughton & Dana Robinson share how to create your own path in life.

The Opt Out Life

article
Business Valuation: How Much is Your Business Worth?

Learn how to value any small business using this simple formula that applies a business’s EBITDA to it’s industry multiple.

Business Valuation: How Much is Your Business Worth?

Nathan Wade

Read Now
podcast
Being Unemployable, YouTube Secrets & Automation Hacks

Renaissance man & Solopreneur, Michael O'Neal discusses lessons to be learned from good old-fashioned football, how to make money with Youtube & how to reclaim your freedom through automation.

Being Unemployable, YouTube Secrets & Automation Hacks

podcast
Intrapreneurship, Excellence & Innovation

Tap into the wisdom of multi-billion dollar companies and recent research in the fields of excellence & innovation, with José Pires.

Intrapreneurship, Excellence & Innovation

Personal Branding

Personal Branding

How To Create a Brand That Opens Big Doors, Attracts True Fans, and Makes Selling Easy

Michelle Villalobos

Watch Now
Product Branding

Product Branding

How To Create a Product Everyone Knows, Likes, Trusts … and Buys From

Rick Cesari

Watch Now
Credit Secrets for Entrepreneurs

Credit Secrets for Entrepreneurs

How To Use Business & Personal Credit To Launch Your Startup

Gerri Detweiler

Watch Now
podcast
Feeling Invincible, Marketing Martha Stewart & Dropping 76 Pounds!

Once Sayan Sarkar finally quit his full-time job, his side hustle business took off and generated 10x the amount of money he was making at his office job. He shares tips and tricks to how he was able to make this happen.

Feeling Invincible, Marketing Martha Stewart & Dropping 76 Pounds!

podcast
Born To Sell, Tripling Revenue & the Silver Tsunami

Are you investing in home care marketing? In this episode, The Hurricane explains why this industry is worth your hard-earned money.

Born To Sell, Tripling Revenue & the Silver Tsunami

podcast
Conquering Cancer, Making Movies & Selling Businesses

This Cancerpreneur didn’t let the bad news of illness get in the way of his entrepreneurial spirit and positive mindset.

Conquering Cancer, Making Movies & Selling Businesses

Free PR

Free PR

The Hustler's Guide To Capturing Media Attention & Getting Eyeballs on Your Brand

Nicole Dunn

Watch Now
Persuasive Copywriting

Persuasive Copywriting

How To Write Words That Capture Attention, Create Desire, & Sell Your Product Like Crazy

Mara Glazer

Watch Now
article
How To Build Your Business Credit Score — To Get Loans & Low Interest Rates

Learn how to build your business credit score so you can get access to business loans and credit cards with low interest rates.

How To Build Your Business Credit Score — To Get Loans & Low Interest Rates

Michelle Black

Read Now
article
Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?

In her new book “Women with Money,” Jean Chatzky gives us the top 5 traits of successful entrepreneurs. [Excerpt]

Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?

Jean Chatzky

Read Now
Idea To Income

Idea To Income

How To Start a Company and Turn Your Entrepreneurial Dreams into Reality

Didi Wong

Watch Now
article
How to Fund Your Business with Government Grants

Who doesn't want cash from their favorite Uncle Sam? Here's how you can find grants and fund your business with free government money.

How to Fund Your Business with Government Grants

Ian Chandler

Read Now
article
How Much Do You REALLY Need to Start a Business? The Answer is Less Than You Think.

Think starting a business takes TONS of money? It doesn’t have to. Here’s how you can build your empire without breaking the bank.

How Much Do You REALLY Need to Start a Business? The Answer is Less Than You Think.

Jon Westenberg

Read Now
article
Bootstrap Your Startup & Kickstart Your Success

Launching a startup without investors may seem like a one-way ticket to failure—but it’s one of the best ways to kickstart your business.

Bootstrap Your Startup & Kickstart Your Success

Ian Chandler

Read Now
article
Learn 5 Key Ways to Onboard Employees

Your employees are your most valuable asset. Protect your investment in them with an effective and efficient onboarding process.

Learn 5 Key Ways to Onboard Employees

Nathan Wade

Read Now
article
How to Lead Employees to Greatness: Your (Hormonal) Strategy for Success

Consider and stimulate (the right) hormones for your team. Embrace leadership tactics that foster healthy hormonal teams.

How to Lead Employees to Greatness: Your (Hormonal) Strategy for Success

Jill Huettich

Read Now