Ep 105 – Grace to Grow With Danny Iny

Courage and fortitude are key to impacting others.”  Danny Iny

About Our Guest: Danny Iny is a leading voice in the word of online business and courses.  He has been featured or contributed to publications including the Harvard business Review, Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes and Business Insider.  He has spoken at places like Yale University and Google and is the author of several books including Teach Your Gift, Leveraged Learning and Effortless.

Episode Summary:

This episode is powered by the Move to Millions Method

When you understand your gift and decide to teach it to others, it’s an act of grace.  Leveraging that grace into a business that makes and moves millions is how Danny Iny shares his gift with the world.  With the changes in the world today, the rise of the online course has changed the way we educate ourselves. If you have or desire to have an online course, you’re going to love this episode! Listen in as I speak with Danny Iny, founder and owner of Mirasee. Danny talks about his earlier forays into entrepreneurship, and how he move to millions successfully through developing great online courses. Learn more about creating online content using these useful insights from Danny so that you can teach your gift and make the move to millions.

Last Book Danny Read: Endure by Alex Hutchinson

Favorite Quote: We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies. Disney

Too Danny Swears by To Move to Millions: Morning walk to center himself

How to Connect with Danny Iny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mirasee

Twitter: @DannyIny

Instagram: @inydanny

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dannyiny

Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is not responsible for the content and information delivered during the podcast interview by any guest. As always, we suggest that you conduct your own due diligence regarding any proclamations by podcast guests.  Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is providing the podcast for informational purposes only.

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Danny, I’m excited to welcome you to the show. How are you?

I’m great. I’m excited to be here. I’ve been looking forward to our conversation.

It’s going to be so good. Before I even get myself all excited, Danny, take a quick moment and tell everybody who you are in your own words.

It’s super 30,000 feet. I work with coaches, consultants and expert entrepreneurs. I teach them how to take the knowledge that’s in their heads and turn it into something with leverage like an online course that can help lots of people. I’ve been doing that for more than a decade. I’m like an internet dinosaur.

You’re like a fine wine. You’re getting better with time. I love what you said, “Take their knowledge and expertise and turn it into something with leverage.” I love leverage because that’s what we do too. We helped our clients leverage and scale. How did you get started at all as an entrepreneur? How did you land on helping them leverage their expertise?

I’ve been an entrepreneur longer than my adult life. I quit school when I was fifteen to start my first business. I bounced around a bunch of different businesses, trying a bunch of different things. Eventually, I found my way to the space of education. I’ve always had this love-hate relationship with education. I love education and what it can do, the doors and minds it can open. I’ve always had a lot of frustration with the way it is done formally, which is not well in most contexts.

I bounced around a bunch of different businesses. In the mid to late 2000s, I was doing my first attempt at what I thought would be a big startup. We were building software that would teach kids how to read. I raised some money from friends and family, grants, that kind of stuff. No big numbers by Silicon Valley standards. We raised a few $100,000. I had a small team and all that. We had some good early traction. The experts and kids love what we were doing.

Long story short, I was a young and inexperienced CEO in what in hindsight is an incredibly complicated industry. By the time I figured out what was what, it was falling apart. We were losing all the money. It was time to make a new plan. I figured out a new plan. I hit the pavement to raise more money to fund that plan. That was September of 2008. The market crashed. It’s game over. There’s nothing to be done.

Anyone who’s reading this who has been through a major business setback. Especially as an entrepreneur, we put our identities, hearts and souls into our business. It’s not just the financial fallout which sucks. It did suck. I walked away from that. I didn’t want to tell my friends and family, “Sorry, your money’s gone.” I took the losses on personally. I walked away from that with about $250,000 in personal debt. That sucked.

There isn’t a path that makes you an entrepreneur. There isn’t a place that you go in a time in which you go there to be the entrepreneur.

Beyond that, it feels a lot like going through a bad breakup. When you’ve gone through a bad breakup, you’re not ready to date again right away. You need some time to lick your wounds. I was thinking, “What can I do to make money because I have rent to pay that wouldn’t involve building a giant team, raising money or any of those things?” I thought, “What if I start a blog? What if I start teaching what I know online?” I could do that on the side. I wouldn’t have to hire a team. That was the rebound business.

One thing led to another, as sometimes it does. It was the right idea for the right time for the right market opportunity and it took off. It grew quickly. People glommed onto my work. They’re like, “This is helpful. It’s resonance.” Pretty soon, people started coming to me and saying, “Danny, can you teach me this thing that I’m seeing you do?” Being the astute business mind that I am, my answer was, “No, that’s not what I do.” Thankfully, they kept coming back and kept asking.

Eventually, I was like, “I didn’t think this is what I would be doing but it would be nice to be able to pay rent, so let’s try it.” I said, “I don’t know if people are going to sign up. You can put down your payments. If enough people sign up, I’ll do it. If not, I’ll give you your money back. I’ll put this whole thing together after people sign up.”

It went gangbusters. We sold out in 36 hours. That became my first blockbuster program. I sold about 1,000 spots in 2012. It led to the next program that I piloted in the same way. That next program was my first million-dollar program. After a couple of these, people kept coming back to me and saying something to the effect of, “Danny, I’ve taken a lot of online courses. I never do anything with them. I never get any results. I take your online courses and I get results. I implement what you’re teaching me. Can you teach me how to build courses like yours?” That was in 2013. I haven’t looked back since.

I love everything about your story. There are a couple of powerful things that you said that I want to pull out for the readers to make sure that they get it. The first thing I want to say is I don’t know who’s reading who may have the same story where they quit school, didn’t graduate, they started a business, they had a baby or whatever the scenario was. Your past does not define your future. Don’t be defined by that because you get to decide. Danny is a perfect example of that.

You said, “By the time I figured it out, the bottom had fallen out. It was too late.” Many entrepreneurs, that’s the way they work inside of their business. They don’t get the help that they need when the writing is on the wall. They wait until the wall is on fire. I love that you shared that. To bring it back as a reminder, if you are reading and you’re already seeing the writing on the wall that there’s something awry in the way you’re doing business, your business model, get the support that you need.

Even when you can’t hire a Darnyelle or a Danny, there’s an SBA and there are women’s business centers that can support you for the tax dollars that you have already spent or are giving to the IRS. It doesn’t have to cost you anything to get help. Take that writing on the wall and put it on pages so it can turn into checks in your bank account instead of a fire and everything’s gone awry.

The third thing that I love is you said, “I created a new plan.” That stood out to me. In my own story, the reason why I ended up in bankruptcy is I didn’t have family members’ money that I lost, I lost my own money because I never created a plan. I was like, “I’ve got this.” Ego is a trip. When you are living in ego, you sometimes think that you are better than you are. Once I got out of bankruptcy, I had to end up crumbling myself and going back to work. While I was working that job, I created my first strategic plan and we had a million-dollar company not too long thereafter. I thought that was good.

I want to come back and talk about this a little bit more about putting our identities in our business. Why do we do that? I want to talk about that. Before we talk about that, I want to talk about the biggest nugget that you dropped. You probably don’t even realize it because it was your life. I want the people who are reading to know this. Danny said that he sold it before he created it.

I can be a victim of this too, Danny. When I first started my company back in 2007, I spent nine months creating the stuff. When I finally came out into the marketplace, no one wanted what I have spent all my time creating. Soon thereafter, I did the same thing you did. I was like, “I’m going to talk about it. If enough people want it, then I’ll create it.”

I wanted to make sure that you guys learned that because some of you aren’t moving. You’re not building out the next launch because you think it has to all be done before you get people to invest in it. That is not the truth. Danny and I are an example. Create enough information about it to be able to explain the problem it will solve and the solution it will create. Determine the price point based on the value associated with it, put it out to people and see who bites. For enough people who have the problem, you’ll get the ammunition you need to create it.

I’m doing this, Danny. For years in a row, I taught this live event. After the last time, it was right before COVID happened, I was like, “I want to turn this into a course so I can serve more people. I can leverage my expertise and serve more people.” I never did it. Ever since, I’m like, “I need to turn this into a course. I’m going to finally do it.”

I put up a Google Doc. I have never launched with a Google Doc before in my life. I’m the girl who has all the I’s dotted all the T’s crossed. I put this Google Doc together and put it out there. I have ten seats because I wanted to get the course created and I sold fifteen. It’s $45,000 just like that. Nothing is done yet that we start today. We’re about to start putting the course together.

I wanted to drop that nugget for those of you who are reading because you’re sitting on the idea waiting for the stars to align. You’re not only leaving money on the table but you’re leaving an impact on the table. There are people who need you. As soon as you tell them that you can solve their problem, they will start to live into the hope of what’s possible for them when you show up fully for them. I wanted to share that.

This is the methodology that we teach, among other things. You always want to sell it before you build it. There is an execution gap. Otherwise, you’ll sit on your hands forever. The most important reason why it’s so important to do this is that whenever you are working in your business, in terms of having an offer to put out into the world, you’re doing 1 of 2 things.

You’re figuring out what the market wants or you are scaling the demand for an offer you already have. Until people have already given you money for it, don’t kid yourself, you’re still validating whether the market wants it. Putting a lot of effort into, “Let’s finalize, polish and lock this in stone tablets,” on something that you don’t even know that this is what they want doesn’t make any sense.

What I love about when you do it as a beta or however you do it, you get feedback to make it better before you make it available for the world. I said ten people and I have fifteen. They’re helping me create this as a course. They’re going to give me feedback. They’re going to tell me what they want. I’m going to create it. When we launch it later in 2021, it’s going to be exactly what the marketplace needs for it to be, which is such a powerful lesson. I want to go back to the comment that you made, we all do it and I know I’ve done it myself where our identity becomes our business. Where did that come from for you?

I should preface this by saying that I’m not a mental health professional. With that being said, when I compare my experience with the experience of people that I’ve observed who have real jobs, they have a path that is structured to get there. You go to school for a certain topic. There’s a path that you’re following. Entrepreneurs don’t have that. You’re making it up as you go. They go to a job, generally.

Education should be a shortcut. It should get you to where you want to go in less time at less cost or with less risk.

With COVID, it was a little different. There’s a go somewhere, clock in, do the work, clock out and come home. Your identity as the doctor, lawyer, accountant, whatever the job is, is confined in space and time to some degree. Entrepreneurs don’t have that. The fact that there isn’t a path that makes you an entrepreneur and sets the expectations, there isn’t a place that you go in a time in which you go there to be the entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur is largely figuring things out. The number one item on your job description is to figure things out when the last thing you thought you figured out didn’t work. That’s what it is to be an entrepreneur. Especially in the early days when the number of things you have not yet figured out is dramatically larger than the number of things you have figured out, maybe there’s nothing on that second list, it’s all-encompassing.

I’m thinking about myself. I have a wife and children. I don’t know if I could start a business in the way that I did it when I started this business and I was single and had no kids. The hours creep. In a lot of ways, you look at yourself as an entrepreneur and then there’s almost nothing left. You’re working out, you’re showering and you’re thinking about your business. You’re awake thinking about your business and working on your business. It eats up all of who you are. There are arguments for why that is necessary, maybe even good. They’re also arguments for why it’s maybe not healthy and better to draw some boundaries. Either way, that is the experience that a lot of entrepreneurs have.

I wanted to hear it from your perspective because I agree and I would say the same thing. If I were starting my business now, I would be in trouble. When I first started, it was all-encompassing and it was my identity. I used to call myself a one-trick pony. The only thing that I had was a success in business and nothing else.

I don’t say this anymore because I am married but I used to say, “I can’t keep a man to save my life but I could grow a business.” That was my life. There were many times, even when I was dating and then it didn’t work out, I would put my head down and go back to my business because that was the thing I knew I could do well.

In addition to everything that you said, what happens often is because we can see tangible results. If our mile marker is, “Today, I’m starting at zero. I want to get to seven figures.” Even if we’re not at seven figures, we can see the incremental steps that we’ve taken. We put something on social media if that’s our marketing barometer and we get likes or someone slides in our DMs or someone goes and buys the thing. We can say, “It worked.” With the other things in life, oftentimes, it might not translate the same way.

For me, I felt like everything was riding on my ability to be successful because I quit my good job to become an entrepreneur. I was making $120,000 a year. By all accounts, at 28 years old, I had it going on. I came out to be an entrepreneur. At first, I did well. I was in Mary Kay cosmetics. Once I started my ground-up business, hell fell out, bankruptcy, going back to work and not telling the online world I had a job.

I was in the least amount of integrity I’ve ever been in my life when I first started my business. I was ashamed of the fact that I’m the girl who can help you do all of these things and I couldn’t do it for myself. Even as that identity was in my business, it was still bad. I had to seek a mental health professional. I had to figure out how to draw the line and create some of those boundaries myself.

I don’t know about you if this is your story but my issues with boundaries weren’t other people. They were all self-imposed. It was because I was putting all of my energy into this one thing instead of making sure that I had a life that was full of other things. Eventually, you look up. One of my good girlfriends at the time, I was 37, she’s like, “Excuse me. You need to look up. Don’t you want to get married and have babies? You need to start thinking about that.” I’m like, “I do want those things but my business is finally taking off.” It’s so easy to get caught up in that.

With the people that you work with, you’re helping them to get the leverage, their knowledge and expertise through the power of online courses. I don’t want you to necessarily share your complete secret sauce. You said that your clients were like, “I’m taking all these other courses and I’m not getting any results. I’m taking yours and I am getting results.” What can you share for people who might be reading that have their course or desire to create one about some of that secret sauce that’s helping your clients get results from courses?

I’m happy to share. I’m an open book. I don’t believe in secrets. It’s not about the secret. It’s about the quality of the execution. Let’s be 30,000 feet. What is education for? Education should be a shortcut. It should get you to where you want to go in less time, at less cost or with less risk. If it’s not doing any of those things, what is the point? You could figure it out on your own. Education is supposed to be a shortcut. How do we make that happen? There are three steps in the journey of learning. The first step is where we get exposed to new information and ideas. We watch the videos, listen to the audio, read the text or attend the lecture. That’s an important first step but it’s only the first step.

Let’s talk about that first step. Let’s talk about how we craft it well. There’s a key ingredient to making that work that people usually discount and that ingredient is scaffolding. Scaffolding is the idea that any new idea that you learn is built on top of things you already know and understand. Often, experts forget about all the scaffolding that is supporting their knowledge and making it feel like, “This is obvious. It’s easy.”

People do not understand the explanation of the expert not because they can’t wrap their head around the explanation but because all the scaffolding with that explanation that’s resting on doesn’t exist for that. Scaffolding can be conceptual. I’m building on concepts that you don’t know what they are. They can be in terms of the metaphors or analogies that I’m using.

They can be in terms of relevance. It’s like, “What does this have to do with me and my life?” They can be cognitive. People learn and think in different ways. This is the thing I want people to know, understand and be able to do. That’s a key thing. People don’t usually pay significant amounts of money to know things. They pay to be able to do things to create an outcome.

Let’s go two layers deeper. We’re not going to ask, “What do I want them to be able to do?” We also want to ask, “How well do I want them to able to do it?” If you tell me, “Danny, can you explain the story of Hamlet?” If you wanted it in 30 seconds, it’s The Lion King with people. That’s easy. If you want it with more detail, I don’t know if I’m qualified to explain it. If you want me to teach you how to recite it, I’m not the person. How well you want to be able to do it matters.

We also want to know under what circumstances do you want to be able to do it that well? If you’re teaching relationship skills, how to manage a difficult conversation? Do you want to be able to do that well in a classroom orchestrated setting or do you want to be able to do that well in the middle of a fight with your significant other? There are different levels of skill and much harder.

We start with this at the end when all is said and done, what do we want to be able to do? How well do we want to be able to do it and under what circumstances? We then backtrack. That skill rests on top of what. In order to be able to do that, they need to know what. You backtrack all the way to the point where you’re like, “This part, I can count on them knowing it already.” That’s your curriculum and what you’re going to teach. That’s our first step of what is the information we need to give them and how do we give it to them?

I love everything that you shared. It made me think about Stephen Covey-ism, begin with the end in mind. Know clearly what you want them to do, how well you want them to be able to do it and what the variables are going to be to get them to that point before you even start creating. What’s the second step?

People don’t usually pay significant amounts of money just to know things. They pay to be able to do things, to create an outcome.

As a smart human being who has had things explained to her in your life, do you get good at things by having them explained to you? No. We don’t get great things by reading books or watching videos. We get good at things by putting these new ideas into practice. That’s the second step, the application. The application can be theoretical, exercises, worksheets or it can be practical. “Go out and do this thing in your business. Have this conversation with your significant other.” We need to orchestrate opportunities for people to apply what we’re teaching them.

The third step is the feedback that allows them to course-correct and integrate that knowledge. You’re always going to get feedback. Feedback can be a very brute force and removed from the moment of practice. If I’m learning skateboarding, I can get feedback from the concrete and gravity but that’s not nuanced. That’s binary. It worked or it hurt.

You can have a coach who’s like, “I want you to pay attention to the way you’re putting your way here. I want you to pay attention to what you’re doing there.” The more immediate the feedback is, the more nuanced, the more specific, the better that guidance, the more you can loopback. You have that feedback loop to go back to the application again but do it better.

There’s this great book called The Talent Code. It talks all about how we get good at something. It’s based on the work of Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, who passed away, his work on deliberate practice. If you want to get good at something, you pick the hardest part of it for you and you practice it again and again with the feedback to improve each time. It is frustrating to do that.

If you’re learning to play the piano, what a lot of people like to do is sit down at the piano, practice some scales to warm up their fingers, play some songs that they’re good at and have some fun. In the last ten minutes, they’ll practice the song that is hard for them. An expert pianist will spend the entire hour practicing the ten seconds of that hard song that are the hardest for them. That’s how you get good. That’s called deliberate practice.

Let me pull back the layer again and tell everybody the three steps one more time. The first step is to expose them to new ideas. Not to just expose them to new ideas but, more importantly, to think through, to back into the ultimate goal and result that you desire for them as they learn these new skills. The second step is to put it into the application. Have them take the time and do the thing or the things that are going to lead them to the result that it is that they most want.

The third part, which is centrifugal to the process if you ask me, is the feedback. As they’re taking the steps and taking the action, be there to offer as immediate feedback as you possibly can. Also, giving them the opportunity to redo, retry or reapply whatever it is that the feedback is helping to give them something that’s going to lead to a better result when it’s all said and done.

This happens to me a lot. I am brilliant. I’m going to not give myself my props. Although I’ve been to school and have some degrees, for the things of online business, most of that I’m self-taught. I’ve read books, practiced or it was innate in me. Here’s my whole point. The way that I build out my content is much like the process that you described. I’ve never sat in any class to tell me, “Begin with the end in mind.” I’d never done that but that’s the way my brain works.

When I went to a speaking seminar many years ago about telling a story and I’m listening to the teacher, I’m like, “I do that naturally.” They were saying, which is an adage, “Never make a point without telling the story. Never tell the story without making a point.” I always find a little parallel. I’m like, “I know these things innately.” I share that to say that this process makes a difference.

We have the same thing occur with our coursework as well. We are very big into making sure that we can be present for our clients and our students as they’re working through it because of the feedback. That’s such an important part, which is also part of the reason why people who create courses for creating courses don’t create transformation in the lives of other people.

I wrote down one of the first things you said, “If you want someone to experience transformation, you’ve got to think it all the way through.” Often, the person who throws the low-ticket course up without any of that feedback or interaction isn’t trying to get a transformation to occur because it’s very hard to be taught something and then to become a master of it, which is good. I love that. It’s so simple.

First of all, I love your energy. It’s this quiet confidence. It’s this firm assurance that who you are, having been through everything that you’ve been through, is exactly who you’re supposed to be. I love that. I don’t know if anybody else has ever told you that but that’s why I couldn’t wait to talk to you. I was like, “I remember having this conversation with Danny.”

I remember your presence and the energy with which you exude this confidence about being who you are. I love that. How did it happen for you? I’m sure it probably wasn’t one specific thing that took place. How did you get to be this man that I get to talk to having come from that chaotic beginning before?

First of all, thank you. I appreciate all of that. It’s the combination of years’ worth of experiences and stumbles and hopefully learning from the stumbles. I don’t think over the years I’ve made fewer mistakes than most people. I’ve probably made more. I make mistakes quickly and I try not to make the same mistake too many times. You move on to new mistakes and figure out things that work along the way.

The more you keep at it, the more you dig in on, what are the things that matter for you? Other stuff starts to fall away and you start finding that core. You start finding that center of like, “This is the stuff that matters. This is the stuff that I don’t care about it as much.” There are a lot of things that I was insecure about or not sure of. It’s not like those things have changed. I don’t care as much anymore, that’s what it is.

I started to feel that way in my late 30s. Once I turned 40, I felt like the heavens open. I’m a believer. I liken it to the children of Israel and how they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. When I turned 40, I felt like I finally made it to the promised land. I knew who I was and the core of who I am. I was no longer trying to compare myself to other people or thinking that there was something wrong with me, something that wasn’t inherently valuable to other people. It felt like it happened like a light switch. Although it was the gradual, perpetual, everything that had been my life experience up until that point. I get that.

What I heard as you were talking is that you’ve learned how to give yourself grace and that is such a valuable lesson to learn as an entrepreneur regardless of where you are on The Move to Millions. You’re starting. You’re about there, opening up a space for there to be grace in your life experience for you and your team.

Tell me if this is different for you but I feel like I used to be in a hurry to get nowhere. When I started to settle into the fact that no one goes to bed a blunder and wakes up a wonder and everyone’s on a journey, it got so much easier. What would have taken me forever to make happen started to happen seamlessly because I was in alignment with who I am and focused on those core things that matter. At the end of the day, a lot of the things that we tend to deal with or even think about don’t even matter in the grand scheme of things.

The more you keep at it, the more you just dig in on what are the things that actually matter for you. Other stuff starts to fall away.

There’s the grace to it. Hopefully, you learn to take yourself less seriously and to have more fun with it. I remember those days. I remember when I was hardly making any money and I’m like, “How am I going to pay rent?” There is an urgency to that. Along with that urgency, there’s also this imagining that once you crossed the 6 or 7-figure threshold, all the problems go away. They don’t.

I remember the first time that we had a major issue that I needed to deal with. It was the first time that the scale of the business was such that’s like, “I can’t put this on a credit card. There’s no way. We’re way too big. The number is too enormous.” The problems keep evolving and changing and that’s fine. A good challenge is something that goes. You want to have fun with it.

There’s this reciprocal relationship that when you’re having more fun with it, you’re more relaxed. Your sympathetic nervous system isn’t activated all the time. You’re not full of adrenaline and cortisol. Your field of vision is not narrower. You see the field better. You have better ideas and make better decisions. There’s a reciprocal cycle there. Fundamentally, there will be good times and there will be more challenging times. You might as well have fun through all of it.

There’s this great line that I’ve been thinking about a lot from Walt Disney. He said, “We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make movies.” I’ve been in that headspace. I’m like, “We’re going to run a good business. We’ve got to keep growing because we want to but let’s have fun with what we’re doing. Let’s not stress about it too much.”

Many people put so much emphasis on money. Even when we started moving into this whole Move to Million thing, for me, it’s a double entendre. It’s not just the money. It’s the impact and being able to shift the lives and trajectory of more people because you are showing up much more powerfully. Many people get caught up in the money side of it. With that, they miss the magic that comes in what we’re creating.

Before I jumped on to have this conversation with you, I was meeting with my brand manager. We’re in a rebrand. This rebrand is amazing. I’m excited and pleased about what we’re accomplishing but it’s going on forever. There was a point in time where we were supposed to be wrapping up and we’re not anywhere near wrapping up. I had to surrender. I had to throw my hands up and say, “I’m going to enjoy the process. If I try to will this to be something else, it’s only going to get harder.”

One of the things that I will often do to create a demonstration for other people is I’ll ball my hand into a tight fist. I’ll then take the finger from my opposite hand and try to force it into the fist. This is control. When you’re in control, abundance and grace can’t get in. All of the things that we say we want can’t get in when we’re in control.

What we have to learn to do is surrender. Focus on what we can control and leave the rest to God, to the universe or whatever your beliefs are because there is something that is greater than all of us that is at play. Once we get comfortable with who we are and who we were created to be, we get that opportunity to open our hands and be in that place of surrender, which makes a difference too.

I think about the courses that you create, the lives that you’ve changed and this multiple million-dollar business that you run. You said something that I wanted to have you expound on a little bit for some of the people. You said, “None of those things matter at the end of the day.” For you at this stage of your life, been there and done that, got the t-shirt, probably on your way to nine figures, what matters most to you?

At some point, the figures don’t matter as much. I had this visceral moment a few years into building my business. We were low seven figures at the time. It was December so I was doing my end-of-the-year planning and what I want for the next year. I realized that if I wanted, I could scale back what we were doing. We could do low seven figures top-line, high six figures bottom line and I could work three months out of the year. I was like, “I’m in my early 30s. What am I going to do? It sounds so boring.”

At some point, it’s about the impact you’re making on other people. It’s about the fulfillment of the work for yourself. I enjoy pushing the envelope on. What can we do that will be interesting? Not all of it works. A lot of it works. Some of it works. We get to do interesting things. I wrote a children’s book. I’ve written a lot of what I used to say adult books. That makes it sound like books for grownups. We’ve launched a podcast network that we’re doing interesting things with that I’m excited about.

I’m excited about your podcast too. I had a great time in my interview. It was good.

I can’t wait for that episode to be released. I can’t wait to hear it. We’re doing all this stuff. Will there be an ROI on everything we’re doing with, for example, the podcast network? I think so. Even if not, at least we tried something interesting. If you try ten interesting things that you feel confident will likely have a good ROI, out of the 3 or 4 of them that will crap out, you’ll still have learned along the way and have fun with. On balance, it works out well. It comes down to are you making a difference for other people? Are you continuing to stretch and do interesting work? It’s making money to make movies and not making movies to make money. A lot of it is how you show up for yourself and for the people around you.

I have two children. A lot gets filtered through. Am I able to be there for them in the way that I want to? Am I modeling the example that I want them to be learning from? It’s not that they need to do what I do. As long as they’re healthy and happy, that’s good. Are they taking ownership of their decisions? Are they being autonomous? Are they taking the initiative? Am I raising them to be their own people who are self-possessed in the way that I know that they can be? That matters a lot.

I love that you’re thinking about this at their ages. There are all of the studies that have been done about who we are and who we become is formed by the time we’re seven. Telling them that they can choose and can make decisions is going to help them to be much stronger adults. They may not need mental health support when they get older because of the way that you’re raising them today. Kudos to you for that.

As you were talking about realizing that the focus has changed and thinking about ROI, what popped in for me was the I becomes return on impact instead of return on investment. It’s okay to do that. I think about Zig Ziglar, “If you help enough people get what they want, you’re going to get what you want.” I know it sounds counterproductive but it’s okay to not only be focused on the money in your business. It’s the thing that we pay attention to, especially when we don’t have a lot of it. It’s okay to focus on some of the other metrics that are equally as important and that are going to give you that grace that we’ve been talking about, which is good.

There’s a distinction there that’s important. You can never neglect the money part of your business. Money in your business is like blood in your body. You’re not alive if you don’t have it. You don’t need to always be focused on, “What’s happening with my blood? What’s happening with my breathing?” As long as you are attentive to your health, you can focus on lots of other things, too. The point of living is not to make sure there’s blood in your veins and air in your lungs. You have air in your lungs and blood in your veins, so you can do whatever else is meaningful to you.

Danny, I love your metaphors and analogies. That is so good. Money in Your business is like blood in your body and no one walks around saying, “Do I got blood?” That would sound crazy if you walk up to someone and say, “Can you see if I have some blood?” That is true. It puts everything into perspective. One of the biggest things that I’ve learned as I’ve taken my business over the million-dollar mark and we’re preparing to go to eight figures is that it’s energy in a vehicle.

We’ve got to keep growing because we want to, but let’s have fun with what we’re doing. Let’s not stress about it too much.

The energy in the vehicle is something that I can help my team and be able to provide for their families so that I can do the work I want to do in the community. I love giving money away. One of my favorite things to do is to be like, “We have this huge loss. Let me cut a check.” Constantly giving to other people and not hoarding. Once you have the house, the car and the vacation home, you got to do something else with the money. It gets moved.

That sounds like it’s enough. At some point, you’re done. What do you need, seven more golden Rolls-Royce? It’s enough.

This has been such a powerful conversation. We only talked a smidge about online courses but I know that’s your world. Is there anything else that you want to share before we call it an interview?

For everyone who’s reading this, presumably, you’re following Darnyelle because there is something in you that can make a difference for other people and you want it to make a difference for them in a sustainable way and sustainable means rewarding for you. There’s that cycle of everyone benefiting. If there is that thing inside of you, have the courage and take the responsibility of getting it to all the people who need it.

When you have something, you can help other people and you keep it to yourself, the world is missing something when you do that. Have the courage because it can be scary and have the fortitude because it can be challenging and there will be setbacks. There are many good reasons for the great things in you to get to all the people who need it.

Before I let you go, I have to ask you our Move to Millions’ moment questions. What is the last book you read?

A book called Endure. I do not remember the name of the author and I feel bad about that. It’s a study of the science of physical endurance. I found it has a lot of interesting applications to mental endurance and the idea that how tired we feel is not about our ability to keep going but it’s about our brain’s interpretation of signals. In other words, when you think you’re at the end of your ability, you’re not. There’s room for more. I found that interesting.

You shared one quote and I want to see if there’s another quote that you live by at this stage of the game for you that helps you to be inspired and that you would often share with other people in addition to Walt Disney.

There are quotes for every moment but the one that’s been top of mind for me is the Disney quote, “We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make movies.”

I love that one but I didn’t want to assume that would be the one you want us to use. What is one tool you swear by that has made a difference as you move to the million-dollar mark?

I moved to the million-dollar mark quite a long time ago. I’m not remembering exactly what the tools were that I was using. Over the last few years, the tool that has been incredibly impactful and indispensable is I started going for a morning walk. In three years, I don’t think I’ve missed more than maybe three days. I get up before everyone else. I take a shower, do my stuff and go for a walk.

If the weather is awful, it’ll be a twenty-minute walk. Most days, it’ll be a 45-minute walk. It’s time to center myself. Often, I’m listening to a podcast or an eBook. Sometimes I’m walking. Sometimes with music. Honestly, the day and the quality of my decisions are not the same without that. We all have the same 24 hours. The results we produce are much less a function of the work we can do and much more a function of the quality of the decisions that we make.

I love that your tool wasn’t a software. I leave it that way on purpose because I want to see what people say. It’s important to take that time for you. It goes back to that grace that exudes. It’s coming out of your pores. I feel like if you were sitting right here, I would feel it even stronger than I do, which is awesome. You have a beautiful soul. I know it might sound crazy because I’m talking to a guy. You have a beautiful soul. I’m glad that we’re connected. I’m looking forward to continuing to deepen our connection. The work that you do and how you show up in the world is so needed. I’m glad to say that I know who you are.

Likewise, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you. I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know you. Like attracts like. I know that everyone who’s reading this is going to be awesome. I hope this has been helpful and valuable.

Thank you so much for being here.

I know I didn’t disappoint you. Are you beaming like I am? Every time I listen back to this conversation, it inspires me so deeply. I know I told you that you were going to love Danny and I hope that I did not disappoint you. He’s such a powerful force. I’m happy to have met him and to be deepening and connecting more deeply with him. He’s phenomenal.

Let’s talk about some of my favorite parts of the conversation that we had. It was powerful. First of all, I love this story. Quit school at fifteen and then runs a multiple-seven-figure business. It’s proof to show that where you start has nothing to do with where you’re going. I loved when he talked about the fact that it all started to change for him when he created the plan. The planning process on the Move to Millions is essential and I don’t want you to neglect it.

We talked about identity and business and how he’s done it, how I’ve done it, how you’ve probably done it and things that we need to do instead. I loved when he shared that if you want someone to experience transformation, there’s a different way that you have to look at how you support them. We then went through those three steps. You might want to read back again to catch all of those.

You know that I love talking about money. I know it’s not the end all be all. I like talking about it because it creates a disruption for most entrepreneurs who struggle with money that are so inundated and caught up with it that they can’t see it for what it is. He says, “You can never neglect the money part of your business. Money in your business is like blood in your body. No one walks around talking about the blood.”

Depending upon where you are on the move to millions, whether you’re at leverage, which is when you’re at six figures a year, if you’re at growth when you’re at six figures a quarter or if you are at scale when you’re doing six figures or more a month. Depending upon where you are, that’s going to determine the emphasis you place on money. You will get to the point where you have the things and now it’s about the impact, the return on impact instead of the return on investment.

I love the quote that he shared from Disney. “We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make movies.” I love that. I love it for you because I want you to not focus on the money. If you chase money, you’ll never catch it but if you chase purpose and impact, money will chase you. That’s what I want to leave you with. I’ll see you next time. Take care.

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