In the 17th century, Jonathan Swift said, “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their hearts.” Benjamin Franklin followed up with, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
I’m all about those two quotes, especially the last one. It’s been my experience that investing in knowledge over the years has paid massive dividends. I’ve been investing in mentors, self-education, and tools I need to better my life. Sharing The School of Greatness with all of you is that investment for myself and hopefully for you as well. Over the past seven years, I’ve brought in experts from around the world to share their knowledge, advice, and experiences — because I believe we learn best through the lens of other people’s stories.
Dean Graziosi is one of those experts whose knowledge I’m excited to share. He’s been a friend of mine for a few years, but I’ve known all about him for 15 years. I used to see his infomercials on TV all the time.
Dean knows how to create success. He’s one of the best teachers and one of the biggest givers that I know –– and he started from extremely humble beginnings.
I had him on the podcast a few years ago (listen to that episode here) and I wanted to have him back on because he recently taught me some things that have helped me streamline my business, generate more revenue, and optimize things.
This is a total game-changer episode, and I can’t wait to share with you everything I learned from Dean. Plus, stay tuned –– at the end of the episode, we talk about a FREE class that Dean will be leading with the legendary Tony Robbins. You don’t want to miss that! First though, I want to introduce you to a little more about Dean’s background and his journey to greatness.
Dean is an author, investor, entrepreneur, podcast host, and trainer. He is a New York Times best-selling author who built a multi-million dollar real estate business from the ground up. Over the span of Dean’s career, he has started or has been involved in 13+ companies that have changed lives all around the world.
Not only is he a businessman, but he’s a gifted teacher as well. Dean is committed to sharing his “Success Habits” that he’s learned over his expansive career. His book Millionaire Success Habits has sold millions of copies, and his podcast, The Dean Graziosi Show, offers advice for those looking to learn strategies to take their life, business, and success to the next level.
I met Dean about six years ago at Josh Bezoni’s Mastermind in Austin, Texas –– but I had seen him on TV late at night when I was in my dark period — broken, depressed, and trying to figure out what to do with my life. The man I saw on TV came from humble beginnings but had achieved amazing success. It wasn’t an easy road to get there. Dean is very open about some of the struggles he faced early in life.
“I lived in a trailer park. I was homeless with my dad for a year. We lived in a bathroom. I went through that. I didn’t go to school past high school. I had dyslexia, all this stuff that a lot of us have gone through.” – Dean Graziosi
How did he go from being a homeless man to a millionaire? It started with Dean making a radical shift in mindset.
Dean said there was no “one moment” when he realized he needed to make a change. Instead, he spent time observing people.
“I noticed the people in my town, this little tiny town I grew up in upstate New York, the people who had money seemed happier. I don’t know [how they felt] behind the scenes, but they seemed happier, more fulfilled. They were more relaxed like they were walking up a ladder, instead of my family, who seemed like they were running on a treadmill. We’re going fast, but we’re not going anywhere.” – Dean Graziosi
Dean started questioning why some people were doing well and others were just scraping by. He says it became kind of an obsession for him –– he began thinking about how to develop millionaire habits, but back then, he didn’t realize that’s what he was considering.
“I was young enough and naive enough to just think I could do it. Sometimes you wish you could give that gift to somebody … I had the gift of being naive and a little dumb and not listening to anybody.” – Dean Graziosi
Naivety served him well. Dean wasn’t afraid to take chances and try new things. He didn’t let fear of failure limit his potential. Dean’s career went from working in an auto shop to building houses –– and he started to hit it big. As he reached more success, he started taking more risks.
“It was consistent action, consistent failure, and getting back up. The space between failures is really a huge determining factor of your success. If you can fail fast, you can win quicker. I remember the first time I decided to do an infomercial. I [was] going to write a book on how to make money and go on TV. My family lost their mind –– my sister drove from Virginia to sit down with me and say, ‘It’s time to get real. You did good. You got lucky, but you’re going to blow it.’” – Dean Graziosi
Dean’s sister thought she was protecting him. Fortunately, Dean persisted, and he’s been on TV for the last 17 years selling millions of copies of his books. In our interview, he cautioned that success doesn’t come overnight. Dean had to work hard to get to where he is today, and falling in love with the process of success and failure is what made all the difference.
So what has Dean learned from all his TV experience? He has a formula that he thinks makes his infomercials so successful.
“When I look back at those original infomercials, I had two things going for me. I wasn’t the smartest guy in the world. I struggled with reading, and I was insecure about that. I wasn’t college-educated. I [didn’t] have a really incredible vocabulary. It [was] hard for me to articulate certain words. But what I had was enthusiasm and authenticity. Those early infomercials hit like monsters – I did, 150 million in sales, just from one infomercial.” – Dean Graziosi
There are two lessons that Dean has learned while doing infomercials that I think really apply to anyone looking to be more persuasive in their business and life. The first is to be yourself: Don’t try to come in and show how impressive you are, how much you’ve achieved. Approachability and humility will take you a long way.
The second lesson that is you must make your audience feel understood. Put yourself in their shoes. What are their struggles, their hopes, their resources, and obstacles? Get inside your audience’s mind because that’s who you’re speaking to!
Dean shares some of the habits he’s learned over the years that lead to success on his book and on his podcast, and we talk about them in this episode. There’s one practice Dean talks about that I find so inspirational. It’s called the 7 Levels Deep Exercise — and it’s a direct path toward finding your “why.”
How it works is that you start by asking yourself, “What do I want to do?” Then follow that question with, “Why is that important to me?” seven more times. Dean went through this exercise with marketing expert Joe Stump.
“By the time I got to the third question, I switched from my head to my heart. I felt my physiology change. I felt my emotions change. I felt tears welling up. And when he asked me, I don’t even remember what the fourth thing I said was, but the third thing I said was I never want to go backward. He got me thinking about things I haven’t thought about in years.” – Dean Graziosi
Dean says at the time, the experience totally opened up his mindset. He learned so much about himself through this exercise.
“I moved 20 times. By the time I was 19, [my parents had remarried nine times], five for my dad, five for my mom, four for my dad. We were always moving like military kids. I’d be in a cul-de-sac with a new stepdad, stepbrothers, stepsisters … and my mom [said] we’re moving again. I moved in with my dad, with my grandma. [After] this crazy childhood … [I didn’t] want anybody to ever tell me when to move, how to dress, how to live, how to work, how I’m going to raise my kids … I realized that … my ‘why’ was that I don’t want to be a control freak. I just want to be in control.” – Dean Graziosi
Dean says that whenever he has a bad day or whenever he struggles with something, he can return to that “why.” That exercise rocked him to his core, but it also helped him build a strong foundation. It’s what drives him every day toward his greatness. What drives you toward greatness? What causes you to dig deep and keep working toward what you want to achieve?
So what’s Dean shooting for next? He says there are two things that he’ll never stop striving to achieve. The first is helping people the tools and strategies to harness their potential. The second goal is something I really love.
“Number one is to just be a totally present and impactful father. I’m at this magical age, where the kids are eight and ten years old. I’m still Superman [to them].” – Dean Graziosi
Of course, that doesn’t mean Dean is slowing down at all. Dean is partnering with Tony Robbins to offer a FREE course on the “one thing” that has allowed them to create massive success in up and down markets — it’s highly relevant for what many of us are going through today. You can sign up for it here!
Guys, Dean had so many nuggets of wisdom in this episode –– and his story is so inspirational. Listen to the full episode for more, and don’t forget to share the episode with someone who needs to hear it: You could change someone’s life.
I’m so grateful to Dean for coming on the show again and sharing his knowledge. He’s not super active on social media, but you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram, as well as on his podcast. If I can leave you with one big piece of advice, it’s that you should go out and get his book, Millionaire Success Habits.
I’ll leave you with Dean’s definition of greatness:
“Just going at it full-tilt boogie. A buddy of mine [from high school] used to say, when he’s playing football and had a great game, ‘I was full-tilt boogie.’ I don’t even know what that means, but I think the definition of greatness is just knowing that you gave it your all.” – Dean Graziosi
Join me on Episode 787 to learn about giving it your all and developing a mindset of success with the always inspiring Dean Graziosi.
Lewis: This is episode number 787 with Dean Graziosi. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes, a former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today now let the class begin.
Jonathan Swift said “A wise person should have money in their head but not in their hearts.” And Benjamin Franklin said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” I am all about that last quote ‘the investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” For decades I’ve been investing in knowledge, I’ve been investing in mentors, I’ve been investing in self-education, I’ve been investing in optimizing the tools to better my life and the school of greatness is that investment for myself in finding these experts in the world and bringing them to myself and then bring them to the world to you.
Dean Graziosi has been a friend of mine for a few years, I’ve known about him for 15 years because I used to see him on TV all the time when I was broken. You know a teenager I would see this guy on TV he knows about success, he knows how to create success, he’s one of the best teachers one of the best givers that I know, and he started from extremely humble beginnings. He started with a firewood business in high school to a collision repair shop, to then his first real estate deal before the age of 20. And from there he went on to create multi-million dollar Estate Empire, becoming a multiple New York Times best-selling author, over 16 years every day on TV and he’s one of the most watch real estate success trainers of our generations.
Dean has maximize success and profits in each of these endeavors along with his evolution and business and brand have generated nearly one billion dollars in revenue. It’s just amazing to see what he’s created and the wealth of that information he has assimilated over the last few decades. He’s got a best-selling book called ‘millionaire success habits’ that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, he’s blowing up online everything, and I had him on a few years ago and I want him back on because he taught me some things recently that just really helped streamline my business and generate more revenue and helped me optimize things.
In this interview we talked about the power of shaping your mindset around money, because money is one of the most powerful things that we talked about on the school of greatness, it’s got some of the biggest episodes that we’ve ever done around money. For whatever reason people want to learn how to make more money, they want to learn how to overcome the fear of money, all these things so we can continue to have these episodes.
We talked about the power of shaping your mindset around your money so that you can attract an abundance of money. Also, the 3 moments in Dean’s childhood that defines his drive and how to turn being an underdog into an advantage. So, if you ever felt like you were smaller, didn’t have the education you know came from a small town, we’re gonna talk about how you can turn that into your greatest advantage. And these 3 secrets that millionaires have in common.
Before we dive in a big thank you to our sponsors that helps us share this message far and wide and what the production of the quality of the school of greatness and that is netsuite. Now, if you don’t know about your financial numbers in your business then you don’t know your business and you’ll always struggle. I want to introduce to you netsuite by Oracle. Now, this is the business management software that handles every aspect of your business in an easy to use cloud platform giving you the visibility and control you need to grow. With netsuite you save time, money, and unneeded headaches by managing sales, finances and accounting, orders, and HR instantly right from your desktop or phone. That’s why netsuite is the world’s number 1 cloud business system. And right now netsuite is offering valuable insights with a free guide ‘The 7 key strategy to grow your profits’ at netsuite.com/greatness. You can get the free guide right now ‘The 7 key strategy to grow your profits’ by going netsuite.com/greatness.
Also the summit of greatness is coming this September. Columbus, Ohio is about to be a massive destination where thousands of people come from around the world. If you don’t have your tickets yet we’ve got some incredible speakers that we haven’t announce yet. Over half of the stadium is already full and sold of tickets and we haven’t announce one speaker, it’s going to be that powerful guys. Make sure to go to summitofgreatness.com get yourself a ticket.
Okay guys this is going to be a game changer episode I can feel it. In the middle of this interview I was just getting so excited and I know so many of you are going through challenges financially or maybe making a lot of money but you’re struggling how to manage it and how to break through the next level, so I want to continue to give you as much value as possible, and Dean is such a giver of knowledge and value.
Also, Dean is doing something really cool and powerful with Tony Robbins, who we’ve had on the show a few times. And they’re doing a free class training about knowledge. If you want to learn more about them and how you can turn your expertise, your knowledge, your skillset into millions then you want to get into this free class with them. So, at the end I’m going to tell you how you can get access to this free class where Dean and Tony are gonna go live in teaching how you can turn any skill, passion or hobby into making millions. Without further ado let’s dive into this episode with the one the only Dean Graziosi.
Welcome everyone to the school of greatness podcast we have a living legend Dean Graziosi in the house.
Dean: Thanks for having me here man this is awesome.
Lewis: I’m excited. I first found out about you probably 10 or 15 years ago from TV, late night when I was probably broken and depressed trying to figure out what my life, and you’re on there talking about broken real estate stuff. I remember you in front of a house talking about how you generated or something like that. I don’t know if you remember this I met you I think it was probably 5 or 6 years ago at Josh [?] mastermind.
Dean: In Austin?
Dean: That’s right. I was wondering where I met you the first time.
Lewis: And then I met you again I think for like a hot second through [?]. So, I think we met briefly.
Dean: And now we’re here.
Lewis: I’ve got a lot of questions for you today you wrote a book called ‘millionaire success habits.’ And you are a New York Times best-seller written a number of books, and why this book? Why a book about millionaire success habits?
Dean: Great question. My first New York Times best-seller was called ‘totally fulfilled.’ I was in the business and I read it now, you know it’s like. But I wrote that book because I had been already in the education business for 10 years and when you obsess on people getting results at which everyone is watching at what you do in life, like there’s nothing better than being passionate about what you do. And what I look for people would fall short on doing a real estate deal or taking their life to the next level or taking action. It had nothing to do with my tactical skills on what I taught in real estates because what I was teaching was exactly what I did, I literally you know go to the story, but I live in a trailer park I was homeless with my dad, I didn’t get pass through high school and all the stuff that a lot of us have gone through. When I got frustrated I don’t need to write a real estate book, I need to write a book to get their own way, to just use the [?] I’m giving you so you can take action.
Lewis: They have the strategy but they won’t get the result.
Dean: First obstacle they go backwards you know it doesn’t work, limiting beliefs people from the outside, all the things we all know and if your audience are watching they get a lot of that stuff. So, I wrote that book and then went on to write 4 or 5 more real estate books. In the last couple of years it just been on my heart to share the process of which I went through and then being blessed to be friends with really successful people and billionaires. The more success you have the more you realize that it’s less shifts in your life than you think.
I think when you’re struggling and you want more if you think back when you were on the couch to your sister’s house you probably thought there was a hundred or 200 things you had to change about you, you had to discover the latest and greatest technology and all the things of the complexity of today’s world. We’re overloaded with information, we’re overloaded with delivery systems. We get so much complexity with the delivery systems and we forget that it really boils down to about a handful of things that makes someone successful or not.
So, through my years and touching lives of millions of people and reading tens of thousands of post and doing live events you realize that people are just lacking these habits that they could shift and that’s what I got on this obsession 18 months ago and that’s why millionaire success habits.
Lewis: Who is your biggest mentor growing up?
Dean: You know I would say I didn’t have a lot of mentors growing up. I was probably more running away from the whole life I had. You know I hated watching my parents struggled, I mean all they ever worry about is money, like there was no time for coaching little league. My daughter is here with me today to my first business trip when she turn 10 she’s here on business trip, but you know I get to coach the little league I get to go to every dance recital and the park at the middle of the day. I watched my parents not have any of those options, they were great parents they just didn’t have those options.
So, I think I was running away from the pain of money and broke and all that. But I would have to say 18 years ago Tony Robbins made a mess and impacted my life. I mean he’s one of my dearest friends now but 18 years ago, so I would say he made a big impact on me for sure.
Lewis: How did you get out of the I guess the scarcity mindset or the scarcity life you were living in? How did you shift it? Was there information you learn from Tony or someone else that help you get started?
Dean: It’s funny I was asked that question before and I don’t have a specific epiphany. I can remember thinking throughout high school and even in my early 20’s, maybe not in my early 20’s I flip pretty quick.
Lewis: You didn’t go to college right?
Dean: I barely got out of high school. I can remember thinking in high school whatever year that was, I hope someday I can get a job and make a thousand bucks a week and just get by I’m not that smart because I have trouble reading, I still can’t read great. I had dyslexia it’s what I think been diagnose now but I still can’t comprehend good when I read but I didn’t realize I was an audible and visual learner. I can listen to a book and I’ll memorize the whole book, I can watch somebody on stage and emulate that if it fits my life. But sometimes we’re judge by a scorecard that doesn’t, it’s an outdated scorecard right? So, not only did we have no money I also felt I’m not smart enough to go to school. And something change around 17 – 18 years old, just something flipped and I notice and this is gonna sound like a pitch for the book but it’s not, but I notice the people in my town the people that had money they seem happier. My family seem like they’re running on a treadmill, we’re going fast but we’re not going anywhere.
What I notice is that I didn’t call it habit so I love to say I figured this out in my 20’s, but what I realize is that they just did different things that my family and my friends were doing. And I just started obsessing on that and I was young enough and naïve enough to just think I could do it you know. I mean sometimes you wish you could give that gift to somebody in their 20’s, 30’s. I had the gift of being naïve and a little dumb and not listening to anybody.
In 1998 I did my first infomercial and my sister drove from Virginia because by then. So in 1998 I had apartments, I had a collision shop, I had auto-sales, and I was building houses.
Lewis: How old where you when you started that?
Dean: I was 28 or 29 years old.
Lewis: So in your early 20’s you started to do?
Dean: Yeah, I hit big in the real estate by the time I was 26, 27 years old just by taking actions and knocking on a million doors.
Lewis: Consistent action.
Dean: And consistent failing and getting back up. The space between failures is really a huge determining factor of your success right, it’s like if you can fail fast you can win quicker. So, I remember I decided to do infomercial, I’m gonna write a book on how to make money and go on TV, and my family lost their mind, like my sister drove from Virginia to sit down with me and say “It’s time to get real, you did good.” I remember that conversation like it was yesterday.
Lewis: Your sister?
Dean: My sister and did it out of love, she thought she’s protecting me. How many people listening right now want to listen to you or? So, I remember that conversation and I literally almost gave up on it, I remember cancelled the thing and luckily I remember thinking that if I keep these patterns I am going to continue the same process my family has and I want more. And we filmed it and the show went on TV and you know aired in 1999 and went 17 years straight without missing a day on TV.
Lewis: Has it stop now?
Dean: It stopped because we’re going from my real estate to biz, so we’re just pausing.
Lewis: 17 years. Was it all throughout the U.S or all over the world?
Dean: Just U.S
Lewis: Was there a guy named Big a part of this?
Dean: He bought some of my media. So, he work for mercury media and I had, one time when we were really cranking I had 3 media companies at the same time.
Lewis: Amazing, now is this the same infomercial?
Dean: No. Some was an interview and some drove my car, that was my biggest one I just put a dash camera on my windshield and I drove on a car for half hour and pitch. I stop at streetlights and pitch my book.
Lewis: How did you think these infomercials would do well for you? You know you had a good system and making good money, why risk something like that?
Dean: Tony, if I lost all my money I have to blame him.
Lewis: He was on TV.
Dean: He was on TV and he inspired on like I want to inspire people on my story. I didn’t even know about direct mail or the internet wasn’t really there yet and it was AOL dial up. So, I wasn’t the internet and I was naïve enough, I mean I shot the infomercial and then I didn’t know how to get it on TV.
Lewis: How did you know what formula was gonna work?
Dean: I didn’t, I just watch Tony. I remember I was a nervous wreck and scared but my, you know and I’m happy to talk about me but I really want to serve today, I want to give back anything that I can do to somebody watching right now that wants to get over that obstacle or they feel like they are at a plateau. That’s the biggest frustration in life is knowing you have more gas in the tank and you don’t know where to go or how to go or get that momentum. I did the infomercial being so naïve, I had no idea how to get it on and it’s just a part I was gonna tell everybody persistence. I literally flew to Arizona to meet a media buyer and I said “I had no idea what I am doing” and I just kept pushing it and one of those things that I think during the evolution of growing from wherever you are to where you want to go is do whatever you do best, I mean do whatever you’re doing the best you can knowing there’s the bigger horizon. So, I literally working during the day on cars, I’d paint cars and doing collision repair, at night I’d go work on my apartments and I was a plumber and hang sheet rock, and I work till midnight on houses and I was tired. But I had a dream I knew I wanted to help people do better.
So, it made what I was doing okay because I knew there was more. So the big problem I see is people want more and they hate what they’re doing so they’re in a state of mind “Oh God I just want to get done on this crap and then someday I’ll reach my dreams.” And if you can flop that and go ‘No, this is the gateway to my dreams. I don’t care what it is.’
Lewis: Become a master.
Dean: Just become a master and that’s the income and the security and the mindset that fuels the next level. It’s like you need to master that.
Lewis: Yeah the process. You got to fall in love with that process.
Dean: You do and the evolution and the failure.
Lewis: You’re not gonna have overnight success you know like probably 10 years until you got into that.
Dean: Like the first time you see an actor in a movie.
Lewis: Is there a formula to like the most successful infomercial? Like 5 or 6 things that you must have?
Dean: You know it is funny there is a thought I had and it never happens because I just got [?]. But I went flat for a second because what I was thinking, what I was gonna tell you is that how do you know it’s gonna work? And what I share with anybody watching or any kind of marketing or any kind of persuasion or any kind of getting something or persuading something. When I look back at those original infomercials I had 2 things: I wasn’t the smartest guy in the world, but what I had was is enthusiasm and authenticity. When I look back at those infomercials and they hit like monsters, I mean one infomercials I did one of the first sit downs did 150 million in sales.
Lewis: How long was that?
Dean: About 18 months. And I looked back at that and I don’t say that to brag, I barely say anything about money I say that to make an impact because I wasn’t the smartest guy, I didn’t go to college. Most people watching are way further ahead than I was when I started.
Lewis: You weren’t train off camera.
Dean: But what I did have is I look back even at those old shows where I am embarrassed to see myself, my New York accent was super heavy, is I had authenticity and enthusiasm and I think people can see this guy really wants to help. And as I evolved and I did a sit down Larry King style infomercial, he’s the one that gave me the idea for that then I did the one where I was driving my car.
The reason I did that driving in my car is I wanted people to know that I wasn’t using a teleprompter, there wasn’t somebody scripting me. It was me just driving it wasn’t produced, it was me driving from my office. Brianna and my son were probably 3 and 1 and when I got to the door they came running out that was the end of the infomercial.
Lewis: That’s cool.
Dean: And that wasn’t even planned they just ran out because dad was home. But I did that because I can tell the authenticity and the enthusiasm I had to change people’s lives was there. So, what I would say for an infomercial for any kind of marketing you still need to, I mean what I wrote in this book but what you need is the core foundations of what success are. Now, I would say a couple of things when it comes to persuasion. I wasn’t a scientist of selling I just had an innate ability to sell through that passion and then you get 10,000 hours and then all of a sudden it becomes good.
So, on the job training but when I look back and if I go off an area that you want really back in. People buy from you will love you, will learn from you, will give you a promotion when they feel understood not when they understand you. And that was one of the biggest lessons ever, when you watch someone who is so full of knowledge, so full of wisdom and wants to sell their products, they always want to just exude who they are and their credentials and what they have and can solve the problem, and that will get you so far. Being great and sharing who you are will get you out of [?], understand how people feel and let them feel how you understood and that will get you the promise land.
So, when you go to an audience or you’re talking to close deal most people wants to share and sometimes you just need to be quiet and what’s going on in that person’s life. Be an expert at the temporary state of mind, understand what they’re going through with that minute and let them feel you understood. But when someone watches you and goes “Man, that guys gets me he understands my struggles. That’s someone I can pitch my part to rather than some who’s got great credentials.” So two things when it comes to infomercial persuasion the two things I always tell myself is “How do I make sure that person feels understood?” And secondly “How do I enter a conversation going on their mind?” You know when you were on your sister’s couch you had different struggles, right? The conversations in your head have change dramatically from when you were on your sister’s couch to now. So what happens and I’ve watched this with marketers and people in business, you remember that pain and passion the desire for more. I mean you could probably close your eyes right now and remember that desire thing ‘am I ever gonna make it?’ and even a little bit of envy from some of your buddy’s have made it, or a little jealousy doesn’t mean that you wish ill thoughts on them. If you remember that pain if you remember that process you will always serve anybody watching who needs that, but what happens to some people is as they evolve and you’re gonna join the country club or maybe get married.
Lewis: Private jet.
Dean: And the pilot gonna be laid and then you’re like ‘I got a Facebook team should I outsource?’ And all of a sudden your conversations change, you get to do an interview or you pitch on camera or you do an infomercial, and all of a sudden you’re having conversations in your head and your audience feel disconnected and you don’t even know why, because now you are asking questions of a completely different group because you’ve evolved.
So the two things again I always go back to even before I turn back the camera on I said “People buy from you, adore you if they feel understood and I want to enter conversations going on in their heads not mine.” So such simple little things but it’s a foundation for persuasion.
Lewis: So what are some of the habits then that you learned over the years that the millionaires have and the rest of the people don’t have?
Dean: I told you before with being a dad you always want to be able to look in the mirror no matter how much money you’re making and look at that person and say ‘Are you good with you?’ Like are you compromising who you are and are you going against your values to be successful, but you have to have that conversation with the man in the mirror right? But when you have kids it compounds times a thousand. So I would say a morning routine this is just one of them that’s been huge in my life. It is setting my day up for success and an interview like this there’s so many different directions you can, but I want to give some really strong takeaways. Everybody watching we suffer on all different levels of suffering, some people suffer on a high level because is the job gonna get done? Is the deal gonna come through? Like we have these moments of suffering no matter if its 5 minutes of suffering or an hour or months. Some people lose a relationship and they suffer for years, and if you can limit the time you suffer the more you can work on the solutions the better your life. People stuck in suffering are stuck forever.
Lewis: There were moments I was suffering and I didn’t let go of it.
Dean: If you hold on to it there’s not enough energy or focus to keep moving forward. So, I’ve been on this obsession and literally Tony Robbin flew out, him and I got really close. He flew out and we had lunch 9 months ago and he was on the same thing of like eliminating complete suffering gone. Now, everybody knows that gratitude is the key to success, but it’s hard sometimes the roadrunners [?]. I remember as a kid beat the roadrunner, so most of our lives with Facebook and social media and cellphones so much dust around us, it’s hard to like see through it.
So, I just obsessed on how do I start my day to make it doesn’t happen. So one thing I do is at night I put my phone on airplane mode and for the last year especially when I wake up I do not check email or text, because I can’t.
Lewis: Especially in bed right?
Lewis: You feel like anxious.
Dean: Life just grab a hold of you and they’re gonna tell you how your days are going to be. So, I leave my phone on airplane mode and the first thing I do is I feed my soul and that’s not this, I’m just being honest I don’t chant I don’t do hours of meditation. What I’ve done is I’ve lowered the bar of gratitude. Now, these are habits that I look and made me successful made me keep moving forward. So, I find gratitude but I’ve lowered the bar. When you can find gratitude on the lowest level, I see your wall you’ve got amazing people that’s amazing goals, but sometimes we just set ourselves up until you get one of those pictures up there and the rest of the stuff is just mundane, it’s not we’re in this beautiful world and blessed every day. Even this interview if you get one thing it was worth the time with us being together. So, I find a way to be grateful the first few moments when I wake up by lowering the bar or sometimes I open a book like I just read the untethered soul second time, I read 2 sentences out loud and then I feed my body. So, I immediately get up and I mean it’s just my personal thing but I pour a big glass of water with lemon or green juice, whether its workout or exercise I just move. And those 3 things set me up for a successful day and then when I get back, this is something that I’ve been doing for a year, there’s things that. Listen you’re in business there’s things that you love to do, but there’s some things you don’t want to do. I used to think that I have to do that today and I just switch that, in the mornings I write a quick little list every day of what I get to do. I just put that word of what I get to do, when I think about that I used to literally live in a bathroom with my dad, and during my teens I used to work with cars all day and smelled fumes because the room is smoky.
Lewis: You get conference calls. You’re not a victim anymore.
Dean: I’m not a victim anymore and again and again on many levels it makes a difference.
Lewis: I love it any other thing in the morning that you do?
Dean: That’s it.
Lewis: Are there any non-negotiable with you besides the routine?
Dean: No not really. I’m pretty flexible.
Lewis: There’s a part actually that I want to go over in your book called ‘7 levels deep.’ This is an exercise that you do and what is this this exercise for and how does it go?
Dean: 7 levels deep was probably the biggest impact in my life ever.
Dean: Joe Stamp I hired him because I want to get more engage with all my students so it’s all about if you can get somebody to digest some of your book, if somebody would read 30 pages of your book how do you get them to first 30 pages? So, I am always obsessing in trying to create ethical bribes or whatever it is you can do to take action. We know books work it’s the books and the actions. So, anyway so Joe comes in and I said “I want to do whatever I can” and he said “7 levels deep.” I don’t know where he got it from this is probably 8 years ago. I paid Joe 10 grand every day of consulting time. So we sit there and with the 7 levels deep, everybody wants to know your purpose and meaning of life and it kind of played out. But I don’t know if anything really gets to the heart of as simple as this. I remember saying there’s a lot of people in this industry that shouldn’t be here and there’s some great people, I want to rise all the good and push the rest out, I want to leave a legacy for my kids. So he said “I ask you why you pay me 10 grand?” and the whole point is asking the previous question 7 times. By the time I got to third question, what happens is when there was 3 questions I should say, he ask me 4th time it switch from my head to my heart and I felt my physiology change and I felt my emotions change and we ask, and I don’t even remember the 4th thing I said. But the 3rd thing I said was I never wanted to go backwards, and it got me thinking about things I haven’t thought about in years. I didn’t like being the kid with hand me downs, I’d make my parents drop me off the street with junky car, my life was design to be the way it was so I wouldn’t be the man I am today. There were days I would go to school without lunch money and I just tell my buddy’s I’m not hungry because I didn’t have a buck, right? So, I never want to go back there and I felt like an emotion and it hit me so hard like that’s what it is, and he said “Dean, why is it important that you never go backwards?” I don’t know and it hit me and I thought my kids, I just want to give them options I don’t want to raise entitled kids or brats, but I want to give them options that I didn’t have. So by now I was literally crying and weeping and it came to and he said “Why is it important?” And it hit me and I never knew why I worked so hard since I was cutting firewood in high school and did all the stuff.
I said I need to be in control of my life, and these emotions flooded. Everybody got a thing but for me I realize that my parents were married 9 times when I was a kid, so I moved 20 times by the time I was 19.
Lewis: Both parents were married.
Dean: 5 for my mom 4 for my dad. Crazy always moving like military kids. So, I’d be a coal in a sack with a new step-dad or step-brother or step-sister, and then I moved in with my dad and grandma. So, I had this crazy half scotch.
Lewis: No certainty.
Dean: There was no certainty. So, I realize at that moment I literally cry and I don’t want anybody to tell me when to move or how to dress or how to work, how to raise my kids, definitely not gonna kiss someone’s ass for money, and I realize at that moment my why was I don’t want to be a control freak. When I was 27 I retired both my parents I stop worrying about them, I took care of my grandmother. So, I got those problems out of the way and when I anchored that in and you watching at home it is like if you think you’re watching this because you want to be an entrepreneur, you already are. So many times we’re thinking it’s because I want to get out of that job, I want this freedom I just want more money and it’s 7 times deeper than that. And when you find that and the reason I know this not only, it wasn’t transformational to me is I did live events in Las Vegas for 6 years straight, every single month there was 400 people in the room that paid.
Lewis: Real estate events right?
Dean: So about 5 and a half years I did every month in Las Vegas. So once a month I’d fly in and that was like the highest level, and every single month I pick somebody and come on up and let’s do 7 levels deep. I don’t know what it’s like to be sick in my mind it’s program to be power through because I focus foundationally on this why. So, I remember this guy a big dude and with dread locks he was huge, he comes up and pick me up and gives me a big hug, so I said “Why are you here?” He said “I already know dude you’re not gonna get 7 levels on me, I’ve already done the exercise. I’m here because in my neighborhood there’s no dads. There’s not enough dads in my neighborhood. I grew up without a dad, these kids need dads. So I’m making money in real estate and I’m starting this use group.”
He had this amazing story I mean I melted on the first one and I said “Why is that important to you?” and he’s laughing and joking and gives me another reason. He gets the number 2 or 1 and then everything change on him, he gets small and he starts crying I mean like uncontrollable crying and he gets to his number 1 and he’s like “My mom raised a good boy but when she died 9 years ago I was a drug addict and she never saw the man she created and I am showing her in heaven.” And again we all have our own reasons for doing something. When you get to the heart of why you’re watching, why you do what you do? It’s so much deeper than what you think and I forget sometimes, I hope I don’t sit here and seem like I got my life all figured out. I’ve had more blessings in my life than I ever could imagine. So, I appreciate my lessons but I’m not perfect in all these stuff but when I practice these habits and I think through this and recognize my why, the days that I am off track the days that I get a bit off more than I can chew or the days where I feel like I plateaued. When I go back to that why it’s like game over.
Lewis: You’ve achieved so much over the years, you know you said over the first 18 months a hundred and fifty million in sales and that was 20 years ago and the things you created now. Now, you’ve created so much and impacted so many lives, it sounds like you don’t need to work or need to keep pushing. What’s the dream and why do you keep going after it?
Dean: 3 things. I think there’s 3 types of entrepreneurs: There is an entrepreneur who wants to work under the blanket of someone else, right? They’re the person that’s in a company they want to rise up through the ranks and be an entrepreneur but kind of with a safety net and it doesn’t make them any worse or better, I mean without the implementers in your life.
Lewis: The team.
Dean: Without the team who would I be without the amazing people on my team? Secondly there’s lifestyle entrepreneurs like my buddy Dean Jackson, he’s got this ‘I know I’m being successful’ anybody can be a lifestyle entrepreneur there’s just a certain amount of money, he says “I know I am being successful when I don’t have an alarm clock in my house and it never goes off. I wear black t-shirts and no one gives a shit.” So he has this list and he knows he’s being successful when and that’s lifestyle entrepreneurs. And then there’s entrepreneurs that just accomplishment based. They thought it was when I get the money and success out of the way then I can stop worrying, and it’s not it’s the next accomplishment of what you can do. So it never changes it just but always have your focus on something like you see people who go to Warren Buffet and at his age he’s still crushing, because he has a bigger purpose. So, I would say you know a couple of years ago especially when the kids are young I was thinking ‘should I just cash out and spend 10 years being dad?’ I would be the best me, I love accomplishing and creating and I love something new.
Lewis: What do you want to accomplish in your life? What’s the big thing?
Dean: First and foremost I’d love to say it’s you know top 2 is showing people easier path. I think most people are, they’re driving a hundred miles an hour and they don’t know where to go. It’s like even if they got a Ferrari engine they don’t have any GPS, everybody is going fast and most of the time they think it’s gonna be this dramatic spectacular things.
I think I have the ability to deliver a message in a way that it sticks, and that’s what I’ve been blessed to do in real estate. It’s not that I found the only way to make money in real estate but I was the biggest real estate educator in the entire world, there was nobody even close to me.
Dean: There was other guys who are great in education, I just think I found my way to deliver it and it’s probably because of my dyslexia and my learning disability and stuff I found a way to get people more recipes. So, I would say a big fuel is getting people these strategies in their hands so they can see there’s a better way. But the number 1 is to be a totally present and impactful father.
Lewis: 2 or 3 years.
Dean: Exactly. I’m going to absorbed it while I can. A couple of years I might get a new try for teenagers to like yourself.
Lewis: What’s the thing people miss understanding about you the most?
Dean: I would say because I did infomercial for years. So, I think the biggest misconception is, I’m an introvert and when I’m on stage or on camera or interview I love it, but if I go to my like kids school function and there’s a whole bunch of people around I’m the one hiding in the corner or playing with the kids. I’m not a networker I’ve never had any business card in my entire life and I think some people when they see that if they’re looking from a far if they don’t come and shake my hand people will say “That guy he’s too good for anybody.” They really don’t know I’m hiding.
Dean: Right, so I would say that and I think the infomercial thing you know I got just one more thing about Tony Robbins the first time I met him about 5 years ago. I go up to his hotel room he’s doing a date with destiny and invites me up for lunch, and I get there and we’re talking for like 15 minutes and he stands up and gets up and picks me up and gives me a hug and he says “I got to apologize to you because I almost cancelled this meeting today because you’re an infomercial guy.” And he goes “I made a judgement” So, I think that those 2 things are probably the biggest.
Lewis: I’m so surprise you still do infomercials then if you think so many people you know.
Dean: I don’t mind because it’s all about the message. I want to get my message out there and I’ve been off TV for 2 and a half years on purpose by choice. But with millionaire’s success habits, I ran across Larry King who has a big impact in my life we met and I said “Do you want to do a show?”
Lewis: So he interviewed you?
Dean: He interviewed me and the funny thing is, 9 years ago I’m watching Larry King interviewing Joe [?], he says to Joe “I’m a Jew, I don’t believe in Jesus does that mean I’m going to hell?” Could you imagine getting ask like that on Larry King with millions watching? Joe was like in different colors and he didn’t know how to answer. So, I’ve seen that and I remember thinking ‘Oh my God could you imagine if Larry just looked at the camera and said [?].” And that’s what inspired me to do a Larry King show. So, I raised and build a set like Larry King, I spent 4 grand for Larry King’s microphone, I did all these stuff and did my interview and that was my big breakout show. That’s when my company went from 10 to 15 million a year, we broke a hundred million dollar in a year within 18 months.
Lewis: The bald guy?
Dean: We had different guys through the years but we did all these different things right? So, I say that so Larry King inspired me to do that, now everybody sit down, but I was the first one out there and the first one who sold the book.
Lewis: On the infomercial.
Dean: On the infomercial. So, we sell the book and Larry makes an impact in my life and he doesn’t know it. Fast forward years now Larry comes and I haven’t use that in ages, we [?] back out because Larry is coming to do this interview, and I’m nervous like a little kid. So, Larry comes and we go to dinner and the next day he comes to the studio and I’m telling him this story and he’s not paying attention to me and he goes over and says “You know the mic isn’t supposed to be here?” And he moved it. And he says you have questions for me? And I do I have all your questions in the teleprompter, but why don’t you just start the show like you always start shows ‘It’s my widest book right now’ he used to say all the time, and he goes “Dean, you don’t need this why the hell are you doing a book now?” And we just rift for half hour.
Lewis: So there’s no pre-question he used on the prompter? He just went off one and two?
Dean: Yeah and we rocked it. Larry he is an amazing joke teller.
Lewis: Amazing joke and storyteller.
Dean: There’s nobody better, and I don’t know if you knew who Harvey Mckay is. So, last Friday Larry came to my office and Harvey is there they were there for 2 hours, I’m in between these 83 and 84 years old they got more history, and they just outdoing each other with stories and they looked at me and I got nothing. So, Larry for all the years that he’s doing live with Larry King, he has a producer who’s like a practical prankster but really good at what he does. And he said anytime someone was at the office little off or grumpy they’d get him, so they want to get him. So the guy came in every day structured, he came with his briefcase and hat and overcoat and go to work. So they went and found the hat the exact same hat and both one two sizes small. So every day they let him go where he could put the hat on and couldn’t get over his head. So they didn’t just leave that and then they told him “Then we bought a hat 2 sizes too big and we left that there for a week.” And he says “He’s rolling a paper and stuffing it in his hat.”
Lewis: No way.
Dean: And I’m like oh my God, but Larry told that story so amazing and then they finally told him after 2 weeks.
Lewis: That’s hilarious, it’s amazing. Is there any question that you wish more people ask you that they don’t ask?
Dean: Probably, I think I watched when we did the fund raises with Richard Branson and went there I watched everybody try to ask him like ‘how’d you get to be a billionaire?’ and I think that’s the wrong question when you see somebody successful. I think it’s more of like asking them what their why was or how they overcame obstacles or how they persevered. And I don’t think it’s about, it’s about the story I think so many people give up on the 5 yard line. I think so many of you are just there and think it’s so much heavier. When you start playing at a higher level there’s not a lot competition and I’m not doing much different now than I did when I start my collision shop, I’m doing the same thing just on a bigger scale. I still have to overcome negativity, I still have to get out of bed, I still am stressed in some days, and some days I questions myself and some days I make bad decisions and it’s just how you get over them, how you handle it and how you go forward is everything. I’m talking and thinking at the same time and the last thing or one of the last things I’d love people to really think about is their thoughts. Have you read the untethered soul?
Dean: You got to put it on your list. So untethered soul for me is that and so much more a great book. So, I’ll refrain it’s that one but if it is one specific question I love for people to say ‘how do you be the observer of your thoughts?’ and that’s something.
Lewis: So how do you?
Dean: I want to be the observer of thoughts immediately and I’m not there yet, I want to trigger because when you’re having a bad day, a stressful day and you feel off or overwhelmed most of the times it’s just the thoughts having in that particular day, and when you can look back and view those thoughts you can make a decision to throw them out or not let that spin you up or feel it for 10 minutes and then throw it out. But when you leave them there they just linger and the more I’ve become aware of my thoughts the more I evolve as a person. So, again I am trying to observe my thoughts as they have it. We’re at breakfast and breakfast is really important to our family we have breakfast every single day, and I cook for them most of the time and. So we sit at breakfast and try to have conversation about gratitude and all these kind of stuff, my son Brodie was obsessed with these crayon and they were like these crazy colors. So, I’m sitting there and using them and I pull out and he names it, I put out all and he names them all 25 or 50 in that pack. So, he names all of them these big long names and I’m like ‘dude what an incredible gift, I couldn’t memorize these if I spent a month.’ But that’s him he’s the structured organize kid. So, Bree she says to me “I can do that” she studied it and like 5 minutes later on the second one she remembered them, like we’re all blessed with different gifts I couldn’t remember, but he does that and my daughter is the inventor. She comes up with ideas that real not kid invention, she’s gonna be the visionary my son is gonna be the implementer. That’s the 2 kids I have an implementer and a visionary.
So, when she tried all of a sudden she got upset and started almost crying and she said “Dad, it’s because you spend more time with Brodie than me in the mornings.” And I remember just having the immediate thought came from my dad or the way I was brought up and I said to her “Bree, don’t lie to me and don’t lie to yourself.” I work my butt off to be completely equal and you’re telling yourself a lie, it’s not a good story and I went on this rant. And she tucked it up and cry and it was the first time she left the house without kissing me goodbye, and she left for like half hour. It hit me like a ton of bricks, like I absorbed that fault and what I basically told my daughter is that ‘I didn’t give a shit about her feelings that it didn’t matter how she felt.’ I got in my car because only because I am sharing this because I practice trying to observe what’s going on.
Lewis: Even if you’re right.
Dean: Even if I was right. I might have even been write that I keep equal time but I didn’t acknowledge her feelings and I mean that’s the gift of selling, it’s not what people need it’s what they want. So, I drove to her school I got her out of chapel and I walk her outside and I said “Dad, screwed up.” We had a great talk and we kiss, she and I have the best relationship in the world and I left and I felt amazing and she felt amazing. And I never would have caught that if I wasn’t observing my thoughts. So, I say that story about my family and my daughter sitting here right now, but who are you, you know what thoughts are clouding your judgement in a marriage or relationship or in your partnership, whatever it is in your life most of the time those thoughts that are messing with us and if you can observe them you can adjust them.
Lewis: Amazing man. I’ve got a few final questions for you. This one is called the 3 truths. Many years down the line you’ve achieved everything you want but it’s your last day here, and you know it your last day your whole family is there. For whatever reason all of your books have been erased from time and someone in your family comes up and says ‘I have a piece of paper and a pen’ and all you get to do is write down 3 things you know to be true about everything you’ve experienced in your life. The 3 simple truths or the 3 lessons that is all we remember you by physically. What would be the 3 truths for you?
Dean: I think the 3 truths is that it’s not the objects it’s the things that we get to experience. So you can’t buy your way, I had a lot of pain as a kid which we all, I know that I thought for a time in my life that money would fix that and there’s nothing more than the experience. So, it’s the moments and the experience not the things is 1.
I would say success is easier than people think. I think like there’s a lot of days where I’m like “When is everyone going to figure out I am not that smart?” I’m just being honest. I literally for years, people are gonna say I’m not that smart I’m just enthusiastic and you know I have the momentum and so I would say that truth is don’t be overly prepared, be overly enthusiastic and committed.
And I would say last is that I found to not let thoughts be things who I am. If thoughts can be automatically be a thing but not who I am in my soul then I live a good life.
Lewis: Those are great truths.
Before I asked the final question I want to acknowledge you for a moment Dean for your incredible generosity and your enthusiasm for wanting to impact so many people. For a guy who has gone through so much pain and suffering to a person who led the life of service and constantly pushing the envelope and showing what’s possible for people like me who are dyslexic as well and who barely you know got through high school and college myself. You are such an inspiration and every time I see your message or see you in person you’re always smiling and happy and want to give to people. So, I would acknowledge you all those gifts.
Dean: Thank you and I give that back as well because I love what you’re doing and don’t stop keep pushing, no matter what it takes get it out there.
Lewis: Appreciate it. One final question but make sure you guys go and get ‘millionaires success habits.’ Where is the link again?
Dean: Of course it’s on iTunes but we set up a special link at mshbook.com
Lewis: Awesome we’ll have that linked up in the show notes. And where do you hang out most online? Do you use social media at all?
Dean: Not much, a little bit on Facebook, a little bit on Instagram.
Lewis: The final question is what’s your definition of greatness?
Dean: Just go on at it full tilt, a buddy of mine used to say when I was in high school who used to say when he was playing football and he has a great day. I don’t even know what that means but I think definition of greatness is just knowing that you gave it your all and I think so many people on your last, when you’re 90 years old and look back and say if you didn’t give it your all I think that’s one of the things like I had one shot at this why didn’t I just go for it. So I think greatness is just freaking put the pedal to the metal.
Lewis: Appreciate it.
Dean: Appreciate being here man.
Lewis: There you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this, I hope you are getting a ton of value and if you did make sure to share this with one friend, just take the link from the podcast share it with one friend or text them lewishowes.com/787.
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