Dan Miller is the President of 48 Days LLC, which specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions.
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- “You can get anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want in life.” – Zig Ziglar click to tweet!
- Dan shares an incredible failure that resulted in him being $430k in debt, with no business. If he can crawl out of this hole, does your hole really seem that bad?
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret” was Dan’s AHA moment… at age 13, no less!
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John Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, your daily dose of inspiration. If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes. I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you!
John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply thrilled to introduce my guest today, Dan Miller. Dan, are you prepared to ignite?
Dan Miller: Man! Let’s set something on fire, John!
John Lee Dumas: Alright, Dan! Dan is the President of 48 Days LLC which specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions.
I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview, Dan, but why don’t you take a minute. Tell us a little bit about you personally. We want to get to know you. And then tell us a little bit about your business.
Dan Miller: I’d be delighted to. I’m happy to be with you today, John. I love what you bring to the table and I love your tagline, just the EntrepreneurOnFire. What a great visual image!
John Lee Dumas: Thank you.
Dan Miller: I grew up as a poor farm kid. It sounds like a Steve Martin setup or something, but I really did. We were really, really poor. I mean, I remember when we had one cow that we milked by hand. Well my dad was bivocational. He pastored a little, tiny church in town, and then we were farmers to keep food on the table, and sometimes there wasn’t much of that. But I grew up very quickly, thinking, there’s got to be better options than this. So I became a voracious reader, and in doing so, it opened my mind to a whole new world out there of possibilities, and I just kept following those possibilities. I kept going to school. I went to college and graduate school just to increase my options. But I knew from the day I was able to think introspectively that I was an entrepreneur. That I was somebody who would see how things ought to be done differently, how things could be done better. And so I’ve always taken full responsibility for my results, and in doing so, I’ve never really looked for somebody else to give me a handout or even a job. And in that path, have just had an amazing run of fun things that I’ve been able to do. They may not all even be tied together.
It wasn’t until I was about 45 years old that I realized people were coming to me repeatedly asking me, “Can you help me understand this? Can you help me understand this transition I’m going through? Can you help me understand really what I ought to be able to do?” And so it opened the door, and to leverage that, rather than just spending all my time repeating myself, it opened to door to writing, speaking, coaching. And so now for quite some time, those are the things that I do primarily. So I write, speak and coach, and those opportunities just seem to have no limits.
John Lee Dumas: I just find it incredible the common trait that entrepreneurs have is just being this voracious reader when they were youth. I mean I was in love with reading when I was young. It’s just great to hear so many entrepreneurs just really delve into books and learning at such a young age and it really just sets them up for the future. So it’s just great to hear that you are of similar, Dan.
Dan Miller: Oh my gosh! I still. I mean I read more and more, it seems, all the time. But I tell people often that if you want to double your success rate, the quickest way I know how to do that is to read great books. It takes too long to learn on our own, and we can learn so quickly if we really have open minds and access the wisdom of the ages that’s already right there in front of us.
John Lee Dumas: Well at EntrepreneurOnFire, we love getting the motivational ball rolling really early in the interview. You’ve already done that, but just the fact that you’re a reader, I’m really excited to hear what you have for us for your success quote, Dan, for Fire Nation.
Dan Miller: Identifying one is a challenge because I love quotations. There are so many things that inspire me. But it’s been on my mind since our friend, Zig Ziglar just died, and his kind of mantra has been at the top of my mind the last couple of days. And that is you can get anything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want. That’s a great philosophy, and that inspired me probably 25 years ago. When I heard that, I thought, “Wow! That really is kind of the essence of what I want to do.”
John Lee Dumas: That’s a great quote for so many reasons, Dan. How do you actually apply that today in your business?
Dan Miller: Well, growing up as the son of a pastor, of course I heard the Golden Rule, and it certainly is very much like that, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” But I found out along the way, if you give, you’re going to start receiving, whether you want to or not. My buddy, Rabbi Daniel Lapin wrote the book “Thou Shall Prosper” that says when people ask him, “Does God want us to be rich?” He said, “God wants us to be obsessively preoccupied with serving the needs of others.” End of story. He just stops there. Knowing what happens if you do that.
Now this is not some manipulative kind of thing where I’m going to give John something and then I know that he’s going to invite me on to be his podcast guest or anything. It’s not that kind of thing. If you really just give, it’s amazing the opportunities that start showing up. I don’t mean to just turn your brain off and just give away the Mercedes that you got sitting in the driveway. You need to be strategic and intentional about operating your life with some boundaries and a plan, but it really – I mean I’m reaping the rewards now of things that I did 20 years ago where it shows up like wow! That’s amazing that there was a seed started back there, and now I’m reaping the rewards of that. You have to take a long time perspective. If you’re impatient, that philosophy doesn’t work. But if you really believe in the long term, then you see the payoff.
John Lee Dumas: I love that for so many reasons, Dan, because there’s a Chinese proverb that I really just go to over and over again, and that’s “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the next best time is tomorrow.” That’s just such a great proverb for so many reasons because the seeds that we literally plant today and tomorrow, 20 years from now are really going to just have this fruition for us, and you’ve seen that firsthand.
Dan Miller: Absolutely. I love that proverb as well. That’s a great thought.
John Lee Dumas: Well, Dan, let’s use that to transition to our next topic because EntrepreneurOnFire, it’s all about the journey of the entrepreneur and you’re our spotlighted entrepreneur today. I just am really excited to hear about your journey. You’ve given us some great insights already at a young age. Take us to a point in your journey when you failed or when you had a challenge or an obstacle that you just really had to overcome, and then take us through how you overcame that obstacle.
Dan Miller: Well, it’s not difficult to find one, or two or five. There’s certainly one that comes to mind. I say that in joking because I don’t trust somebody who’s never had a failure. It’s kind of like a high jumper in the Olympics. If the high jumper always clears the bar, you don’t really know how good they are. It’s only when they trip the bar that we have some measurement of how good that person really is. So I don’t fear tripping the bar. It just gives me some direct feedback about, okay, there’s a point where if I’m going to go beyond that, I’m going to have to learn some new things. Being an entrepreneur, I’ve done a lot of different things. I have had an auto business and auto accessories and motorhome rentals. And then I had an opportunity to buy a health and fitness center. Well, I didn’t know anything about the health and fitness industry, but the bottom line looked just amazing, the cash flow of just selling people these memberships coming through. And so I bought this health and fitness center.
Well, I realized pretty quickly I didn’t really have any passion for it, which should have been a red flag. But I kept in there. I made some changes too quickly that affected cash flow, and at the same time, the bank that I was dealing with changed ownership three times in two years. So all of my good old boy handshake relationships were out the window. The bank got nervous. The new ownership bought some of the open lines of credit I had, called some notes, put me in a really untenable position. I ended up selling that business at public auction. Again, I wasn’t real panicked along the way, but at the end of the day, I didn’t have a business and I owed about $430,000. A lot of that to the IRS, which certainly isn’t going to go away.
John Lee Dumas: No.
Dan Miller: I was encouraged to file bankruptcy, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I mean my attorney said, “Hey, it’s a corporation. You just file bankruptcy.” I was raised Mennonite. When I said my dad was a pastor of a church, we were Mennonite. I mean my grandparents were Amish. And if there’s one thing Mennonites are known for, it’s keeping their word. I thought, “Golly, if I gave my word to somebody and then don’t keep it, gee, just dig a hole and push me in now. I’m no good.” So I did not file bankruptcy and I thought, “I’ve got to figure this out. I’ve got to get out of this.” So we did lose our house, our cars. I borrowed an old rental trip car from a friend. I got a commission-only sales job to start getting back on the road again. So it was a tremendous failure. I mean I lost everything that I had accumulated and then had that severe debt on top of that.
But here’s really the principle. In that period of time, I mean knowing that I’m a business guy, I always thought the way to grow a business was to get bigger buildings and more employees. In that period of time and doing some real serious research and brainstorming with other people, I discovered there are some ways to grow businesses where you don’t need bigger buildings and more employees. I thought, “You got to be kidding me! This is amazing!” So what it is is a speaker, coach and author. I mean I leverage intellectual property. I mean it blows my mind what we’re able to do. I’m able to do something once and get paid 10,000 times. I mean how many people have the privilege of doing that? So here’s my point. Yes, I failed, but could I have ended up where I am today without going through that experience? So I frame failure in a different way than most people. Rather than that’s stopping me, I look at that and think, “Wow! What is this a stepping stone to? What lesson am I learning here?” So it was a failure as other things along the way, and I won’t bore you with all those details that have been, but at each step, I look at it differently because I know that you can’t get to success without those stepping stones that other people call failure.
John Lee Dumas: I love when you were just talking at the initial part of this topic and you just used the analogy about tripping the bar. That was such a great visual for me. It just says so much because if you’re not tripping the bar, then you’re not pushing the envelope, you’re not pushing your own limits, and you may really be coming up short of your potential. I mean, that is just such a great analogy on so many levels. How do you make sure right now, Dan, that you are tripping the bar every day or week or month?
Dan Miller: Golly! We’re right here at the end of the year, which is a period of time that I really love. I always have my goals for the upcoming year set by November 15. But now I set big goals. I mean one of the things that Joan and I do right before Christmas every year is go to Chicago. It’s just been kind of a tradition of ours. Her birthday is three days before Christmas, so we go there for the magic of the lights and all that. Well at the base of what was the Sears Tower – it’s now the John Hancock building. Daniel Burnham, who is the architect that designed most of the riverfront in Chicago says – there’s a plaque that says, “Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men’s souls.” I love that quote!
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Dan Miller: “Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men’s souls,” and I know that’s true for me. I mean a little goal doesn’t get me excited. I want a big goal. So I set big goals. I set big goals, knowing that I’ve got probably a 50/50 chance of hitting that. I mean if I ever had a year where I hit all my goals, I’d be mortified.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Dan Miller: Oh my gosh! I really set my sights too low!
John Lee Dumas: Right.
Dan Miller: What would I have accomplished if I had set my sights higher? So it grieves me when I see people living in that twilight of mediocrity. They accomplish everything they set out to do because they set their goals so low. So I set big goals. I mean I’m inspired by people like Richard Branson. He was selling tickets to take people into space. I mean he’s not even sure how he’s going to do it, but he’s just that kind of guy. I mean I’m inspired by people like that. I want to set my goals high so that they stretch me. So they take me into areas where I don’t even know how in the world it’s possible, but I’m going to figure out some things that most people don’t figure out.
John Lee Dumas: That is exciting and people jump onboard when that happens. Like in Richard Branson’s case, he has a waiting list of people, and he doesn’t even have a viable product at this time and it’s just incredible because people just want to be a part of what he’s creating because it’s special because it’s going to be talked about for centuries to come. I just love that on so many levels, Dan, and it’s just a perfect transition to our next topic, which is the aha moment. You were just so generous in sharing that failure and that despair moment that you’ve had at some point in your journey, and you even shared with us a great aha moment that you have had as far as being able to leverage and really scale different products and services that you now offer. But take us to a point in your journey when you had another light bulb moment that just went off and you said, “Wow! This is going to resonate incredibly well with my fans, with my audience, with my potential clients”?
Dan Miller: Boy, when I really think about an aha moment, I go back even before I had an audience and fans. When I was about 13 years old, a farm kid out there slinging hay bales in the heat of summer and milking cows at [5:30] every morning, 365 days a year, I somehow got a hold of the little audio recording by Earl Nightingale called “The Strangest Secret.”
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Dan Miller: Here’s this gravelly-voiced old man talking about we become what we think about. I thought, “Wow! Is it really possible for me as a poor Ohio farm kid to change my destiny, to change my stars, to create opportunities that don’t seem to be possible for me? That was more than an aha moment. That became a foundational principle for me. That philosophy, we become what we think about. I thought, if I can just determine and control what goes into my mind, I can give myself opportunities that go way beyond what this little farming community is offering me now. That was an amazing aha moment. We think ourselves into our own reality. I mean we can go into a lot of directions there. So whether it was a real philosophy or something real changed, my belief in it certainly charted the direction of my life. So I loved that. I still love The Strangest Secret and promote that. We have it now as a beautiful little gift book here at 48 Days with an audio in the back, but that philosophy was definitely an aha moment for me.
John Lee Dumas: Phenomenal! Dan, on that note, have you had an I’ve made it moment?
Dan Miller: I have had the privilege of so many amazing opportunities, but a couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the White House Christian Fellowship. That was a pretty amazing moment. I want to give you another one too though. I told you already I was so impacted by The Strangest Secret, which then became the very first product of Nightingale-Conant out of Chicago. Well, I became a student of theirs. Just a voracious student. So I have hundreds of old cassettes and then CDs of people like Earl Nightingale and Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Brian Tracy, Dennis Waitley, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins. I mean it just goes on. I became a voracious student of that material.
Well two years ago, Nightingale-Conant, I’d never had contact with them other than just being a customer, contacted me. “We tested your material on our audience and we got a really positive feedback. Would you be willing to come to Chicago and create a six hour audio program called “Dream Job: How to Find Your Dream Job.” Boy, you talk about an I’ve made it moment. To be put in the same category as what I consider those masters of achievement, I don’t know that I’ll duplicate that feeling again, just being put in the same company as those people who I had been following and learning from for so many years.
John Lee Dumas: I love that, Dan, because at EntrepreneurOnFire, it’s all about the journey and the milestones and the I’ve made it moment. This question evokes so many different answers from every entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs say that they’ll never have an I’ve made it moment because that denotes the end of their journey. Others say they have one every single day. For me, I just really feel like it’s so important to just appreciate the accomplishments that you’re having along your journey, these milestones and these major success moments that you’re having. Would you say that you are truly enjoying your journey as an entrepreneur?
Dan Miller: Oh my gosh! I mean I absolutely love what I’m doing. People say, “Well, golly, Dan, when are you going to retire?” and I’m like, “Isn’t the idea of retirement when you just get to do whatever you want to do? If that’s the definition, how could I possibly change what I’m doing today?” Now I’m certainly not unplugged in any way. I mean I’m creating content like I never had before in my life. I’m speaking more than I ever have. I mean the things that I love doing, I’m doing more than ever. But I have no intention on the horizon at all of just changing that, and I am privileged to do exactly what I want to do. When I get up on Monday mornings, I mean I wrote a book a couple of years ago called “No More Mondays,” but when I get up on Monday mornings, I don’t have that dread, “Oh my gosh! It’s back to work again.” It’s like, “Wow! I played a little on the weekend. I connected with the kids and grandkids and all that, and now I get to walk from my house, back across the yard, back to what we call the “sanctuary,” a converted barn on our property, and do what I just love doing.
John Lee Dumas: That is phenomenal and you have so many exciting things going on right now in your business, many of which you’ve alluded to. But if you could just share one thing, Dan, with Fire Nation that you’re just really excited about right now, what would that be?
Dan Miller: The things I’ve discovered in the last few years, as a lot of us have, is the power of the Internet, the power of leverage. I mean we know those philosophies of physics go way back the power of the [Unintelligible]. You can move the world if you get along without a stick. I mean it’s amazing what you can do without having to live in the right place, without having to be lucky, without having to have the right connections. Just by using the tools that are readily available to any of us, that power of leverage never ceases to amaze me.
John Lee Dumas: That’s something that I’m extremely excited about as well, and I’m seeing the fruits of that labor with EntrepreneurOnFire. I mean, I just launched this podcast in September of this year, and it’s a daily podcast so I already have over 55 interviews that are live out there on the Internet with one more going every single day. You’re actually my 111th interview, Dan, and I’m just loving talking to just successful and inspiring people every single day. But not only that, being able to share it with the world, and with iTunes and with Stitcher Radio and with everybody having smartphones and tablets, it’s just incredible the people that are flocking to information like this for their commutes to work, for when they’re working out at the gym. My podcast, EntrepreneurOnFire, is being downloaded over 100,000 times a month in over 100 countries, and it’s really the 100 countries part that just shocks me when I pull the demographics up and see that every country in South America has listeners and 90% of countries in Africa. I mean it just blows my mind, and I know you’re experiencing the exact same thing with 48 Days.
Dan Miller: I am. I know. I used to have a terrestrial radio show that was on a big station, 100,000 watts out of national here. But when I started putting segments of the show up on iTunes, and then I saw that we were having people in Nigeria and New Zealand, I thought, you got to be kidding me! I mean this is an amazing phenomenon. I quickly completed my contract on the radio, never to be seen on radio again. I mean I love radio, but in terms of leverage, what we can do with something like you’re doing here with the podcast is just amazing. There just are no geographical borders at all and I absolutely love it.
John Lee Dumas: I love it as well. On that note, Dan, what is your vision for the future?
Dan Miller: Well, I already identified I love what I’m doing. So as an author, speaker, coach, I envision doing that for a long, long time, and those are things that use I think my best talents. They leverage my skills in the most amazing ways, leveraging both my time and my financial potential. So I, in as much as I’m always looking for new things, I mean I use a model for our business that uses a Venn diagram. So we have three circles that are overlapped, and at one point they all overlap. In that point where they all overlap, that is my writing. Writing is at the core of what I do. But then we have six other components as those circles overlap where I have six other revenue streams. We have budgets and projections, revenue projections for each of those. So it allows me a lot of fluidity where I’m always trying something new. Meaning if that one thing that I’m trying bombs or I have a failure there, it doesn’t sabotage everything I’m doing. It’s just one component. So it allows me a lot of opportunity to try new things and I’m always doing that, trying things that we’ve never done before.
I’ve got a new initiative coming up right now that we’re trying. I’m real excited about it. I’m going to invest some money in it. I don’t have any guarantee that it’s going to work, but I’m excited about trying it. So it’s going to be continuing to revolve around the three core things that I do – author, speaker, coach – but doing things that are innovative. Here’s the key to it, John. We know, statistics tell us that 95% of authors never make more than $40,000 a year. My gosh! If you’re looking at generalities, that would be really discouraging. Okay. 95% of authors never make $40,000 a year. Well then, my thinking is, geez, how difficult can it be to get into the 5%? What if I set as a goal, which I did several years ago, to make what an average author makes in a year if I did that every month?
Well, it’s not that complicated if you figure out how to do things differently than what most authors do. When I work with my publishers, they’re just blown away. We just did a book release party for my latest book. Well, publishers aren’t used to seeing that. They’re seeing authors standing at the door, wringing their hands and saying, “What are you going to do for me? Can you get me a book signing on Friday night down here at Barnes &Noble where I’ll sit there for three hours and hope eight people come by. I don’t do those kind of things. I do things that blow my publisher’s mind because we’re looking to do things differently than what average authors are doing.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! That just seems like that’s another way for you to scale and leverage, is to create a product or a service that educates authors how to do that because they are desperate to do that obviously if 95% of them are making $40,000 or less per year.
Dan Miller: Well, it’s funny you mention that because that has happened as well. Over the last few years, I’ve had a lot of people coming to me saying, “How can I do what you’ve done? [Unintelligible] Any other books you’ve written? How can I do what you’ve done?” Well, instead of repeating myself over and over and over again, I thought, “You know what? We might as well make this into an event.” So we did and it was wildly successful, “Write to the Bank.” We do a play on words there, “Write to the Bank,” and we had sold out audience over the three years that we did that. Now, we morphed that into a new event, and here’s part of why. All of a sudden, with self-publishing and the breakup of the big publishers, it’s become something that everybody can do, and all of a sudden, everybody is doing workshops, seminars, teleseminars and producing products on how you can get published, how you can be a published author. I thought, “Well, you know what? It’s time to move on. Everybody’s doing that. I don’t want to be in that space where everybody’s doing it.”
So we are now doing a new event called “Innov8.” Now I’ve never been more excited about an event coming up than what we’re doing, Innov8. It welcomes not only authors who want to leverage their intellectual capital, but also musicians and artists and poets, all kinds of other people who have the same issues. How can I put legs on this and do it in a creative way? So we do listen, and then encourage others because others – most of what I’ve done, John, has just been simply giving people what they asked for. Some people stand in the line again and say, “How can I do what you’ve done with coaching? Will you teach me how to be a coach?” “Sure.” So we created a coaching mastery program. And the first day we put it up – it’s a pretty expensive program – the first day we put it up, we never promoted it, never told anybody about it, we had four people sign up and pay for it, and I’m like, “How did they even find out about it?” We’ve created a community where people are looking for resources and they seem to just show up and respond to whatever we offer as long as we’re responding to things they’re asking for. A pretty easy business model in that regard.
John Lee Dumas: Phenomenal, Dan! You are truly leading the way. I will now lead us into my favorite part of the show, which is the Lightning Round. This is where I get to ask you a series of questions and you come back at us, Fire Nation, with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?
Dan Miller: Absolutely!
John Lee Dumas: Alright! What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Dan Miller: I was only 13 years old [Laughs].
John Lee Dumas: That’s a great answer!
Dan Miller: There was nothing beyond that.
John Lee Dumas: And it didn’t hold you back for long.
Dan Miller: It didn’t hold me back for long. Absolutely.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice that you ever received?
Dan Miller: As an author, I was talking to Mark Victor Hansen, coauthor of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” just a wonderful and gracious businessman in every way. But he said, “Dan, everybody wants to write a book, and what I tell them is this. Write your book. Do a really good job. Now, you’re 10% finished.” That was an amazing piece of advice because 90% is not writing good content, like a lot of people think. I mean you have to do that, but that’s only 10%. 90% is positioning, promoting, marketing, getting people to buy what you have. That’s 90%. Knowing that has allowed me to create the success that I have as an author and put me in that 5% rather than the 95% of authors who are just struggling.
John Lee Dumas: What is something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Dan Miller: The key component, one of the things – I’ll just stick with one thing. One of the things that is working in an amazing way is my weekly podcast. Now I’m not doing like you and doing one a day.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Dan Miller: That’s not in the plan, but I do one a week. I love doing it, I love opening that email file on Wednesday mornings when I record that, my doing the 48 Days podcast. I mean the responses I get. The people are more intimately connected to me than just in the written word, and they respond and take action. It creates a connection. It does the rapport and trust part of the selling process without me even having to do anything. I just think it’s an amazing tool.
John Lee Dumas: Speaking of tools, Dan, do you have an Internet resource like an Evernote that you’re just in love with that you can share with Fire Nation?
Dan Miller: I’m not a real techie. I’m a real amateur when it comes to technology. Fortunately, I’ve got people around me who understand it and make it do the things I want it to do.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Dan Miller: But there’s one little tool that I’ve discovered recently, and it’s really more as a dad and a granddad than as a business guy, and that’s Instagram. Golly, to see grandkids in Africa! Three minutes after something happens, and here’s a shot of what they’re doing, or the kids in Colorado. It’s just an amazing tool to just instantly boom! I get a little beep and here’s something that’s happening to my family. It’s a level of connection that we would not have even dreamed was to be available just a few years ago.
John Lee Dumas: It is incredible. If you could recommend a book for Fire Nation, Dan, what would it be?
Dan Miller: Well, I’ve already said I read a lot. I read a lot of books and have a whole lot of what I consider essentials, but I just finished reading Robert Green’s new book called “Mastery.” Robert wrote a book a few years ago, “48 Laws of Power,” but the new one, “Mastery,” it’s not an easy read, but it is so in-depth in going into the minds of people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein and what shaped their lives to make them the leaders in the areas that they are. Really, one of the principles is people who have really done magnificent things are not generalists. They’re experts in something. Choose an area that you’re going to be an expert in. So the book is “Mastery” by Robert Green.
John Lee Dumas: So Dan, this is the last question, but it’s my favorite. So take your time, digest it, and then come back at us with an answer. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth but you knew nobody. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Dan Miller: I know exactly what I would do I guess because there’s been times in my life when I woke up and I only had $500 in my pocket [Laughs]
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Dan Miller: And I needed to do something. Doing a service business, I would do that instantly. By that, I mean detailing cars, washing windows, doing little home improvements, painting somebody’s house, mowing their yard, hanging a ceiling fan. I mean there is no end to those things that are readily available that I can do instantly. If I need cash today, I can go out and do a service business and do that. So I would do that immediately. Just like there have been times when I’ve gone back to graduate school and I just identify a baseline of what I need to generate for income for our family. So I decided, what am I going to do to create that? Sometimes it’s been like painting houses. Sometimes it’s been just flipping cars. Just go down and buy a car off a repo auction. Clean it up a little bit, put it in the front yard. I mean I can make a couple thousand bucks a month doing that, any time, any economy. It doesn’t matter. So I would do that. I would do something like that so that I would create those immediate needs, but I would immediately also use my laptop and start creating content to encourage and inspire other people. That has worked wonders for me and I don’t think it would take long to build back the business that I have today, and I would do it exactly, intending to get back to where I am today. In that new world, like that with an Internet connection, I could do it a whole lot faster than what I did the first time.
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs] Dan, that was great actionable advice, and you’ve given us awesome, actionable advice this entire interview, and we are all better for it. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Dan Miller: Well, if there’s one piece of advice, it’s “it’s never too late to start.” It’s just like you said with the Chinese proverb about the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. If you didn’t do it then, the best time is today. I talk to a lot of people who are 45 years old, 50 years old or whatever, and they say, “Well, I missed my window of opportunity.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Why would you say that?” Take the first 50 years of your life, get a variety of experiences, and if you can at that point sit down and really figure out what you’re wired to do, you can go into the most productive 20 years of your life. So it’s never too late. That would be my bit of advice.
In terms of how to find me, we have lots of resources at 48Days.com. There’s tons of resources there just to help people in this process of finding your passion, putting the legs on that so you can monetize that, put that into a form that’s going to give you fulfillment, meaning and profits. And then also, we’ve got 48Days.net. 48Days.net, we just this morning as we’re recording this, just hit 12,000 members.
John Lee Dumas: Wow!
Dan Miller: I just love what’s happening there. I mean it’s just a community of people, and we reject a whole lot of people who put in applications. We reject about 22% of people who put in applications because we’re not looking for just bodies or whiners or complainers or somebody looking for a handout. We’re looking for people who are serious about being entrepreneurs and rule benders and big thinkers and thought leaders, world changers, and when I see what’s happening there just by giving people an umbrella under which to share ideas, they share readily, but it’s that old adage, “a rising tide raises all ships.”
John Lee Dumas: Yes.
Dan Miller: If we help other people be successful, guess what? It raises our own success. So 48Days.com, 48Days.net, lots of resources there.
John Lee Dumas: Dan, that will all be linked up in the show notes. Thank you so much for being generous with your time, your expertise, your experience. Fire Nation, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.