Daniel DiPiazza is a freedom fighter, jiu-jitsu lover, burrito enthusiast, entrepreneur and on this rare occasion, author of the brand new classic book Rich20Something — available at stores worldwide May 2, 2017.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:36] – Everything Daniel has done and is currently doing started with him getting fed up with his restaurant job
- [02:01] – Understand that there’s a possibility to have success
- [02:10] – Daniel was on Episode 1008 of EOFire
- [02:30] – Today, JLD and Daniel will talk about Rich 20 Something
- [03:07] – Daniel’s area of expertise is in networking and connecting with people
- [04:03] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: When Daniel came to LA in 2013, he only knew 1 person. He asked his friend if he could connect him with other people. As Daniel thought about his life, he realized he hadn’t done much BY HIMSELF, so he cultivated his ability to network
- [05:39] – JLD shares that his first chain came from his mentor, Jaime Masters
- [06:54] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: When Daniel’s grandmother died in 2016, it set him on a spiral in terms of being depressed
- [07:21] – Daniel realized that in entrepreneurship, nobody talks about personal things
- [07:52] – People need to see that their heroes and idols are still human
- [08:23] – Daniel’s systems he had in place saved him
- [09:34] – JLD shares how Gary V talks about startup founders who commit suicide
- [10:38] – “We have to talk about the good AND the bad”
- [11:32] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Daniel turned 28 last year and he felt like a “takeover CEO”. He came to the realization that the company was pretty much straddled
- [13:05] – Daniel killed a number of projects
- [13:25] – The return was that they got more for doing less
- [14:44] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I’ve got a book coming out!”
- [14:55] – The book is chronological
- [15:54] – Rich 20 Something, as a brand, helps you get the biggest return for your buck
- [16:22] – The book helps you to get your life together, a lot sooner
- [16:39] – What JLD realized in his 30’s is that it’s easier to be rich than it is to become wealthy
- [17:17] – JLD suggests the next book Daniel writes should be Wealthy 30 Something
- [18:39] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear of looking stupid”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “If it’s not an absolute yes, it’s an absolute no”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Extremely early rising at [4:40]”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Clearbit
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Scaling Up – “Verne does a really great job expounding upon what happens when you scale up”
- [20:30] – Don’t lose patience
- [21:00] – Sometimes you won’t immediately see results from the work you put in
- [22:28] – Connect with Daniel on Rich 20 Something
Daniel DiPiazza: I'm ready to ignite, John.
John Lee Dumas: Yes. Daniel is a freedom fighter, Jujitsu lover, burrito enthusiast, entrepreneur. And on this rare occasion, author of the brand new classic book, Rich Twenty-Something. Available now. Daniel, take a minute. Fill in any gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Daniel DiPiazza: I don't think that you elucidated for your listeners how good looking I am.
John Lee Dumas: Elucidated. That's a word I don't use often. But let me elucidate. D.D. is incredibly good looking, Fire Nation.
Daniel DiPiazza: I fed that to you. That was an easy layup. That was an easy layup.
John Lee Dumas: Still going to swing the bat though and knock it out of the park. Which I did. And fill in some gaps from that intro.
Daniel DiPiazza: For anyone who's followed my story or who actually heard my original interview on Fire a few years ago, this all started by me getting fed up at a restaurant job. And figuring out, "You know what? I need to find out what this whole making money thing is. What is this whole entrepreneurship thing? How can I get involved in this area of life that seems to be just blossoming in the Internet community, in the startup community?" And I pulled myself up by my bootstraps. And there's a longer story to it, but the idea is first, understanding that it's possible. You know?
John Lee Dumas: Well, there is a longer story. And what's good is that you were as you alluded to. I like that we're using alluded, elucidate. Episode 1008 of EO Fire. So just about 1,660 episodes ago, you graced us with your incredibly good looking presence. And all was well in the world in Fire Nation. He talked about his worst entrepreneurial moment. He talked about his aha moment. He mentions the greatest lessons learned throughout XYC, ABC. But today, we're going to talk about a couple things that are different. Because again, it's been a while since we've chatted. Some things have happened. Again, your new book, Rich Twenty-Something, which came out in early May.
And as this is being released, it's May 19th. So, this is live. This is available for you, Fire Nation, to go check out. So, if you want to be a rich twenty-something or if you are a rich twenty-something and you want to figure out what the next step is, this book is for you. And we'll talk more about that later. But basically, you've got a couple of areas of expertise, D.D. Because you love Jujitsu. You're an entrepreneur. You're a freedom fighter. What would you say, if you could narrow it down to one, is that uno area of expertise?
Daniel DiPiazza: The most interesting thing that's helped me the most is being able to network and connect with people. As I make it up the ranks, I kind of see entrepreneurship almost like high school. You start off as a freshman and you kind of make your way up. As you move up the ranks, you realize more and more how important it is to be able to have people along your journey help you. And to do that, you need to know how to connect with people. And it doesn't mean you need to be an extrovert. There are plenty of introverts and people who just enjoy their alone time on this journey as well.
But the idea that you can genuinely connect with others and be able to find a common ground that when you need something, they can help you. That's been invaluable to me.
John Lee Dumas: You're the expert here. What do we do wrong in this area?
Daniel DiPiazza: I was talking to this earlier with someone who was interviewing me earlier today. And I think –
John Lee Dumas: I don't want your repeated hash from some other podcast interview. Give me something original.
Daniel DiPiazza: Okay. Before you roast me – before you open roast me, okay? Before you open roast me, okay? The reason why I brought that up is because it's been on my mind a lot because it's so important. Let me tell you a little story. When I came to Los Angeles in 2013, I didn't know anybody. I only knew one person and it's a mutual friend of ours. Jordan from RHR. I knew just Jordan and he was the only connection I had in the city. And so, I have a sushi lunch with Jordan and we get to talking. And I eventually ask him at the end of our meal, I say, "Hey, listen. Who else do you know that might be someone worth talking to? Who else do you know that might be someone that I could connect with?"
And so, he connected me with a few of his friends. And as I look back on the chain of connections over these past few years, I can see that everyone that's helped me along the way has come from that one connection. And as I think about my life as whole now, I realize that there's not much that I've done by myself. And so, I've taken a lot of interest in cultivating the ability to network with people. Which means that I'm constantly reading a lot of books on how to be a better speaker. On how to meet people who are influential. And I make that an essential part of my life. And so, it's not just about making money. It's about making friendships. And that, along the way, has been a big payoff for me.
John Lee Dumas: So, my initial chain in my chain reaction connection that has become my success story is Jaime Tardy who is now Jaime Masters who was my first ever mentor back in 2012 when I was clueless about podcasting. And she took me under her wing. She introduced me to people. Well first, she made me go to a conference that I didn't even want to go to. Then she introduced me to Pat Flynn, Michael Stelzner, Cliff Ravenscraft. People who have all become friends now in my life. And that all came from that first initial chain connection of me hiring Jamie as my mentor. And everything from that has come from that initial connection.
I remember meeting Amy Porterfield and being like, "Wow. That's Amy." And then shooting Amy an email a couple weeks later and her being like, "Oh, yeah. You're the dude that Jamie introduced me to. Of course, I'll be on your show." Because of Jamie. That was it. That was that chain that started it all. So, Fire Nation, take from this that it can start with one. And a lot of times, it does start with one. So D.D., let's kind of shift a little bit right now. Because again, you were on episode 1,008. You told a few stories. But what's been going on since then? It's been a couple years. What's been the worst moment that you've experienced in the last couple years?
I mean, maybe it's not devastating. Maybe it is. I don't know. But take us to the worst one. And let's talk about it a little bit.
Daniel DiPiazza: Do you want to go real? Or do you want to go McDonald's?
John Lee Dumas: I want to go real as long as we're talking about business.
Daniel DiPiazza: Yeah. Well, yeah. No, no, no. I mean, look. I'll be honest with you. Two-thousand-sixteen, last year in the middle of the year, my grandmother died. And it set me on a big spiral in terms of just being really depressed. And I learned a few things, both personal and professional. The first thing is personally, I think that no one really talks about – in entrepreneurship, no one really talks about down personal moments affecting business. Everyone – especially in the entrepreneurship community, in this bubble that's been created by all these entrepreneurs, no one really talks about hard personal stuff. People only talk about the good stuff.
And I think it's important to make sure that we remember that we're all humans here. And talk about things that are going on with us. Especially if we have personal brands, like you do and like I do. People need to see that their heroes and their idols are going through the same struggles that they are. Because that makes the business more relatable. That makes the person more relatable. And although it's definitely not a sales push – I'm not trying to profit from this horrible thing that's happened to me – I think it's made me more relatable talking about that stuff.
And on the business side of that, one thing that's really been apparent to me – or was apparent to me at the time – was when I was going through this really rough time and this really depressed time, I realized that my systems were more important than ever. Because I didn't want to be around the work as much. So, we have a team now. And we're located in Santa Monica. And yeah, we'll do webinars and we do email stuff. We have courses and we do seminars. And we have the book now. And all those things, at one point, needed me. I was the main person, the main driver, and the main person that got things done.
But as I retreated into more of a secluded space so I could heal myself and kind of lick my wounds, I realized, "Man, if I'm going to make this retreat, the systems need to be tight so that I don't need to be involved all the time." And so, from that really negative space came the positive aspect of tightening up the workflow. And you're a great example of systems, right? I mean, you are tight. And that's something that I had to learn to do.
John Lee Dumas: So, I'm glad that you brought this up. This darker side of the entrepreneurial world. Because again, a lot of times it's just all unicorns and rainbows. And we talk about the big six-figure and seven-figure launches, and this, and that. And it's good to focus on the successes so you can learn from them and do all these things. But we have to realize that entrepreneurs are humans too. Things are going to happen in our lives. I mean, what happened with you and your grandmother that sent you in that spiral. You know, one thing that Gary V talks about all the time is that there's a reality out there of startup founders committing suicide. And nobody wants to talk about it because that's not fun to talk about.
But we paint this unbelievably rosy, beautiful picture that you launch an app and then you get millions of dollars in funding. And then you sell it for billions. And then you're on your way to the moon. Like of course. Or if you're Elon Musk, on your way to Mars. Whatever it might be. That's just the reality for some people. But for a lot of people, you do a startup and you run out of money. And you have to sheepishly go back to the people that – maybe to that friends and family rounds. I mean, that's probably where a lot of these startup founders are really getting super down to the fact that some of them have even committed suicide. Where they used their family money.
Because you know, the family has heard, "Oh, yeah. I remember Mark Zuckerberg did the family and friends round. And now all of his family and friends are hundreds of millions-of-aires. So, they have this big expectation. And when it doesn't happen, you go back. And you say, "I lost all your money." That's devastating. But that's why we have to talk about the good and the bad. So, I'm glad you brought that up. And that's why for 1,600-plus episodes, I've been talking about the worst entrepreneurial moments at the beginning of every show. Because I want my listeners to know that even the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have had devastating, heart-wrenching, horrible, terrible failures in their life.
But guess what? They bounced back from them. And they've come back. I've had a bunch of interviews of people like yourself, Daniel, who I interviewed a couple years ago who were crushing it. And then I interview them two years later, and they had a huge horrible disaster in between that. So, then we can talk about that too. Now, what I kind of want to move into is an aha moment that you've had recently. Now, you just talked about a great one where you knew that you had to pull yourself out as the main functionary of everything in your business. That's great to create those systems and automations.
But what's one of the greatest ideas you've had over the past few years? And how have you implemented that to turn it into success?
Daniel DiPiazza: That's a really good one, man. And I think it's come not necessarily with age maturity, but entrepreneurial maturity. I feel like I've hit my entrepreneurial puberty. I turned 28 last year. And I feel like at 28, I feel like I was a takeover CEO. You know, you hear these stories of CEOs that come to a business and they say, "Oh, sh—look. What's happened here?" I don't know if this is a family-friendly –
John Lee Dumas: It is, so good catch.
Daniel DiPiazza: So, you know, what's going on with this business? It's on fire. And not in a good way.
John Lee Dumas: Oh, no.
Daniel DiPiazza: No. No. It's on fire. It's in flames, you know? They take over for a poor CEO and this new one has to turn it around. And in many ways, that's what I felt like. And not because the business was necessarily suffering and doing horrible. But because I came to the realization that I was focused on so many things that the company itself was pretty much straddled amongst ten different ideas. All of which were really important to me and near and dear to me. And none of which I had the fortitude at one point to cast aside. Because they were all something that I had some sort of ownership in. Some sort of connection to.
And I realized, "Man, if I want this business to be successful, I have to really become focused on the one or maybe even two drivers that are going to make this thing work." So, kind of similar to Jobs when he killed the – what? That Apple Newton, right? It was just like this palm handheld device. He killed it. And I had to kill a bunch of different projects. There were some courses that we were running that we just didn't think all the way through. And so, there were a lot of technical things that we didn't understand. And we forced them through. And they were causing our business to bleed. And so, I came through in the middle of 2016, and we just put everything on the chopping block.
And we killed a ton of projects. And what ended up happening was we got a lot more from doing a lot less. And I thought that the idea of sc—and this includes people, by the way. We fired some people. Not with prejudice, but just like we had to let some people go. We shrunk back down. Because we had a lot of success in 14 and 15. And we're like, "Yeah. This is perfect. Everything is going great." So, we got all these products going. And we hired this whole staff. And then I realized, "Man, sometimes it's much better to focus on a few small things and really nail it than try to have ten things that you go a mile wide and an inch deep." You know what I mean?
John Lee Dumas: Good is the enemy of great. And sometimes you have to give up the good to get to the great. And if you're doing a lot of things, you can only be good at a lot of things. You can't be great at everything. Because if your resources are being tapped and being spread out across all these things – and like you said there at the end, D.D., if you try to go a mile wide, you can only go an inch deep. You're not making much of an impact. But if instead you just focus. And say, "Hey, I'm going one inch wide and one mile deep," guess what? You're going to crush it. You're going to go all the way. Dominate that niche. And just make a mark that way.
So sometimes you've got to give up the good to get to the great. And usually, that is the case. Now moving forward to today, because you've got some cool things going on. What is the thing that has you most fired up? What gets you out of bed in the morning on fire?
Daniel DiPiazza: Man, I've got a book coming out.
John Lee Dumas: It's already out, by the way.
Daniel DiPiazza: It's already out, by the way. And the cool thing about this book and the thing that I like about it the most from a selfish perspective is that it's both actionable and also chronological. Because it basically chronicles the way that my life has evolved and how the business has evolved around that. And all the takeaways along the way with exact steps that you can do to follow the same path. The cool thing is that I know when I'm 90, I'll be able to look back on it and I'll be able to remember some things that I would've forgotten.
John Lee Dumas: Rich Twenty-Something. Where did that title come from and what does it mean?
Daniel DiPiazza: Title came from me being frustrated in my apartment in my boxers in Atlanta five years ago. But then it becoming the name of my brand. And to me, I think it means a few things. So, let me ask you a question J.L.D. You know what ROI is, right?
John Lee Dumas: Yes. Return on investment.
Daniel DiPiazza: Right. But what about ROT? Do you know what that is?
John Lee Dumas: Return on time.
Daniel DiPiazza: Well, maybe. Close enough. Return on twenties.
John Lee Dumas: Ooh, even better.
Daniel DiPiazza: At Rich Twenty-Something, we focus on helping you get the biggest bang for your buck in this very critical – we think 10-year period of your life. And anywhere from 18 to 30 we think is a crucial period. Because this is a time when a lot of people are trying to figure out what they want to do. And in that time period, we waste a lot of this critical energy. Almost this capital that we could reinvest into ourselves to make our 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond a lot better. So, the focus of the book is helping you to get your life together a lot sooner when you're younger. So that all those benefits come back to you many fold when you're older.
And it doesn't mean that the book doesn't apply to people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. But what we're really focused on is helping young people figure out how to get from where they are to where they want to be faster and reap a really big return on that investment that they're going to put in.
John Lee Dumas: Can I give you some live on-air guidance that you can totally ignore?
Daniel DiPiazza: Please do.
John Lee Dumas: So, I love the title of your book. Like, Rich Twenty-Something, I think that the 20s are the time to figure things out, to try things, to fail. And to become "rich". Now, what I've realized being a thirty-something is that it's a lot easier to become rich than it is to become wealthy. And this is actually why Tony Robbins has come out with his two recent books about making money and all that stuff. And the unshakeable. So, I think that you've written the right book for you at the right time. And you said you're 28, so you're almost in your 30s now. I kind of think your next book is Wealthy Thirty-Something. To me, that's the next step for you.
So, you write this Rich Twenty-Something about how to actually generate the wealth and get the money. Because you need the money. You can't be wealthy without getting rich first. But now, how do you become wealthy in your 30s after you become rich in your 20s? I'd go grab that domain. I would lock down that book title. And it's my gift to you, brother.
Daniel DiPiazza: Honestly, John, I was preparing to nod and smile and say, "Good one." And not do whatever you have to say. No, because a lot of people are like –
John Lee Dumas: Totally.
Daniel DiPiazza: – "You want some business advice?" I'm like – you know.
John Lee Dumas: I need advice like I need a hole in the head, buddy.
Daniel DiPiazza: Yeah. Honestly, that's a really good idea.
John Lee Dumas: I love it. I really do. It's just the transition, you know? As you're getting older and as you're realizing what it means to become wealthy from being rich. I love it. So, I'm looking forward to it. And I promise if you do publish that book, I'll have you back on EO Fire.
Daniel DiPiazza: That's amazing. And honestly, I'm so surprised. That's the only piece of advice I've gotten recently that I didn't cringe afterwards. Seriously, man.
John Lee Dumas: Okay. I'm going to take that and I'm going to hold that close to my heart. Non-cringeworthy advice. If that's what I get, that's what I'll take.
Daniel DiPiazza: Hold it.
John Lee Dumas: So, Fire Nation, we're going to be dropping some more value bombs in the lightning round. So, don't you go anywhere. We're going to thank our sponsors.
[Break in audio]
John Lee Dumas: D.D., we are back. Are you ready to rock the lightning rounds?
Daniel DiPiazza: I'm ready to rock it.
John Lee Dumas: Yes. What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Daniel DiPiazza: Fear of looking stupid.
John Lee Dumas: What's the best advice you've ever received?
Daniel DiPiazza: If it's not an absolute yes, it's an absolute no.
John Lee Dumas: What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Daniel DiPiazza: Extremely early rising, 4:30.
John Lee Dumas: Can you share an Internet resource, like Evernotes, with Fire Nation?
Daniel DiPiazza: Have you heard of Clear Bit?
John Lee Dumas: Never.
Daniel DiPiazza: Okay. So, it's this plug-in for Gmail. And what it does is it allows you to look up contacts at any company or domain. So, you can type in BestBuy.com and it will have the CEO of Best Buy's email address right in the tool.
John Lee Dumas: If you could recommend one book to of course join Rich Twenty-Something on our bookshelves, what would it be and why?
Daniel DiPiazza: I'm going to have to go with Scaling Up, Verne Harnish.
John Lee Dumas: And why?
Daniel DiPiazza: I think that as Rich Twenty-Something mirrors my journey into entrepreneurship and scaling up, Verne's book does a really good job of expounding upon what happens once you scale up.
John Lee Dumas: Daniel, let's end today on fire, brother, with you giving us a parting piece of guidance. The best way that we can connect with you. And then we'll say goodbye.
Daniel DiPiazza: Something that people overlook a lot in the journey is the aspect of patience. There's this idea – especially because of – I mean, partially because of people like us. I mean, and John, you're producing podcasts all the time with so much content going out there. And it gives us this effect and this illusion that if we want something and we just put in the work, it's going to happen immediately.
John Lee Dumas: So, I'm part of the problem. That's what you're saying?
Daniel DiPiazza: You're part of the problem. But the reality of the situation is sometimes you'll put in a lot of work and you're not going to see the results immediately. And what's required in that gap between doing the work and seeing the results is patience. And most people give up in that gap. Ira Glass has a very interesting quote on this which I'm going to paraphrase. But basically, his idea is that creatives and artists come into their work because they have a great sense of taste. And in the beginning, their sense of taste never really matches with the artistic output that they're able to offer to the world. And they're always frustrated.
Because they had this idea of what they want to do in their head. But they're never able to see that ide through to realization because they don't have the patience to keep doing the creative work. And so, with patience and then prolific work, you're going to see that result. And you've done a great job of that. I mean, we're on episode 2,000-plus of EO Fire. And it just keeps going. You know?
John Lee Dumas: It just keeps going. And I love that word, patience. I actually theme my years with one word. In 2017, my one word is think. Because I really want to make sure that I just take a step back and think before I act or think before I commit. I just want to really just think and do some really deep thinking. I can definitely see where patience will be a word of mine in an upcoming year. And I really wish it had been a word of mine back in 2012 or 2013. Because that’s really when I needed it. When I struggled. So, patience, Fire Nation. Have the patience. And the best way to connect with you?
Daniel DiPiazza: I'm Rich Twenty-Something on every social channel. And if you want to check out the new book – which I hope you do – it's RichTwentySomething.com/book.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with D.D.P. and J.L. D. today. So, keep up the heat. And head over to EOFire.com. Type Daniel in the search bar. Not only will this show notes page pop up, but his most recent episode on EO Fire – 1,008 – will pop up as well. So, check out both of those. Because he shared some really cool stories in that episode as well. These are the best show notes in the biz. Timestamps, links galore. And of course, RichTwentySomething.com/book is where you can head over there and learn more about that.
Daniel, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you. And we'll catch you on the flip side.
Daniel DiPiazza: Thank you so much, brother.
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