Billionaire Dan Pena’s Ultimate Advice for Students & Young People – HOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE


Show me your friends
and I’ll show you your future. Unless you want average, in America married two point four kids
with one and a half dogs But I can guarantee you you will never achieve anything
greater than your highest aspiration. If you want a million
you’ll make a million not a $1.5 million. If you want $10 million, a $100 million and you’ll never exceed that. If you change a billion lives, that’s the formula to become
a billionaire and change the world. Time costs lives. Show me your friends
and I’ll show you your future. You want to know why you’re all f***** up? Just look at the bums
you hang around with. I do what you don’t want to do that you know that you’ve got to
do to be where you want to be. Ted Turner just gave his 75th anniversary
party on CNN a few months ago and he has, he makes a couple of
comments and he says number one, and I’m not suggesting this for everybody, it’s how I lived though. The first 10 years of my starting CNN, I slept on my couch,
I didn’t have an apartment. Bill Gates slept in the office, Steve Jobs slept in the office and I can go down a whole list. Now these are super successful
mega-wealthy guys. I slept in my office, not everybody is willing
to make that sacrifice. But it’s not the only thing but even if you don’t
want to sleep in your office, if you want to send
your kids to a better school, if you want to be able to take care of
your mother when she gets dementia, if you want to…
this all takes money. When I… my children aren’t getting
any of my money when I die. Not not one centavo, not one penny. And… Two of my kids are cool with it, one of them is not so cool with it. I’m not going to you know,
I think Andrew Carnegie by the way, Andrew Carnegie arguably the richest most
successful entrepreneur of all time. He said, the best thing
that you can have for a child is him to be born into poverty. And I agree. Lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth. Now they think they have self-worth, they think because they made a few bucks but in actuality, and when they measure it against
the other 8, 10, 12 people sitting around the table they realize or they start the question “Hell, maybe I was just lucky.” Now all of us, when you’re only a one-trick guy or gal think, “Was I lucky?” Now I’ve done it so many
times, I know I wasn’t lucky I might have been lucky the first time but I haven’t been lucky
the 15, 20, 40, 50, – I know that.
– Okay But maybe I was lucky the first time. My life changed when I went,
I was a pretty much… a haphazard kid got in a lot of trouble, got arrested 4 or 5 times, thrown in jail and this was with my dad as a cop. But then I went, I volunteered
for the draft in 1966 at the height of the Vietnam War and I went to OCS
and that changed my life because it was the really first
real high performance thing that I could measure myself
against, with other people. Two-thirds of all Fortune 500 CEOs
have one thing in common – military background.
– Really Two-thirds of those two-thirds
have something else Martial Arts. What do you learn in martial arts Brian? Discipline, focus. A lot of people don’t believe
they deserve to be there I convinced them and we have these drills,
why you belong there? A lot of people that come there, you know with money that have made
money think they made it by accident. I just had one of my super stars
whose made a hundred million bucks tell me in the last week, “You know, I’m not sure I’m going to
have another lucky accident.” And I said, “You did it.” I mean, you know,
you tried a lot of things. Thomas Edison, I would,
I wouldn’t have done it 10,000 times. I would’ve hired an engineer from MIT to do it. But I mean, I’ve tried a lot of things nobody’s failed at more things than I have and the first 100 million are successes but I could write a book
about failures that’d be I mean because I’ve tried
a lot of different things because failure is just testing and one of the reasons
I’ve been so successful in generating this equity
and value in my kids -and I call you all kids- is because I convinced them
that making a mistake is okay. Your parents probably told you you can be anything you want, but you can’t. That’s ***. You can’t. If it’s all juxtaposed So but what you tell them is that you can do anything you want
that you have passion for. Because that eliminates most of the crap because most people
don’t follow their dream, you know, like they say
in the sound of music. “You can’t have a dream come true
unless you have a dream” Now I still dream, I dream in technicolor, I say my affirmations
and goals every single night. It’s bloody hard to be a high-performance person. Perfection equals paralysis. If you left it to the engineers, no car would ever
come off the assembly line. No car would ever come off
the assembly line and I’ve been in business
with enough engineers that I can tell attest to that
with my hand on my heart. They’d still be… Trying to make it better and the internet business
is very much the same. The internet kids want
to test and test and test and they will want
the landing page to be this Just roll it out, the great thing about the internet
is your results are instantaneous. If something that I’m overseeing
at a Concorde level 60,000 feet doesn’t work in two days forget about it move on. And today I had our meeting now the young kids are, “We ran it three days sir,
and we closed it down.” And they are thinking I’m going to ask why I said, “No, that’s fine next” Because without them making mistakes, and without them being allowed to make
the decision they never get any better and 95% of the time
I know probably better than they do, We’re never going to be
able to know everything or have them know everything
unless they make some mistakes and get comfortable with making mistakes. What gets measured gets accomplished. Without measurement
you’re just fooling yourself. Before I had any money I used to go to the Rolls Royce dealers
and sit in the cars and smell the leather touch the leather. Okay I went to million dollar houses and my wife and I
would walk through the house and they’d say, “When are
your parents getting here kids?” “No, we are the buyers.” Practice within when you’re without. Practice being successful. How many people listening to this today
practice being successful today. Through affirmations, through going to the Rolls Royce dealer. Maybe Lamborghini, maybe something else. In my particular case it was Rolls Royce. And within a year of me going to a
Rolls Royce dealer, I had a Rolls Okay Within… 19 months of me dreaming and… adding it to my goals
a castle on an island, I owned Guthrie castle. – 19 months
– Okay Go to stores you can’t afford. Go hire lawyers, you can’t afford. Lawyers will meet with anybody, accountants will meet with anybody. Go to the big four accountants. With a business idea, the first couple meetings are for free. Jettison, probably a lot of
the people you hang around with. If you have poor public speaking skills join Toastmasters. Do these. If you go, if you went to a good school and you’re not successful,
go to the alumni deals Okay I didn’t go to a good school,
I’m a perfect living example that a lot of trouble as a kid, working-class background, my parents, went to just a mediocre university that I flunked out of three times before
I finally graduated with honors, but… And I had no money to begin with, $820 So it’s all possible But I, you know, I devoted myself to feeling successful. I was wearing suits like this,
before I could afford them. Most people procrastinate
because they’re unsure. So just do it. And, but I’ve never had
a problem just doing it because one of the things
you learn as a young combat, infantry officer is time cost lives. We over analyze because we’re unsure, we’re not- over analyze, we don’t over analyze
because we are not sure. If it will work or not, we’re more worried about
on the emotional side it embarrassing us.

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