Dan Pena | On Being a High Performance Individual (Bonus Episode)

High performance people make shit happen.

“Man’s greatest burden is unfulfilled potential.” -Dan Pena

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Why Dan calls himself a 13th or 14th century manager and what that means.
  • What is Dan proudest of?
  • True or false: Dan gives away all of his material for no cost.
  • Would you rather have someone who has read 700 books or done 700 deals? Dan answers.
  • Dan’s two regrets in life: what are they?
  • And so much more…

Have you ever been in the zone? Do you know what it’s like to be in high performance mode? Our guest for today seems to live in that space. Dan Pena is the founder of Quantum Leap Advantage (QLA) and he’s helped his clients generate over $50 billion in equity/value since the early 1990s.

Known as the $50 Billion Dollar Man, Dan has spoken around the globe helping entrepreneurs and businesses tap into their high performance capabilities. Today he shares with us the secrets and wisdom he’s gained living life as a high performer. All of that and so much more on this bonus edition of The Art of Charm.

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More About This Show:

Don’t let his age fool you. Dan Pena may be in his 70s but he’s got more energy, vitality and chutzpah than most men (and women) half his age. He attributes his vim and vigor to naturally being a high performer, his strong work ethic and his self-esteem. He has parents to thank for the last two, and he seems to be one of those people born to be a Spartan warrior among the general population.

Growing up most people would have written Dan off. He spent his formative childhood years in the barrio in Los Angeles. He was expelled from grammar school on three different occasions. Once for dropping an aquarium from the second floor on a teacher below (fortunately the teacher stepped to the side before he was seriously injured), another time for breaking the glasses of a classmate (they were actually made of glass and shattered) and yet a third time for breaking the arm of another classmate.

Dan’s father was a police officer who didn’t brook any nonsense from his kids; he believed in tough love and tough love is exactly what Dan received. When Dan acted out in high school and was repeatedly jailed for various alcoholic incidents, Dan’s father let him sit in jail…after he told his police force friends to beat Dan up. They taught Dan a lesson, but it wasn’t until he was named a officer (and a gentleman) by the US Congress that he straightened out and became the high performance individual he is today.

After serving (voluntarily he enlisted during the draft for the Vietnam War) in the Army, he returned to college and finished his degree in 2.5 years. He went on to work on Wall Street including a stint with Bear Stearns and then found several companies. He’s done multi-million dollar deals with companies around the globe, and has certainly made a name for himself in the business.

But that’s not what he’s most proud of. Dan says he gets the biggest sense of satisfaction from his clients, and he discusses a few examples on the show today. He loves taking those folks who really want success, and helping them get there by any means necessary. Dan says he’s the guy who will make you do what you don’t want to do, so you can be who you want to be! In other words, he pushes you outside of your comfort zone as often and as harshly as it takes.

Like his dad, he doesn’t brook any BS from anyone. He’s a straight shooter with a politically incorrect attitude who says what he thinks when he thinks it, and as long as no one gets hurt, the actions are ethic, legal and moral he’ll do it.

On the topic of success he says the main reason more people don’t achieve success is because they let fear get in the way. Fear, according to him, stands for False Expectations Appearing Real. If you stop listening to the what ifs (which is fear in disguise) you’ll start getting results. There will always be what ifs and fear standing in your way so be willing to sacrifice what’s necessary and you’ll achieve greater success.

We discuss plenty of other topics on today’s show but one last piece of advice from Dan is his three rules for living:

  1. Don’t waste time on things you can’t change like taxes and your in-laws or other people.
  2. Don’t second-guess yourself. There are enough people in the world who are already going to do that for you, don’t give them more ammunition. And don’t keep yourself stuck by falling into this trap.
  3. If you want things to change YOU have to change.

Dan is truly a wealth of wisdom, insights and gusto on this show. A special thanks to him for sharing himself and his valuable time with us, and thanks to you for being here to listen in! We’ll see you next time on The Art of Charm.

THANKS DAN PENA!

If you enjoyed this session of The Art of Charm Podcast, let Dan know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Dan on Twitter!

Resources from this episode:

Dan Pena’s web site
Dan Pena on Twitter
Dan Pena on YouTube

 

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-The Art of Charm Toolbox

-Best of The Art of Charm Podcast

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Jordan Harbinger - author of 924 posts on The Art of Charm

Jordan Harbinger has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped -- twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation. Here at The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with students and clients.

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