How To Not Make Entitled Brats | Interview with Dan Martell

In this episode, Calvin Correli interviews his coach, Dan Martell. Dan, an incredible human being is the founder of Clarity.fm and SaaS Academy. In this conversation, Dan shares some of his own story, including the time he pulled a gun on a cop, hoping that the cop would take his life.

Instead, the cop essentially gave Dan a new lease on life. In this episode, Dan also talks about parenting, which is such an important topic today. What we're seeing in the world today is a crisis of parenting at a massive proportion. Everybody should listen to Dan’s input on parenting and how he does it because it's so freaking brilliant.

Dan also talks about a book that both he and Calvin read and loved early on and which influenced both their careers and so much more. Calvin wants to learn everything he can from Dan, and in this episode of How To Not Make Entitled Brats | Interview with Dan Martell you can tune into that learning too. 


Love Is The Killer App by Tim Sanders



Calvin Correli: [00:00:00] Hey, I'm here to introduce you to Dan Martell. He's my coach. He's the founder of Clarity.fm, the founder of SaaS Academy. He's an incredible human being. And in this conversation, he shares some of his own story, including of when he pulled a gun on the cop, hoping that the cop would take his life and he didn't.

Instead, he essentially gave Dan a new lease on life, which I'm grateful for because Dan has been a tremendous influence in my life. He talks about parenting. Which is such an important topic today.  What we're seeing in the world today is a crisis of parenting at a massive proportion. And I think everybody should listen to the part that Dan talks about, of how he does parenting, because I think it's so freaking brilliant.

I wish I'd done that myself. I want to learn everything I can from him. He also talks about a book that we both read and loved early on and it influenced us in our careers and so much more so let's get right into the conversation.  

Dan Martell is my guest here. I'm super excited to have Dan on cause I've been following you for, I've been stalking you for years since you started Clarity.

Dan Martell: [00:01:07] Really? Wow! So, so what, like what I'm curious about. So you watched them for a while and then we started working together. So full disclosure, I'm your coach. what happened? I know I'm switching it on you, but what happened for you that made you realize like, okay, maybe I should like reach out to this guy.

Like,  I don't know what was true in your world that made it like a now thing.

Calvin Correli: [00:01:27] Right. Two things happened. One thing, one was that I decided to jump on this insane 10 X my business in a year goal.

Dan Martell: [00:01:37] Oh, I remember our first call, remember that? I was like, okay, that's what you want to do. It's going to require some heavy lifting. Let's rock and roll.

Calvin Correli: [00:01:44] Yeah, exactly. Uh, which was after like 10 years of not really having any growth goals at all. So I was like, okay, let's go all in here. Um, that was the one thing that happened. The other thing that happened was. I had been following you since you made the switch from  Clarity.fm to coaching, but I had no idea what you were selling.

I saw you getting, like, I was in that world of information marketing and online courses and all that stuff, right? So I saw everything that you were doing and I was like, okay, now he's going all in on this stuff. But it wasn't until  last summer that I knew what you were selling. I got an email saying, Hey, I've been playing with some things that like helping people like, you know, five X over or whatever.

Like one of those emails like hit reply if you're interested. I hit reply and then I got on a sales call with I think Tyler or something, and that's when I discovered, oh, there's this thing called SaaS Academy. I had no idea I'd been on your list for years. I didn't know what you were selling.

Dan Martell: [00:02:36] Well, it's funny cause like in my marketing world, I had this thing called, you know, give in public ask in private. So just personally, I just, I'm not, I like the beauty is 99% of the people that interact or watch or see anything I do, they'll never become clients because I'm very focused on, you know, very specific B2B SaaS founders at a certain scale, et cetera, as you know.

And, um, so, so there's no reason for me to really public, I'm not like selling something that's like, broadly, you know, buyable, you know, so, um, my whole thing is, yeah, we, we are big fan of, uh, two of our principles is, you know, give in public, ask in private and then also show, don't tell. So I, I'd rather my clients do the telling.

So that's why a lot of testimonials and video interviews and all that stuff. Um, and then we just use that to kind of communicate to the world and let the right people find me. Um, and this has been fun, man. I, as you've seen, you've been to my events. I just have a blast doing what I do.

Calvin Correli: [00:03:37] So much. Right. Yeah. I think the interesting point about that, too, is I wasn't ready before, like even if I had known what you were doing, I wasn't ready. So it all worked out perfectly. Divine timing.

Dan Martell: [00:03:47] What, I'm curious just on that part, what became, what was true, like what became ready? What was ready for you? Is it the business operations or was it the mindset point of view?

Calvin Correli: [00:03:56] No, it was a mindset. It was a mindset. It was, um, so my journey has been, um, I went, I got into, uh, the discovering my life purpose and, and spirituality, which is why I started the company. I wanted to teach spirituality to entrepreneurs. Um, but I went way deep in that sort of, um, spiritual end and so all about like visualizing and just like super feminine stuff.

Like really hoping that, like if I just have a vision over here in my own world, then people on my team will kind of magically figure out what to do and all of that. And so I wasn't. You were the very masculine, right? There'd be like structures and goals and you know, team processes. You also have got a strong feminine.

Right? But that's, that's kind of where your lane as I see it. And that just wasn't interesting to me until, um, I had to go on that inner journey for myself to discovering my, my, you know, growing up as a man, discovering my masculine side, which I, you know, suppressed for very long. 

Um, and at a business point. I was, um, I just realized that I'd spent 10 years of my life on this business acquiring about 1500 customers, and I'm like, I'm 45. I'm 46 now. I was 45 at the time, I'm like, I'm not spending the next 10 years of my life acquiring another 1500 customers for this business. That's not who I am. That's not what I want to be doing with my life.

So it was like, it was a wake up, right? 

Dan Martell: [00:05:23] It was the right time. I love that man. That's, those are my favorite stories of clients when I feel like the timing's right. That's why I don't force it either. Like, my whole thing is, you know, here's what I got. If it's a fit, cool. If not, totally cool as well. I'll just, I keep giving out free stuff every week and on all channels now. Um, just, just to help.

Calvin Correli: [00:05:45] Yeah. And this has been fantastic.  I've learned so much from you and from what you're putting out has been really amazing. So super grateful for that. Yeah, and the thing that strikes me as like how, how much power you have, um, in general, when I see you, whenever you're on stage, whether that's literally on stage in the room. Um, in person or it's, you know, on social media or wherever. So like, where does that come from? And did you always have that?

Dan Martell: [00:06:12] Yeah. I mean, the word power sounds funny, right? Cause I'm like, you know, I work out and I'm like, you know, is it physical presence? I don't know. I mean, I don't discount privilege right. Um, I'm 6'3. You know, 225 pounds training for an iron man. Like I get I have a physical presence. I'm not, I'm not blind to that.

Um, but I also know a lot of, you know, more, um, you know, um, you know, like big guys that, that also have a small personality or they play a smaller game. And that's just not me. I mean, uh, if, if people haven't heard my story, the quick version is, I went through a lot of challenges growing up. My mom was an alcoholic.

I, uh, I got diagnosed with ADHD when I was 11. I had a huge anger issue. Uh,

Calvin Correli: [00:06:58] Did they put you on drugs or no?

Dan Martell: [00:07:00] Yeah, on Ritalin at 11. Um...

Calvin Correli: [00:07:03] For how long were you on that?

Dan Martell: [00:07:04] I was on Ritalin, Adderall for a long time, as in like, so if I was 11, 21 probably 18 years.

Calvin Correli: [00:07:14] Holy shit.

Dan Martell: [00:07:16] Yeah. Yeah, it well, so no, now what I did though is, is, um, so, you know, I went through this evolution, but, and we can come back to the medication, but I decided a while ago that I just didn't want to.

I, I'd rather change my structure in the way I worked to be me a hundred percent of the time than to be somebody I wasn't, because the medication definitely made me somebody I wasn't right. So I looked at it no differently than alcohol or other types of drugs that kind of changed my personality. And, and the reason why is because.

Young age, gotten a lot of trouble, ended up getting introduced to drugs when I was 13 and literally my life spiraled out of control. I got taken out of my home when I was, uh, 12 put into foster care then in the group homes. Then in the law closed custody. Ended up in jail twice by the time I was 17 and literally almost like took my own life in a high speed chase, um, where I had a handgun sitting next to me when I crashed into this house.

Um, you know, I pulled the gun on the police hoping that they would do their job and take my life so. You know, they grabbed me. I woke up, sober the next morning in a jail cell, and that was like the beginning of this, this newer journey that at the time I didn't know any of this stuff. Right. I'd never read anything on personal development.

I just literally just wanted to get through that time. I ended up doing six months in an adult jail because of kind of the severity of the crimes and released to a rehab center called Portage. And just this really cool place in the middle of nowhere. Um, old church camp they converted and I did 11 months of therapy, like rebuilding my life, relationships with my family, trust.

Understanding my emotional intelligence really like that, I didn't call it that back then. It was, you know, they called it feelings management groups. And you know, the cool thing about Portage was that all the, um, all the residents were, uh, the, the group, the community was ran by the community. So like they had different groups of people and that older members of middle peers and chief and the chief wore the keys.

And these are all like 17, 18 year olds, and then the staff were all ex drug addicts. So, you know, um, you know, from Mark Pence, who was a heroin addict to George, this Italian guy from Montreal that spent time in a Mexican prison. I mean, and they had all gone through their own therapy years prior, worked at the adult facility.

Portage had an, uh, kind of a sister facility in Quebec. And, um, I just feel blessed man, that I got to go through that experience because even though it's designed for people with addiction problems, like literally every adult human being would grow so much personally if they went through that. So it felt like it almost was like this hyperintense personal development program that I just didn't understand till later.

When I started doing my own work, that kind of came to be, and it was at the end of that where I found this, this, I was helping Rick, the maintenance guy, clean out this cabin. Um, and there was this old computer and a book on Java programming. And I opened it up and never touched a computer prior and it read like English and I just start the computer and follow the page, you know, chapter one, you know, you're a developer, like you, like every programming book from PHP to Pearl to, you know, back then, uh, cold fusion and, and ASB classic was a, you know, how a world, and I got the computer to say hello world in a Java terminal.

And everything shifted, man. Like I just, it literally became my new addiction. I remember I had two passions botany and computer programming, botany for obvious reasons to somebody. Maybe you get it. My dad, my dad always said like, look, you can have a garden as a hobby, but I really, uh, this computer thing is probably a good, and he, and he let me lead into it.

He, uh, made a commitment that he would buy me any book as long as I finished it. So we'd go to, I probably, he spent about 3 or $4,000 on computer books in the local bookstore, uh, on everything database design, architecture. I just. I just figured I can't go wrong if I just study this and my ADHD nature and just like this hypertension.

So it's like a, um, that's why I tell a lot of people it's, it's a gift and a curse, right? The curse is, I have a hard time focusing in environments where I'm not stimulated, but at the same time, you put me in the right scenario and I won't, I can, I'll just go hyper-focus right.

Calvin Correli: [00:11:41] Yeah, that makes sense. Wow. That's, yeah. I love what you were saying. So the books I can totally relate to. I was, I, grew up in Denmark and learned to program. Um, from a, from a young age, from my dad was teaching me, but whenever my dad would travel to America, I would beg him, plead with him to buy some books from the U S cause you couldn't get these books in Denmark.

Right. So, and luckily he traveled to the US on a regular basis. So I would get these like programming the 80, 86, like assembly program and, and Peter Norton were writing books

Dan Martell: [00:12:13] Yeah, man. Peter Norton.

Calvin Correli: [00:12:15] Yeah. Right. Um, yeah, he was a Bible. Uh, that's amazing. So the, I love what you said with going through that experience at Portage.

Um, one of the things that fascinates me is like, you know. As, as parents, as, as society is, everybody would kind of want to, we, we want to take the hardship away from, the frustration away from people. Right? But it's at the same time, it's those moments where we really grow, where we learn something when it's really challenging.

What, what has your experience been?

Dan Martell: [00:12:46] Yeah, so I mean, I have two little boys, and that was like my biggest, I remember when I first had them, you know, my biggest fear, I think as somebody that's come from nothing that built their own world and wealth and circumstances, I just didn't want to create little entitled brats. Right. That was like, that would have been a failure as a parent for me, and I struggled with that for like, I think it was like two years.

I was like. So what am I supposed to do? Like bring them to the woods and like leave them there and run away and hopefully they figure it out. Like, is that the right way to do this? And then I discovered, this is the cool part, is I discovered that if we just allow the world naturally to interact in our child and not protect them from the world, there's enough challenges and friction.

Right? And the reason I came to that conclusion is because you know, when they were kind of like two is when they like had a little dexterity and they could do stuff and I would let them put their own shoes on and put their own jackets on and zip up their jackets. And yet I look around, you know, picking these kids up from, from, uh, afterschool, uh, or daycare.

And, you know, a bunch of parents were sitting there and doing their jackets and grabbing their book bags and putting stuff in and getting their shoes a little ready. And the kid would just sit there and wait for their mom to do it. And I was just like, that's what's wrong. So like, the good news is, um, I have to do anything to them.

I just have to create the space for the world to create these, these challenges and, and then work, be there as a support, but definitely do not solve the problems. And that's the big thing that my wife and I got on-board together early on, is how do we allow them to, um, to sit in that, to sit in that frustration, to sit in a scenario that they're not happy about.

Um, so like earlier on other things, like, I don't buy them toys. If they want something, they gotta buy it themselves. Like, I don't care what it is. And I, you know, like I have means I'm just not, I'm not doing that. I'm not going to buy them a car. I'm not going to pay. They're like, even their education is a big one for me.

It's like, why? If they look, if they are able to get a loan, if they're able to work to save their money, why am I paying for their education? Right? I already look, I'm crazy, Calvin, like I already pay their food, pay their living, you know, pay their school programs and stuff. Pay for like the special school they go to.

So like I'm already doing my part. If they want any of that, if you ask them right now, if I went and got my two kids and you ask them like, how old before you guys got to leave the house? They will both say 17, I've been telling them since they were three, they got to get out of my house when they're 17 they're on their own.

They're already figuring out how they're going to live together and stuff. Cause that's just like, I think that's the reality. 

Calvin Correli: [00:15:33] How old are they now?

Dan Martell: [00:15:33] Yeah. The world will do everything it needs. 

How old are they now? Six and seven.

Calvin Correli: [00:15:38] Six and seven. All right. Yeah, so are they making money now and how are they making money?

Dan Martell: [00:15:43] They're literally painting rocks right now to go sell them door to door. But they'll, they've done a ton of stuff. They, um, we have this rule that if they identify something that needs to be done in the house and present it to us as like, hey, I'll go clean this thing, or I noticed this thing was like that, that they can talk to us.

So they'll come up and they'll be like, hey, your car looks dirty. Do you want me to clean it? Um, certain cars, I let them touch others not so much. Um, and you know, stuff like that, uh, uh, sweep in the front porch. So it's essentially, it's chores, I think people make a mistake by giving kids an allowance.

Um, cause they, every night we do the dishes and they do it with me. So I pretty much ended the day we go and we clean the dishes. Now look, I'm privileged. I have a nanny. Megan lives with us. Like she literally does everything, but I always tell them, Megan is my nanny, not your nanny. So like go pick up your toys.

Go clean up after yourself. I have the privilege because I work my ass off to have somebody support me in my work and take care of things so that my wife and I, Renee, we can do that. But that's not your benefit. That's mine. So don't ask Megan to do any of that, cause she's not. So end of the day, we, we clean the dishes and do that and that's not, there's no allowance for that.

That's, that's like par for the course for living in my house. So yeah. Yeah, I mean it's, it's a, it's a different approach, but it's also like, I believe no pressure, no diamonds, right? If we don't have to learn to deal with difficult situations, then we will not create the character and the feedback. And then you, I, you see all these parents that are pissed off cause their kids are like you know, living at their house at 30 and it's like, well, you freaking did their laundry for them their whole lives. You bought them a car when they turned 16 you, you know, you gave them a $500 a month allowance, whatever it is. It's like, Whoa. 

You know, I actually literally have a friend. I was getting there. Now I shut my mouth. My rule is if unless you're asking me, I'm not giving you advice. I learned that a long time ago. Be the lighthouse, not the tugboat. I'm going to stay in my lane if somebody wants my perspective. Luckily I have a big group, like you're part of Calvin that I get to. There are a lot of people who would ask me questions, so I get my outlet there.

Everybody else, unless they ask, they don't say anything, and he's telling me, he's like, yeah, well, the way I do it is I help pay for their rent. And the only thing I ask in return is that they have dinner with me once a week. This is a father with his two children. Yeah. And I'm like, you are a hundred percent manipulating them and, and that's horrible.

Like that's not, I don't want to raise my kids like that.

Calvin Correli: [00:18:14] Hmm. No, I love that. I love that it's, it's a, it's so refreshing to hear, um, curling parenting, right? Like, and like, and I feel like, like government too, not, like, not to get too political on this, but like, you know, we're, we're, you know. What happened to savings?  What happened to you know, making sure that you'll be safe, even if you know, shit goes to, you know, um, goes crazy, right?

Dan Martell: [00:18:42] Yeah, like me on the business side, right. In the, in the people, it's like people lived above their means. They had no savings. Right. So they didn't have, they didn't have time for a rainy day. And even the businesses, like if you are a capitalist and you've benefited of all the upside of capitalism and now we're giving you money cause you didn't plan for this moment. Then I think the American society or the Canadians, that we should get equity in those businesses. 

If, if an entrepreneur came to me and said, I need money to prop up my business, I would give them that money and I would take equity for that money.

Calvin Correli: [00:19:18] Or let them fail, right. 

Dan Martell: [00:19:19] Yeah, we can talk about whatever you want, but that's definitely, to me, I'm more, um, cause here's the thing is the ones that are prepared, like I, I've been, you know, like I'm, I'm good.

Now I have to pay for the other people that didn't have the discipline or didn't take advantage of the opportunity that we all live in. That there are parts of it,  at the same time. I'm the most generous person with my money. Like nonprofits, charities, kids, that part, you know, kids, the adults, you gotta be accountable for your actions.

Calvin Correli: [00:19:50] Yeah. And you're punishing, you're punishing the people that, that are, that are doing the responsible thing, and you're not letting the, letting the companies that like go under that needs to go under so you can get a new crop of companies that are more resilient. Right.

Dan Martell: [00:20:04] Hundred percent.

Calvin Correli: [00:20:05] Yeah. So, um, well let's, shifting gears to, talk a bit about, um, your purpose, your life purpose. Like what would you say that it is and how did you find out?

Dan Martell: [00:20:16] Well, I mean, I think life purpose evolves, right? So like I, I knew at a very young age, and this is the biggest gift that I got going through the challenges that I experienced as a teenager. Was that somebody was looking out for me. That's the only way I can explain it. A higher power, whatever your God is for you, somebody was looking out because statistically probabilistically, there's no reason I'm still alive.

Period. Full stop. Like there, you ask anybody in my family. The fact that I am who I am today continues to baffle my dad. Okay. My own father, um, you know, the other day I was talking to him, he's just still can't understand. He doesn't understand how, he's like, I don't get it. How, why do people listen to you?

Why, why did you have like how did you create this? And I'm like, look, dad, it's literally just one foot in front of the other for 20 years of intense focus. Honestly, that's, that's the short answer. But.

Calvin Correli: [00:21:14] There's something that's driving you, right? 

Dan Martell: [00:21:15] Yeah, yeah. The thing pulling me forward is I feel like somebody, somebody was looking out for me and, and the reason why is I'm here to do some, some like I'm here to be an example of possibility, period. Full stop. 

Cause I think that's what we all are here for. I think every person watching this, listening to this, you are here because you're supposed to be an example of possibilities. And if you've accepted that, great. And go on that journey and if you haven't, hopefully, this could be the first time you hear it, but I think every human being at the end of, your time here on earth, you're going to, you're going to find out what your reason for being was and you'll either be totally blindsided by it and go, shit, I didn't even get that. I didn't even know it was possible to do that. Or you're going to go like, Oh. Good cause that's what I did. And that felt good. 

And you know, so I guess like, um, it all started, but like piece by piece, like at first was a hundred percent just giving back to the kids at Portage. So like, I still to this day go and visit two or three times.

I'm actually gonna be heading there next week. Um, so I go and talk to the kids. My rule is, and look, it's evolved cause like I was 18 when I started, you know, fail. It took me literally two failed companies until I was 24 to finally figure it out. So I wasn't an example of success for quite a while. Right?

And, um, and now my, my message to them is if they stay sober and they get out for a year, they can reach out to me and I'll help them achieve any dream they could possibly come up with. And I have a lot of resources at my disposal. So I think what's happened now is it scared a lot of them and they don't reach out to me.

So I do have some, like I had dinner two days ago with, uh, with a kid that lived two hours away. So we drove down just to have dinner and I invited some other entrepreneurial friends. And we got them sorted right. And he's on a path and he's going to, hopefully, if he continues down that path, he's going to be another example.

But I guess I've always had that part pulling me forward of just like personal success because I gotta be an example to these kids, almost like a bigger brother, because that's the hardest part is when I was there, cause I was uh, the program had only been two years. So I came the year after it had been opened.

There were no success stories. So Calvin, like the reason why there's this thing called the American dream is because of every other person that succeeded, that came from another country that started in their circumstances, that, um, that looked like them, that, that, that made it work. That creates possibility.

That creates hope. And that's what I was for a long time to those kids. And then...

Calvin Correli: [00:23:45] Well, what has happened with that? Like though, cause like I, I came from Denmark and I came here to America thinking that that was kind of what I would see and what I, what I see instead is like. The other day, David Geffen posted a picture of his yacht and a sunset saying, Hey, I'm just hanging out ... like, you know, getting away from the coronavirus and people. 

I saw it. I was like, that's inspiring. I want to do that one day. Right. And people are freaking out and being like, Oh my God, you're entitled, or you're like, whatever, like showing off or like people get, they get upset now about these things. Is that something that you're closer to America, you're not...

Dan Martell: [00:24:19] I'm not an immigrant, but all my friends that are, especially if they, like when I moved to San Francisco and I started to really meet like these entrepreneurs, that one entrepreneur, I met, the, uh, the founder of Postmates swam across some, some European country channel to get away from his country that was more communist, that didn't have a capitalist, that like, to me that's like the basis. Right. And, and what's happened, I think, is because we've gotten so far away from it. It's like one of my coaching clients, um, he used to live in Russia, right? And he's laughing. He's in Spain right now, and he's on lockdown.

His name is Daniel. And, uh. And I asked him, cause he was locked down before everybody else and I said, how's it going? And he goes, I don't know why everybody's freaking out. I don't hear any bombs dropping on us. Like that's his reality. He's used to like, hey, there is no food being delivered by a button on an app on a phone.

It's literally like, we've got to make our rations work. You know what I mean? So like I just think it's just perspective. So that's why like again, I feel lucky that I went through what I went through as hard as it was, as hard as it was on my parents. I can't even imagine. My dad told me the first time I went to jail, if I ever went again, he'd not come and visit me.

And true to his word, he didn't. I have two little boys. I can't even imagine how hard that would have been for him. Um, so yeah, I just think that a lot of people have gotten so far away from, um, having to deal with so little that their expectations for what other people should be doing or creating environments for them.

Like the entitlement is just, and it may not be obvious to them that it's entitlement cause they think entitlement is like this thing. But we know that the entitlement is anytime you think anybody owes you anything. And that is a hundred percent happening right now, more than it ever has. Just because we've gotten so far away from those.

The literally I think the immigrants or the hardship, right. And, and maybe it's a reset. Maybe the world needed this, maybe the world, literally the, from a population pollution point of view, we needed it and maybe we needed everybody to understand like, hey, when we say be grateful for the opportunity to walk outside. That's not trite. That's not a real thing. Cause a lot of people don't even have that privilege or next time you're able to give your best friend a hug, like, like really appreciate and be grateful for that because that's taken. It's, it's, that's the part that, you know, at the end of the day, everything that I do always comes from a place of gratitude.

It's like, it's like, um satisfied, a satisfied, drive. Like I'm, I'm grateful and I appreciate everything I have, but I'm also incredibly driven. To, uh, to, bigger possibilities and what, what I could create. Cause I, I do not believe I have an unlimited amount of time ahead of me and I haven't for years.

Cause I honestly thought I'd be dead by the time I was 21. So I plan my life in these five year increments and just say like, I've got five years. It's enough time to not be irrational, but it's not too much time to be complacent.

Calvin Correli: [00:27:33] So, so tell me about that. Like that, that I'm grateful for what you have, but that drive, like how do you, how do you do that? Cause I think a lot of people find that to be contradictory.

Dan Martell: [00:27:43] The why man. You gotta have a bigger why. Like I, I just, I have people that I care about, that I want to do more for. And when people say like, money doesn't matter, it's like that's cause you haven't given enough. It's that simple. Money doesn't matter, well fuck. You haven't had a sick person that you love not be able to get an operation.

Like when all this crap went down and my sister works in a call center and I begged her even before they had the forced mandatory kind of social distancing or shelter in place. I said, you can't go to work, and she's like, I have to go to work or I can't pay my bills. And I was able to just send her money for six months and say, you're now. You don't have to worry about your bills. You're good now. 

And she messaged me a week later. I mean, again, you got to understand like the environment I grew up in was not a healthy normal,like you love your sister, I love you. Like we fought a lot and I wasn't around a lot. So you know, as much as all that, like that was the first time I'd ever given her money cause she would never have allowed me to do it in the past.

But now all of a sudden it was like her kid's health and her health and um, yeah, she sent me the sweetest text message. I don't know how I would have felt if I wasn't able to do that for her. Right. Being able to call my dad and say, I'm going to fly you back from Florida because you're down there and you need to get home, and my in-laws same thing.

They're in Mexico, they're retired, they have fixed income, couldn't afford the change, flight fees, blah, blah, blah. Just get home, you know what I mean? So I just, and then really even support, like right now, the frontline workers in my, in my province in Canada, like they, literally don't have the PPE that they require.

Me being able to buy that because I have the networks, that's the other part, the network through my friends that can get the logistics, like figure that out to get the product to actually deliver it. That's why I'm going to Portage in a few days is to deliver them essentially a package of PPE for them because they have to test all the residents that come back. Uh, on weekends with their families. So they're really, they're the staff. They're really concerned about that. 

So, I don't know, man. I just, I just feel like I've got a lot more to give and a lot, a big part of that's going to be financially, so it drives me to create more business.

Calvin Correli: [00:29:54] I love that. That's amazing. So you said that you've had this feeling that somewhat like someone was watching her, there's some energy or something like watching out for you. Did you feel it? Something like that thing that you felt inside, that purpose, that drive, whatever that is, that one's come up. Did you feel that someone saw you?

Was that you that saw that in you? How did that come?

Dan Martell: [00:30:15] No I don't.

I think it was somebody else definitely went from like, you know, my faith growing up in that God to more of a creator, kind of less of a, less of a specific religious process and more of a just spiritual process. That's where I'm at today. So, um, you know, it's funny cause like, I think if you've ever felt this, I felt this a few times where I actually feel like I felt God, right, this, this oneness, call it what you want, but oneness, gratitude.

Um, it's really an incredible feeling if you can get there. And, uh...

Calvin Correli: [00:30:54] What, how would the moments where that happened.

Dan Martell: [00:30:57] Uh, Tony Robbins Oneness Blessing. I was at a Tony Robbins event Date With Destiny, and he did this thing and I just felt it was really, it was beautiful. I mean, I felt like I was, there was no difference between the tree and the like literally the whole earth, the whole world. The whole galaxy was one. Right?

And it was just this like this incredible feeling of peace and gratitude there. The concept of pain and fear and all that was just not present. It was, it was just really, I couldn't explain it, but it felt so real. And, and if somebody said, what is, what is feeling God's presence and whatever that means for you, what would that feel like?

That, that thing. So. But even before that, um, I always felt like I was being guided and I felt like I was part of, of something. So here's the thing, it's like even when I came up with my software product Clarity, right? Any time you've ever felt this, um, desire inside to fight for something good and it might be happening right now.

Cause I know a lot of people have. You know, frontline workers, nurses, et cetera. Maybe that feeling, but like an injustice. Okay. So like to me it's, I think entrepreneurship at the, at its best form is what wrong do you want to right in the world? Right? So that, that is always been present for me. 

Addiction with, with at risk youth. So at risk youth is kind of like the first one. The other one is just business failure. So like the software stuff, it's like that's my lane. It's what I know how to do. It's where I know how to add most value. So I want to like just help people, cause dude, I get the call when people are $7 million invested in a software product that hasn't launched.

You know, like, that sucks. And I'm like, it didn't have to be that way. So that's why I give everything I know for free on YouTube and other platforms, but then the ones that want to work with me, then that's just a different level of support. And so that's a big driver. And then I think, um, what I've discovered, and this is the whole like, you know, be the lighthouse versus the tugboat.

Uh, again, it's evolution. So it was like at risk youth. Uh, me building companies to be an example for my community, right? Success in my community because of what I realized in my twenties after I started having success and I sold my first company, all the, now all of a sudden my voice matters. 

All of a sudden, I literally can get the, you know, the governor, the equivalent, the governor to come to my house, to have a fireside chat with my friends. You know what I mean? Because I had success. So it's like right or wrong. It is what it is. And through that, I'm able to support and, contribute to my community locally. And, um, and then so that just kept evolving to the point now where I realized that if all I do is just share. My beliefs, uh, publicly and just share what I do. 

Okay. So I don't have to create anything. I literally just have to share how I live my life, how I think about things that, that costs me zero, cost me nothing right now to do this podcast my time. But at the end of the day, I'm here for a purpose. And, um, if that helps people, then that's amazing.

I mean, I don't, I, I'm just like. You know, imagine if all of this happened in a world that didn't have the internet.

Calvin Correli: [00:34:11] Oh, yeah.

Dan Martell: [00:34:12] Like I'm just grateful for the fact that we get to hang out and talk. And it's like, I mean, it's crazy, dude. I got, I got this laptop, iPhone, iPad, and you, how many devices do we need? Like, cool, cool little world we live in. 

Calvin Correli: [00:34:28] It's amazing. Yeah. A hundred years ago, Spanish Flu, like they didn't have the internet.

Dan Martell: [00:34:31] No, I just feel like, if there's the tools are out there for me to shine my light and that costs nothing and I inspire people and every once in a while you'll get the email from somebody that shares just an incredible heart moving like story of something you said off the cuff that really shifted something for them.

Cause that's how it is. That's how it works. That's like for me, that's how it's always worked for me. You know, the person that added the most value to my life, they never knew what they were saying. The book they wrote, the video they did was the right message at the right moment. And that's what I learned.

Building Clarity was, um, the messenger matters more than they, that people realize and the credibility of that messenger for people to internalize it. Right. To really believe it and say like, I can relate with that person. That's what relating is, is I can see myself in that person, and if they've done it, that gives me hope.

And, um, so that's why I'm even more driven today to, you know, I have a full time videographer just to like get more out there because it, the ROI on it is just so powerful. 


So I just feel like I'm just scratching the surface.

Calvin Correli: [00:35:40] How do you use that full time videographer? Does he follow you around at your house or?

Dan Martell: [00:35:44] Um, he asks, so he is like, he's always trying to capture stuff, but at the end of the day, I don't want to be disruptive. So he's around. He'll, he's like, works on micro docs. Like, you know, he's like, hey, I think we should do a documentary about your Ironman training. Okay. My assistant will invite them to like training sessions.

So he's aware and he can show up with his camera. Um, he takes everything I do, every video interview, et cetera, clips it up, puts it all, like if you follow me on social media, all that's him. Um. Catalogs. I had a lot of privates, I had like five years worth of private videos that had never seen the light of day.

Um, some of this stuff had never even seen, like, it wasn't even for clients. It was just things that I did that I always recorded, but I just never shared. Um, but yeah, I think it's that whole, uh, you know, um, document don't create kind of concept. My wife's really good at that, she's just incredible. She's just, she's got a knack for it.

I think most women do a little bit more designed, sensitive, a little too much produce for me, I guess. But. Uh, between her sharing on the family side of stuff, how we approach our, our children, and, uh, our relationship. And then me sharing the business stuff and the mindset stuff. I think it's, it's pretty cool.

Calvin Correli: [00:36:52] So I want to return to something you talked about earlier, which was you had organized yourself, structure your life so that you can be yourself 100% of the time. That stood out to me. Talk to me about that.

Dan Martell: [00:37:05] Yeah, so what happened was, is I was taking Adderall probably up until, I don't know, like seven years ago. And I wouldn't take it all the time, but I would take it for like days that I had to like, do kind of deep work, if you want to call it fat or really nice and deep work, paperwork, less creative, more like, you know, uh, read something and like respond to something or taxes or whatever it is.

Like, sit down with my accountant and review. So like, just shit I didn't want to do honestly. And, um. And then, so then I realized just like my day is all about energy management. So like that, that was the biggest unlock, I think like from a productivity point of view. Cause like there's like elevate,  there's levels of everything, right?

So like there are some people that don't set goals. They're like down here, they might, but they might even be a level lower where they just have no self worth. They don't even know that setting goals is a thing. So I get there's levels, but for me, the big unlock was really saying, okay, what kind of energy do I want to bring throughout my day?

What kind of task or work fits different things and how do I, how do I structure my life? Like I am an extreme extrovert. I wasn't always, so that's another thing. So the whole fixed mindset versus growth mindset. People believe that I'm an introvert. I'm an extrovert. I'll always be that way. Not true. Um, so I learned to be an extrovert because I was writing software all the time.

I didn't talk to people. I literally, the reason why I love software is like, I hope I could build a million dollar business without ever talking to anybody. I didn't want to. I wanted to just write software, buy it, use it, don't bug me, email me for support.

Calvin Correli: [00:38:38] I've been on that exact same journey. It's like very introverted now. Way more extroverted than, than I...

Dan Martell: [00:38:44] And then you realize that to really build a company, you need people. And to be, to have people, you have to lead them. And to lead them, it means you've got to communicate. And so there's like this evolution that's

Calvin Correli: [00:38:55] What made you extroverted? What made you change?

Dan Martell: [00:38:57] Um, two failed companies.

Calvin Correli: [00:39:00] Okay.

Dan Martell: [00:39:01] So this is the ironic part, is, um, I didn't read a business book, so I read a bunch of computer books, right?

Like hundreds, but I didn't read a business book until I was 23. So I started at 17, two failed companies. And at 23, I was working at this, uh, doing contract work for a government agency, essentially our, um, aviation industry, Nav Canada in Canada. And, uh, I went to a bookstore at lunch in Ottawa. I still go back every time I go to Ottawa, go to the book sources, the chapters still there, luckily enough. 

And I always take a picture and I post it cause I thought, man, maybe I should read a book on business like I'm sucking at this shit. You know, like my dad's pleading me to go get a normal job and I really want to take another stab at it. So I was looking at all these like business books, you know, in the self-help business section.

And I saw this, uh, orange CD. Okay. I didn't, so it was like audiobooks. I'm like, Oh, maybe that'll be better. And it was called Love Is The Killer App by Tim. 

Calvin Correli: [00:40:01] I remember that book. Yeah, I read that.

Dan Martell: [00:40:02] Yeah, a lot of people had it. It's a very undiscovered book, although I, as a first book, if you read it Calvin, it was such an incredible, um, for foundation and framework, right.

Of like invest in your network, acquire knowledge for your customers, and be a good dude, right. In business and, um, cause at that point, I thought all successful entrepreneurs and business people were scoundrels, right? Like all these weird beliefs that like I'll be different though. And everybody else is that way.

It turns out that's not the case. So that's cool. Um. And in that book he talked about the value of your networking, connecting with people. That scared the shit out of me, but I, I could see his argument and, uh, that led me to read other books like, uh, never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi. And that, I mean, as you know, I talk about founder dinners and founders.

I literally host dinners. I'll probably organize like 25 to 35 dinners, lunches in a calendar year. Right? And that's normal. That's not like, that doesn't even sound like a big deal to me. It's normal in today's world. But I remember the first one I ever hosted in New Jersey with one of my potential partners, and I was freaking out in the parking lot, you know?

So like what drove me. 

Calvin Correli: [00:41:14] Was it just doing it, was it just practicing? Cause I think for me it was a lot of the introvert was, I felt so wrong. I felt, you know, so meeting other people

Dan Martell: [00:41:23] It's all of those fear, right? Yeah. For me, it was all the fears around what if I say something stupid, what if they discover I'm not as like, I have no value to add. There's just like all these things, and I think what

Calvin Correli: [00:41:35] So introverts are just people that haven't done therapy.

Dan Martell: [00:41:39] And I, it was funny, as I had done a lot of therapy, but I still had like, I hadn't, I hadn't, it was like, cause I had been in therapy my whole life as a teenager. Um, but it was the business side of it, right? The self worth in a context of entrepreneurship and like even the word entrepreneur is like a new cool thing.

It wasn't, I didn't call myself an entrepreneur back in the day because people thought entrepreneurship meant unemployed.

Calvin Correli: [00:42:01] Right.

So there's something that I've been thinking about with, with you. Cause like now I know that you, you bring on as part of SaaS Academy, you bring a lot of resources, people, there's books that you go through there and then you get the author to actually be on stage and present things.

How do you balance, how do you balance your own sort of, you know, creativity, your own inner voice, your own genius with, um, all the information that's coming from the outside?  

Dan Martell: [00:42:27] What do you mean? 

Calvin Correli: [00:42:28] Like just other people's voices versus your own voice?

Dan Martell: [00:42:32] I mean, my whole life is a remix of everything I've ever learned in conversation I've had with other people. So to me, I try to get as many of those voices, all those people that I bring on stage a, as you've probably seen, they're all friends of mine.

You know, I mean, just the idea that I didn't read a bit. I remember the first time I read a book and I like Tim and I, and I, somebody said in another book, you should email the author and thank them. And like now I have a whole bookshelf of friends of mine that have written these books. I just find that crazy.

Like it blows my mind, you know what I mean? Like, so like, um, I just feel like I don't, I'm always looking for inspiration. I'm always looking. For what I've discovered from a creativity point of view is, um, I consume as much as I can, and this is how I've done it for like everything from like marketing acquisition stuff.

You know, my early mentors were like, you know, Andrew Chen, Sean Ellis who created the term growth hackers, et cetera, like just study everything they're saying. So if they have bodies of work, read it. If they don't, talk to them, as much as they'll allow me to. One of my mentors Ken this incredible dude, when I moved to San Francisco, he said, find the smartest people you can and spend as much time as they'll let you spend with them.

Right. Like without being creepy. And that's just, that's my approach. So to me, my creative process requires. Uh, other thoughts and other ideas. And then what I do is I kind of hear all these different perspectives and then test my own approach. And if it works. Because the way I think about a comment is there's probably a thousand different paths to be successful.

But the clients that come to me, are coming to me because they resonate with my approach. Doesn't mean you can't do it a different way, totally game for that. But I'm assuming that people are coming because of what they seen on online. They go, I like that version of it. Right? Cause like, if you just think of like, the information, marketing space.

There's everything on one end from like management consultants. Right? So like Alan Weiss wrote a book called the million dollar consultant. I would put him over here, higher brow fees, bigger projects, corporate. Then on the other end, we can go all the way to Tai Lopez. Okay. So we've got Tai Lopez over here and.

And, and, and people are going to resonate with different people on their spectrum. That's the exciting part is because you can literally, um, just, just shine your own light and the people that want to learn the way you learn. So we like across that spectrum, we can all be teaching the same thing, inspired by the same people, but brought through our lens.

It's actually the, that to me is what creativity is for me. Anyway.

Calvin Correli: [00:45:09] I love it. I love it. That's brilliant. Alright. Um,  it's about time to wrap up. I have two questions. One is like, um, for people to follow you, engage with you, where should we send them? 

Dan Martell: [00:45:20] So, um, there's a fun, fun fact. Kay. YouTube, if you want to learn from me. Cause that's where I put out most of my, like how to content. Instagram, if you want to be inspired on my main feed. Uh, Instagram stories, if you want like the reality TV side of my life, like the behind the scenes. And then, um, and then my website, if you want to potentially work together. So those are like, I try to use each channel differently.

Calvin Correli: [00:45:46] I've never heard it laid out that clearly ever before. And that it's so typical, Dan Martell, always, always freaking clear. I love that. I love that about you so much. I really do. What's the one thing that you want to leave listeners with? 

Dan Martell: [00:46:03] Everybody watching this or listening to this is here to do something big. And if you don't believe that, I get it, but know that big is relative. It doesn't mean you have to be a billionaire. You could just, you could just do something really powerful for somebody in your life. You could literally be just an incredible father, incredible brother, incredible big brother. You can be whatever it is.

Everybody is here to do something powerful and meaningful. And it's not about impact like volume of impact or size, but whatever, if you don't know that, go on the journey to figure it out, because that is such a powerful fuel to keep moving you forward. And that's, what's helping me get through when you asked me earlier, like where does, where does this moment like optimism or energy come from?

It's that, and it literally at this point, because I built that muscle. I don't even know what you'd have to throw at me for me. Like, I think about like, what if I lost my arms and my legs and I couldn't speak anymore. How would I show up? And I hope I would show up with the same attitude. 

Calvin Correli: [00:47:10] All right. Thank you, Dan.

Really, really appreciate you showing up here today. 

Dan Martell: [00:47:17] Appreciate the time. Appreciate you, uh, showing up the way you do and keep shining your light. We'll talk soon. 

Calvin Correli: [00:47:22] All right. Thank you so much, man 

Dan Martell: [00:47:24] Later. 

Calvin Correli: [00:47:25] Thank you for listening to the podcast episode. After 20 years as a serial spiritual entrepreneur, it's my passion to bring you ideas and insights from some of the best entrepreneurs, leaders, and thinkers in the world, straight to your phone. We're going to be launching many, many more podcast episodes in the future.

So please subscribe and leave a five star review. If you found any value at all from today's conversation,  your reviews and feedback mean the world to me.



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