Dan Peña probably isn’t a man you’ve heard of before, but there are literally a gazillion reasons why anyone seeking success should pay attention to him. For one, he grew up in a small “barrio” in Los Angeles and was thrown in jail five times for crimes that were “alcohol-related,” but he managed to turn his life around by taking $820 and building it into a $450 million fortune in eight years’ time after taking his oil company public.
Recently, Peña has started coaching, inviting mentees who pay $15,000 into his castle in Scotland to learn the Quantum Leap Advantage (QLA), a method he says he used to build his own tremendous wealth. Why such a steep price, you ask? Well, it’s not steep according to Peña, as he claims QLA mentees have built more than $50 billion in equity and value from learning his secrets. For that sort of exorbitant return though, mentees shouldn’t expect his seminar to be a walk in the park — people have been rumored to piss and sh*t themselves going through the experience.
Peña is also known to be completely uncensored. Brian Rose of London Reel was a recent attendee at one of Dan’s seminars, and he recounted some of the things Pena said during the very first day:
“You f*cking CUNTS are weak and unaccomplished, which is why you are here in the first place. But all that changes tomorrow when we go deep and find out why Mommy and Daddy didn’t love you. Guess what? I don’t give a SHIT why! When you leave here you won’t have an action plan, you will have a WAR PLAN. And I NEVER leave a man behind.”
“And don’t do any of that networking bullshit, that’s for losers. You are here to work on yourself…”I don’t want to see any business cards or electronic messages. When I see you guys swapping spit, my dick goes limp.”
“I could easily kill three of you myself, or at least two of you with my bad hip. So if anyone wants a piece just let me know. And if I see any phones or laptops I WILL FUCKING BREAK THEM.”
Even while pushing 70 years of age, Dan Peña is hardcore. He’s bungee jumped in the worst conditions possible and he’s jumped out of planes without a parachute. Why? Because he f*cking can. He’s hunted live buffalo, bears and boars and killed them with nothing but a handgun and a knife — their heads are proudly displayed on his wall. Peña lives in a badass castle out in Scotland with butlers who constantly tend to him, he has maids who travel with him everywhere, and he’s a U.S. Army veteran. Watch out, Dos Equis man, for you now have a true contender in the title for the “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with Dan Peña over the phone. Having met many successful people in the past, including billionaires, celebrities and politicians, I didn’t agree with everything he had to say. At the same time though, his criticisms and ideas are the type of things people normally don’t have the balls to deliver. Listening to Peña is like getting a full shot of testosterone.
Asked about his coaching program, Peña said:
“… I don’t consider myself as a personal development guy. Those are are all titles I really don’t understand. What I am is, I’m a super high-performance coach. Money is not everything in life, but it’s the only thing anybody’s kept track of since the pharaohs — ‘My pyramid has got to be bigger than your pyramid.’ I believe that we are put on this earth, whether you believe in Buddha or whoever you believe in, to be all we can be.”
Not many people who seek success really attain it, and Mr. Peña has a straightforward reason why:
“What I see is most people — not just kids, but middle-aged and even older people — they cop out, they blame it on somebody else. They blame their lack of success and/or their failures on circumstances. They blame it on interest rates. They blame it on they didn’t go to a good enough school. They blame it on they’re too fat. They blame it on my tits are too big, my ass is too big, my nose is too big, I’m Chinese, I’m Mexican, I’m Japanese — whatever the f*cking reason is, they always got an excuse why they don’t fulfill their potential. Man’s greatest burden is unfulfilled potential. I’ll be 70 years old my next birthday and I’ve seen a lot more people than I can count, men and women, boys and girls, that haven’t fulfilled their potential ‘cause they give up.”
Although conventional wisdom asserts that “money isn’t everything,” Peña heavily disagrees.
“When your mom has Alzheimer’s and your dad has emphysema or your 14-year-old sister is pregnant with whoever, you need money to solve these problems…What money allows you to do, and what wealth creation allows you to do, is to have more choices in life. For those of the kids that wanna save the planet, they believe or worry about global warming and they believe and worry about all these other things, the problems that we have in Europe. Go get rich and then take your money like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and solve the problems. Don’t just bitch about them! I tell people, ‘Go out and be successful and then you can use your success as an instrument to help others.’ I see too many of the kids don’t do that. They think that carrying signs around parks is gonna save the world. Well, that’s not gonna save the world! Let them go out and solve the problems of the world by creating wealth and then using that wealth to solve the problems.”
But Dan isn’t just about criticism, as he has a lot of encouraging words for success.
“… You can accomplish almost anything through clear, absolute and laser beam focus. I’m often asked, ‘If you were 20 years old, what would you tell the 20-year-old Dan Peña today approaching 70?’ I’ll only them just one thing — ‘Just f*cking do it.’ Don’t think about it. Don’t ask so many questions. Don’t Google it, don’t spreadsheet it, don’t Wikipedia it. Just f*cking do it! Know that part of the process is that you’re gonna make mistakes, part of the process is that you’re gonna stumble. Part of the process is like a high-tech startup: You’re gonna pivot, you’re gonna morph, you’re gonna change. Know that and don’t be worried about it. Fail but fail fast! But most people are afraid because we’re taught to want to fit in, be like other people and not stand out. You show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
Although the seminar requires a solid financial commitment to go, Peña says it’s not entirely necessary.
“… We’ve got many people that have made tens of millions that have just used the book, used the product, and that’s what I would suggest. You don’t have to go and come and see Dan and spend twenty grand at Castle Seminar. The Castle Seminars are for the people that wanna make the ultimate commitment. They wanna be in the ultimate fight, UFC of success, and they’re willing to pay the price both financially and emotionally ‘cause I kick the sh*t out of you.”
Perhaps the most interesting part of our conversation was when he started comparing the entrepreneurs of today and the past.
“… The kids today aren’t willing; the kids today they give up too easy … because the kids today have too many excuses. You look at the entrepreneurs that are in Silicon Valley, let’s just take them for an example — that is one of a million percent of all the kids on the planet. They are not representative of anything. They are not representative of a generation. Before them, they have Hewlett-Packard, who is actually at the forefront of Silicon Valley. With HP, they’re born in Silicon Valley 60 years ago. And those guys were billionaires when a billion meant something. Not when you became a billionaire like — I’m not taking anything away from Zuckerberg, he’s a smart kid — but I mean the billionaires of 50 years ago were really billionaires. The billionaires today they got their money from an IPO or from PayPal or wherever, that’s great. But today there’s more opportunities to get wealthy than there was 50 years ago.
… I find the younger generations give up too soon and they have too many excuses to blame their lack of success on a previous generation. My generation and the generation after me didn’t blame our lack of success on anybody other than ourselves. The millennials say the people fucked it up in the 80s; greed fucked it up in the 80s … My children, who have rich parents, which is me, and so their attitude about life is a lot different. Now the only saving graces that I’ve been very hard on — I don’t give my kids any money, I paid for their education to go to school, but now they’re out on their own. I am not leaving my kids any money; my money is all going to charity. I don’t give a fuck if my kids love me. I just want them to respect me when I’m dead.”
Even for a man as successful as himself, Peña still has regrets in life.
“… People ask if I have my life to live over again what I’d change. Number one, I would have set higher goals. Higher goals because I’ve fulfilled 90 percent of what I’ve said I’d fulfill, but I would have set higher goals. I would have gotten involved in coaching probably earlier because I’m really f*cking good at it. That’s an understatement — I’m not good at it, I’m probably — and I’m not being a bragger, but the numbers speak for themselves. I’m the most successful high performance coach on the face of the Earth and I’ve created more wealth than the whole industry cumulatively put together.”
In a world where many are “all talk,” it’s important to know who’s for real and who is full of sh*t. When asked how to differentiate between people who are worth time and those who are not, Peña said people should ask themselves two questions.
“Is this guy or gal where you wanna be? If he or she is not where you wanna be, then stop. Number two: Did he or she make it ethically, morally, legally? Now the answer to those two questions, 99.99 percent of people that you’re ever gonna meet, the answer is no, no and no. Most people are living quiet lives of desperation.”
Currently, Dan Peña has about 40 people he’s mentoring for a year outside of his castle. He also has a potential reality show coming up and has been meeting with agents out in Los Angeles, California. For anyone interested in winning a free Castle Seminar, you can apply here. All you have to do is submit one question that Dan Peña will answer on his podcast. You can also take his success test, which he claims has a 95 percent success rate when measuring whether you have what it takes to be a high performance guy.