Ippei & Dan... How the fuck did these 2 meet and end up working together?
2 seriously different dudes that are building a digital empire together that's responsible for creating hundreds of case studies of guys & gals that broke free from the shackles of a 9 to 5 job to achieving a lifestyle of freedom by building their very own 6-7 figure digital marketing agencies through lead generation. No we don't use paid traffic, only the best traffic in town which is free, organic traffic. Like free-range chicken, no GMO's.
Here's how they differ... but also how they are very similar (which is what separates them from the average entrepreneurs).
Dan 36 Years Old
Married since 21 Years Old
2 kids (Oldest daughter already 11 years old)
From Eugene, Oregon
A born leader, killer in sales & negotiation, excellent coach because he's not afraid to be blunt and tell you what you need to hear instead of what you wanna hear. Future Dan Pena?
He's been doing weekly coaching calls every week, twice a week since 2014. So that says a lot about the type of character, that level of commitment, discipline & being consistent, its no wonder he's a millionaire. Shit I don't know if I could've done that.
Here's a thing about Dan, he might initially come across a bit cocky & brash, you might think "all this guy cares about is money" but those opinions soon change once you get to know him in the group, as 4400 students will testify, also after getting to work with him more one on one & just hanging out with him more in person, he's actually the most ethical & generous person behind the scenes. But he doesn't broadcast those unseen acts of kindness for the world to hear.
His wife, Tori, she's incredible but that's a topic for another day cuz she deserves a whole post about her.
Ippei (It's pronounced Epay like eBay but with a P lol) I'm 30 years old.
Single, recently got out of a long-term relationship. No kids. Not ready to settle anytime soon.
Going out on the weekends & living that bachelor lifestyle.
From Detroit, Michigan (Originally born in Japan)
Not afraid of putting myself outside my comfort zone so I can grow as a person. In fact, moving from Japan to the US at 9 years old, I'm quite used to that. I relish being the underdog, overcoming the odds, and being victorious. I think there's part of me that's always got that immigrant mentality of having a chip on my shoulder, something to prove. I can get pretty technical and geeky about the details, which made me very good at SEO overtime. I've always been confident in my ability to become the best at something because I'll outwork everyone.
Went from making $2200 per month at a 9 to 5 job I hated, to now driving a Tesla P100D. I've experienced the most crazy life changes in just 5 short years and the ascension continues, I'll be documenting it on this blog.
Me and Dan have quite a few differences no doubt...
Let's take a closer look on the differences between us, before getting into what makes us similar.
Difference in Personality Types (Enneagram)
Ok so I'm into this thing where you can take someone's birthdate and figure out their personality type, pretty woo-woo I know... but I was taught this by someone very wise, and from all the different tests I've done it seems so accurate that its scary.
Dan is Enneagram 4: The Individualist
- Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance
- Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an
(click here for full description on enneagram 4)
Ippei (Myself) is Enneagram 7: The Enthusiast
- The Busy, Variety-Seeking Type
- Spontaneous, Versatile
- Key Motivations: Want to maintain their freedom and happiness, to avoid missing out on worthwhile experiences, to keep themselves excited and occupied, to avoid and discharge pain.
(click here for full description on enneagram 4)
Enneagram is getting widely regarded by many psychologist as the blueprint to categorize people's personality type, it is a fascinating study.
For me, when I read the description of personality types of various people in my life, it's always been spot on.
Dan is perfect as a 4, given that he is a coach, he is driven by not the money per say but to make a difference, to have impact in people's lives, that's how he feels satisfaction.
I'm definitely a 7, which is the most adventurous type, variety seeking... I've always been that way since young, playing multiple sports, having various different friend circles, always down to go on adventures with friends, and in business, I can handle multiple different things at once.
Like doing high-level technical SEO stuff to doing more extroverted activity like sales. I like to continuously try new things, which is how I've become successful in not just lead-gen but also dropshipping, Amazon FBA, & affiliate marketing.
Where-as Dan has been fueled by that singular focus of being a coach that makes a difference in people's lives since 2014.
My roommate Shiv is enneagram 5 which is the investigator / innovator type and he is exactly that, he has created various automation systems from scratch using custom coding.
Which further illustrates why I value knowing the enneagram so much and I see the value of creating a strong team around you where different people can play to their strengths and it synergestically fills in gaps of other's weaknesses.
Other Notable Differences between Ippei & Dan
Great entrepreneurs are self-aware people that know their weaknesses and they create a team around them of individuals that can fill in the gaps of their shortcomings. They are wise enough to understand that its not about trying to turn their weakness into strengths, but its more about doubling down on your natural strengths.
From 2014 to 2018: I Hustled & Hustled Some More
I joined Dan's lead generation coaching program in 2014.
He was the coach.
I was the student.
He was approaching $100K per month.
I was literally making $2.2K per month at my job.
My breakthrough was when I created my first ever income online, I built a limousine service lead generation site in Lansing, MI that started paying me $750 per month.
It felt like I just discovered a super power, that I can wield to forge the lifestyle I had always dreamed about.
And I did exactly that.
- From 2014 to 2015, I built my lead generation business to $10K per month
I kept pushin'
Dan took notice.
By 2017, I was at $35K per month with lead-gen.
I was also vocal in the group about my results.
Dan reached out to me to do testimonial interviews with him which I gladly accepted, and to this date, I'm one of the few in the group that's done not one but TWO interviews.
By 2018, with almost 4 years of digital marketing / SEO / lead generation experience under my belt.
I was already experimenting with some national level rankings.
My skills have far surpassed what I was taught initially of ranking locally.
This is when Dan reached out to me to see if I could help promote the lead-gen coaching program.
Today, the student has become the teacher in some aspects as I am showing Dan how to do some of the cutting edge SEO tactics.
And here we are in 2020, I've not only been working closely with Dan over the past year, but I've moved across the country to live 5 min away from him.
It's been around 1 year since I moved over here to Folsom, CA
What I've realized is that me and Dan are alike than not really.
Especially pertaining to how we approach business, certain qualities really shines through and its what results in our continual ascension.
Top 5 Qualities that Me and Dan Both Share, That Makes Us Win in Business
Well for starters, we both like nice cars...
But I digress...
Lets get to the nitty gritty of how our minds operate in business that makes the biggest difference.
1. Fiercely Competitive
Lock us in a cage with a competitor. We will die before we submit, fight to the death mentality.
It's probably why we both like the UFC so much. In many ways fighting represents micro-cosom of our lives especially the entrepreneurial life of overcoming adversity and never giving up.
In business something has to motivate you to get up in the morning and keep pushing forward, for me and Dan its been about finding something that you're competing against or for.
For Dan it was his brothers that are also entrepreneurs.
For me, it was competing against my college roommates that also started their business.
Business for us is like a game.
Money is the scorecard.
Dan wants to be the greatest coach for entrepreneurs. Create the best program on earth for people to quit their job & achieve freedom.
I want to become the world's best SEO.
Our goals definitely aligns but just as important is that our competitive mentality aligns.
We're not here to be average. We're here to take-over and leave our mark.
At the core, its not about the money.
This is about being high-performance.
And that's when we feel our best.
2. Ready Aim & Fire (Execute Expeditiously)
One of the most important quality in business is how quickly you execute.
Most people are chronic procrastinators.
Be a massive action taker and you're gonna be the top 5%.
Above post from 2017, just goes to show that this is not some cute lil' idea that I ripped from a Gary Vee video, no I really been living by this for years now.
And when I started seeing behind the scenes of how Dan operates, I saw the same exact thing.
How quickly Dan attacks problems and executes solutions.
How quickly Dan comes up with a great idea and puts it into motion.
For example, one day he thought some students could benefit from doing more in-person sales training.
Within couple hours, he had a rough outline of what he could cover and was announcing it that night during the live weekly call.
1 month later sales school happened.
It was a great event.
We got raving reviews from the attendees.
Dan's ability to continually execute new training or new interviews or new live events continually impress me greatly.
I've been part of a lot of other online programs, but most programs become stagnant over time.
That's because the coach stops innovating.
What definitely keeps the lead-gen program alive is Dan's ability to continually execute on new shit to the group.
Much the same way I've been able to gain experience in several other business models now like Amazon FBA & Dropshipping which I cover on this blog.
Now also building a personal brand and growing this blog (with plenty of innovative shit that separates me from the competition)
More on that later.
But yea, don't think too long in business, just aim fire shoot, pull the fucking trigger.
perfectionism is death of progress.
I rather have someone that builds 30 lead-gen sites from the get-go then someone that tries to perfect 1 website.
What kills people in business is moving too slow. Money loves speed.
People always talk about the cost of failure, I think more people should talk about the cost of moving too slow.
Seeing Dan more closely its no wonder that he's a multi-millionaire, him and his team gets more shit done than most people (entrepreneurs included) do in an entire month.
which brings me to the third point.
3. Invest in the People (Self-Awareness)
This is what Dan has done since the beginning, whether it was partners or other people he has hired. He's been great at getting great people around him with specific talents and paying them very well.
This is because Dan is self-aware about his weaknesses, and getting other people to fulfill things that he's not good at or he doesn't enjoy doing.
I mean last month Dan cut me a 6-figure check, that's over $100K... although I'm one of his main partners at this point and I do bring a lot to the table, but he is very generous in that regard to pay very well for people with great talent & skills.
It's one thing I learned from Dan and really took my business to the next level.
Like some of the cool custom art that you see on this site. This is done by a talented graphic artist that I hired full-time.
I see people constantly making the mistake of hiring cheap VA's or cheap service for their business to save a quick buck here and there.
Dan calls this hunting squirrels instead of elephants.
What I realized is that its not smart to try to do everything in your business.
If you find high quality people, pay them well and keep them close with you.
They are the ones that will be responsible for exponential growth in your business.
Shiv (my roommate now) was the first guy Dan hired & for good reasons, he brings that technical prowess similar to me.
Shiv was only 19 years old when he started working for Dan, which shows that Dan doesn't discriminate or judge a book by its cover, he cares about what results you produce.
When there is some technical issue with our internal system that keeps track of sales, Shiv's the first guy to handle it.
Since then Shiv has become a very important, integral part of the empire, Dan's primary right-hand man if you will.
Before you can hire anyone, its important to build a pretty sustainable business yourself through your own hard work blood, sweat & tears. I'd say around $5K per month before you think of hiring someone full-time.
The first person I would hire is a virtual assistant, I use onlinejobs.ph
4. Know How to Handle Adversity
You don't really get to know someone when times are good.
You get to see people's true character when the going gets tough.
I've seen Dan go through some shit, when you make yourself the leader like he has in the space of internet marketing which can attract some low quality people, you make yourself the target.
People get jealous of Dan's success and they do stupid things. He's been coaching since 2014 and its unbelievable to see some of the bullshit he had to deal with, such as betrayal from those that he has personally helped.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Some of Dan's partners couldn't handle the heat of being a public figure and have since left Dan & the program completely.
So when Dan started working with me, I believe he could sense that I'm no stranger to facing adversity. I ain't scared of putting myself out there, sure I may get some hate but at the end of the day, I'm in control over my destiny.
I don't know if its my immigrant up-bringing or what, but I've never been afraid to receive criticism. So many people have ego's that are crushing their lives because they worry about what other people think.
Dan Pena said it best.
Sensitivity equals poverty.
It always baffles me
When people are ready to throw in the towel at their first sign of adversity
When we have a business model in lead generation that our ancestors would've killed for
Maybe you can't find a business owner to take the leads for your first lead-gen site.
You might have only spent like $250 on it and maybe few hours of your time, you should be putting out 10-20 of them out there.
Try sinking $250,000 into a food franchise and not seeing any return for 2-3 years.
Maybe you're afraid to call up business owners because your afraid they might reject you & that doesn't feel good.
Well I got news for you.
Being broke doesn't feel good either.
Would you rather not get your feelings hurt and stay broke or get rich by pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
If you want a magnificent lifestyle, you need to become the type of person that can demand magnificent income from the marketplace.
You don't evolve into that kinda person, sitting on your couch and watching BS on TV all day.
If you do what's easy today, you'll live a hard, miserable life.
But if you do what's most uncomfortable for you today but things that'll drive your business forward, you'll live a better, abundant life.
Even the greatest batter on earth gets hits averaging .355 which means they're all striking out more often than not.
But the real pros keep showing up to the plate.
They keep practicing.
They keep putting in the hours (despite setbacks).
That's the type of person you need to become. A real professional.
When times are tough, be able to bite down on your mouth piece and throw caution to the wind.
Got a shout out the other day from our friend Josh, who's also one of the original students of the program.
If I could grant anybody a specific trait so that they can become ultra successful as entreprneeur is:
grit & perseverance
I wouldn't have initially thought just how important this quality is when it comes to entrepreneurship.
But after getting to know what Dan has dealt with over the last 5 years, it has become very evident to me that loyalty or lack thereof has been the single most defining character trait that has made the difference between
Myself that's now on track to cracking multiple 7 figures because I've been loyal to Dan
to quite few number of people (who shall remain nameless) that once had a business that was ascending upwards, working closely with Dan to now a completely dead business with fraction of the income all because they got greedy, their ego's got big and became disloyal to Dan after they were shown the keys to the kingdom.
Dan teaches (we'll just call him Bob for this example) Bob how to build internet business, gives him all the do's & don'ts, the tools, all the tricks that Dan has learned through blood, sweat & tears.
And shockingly it works!
Bob's life changes dramatically for the better. He leaves his job that he hated but was stuck in for over 20 years and now has more time to spend with his family, with more income that allows him to go on more vacations with his family.
Dan even allows Bob extra opportunities inside the group for additional income and clout such as allowing Bob to offer his own private coaching to the group, speak at live events or do interviews with Bob.
Also its important to note that its a hard-set rule inside the group that you're not allowed to sell things to the students of the group without Dan's consent.
People in the group are Dan's customers that he paid very good money to acquire, these people didn't join Dan's program to be sold bunch of shit to from other students in the group, its like a Samsung sales rep going inside Apple's store and poaching on all the Apple customers.
It's sleazy as fuck, and downright unethical.
Yet Bob, despite knowing that this is against the rules, one day goes behind Dan's back and begin selling some marketing services that he pretty much ripped from Dan's store to the students inside the group.
When Dan told me all these people over the years that partook in this sort of unethical behavior, all in the name of short-term gain its mind-blowing.
Some people are so short-sighted and just plain fucking stupid.
They want that short-cut, instead of taking the time to build something substantial that can bring value to Dan, they'd rather be a value-taker and steal from Dan.
I heard someone say: Loyalty is in the DNA, either you have it or you don't.
What Gay Vee also calls "doing the right thing."
You would be shocked to find that there's so many people out there that are willing to screw you over just to make a quick buck, but what these idiots don't realize is that they are partaking in behaviors that have serious long-term negative implications to their income.
I've seen catastrophic mistakes made by people that tasted lil' bit of success and their ego's got big and they decided to bite the hand that fed them.
This is why you must always be humble and for me I'm loyal to Dan first & foremost, this guy showed me how to become a millionaire, this is why me and Shiv are different breed, we moved away from our homes to live 5 min away from Dan because we know that he's the real deal.
Not just the fact that Dan's a killer in business but we know Dan is a straight shooter.
As straight as they come.
He might sometimes tell you very bluntly that you're fucking up so that you can man the fuck up and be great, and it might not always be comfortable.
But with Dan you get what you see. Transparency.
What he's not about is go behind your back and do some shady shit.
And Dan has our back, I know this unequivocally as much as I know that the sky is blue.
Me, Dan, Shiv & Simon went on an epic regional tour where we went from LA, Dallas, Miami & NYC where we spent more one on one time with students in the group.
Dan showed me how to live a better life, I'll always have his back.
This is text from after the regionals.
Here's a picture of us together in NYC.
What does loyalty mean to you?
For me, I'm motivated to continue to produce so I can impress Dan and be a valuable asset for the empire he has built.
I'm willing to move across the country (I'm from Michigan originally) because I am sold on Dan & the mission. I know in my heart that what he's teaching with lead generation is changing lives.
I've seen many of Dan's partners over the years come and go.
& Where are they at now?
A shell of what they could've been.
I'm definitely more successful today than ever before because I have these dudes around me.
Never let ego get the best of you, and allow you to forget the people that got you to where you're at.
You cannot create an empire on the backs of screwing over those that have assisted you.
Is loyalty something you have innately and some people don't??
Is it something that can be cultivated?
I don't know.
But I know its important.
Lead generation is still the best business model out there in my opinion.
So we're gonna keep building more digital lead-gen properties and keep coaching it.
Wanna have the best chances to succeed in life? Surround yourself with winners like us.
That's been one of my secrets.
I moved from Michigan to Folsom, CA to live 5 min away from Dan.
It still feels pretty crazy when Dan pops up at my house to talk about some business plans when this is the guy that has mentored me in 2014 when I had nothing.
Now I'm working alongside him.
Dan has had the biggest impact in my life bar far.
There's something to having a mentor that you get to know on a personal basis, rather than reading a book and calling the author a so-called "mentor".
In our group, Dan does weekly calls twice per week, he's very active in the group and we do live events.
Even after 5 years since the inception of this program, Dan's still doing weekly calls & we're doing more live events than ever before.
It is his insane commitment to making students succeed in the group that I see every week, is why I'm still sold about this coaching program after so many years.
Not just Dan & myself, but there's many other successful killer entrepreneurs inside our group now, and they all possess similar qualities I talked about in this article.
And I promise you, these qualities will begin rubbing off on you once you join the family.
Its what's gonna make the difference from a broke digital marketers (there's a lot out there) to the very successful ones.
We have high-standards in our group for excellence and our new students seem to be rising up to meet it.
If you want a better life? Change your standards.
We're cranking out more case studies of successful students than ever before.
Are you ready to be the next one?