From near death experiences to the devastation of homelessness, how and where do we find the will to overcome insurmountable odds? And when we do overcome these challenges, how do we pass that story of survival onto others? Life on the rocks is that place where these stories are heard from those who live to tell them. And now here is your host Kyle Miller.
(00:23): Dana, welcome to the show, man, life on the rocks. I'm so excited to have you. I'm super stoked to hear the story man of how you've done this. So take the stage brother. Yeah. Thanks Kyle. Appreciate being here. It's fun to be on is always, always good to have a conversation with you. Yeah, so, you know, my story started, you know, I came from a town of 14,000 people, which I actually somehow still live in today. I did not come from money. In fact, you know, I didn't even know anybody that had money. So when I came outta college, I had a choice to go to law school, which I thought was a secure lucrative for fashion or try this thing called finance and becoming a financial advisor, which was very interesting to me not coming from that world. I thought it was a valuable skillset to be able to take control of your finances and not leave that, you know, up to chance. So I tried that first I deferred law school ride financial advising for a year, literally started knocking on doors because I didn't have a network.
(01:28): I didn't have family money. I didn't have, I wasn't stepping into a family business. You know, my dad's a contractor and my mom's a school teacher. So, you know, pretty normal beginnings knocked on 1800 doors and about six months to get to know people and build that muscle of, you know, how do you uncover a need and add value to people. And that set me on a trajectory to, you know, fast forward, 15 years later at the biggest financial firm in the world at Morgan Stanley managing a little over 1.3 billion in when I decided that that wasn't the career path for me, which most thought was the pinnacle of success in that world. Yeah. Go back, go back a little bit to this, cuz I think it's kind of pretty neat. You coming outta high school, I guess and coming, I guess, coming outta college, right. You had the decision to go to law school or finance. What was your or undergrad degree in?
(02:25): So I was a business administration major with a finance and pre-law. So I thought corporate law was my, my path and so you, you went to school, you did this and then you, you decided to go finance because did you see like a, a better life that way? Or did, how did you make that decision? So that was a turn point. So quite honestly, I, I considered it initially because it was the cheaper of the two options. I was footing the bill for law school. So I I've always valued real life experience. I started interviewing attorneys and found out some of my initial perceptions of that career and, and that world were not exactly as it seemed so quite simply, I chose the cheaper of the two options first and gave myself a year. I deferred school for a year to see if this worked for me. I could it into something that I enjoyed. So that's how I made the decision. So you made the to go to finance and then like you did, did you'd have to take any test for that.
(03:23): Yeah. Yep. So I had my series seven series 63, all my securities licenses. Eventually I got different professional designations, CFP CMO, all that good stuff. So just in my brain, right there, there seems to be a, like, you have decision to go to law school or you go to finance. Right. And you choose finance. Great. But now the, which I think is probably the biggest thing is you didn't know anybody, you didn't a single person. How did you develop the confidence? Not coming from money? Were you in, did you have college debt, student debt? Yeah. Little bit. My parents helped me some, but not, you know, I still had a, a bill I had to pay every month for sure. So you had student debt and we said, I'm managing money. You've never had a ton of money. And now we're gonna go start knocking on doors and tell people that I'm gonna manage their money. Yeah. Like how did you develop the confidence for that?
(04:21): Fake it till you make it at first, right? Yeah. And that's, that's true in a lot of sense, but you know, I started at a company called Edward Jones, which had a, a very, I was very fortunate. It had a strong, very strong training program, gave me the right tools out of the gate to succeed. This business is no different. And I found that out quickly. I kind of inherently learned that if you can really identify where there's pain points for people and help provide value. And the firm allowed me to do that, it just gave me the tools to plug into what these people were asking me for. So, you know, I just kind of positioned myself as the guide between the two and that confidence came over time. Right. I used to, right. I think it was a big deal to ask for a $500 investment for somebody. And that turned in a 50 million individual accounts.
(05:11): So, so you didn't just start out. And this is what I think a lot of people, when they first get into something, they think, oh, they're gonna make a million bucks the first year. And you know, it's, it's just gonna go to the moon, right. Just that, Hey, we're gonna stick it out. We're gonna keep doing this. And, and I'm sure you weren't very good at this when you first started. Right. Had you ever knocked on doors before? Terrible. Terrible. Yeah. I mean, I literally, I grew up with a shovel in my hand working for my father. Yeah. You know, I think that was probably one of the toughest times in my life looking back on it. I'm glad I didn't know me better. Right.
(05:45): Cause it built that muscle, you know, but it's a, that's why that's a hard business to get in. You know, it's, it's scary to ask people for money and put trust in you, especially when they know. And you know, you don't know a lot. Right, right. You're as you go. Yeah, man, you gotta grind it out and face rejection every day. I mean, I'd get doors slammed in my face. I'd get people hanging up on me on the phone or yelling at me, calling them, just trying to help 'em right. But inherently people don't wanna be solicited in that way. Right. Right. But you just, it was a numbers game. You had to reach enough people. I knew if I talked to 25 people a day, legitimately two of those people would have something I could help them with. But when you gotta start all over the next day and you come in and stare at the phone and you know, it's not gonna ring, you gotta pick
(06:33): It up and get it, get it going yourself. It's, it's a grind man. But it's shows you, you know, you stay at it and you just do the work every day. And then you look back six months, a year, five years later, and you're amazed. But to your point, yeah. It's not an overnight success by any means. Yeah. It, it's just kind of, and what I, what I, you know, what I'm hearing with everybody while doing these calls and in views is just action trumps anything else? Action, action. Action. It doesn't because you inherently are gonna get better and better if you just keep doing it right. As long as you care, you're just gonna get better and better. I was not the smartest guy. I didn't have the work. People hear the amount of money I manage and assume that, you know, something, I brought something to the table to get to that point. Right. Didn't I just grinded a out. Right. And learned as we grew.
(07:31): Yeah. Or mommy and daddy had connections and you automatically plugged into that. Yep. Your dad's a construction worker. Your mom's a, a teacher and here you are managing over a billion dollars. Yeah. It's wild. Sounds crazy for me still to say it, but you know, it's did you ever think that you would have that much under management? Was that ever a goal for you or the goal? It was the goal, you know, it's funny. So I, I remember my first goal. So I, when I started out, I was making, I'm gonna give you a salary of six months and your goal, your first year was to make $22,000. And I thought if I could just make a hundred thousand dollars, I'd be set. That was more than most people I knew made. Right. Where I grew up. That was my initial goal as its under management. I didn't even comprehend that, you know? Right. I think if I could get to 10 or 20 million of assets that would get into a hundred thousand dollars a year and I'd be set for life. Right? Yeah.
(08:33): So It was a hundred K cool. So Edward Jones, you're, you're, you're building this up and you, you get it to what what'd you build Edward Jones up to? So I was only, I was, I came out of the gates fast. What I didn't know I was doing at the time was, you know, it's a, this business like really, honestly, anything else, it's a contact sport, right? It's the activities like you mentioned. So I was quickly growing a list of people that I then started to, you know, constantly add value to. And I was very proactive. So it got me out of the gates pretty quick. So I was at Edward Jones for about a year and a half raised about $10 million a, my first year. And I had, and I was fortunate to have some big wins. You know, I got pretty creative to get into the right places to, to do that the first year that gave me an opportunity to be recruited by a firm that was Smith Barney then became Morgan Stanley.
(09:30): When you say a contact sport, what do you mean by that? It's the activity, right? So where most people fail in my world. And I think that translates ideally to, to any business, even the business that I've started now after Morgan Stanley is if you're not contacting people, asking them what their pain points are and figuring out how you can add value or at least telling them what you do for a living. Like I said, the phone usually doesn't ring itself, at least not in the beginning. Right. Right. So when I say it's a contact sport, I knew I had to get out there and literally contact 25 people a day to average about two people that I could maybe do business with.
(10:09): Gotcha. What do you mean by when you were providing value? What did you do with that client who called and like maybe you weren't able to do something with and what do you mean by providing value and then just start building up that book. Yeah. So, you know, I remember in the beginning it was college savings plans had just kind of hit the scene so to speak. Right? People didn't really understand them. They didn't really know how they worked, where they fit in, what the benefits were early on, on some of my very first accounts were, how do I help my kids go to school? You know? Right. So just having a conversation and getting to know people and know what was important to them would lead me down a path, you know, just to dig deeper and see how I could help them. Right. So that started to be an initial need. That was the main focus real early on, you know, then it became, how do I create more income or passive income, which has essentially become my entire world now. Right. You know, that's, people are always looking for that freedom or how to, you know, buy their time back in some capacity. Right. So that's, that became my focus and that's what I specialized on.
(11:18): Gotcha. Now, during this whole time, right. When you came outta school, did you ever have any doubts? Did you ever think like you could make this happen? Like really make it happen doubted every day, man, you know, the doubts are, they come with more confidence behind them and they don't last as long, but right. Be lying to you. If I said, I didn't question myself every day, if I'm doing enough or doing it right. Or, you know, heading in the right direction and all that kind of good stuff now with everybody that you, that you deal with. Right. And you deal with some people that have a lot of money, do they have doubts too? What, like, what are some of the biggest fears of people with money of your clients? What, what are their biggest fears?
(12:01): It's a great question, man. You know, it's been very interesting to go up the ladder of, like I mentioned a asking for a $500 check to a 50 million check. What you find is people inherently have the same goals and fears. And if people tell you, at least in my experience, if they tell you they don't have that self-doubt or those fears they're, they're probably not being honest with you or truthful. The reality is when you've got more on the line, those fears get deeper and bigger. Same things. And you're take care of my family. Am I doing the right thing? Am I okay? What happens if this happens? You know, how do I protect against this are my kids in the right spot, all that stuff. It's the same thing. Just bigger numbers. Mean more worry in lot of cases.
(12:50): Yeah. Every human being has these feelings has fears, has these doubts, what do you see people with money and people without money? What do you see the differences on how they overcome that? And they're able to not get, I guess, paralyzed by fear of stuff that could happen or would happen. What does that, what are those thought processes that they go through to maybe help make that decision? Yeah. So I, I think, you know, having, or building wealth, even though they're the same fear still based on, you know, we've all heard Tony Robbins talk about the six human needs, right. That, that translates to everybody, you know, money doesn't certainly doesn't solve problems. It can create a lot more problems, but it does afford you opportunities. Right. So if you're worried about how to take care of your family, if something happened to you, a wealthy individual calls in an estate attorney, or somebody like myself to figure out a plan. Right,
(13:49): If you don't have those means or that need, but that amount of wealth, you don't, you don't do that. Right. You, so it's hard to tackle that worry doesn't mean it's any different. Right, right. In their world, it's still the same. Right. It's, it's a relative correlation. I find it kind of unique, unique, funny funny is not the right word, but just interesting of just exactly what you're saying is that people think that people with 50 million, a hundred million, 10 million, 2 million, that they don't have any problems or any fears or any worries or anything like that. And I, I, I think that's completely false, you know, if somebody's like, oh, if I make a million dollars, if I just had a million dollars in the bank, you know, how many times have you heard that? If I just had a million dollars, you know, that their life would be perfect.
(14:37): Yeah, man, you're always chasing the horizon. Right? Yep. The horizon, you never get there. Right. It's supposed to be a measurement to how far you've come, but you never get there. That's the whole point of it. Same thing with me. Remember I talked about, you know, if I can just make a hundred thousand, well, I got there and then it's maybe for a second, you enjoy it. And then it's what's next. Right. Reality is I would argue that people that have substantial wealth worry more because they've got more to worry about. Right. They got more on the line. Absolutely. So same worries. They just get bigger. What what did I hear this? I hear that. I heard somebody say, they're driving down Miami. It may have been mark or somebody. And they're driving by all these big houses and, and this house, this house, this house, just these massive mansions and stuff. And you know, and he said, well, what do you think? All those people have in common. And he said, they all are in lawsuits right now. You know, like when you have money, it that's saying more money, more problems. It, it, it, it's just a different level of problem. It's not the level of where am I, you know, where am I gonna find the money to do this? And this it's like, it's it everyday stuff. It's, it's millions and millions of dollars.
(15:55): And you're right. You don't just deal with your own internal problems right now. You're a target. I've seen that countless times with business owners or just wealthy individuals, right. Somebody always wants something from you or, you know, things they deserve to take something you've got. So you have to protect yourself in a whole different way that, you know yeah. They have different problems worrying about how they're gonna pay a bill or something next week. Right. It's right. It's just different. Yeah. Yep. That's that's that's so you go to Morgan Stanley, how long were you at Morgan Stanley? About 15 years. A little over that. So 15 years you're building up your portfolio, building up, building it up and probably just living an easy life, right? Yeah. I mean, it was, I'd grown the business to a good place. It was a bigger book of business quite honestly, than, than most ever created a 30 year career. I could have stayed there and been very comfortable with a, he set, you know, nine to five type of schedule if I was complacent enough to do that.
(16:59): Right. So what, what changed, why, what, why did you spend 15 years at Morgan Stanley then all, all of a sudden something changes. What, what is that, man? There's a lot to unpack there. You know, I think when you reach a certain level of success, you start to kind of look internally you can be outward driven for a long time and that can be your focus. Yeah. And it certainly was, if you wanna call it guilty of that, I was guilty of that. Kids showed up in my life. It puts a whole different perspective as you know, on, you know, what's important and what isn't right. Yeah. So my, my world changed, started to look at, you know, how was I impacting the world? How was I impacting my clients? And what kind of life did I really wanna live for myself?
(17:44): So, yeah. I mean, I got to a point where I just decided it wasn't fulfilling for me. And I didn't feel good about what I was doing for my clients as deep as I could add value at that point with my skillset. So I made the decision just to leave. I just picked up and left, which literally when I called the firm and let them know, they asked if I needed mental health counseling, because In that world, people don't do that. Right. I mean, you're set up your business is, is, could be on autopilot if you want it to be, but it wasn't, that's not how I'm built and it wasn't fulfilling for me. So yeah. They asked me if I wanted mental health counseling. That's wild. Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna leave. Do you need counseling? Yep. See ya outta here. How long did it take you to make that decision though? Man, I that's part of why I joined, you know, the group that we met in. Yeah. I batted that back and forth for at least a solid three years. Yeah. That was a hard, that was a hard call to make, you know, to leave that certainty. And that security of where I was at was a tough call, but ultimately you gotta follow up makes you feel good inside. So I made the choice.
(19:02): You're just fighting internal demons during that time. Do I do this? Why am I doing this? I don't, I don't like it. I, I mean, outside of things like that and perfect, you know, internally, it just, it just wasn't, you know, for multiple reasons, but you know, it just wasn't for me. Yeah. And that's a tough battle to be in. Right. Because that, we're always, you get into that and I've been there. Right. And, and this it's this tug of war from two sides of your inside. And I think a lot of people go through this and I think that, you know, I think that's what they may call the, you know, midlife crisis, right? Yeah. It's that I've been doing this for so long, but I'm not happy. I don't enjoy it. This isn't fulfilling. And I think that, you know, some people go out and buy the, and, and do that, do that stuff and spend some money. I'm thinking it's gonna make 'em feel better, but it's not, it might enjoy for the day or you might look at it and, oh, that's pretty cool. But that, that battle inside is the real battle. That's never ending. And to make you gotta be at peace with with what you do and who you are, you know, you're the one that's gotta look at yourself in the mirror every day and say, Hey, I, I like this guy.
(20:19): That's it? I mean, when we talk about money a lot in the beginning of this conversation, but you know, money's not worth very much if, if you don't feel good about yourself and your surroundings and your life. Right. So yeah. It can enhance experiences or it make it worse. So, and I, you know, and I say that to, to anything, like I used to be in the strength conditioning world. And you'd see guys on steroids and they'd say you have Roy rage and you have this. And you know, that's true. But I also looked at it as it's kind of like, it, it always enhances personalities and so does money. Sure. And if the person was a hot head in the beginning, he's even more of a hot head. If the person was a hot head without any money, he's even more of a hot head with money because now he's got all it is, is a tool. Right. And I always thought it was funny because you see people who are, and, and those are the people that make a bad name for people with money. Right. Because they're the ones that are always out there in front of everybody that people look at and go, oh yeah, he's got money, but I've been around a lot of people where I sit next to. And I don't even know. I don't know. They have, you know, 10 million sitting in the bank.
(21:27): You have no idea, but they're great people and you'd never know, That's it, man. If you're a giver before, you're you just give more, right. You're totally right. Enhances the good and the bad. Right. Absolutely. Either Which way it goes, but either way, either way that's it's. And so when I, when I see people, oh, he's got money and they, they just assumptions on their self-belief cuz it all comes from inside. Yeah. All of it percent man. And so you make this, you make this leap, right. You go out on your own and you start up Cornell capital, right? Yep. Yes. And so you're, you're the only guy there. What in the beginning. Right. Cause I think don't, you have a couple guys working with you now. I do now. Yep. Yeah. So, so I blow up my world at Morgan Stanley. I'm starting to wonder if I need to take them up on the mental health counseling of what, what the hell did I just do? Right. Took a couple weeks off to regroup and you know, I did what I did in the beginning. Right. I, I went to work, I started doing the activities. Right. And I, you know, it's at the time it was the biggest challenge of my life trying to reach an internal goal. And at that point in time, you know, I'm questioning, am I doing the right thing? Am I doing the right thing for my kids? Am, you know, am I crazy to leave this very comfortable position that I put myself in?
(23:05): And at the same time, a big factor of that was I unfortunately was going through a divorce and that was mentally the biggest struggle of my life. So I decided to pour all, all things into one bucket and change my entire life at one shot and just re relooked at everything and said, who do I really wanna be at my core? What do I want that to look like? And start over man. And I, were you not happy with yourself? Yeah. I think a lot of external factors were driving my what I thought would make me happy, you know? Yeah. A lot of what people expected me to be from the business I had built and the persona that I had created, Not that I wasn't being myself, but that expectation from others drove, drove a lot of my internal thinking. Yeah. It took me a long time to realize that's not, it's not sustainable. It's not a way to live. At least not in my opinion.
(24:02): And I, I'm glad you's said that because the Instagram world that we're in the Facebook world that we're in and, and the, the social media aspect of everything just puts this, I think a false sense of what life actually is out there, you know, and for sure, you gotta do this or you gotta have that or you gotta have this and you know, it, it affects with it affects you, you know, do you like the, you know, the GMC brand? Cause I I've looked at this. Right. Do I like the GMC brand or I like the Chevy brand. What does GMC say in my head? What does Chevy say in my head? You know? Like, and Just that whole thing. And, but then it comes down to what, what F do I like, you know? Right. It doesn't matter what anybody else is out there doing or thinking or, or whatever. What do I want, what do I like?
(24:55): I couldn't agree more, man. That's so you ma you made this big jump. Yeah. Force. I mean, I, was it a amicable one or was it, was it pretty hotly? I wouldn't, I wouldn't call it that. No, I wouldn't say it's the worst one, you know, but I wouldn't say it was, it wasn't fun by any means. It wasn't. Yeah. You know, it was a tough time for sure. So you got the kids, you're going through divorce, you left Morgan Stanley. You're starting up your own thing. You have, you have to spend the time with the kids. You have to build the company. You have to deal with everything that involves in a divorce. What was the what was the drivers for you? Like get up and make, make it all happen? Like what was, what got you outta bed every day? Two main things, man. So one, one of the main, both of the main drivers were the, was two little kids that were counting on me. And, you know, once they showed up and I figured out what it was to be a dad, you know, you realize that you're the example that they're gonna set their expectations of life too. Right. And I didn't want them to see somebody that couldn't make a tough decision. What was right.
(26:11): And the second being, I realized that you can't control other people's actions or reactions you have to control from the inside out first. If that makes sense. If I wasn't feeling aligned internally and fulfilled, I was gonna have a tough time showing up the way I needed to for those boys. You combine those two things and that's a hell of a fire for a man to change things up and rightsize your life and put yourself in a spot that you feel proud to show those two little kids that look up to you, you know where you're at and what you're doing. Yeah. Those kids change your life. You know, there's some people that don't have kids, but kids absolutely change your life. Change your perspective on things. I've learned so much from them. I've just you watching and just seeing how they interact. And just more of a, I don't know, understanding of purpose possibly with
(27:11): That. They're sincere by default, right? They're not jaded by other people's perceptions or their internal thoughts of who they need to be to show up. They're just themselves. You good, bad, ugly. And that's, that's a beautiful thing. So you started back with Cornell, by yourself in there and you're, and you're hitting, you got your drivers, you know, your, why you're gonna build these, build this company up. Like, how did you start? Start it up again, like you basically have from the very beginning. Yeah. So, you know, I just was able to do the same things, just do it smarter. Right. So I just, I, I did the same principles I did when I was knocking on doors. I just added scale to it. So I opened it up to the audiences as far as a mass one to many type model. Yep. Told my story as much as I could. I really refocused and, and wanted to fill a niche and go very deep for clients that I wanted to work with instead of being all things to all people. Right. I'll tell you, man, there's something that, that leap of faith, you know, now I'm, I'm just one year in to the new feature when you align, you know, your purpose with what you're actually doing and, you know, and set yourself on that mission. It's it took me 15 years and a lot of luck and a lot of hard work to build the first billion dollars under management.
(28:35): It took me 12 months to have access to that amount of capital, again, done in a different way. Done probably a lot smarter and use, you know, I didn't have the tools we have now to reach the amount of people you can. Right. But I, would've never expected those two weeks when I'm sitting home and it's the middle of COVID and you know, everybody's on lockdown here in New York and wondering if I've made the right decision the fast forward a year later, and you know, the success we've had and just the 12 short months has been, you know, blows my mind. Well, just as a Testament to you too, knowing what you're doing. Right. And then appreciate that. Yeah. Yeah. It's providing value to people. Skillset go deep in one, you know, one thing. And I see that in, you know, in the group that, that we share a lot of friends in that we, we part participate. It's the guys that are wildly successful. Do the work, grind it out every day. It's not flashy or fancy. It's just, you know, they become 10,000 hours. Right. Become an expert and apply it as much as you can.
(29:42): That's it that's it. But then you gotta have, like you said, you gotta, you gotta have faith that it's going to work and you have to commit to it. And I think that commitment, when you tell the universe, this is what I'm going to do. There are things that align for yourself that pop up and open up doors for you when you fully commit to something. Right. Absolutely. I'm sure you've had crazy interactions, crazy encounters that you're like, how did this happen? Oh, unbelievable. It's it, when you open up yourself, like you, you nailed it, man. I mean it, when you open up yourself in a line into, with what you really wanna manifest in the world. But I don't know how it happens. I've heard it for a long time and didn't always, probably believe it quite honestly, but you know, living proof of it for the last 12 months, that's for sure with your clients. So they're the ones that have amassed, you know, multiple, multiple millions of dollar. They've probably done the same thing, correct. I'm sure some of them's got some family money, but I'm sure your, when you say self-made, it's not really self-made, but your self-made guys, the guys that didn't come up from anything and built businesses because none of this is self-made. We all have good people around us. And we, we, we connect with guys or girls, but just good people in general. What would you say did how they built their businesses and how they built their companies? Would it be similar to that? They just committed to one thing It is, man.
(31:16): I mean, it's, you know, you look back and I look back over my first career and I think as far as I went, I would've gone faster. Had I focused on a narrower focus, if that makes sense. Yep. Yeah. I see that same thing resonate over, you know, we have 24 ultra ultra high net worth investors in my network. Now I can pinpoint those people that the most successful are, were laser focused and did not falter didn't chase the shiny object. Right. They, they did the hard work and they stayed on task and it's amazing. Everybody looks at 'em now and says, oh man, you're so lucky. It's funny. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Right.
(31:59): And it's yes. And it's the opportunities that just present itself because you're out there, right. They're not at home watching TV or they're connecting with people. They're having conversations with individuals that can help 'em do things. It's that continuous connection. Absolutely. That really helps and drives and it opens up the doors. It, it really does just for my sake, what is ultra work ultra a net worth, ultra wealthy ultra wealth. So, you know, it's kind of, I kind of take these terms from my old world of Morgan Stanley. So, you know, I would term that as 25 million liquid net worth or above. Okay. That's a vast range, you know? Yeah. I mean, that's into the, the billions of liquid net worth, but everybody in my world is usually an accredited investor or above, so a million dollars liquid net worth or above. It's a wide range there, but you know, that's usually who I'm talking to on a daily basis.
(32:57): Gotcha. When you're going through this and you look back on life, what would you say that the biggest success or the biggest attribute that you had that helped you along the way to be successful? That contributed that's a great question. You know, I think I would say it's probably just persistence, persistence and focus. Right? I can tell you the times in my life where I didn't push as hard as I knew I needed to be, or stay as focused as I should be. And that's where I slowed down or fell off course a quote from a mentor of mine. When I started in that business that stuck with me and I think it resonates. He said, you know, put your head down and work for the first five years. Like nobody wants to, to live the rest of your life. Like everybody wishes they could. And I try and apply that in everything. And to me, all that means is stay persistent, stay focused, do the right work, do the activities. And that builds the skill set and the behaviors that then they come second nature to you. Right. So right. That's right. That's how I try and live, man. It's worked so far.
(34:07): So put your head down and work for the first five years. Don't work. Yeah. It it's so true. People think that five years is a long time, but my son's getting ready to turn 11. And in April, man, it flies, kids change that don't they? Yeah. I always used to laugh. Everybody says, oh, life goes so fast until I had kids. Yeah, sure, sure. It does. You know, whatever. Then you see it, you know, it's, it's super fascinating how, how that all happens. If you were to give somebody advice on how they, if somebody's wanting to get into this financial world, right. If somebody wants to, to be a, you know, financial advisor, maybe, maybe they have their own book of business currently and or maybe they just want to get started. What kind of advice would you give those guys? You know, one thing I going through my, the up the down to start over to where I'm at again, now, what I wished I had learned earlier was pick a focus and go as deep as you can in that focus, be an absolute specialist. Do not, you know, don't be all things to all people.
(35:18): And that's true if you're starting today or if you are, have an established book of business like did, and you know, you really want to go to another level, that's a difference maker. Your current clients are doing that stuff. And then maybe they're friends is that, is that the conversations that they have? I have a guy who's doing really good. This is all he focuses on. This is his stuff. And then he, they start bringing their friends over. Is that right? Is that how that works? Or, yeah. So, you know, I, what I realized in Morgan Stanley is I was successful. Right. But I was, you know, if you wanted to say I was more successful than most or than others there, It was just on personal relate. Right. Because I think I built that skillset from knocking on doors that I could relate to people a little bit faster or a little bit better.
(36:04): But essentially I offered the same thing as everybody else. Right. If they tell you in that world that it's, they're unique, you're not. And I realized that, right. I look like everybody else. I had the same pitch. I had the same offer at the end of the day. Yeah. I realized inherently, I had to, if I wanted to go to a different level and add more value, I had to change that I had to be different. So yeah. Now I only focus on a very specific realm of investments. My message is telling you what's, what's good. But also telling you what's bad. Right. And that honesty, it resonates. Yeah. I, I think there's honesty. People see through the. They, they can tell if you're lying, if you, and if you're new, I would say, if you're new, Hey, listen. Yeah, I'm new. But I have all the, the team behind me and this is what we're doing, but I'm here to work for you. Right. So that's, you gotta rely on those strengths of what you have. And don't tell 'em why I've been doing this for X amount of years, even if you're brand new. Cause they're gonna see through it. They're gonna feel it
(37:03): Hundred percent, hundred percent. I think there's generic advice. You spot anywhere. Right. And I felt that, and you've seen that. So this network, now, the reason I built it so fast to that point, Our offerings and our advice used to be generic by that's how those firms make that. They just want it to seem like it looks harder than it is. So you justify the fee that you charge, I wish I would've understood that earlier to, just to be very pointed and very direct and very honest and almost sometimes polarizing, right. I go against the traditional, you know, thought pro of wealth management. Right. But that's why people of a much higher net worth gravitate towards my message. Cuz they inherently know what's truthful and what's not right. Right now, what is Cornell capital? What are, what are you guys investing? How big your team now in one year?
(37:59): Yeah. So one year we talked about the assets that we have. You know, we focus strictly on alternative assets, meaning alternative to traditional stocks and bonds. That's become very commoditized. So I focus deeply on helping high net worth people, either buy their time, back through passive income, but really helping all investors understand what they own and why they own it and getting an investment vehicle that one pays them income. Two has appreciation or upside and has highly tax efficient. Right? That's how you move the needle and true wealth. That's why you see, what is it? 90% of the, the Forbes, most wealthy people is they've made their money in commercial real estate or private businesses. So those essentially are my two main asset categories.
(38:47): Gotcha. Gotcha. So you're taking capital from your investors and investing into multifamily projects, commercial endeavors, storage facilities, and other businesses. Exactly. Along those lines. Yep. Dude. I love it. Man. Become an owner, become an owner and own something. You can understand how it works. Right? The confidence and clarity that comes with that is worth the return and the returns are more than double of a traditional investment. So yeah. You're never gonna get wealthy by being an employee of somebody. That's it. You either have, you have to start investing in things. Not saying that that's bad, but you, you know, can give you a start and maybe a leg up and bring some income while you're focusing on skills that you're you put into yourself. Right. I, I have a lot of people that come up to me, ask me, Hey, what can I invest five grand with you? Or can I invest a thousand bucks with you? No you can't. I I'd put that in yourself. Take that money because you're gonna make a higher return on yourself than you would with anything else,
(39:47): You know, all day long, man. You and I know, I mean we spent thousands and thousands of dollars a year on personal education and growth. That's the best money I've ever spent. Yeah. Yeah. Keep learning, keep growing, keep doing it. Awesome. So how does somebody connect with you, Dana? How do, where do they find you? Yeah. Cornell capital holdings.com. Dana cornell.com gets you to the same place. Okay. My email is just Dana at Cornell capital holdings. So if I can help anybody, any questions of what we talked about? I'm an open book, man. Happy to help. You're on social too. Yeah. Yep. Dana Cornell three on Instagram. You can just find me. I'm not hard to find I'm all over the place. Cool man. Awesome. I appreciate you coming on brother and sharing this. I mean I think got some good nuggets out of this and and doubt doing this. I'm always learning. I'm always like picking nuggets out for myself and enjoying the, oh it's fun, man. The message of your, the whole mission of what you're doing. I appreciate it. And people, people need to hear this stuff, right? It's not absolute. Everybody can talk about when things go go, right. It's you know, when do you go wrong and how do you course correct. So Hope good work brother. Thanks for having me on. Yeah. And create the lifestyle that you want, man. Create it because that's that internal battle that you're never gonna win that battle. If you're not happy, You're gonna, nobody's gonna do it for you. That's for sure. Gotta take the leap. Dana. Thank you brother. I appreciate it. Amen. My pleasure. We'll talk soon. All Right. Sounds good brother.
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