7 Powerful Lessons I Learned Building An 8-Figure Business Empire – Dan Lok’s SociaLIGHT Keynote

7 Powerful Lessons I Learned Building An 8-Figure Business Empire – Dan Lok’s SociaLIGHT Keynote

– I’m thrilled to introduce
the next speaker today. Dan Lok is no stranger to the world of digital marketing. He has written some of
the best selling books on strategies for personal success. And he has mentored countless young minds to gain financial freedom and develop their personal brand. He’s the definition of true hustle. And currently owns 21 companies. I just want you to let
that sink in for a second. Please join me in welcoming Dan Lok. (applause) ♪ If I had a million dollars. ♪ ♪ If I had a million dollars. ♪ ♪ Well, I’d buy you a house ♪
(audience cheers) ♪ I would buy you a house. ♪ – So… (Wooh Wooh)
Thank you thank you. So I don’t know about yours, but my childhood sucked. (laughter) I was born in Hong Kong
and I immigrated to Canada years ago with no money, no connections and not a word of English language on my lips. Now as you can tell from my thick accent, English is not my first language. In fact some of my friends, they say, “Ay You speak like Jackie Chan.” (laughter) Come on I’m better than Jackie Chan right? (laughter) When I was growing up in high school, I was one of the only
three Chinese in my school. So I was an outsider. And growing up, I didn’t
have a lot of friends. And at that time, because I spoke funny, I didn’t get along with the other kids. I mean, they made fun of me. They tease me. They laugh at me. I got beat up a couple of times. In fact, how many of
you still have friends, from those high school
and growing up days. Can I see a show of hand? Wow, well good for you cause I have none. (laughter) Okay. (Chuckles) I have a few enemies though. I have a few enemies. My mom and dad got divorced when I was 16 years old. And that’s one of the reasons why we immigrated to Canada,
later I found out. So even you can imagine going to a new country where you
don’t speak the language. Growing up I wasn’t, unlike most of you, I wasn’t one of those people that was born to do some great or wonderful things. I wasn’t one of those
people that had big dreams that I was gonna do this
and I’m gonna do that. I wasn’t one of those people
that had great talents. I was more, my instructor would say,
average intelligence, or sometimes below average intelligence, depends on the course. And I wasn’t one of those people that had a good education or great resume. In fact I dropped out of college. So, not in a million
years could ever imagine that I would be doing
what I’m doing today. Building companies and writing books and speaking around the world and speaking in front of you
and doing all these things. Not in a million years could ever imagine I would be doing this. Because, a lot of people I believe that it’s because of that, in fact, let me ask you a question. How many of you come from
a dysfunctional family? Can I see a show of hand?
(laughter) See, everybody comes from a dysfunctional family nowadays. Okay. It is exactly this dysfunctional childhood that made me the functional achiever that I’m today. (applause) Thank you. It is because of my parents divorce. It is because of the
tough time in high school. It’s because I’m the
only child in my family, that I had to learn to
stop being a fucking boy and grow up to be a man
and take care of my mom. You see a lot of people, they look at their childhood as wounds. When I believe that you’re adversity is your greatest advantage. (audience cheers) So the very first lesson that I would like to share with you is that I hoped that your childhood sucked too. (laughter) Because it means you have developed that, it’s like a workout, going through difficult
times is like working out for your emotion, and for your physique. Think about it. That, how do you work a muscle? How do you work a muscle? You put pain and you put stress on it. Yes? And literally you basically, you destroy your muscle, and you tear apart your muscle fiber, and then when it grows
back it becomes what? – [Audience] Stronger.
– Stronger. So that’s my very first lesson that I would like to share with you. Please write this down. Your adversity is your advantage. Your adversity is your advantage. So don’t look at your past as wounds. They are your muscles. They are your muscles. Because… business… is not… a sport… for the wannabe. Business is tough. I failed at 13 businesses before having my first success. So my question is, how bad do you want it? See, statistics. 96% of companies, going out of business, fail, they all fail within
the first ten years. It means that, only four
out of 100 companies, make it in ten years. So you look at an audience of 1000 people, in ten years time, only 40
of you would be still here. So business, the game of business, is not for the weak. The game of business
is not for the wannabe. The game of business is for the ambitious. The game of business is for the committed. The game of business is for the people who do whatever the fuck
it takes to succeed. (applause) As long as there’s
moral, legal and ethical, whatever it takes.
(laughter) I mean whatever it takes. In fact, I haven’t met a
super successful person in my life that hasn’t
overcome a lot of adversity. Let me prove it to you okay. Let me ask you this question. Let’s do a survey here okay. Put up your hand if, like same with bad mistakes,
or bad business decisions, put up your hand if you have lost over 10,000 dollars in business. Okay now keep your hand up, keep your hand up. Keep your hand up if you have lost more than 50,000 dollars in business. Okay. Keep your hand up if you have lost more than 100,000 dollars in business. Keep a hand up if you lost more than a half a million
dollars in business. Keep your hand up if you’ve lost more than a million dollars in business. Keep your hand up if you’ve lost more than two million dollars in business. My fucking hand still up. (laughter) What does that mean? It doesn’t mean I’m smarter. It doesn’t mean I’m more talented. It doesn’t mean I’m more good looking, well lets not go there. (laughter) It simply means I fucked
up more than you guys. It means simply that. How many of you heard of the saying that, “Do what you love and
the money will follow?” How many heard that before? Okay it’s a load of crap! Okay. Let me ask you this, let me ask you this. How many of you are doing what you love, and you are following your passion and you’re wondering where
the hell is the money? (laughter) So that thought doesn’t help. It does not work. You see. It’s… the other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. He’s a international sales trainer. And he travels around the world and goes into companies and trains different companies. And we were having this discussion about, you know, do what you love
and the money will follow. And then he said to me, “You know Dan, “you know what I would love to do? “I would love to just stay home. “Spend time with my kids, holding my wife. “One hand, holding a beer
and watching a hockey game. “But the problem is, you know what Dan? “I can’t figure out to get
people to watch me do that. “And paying me. “So, until then, I have
to get on the road, “and travel and train. You see, a lot of people, yes, you want to follow your passion, but you better make sure
your passion makes you money. You better make sure. Can you build a bible business from it? Can you get rich at it? Yes, follow your passion. I love what I do. I love what I do. I’m a very passionate guy. But there are certain
things in my business that I didn’t like to do while I was building the company. Nowadays yes, I spend 90% of
my time doing what I love. Let me give an example. I love speaking. I love speaking, teaching business. I could be here all day no script. Don’t need a script. Problem is, I fucking hate traveling. (laughter) Hate it! And I got here last
night, it was horrible. But it’s because I am willing to do what
I don’t like to do, that’s what allows me to
do what I do like to do. Does that make sense? (applause) So lesson number two write this down. Is not doing what you love
and money will follow. It’s love what you do. And you’d be damn good at what you do. And you’d be exceptional at what you do. Because the marketplace
will always pay for value. But then are you saying
its all about the money? It’s not about the money, listen to me. It’s not about, it’s
never about the money. It’s about choices. It’s about lifestyle. It’s about freedom. See in my book F U Money,
(Laughter) I talk about freedom. See freedom is not the ability
to do whatever you want. It’s not. Freedom is having the luxury of not having to do something when you don’t want to. So you don’t need to
take crap from nobody. That’s freedom. Because it makes no sense to me when you work hard and you do your best and still have to struggle
to make ends meet. I believe that entrepreneurs
who do a good job, deliver value to the marketplace, deserve to be well paid. Let me ask you a question. How many of you believe you
deserve to be well paid? (audience cheers)
Hell yeah. You see, money earned, write this down, money earned, it’s a
byproduct of value creation. Money earned is a byproduct
of value creation. The more money you make, the more value, you
deliver to more people. It just simply means that. The more value you deliver, the more people, more impact, the more money you’re gonna make. I make a lot of money because I serve a lot of people. It’s very, very simple. There are some other people, like wall street guys, and this and that, they do it some other ways. But most successful people, they’re successful because they serve a lot of people. In fact, let me ask you a question. No bullshit okay. How many of you believe, truly believe that you deliver quality service or product
to the marketplace? Then you deserve to be well paid. You see, it’s thinking to yourself that you should short change yourself by being poor and noble
and doing your thing, it’s just not a good idea. It’s just not a good idea. You see, you deserve
to make a nice profit, and feel good about it. When I was growing up, my mom, I mean I love my mom, love my mom. She’s like an angel. I don’t know how she does it, but everywhere she goes, she would make friends with everybody. Everybody. So when I was growing,
my mom would say to me, “You know Dan, “when you grow up, you do
great and wonderful things. And you touch many peoples lives. And you’ll get rich,
and you’ll get famous, then you will take care of me.” (laughter) Very smart mom. Here’s my belief, and you don’t have to buy my belief, but here’s my belief. I believe when you
learn how to make money, it is a gift. That it is a gift that you should use to the highest degree. That,
(applause) when you learn how to make money you are actually more really obligated to make as much money as you can. (laughter) That’s my belief. (crowd cheers) Lesson number three. Lesson number three write this down. Save yourself before you try to save the fucking world. (audience cheers) The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them. (laughter) It is your duty, it is your obligation, it is your responsibility, to maximize your profits
as a entrepreneur. Think about it. Let me give you an analogy. It’s like if you want to give blood. How many bags of blood you can give before you pass out and die? (laughter) That’s linear thinking, that’s an employee mentality. You wanna give blood? Build a fucking hospital. That’s entrepreneurial mindset. That’s entrepreneurial mindset. Now some people might say, “But Dan, money is not that important.” (laughter) “Oh Dan, you know, money
doesn’t buy you happiness.” Well talk to my wife. You don’t think money…
(laughter) If you talk to her, she
will say, “if you don’t, “you don’t think money can buy happiness, “you don’t know where to shop.” (laughter) Okay. And money, heres the thing. Money is not supposed
to buy you happiness. Money supposed to give you two things. How many things? – [Audience] Two things.
Two things. First money gives you comfort. Makes your life a little bit easier. And second thing is,
money allows you to do, to extend the good that you do beyond your physical presence. Only two things. When people don’t wanna hear, “Oh yeah money is not that important. “money does not buy you happiness.” Very often, well that’s a
stupid statement first of all. But second thing is usually it’s a defensive statement. Usually people would say
that either don’t have any, (laughter) or they don’t know how to get some. Guarantee. So from now on, you’re gonna be a psychic. You hear people, “Oh money
is not that important, “money doesn’t buy happiness.” Oh my goodness let me think. Let me think. You’re broke. (laughter) And they would be like, “How do you know?”
(laughter) I learned that from socialite. You don’t need magic power to do that. Most businesses fail, write this down, because they are not
getting enough attention in the marketplace. If you wanna grow your revenue, you wanna grow your brand, you wanna grow your company, you must get attention. You must get attention. Attention is the new currency. Money follows attention. Think of, what other product services in your marketplace,
in your industry that.. Are there products and services that are maybe less quality than
what you’re offering, but they’re selling more. How many have seen that before? Yes. Why, because they’re committed. Those companies, even though they have a less quality product and service, they committed to getting attention. They committed to getting attention. Let me give you an example. I have a YouTube channel, if you go to YouTube and type in my name, D A N Dan Lok, and you find me, I have 200 videos on youtube. I have a podcast that I do, called Shoulders of Titans. And every single week I interview a millionaire, or a
billionaire entrepreneur, and I post it online. It’s all free. So that’s 52 shows per year. On top of that, on average, I give about one interview a week. And then I write articles. My question to you is, and that’s not even how I make my money. This is just like a thing that I do in my spare time to kind of promote my personal
brand, like spare time. If this what I do in my spare time, what the hell should you be doing? You gotta get it out there. You gotta push your name. Because there’s so much noise. I hear people, “But Dan,
I put on like one tweet, “you know, or one Facebook post. “How come orders don’t come rolling in?” Cause it’s one fucking post!
(laughter) Don’t think in terms
of one, not one tweet. Ten tweets. A hundred tweets. A thousand tweets. Nowadays it takes so much more to just cut through the
clutter in the marketplace. There’s so much, how many recognize there’s so much noise in the marketplace? You have to do so much more just to get the attention. You have to. And also, that means, when you’re getting attention, not everybody will like you. (laughter) At first they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. (applause) You wanna wear a fucking
red suit, you wear it. (audience cheers) You wear it. So lesson number four. Promotion over creation. Promotion over creation. Visibility is more important than ability. Visibility is more important than ability. Spend your time promoting your brand. You’re gonna make some
enemies, that’s good. You’re gonna get some
haters, that’s even awesome. That’s good. You know one of my goal, is to create a YouTube video that will get a 100,000 thumbs down. (laughter) Seriously. Because what does that mean? It means I’m getting what? Attention. Look at Kim Kardashian. (laughter) It shows you you don’t
need talents to make money. (laughter) You just need to get, well, is she a great singer?
– [Audience] No. Is she a great actress?
– [Audience] No. What the fuck does she do? (laughter) She gets attention.
– [Audience] Yes. Yes. And people pay for their attention. That’s what I’m talking about. Something to be learned from that. So promotion over creation. Lesson number five. Lesson number five. So now you’re promoting your products, you’re promoting your services. The biggest mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make is this. Lesson number five is this. Stop pretending and start asking. Stop pretending and start asking. Sometimes when I talk to an entrepreneur, and I ask them, “Well how’s business?” And they’ll say, “Well, you know Dan, “my business is fine. (laughter) “It, it’s fine”. You know, fine, F I N E,
is actually an acronym. It’s actually acronym. It means this, write this down. Freaked out, in debt,
not making enough money and emotionally stressed out.
– [Woman] Yup. When they say, “Um, my business is fine”, that’s what it means. That’s what it means. In fact, would you like to get some inside information? Let me take you behind the scenes. Let me tell you something. Every time when I do a speaking gig, any kind of training, here’s the percentage. Usually after the training in, let’s say, an audience of 1000. Doesn’t matter, 101,000. About five percent of the people, five percent, will ever
come up and talk to me. Five percent. That’s about right. And out of the five percent like maybe out of the 1000 people, less than one percent will follow up. Less than one percent. And I’ve been doing this for many years. That’s the average. And it never cease to amaze me. That sometimes they would
come up and talk to me and they would tell me their stories. And I love to hear those stories, I mean, I live to collect those stories. Love those stories. And they would spend
20 minutes telling me, you know, this or how I started this and I wanna do this and this and that. But they never stop and ask, “Well Dan, what do you think?” They just don’t ask. It never cease to amaze me. And that’s how most people are. And let me give you a tip, if you get nothing else out of my talk, get this tip. If you want to develop,
establish relationship with powerful successful people, here’s what you do. Do not go up to them and pitch your stuff. Don’t try to sell them your stuff. Okay. You have to understand when
someone comes up to me and say, “Oh Dan look at my product
and my thing da da da, “can you promote it, da da da da da.” You have to understand
what it sounds to me. It’s like, well Dan, you don’t know me, but can you endorse me to your most important clients and partners? It’s no different if I
walk up to the street, and I walk up to a
beautiful woman and say, “Your place or mine?” (laughter) (Psst) But somehow in business it’s okay. So here’s what you do. Heres what you do. Here’s how you follow up. Here’s how you do what? – [Audience] Follow up. – Let me give you a tip. Do not give them your business card? It is not their job to follow up with you. It is your job to follow up with them. They are already successful! They have what you want! Why the hell would they
follow up with you? If you think about it. So don’t give them your business card. Heres what you do. Ask for their contact information. And once you have that,
maybe a simple email. And then you follow up. And heres the two questions you ask. Two simple questions. First question is, how
can I learn more from you? Not to pitch your shit. How can I learn more from you? And second here’s my favorite. What is the most important project that you’re working on that I, or my network, can add value to? I’ll say it again. What is the most important project that I, or my network can add value to? Don’t go up to people and say, “Hey would you like to buy my stuff? “Would you get into business with me? Write this down. Needy is creepy. (laughter) Okay, needy is creepy. How many have met some of those people? I mean, forget it. Forget it. Stop pretending, start asking. Lesson number six. Master, don’t dabble. Master, don’t dabble. Master, don’t dabble. A lot of entrepreneurs they have this, what I call shiny object syndrome. Okay. It’s social media. It’s Periscope. It’s Twitter. It’s Facebook. It’s whatever flavor of the week, or flavor of the month. They never take the
time to master anything. – [Man] Dan.
Yes? Five minutes, yes. I have one more secret so should I?
– [Audience] Yes! (audience cheers)
Thank you thank you. – [Man] We gotta go.
– [Woman] Two minutes. Two minutes. We gotta go.
– Thank you. So master don’t babble. Focus on one thing and
build on the next master. In my career, I focus on
building one skill first and then build the next. First I focus on marketing, then I focus on inter marketing, then I focus on management leadership, then I focus on deal making, investing. But one thing at a time. So my approach is more like this. Most entrepreneurs approach is like this. (laughter) You gotta build one thing, be successful, and then work on it. Lesson number six, very
last lesson, is this. You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. (applause) Most entrepreneurs, is what I do. They mentally masturbate too much. – [Woman] Yeah.
(laughter) – “Eh, ooh, ooh, I don’t know, “let me think about it. “Oh I’ll get back to you. “Let me talk.” (laughter) No. Perfection is the enemy of progress. So you know what, you wrote
an article you don’t like, who cares? Upload it. You create a video you don’t like? Who cares? Upload it. You wrote a blog post that you don’t like? Who cares? Tweet the crap out of it. (laughter) There’s a great quote that I love from Reid Hoffman, the
founder of LinkedIn. He said, “If you’re not
embarrassed by the first version “of a product, you’ve launched too late.” “If you’re not embarrassed
by the first version “of your product, you’ve
launched too late.” So, let this talk. Let this talk, ignite
that power, the drive, and the desire within you. And just go out there and just do it. Forget the naysayers. Ignore these people. And just do whatever the fuck it takes and just fucking do it. (audience cheers) Thank you. Thank you.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Enjoyed this speech. Can hear the Dan Pena influence. The "first they ignore, then they laugh at you…" was a Gandhi quote.
    I gave you 1 dislike so I can help you toward your goal of achieving 100,000 dislikes for a video. Keep it up man, if you need an Aussie connection I'm your man.

  2. Brother Dan, powerful and entertaining and above all timely. Many thanks.. Great quotes in particular Visibility over Creativity

  3. Nah man just a question how do u copy protect business and websites have had some problem w that in the past and not well covered on the internet

  4. I’m chiseling this into my mind: “Save yourself before you save others.” And of course…”Stop the mental masturbation!” So many important, deep lessons in this video to revisit and implement.

  5. Hands down one of my favorite videos by Dan Lok. If you follow these 7 steps, you will become success, no bullshit.
    1. Your adversity is your greatest advantage (think about that)
    2. Love what you do and be exceptional at what you do.
    3. Save yourself before you try to save the fucking world.
    4. Promotion over creation. Visibility is more important than ability.
    5. Stop pretending and start asking.
    6. Master don't dabble.
    7. You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going.

    #7 really resonated with me. There has been so many times where i have an idea where I want write a blog or post a video, but I dont. I let fear get in the way. However, if you want to be a master at something you need attention. Visibility is way more important than ability.

    It's incredibly how these are all interlocked and knock one down and you will start to see yourself accomplishing the other ones.

  6. There is so much value in this video that I will watch it many times. The standout for me today was ‘past adversity is your muscle in business’; that is a very powerful way to look at things and makes me realise the challenges I’ve got through are actually my competitive advantage.

    Thank you Sifu 🙏

  7. technology has replaced many things, and i think money is long over due, being "well adjusted" to a profoundly sick society is no measure of morality or sanity. i refuse to believe that all people are just money motivated, doctors want to help people, fire men want to save lives also, many people enjoy there skills and craft, farmers want to feed people with healthy food,, the day the 99% refuse to use and be used by money all the manipulation ends.

  8. I want and willing to Learn from you. As I am starting my consultant business I would like to know all of what you know and apply it to my life. I have never seen such a captivating person like you. Is there a way I can talk to you via my email or other means. I have always dreamed about having wealth but need guidance.

  9. haha I just found your videos, I don't know who you are yet. But let me say this at 7:41 THANK YOU for saying it's a load of crap. Cuz for 20 years all I did was just help people for free and no money came. Finally, now at 46 I started charging.

  10. haha I seriously love this! at 25:59 I have forced myself to post all of my videos even when they were crap. My crappiest video went viral. I still hate it but everyone else likes it. I know I suck at some of the stuff like blogging, but I keep posting. I had a podcast for 6 years I grew to 70,000 listeners and I did it to overcome a speaking disability. Now I am starting podcast #2 and I can speak. I love making money and with everything I have ever made money with it has taken me a long time. 9 years to grow a network marketing business to six figures. Two years to grow my coaching business to actually start getting paid to coach and for the first time made $6,000 in 30 minutes this last March. I make passive income on Amazon and sell things online. My next goal is to make the leap to half a million by next year but I need to work on my mindset. It still freaks me out. haha That is why I am here, so you can get inside my head. rofl

  11. I love this video. It must be heard more than once. So much wisdom spoken from the heart. Thanks Dan.

  12. Big fan from India watching all your video and starting
    Server value and then start my business affiliate in digital marketing 😊

  13. Your adversity is your advantage. Love what you do. Save yourself before you try to save the fucking world. Promotion over creation. Stop pretending and start asking. Master don't dabble. You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going.

  14. My childhood sucked too Dan, which is great! I agree that adversity is my advantage, as long as I choose to use it. I am also implementing my experience and principles from doing natural bodybuilding into becoming successful in business.

  15. What I've learned from this video
    1. Don't be afraid to fail over and over. Dan Lok himself lost over 2 million dollars until he was having his first success. Greatest attribute to the entrepreneur is to ability to endure pain for long period of time.
    2. Be willing to do what you don't like to do so eventually you can do what you love to do. It is not about the money. It is about the choice. It is about lifestyle and freedom. More value you created for marketplace, more money you will earn as a result. Focus on providing value rather than focus on making money. It is about little shift in the mindset that changes the whole spectrum of this game.
    3. Save Yourself Before You Save Somebody Else. Money gives you comfort and freedom of autonomy.
    4. Get Attention – That is one of reason why Dan Lok spends most of his profit back into marketing to get the eyeballs.
    6. Master, Don't Dabble – Stay away from shiny object syndrome – focus on mastering the skills before developing new set of skills.
    7. You don't have to be right all the time – You just have to get it going – Don't mentally masturbate too much

  16. Thats one of the greatest lessons I have learned. I failed in 3 businesses and I started my 4th. And I had a wavering mind . by knowing you failed in 13 business and your high spirits and concept of money help me to reprogram my strategy . it means a lot to me. Small request . avoid those F*** word… Because you have already grown beyond those layers and you don't need such word to emphasise an idea.. Thank you so much Dan. One day I will meet you after my success. Thank you. Arun from India.

  17. I love your sense of humour! Love the red suit & the accent too! I have my accent & my American Toastmaster friends love it.

  18. 12:30 is my favorite.
    When you learn how to make money, it is a gift. That it is a gift that you should use to the highest degree. You are morally obligated to make as much money as you can.

  19. Thank you so much Dan "You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going. Perfection is the enemy of progress."

  20. Hello Dan! Gary aka Gjst Kier from Facebook here… It is an honor to send you this message here at youtube my Dear Sir! Xie-xie Pengyow… 🙂 (y)

  21. Sifu this is one of my favorite video of you. I just love it. You look great on your red suit and what a speech, thank you. George from Greece.

  22. I failed at my first attempt too. I can only keep dreaming and keeping walking. Giving up or giving in is words never appear in my dictionary for goal i set out.

  23. Like the praticality of Dan! He is inspiring even the retired to return to the job to try his ideas and that is good!

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