About Our Guest-Danny Brassell
A highly sought-after speaker, trainer, and coach known as “Jim Carrey with a Ph.D.,” Dr. Danny Brassell has spoken to over 3,000 audiences worldwide and authored 16 books, including his latest, Leadership Begins with Motivation. He is the co-founder of www.theREADINGhabit.com, the world’s top reading engagement program.
Do you want to be a better leader? Then you need to start reading.
Danny Brassell, a highly sought-after speaker, trainer, and coach known as “Jim Carrey with a Ph.D.,” has spoken to over 3,000 audiences worldwide and authored 16 books. His latest book, Leadership Begins with Motivation, dives into seven important reasons reading plays a vital role in leadership—and how you can use them to be more effective at your job.
Whether you’re looking for advice on how to motivate your team or tips on how to lead by example, this podcast episode is for you! Dr. Brassell will share his insights on what makes leaders successful and how YOU can become one too!
7 Important Reasons Reading Plays a Vital Role in Leadership with Danny Brassell
[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from Chasing Happiness Podcast. I hope you guys are having a great day today on the podcast. We are blessed and honored to have Danny. Danny is America’s leading reading ambassador, and we’re gonna talk a lot about reading and you guys know I’ve talked in the past. I wasn’t much of a reader in high school and college, and now I do enjoy it.
[00:00:22] Ryan: Danny. Welcome into the show.
[00:00:23] Ryan: Thanks so much for having
[00:00:24] Danny: me, Ryan. Thanks for all you do to spread some joy in a pretty dark world nowadays.
[00:00:30] Ryan: Thank you for being on and thank you for being flexible. I know we’ve had to move our time, but looking forward to having a great conversation with you. But before we do that, tell listeners a little bit about who you are and then we’ll get into your journey.
[00:00:40] Ryan: It’s,
[00:00:40] Danny: it’s ironic that I’m considered, America’s leading reading ambassador, cuz like you Ryan, I grew up hating reading. My father was a, my father was a librarian. I always hated the public library. It always smelled funny to me. There was uncomfortable furniture. There was always some elderly woman telling me to be quiet.
[00:00:56] Danny: There was always a freaky homeless guy. I thought he was a vampire hanging out by the shelves And it wasn’t until I started teaching in the inner city where I saw a lot of my students didn’t have a lot of the advantages I had growing up. And I said, shame on me. I took a lot of things for granted.
[00:01:10] Danny: Both of my parents were in the home. We were lower middle class, but we always had food on the table. And my parents read in front of us, kids to us, and we always had plenty of access to reading materials. And so it really became a passion of mine because as a teacher of all ages, I’ve seen that schools do an adequate job of teaching kids how to read.
[00:01:29] Danny: But the question I always ask is what good is the teaching? A kid, how to read if they never want to read, I teach kids why to read because I’ve never had to tell a. Go watch TV. I’ve never had to tell a kid, go play a video game, and I never wanna have to tell, go read a book. I want them to choose to do it on their own.
[00:01:44] Danny: So this is the, this is my passion. And you and I share that experience of finally becoming readers later in life.
[00:01:51] Ryan: it? It, It is. And then the other thing you might have to tell kids do nowadays is go outside and play cause they wanna stay inside. For our generations we would go outside and have to be yanked back in to come back.
[00:02:02] Ryan: From playing. Oh
[00:02:02] Danny: yeah. I remember once it was like 20 below zero and my mom’s Hey winners at six get out.
[00:02:13] Ryan: 20 below zero. Wow. Yeah,
[00:02:15] Danny: that was Iowa. That’s a, that’s a little chilly. Yeah,
[00:02:17] Ryan: definitely. So you were an inner city teacher. Where did you go from there? Once you were doing that? Where are you at today? Where am I
[00:02:26] Danny: at today? That’s a good question. My wife asked me that all the time. I went from teaching, I, I started off as a secondary teacher, went from high school to middle school, to upper elementary, to lower elementary, to pretty soon.
[00:02:37] Danny: Okay. And of preparing students for college. I was coming home with snot marks all over my pants for my little ones, talking to me all day. From there I, I became a college professor and then I started speaking on the side and. Basically became a speaker started working with parents and then teachers and administrators.
[00:02:55] Danny: And then from there started speaking at more corporate events. And then one of the big transitions I’ve been making is now I’ve been coaching a lot more. Business executives, entrepreneurs on how to splice up their presentations to make ’em amazing so that everybody wants to do business with you.
[00:03:12] Danny: And it’s great. It’s a fun journey. I think that’s what they say the average person changes their career about eight times in life. I don’t know if I’ve changed careers. I’ve just evolved in different. The strategies I use with corporate executives are the same ones I use with kinder directors.
[00:03:25] Ryan: really absolutely. That’s cool. Absolutely. We’re gonna have to, we’re gonna have to dig into that, cuz that’s interesting that it would be the. Concept same ideas. Yeah. Okay. Let’s just get right into it. I just gotta ask that question. What you used with kindergartners and what you’re using with executives and entrepreneurs.
[00:03:41] Ryan: So there’s really no difference why. Yeah. So the
[00:03:44] Danny: biggest, the biggest mistake leaders make is they surround themselves with yes, men. And that’s a big mistake. You need to be around people that think differently than you. Yes. Nobody thinks more differently. Than kindergartners. And I should have known this even when I was a kid.
[00:03:57] Danny: I knew this cuz in kind, when I was in kindergarten, sister Roseanna asked us one day, if we all wanted to go to heaven and all of us raised for Hector and looks at Hector He’s right. He’s just looking at a question from a totally different point of view. I love that. And that’s what, if you look at the decisions that we have to make as business owners, entrepreneurs, they require a lot of creativity, a lot of Thinking outside the box. I actually I hate the term thinking outside the box, it’s so 1994 But how do I think a little bit differently than the people around me? Cause if everybody’s I tell people we should, the reason I love the United States is we need to embrace our diversity. It’s, what’s great. If we weren’t all diverse and different, the pandemic would’ve killed us, but we are a different, and we should be embracing that all the time.
[00:04:44] Danny: And I love being around people that think differently than me and. With business executives, the same as one of the things I try to teach kids is there’s two types of teachers. There’s the kind that say you’re wrong. And there’s the kind that ask. Why did you say that? I always encourage teachers.
[00:05:00] Danny: You need to start asking why’d you say that because the more you question people, the better you can figure out where they’re coming from. And I’ll give you an example. When I used to teach preschool, I taught preschool in downtown Los Angeles at a. A facility for homeless, Latino kids that spoked Spanish.
[00:05:16] Danny: And so I, I had this one little boy Francisco, three years old and on his little whiteboard, I wrote Francisco and Papa. And I asked Francisco in Spanish to point to the word that said Papa. And he pointed to Francisco. And so I asked him in Spanish why’d you say that? And he’s cause it’s bigger.
[00:05:34] Danny: Oh, he’s associated the size of the word with the size of the person. Okay. Now I know where he is coming from. And that’s where I think if a lot of people would just ask more questions of one another you start to appreciate, oh, this is where this person’s coming from. I’m on customer service, the more questions I ask, the better I can serve you.
[00:05:51] Danny: And so that’s where it’s very similar work. And then, if I’m around a bunch of board executives and so many trainings, the reason they call ’em board meetings is cuz they’re boring. And so I’m like, we’re gonna sing, we’re gonna dance. We’re gonna laugh. I’ve given presentations for over 20 years and I’ve never had a person Ryan, six months after a presentation say, oh, you know what I really loved about your presentation Danny was that one PowerPoint slide that you showed that had 18 bullet points that you couldn’t read, cuz the font was too small.
[00:06:21] Danny: People remember stories. They remember laughing. They remember whenever you get them interacting. And so these are the same concepts I’m trying to teach people when I’m trying to help them deliver amazing presentations that persuade people.
[00:06:32] Ryan: But that’s, I’m gonna say one. Cool, because you’re actually trying to engage people from a different perspective and not to get politicized, cuz I try not to be, cuz that’s not what I do.
[00:06:45] Ryan: We don’t do that today. It’s lost and it’s It’s okay to disagree. You don’t always have to agree with somebody, but wouldn’t it be nice to understand where that person’s coming from. Cuz maybe they’re going through something you don’t know and you could potentially help them one or two.
[00:07:00] Ryan: They give you more information than you had. And you’re like, okay, now I understand where they’re coming from. I get what they’re doing. Got it. But we automatically just hard charge ’em and say, oh, you’re not seen it the same way I am. I’m done. And that’s. that’s not just life. It’s also school too.
[00:07:16] Ryan: And everything to that extent. I don’t know how to, I, I describe school almost to being in corporate America and being an entrepreneur, you have to be persistent and consistent with all three. The difference with school and being, in a corporate job and an entrepreneur. School and corporate America feeds you.
[00:07:34] Ryan: You’re fat and happy cuz you’re gonna get, you’re gonna get fed. You’re gonna get food, blah, blah, blah. But when it comes to entrepreneurship, I never learned how to be a fisherman. And I was I had two failed businesses before this. That’s why I always joke. I’m an eight year overnight success, two failed businesses and plenty more to, plenty of all, more learnings to come.
[00:07:54] Ryan: School teaches us to be that rigid piece and go to and from, but it doesn’t G allow us to be free thinkers and be able to open that dialogue and think differently. And I think that’s where the reading comes in, because reading really can expand your mind when you’re reading different Johns of books or history or whatever you’re doing.
[00:08:14] Ryan: It’s just, it opens another world for me. I’m just talking personally. So I, sorry. I digress.
[00:08:19] Danny: No, I completely agree. It’s one of the things I always emphasize to kids, you gotta fail faster to succeed sooner, the fact that you had two failed businesses. You didn’t have two failed businesses.
[00:08:28] Danny: You had two learning experiences. There’s that great quote by max Le shin? I love, he says the very first company I started. I I’m paraphrasing. He said the very first company, I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a bit less, but still failed the third one, proper failed, but it did.
[00:08:43] Danny: Okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did. Okay. Number five was PayPal. Oh, wow. That’s cool. If it only takes yeah. Five tries to come upon a billion dollar company you’re doing all right.
[00:09:00] Ryan: yeah, it’s true. So do you think, with the internet and everything today, we have instant gratification going on.
[00:09:06] Ryan: Do you think some of that translates into the learning environment in reading and so forth and comprehension is that if we don’t get it initially, and we struggle with reading, maybe we were dyslexic or have something else going on. We just give. I think it goes both
[00:09:21] Danny: ways. Ryan, one of the things I. It bothers me how quickly we like to label kids.
[00:09:26] Danny: And I think that’s a big mistake because when you label a kid, if you’re gonna take the time to label somebody, you might as well label ’em a genius because people arise or fall based on the expectation. I That was something very powerful for me. I always wanted to do this with my kids.
[00:09:41] Danny: I wanted to tell ’em every single day. I did tell ’em every day I’m like, Sometimes you need somebody else to believe in you before you believe in yourself. I believe in all of you. They only give me the best and the brightest. Now let’s go out and make this world a better place. I They heard that every day and I’m looking at kids, Hey Ryan, are you gonna be a Supreme court justice or the president of the United States?
[00:09:57] Danny: Get thinking big, get ’em thinking big. I’m a coach. I always tell this to kids when you know, I’m like there’s a reason that successful teams always win the close games because they think they’re supposed. and it’s the same thing with losing teams. They lose the close games cuz they think they’re supposed to get those people in a winner’s mindset.
[00:10:19] Danny: Jim Harbaugh inherited the San Francisco 49ers. They had won three games the year before he got basically the exact same team to make it to the NFC championship. The following year. Yes. Same players, different attitude. You gotta get people believing around you. And being an entrepreneur is the toughest thing in the world.
[00:10:34] Danny: I was just being interviewed the other day about running several businesses and somebody said who’s your. What can you talk about the struggles of being an entrepreneur? I’m like I was so entrepreneur and what was tough when I started off is people ask me can you what’s your assistant’s name?
[00:10:48] Danny: I’m like, oh, I’ve got the greatest assistant in the world. His name is Danny. You’re like, oh, you have a website designer. I’m like, oh, my website, designer. He is phenomenal. His name is. Oh, who’s your director of marketing like this great guy. His name is Danny. We wear lots of different hats. We fail.
[00:11:04] Danny: Yeah. Like school all the time. I used to tell that to kids. I’m like, you’re not failing 25 times a day. Why are you here? That’s why it’s school. We try to make everybody the same. And this is the problem. When people ask me about education and what’s the solution? Is it public school or charter school?
[00:11:19] Danny: And I say, yes. Some kids. It’s a charter school. Some kids it’s a public school, some kids it’s vocational school, some kids it’s homeschool. Some kids it’s a magnet school. Everybody’s different. We’re trying to have one answer to a question that requires many different, it’s BA and Robin 31 flavors.
[00:11:35] Danny: Yeah. And so I love it. I love your audience. I love being around entrepreneurs. Cause I wanna be around people who are optimistic, who are like, oh, I think of that movie ed. Yeah, Johnny. He should have gotten an academy award for that movie because he calls up, he sent his first movie to the studio and he asks the studio ahead.
[00:11:50] Danny: He’s what did you think of my movie? The worst thing you’ve ever seen. My next one will be better and I’m, I love this optimism. I love that. That’s great. We need to be around people. And that’s why it’s so important for your listeners to listen to this show all the time you need that support system.
[00:12:05] Danny: You need to hear that, I have never, when I’m training executives, my best speaking tip, they’re like what’s the secret to being a better speaker? I’m like I’ll tell you one secret. Don’t tell people about your successes. Tell me about your failures. It’s not your audience is succeeded, but they’ve all failed and they’re gonna love you for being vulnerable enough.
[00:12:23] Danny: To actually confess to that. So that’s what, that’s why this is a great podcast is we need people that support us. We need things that are positive in our minds. I My, one of my mentors, Charlie, tremendous Jones used to say, you’re the same today as you will be in five years, except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read.
[00:12:38] Danny: So I always tell kids be wise and surround yourself with people that lift you up and make sure to only fill your mind with positive things when you’re reading it.
[00:12:47] Ryan: And that is so hard today to do. Yeah. I So many people struggle with being positive. don’t get me wrong. I have my own pity parties when I fail, but I give myself that opportunity to have that pity party and then move on.
[00:13:00] Ryan: But then I sit back and I look at okay, what did I learn? What did I do wrong? And how do I improve going forward? And that’s a lot of grinding it out and getting there. It’s not easy, but you can do it. Anybody can do it. It doesn’t have to be me. It doesn’t have to be, you. You can do it, but most people don’t wanna do that.
[00:13:18] Ryan: And I think, and I’m gonna go back to the school system. I think the school system fails our kids in that because we don’t hold them when they fail. We just let, ’em go through the, they fall through the cracks and we lose them. I wish there was something we could do better for that. And I like how you were talking about it’s bask and Robin’s 31 flavors.
[00:13:39] Ryan: Cause not every child is gonna mix and. Do you think there’s ever gonna be a way that we can identify the best way or help children identify the best way for them to learn and then guide ’em to those different types of schools?
[00:13:50] Danny: That’s great, Ryan. The first thing is that there’s no one right way.
[00:13:53] Danny: There’s lots of different right. Ways. What works with you might not work with me. So that’s the first thing. Yeah. I was speaking at a gamers association convention recently and I said, what I love about gaming isn’t it sad that in school, You start out at a hundred percent and they deduct points from you.
[00:14:08] Danny: But in gaming, you start at zero and they, you are able to earn points. I’m like, yes, maybe that’s the way we have to redesign school is you’re starting off at zero. And what can you do? I see people they’ll give a kid a worksheet and the kid’s board might not even finish the worksheet where I’m like, if you told this kid, I want you to design a video.
[00:14:26] Danny: If that kid, instead of spending 20 minutes on a useless worksheet, they’re gonna spend 20 hours designing a video game that they’re excited about. They’re gonna spend time outside of school. They’re gonna talk about it with their friends. They’re gonna, they’re gonna learn math and science and all kinds of things just to create this thing that they’re excited about.
[00:14:42] Danny: And the secret is everybody’s excited about something different. Yes. Some entrepreneurs they’re all into the marketing, some people. Some people they’re well, I’m more of a systems guy. I like putting together the storefront on the website. And then some people are like I’m not good at any of that, but I’m really good at PR you put me in front of the room and everybody’s gonna fall in love with me.
[00:15:00] Danny: Everybody’s bringing something else to the table and this is what good leaders identify. The reason Phil Jackson was such a successful NBA. Basketball coach was because he made his 12th man feel just as important as Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. Everybody has something that they bring to the team and a good leader publicly acknowledges why this person is vital to the success, everybody.
[00:15:23] Danny: And you’re right. I see schools. They don’t look at what I mean. There’s that old movie, summer school with Mark Harmon and I love what he did. His tunes have all failed. Like this exam. He’s you didn’t fail. You went from like an 18% to a 37 and you went from a 40 to a 64 and I’m like, he’s right.
[00:15:42] Danny: What is it looking at the finish line when you’re not looking at the starting line? That’s like your annoying friend that’s talking about, oh, my crypto’s worth a thousand bucks today. I’m like if you started at 9 99, that ain’t.
[00:15:59] Danny: I got F students that deserve A’s on their effort. And I got a students that deserve Fs based on their effort. And I’m a coach. I always said, give me the heart over the talent any day of the week. Cuz I will teach heart how to beat you because we’re gonna establish positive habits. Talent gets lazy all the time.
[00:16:16] Danny: I see it all. Unless you’re LeBron, James has heart and talent, but everybody else besides LeBron James I always want the heart.
[00:16:24] Ryan: But it, why don’t we embrace any of this? That’s I gotta go deep and wide here is why don’t we embrace this culturally from, standpoint from not just schooling, but also the United States, because we all are different.
[00:16:41] Ryan: We all learn differently. We all look at things differently, but it, we never sit down and say, and this I’m back up and I’m gonna go back to my original. We never go back and say, what do you, what are you most passionate about? Yeah. What gets you going on a daily basis? What moves you? I never thought I would have two PO I have one podcast now I have two and it’s I never thought I would have two podcasts and it’s Okay.
[00:17:03] Ryan: That’s great. I’m doing it. I love it. And I love talking to guests like yourself and you bring so much passion. It’s fun. That’s why I do it. But it’s when I talk to individuals, through my day job we do affordable housing and I have a nonprofit. We started last year and that’s a whole nother mess.
[00:17:19] Ryan: I, we can have prom, we can have a long talk about that. but The nonprofit. We work with individuals that unfortunately were left behind by the school system and weren’t giving financial tools or financial abilities to succeed in life. And when they come to us, they are. My best word I could say is broken.
[00:17:37] Ryan: And they’re probably further, along than that, they’re very heavily in debt. They don’t understand why, their accounts have charged off. They don’t understand why they’re being sued. There’s so many things that have gone on and to unravel that process with them and understand where they’re at is daunting.
[00:17:52] Ryan: And that’s why we really started the nonprofit. So we could have counselors start helping them. But back to my original question with that and digressed. How do we start changing that system? And I’m not talking about school, but maybe from your standpoint and what you’re doing in coaching, how do we start getting more people like you out there in the world, helping individuals, kids, whoever to start succeeding in life.
[00:18:16] Ryan: Just life in general. Let’s start there. Yeah.
[00:18:19] Danny: Reading is my passion now, Ryan. Yes. I You and I are both similar. I love to. Biographies of successful people. And I think the one thing that always sticks out to me is almost all these biographies of successful people.
[00:18:30] Danny: They all shared one thing in common. They all dropped outta school. I’m like, what are we doing wrong, man? What is up with that? That’s ridiculous. And it’s because I don’t know, I started off as a high school teacher. I went from high school to middle school, to upper elementary, to lower elementary to pretty soon, instead of preparing students for college, I was coming home with snot on my kneecaps all the time.
[00:18:48] Danny: Yeah. and I’m. Why is it that my kindergartners would go to bed with their backpacks on? Cause they were so excited to get back to school the next day. And my eighth graders were thinking of ways to get sick. I’m like what happened in those eight years to get that kid to hate school so much. If I’m doing my job, my kids should be banging on my classroom door at six in the morning and they should be in tears when that final bell rings because they don’t wanna leave.
[00:19:10] Danny: Carl, you said if we wanna change any. If we wanna accept anything, if we I’m gonna screw up the quote, but I can’t even remember the quote. , it’s okay. I’m usually better about that, but I can’t remember it. He said, if there’s anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it’s not something that could be better changed in our cells.
[00:19:28] Danny: And I completely agree with that. I think there, and I don’t like to blanket statement because there are some schools that are doing great job. great job. I think we can always do better. I think in America, the problem is we live in a caring society. Everybody feels entitled.
[00:19:44] Danny: Everybody’s ridiculous in this country. Nobody’s willing to do anything anymore. When I speak to audiences in America. This is what I see my American a is doing. When I speak in India, this is what my Indian audiences are doing. When I was touring schools in India, they were teaching math concepts in third grade that we don’t even teach in high school in this country.
[00:20:06] Danny: And I’m like, wow. actually left India wondering if we should even teach math and science in this country, cuz we are so far behind them. But there’s things that we’re really good. American, like everybody has to get defensive. When I say this system, they do this. And people like, oh I’m like, I’m not, you don’t have to be defensive.
[00:20:20] Danny: I’m like, let’s figure out we’re not gonna steal the idea. We’re gonna liberate that idea and free and and show how we can make our system a little bit better. And what works in, you can go to. You can go to Dayton, Ohio, and what works in west state and Ohio doesn’t necessarily work in east state in Ohio.
[00:20:38] Danny: And even in west state, Ohio in this high school, it works in this teacher’s classroom. Doesn’t necessarily work in this teacher’s classroom. It’s a complicated, when they try and get business involved with schools, I’m like that’s silly because businesses can, we’re creating widgets.
[00:20:50] Danny: We don’t have widgets in school. We have kids. Yeah. And kids are all different. And kids come to us with lots of different background, knowledge, experiences and things like that. And we have to figure out, I think. The way, I, I think a little bit differently for most people is I always try and figure out how do you take your weakness and turn it into your strength?
[00:21:07] Danny: And so when I was in India this was before the pandemic, about three years ago I gave this motivational talk to all these kids and this one little boy comes up to me, six years old, Ryan he’s only got a stump for his left arm. He has tears in his eyes. He’s wow, but what can I do? What can I.
[00:21:24] Danny: And I don’t usually share this story, but I shared it with him. I said when I was your age, I went to 18 different schools before sixth grade. They called me stupid. Because I didn’t talk. Yeah. And I finally went to a school where a teacher, she started singing things to me and I found I could sing them back without my stutter.
[00:21:45] Danny: And I eventually lost my stutter and I became a Swan. It’s kinda like the the movie, the King’s speech. But I looked at the little boy, I said, now I want you to remember this. Isn’t it interesting that the little boy that they said was stupid and didn’t talk right now gets paid a lot of money to go all over the world, getting paid to do.
[00:22:03] Danny: To speak and he had to speak. And I, it’s the same thing. I was at another school, this 5,000 girls, all girls school these two seniors come up to me at the end of my talk. Beautiful. One wants to be a lawyer. One wants to be a doctor. I said, that’s great. Are you gonna go to university here in India?
[00:22:18] Danny: Or maybe you’ll go to great Britain or maybe the United States. And they said, oh, we’re girls. We can’t leave India. I’m like, get back in that auditorium. Got ’em all back in there. I’m like, now is your moment ladies. I’m like within five years, India is going to be the largest country on the planet in terms of population.
[00:22:35] Danny: I’m like, you’re a very young democracy. You’re only like 75 years old yet. You’ve already elected a woman. Prime minister. America still has not elected a woman president I’m like right now, there are twice as many women in India as there are people in the United States. There are actually more women in India with a graduate.
[00:22:55] Danny: Then there are people in the United States and I looked ATMI. I said, you just made it my passion, the next prime minister CEO, and the next really good mom is coming outta this audience. I’m like, don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do. Cause you can do anything you set your mind to. I just believe it is so critical, Ryan.
[00:23:10] Danny: This is again, it’s why I’m on this podcast. People need to hear that kind of message. We, I was watching this horrible show on TV last week called. The news and they look me in a foul mood. It does that nonsense. Who cares? Like I love it when people talk politics to me, I’m like, there’s no difference.
[00:23:31] Danny: These people are all scary to me. They’re not doing anything. You wanna get something done. If you’re waiting for the government to do something for. in You’re in long life, man. And you were working with a nonprofit man. I’ve won nonprofits. I’ll tell you what the system, the bureaucracy is ridiculous.
[00:23:46] Danny: Just get stuff done, man. That’s why I like entrepreneurs. I’m like, just get it done. Go out there.
[00:23:52] Ryan: And, the funny thing is we’re running the nonprofit, like a, for profit. Yeah. Just at the end of the year. We’ll just move the money and put it into an investment or whatever we need to do to make sure we hold that.
[00:24:02] Ryan: But we’re not running it that way. It really is ran as a for profit. I Initially it was meant only for financial literacy. Now it’s oh, I can do land acquisition through it and gets tax credit. So guess what, it’s gonna do that. And it has so many different nuances that you can use, but the one thing we’re not gonna do is get in, like you said, bureaucracy, and get tied up on all this red tape, cuz that’s not what we’re doing, cuz we’re trying to make a difference.
[00:24:28] Ryan: The biggest challenge I’ve learned in this process, entrepreneurship is if you keep at the status quo, And you just keep on doing the same thing over and again, just like life, where are you gonna. Getting the you’re getting nothing. You’re just staying in the same place.
[00:24:43] Ryan: And I had a gentleman on several months ago, he’s a retired NFL player and he transitioned out of the NFL and struggled getting back into the real world and he sat back and had to think about. What does his life look like? And where does he want to go? And he started putting people into categories that he was interacting with.
[00:25:02] Ryan: And he came up with one category as a camper in life where you’re sitting on the couch, doing nothing. And then you have a climber. The climber’s always trying to get to the top of the mountain, trying to work their way through life, going through their failures, learning from them. And he’s. I’m. He was like six months, nine months removed from the NFL when he started going through this.
[00:25:21] Ryan: And he said, I’m a damn camper in life. I’m sitting here doing nothing. I got fat. I was eating a bunch of food. And I wasn’t doing anything. And I was fat and happy literally. And he said, at that point I stopped and he said, I need to go find myself a mentor. I need to go find myself, somebody that can help me get back in shape.
[00:25:37] Ryan: And then the third thing. He said, I needed to figure out what made me happy. And he found out that make being happy was being an entrepreneur. He ended up starting a security company. He’s on a board of directors for some type of nonprofit that works in the housing space. So that’s how he got connected.
[00:25:52] Ryan: And the third thing was he was helping out. He grew up in a very small town in Ohio, and I can’t remember the name of it, but he’s now going back there and helping the local school. Make sure kids are getting educated, learning how to read that’s right. Making sure they’re getting math skills and all the things that he missed, because he was told in high school and, elementary and junior high, that he was never gonna succeed because he didn’t have the mental aptitude to, to succeed.
[00:26:17] Ryan: And it’s. And he said there was many times that he said he just wanted to give up and just say, forget it. And he got himself to the NFL, 12 years, 13 years in the. It was very inspiring.
[00:26:30] Danny: I’ve been blessed, Ryan, just because my entire life, I had teachers and mentors around me that told me that encouraged me.
[00:26:37] Danny: And I see that not everybody has that. I think that’s really important that, that guest you had, I had watched that ESPN documentary broke and when they gave the statistic that 80% of yes, hired NFL players filed for bankruptcy within three years of retirement. I’m. What is going on. Yeah.
[00:26:56] Danny: They gonna do something about that. That’s ridiculous to me, the nice thing about, and I love your example with him though, because the good thing about professional athletes is they understand the value of a coach. Yes, tiger woods has a putting coach and he has a driving coach and he has a psychological coach.
[00:27:12] Danny: And yet you get entrepreneurs. That don’t a solar entrepreneur and I’m like, I’m try, I’m trying to be my own marketing coach. I’m trying to be my own. I. The reason people bring me in to help ’em speak is they realize they’re not as good at speaking as they need to be. And I never change a person.
[00:27:30] Danny: I, everybody’s a little bit different. What I do is I’m like, oh, okay, right now we got the vanilla ice cream. Let’s put some chocolate sauce and some cherries and some things on top. Let’s make it, let’s make it better, it’s very simple. To me, that’s where my strength is, but there’s things that other people are good at that.
[00:27:46] Danny: They’re, that’s their strength. Again, this is what leaders have to acknowledge is everybody has different strengths and it’s just as important also to understand your weaknesses as it is to understand what you’re really good at. When you understand your weaknesses and can accept those.
[00:27:59] Danny: Now that I’m married, my wife has pointed out all kinds of weaknesses which has made me a better human being and a better husband.
[00:28:06] Ryan: And you’ve got that list of things to work on.
[00:28:09] Danny: It’s a very long list.
[00:28:12] Ryan: that’s funny. It’s, but that’s just life. I’m gonna sit here and I can go down a rabbit hole on this because I was talking to a gentleman last week, that’s looking to buy a.
[00:28:21] Ryan: And I, unfortunately I say unbankable because his credit is just atrocious. He was in the fours 4 20, 4 40. I’ve never seen
[00:28:28] Danny: that though. oh,
[00:28:30] Ryan: I, I’ve seen in the threes in my lifetime, so yeah, three 19 is the lowest I’ve seen. And he just didn’t understand the concept that he was gonna have to put in the work.
[00:28:40] Ryan: And he was angry at first, cuz I told him that and I just said, I step back and I just told him, what. I’ll be here when you’re ready, but let me tell you something, you can change the tide in all this. If you truly want to buy a home and become a homeowner, it really can happen, but you’re gonna have to put that, the work and effort in, and he’s that’s never gonna happen.
[00:29:00] Ryan: And I said, I could tell you right now, four, four, it was four or five trade lines. I said more likely we could get removed because they were past the statute of limitations, FCA, all that good stuff that I know, and we could get those knocked off. And I said, you probably could get yourself a hundred point bump potentially.
[00:29:18] Ryan: So I you’re in the fives now. And I said, you need a six 20 to qualify for a Fanny or Freddie or an FHA. But I said, you don’t just wanna do the bare minimum to get yourself. 700 is a sweet spot for those loans. So here’s what we do. And I gave him a short roadmap. He tuned out and said, that’s a lot of work.
[00:29:35] Ryan: I can’t do that. And I’m like, are you kidding me? How bad do you wanna own a house? Yeah. And he he thought about it, got quiet for a few moments and he came back and said, I do, but I just don’t know if I can do that. And I said then take some time to think about it. But the thing is, if you truly want something that bad, you’re gonna really have to work for.
[00:29:56] Ryan: There’s nothing else I can support you, help you be your cheerleader, whatever. But at the, I can’t pay your bills. He had collections, he had a, he didn’t have any wage garnishment, but he did have some default judgments that were sitting out there. So he had a lot of red flags that no one would touch him with a 10 foot pole.
[00:30:14] Ryan: But he has income. So he has a good steady. He’s. He was making like 35 or $40 an hour. He’s a blue collar worker working in a good factory. Been there for 10 years. Steady lives in a decent house. Rent is going up. The reason what spurred this, his rent was going from $1,200 a month to $2,400 a month double.
[00:30:31] Ryan: Oh, wow. Yes. And this is in the Midwest. That’s crazy that was happening. And then his wife’s pregnant, so they need more room. Oh, wow. So this is all pressures and I’m. The all these things you can use as a benefit to yourself and motivate you. Why do you wanna pay $2,400 a month in rent?
[00:30:49] Ryan: You, you have a new kid coming along, your kid could have a room. Your other kids could have rooms and your mortgage payment potentially could be less than what you’re paying in rent. It probably it’d probably be around a thousand to 1100 bucks all in. And he is okay, I get. But it took me an hour and a half to get that through him.
[00:31:06] Ryan: Most of the time I would. I’m the type of guy. If you can’t come to the party within the first 10, 15 minutes, I have to just tell him, Hey, I don’t know if we’re the right group for you because he doesn’t seem like you wanna work. But something kept on telling me to go after this guy and help him cuz he just kept on laying it on me and maybe it was some guilt.
[00:31:25] Ryan: I don’t know. But. I just, I can’t believe how much financial trouble literacy education. The gentleman I would probably say he was in his mid thirties. And he thought I had four heads when I asked him about a checkbook or some type of like app to balances his budget through.
[00:31:42] Ryan: He goes, why would I do that? I just put money in and it goes out and I’m like there’s your first problem. Yeah. You don’t know you’re spending it. Because he had a spending habit that needed to stop nothing bad, just out buying stuff. Anyhow, I digress. Sorry, but I
[00:31:57] Danny: mean, that just shows you that’s something you need to pursue in the future, Ryan.
[00:32:00] Danny: I People need financial literacy at a young age. We graduate kids with calculus. They just don’t know how to balance a checkbook. That’s ridiculous to me. Let’s show people how to use this stuff. Here’s how you make math, meaningful show ’em numbers. This is how you lose the weight.
[00:32:13] Danny: This is how you make the income. These are the it’s karate kids, salt, the wound, you gotta, sometimes you get salt, the wound to make them feel that pain .
[00:32:22] Ryan: But in the school system, are we truly missing the mark together when it comes to math and reading? Is it really being.
[00:32:31] Danny: I don’t know in some places.
[00:32:33] Danny: Yeah. Again, you get the I have never once seen that inspirational teaching movie where they’re like, he went to the inner. And he inspired his students by using the state’s mandatory scripted reading program. I’ve kept seen that movie, but I see teachers, they get the kids writing or they get the kids doing poetry or they’re singing and dancing.
[00:32:51] Danny: And I swear We do all this research to figure out what kids like, and then make sure to eliminate that from the curriculum and let we need to do test prep where it cracks me up. The people that are man mandating tests for these kids could have never passed those tests themselves. I I used to do a I had a slide and it, it blocked out the faces of three gentlemen and I’m like let’s talk about these three gentlemen.
[00:33:15] Danny: The guy on the right. Had a D minus grade point average in high school, he couldn’t get into a university. So he went to city college in New York, joined the ROTC, took a lot of PE classes and basically was able to up his GPA to a C minus average. But since he was in the ROTC, joined the army for 20 years, he was very successful in the army.
[00:33:35] Danny: And back in his, he went back to the university in his forties and he graduated with straight A’s with his master’s degree. Unfortunately, secretary of state co Powell, wasn’t judged on how he did in high school. Like now the guy on the left is a very interesting story. He’s the only person to have ever been kicked out of Yale twice for academic reasons.
[00:33:53] Danny: He went to Yale and dropped out within six months cuz of bad grade. So he went back home, fell in love with a girl, but the girl’s family wouldn’t let her date a college dropout. So he used his family connections to get readmitted to Yale. Where he got kicked out promptly again for bad grades. So he went through that bastion of higher education.
[00:34:11] Danny: Casper community college in Wyoming got interested in political science, transferred to the university of Wyoming, graduated with straight A’s. Fortunately former vice president, Dick Chaney. Wasn’t judged on how he did at Yale. And I’m like, now the guy in the middle, I’d like to tell you how he did in school.
[00:34:27] Danny: But the moment he ran for governor of Texas, they sealed all of his transcripts from kindergarten on they don’t usually. Seal your transcripts because you’re a straight a student that was former president George Bush. And I’m like this isn’t political because I’m not interested in politics. Politics is about problems, not solutions.
[00:34:44] Danny: I’m a solver. Yes. Here’s the point I’m trying to make by anybody’s measure. All three of those individuals is highly successful. Thank God they weren’t judged on how they did in an arbitrary school system or on some silly test, Look at people. I, when I taught kindergarten, I used to tell the kids, I’m like, I hope to God, this isn’t the best year of your.
[00:35:06] Danny: I hope it’s next year. And the year after that, I the windshield’s a whole lot bigger than the rear view mirror. I used to go. I played high school football with guys that still talk to me about when we played high school football together. I’m like, I was at an event recently where we’re getting introduced and one of the speakers she was introduced as miss America, 1975.
[00:35:24] Danny: And I’m like, what? 50 years ago, man, it’d be like me saying, oh, I was the top speller in my second grade class. Come on. what have you done lately? It’s craziness. And and I also think that schools we need to judge kids based on different abilities. It’s the same thing is I’ll do a lot of these entrepreneurial podcasts and people.
[00:35:45] Danny: Success to how much money you have. And I’m like, I don’t enjoy that at all. I Money is important and I love money. I think money’s great, but I know plenty of people that have lots of money and they never talk to their family. Yep. I know plenty of people that their wealth use can be, and they’re gonna die within the next five years because of the unhealthiest lifestyle on the.
[00:36:04] Danny: I know people that are, that have a ton of money, but they have no spiritual they don’t go to church or the synagogue or to the temple or anything. I know people that they’re working 24 7, they never take a break. They’re making lots of money, but they’re not. And I know people make lots of money and they haven’t made any kind of difference whatsoever.
[00:36:22] Danny: They’re just scumbag. The world’s not better. Cause they were here. So I think you need to measure yourself. In my mastermind, I call it the six Fs to financial freedom, six Fs to freedom is what we call it. Cuz I’m a former teacher. Everything has to be acronyms or abbreviations.
[00:36:38] Danny: And so I say we have to set our goals, have to be financial goals, family goals, fitness goals, faith goals, fulfillment goals, and fun goals. And if we can devote at least one day a week to E to each of those goals, then we’ll be a little bit better rounded than most of us are. It’s a very simple exercise.
[00:36:54] Danny: Everybody should do something like that. But that was, that’s what I would encourage all of your listeners to do is okay. Monday’s all about making money. Tuesday’s about making a difference. Wednesday is about making time for my family and friends. Thursday is about making time for me.
[00:37:11] Danny: What can I do to relax? On Friday, was about I dunno pick whatever day pick whatever thing, but you get the point is. People get so locked into one thing and I’m like you’re just, it’s the same thing. I, the reason I love reading about all kinds of different people.
[00:37:24] Danny: I read different, I’m reading the four books I’m reading right now. I’m reading a a book by John Madden, the former football commentator for fun. I’m reading a book on the history of. Of classical music, which sounds boring, but every now and then there’s an anecdote in there which is phenomenal.
[00:37:42] Danny: I’m all about anecdotes. I’m reading a oh, I these are the four books I’m reading, but I’m also reading, four books, cuz I have a book I’m reading with my wife and then I, my three kids, we each have a different book that we’re reading together. I, but the whole point is to be more well rounded.
[00:37:55] Danny: That’s one of the great things about reading. You don’t a lot of people don’t realize Jules Verne. When he wrote around the world in 80 days, he never left France, his entire. You wrote the definitive travel book, a book provides you with a passport. You don’t have to ever leave Roswell New Mexico, but as long as you have a library card or you go to your bookstore, you can read all kinds of great things.
[00:38:15] Danny: And actually, if I can, I’m gonna give a tip to all the entrepreneurs out there. So I’m always giving, reading tips. One of the things I do is I’ll go to my local Barnes and noble before a party, I’ll go to the children’s section and I’ll read 10, 10 picture books about famous people. And then I sound like the most intelligent person at that party.
[00:38:30] Danny: I’m like, did you know Elon Musk, south? Not like I read some thick, novel about ’em. I just read some 32 page picture book has lots of illustrations. That’s how I, that’s how I got through the Bible. I read the children’s Bible first. The children’s Bible has pictures. It tells you oh David and Goliath.
[00:38:46] Danny: That’s first Samuels where that’s at. I always sound really smart. I’m like, I’m not that smart. I just had a picture book that helped me out. But you don’t really need that much. You really don’t. If you can, if you have a smile on your face, you’re friendly and know a couple of interesting stories.
[00:38:59] Danny: You’d be amazed how far you can go.
[00:39:03] Ryan: have you ever thought about doing standup?
[00:39:06] Danny: All right. So I did that. I did that in college to pay for my spring break. So Ryan that’s my I used to my. My, this is what made me prepared for anything in life. So I went to, I did my undergrad in Washington DC, and so my agent was a former Cincinnati Bengal.
[00:39:21] Danny: He was 6 11, 2 95, African American guy. Boy. He only booked me in all black strip clubs in Anacostia and believe me on ladies night, I get paid $75 for a 15 minute set. And it’s like ladies night and the guy. I, the guy I follow he’s in like a knit bikini and his appendages are going down to his knee.
[00:39:45] Danny: And so my opening line was wow. My mom used to knit me sweaters, complete silence, and I think 14 minutes and 50 seconds to go, but it was great, that’s actually what an entrepreneur’s going through. Like you’re getting rejected all the time. You. You gotta take that rejection again. You gotta watched I, the most positive person in the world is, oh,
[00:40:11] Ryan: that’s cool. But that’s how you could take on life and how things really. Transpire. Because if you take life so seriously all the time, you’re never, you’re really one not gonna get much accomplished, but also at the same time, if you can laugh at yourself and I know it’s an old adage, laugh at yourself when you fail, you’re learning a lot.
[00:40:30] Ryan: Like I said earlier, I have the pity parties, but then I come back and I start going, I’ll say, Hey you’re a dumb ass. You, why did you do that? And I really, I have to, because I’ve made some pretty bad mistakes in my life and it’s. What the hell were you thinking? Were you on something?
[00:40:48] Ryan: I, whatever, but if we don’t actually, have some levity and some, fun with. How are you supposed to get anywhere? It’s hard. Yeah. I
[00:40:56] Danny: mean, my policy Ryan is I take my job seriously. I don’t take myself seriously, cuz I ain’t all that. Neither are you. And if you think you’re all that teach kindergarten for one week, those little kids will set you.
[00:41:05] Danny: I mean I had one little girl, one day is raising her hand. I’m like LaShonda question. She’s miss, when you gonna turn your nose hair, I’m like, This afternoon. Thanks for bring that to my attention, LaShon I all. And yeah. And actually that’s you just hit the nail on the head. That’s one of the major criteria I judge people on is if you can’t laugh at yourself, I don’t wanna be around you.
[00:41:26] Danny: There’s some people out there that are so serious. I’m like, you’re a loser. You’re. Give me a break. Everybody who was successful was a failure at some point in life, everybody I was talking about this to a leadership forum the other day. I’m like, there’s this area of uncomfortability and all of us hit it.
[00:41:42] Danny: So even president Biden or president Trump, their first day as president, believe me, they didn’t believe that they belong there. They’re like, man, they’re very uncomfortable. Cause they’re not used to it. Eventually. They. Grow into it. Yeah. But it’s the same thing with the entrepreneur that goes from making 5 million a year to 25 million a year.
[00:42:00] Danny: Now you’re around a whole different crowd. And you’re like, I don’t know if I was walking this crowd, all of us have that doubt, same thing in, high school sports. I went from the freshman team to the junior varsity team. Am I good enough to be here and university diversity team, but all of us go through life and all of us were uncom.
[00:42:17] Danny: At different stages of our lives. And so you see this person with this Supreme confidence, I’m like before you were a success, you were a mess. I can tell you that right now, single person that it was all given to you. Not at all, actually, no, there was one person king Charles King, Charles, everything was handed to, but besides that, nobody.
[00:42:37] Ryan: Oh boy, this has been good. This has been fun. Oh my gosh. I, wow. We’re almost an hour at this. Woo. We’re having some fun. I like. No, no worries. I do have a hard stop, but we’ll get there. I just wanna wrap up and just really briefly talk about, reading is key because it’s up here fundamentally best tip that you can share with the audience, for reading, especially for those that like us struggled early in life with reading and sticking to it and actually.
[00:43:05] Ryan: I try to get something out of everything I read. That’s the whole piece and I’m not gonna sit down and read something. I don’t like, maybe I do come across things that I don’t like. I’ll stop and go find something else . But I don’t give up on the reading. I go back to something else.
[00:43:18] Danny: Yeah. So in my, so I have the world’s top reading engagement program, and one of the tips I give parents is the best thing. The easiest thing I know all of you can do. President Bush, senior 30 years ago, signed a very important law in this country that said every television set sold in America has to have closed captioning.
[00:43:33] Danny: So I always tell people turn on the closed, caption on the television. And got that people will say, wait a sec, if the show is in English and the subtitles are in English, what good is that to I’m like that’s a fair point, but let me make a point. Have you ever watched a show with subtitles and not looked at the subtitles?
[00:43:48] Danny: It’s very difficult to do. Your brain is actually wired towards that. There’s actually research to support this. If you look at reading scores around the world, the more kids watch TV, the lower their reading scores are in every country world, except for one the country where kids watch TV, the most actually has the highest reading scores in the.
[00:44:07] Danny: It’s Finland. People always ask me how can that be? I’m like because Finland makes really bad TV shows. And so what they have to do is all these old episodes of Gilligans island and the Brady bunch. And they subtitle ’em for the kids. The kids are reading it constantly. And so the easiest tip, I give everybody all the time.
[00:44:23] Danny: I’m like, Hey. Turn on the closed captioning. Second. You and I were talking before the broadcast. I’m such a big believer in audible books. There’s so many apps. Now. My favorite app on my phone is Libby. Any public libraries, a member of Libby where I can get these audio books and listen in.
[00:44:38] Danny: And then, also as a thank you. Everybody listening to me and enduring me for this hour. We’ve been together. Ryan. I wanted give everybody a couple of gifts. So if you get to free gift from giving.com again, free gift from danny.com, I’m gonna give everybody two, two bonuses. First of all, you’ll get an e-copy of my book, read, lead and succeed, which is a book I wrote for a school principal who was trying to keep his faculty and staff positively engaged.
[00:45:03] Danny: So I said, okay, I’ll write you a book. So every week I give you a concept. An inspirational quote, an inspirational story, a book recommendation on a book you should read, but you’re probably too lazy cuz you’re an adult. So I also give you a children’s picture book recommendation. It demonstrates the same concept that in five and then I’m also gonna give everybody access.
[00:45:22] Danny: Last summer, I did a five day reading challenge online for about 700 parents around the world where every day for five consecutive days, you spend an hour with me and I’m giving you all kinds of these little tips on how to get your kid excited about reading. Cause the more excited we get kids to. The more likely they’re to read.
[00:45:38] Danny: And the more you read, the better you get. So you can get all that free gift from danny.com and I’m just so grateful to you, Ryan this hour felt like 10 minutes. I could talk to you all day about this. Yeah. You know what? You have my vote for political law office, actually something I always tell people it’s just as important to know what you don’t like to do is it is to know what you do like to do.
[00:45:57] Danny: Yes. I tell people that. When I was in college, I worked on Capitol hill for a Congressman for a while. And in high school, I used to clean toilets at a health club. And if ever given a choice between cleaning toilets and working on Capitol hill, I’d much rather clean toilets again than never work on people
[00:46:19] Ryan: is what would be the best way people can get ahold of you if they wanna reach out.
[00:46:23] Ryan: They’ll
[00:46:23] Danny: give me their name and their email. And when they go to free gift from danny.com, you can always go to my website, Danny brice.com. My last name is really easy to remember how to spell, like bras sell.
[00:46:33] Ryan: Oh, wow. all right. Danny, thank you for coming on. It’s been an honor. It’s been great. You’ve been one entertaining, but enlightening and also shared some great concepts. I couldn’t thank you more for coming on. You’re great.
[00:46:46] Danny: Ryan. Keep on doing everything you’re doing. I know your audience loves you and I really appreciate you spreading some joy in the world.
[00:46:52] Danny: We need a lot more of you.
[00:46:54] Ryan: Thank you, sir. Thank you for coming
[00:46:55] Danny: on. God. Bless.