Dean Graziosi’s Interview by Dan Kushcel Part I

Dean Graziosi’s interview by Dan Kuschel

Dean Graziosi, Think a Little Different, Dean Graziosi totally fulfilled

Dean’s been on TV consistently since 1999. Some of you may have seen him. He’s shipped over a million manuals, tapes and videos to his customers. Beginning at the tender age of 17, Dean built a business and real estate fortune, and now he’s pursuing his passion for helping others by creating programs to show people how they can enjoy a life which is, as he says, “totally fulfilled.”

Dean taught himself the challenging skills required to create successful infomercials, and those infomercials created by Dean and his company have generated over $100 million in revenue over the last seven years. In his new book, Dean shares his unique approach to optimal success, results and fulfillment in all areas of life.

I am extremely pleased to introduce one of our most valued alliance partners to co-host our call and conduct the interview with Dean. Dan Kuschell is the author of A Champion in the Making and, I have to say, one of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure to know and one of our long-time partners.

Dan Kuschell:When I first met you, I remember sitting at Boston’s over in Tempe, Arizona, and for the very first time, hearing about your vision of your company, how you got started as a mechanic, and how you used to do janitorial work in your apartment buildings. It’s just amazing, the path you’ve taken. Would you talk about how you got started?

Dean Graziosi: I think I really, truly, believed, even at a young age, whether it was luck or genetics—and I didn’t have a lot of mentors in my life—I was silly enough—and realizing now that silliness was what allowed me to be successful—to believe that whatever I wanted to do, I could do.

How fortunate to have that, that no matter what, I thought I could do it. When people look at you and think you’re crazy, nuts, or say you should be more secure or don’t try something out of your comfort zone, I just look at them and say that I feel bad for them if they don’t want to at least try it.

I look back and feel blessed that I was gifted with that, and I feel so fortunate that I could share that with people. Let me back up and tell my personal story. [When I was] a kid, my mom literally worked two jobs and made about $90 a week. We lived in the only trailer park in our town. My sister and I had the hand-me-downs.

She drove such a junky car, my sister and I would make her drop us off two blocks away from school so the kids wouldn’t make fun of our car.

Dan Kuschell: I can relate.

Dean Graziosi: I know you can; we’ve had long conversations about that. I don’t want to go into the rags-to-riches story, but my story just allows people to realize that if a kid who came from a small town, had no money, never went past high school, and was in special reading through 11th grade, can do it, then why can’t they? That’s why I love telling my story.

It’s not to brag or boast, but I want people to say, “Wow, if that guy can do it, there’s no doubt I can do it.” I think my original passion, Dan, was watching my mom struggle so much and saying, “That’s not what I want.” We all have a passion if we dig down deep enough, if we don’t have one that’s on the surface.

We need to find the passion that drove us as a kid. What made us want to do certain things as a kid? When I was in high school, my dad had a small car business. I decided not to go to college and I had some trouble—like I said, I was in special reading—even though I was a decent student. I decided to go in the car business with my dad.

A couple of years out of high school, my dad’s car business had gone through a divorce and other personal problems in life and he let the business go. So I was stuck with no money, didn’t go to college, didn’t have a career plan because I figured I’d be in the used car business for life.

What I did is the thing I share with people in Totally Fulfilled, which was to think outside the box. I knew there was money to be made in cars, I was broke, but I knew there were buyers and sellers. I just tried something different and what everybody thought was nuts, which was to turn into a car broker.

I used to run inexpensive ads saying, “Looking to sell your car easy? Call me. Looking to find the perfect car? Call me. I match up buyers and sellers and I make a profit in the middle.” To make a long story short, the following year, I made enough money to buy the building my dad lost, and the following year, I did $800,000 in sales and that was the foundation for my financial success.

I took the same principles of being broke and the necessity of finding ways to make money, applied them to real estate, and I started buying real estate one after another after another, without using a dime of my own money, and started generating a small fortune at a young age.

I used to watch Carleton Sheets, Don Lapre and other people on infomercials, sharing how they made money. I thought, “I’m not sure if they’re for real, don’t know if they’re honest and have great integrity, but I know that I was able to start with nothing to make a whole bunch of money.”

So I wrote the script, hired a crew and filmed the first infomercial, “Motor Millions,” which taught people how to make money with cars, just like I did. I filmed it on my front lawn in 1998 and my infomercial’s been on every single day since then, and has generated over $100 million.

I have a book called Totally Fulfilled and you say, “Well, that’s all business—you have great success in business; how does that relate to a fulfilled life? How does that make my relationships better, my life better and get a better body and have better peace of mind and find my purpose?”

The reason that is, Dan, is because through all these different things I learned, to achieve in business, not having a college diploma, having trouble reading, being terrible in spelling, having to overcome huge hurdles and obstacles like we all do—as I was doing all these things with business, I found a system that said, “I have limited beliefs; I have to get rid of those. I have obstacles; I have to overcome them. I have to deal with change and embrace it.”

All these different things were adding up and I thought, “Wow, it’s working so well with business,” even if I failed miserably, I found a way to get over the failure. I found a way to focus on solutions, not the problem at hand. I said, “Let me try that in my regular life, with all the different things in my life,” and instantly, my life went to another level.

Once you create a foundation for success, once you create this core, plug in whatever you want. Do you want to make more money, find your purpose, a better relationship? Do you want to take your life to the next level? Plug it into this core and that’s why I had to write Totally Fulfilled.

Dan Kuschell: I know that there are a few main obstacles that many people face. I find that one of the biggest obstacles is money, and another one is time. What would you say to somebody who comes up with that idea that money is an obstacle?

Dean Graziosi: A friend of a friend, a lady, came to me. Her friend told her that I could help with anything. She got my email and said, “Here’s my obstacle; see if you can help me. I want to make more money, but I’m really not good at anything. I don’t have a degree. I want to spend time with my child.

I have no money and I don’t have time because I’m running my kid all over and I’m doing everything.” We talked for a few minutes and I made this a little challenge of mine. I said, “What are you good at?” She jokingly said, “I’m good at shopping. I’m really not good at anything else.”

I used those words to change her life. I said, “You’re good at shopping?” She said, “I know what looks good on people, what looks good in people’s houses—I’m good at that.” We turned her passion into a way that she now makes more money than her husband on a regular basis. We ran some inexpensive ads on how she could shop for other people. She became a shopping consultant.

Now, she shops for busy executives, other busy moms, and people who don’t have the time to go, or maybe don’t have a good style sense. She literally works part time, gets to take her son with her, and she makes more money than her husband, working with her passion, because she eliminated the excuses.

Time wasn’t an issue. The fact that she didn’t go to school wasn’t an issue. The fact that she didn’t have a lot of money to start a new business wasn’t an issue. She was finding obstacles when they were nothing more than excuses. We turned it around and we changed her life.

Dan Kuschell: I hadn’t heard that one before. Why didn’t you call me? I think that one is a $50-million-a-year idea.

Dean Graziosi: It’s funny, I’m in Virginia today visiting my family, which I haven’t seen for a while and I just told my mom that story and she’s like, “Why didn’t you tell me? I’d love to do that!”

Dan Kuschell: One of the things that you talk about is that until you’ve had a chance to really appreciate something better, you have a tendency to stay where you are because of it being comfortable. I don’t want to steal your story, but you talk about the story of the Jersey Shore. Would you talk about that idea a little bit, because I think it’s so powerful? It’s just another example of how simple you really make success, and living a life totally fulfilled.

Dean Graziosi: Dan, I have to give you kudos, because you’re the one who got me out there. At one of your seminars, you got me out there and said, “Come speak to everybody. They’ve got to hear your message.” Before that, it was more TV and infomercials, and I told that story for the first time at your seminar, and with the reaction from people, I knew that that was the kind of thing that affected people because it’s a reality.

The Jersey story is as simple as this. We do always go back to when I was a kid. That’s my motivation. We all have our own. Whatever it is, you just need to find it. My passion was to learn what I didn’t like as a kid, and know what I do want as an adult. As a kid, we would take a vacation once a year for a week down to the Jersey shore.

The Jersey shore can be nice, but the area we went to was one of those dumpy little flat motels. The rooms were terrible, and I remember my mom bringing our own sheets. That’s the best thing I could say. As a kid, I didn’t know anything different. It wasn’t nice. We were in a junky little room. It was dirty and there was a dirty little beach across the street.

But you know what? It was vacation, and it was amazing. Then, as my life progressed and I started doing different things and exploring different things, I got a little older and made some money. I said, “You know what? I have some relatives in Italy. I’m going to go to Italy.” I jumped on a plane with my wife. We went to Italy, and we went to the Amalfi Coast, which is labeled as one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, not just Italy.

We’re on the Amalfi Coast, and we’re sipping nice wine, watching the sun come up and we’re doing all these incredible things. I said to myself, “I don’t care what it takes in life, I am never going back to the Jersey Shore. This is where I want to vacation.” If I didn’t step out and try something new, Dan, I never would have experienced it. It’s that way with everything in life.

You may settle for a relationship that you think is as good as you could get, but if you don’t put forth the effort and take action with the principles that have made other people have successful relationships, you never know how good it can get. If you’re used to eating hot dogs and you have a filet mignon, you never want a hot dog again.

You don’t want to eat it, so part of the process is to get out there and try it. Get out there and try to find things that you’re not currently doing that will take your life and allow you to find your true purpose and passion. It doesn’t have all to do with money. Having a great relationship or putting your body in the health and physical fitness that you want is something that is just as addicting as going to the Amalfi Coast instead of the Jersey Shore.

To be continued…

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