Issue #91 : Are You Ready For Super Success?

Greetings from what some people call paradise – Bali – celebrating my birthday! And no one can believe how old I am! Lol! I appreciate all the emails, tweets and FB messages! Sometimes I forget how many people I have touched in one way, or another! 

Unlike many, I work on this special day though I may be in a holiday location. Like almost all high performance people I have had the privilege of working with in my 40+ year career, they all work on birthdays and holidays! I have even had surgery on my birthday, because it was the only day I had free! In fact I have had medical procedures on most holidays, as well. And I have tried to have procedures on New Year’s Day, but could not get a lazy doctor to do it! I said, the hospital is open, so let’s pretend it is an emergency! Lol! And so you don’t worry – I have had many procedures not life threatening, etc., due to sports and weight lifting injuries! But the point is I have almost all done on none business time! An important point that should not be lost on aspiring high performance individuals!


Your Attitude! 

Many thanks for the positive responses from many of you vis-à-vis my recent newsletter reference “your attitude” is what makes all the difference! It’s one of the reasons I still keep teaching and coaching others! Here are a few of your comments: 

Hi Dan, thank you for sharing. I have a long gratitude list. I am grateful for healthy children, grandchildren, and countless things and you are on that list I am grateful for you and the business sense you have passed to me. I keep coming back to the castle because you teach so much I can’t get it in one or five times. I will never be able to learn all you have to teach. Look forward to seeing you in October. – Doris 

Thanks Danny! This was very uplifting. – Dianne 

Hi Dan, this is one of the best newsletters. Wow. Thank you! Regards, Kuli 

Mr. Pena, excellent message and the photos were a surprise because they were unexpected! I expect the best will come for this child and his parents…enjoy your stay in Africa or wherever you are travelling at the moment! – Jim 

Dan, Remember this old man still loves you and I am still punching everyday looking to do more for mankind. I am putting something together that you may really appreciate what you have done for this old fart. 75 / 7 months today and planning to work a few (MANY MORRRRE) years that the lord will allow me. I still do take my drshindlersupremecolonbowelcleanser daily.  They still call me the DO DO Doc. and 30 minutes a day of E.W.O.T.Workouts… Love and kisses, Bernie 

Dan My Dearest Sir, Once upon a time I sold prosthetics! It touched my heart because I saw people walk for the very first time or the very first time since an injury or because they were diabetic! God bless all the charitable good we can all do for people! This is God’s work created for all of us to have purpose and give meaning to other people’s lives to show we all care! Love, Liana 

Dan Pena, Thank you so much for sharing this it keep me on track what life is really all about seeing in a child eye with God on the path to hold you and steer you with a smile. That child has such a gift can see the Lord in his soul and smile better than having feet. Wish so many others could see the beauty Christ brings in all human lives. That child will go along way more than other ever thought of. God bless you and your family. This true heart of Jesus. – Robin

Dan, just read your newsletter and have to say I have a lump in my throat. Those words were so powerful I can’t tell you. You know I read your stuff for guidance / humour and sometimes just to remember my buddy who guided me …..!! Sometimes I reflect on your writing and newsletters and think how the ….. do I live up to the big guys expectations…………Then I remember I should not try to live up to your expectations. I should RAISE my own expectations to live up to them. The only person who can make me better is me. No other …… is gonna do it for me. So …. thanks for the inspiration Dan! Your buddy, All the best – Ally

Great note Dan, excellent pictures too puts everything in perspective. KKAATN, (Keep Kicking Ass And Taking Names) – Jim

Great message. Thanks. – Brett


20th Year! 

On a learning experience note, this year is my 20th from being thrown out of the company I founded with $820M and a BIG dream that I took it public on the London Stock Exchange! The Board of Directors tossed me out when the share price of the company plunged 80% after Iraq invaded Kuwait who was ourlargest shareholder! Of course there were other reasons given – but this was the bottom line! More about cut throat business later! 

On a very positive note, next year will be my 20th anniversary of coaching QLA! Validating – when 1 door closes another opens – but we have to look closely sometimes to find it!

Though I taught in the military and at university, neither compared to the enjoyment I receive seeing people grow and fulfill their dreams! I had never thought for a moment when I started in 1993, I would be enjoying it as much as I do! (Even writing these newsletters, I enjoy though very time consuming!)  But helping others still makes me feel good – though I would be disingenuous if I said it was easy! It is like raising children – there are many good days and some not so good! But all the days are gratifying! Man plans and God laughs – as I have said for many years!

At that juncture in 1993, I thought I would spend a few years passing on what I knew works in “the real world” of cut throat business. I wanted to pass on practices that I had used to be very successful in a rough and tumble environment! You might ask – is all business rough or cut throat? Andthe answer is YES, if you want to get to the TOP! And I agree with Dr. Viktor Frankl, famed Holocaust survivor psychiatrist found only two races of men to exist: decent and unprincipled ones. We all know most of the people we deal with in our daily lives are principled, but it is the dirt bags that often seem to succeed and we ask ourselves – WHY? I am not saying these are all dirt bags but they all litigate to get what they want: Microsoft vs. too many to count; Facebook vs. other alleged co-founders and now countless pissed off shareholders; Google vs. many; Oracle vs. many; US government vs. too many to count; all the motor car companies vs. each other and suppliers; all the major pharmaceutical companies vs. too many to count; Dan Pena vs. many, including the Board above which I won a lengthy and expensive law suit merely to get what I was owed; and I could list virtually all successful companies since the beginning of time! And the mega super successful companies are engaged in legal and ill legal pugilism even more! Ergo, even the most casual observer can see business like life is extremely hard for those that desire to excel to the highest level! Hell even if you have a pizza shop business is tough: cost of supplies going up; competition; taxes; employees; marketing; rents/leases; change in customers values reference healthy foods; Pizza Hut  moving in across the street; and more!

From 1993, I gave seminars all over the world. But now, I only give the QLA seminar at my 15th century story book home – Guthrie Castle. It has been many years since I gave a seminar any place else, because I found the attendees’ results were significantly better coming from Guthrie. I found that Guthrie Castle, which was my dream in 1984 when I purchased it, is the perfect metaphor for – Yesterday’s Dreams Are Today’s Realities! There is no better place on earth to illustrate anything can be done, if you dream BIG – stay focused and never give up no matter what others say!


Feel Sorry For Yourself? 

In my last recent newsletter I wrote about – attitude – and the power it has on your life. In that regard, I said, I have never ever felt sorry for myself! Which is true, though hard to believe in some circles till you know me, considering the falls from grace I have gone through in my 40+ year career! But I have felt sorry for others on many occasions! When I was younger, I tried to convince all – my way was correct! In fact I would say – my way or the high way! Of course now “a kinder gentler guy,” I give some slack. I now try to take the approach – even a little progress is better than none! Sometimes I have difficulty not being tough! Lol! (My Dad, God rest his soul, invented tough love before it was known to anyone over 50+ years ago!)  But the reality is – as my dearly departed Mom used to say – everybody can’t be you Danny! Or what kind of world would it be, if we were all like you? Of course I never totally bought that notion! Lol! But in the spirit of candor, if I find an exceptionally talented person – I still whip them hard! (Remember tough love?)  Perhaps because they remind me of myself! But more importantly because man’s greatest burden is – unfulfilled potential! And I don’t want them to suffer the regret of not accomplishing more, as almost all do it their later years!

Taking all the above into consideration, I am reminded that Jack Welsh – arguably the greatest CEO of the last 50 years – hell maybe the last 100 years – said the two biggest management challenges of the 21st century were: 1) lack of candor; and 2) lack of transparency! Meaning management is not candid or transparent with employees. But in my mind and more importantly employees are not candid and transparent with management, for fear of not being promoted or losing their jobs!

As anyone who knows me even a little, attended a seminar, listened to my QLA product, or has talked to anyone that has, knows I don’t suffer from these two shortcomings! Though I possess a lot of faults, as my kids would tell you– these are not two of them! Lol! In fact I suffer from erring on being too candid and transparent – if that is possible! Again – just ask my kids! Lol!

My candor has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years! And me saying this is an understatement of biblical proportion! To illustrate this idea I will relate a short story: in 1991 I was brought back to where I graduated from university 20 years earlier, California State University, Northridge, as the commencement speaker for the joint graduation of all the colleges. This was the first time all 7 colleges had their grad ceremonies together. Ostensibly, I was asked to give the commencement speech, as the most successful business grad in the history of the young school (founded 1958), at that time.  This is an arguable point, because the school has produced some extremely successful grads in accounting and other disciplines that went onto make considerable contributions around the world! But I was still very honored!

I gave the speech which lasted about 60 minutes which is in my book – Your First Hundred Million. It was filmed by TV and others and myself, for my personal archives. During an interview after the speech, Dr. Shirley Teetor, the Dean of the School of Business and Economics, was asked by one of the TV newsmen – what difference do you see in Mr. Pena in the 20+ years you have known him, since his days here and at UCLA (where she also taught me)? She looked directly into the camera and said with no hesitation – Dan’s accomplishments have caught up with his big mouth!

Well to say the newsman was taken back would be an understatement! He asked if I wanted this cut out, since it was a day honoring me? I said f _ _ _  no! Shirley is a great gal, prof and I was a GREAT positive influence on HER! They did decide to cut out my response! Lol! Sadly Dr. Teetor has passed on like many of my profs in college! She was one person that said, I put a lot of pressure on myself – always saying I could do this or that, etc., without ever giving it a second thought! The truth is, I almost always did accomplish what I said I would – in the face of overwhelming obstacles! Of course I have said – the reason I did so much – was because I said I would without thinking about it first! And because of this additional pressure I forced myself to accomplish much more! Ergo, I have always coached my mentees the same – but I have tempered my advice in recent years because most people can’t deal with not succeeding, as well as I did, or still do! Of course I could write a book about fear – false expectations appearing real! And I spend a lot of time discussing it at the seminar, because fear of failure is at the top of the list why people don’t accomplish more, and, or come closer to fulfilling their own potential!  And unfortunately most people think was too much, before taking action for fear of this beast we call failure! Next time you’re procrastinating think about Microsoft. Their mantra should be: THINK IT – DO IT – FIX IT!


How does this relate?

In recent days, I have been answering emails and phone calls to the recent attendees to the May 2012 castle seminar. They send me weekly reports; we have monthly con calls with all of them on at once; and we email and talk where appropriate in between. This is supposed to be a judicious process for 2 reasons: 1) for them to learn to be concise, think through their strategies and follow-ups; and 2) to not waste my time because in real life no one has time to waste! This is our normal monthly procedure for a year after the seminar. But there are always exceptions to the rules! And one of those exceptions is what prompted me to write part of this newsletter and write about the subject below.

I often wonder why people contact my office, Web site, or Facebook reference the QLA product, castle seminar, mentoring, etc. Most are terribly ill-prepared to even ask questions! They don’t take the time to read or – my tweets and or Facebook updates! They don’t have a clue of what they want, or how to go about getting the correct info from me! All they know is they think they want to be successful – whatever that means! But invariably they have no idea what sacrifices will be necessary, or what they really are willing to risk! Of course as a great mentee once said – you don’t know what you don’t know! And he was “CEO of the Year” in London about 10 years ago!

And the real astonishing kicker to me – not being prepared many still want me to say they can have it all! Meaning a balanced life! Well it just ain’t so Joe! And I often use the example of Eric Heiden from the Olympics many years ago – 1980. I believe he had 7 gold medals in various skating events and he had 32 inch thighs and walked bow legged, from many years of skating and weight training! Does that sound like balance? He is a doctor now and still has big thighs 30+ years later! Subsequent to his illustrious skating career he went to med school – where there was no balance. And finally as a practicing doctor has some balance, etc.! But to get where he wanted to be athletically and professionally there was no balance!


The intelligent and obviously preferred more respectful approach!

At the complete other end of the continuum, is the dude who has read every newsletter dating back to 1993, knows the material on my site, purchased (or borrowed) all my QLA product, read my book at least once, and read my tweets and Facebook updates! Intellectually they are very prepared! But emotionally they still may not! They have absorbed the words, but maybe not the meaning! And the meaning is all! But at the very least he/she has made a good impression! And I can work with someone like that any time! In fact I can make time for such a person! Hell I do make time for people like this all the time!

I have asked myself based on the questions I get from all over the world – what do these people think? Even if they only read my book – Your First Hundred Million – in reality you have more than enough to get you started on fulfilling your dreams! For those that have read the book and not skipped the foreword, by Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld, Former CEO of NEOM, Former President/CEO of Siemens; Former Chairman/CEO of Alcoa; Former Chairman/CEO of Arconic, you should easily come away with the simple fact – Dan IS FOR REAL! I have attached the foreword for those of you that have missed it:

Of course it is free on my site And I ask those that are reading this newsletter – why would you not read all the free material I have on my site Are you serious or are you just kidding yourself? Are you merely a tire kicker? Do you know how to take action? Or perhaps it is only an intellectual exercise! A lot of people follow many alleged gurus! Either way, it is still a large investment to most of either time and, or a money! So it still begs the question – why don’t most read as much free info as possible, so they can make the most educated investment decision humanly possible?

If I was a serious potential follower of Dan Pena and/or QLA, I would have read the foreword of my book! It says it all, vis-à-vis what Kleinfeld feels QLA and Dan Pena have and can do for the individual starting with no money! Ya! No money just like most of you! And just like I did! Again, I often wonder why virtually no one thinks that way! Perhaps people think you can get a man of Kleinfeld’s stature to write a foreword easily. He wrote it because I mentored him from 1997/8 to 2007 and still have a close relationship with him today! Klaus came to me as a middle manager in health care with Siemens and rose to CEO in 2005! Siemens at the time was a global 25 company with about 400,000 employees worldwide and about $100 billion in revenue. Having just written this – I would think as a reader, if Dan can help achieve that he surely can assist me with my goals! What do you think? Are your goals BIGGER than being CEO of 1 of the largest companies in the world?

It never ceases to amaze me the naïveté of most people reference what they think they want out of life! They actually believe all the testimonials are for real on personal development (PD) and success books. Do you ever wonder why everybody gives testimonials on each other’s books? Did you ever ask yourself why? Do you actually think they read them all? Some of the PD guys I really like: Zig Ziglar; Harvey Mackay; Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, Stuart Goldsmith and a few others. But majority have been telling the same things a very long time even though the world has changed! I am proud that the castle seminar has continued to morph over the years! We have people who have attended 2, 3, and even 7 times! Why do some attendees come back with all their key employees, spouses/children, grandchildren, friends and even foes?  Why do you think they have attended all those times? Do you think it is because they like giving me money? Though the repeat attendees only pay 75% of the tariff! No – I believe they realize they need continued investment in their future! And no matter who we are – we all need continued education!


Same Old Same Old!

People continue to ask me the same questions year after year and even seminar after seminar – not because they are intellectually lacking! QLA is not hard to get intellectually! I am sure if I gave true and false, or multiple choice tests most would pass with relatively high marks! They continue to ask because they emotionally can’t bring themselves to admit the things that are required and are emotionally very tough – but not impossible! Hence, they keep going to seminars, even mine, looking for an easier way to accomplish very tough things! Or they keep coming back because many people require additional confirmation – not because they are not bright, but because some people merely need more coaching! It is not dissimilar to golf. Some just need more lessons to get good! Attending over and over, even my seminar doesn’t make it easy – but it does make it easier! It assists in building your good emotional habits required for success!

Well folks let me tell you again for the millionth time – it is emotionally hard to make it to the top and it is even harder to stay there! And the more emotional distractions you have the harder it is to accomplish your goals – especially at the extreme levels! Of course this is the opposite of what most gurus tell you, hence it is emotionally easier to buy their absurd BS!


Another case in point!

I currently have a young very bright guy who has accomplished a lot considering he is still in his 20s! He has known of me and QLA for about 4 or 5 years. His faults have been masked to the casual observer, due to his monetary success. But to the keen eye of an experienced manager his faults are easily discerned – especially if the observer is not kissing his ass! Lol! He has surrounded himself with sycophants that continue to suck off his success and his money – and would leave him in a second if his cash flow had any interruption! Of course this is an old story since time began! Hence, he thinks he is doing better than he is because “all” around him including his ass kissing advisors, are merely sucking fees/salaries/bonuses from him! But more importantly they are all sucking his time – which none of us can replace! 

Now when I get queries from guys like this, at first, I think should I give him slack? Or should I bust his chops the way I would want someone to bust my own kids chops? In this case, I decided from the beginning I would be tough on him – because he has so much potential! In fact as time has gone by, I have continued to get tougher and some would say even brutal! Though I am happy to say he has made progress the more I continue to expect from him and verbally beat him! Of course this method does not always produce the best results for all concerned! This may sound very tough (REMEMBER TOUGH LOVE?) – but in the world you want to compete in – it is very tough! 

I ask all wannabe mentees/partners and those who want to work with me to ask themselves:

1)   Am I where I want to be financially?

2)   Am I taking enough risks in my business life?

3)   What or who is holding me back?

4)   Do I need more money for my business?

5)   Do I have goals? Are they high enough?

6)   Are my daily actions and personal associations in line with these goals?

7)   And am I emotionally ready or prepared for the sacrifices involved for super success?

8)   How do I stack up emotionally reference self-esteem/worth with other high performance individuals?

9)   Would I recognize a high performance person if I saw one?


Most people who are endeavouring to be more successful in life – don’t ask themselves these questions! And when I ask them or my assistant forwards them the QLA questionnaire they have to think about it! Ladies and gentleman – boys and girls! If you have to think about it – you’re probably not ready in your life to move ahead in a BIG way! High performance people take action quickly and change their mind slowly! In that regard have you taken the 3 tests on my site?

Success? Optimism? Pessimism? Why wouldn’t you take them? They are FREE! And more importantly they have about a 95% correlation rate telling you where you are going in business and in life! Most people don’t take them because they are afraid to see the answers! And to answer your question: can I get better over time from taking the test? Yes if you use it as a training tool!


October Castle Seminar!

The last week in October we will have another extravaganza at my home Guthrie Castle, Scotland! I am already starting to work on changes to make it more germane to give the greatest value possible! The YouTube, many role plays and other changes made last seminar were extremely successful! If you haven’t viewed the YouTube, you should! Here are my opening remarks day 1! We will again have it extended a full day – 6 days (60 + hrs) of seminar content and including about 6 hours on – how to make your dream or current financial model work better on the Internet! Our guest net guru will make a repeat performance. He did an extraordinary job for the attendees in May! Plus you will get as much personal time with me, as needed to discuss your own dreams/goals! For castle seminar info, visit or email my assistant Thelma at

I look forward to seeing new and old faces in October! We already have 4 repeats from previous seminars signed up and expect more!


To your Quantum Leap,



P.S. Soon I will be announcing a new project that will be an extreme change of pace for me!

P.P.S. My youngest son just had his 29th birthday and I sent him a note marking the special day! I won’t duplicate it here, but decided to send as a post script the essence of what I said. But it was said much better than I did many years ago by the President of the United States:


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

– Calvin Coolidge –

P.P.P.S. Have you given any thought to – where will I be doing the same things I am doing now in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?