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Heartbreak, Debilitating Fear, and the Craziest Risk We Might Never Take…

fear-heartbreakThere’s a scratch on the back of my brain.

It’s a thought that sits there, and niggles at me. It’s not always front-and-center, but it’s always there, reminding me that I’m forgetting something important, that I really should have done by now.

For the world, for my audience, and for myself.

And no matter what I do, or achieve, it sits there, reminding me that something important still hasn’t been done.

It all started with an email that I received more than a year ago.

The email that broke my heart…

The Email That Broke My Heart (And Got Me Thinking)

(tweet this)

The email came in about a year ago.

It was the evening after I delivered a webinar about getting “More Traffic and Subscribers with Fast, Easy Writing” (promoting my Write Like Freddy training program).

Now, if you’ve been on a webinar of mine, you know that they’re filled with information and value.

And if you’re a student of mine, you know that our training programs are very reasonably priced, and that we seriously over-deliver in terms of value and support.

But as reasonably priced as our trainings are, they’re still out of reach for some of the people who really want and need them.

That’s exactly the point that was driven home by this email, which went something like this:

“Dear Danny, I want to thank you for today’s webinar – it was the most valuable free training I’ve ever been through.

“I also would really like to join your paid training, but there’s no way that I could afford it. It isn’t a matter of value, and I think the price is very fair for what you’re offering – but it’s still more than I make in a month.”

(In case you’re wondering, Write Like Freddy costs $137.)

Now, a year ago we were doing okay, but not well enough that we could take our eye off the ball of growing our business.

But I made myself a promise that, when things had grown bigger and more stable, I’d do something to at least make a dent in this very unfair state of affairs…

Our (Empty?) Promises to Change the World

(tweet this)

I know for a fact that I’m not the only one to make such a personal (or sometimes public) promise.

I see it across the blogosphere, and I see it in my own students: the common refrain that goes something like “once I’ve made my fortune, I’ll put it to the good of mankind.”

We talk and fantasize about the amazing, massive change that we’re going to affect in the world… all for free, of course, because our intentions are so *very* pure.

Now, to be fair to myself, it’s not like I haven’t given anything back; I’ve worked hard to create a business that contributes to our audience, our students, and our team, and I’m very proud of that fact.

But what about the massive gesture, the enormous campaign, that I was going to set in motion once I’d really “made it”?

Well, here I am, more than $294,865 later, and I still haven’t done it.

It’s because of fear…

The Debilitating Fear That Leaves Dreams By the Wayside

(tweet this)

Fear isn’t a new sensation to an entrepreneur.

From the day that you first start, there are terrifying questions that plague you (even if your spouse is the only one who knows it). You wonder…

  • Can I really make this work?
  • Am I wasting my time, and risking my family’s future?
  • Will the faith of my friends and family prove to be misplaced?
  • Does anyone else realize how much I’m “faking it ’till I make it”?
  • If this all falls apart, how will I pick up the pieces?

These are terrifying questions, and you might think that once your business has grown, and become stable, they’d all disappear.

And you’d be right; many of them do disappear, and it’s a great feeling to be free of them.

But before you can blink, new fears come to take their place:

  • Am I really as good at this as everyone seems to think, or have I just been lucky?
  • What if something goes wrong that I haven’t anticipated, now that the stakes have grown so high?
  • How can I justify doing dangerous new things, when my whole team depends on me for their livelihood?
  • I’ve already put my family through so much; is it really okay for me to take big risks if I don’t have to?

These questions are just as terrifying as the ones you’ve finally gotten over. Actually, they’re worse, because if you get the answers wrong, you aren’t the only one who will suffer the consequences.

This is why many entrepreneurs, after their first big success, stop taking risks, and fall back on what’s comfortable, and what has worked. They put their big, audacious dreams on a shelf, and reassure themselves that whatever they’re doing is already plenty, and enough.

And that could be a tempting path, but sooner or later you have to ask yourself this question…

“What Is My Business For? What Is My LIFE For?”

(tweet this)

Yes, we can forget it for a while, but at the end of the day, our time and our presence on this earth should matter for something.

And yes, creating a good life for ourselves, our families, our employees and our customers – that’s a very good thing to do with our time here.

But if you’ve been with us for longer than just the last little while, you’ve heard me talk about purpose and contribution, and seen me write about changing the world. You’ve heard me talk about my mission of helping entrepreneurs become better business people, because I truly believe that the lack of a fundamental business education is what holds people back more than anything else, and that democratizing that solid, robust business knowledge will make the difference that will, slowly but surely, point our world towards a better future.

And that scratch at the back of my mind reminds me that there’s more that I can do, if only I’d dare to dream big enough to try and make it happen.

Which is why… even though it scares the hell out of me… I’m thinking about what may be the craziest thing I’ve ever tried…

The Crazy Risk That We Just Might Take (tweet this)

Now, I have a pretty good sense of what I *think* I want to do…

…but I’m not sure that I’m ready to spill all the beans just yet. At a high level, though, here’s what I’m thinking about doing:

I want to take a significant amount of our time, resources, and money, and invest it all into providing a transformative business education experience for deserving members of our global entrepreneurial community; people who are set to create something spectacular for themselves, and for the world, but don’t have the critical business knowledge to make it happen, or the resources that it would take to acquire that education.

I don’t know how any of this is going to work yet, and I don’t even know if I’m off my rocker thinking about doing it.

Which is why I’m writing this post – because ultimately, everything that we do at Mirasee is for you, our readers.

So I want to ask you what you think about this.

Am I crazy? Is this nuts? Is this too much risk for a still-fairly-small business?

Or do you think that – in spite of the risks – this would be something worth doing?

Update: See my (fairly lengthy) comment below for an update, some more thoughts, and appreciation to everyone who has participated in the conversation. 🙂

About Danny Iny

Danny Iny (@DannyIny) is the CEO and founder of Mirasee, host of the Business Reimagined podcast, and best-selling author of multiple books including Engagement from Scratch!, The Audience Revolution, and Teach and Grow Rich.

152 comments

  1. Danny …

    As I type this, I’m wearing an “I’ve got a secret” smile and I’m suppressing a child-like giggle at the thought of an upcoming birthday party. The secret I am happily privy to is that YOU WILL earmark a significant amount of time, resources and money and invest it all to accomplish what you’ve bravely shared in this post.

    Of course you will. I would venture to say that it’s a “done deal” … the dye is already cast. You’ve set your intention to give birth to the Thought that nests in your consciousness and woos your heart. Now, finally, your spirit is imbued with a “certainty” about the manifestation of the Thought that will never release you.

    Acts of love, like acts of kindness, are irresistible in the breast of those who choose to follow their bliss. I’m convinced that the undertaking you propose here will make you blissfully happy and the echo and impact of the “actualized” Thought will be heard ‘round the world.

    I believe in Divine Order. These are the things we are destined to do at a certain point in time … even if we’re ravaged by fear and trepidation. That is not your state. You’ve already transitioned to the next level of “Purpose” … where only one question remains:

    Will you “Pay It Forward” or “Pay It Posthumously” … because the Thought that has relentlessly niggled at you for a year is YOURS to do. It chose you and now you’ve chosen it.

    Shalom!

  2. 5.22.13

    Hello Danny,
    Just saw this post sent to me my Laura Leigh Clark . Dr. George Huang connected me to both of you and although I have not followed through yet on your Blog training , I still intend to do it.
    I saw immediately that you were coming from the heart and sharing openly.

    So this Post is encouraging to follow you more closely.
    You are wanting to do the same as I do, be of service to others who also want to
    make a difference in uplifting the quality of life and consciousness for all.
    By serving those entrepreneurs who can benefit from your gift, marketing, who can then pass on the gift exponentially, is DIVINE , not crazy.

    Go for it. Live your dream, there is no other way to be.
    Much love and respect to you, Danny Talk with you soon.
    Am already on your email list.

    Carolle.

  3. Scratch at the back of the brain….yes I think that describes it very well.

    After working for hours every day on my computer for over two and 1/2 years, I am just beginning to understand some of the principles of Internet Commerce and a lot the the pitfalls.

    Even though your heart and thoughts are in the right place, add another important dimension to what ever you decide to do.

    Make sure….Loud and Clear that this is a business.

    This business is only going to work if One is focused on doing ONE thing and doing it well.

    My problem and a lot of others that I have read what they are saying is that it
    is very easy to go from half finished program to another half finished program and make nothing from any of them…other than a loss of needed funds invested in the program or some of the things needed to make it work.

    Karilee’s comment above is much more focused than mine, but details most of what is going through my head.

    Some strong Bewares need to be given along with the training…Let it be known that what they are getting in this “Beginner” training is all they need right now.

    Learn what is offered, then move up. Because moving up is the hope and inspiration that keeps us going.

    I have a blog about Diabetes and another about Internet Marketing….both are in very busy niches, created mainly because I knew nothing about keywords and such…..takes awhile to learn on your own.

    But for my Diabetes site I always had this “Scratch at the back of my Head” for a membership with a forum type place or even a blog of all comments where members could connect and communicate easily.

    I have noticed on some forums there are volunteer administrators…so this could be a solution for some of the communications and paper work…and even some of the training Q & A to be shared and discussed, giving monetary credit or credits to upgrade in the training for time spent “administering”…..to financially strapped subscribers.

    Sorry for the long epistle, but that is just the way my mind works.

    Back to your idea…..I think is worth working to make it happen.

    You have some very helpful people commenting and agreeing with you up, so give it the thought it deserves and Never end up as one of those disinterested, bored marketing coaches who sell an hours training for $5,000.00 then marks it down for the “masses” to $497.0 or $97.00 a month.

    Just a question, what answer did you give to your grateful Webinar attender who initiated that Scratch to the back of your Brain?

  4. I’ve thought about ways to do something similar, on a smaller scale. What stymies me with any distance learning is the abysmal completion rate. Unless there’s real personal interaction, even if the material is excellent, many learners fade away… and as many in these comments have mentioned, it’s worse if they “have no skin in the game.”

    So I guess my message is that I think you have a wonderfully heart-centered idea, but don’t call this training “free”. Put a reasonable value on it, even if you waive collecting it, and ask your participants to “pay it forward”, whether in cash, their own products, or community service, when the program is complete and when they can.

    I would also suggest setting business-focused criteria for admission. Perhaps you could test the waters with a beginner course focused on establishing your business identity, registering your business, and creating a basic website. Then limit participation in further modules to those who demonstrate completion of those first pieces. In other words, create a filter for action-oriented learners, since they’ll benefit most.

    I definitely wish you luck in this initiatve!

  5. You’re one of the good guys, Danny. I have no doubt whatever you choose to offer, that it will have a huge positive impact. (And ironically, I also predict that you’ll have more criticism and complaints offering training to a “free audience” than a paid one. But it will be sincerely appreciated by MANY.)

    In this post, I just LOVE the way you articulate the shift in fears from business newbie to someone who has proven themselves and has something to lose now… brilliant. Challenges are there for us at every level, they just grow with us. Thanks for modeling what it looks like from where you are to face fears with grace and abundance.

  6. Danny , sorry it has taken me so long to reply. There are just so many hours in the day to get things done. I am a new comer here and I don’t really know how valid my opinion will be for your cause. I have been receiving your e-mails now for a month or two. I don’t remember how I was introduced in the first place. You have a curiously positive message. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to listen. I am in observer mode trying to figure what , when and where , this all fit s or doesn’t fit into what I want to do.

    My decision to blog has grown out of my passion to write. As I continue to develop the skills to operate my blog site and continue to grow my following , I anticipate seeing more and more people reading what I have to say. The bottom line for me is sharing my write with as many as I can get to read it.

    Now don’t get me wrong I am not wanting to assume the position of the starving artist. That is why I don’t quit my day job. By now you are probably wondering where I am going with this conversation. I see similarities in our journeys . The difference in the level we are on . Me a beginner, you a seasoned vet.

    We both have a vision before us. Focused and doing what it takes to succeed. Moving forward at our own pace. I think you know what you want to do. There are some of the particulars that might not be clear yet . But that’s normal. It a process , an evolution or changing of the mind set, events and the environment. This and this and this must happen so that can be accomplished. Two things are our enemy here, our fears and our impatience. The one causes paralysis and the other causes us to walk out of step.

    Danny follow your heart. You will make good with what ever you do . And I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my words with you here. Small steps for me. I am only 5’3″. The point is not how fast you go , it is getting there. Nick

    P.S.I AM NOT A SPAMMER……. AND YOU CAN CONTACT ME WITH E-MAIL if you want to talk with me directly. No I don’t want a hundred plus notifications filling up my e-mail when the comments are for you. So are you getting points somewhere for the collection of likes????

  7. My first thoughts were that this would be an interesting participatory project for the people in ABM, enabling those with little experience to become teachers and mentors in fact before venturing out to their entrepreneurial ventures.

    My second thoughts were of the recipient “Sweat Equity” required by Habitat for Humanity and that college scholarships never cover all expenses and come with success (grade) requirements for sustaining the grant as well as work-study commitments and/or research or reporting or other stipulations.

    Certainly there are many directions that could make this not only feasible but multiply productive.

  8. Danny, it’s a good strong idea…not formulated the way it will be yet, of course, but it IS an idea, not a finished product.

    I’m about to open my business, Self-Knowledge College, this weekend. It will help people who have a serious problem in life learn more about themselves so they can make best decisions for themselves with regard to education, work/career choice and the selection of a life partner.

    A second site, which will open soon, is Dropout to Dean’s List, will be for at-risk students– those who are failing in school, are thinking of dropping out or who have dropped out. This is a serious percentage of the young persons’ population in North America. I’m just starting so haven’t made any money yet (though I believe I will because the need is so great and I feel I can offer some help in these areas).
    But the pricing of courses, products and materials stymied me for quite a while.

    Not because I was afraid of charging for something valuable but because I didn’t didn’t know how to do that while serving people who genuinely couldn’t afford it.
    This, even though I agree that some people could afford it (or other valuable things such as your writing class) if they made choices about what to buy.

    I feel the same way you do in terms of giving back. I did that as a college prof for many years working a 60 hour week (or more) and getting paid for 40 because the students needed help so desperately. I decided to start this business but I wanted to do two things: make money from my experience, knowledge and skill and also help others. (I was kind of tired of just being Mother Theresa-like! I didn’t want to lose that desire but I didn’t want to work for nothing either.)

    I decided what to do is to offer my products and services to those who can afford it and to try to help, for example, students– who are often in need of financial help as well as academic assistance in other ways–by corporate sponsorship or university/college joint ventures.

    Not exactly mirror image of your idea but we all have to find our way and it has the value of doing both simultaneously before making any financial headway. Which really, is what you’ve been doing, in a slightly different way, with your free products and client-friendly prices.
    So, yes, Danny, do it. (whatever the hell it is or will be!)
    Frank

  9. Wow, coming in a little late here and pretty much all I want to say has been said.

    But I do want to add a couple of things here. Warning, major gushing ahead.

    I discovered you when I found ‘Engagement from Scratch’ on Amazon and was about to put it on my wishlist but then saw inside a link to get it for free. It was the first book I read when contemplating building an online business/community, I’ve since read at least a hundred more and it still remains my favorite and has been reread many times. Getting it for free did not negate it’s value and I truly credit it with being the inspiration to continue on with my dream.
    I’ve since then been an avid follower of you and FPM, attended most of your free webinars, competed in the Scavenger hunt etc. However I’ve also followed many others at one time or another and you are one of the few that I still follow.
    Why? Because you give excellent practical advice etc but more importantly I believe in your integrity and your post just goes to reinforce that belief.

    I say ‘Go for it’, I think it’ll be one of those things that if you don’t do it you’ll always wonder how it would have panned out.

  10. Just do it, Danny!

    And, you know, you don’t have to be… Danny to take a decision like this. I’m in the low-three-digit income level per month… and I’m already creating content for a free educational (languages) website.

    Are you *still* thinking about it???

  11. Hi Danny,

    I’ve followed you for a few years now. I met you through another freelance writer who’s become my mentor. And I don’t think offering your training free is crazy at all.

    I work within the unemployment area and see so many people who would benefit from some good training, but nobody can afford it. While all the coaches are out there charging exorbitant fees so they get rich saying everyone “deserves to learn” and should spend their grocery and rent money on this training–well, it doesn’t always work that way. So yea, offering your training is a gracious and honorable thing… and the payback for you will be huge.

    So yea, go for it. This all reminds me of the actress/comedienne Carol Burnett. Starting out she was in New York, broke and struggling. Someone saw her perform. She was good and he saw promise. So he loaned her a lot of money to use to learn her craft. His payback–pay it forward. We all know that Carol Burnett became one of the top comediennes in the U.S. and internationally. She honed her talents and paid it forward in many ways.

    Sharing your training to others will help pay it forward. So yea, go for it. The rewards will come back at you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine now.

  12. Hey Danny,

    Oh. my. goodness. I love this blog.. seriously in my top 5… 🙂

    This hit a special soft mushy side in me. Right now I’m figuring out how to embrace living as an artist. My day job is providing social media services to small businesses (which I love) but I can’t help but live in constant battle with the voices that ask me all those questions around 2 things:

    My passion for my art work and my desire to help other emerging artists in some way.

    Often these are people without resources. I struggle with the same deep want to provide them with what they need AND feed myself. I’ve always wanted to put something together but never quite got the courage to step out of the safe-zone.

    Perhaps because I know these questions and these obstacles so well myself. Both the financial obstacles your webinar attendee had (though not as severe) but also the same questions in my head that tell me I’m crazy.

    I don’t think we’re crazy. Not you, Danny. Not me. Not any of the lovely people feeling your message here the last few days. It can be so trying to take a jump into new and obscure direction but I can only imagine the awesomeness that you will create and the huge wave of chance that you are capable in bringing about.

    Makes me really re-evaluate the reasons for NOT doing the kind of service I want to do in my own business… Sigh It seems the crazy thing would be not to try use our gifts to leave the world better than we found it if can.

    🙂 Lot’s to think about. Excited to see what not-nuts crazy idea you’re cookin up.

    Luz xo

  13. Danny,
    Here are couple of thoughts as you consider expanding your venture.
    Several years ago I learned about a concept whereby people and their careers go through living in phases. Only a very few achieve level 3, and if you can achieve level 2 you are ahead of 85-90% of the world population. This may not have the complete list, but the three phases I remember apply to your situation. They are living in; phase 1 survival, phase 2 security, and phase 3 significance.
    #1 Survival: Living paycheck to paycheck. Just getting by.
    #2 Security: Having six months living expenses saved in the bank, money put aside for retirement, property ownership, etc. Protection if something happens and preparation for the future.
    #3 Significance: Creating in bringing enough value into the world that large numbers of people are influenced and benefited from what you do.
    What you are talking about is living a life of significance a very admirable yet desirable position to be considering. Which brings me to my second point.
    “You can’t give what you don’t have.” Everything begins with a dream. It seems that you can dream large dreams, but you are only able to even consider your education offer as a result of what you have become. While I was researching marketing training and support I saw tens of offers of which many were very good. What came through to me from you Danny was the deep level of character and sincerity coupled with a homey personal demeanor which attracted me. The decision point was the unparalleled level of support. Loyalty is built on delivering more than your customer expects and I felt that I would get that from you.
    Lastly, Fear. One of my managers used to say “action cures fear.” Another time I learned that the opposite of fear is not courage as many people believe. The opposite of fear is faith. This is a condition which is a constant roadblock for me. The reason I am in the Audience Masterclass is to learn marketing for my spiritual/recovery coaching business. I deal with fear every day but I deal with it by surrendering it to the divine and continuing to take action, usually just baby steps, to keep moving forward towards my goals. I believe you will likely do the same thing.

  14. Danny listen to ur inner voice,close ur eyes think all advantages and disadvantages of this risk ,have confidence try and see what comes to ur mind its not wrong to chose a risk path unless its affect others as a friend i can say try and see if u think ur 100% feel u can do it,dont start anything in fear.Ur a great blogger who shares good information with us daily.Best of Luck Danny.I wish u reach great heights now and forever.

  15. Great idea, Danny. I really appreciate your idealistic approach to the business world. I feel this is what our world needs, visionaries who make us understand that things CAN be different from what they have been so far. So thanks! I’m having my 16-years-old son read your posts to exercise his English (we are italian) on something which has some good hints for life within. I’ll be following you!

  16. I think you already know the answer to “should I do this?” What you’re looking for is the how: how to make it work, how to make it feasible, how to reach the people you’re trying to reach, etc.

    Fortunately, you don’t have to have it all figured out by tomorrow! That’s what I keep saying about my business.

    The issue of fear has been a real one for me for some time, and particularly in the last year. Interestingly enough, I wrote a post about fear on my own blog earlier this year, and even though it has certainly blessed many people, I need to go back and read it because no doubt God had me write it as much for ME.

    I’m in the middle of a divorce after 31 years of marriage. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 29 years, homeschooling for 23, never finished college, spent 20 years helping my husband build a business instead, and now I’m having to figure out how to support myself and my three children who still live with me.

    To put it succinctly, tonight I was thinking that if it comes down to it and I have to move myself and my three boys in with my daughter (who rents a 3-bedroom) until I can get on my feet, that’s the way it goes. We’ll at least have a roof over our head.

    So yeah, there are a lot of us who have more than a little trouble on our plate. I have actually invested about $1700 in the last few months to learn how to build a business (took Daniel Levis’ Quantum Income Leap course) and I’m getting a life coaching certification. I’m going to be doing homeschool consulting, as well as life coaching for women in midlife who, like me, suddenly find their whole world turned upside down and are wondering what to do next.

    Those doubts and fears you listed as a new entrepreneur? Yes, yes, and yes. But what is the alternative? Failure? No. Not an option. I am going to build a business that provides WELL for me and my family, and that is a blessing to others to boot.

  17. Danny, I was already impressed by your honesty and proven ability to follow through on your promises. I think a number of us made the financial commitment and sacrifice to join your team in the Audience M program, and I have not regretted it. Your kindness continues to be reflected, and I know that doing what you planned WILL NOT be a negative; rather it will propel you forward in a positive way.

    Thanks again for not only talking but walking the talk.
    D

  18. I think you have a great idea! I am thinking of my son, who has the business background, but maybe not all that is needed to get his dream business and idea off the ground. He wants to partner with an already established “society”, but lacks the financial resources and contacts or way to go about it. So, I think something like what you are thinking makes perfect sense.

  19. Hi Danny
    I think the comments here are marvelous and I don’t need to add to them, but just an idea:
    I take part in NaNoWriMo every November, a month-long writing challenge. It’s free. But as it has grown they have set up all sorts of programmes to promote literacy and reading in schools. Grateful participants in NaNoWriMo are encouraged to donate money to support this work. AND THEY DO. The way people talk on here about the help you’ve given them, maybe they’d like to donate and ‘pay it forward’.

  20. Hi Danny,
    Love your intentions. To me, success of your idea will depend to how you execute your plan. Conducting a survey sounds like a great way to determine what parameters to set around your “new offering” and evaluating need and estimating potential returns (both to your participants and to you).

    There likely is a viable way to execute your plan in a way that the good will and good karma generated will bring you returns that are worth more than the simple selling price, and probably even in ways that you couldn’t even imagine at the moment.

    I haven’t read through all the comments here yet, so not sure if this has come up yet, but in case it hasn’t, here’s another thought. There is also the “I can’t afford to invest in another course that isn’t going to move the needle on my business.” As I’m sure you already know, besides having the knowledge of what to do, other related success factors that people, including myself, often miss the mark on are: stick-to-itiveness; vetting the business idea and business model correctly in the first place; finding an efficient fail-fast-and-often strategy; and customizing other people’s advice to your own situation. So, I guess I’m wondering if your plans will include more than “getting information out there”? Hope these thoughts help in some way.

    Wishing you all the best. I’m sure you will find a way to make this work. Looking forward to watching the plan unfold. 🙂

  21. Just the response shows how much street cred the universe gives you. It’s not just a sign. It’s a mandate.

    So as a coach and former corporate communications professional, let me suggest something to you. I think it’s important for you to show people how to do good AND do well. This is what the biggest, most successful organizations do in their social and community service efforts. Their philanthropy is paid back in brand equity. So make your effort public, generate buzz about it. Get exposure for your company that you could never buy. But always push the philanthropic agenda in these public forums. And your brand equity will soar, as it should. It doesn’t take away the selfless aspect of this, which I can see is important to you. Because you are enabling others to promote their businesses AND showing successful executives how to be socially responsible. It’s a beautiful thing.

  22. Danny,
    I was nodding my head all the way through reading your post. Yes, this is a great idea! Yes, you should follow your heart and do this!
    What would be the meaning of business success if we don’t pass on the knowledge we’ve accumulated and empower people to achieve their own goals?
    I strive for business success every day, so that soon I can empower and inspire people in my home country to live better lives. That’s why I can truly relate to your sentiment.
    Thank you for sharing your inner journey! Something great will come out of this!

  23. Danny-
    I’m new to your site and subscribe to your emails. I’m here sorting through the abundance of information, wondering if you’re like so many others. Many that aren’t real, who lie and cheat and take away from wonderful deserving people. YOU are a blessing, the real thing, and have a true heart of a giver.

    I, like all the others who have shared, am searching for my dreams, how to accomplish them and give back. I’ve had a desire to help single moms, and women who have braved leaving an abusive relationship, to earn income so they can live life and heal, not worry where their child’s next meal comes from.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring for others and having the courage to step out!

  24. Sure you are crazy. As crazy as me. And I love it (though it scares the **** out of me)
    I know these thoughts like anyone else. I had a running business (more or less) and I shut it down, because the therapy made people depending on my services. When I told an advisor that my goal is for people to be out of the need of my services, he told me that I was crazy …. (does that sound familiar ?)
    I am now giving advice in personnal developpement by mail for free. And guess what ? People are aking me for paid training !
    But when there’s something I don’t know “how to”, it’s setting up a business, managing it and marketing it. More than that , I’m writing a book on personal developpement, not knowing at all how to sell it.
    It’s great to hear that Im not the only crazy guy out there. And that it just “might” work. Even though I haven’t a clue on “how to”.
    Thank you so much for sharing this, and I guess I will do some paid training with you as soon as I can afford it, even if it was just to give you some back for what you did here.
    Great stuff Dany ! If I can do you a favor, ask me, anytime 😉

  25. Wow, this post sure touched a chord!

    I obviously don’t know you well Danny, but I suspect your friend Jadon nailed it when he said
    “You’re born for this.
    Trust that voice from your soul.”

    Thanks for being inspiring.

  26. Hi Danny,
    Your email and this post touched me deeply because I know your heart is in the right place, and you wouldn’t have posed the question if you didn’t intend to honor the idea. As someone mentioned above, you give so much already. If you still feel called to give in a specific way, please do so.
    The last three years have been particularly challenging for lots of people and your gesture of goodwill would make a difference. Years ago, I made a commitment to myself that no matter my circumstance, I would give of my time and knowledge through volunteering. It has been a blessing to do more these past three years, even with my own challenges. I applaud your plan… You will be the richer for it.
    Here’s one of my favorite Oprah quotes: “I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.” Oprah Winfrey
    Peace and Grace,
    Elizabeth

  27. Wow, this sounds great! It is people like you, offering things like this, that give such incredible help to all of us. I have been in this crazy Internet business for over two years now and still haven’t made much money, something I desperately need to do. A lot of us really can’t afford to invest in programs like yours, even though we’re dying to. I’ too, dream of being successful enough to give back someday. Thanks Danny.

  28. Beautiful idea Danny.
    So many of us have dreamed of being of service, and it seems to be an idea whose time has come. It is my prayer that each of us is guided to create something that truly works for all concerned. We don’t have to know what it’s going to look like in order to take a few steps. Ultimately, this is the reason I’m taking this class.

  29. what a release that would be if one knew you could share your skills and knowledge with those who otherwise could not access it. It’s so frustrating as a writer to read the ads offering all kinds of help and training and finding the bottom line is far more than what is affordable. This is what I think every person of faith dreams of doing – being able to support or help one’s family and then to influence others. Let the blessings begin!

  30. Bravo Danny! Believe me I GET the fear through firsthand experience and working with my clients. I’ve committed my life to helping people through their fears and living the life they really want but don’t know how. You’ve just taken a huge step and I applaud that you went public with your transparency and your plans. Believe me people are watching and when people like you follow their dreams and overcome their fears it has a major ripple effect. Great stuff brother!
    Yours in possibility,
    Gavin

  31. Danny, circumstantially, you and I have had a little bit of direct communication. I can’t recall whether I’ve ever had occasion to mention this, but I consider you to be one of the most sincere, humble, empathic persons it’s been my good fortune to interact with in Life. My response to your post is that I’d better get busy honing my skills because I’d like to be part of your team as you roll out. That doesn’t mean that I’m seeking paid position, but that I trust your vision and intentions, and there’s no better place for spirits to express and intermingle than on a sincere mission of love and service. This post comes right at a time when I need every inspiration to clarify my own focus and intentions. All Blessings of the Infinite Eternal to you and yours, Good-Brother! Peace, Light, Joy, and Fulfillment in all you do!

  32. Danny, others have said most of what I could say, so just a few brief points:
    1 NOT crazy. The online community needs people like you to stand out, so that the rip off merchants can be drowned out.
    2. No payment often equals no commitment, as a lot of others have said, so you need to find a way to weed out the freebie hunters who would try to take advantage of you. Several have mentioned the need to have ‘some skin’ in this.
    3. Go with your gut feeling. Simon Sinek in “Start With Why” explains that the gut feeling is usually right, but is sometimes hard to explain. Everyone should read that book.

  33. Danny, I am new to the ABM. I found it through your free webinar. Normally, I would never click through – I have learned to be skeptical about internet offers. But, you asked something in the webinar that struck me – you wondered whether we had something to offer AND whether we were willing to work hard. I loved that you weren’t spamming me with a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.

    There is something inherently honest about you. As you must see, people respond to that honesty. I lost my job due to an injury several months ago. That means I have committed a significant portion of my grocery money to you for the next several months to cover the costs of ABM. And I am totally okay with that. Here’s why: I truly believe that even one person can make a difference in the world. I have been too scared to make an attempt, but I do have something to offer young people. I think your company can help me find them so that I can do everything in my power to support them. My goal isn’t to grow rich, it’s to contribute something worthwhile. Ever since I made this decision, I have felt an enormous lessening of stress and a growing excitement for life that has been lacking.

    Unless you actually do this, that itch will likely never go away. You are in a wonderful position to give people a boost. While I think there are many people who would like to help others, most of us do not have the platform to actually do something about it.

    It is clear you will have a great deal of support for any new venture – especially one that has the potential to change people’s lives in such a positive way.

    The Seneca quote somebody posted above is one of my favorites. As are all of Brene Brown’s books – it would not be overstating anything to say her writing helped me find my courage!

    Here’s another quote to add to your arsenal:
    When you come to the edge of all the light you know,
    and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown . . .
    Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen:
    There will be something solid to stand on
    Or you will be taught how to fly.
    Barbara J. Winter

    I hope that in stepping into the darkness you help others to find their wings.

  34. Hi Danny,

    I, too, was on one of your webinars and got great value out of it. I read your (free) book Engagement from Scratch almost daily while I work to promote the principles of high-level health, strength and dynamism for older people at my site (http://ulookingreat.com): .
    Unfortunately, I’ve not got the resources to put in (having ‘failed’ so often and so long online), even though I know your mentorship would have made a world of difference.
    Lucky the person/s who get ‘sponsored’ by you.
    Good on ya, as they say, Down Under.
    Mel d’Rego

  35. Wow! Go for it! In Judaism, the highest form of charity is helping others help themselves. Providing training for people so that they can make a living is a really worthy effort. Go for it!

  36. Danny, people have done this forever. It’s not new. Just rare these days, You’ll be fine.
    I do not charge at all. People ask me what to pay and I tell them that’s up to them.
    Keith Green always did that, too, and Duane Sheriff had refused pay for decades–totally refused pay.
    Life goes on, anyway. 🙂

  37. Hi Danny
    Anything you can or want to do to help other, is always a good thing. If you give from the heart, you will always receive tenfold back.
    Blessing.

  38. Now, Danny, I haven’t had time to read the zillion comments and react to them, but I have read your post, and I have a few comments. Without knowing what you plan to do, I can’t comment on that. But: You are crazy. That doesn’t make you wrong, and it doesn’t make you silly. Don’t let it being crazy stop you from doing something right, in the right way. Giving back is worth it, and helping out someone who can’t affort $137 dollars (monthly $12 payments?) to make more money is really worthwhile.

  39. Hey Danny!

    You are obviously on this Earth already doing great things, so what’s one more? I would go with your gut. If it’s something you would do for free, then I’m a big believer that the money will follow.

    If you really are worried, then maybe decide on an ’emergency fund’ amount, once it’s funded, then take the leap? That way you know you have a reserve to take care of your family, team, et. al. if something does not come to fruition like you thought?

    Is this something you could Crowdsource to get going?

    You can do it! 🙂

  40. Hey Danny. I didn’t know you were Canadian. Very cool. I’m in Alberta and I’ve helped to form alot of non-profits and foundations (if that’s the route you’ll be taking) so I can help out with all the paperwork if you don’t already have someone experienced onboard. Not sure what province you’re in but the convoluted government paperwork is probably very similar ha ha

    In terms of the criteria you set out for applicants (ie. having some skin in the game) I have an idea:
    What if you made applications “live” so that people had to post why they want your scholarship and they can either do a video, or a digital scrapbook or whatever creative way they want to express their “story” and then your subscribers/fans can vote for their favorite story. (or you can choose them yourself based on some kind of point system you make up)

    It would make people work for getting the scholarship and then feel more ownership towards completing the courses.

    You can set criteria for financial merit and figure out a way to determine financial need privately.

    Just thought I’d share my application idea incase it’s of interest to you! Dafne.

    1. Convoluted Canadian government paperwork? Take a look at the government paperwork from other countries – and you will change your opinion Dafne.

      On a different note Danny, when you give free stuff away – people don’t value it. So be careful.

      An interview about why applicants want your scholarship is a good idea but not enough. You must also interview them about their past performance.

      The most reliable way to find out about how people might behave once they enroll in your course is to find out about their past behavior.

      I train executives about interviewing skills – and this is what I teach them: Past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

      You don’t want people to abuse the system nor do you want people to drop out after a while. So you might want to hold them accountable somehow.

      1. Ha ha Jose Luis, you’re right about the paperwork. What I meant was that the gov websites aren’t super clear on how the process is supposed to work. They don’t have very user friendly information, it’s probably written by someone who knows too much and doesn’t fill in the details… I’d love to re-write it for them one day. 😉

        But yes, we’re lucky we’re Canadian! =)

  41. Danny,

    You are the best and pretty much the only person who has survived my cuts. I’ve taken training from many but most were simply promising wealth.

    Wealth is great, but there are many, many kinds of it. I dropped out of college cause I found that the job I was lined up to do, although lucretive, was NOT what I really wanted in life. I have no kids, no wife, no family on purpose. I’ve always put the spiritual ahead of the physical. I did find out years ago that you have to have enough to sustain yourself, however, cause if you don’t, then how can you help anyone else.

    You might wonder why I take training from you – it’s because I don’t have enough to sustain myself right now. Up until this economy collapsed I had no problem with that. In fact, I was one of the highest paid music instructors in my town. I had tons of $$$. Today no, I am deeply in debt and am working hard to convince others to simply try out what I have for them.

    And that’s where you come in. New ways of convincing others in a world where folks are kinda “shell-shocked” by poverty.

  42. Danny, I JUST learned about you several weeks ago. As a newbie to your community, I am just beginning to trust you (with all the marketing sleaze out there, do you blame the slow dance)?

    If this is really coming from your heart (and not just another “sales technique”) then you ARE gold.

    I await to see if you fulfill the beautiful intent you have expressed here.

  43. Nah, you’re not crazy at all Danny, just eager to be unique and help so many people who are eager to bust out of their lonely existence and become more then they had ever hoped to be.

    I’m excited and can’t wait to see what you come up with. Guess this means I’ll be back.

    ~Adrienne

  44. Hi Danny,
    You are one of my favorite bloggers and persons. I don’t know you personally but I know you are a straight arrow with a heart of gold. I’m in the category of loving your content but not even up your very reasonable rates. I loved your free course. Do what your heart tells you. There must be a way you can offer help (you already do offer a lot) without putting yourself at risk at all. I wouldn’t want anything to jeopardize your success or that of your family. This wise advice should not conflict with Jewish or Buddhist principles.
    Meanwhile I’m going to write an article and hope it sends you even more traffic

  45. Danny, I sooo love your heart. Truthfully, just the way you allow us to keep coming back is sooo generous. I wonder how may times I’m going to have to go through Audience before I finally clear the final hurdle. However, my heart hurts as well for those who truly can’t compete on a global level. I noticed last year that Noble Coaching (out of England I think – and I think that was the right company) has a scholarship application. They offer a certain percentage of their class positions on a sliding scale so that everyone invests, but on their level. I think the principle of giving a portion of abundance helps more to come your way might apply.

  46. YES, it is crazy. But so what? Where would the world be without crazy? The Picassos and Franklins? Those people who were willing to be a little different in spite of fears. I say, rock on with your bad self and let’s all let fears guide us into the really great stuff instead of shying away.

  47. Hi Danny,

    I believe that you believe in yourself, not your fears. You are in-charge of those fears. They might haunt you for a while, but when you decide to go against the flow, you push yourself to the edge and win the race.

    Your concerns are totally valid. Your actions are going to affect a lot of people around you. Still, your intentions to do something for the betterment of entrepreneurs are your biggest strength.

    I recommend: GO FOR IT! Trust your intentions and get ready to embrace success again. You know how to do it, don’t you? 🙂

  48. Hi Danny,

    What a great post! Great fear-challenging ambition!
    Proud of you for daring to listen to your nagging voice…to make a difference in someone’s life.

    Greed and fear have gotten the world where it is. If we are to bring it to a higher lever of love, goodness, and compassion, we all have to take the small or big steps we can. Congratulations for making the commitment!

    I will share your link with a few wonderful young entrepreneurs I know and in a couple of months I will make a contribution to your cause. In the process of publishing my book right now I am very tight, but I promise I will not forget you later.

    Blessings and Light to you!

  49. Hey Danny,

    This is probably the most courageous and heart-felt act, I’ve ever seen anyone think about doing. I think it’s a great idea and believe that it something which will be extremely valuable. I would love to know more.

    I bet if you do it right (which I’m sure you will), the money will come as a result in a way that gives the help to the people that need it while sustaining the time and energy you put into it. I also bet (yeah, I like to gamble) people will gladly lend their assistance when it’s needed.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt it 😉

    Cheers,
    Justin

  50. Such a class, course, internship–whatever you call it. This would be a boon. I was a university instructor but now I have MS and have become a writer. The one thing that holds me back from developing a thriving ministry/business is that I have absolutely no business background. I don’t know where or how to go about setting up the infastructure of a business. When an accountant friend heard that I was a published author he began to talk of my business. I looked at him like he had two heads. I wrote a book; I didn’t have a business. But now several years down the road I realize that marketing those books is most definitely a business…and I am doing a lousy job of it! I would apply for this training so fast it would make your head swim!
    You have heard from your audience. Please move forward. Add “Bonehead Business” to your course offerings in the Education Department of Firehouse Marketing! Blessings.

  51. Hi Danny, I’m new around here, but nonetheless one of your subscribers. One of your trainees / students referred me to your site a few weeks ago, and I’ve been looking through the Audience Business Masterclass Program. This is something that looks promising, however I find the price for this program way off my budget. I did write into FM requesting further information, but didn’t get any reply ever since I wrote in about 10 days ago.

    I’m the founder of Mandy’s Pages, (www.mandys-pages.com), and I intend to create a business solution connecting writers across the globe with prospective clients who are in need of written content. To that extent, I’m really interested in knowing what you have to offer, and how you can help me.

    I’m not really sure how you plan to help entrepreneurs like me, since I am not familiar with how you work, but I would definitely be all ears for what you have to say or plan in this regard.

    All the best in your endeavors and looking forward to hearing from you…

  52. Dear Danny

    First of all…I’m sorry if this is a double posting…I don’t know where my first message went. The cosmic joker probably thought it would be funny to just zap that as I checked on my website address just before I was to hit reply.

    However…I had to say that I am one of those people that has the skill and the motivation but not the resources. And reading this today was so timely not because I am going to benefit from this in any way but because of reading all of the same fears and trials and doubts that go on in any person’s mind when they undertake a new venture.

    We literally just made it to California 1800’s style…if you heard my story you’d laugh. I’m lucky I can get on here at all and even read a message or connect with the world and yet….I’m still kicking. And I’ll keep on kicking til’ I kick through the ice and find the sky again. And you just happen to be the sort of person that inspires that in people.

    So I say do this. you know you should…your gut knows it even if you don’t know how to quite go about it yet. Sometimes…crossing a mountain is as just as easy as taking the first step…the rest of the path will reveal itself along the way.

    best best best of luck and fortune to you and thank you for being the kind of person that cares that state of the world and the people in it.

    be well

    Jen

  53. Bravo, Danny! I took your scavenger hunt and am keeping a copy in my files for the time the Lord enables me to do more. Part of my assets are frozen that I hoped would take care of some things. I have a small amount set aside for business, but not nearly enough for a paid course. I have some ideas to get my book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women, out there more. Some I can do and some are tabled for now. If you offered a free course, I would take it. When it comes to doing the videos, I am restrained without a digital video camera. I am trusting in the Lord and believe He’ll provide for me. I don’t know His timing.

    In the past I’ve taken leaps of faith. One in signing the contract for my book. More will be published in the future. So yes, Danny, I believe you’re doing the right thing. I know there’s dishonest people in this world. Some stole from me in the past, but I cannot give up. I believe God called me to write, and I will write and promote my book the best that I am able.

    My website is down right now. I believe my webmaster is working on it, and some things take time. You’ve helped many and your desire is to reach out more. Go for it.

  54. Nope, not crazy at all. It’s interesting to see how your fears develop as you grow, but I think deep down there’s always something stopping us from trying crazy stuff, if we let it.

    When I was first competing in ballroom dancing, I was terrified every time I went out on the floor. Somehow, the more I did it, the more I was able to find this place of “just do it, don’t panic.” Sounds like you’re pretty close to that place already, and more awesomeness will flow from that.

    1. Totally love this idea! Saying YES to transformative business entrepreneurship journey, this is what I need to get me on the right path! Rock on with the karma economy, to quote Jason from above. This is about game change and I am with you!

  55. Danny: I am relatively new to you and your work and have been most favorably impressed so far. Your phrase, “I have a scratch on the back of my brain” so perfectly describes that nagging feeling that there is something important we must get to; we must do. I believe you must do this.

    I also agree that people w/something @ stake, people who risk something, whether it be money or something else of value to them are far more likely to stick w/the course, work hard and get the most from it. Those w/no investment tend to lose interest and fall by the wayside. In addition, I think that the pay-it-forward method may be the best suggestion in terms of investment, both on your part and on the parts of your “students.” It carries forward the spirit of your offering and, @ the same time, pays it back.

    I am happy to do whatever I can to assist. Go for it, Danny!

  56. Danny..you probably already know the answer to the question you’ve asked yourself, and even if you don’t it only takes time to look at people who are names in the information market to see that they’ve all grown multi-million dollar businesses on the fact that they contribute now to causes.
    For me I’m working to secure the future of my daughters and then my ultimate desire is to work on the US speaking circuit about “Learning To Move More Easily and Stop Life Killing You.” working with people who through many reasons have found “Movement” getting more difficult.
    The ultimate aim is to work with Native American organisations doing whatever I can to contribute.
    But, as some people have written Danny , at the moment the business is suffering from a downturn. If I drop my prices my cash flow suffers, but at my prices companies are going to larger organisations who have more trainers on their books. But it’s just another hurdle to cross and I’ll continue to read your information because there’s always good in it.
    Whatever the plan is Danny you’ve succeeded with what you started this time and the people you’ve brought with you, bought into you.

  57. I don’t think it sounds crazy at all, Danny. For two reasons…

    1) I get it. I’ve always said that I’d do the same hing for people whenever I’m in a position to do it… So I understand that desire.

    2) maybe you can’t see this through your own eyes, but this gesture seems *very* consistent with who you are and how your organization has behaved all along.

    I know you’ll cautiously choose trustworthy people to participate, so if you’re comfortable with your risks and investments into the project, it sounds like a very worthwhile and generous thing to do.

    Whatever your decision, I wish you the best possible outcome.

  58. Hi Danny,

    Based on how I “virtually” know you, I have no doubt in my mind that your approach to ethical business philosophies will eventually lead you to continue providing great value, even at an expense or loss of potential income (I know first-hand hehe ;)).

    Other than feeling the need to do so out of slight guilt or fulfilling a promise, I see it as a great opportunity or “project”, if you will, that could transform another person’s life permanently.

    I don’t personally believe in karma or any spiritual stuff, but as a simple gesture of humanitarian spirit, I think you should push forward and get this going.

    You know that with intentions like these, any rewards will return to you in greater significance, whether it’s money or opportunities.

    As for the comment of your attendee about not having enough money. Understand that a lot of the most desperate folks turning to IM are residing in countries where a single dollar equates to almost an hour’s pay in their local currencies – yet they’re not considered to be in poverty, just your average 15-20K/year North America level salary folks who have the tech skills, but not the funds to support quality training.

    I’m sure that FPM products are targeted towards certain segments of audiences or customers and the pricing, content, and quantity are designed to exclude those not in your ideal persona, so to speak, the variances in income is real and vast.

    While I don’t think you should lower your product prices, taking in a single, VERY DEDICATED, and well-screened apprentice per annum, for example, may not be a huge financial loss for FPM but you can most certainly build a super strong and successful tribe under your wings.

    Of course, these are all external comments based simply on assumptions provided with the blog post and the final decision is up to you, but the fact that you’ve brought it up tells me that you’re already leaning towards the idea, you’re just probably finding reasons to (or not to) support your gut feel.

    In any case, you know that long-time FPM students and readers will back you up, as always.

    Cheers Danny

  59. Hi Danny,

    Took your “Write Like Freddy” course a few months back, great course.

    In response to your blog, I’ll share something with you from my own experience…

    I run a small counseling and psychotherapy practice called Milestone Group. I’m actually the only employee at this time but I don’t consider the name misleading because it is my goal to BECOME a group practice very soon.

    Anyway, as a relatively new business I’ve been blessed to achieve modest growth every year and have remained in the black for most of this time. So it’s vital for me to maintain a healthy cash flow.

    I also believe that people place more value on a product or service if they are asked to pay a reasonable price for it.

    For these reasons, my official policy is not to offer a sliding scale or pro bono sessions for people who don’t have insurance. I do, however, offer every-other-week or monthly appointments for those who can’t afford $125 every week.

    Then two weeks ago I got a call from a client of mine. She’s been with me for a while, has always shown up on time for our sessions, and has done serious work on herself.

    “Jim,” she said, “I hate to tell you this, but as much as I want to continue our sessions I’m going to have drop them for now. The job offer I thought I was going to get didn’t come through and the money’s just too tight right now.”

    Knowing the progress she’d already made and certain of how much further she could go, the counselor in me trumped the businessman.

    “Could you afford to pay $50 every two weeks?” I asked.

    After a second’s pause, she thanked me and said yes she could. She’s still working with me and doing great.

    Do I regret “violating” my business policy? NOT ONE BIT. I’m in this business to make a living helping people, but there are times when the helping part has to come first.

    Hope I answered your question, Danny.

    1. Hi James:

      I’m with you – the therapist often (perhaps too often) trumps the businesswoman, in my case. But I do believe working with my clients whenever possible.

      Laura Thomas, MFT

      Laura Thomas, MFT

  60. Hi Everyone,

    First of all, let me just say WOW – thank you all SO, SO MUCH for your kind words, encouragement, and support – both of what I’m thinking about doing, and both of what I’m already doing.

    I can’t tell you how touched I am by all of this. You guys are amazing.

    I’m going to go back and try to answer comments individually, but at the rate they’re coming in, I may not be able to keep up, so I want to say a few things in response to trends and patterns that I’m hearing from many of you:

    1. I’m not suggesting in any way that the work we’re already doing, with the Audience Business Masterclass and everything else, isn’t already contributive and valuable to the world. It is, no question, and we’ve worked hard to make it so.

    2. I’m *definitely* not suggesting that you can’t make a difference and make money at the same time, and I completely agree with several commenters who pointed out that for something to be truly impactful, it also needs to be sustainable. In the long term, there will have to be a revenue model behind anything that I do – but for the time being, I want to give this a shot without worrying about how the revenue will come; I’m willing to cover those costs for a while as we see what kind of impact we can make, and where the revenue might come from.

    3. I also completely agree with several commenters who’ve said that often when someone says they can’t afford something, they just aren’t prioritizing their business or the things that they claim to need. That being said, there are also many people who are just in a really tough spot, and are out of options.

    4. At the same time, I completely agree with the need for “skin in the game” – even if that isn’t in the form of money. I’ve got some ideas on how that could be made to work, and I’m thinking that I’ll probably ask everyone to weigh in with more ideas (I’m thinking of putting together a detailed survey to ask for thoughts and opinions).

    5. Finally, I want to address several comments around the idea of Westerners swooping in to “change the world” in developing countries. This is not what I had in mind, and I actually wasn’t specifically thinking of developing countries at all for this; just entrepreneurs everywhere who are in a tight spot, and don’t have the resources to get the training and support that they need to bring their light to the world.

    So yeah – just a few things that I wanted to respond to en masse, as it were. I’ll try to go back and answer individual comments a bit later, but if I miss yours, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t read it, and don’t value it – because I did, and I do.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Danny,

      Must say, this is really something only someone who truly have a generous mind will think of doing. Having read through your comment and the post, I can say many of us are in this circle because, not that we don’t want to invest something in our business, but because of our peculiar environment. Most of you in the western world may not understand this!

      I look forward to what this will come out to be. If what you said in #5 above is anything to go by, then we expect a great change for many of us.

  61. I think we all have scratches on the back of our brains, big and small. Thanks for reminding me that they are there and to act on them.. lets go for.. not forgo.

  62. Great idea Danny. I don’t think this is a crazy. Many international companies provide services to individuals who meet a certain criteria through the donation and sponsorship of other organizations, so maybe you could also consider it from that angle. You can donate a portion of your funds in a similar manner.

  63. Thank you for following (in your own little way) in the footsteps of great philanthropists like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who are giving away most of their wealth. Generosity and sacrifice make the world go round.

  64. I think all you have said is in line with the great measure of integrity and kindness I have always seen in all you do. This is exactly in line with your brand. It is also exactly what I could use right now 🙂 to receive, in order to turn around and give generously of my time, talent and treasure. If there is anything I can do to support you in this – please give me a shout. Lesley

  65. Danny –

    You are right on the mark! This holistic approach is exactly what’s needed.

    I was impressed with a similar approach taken by the Chalmers Center which is a research and training organization that focuses on business and economic development strategies that holistically empower people who are poor.

    By combining cutting edge research, micro-economic development interventions, and social entrepreneurship principles, they help transform the lives of low-income people without creating dependency. They plan and implement participatory approaches to community, business, and economic development that include the low income individuals in the conceptualization, design, execution, and evaluation of any intervention. The inherent assumption is these individuals have the knowledge, insights, and abilities to be stewards over their own communities.

    Many people today are looking for a way to make a real and lasting impact in the lives of others. Your vision is on target and I am confident that many will support you in your “crazy” endeavor.

    Steve

  66. Based on your post, the emails that I read from you daily and all the feedback here already, this sounds like something that is already on your path.

    I am certain that you can make it happen!

  67. Two words Danny: Do it.
    (And congratulations for being so incredibly clear about your fears – it takes real courage to face them so squarely)

  68. I think starting out with a FREE offer of some sort to intro an idea, product or service to build and develop a relationship is great. However, part of what you teach needs to be charged incremental so that you are teaching someone how to earn a small amount and then increasing earn more so that they can afford your next item which is incrementally more expensive but more valuable.

    Its a bit like moving them down a funnel. People need to understand that they invest first in themselves, their education and value themselves enough to be worth the investment.

    They will never grow themselves further in their business if they are not prepare to invest in their own growth and education and future success. I have found that when I have invested first in my education and then applied what Ive learnt and then have I reaped the rewards (which also covered the cost of investment).

    Its okay to give people a fish a day to eat … but its better that you teach people how to fish so they can earn their own living and give from their abundance.

    There is NOTHING free in this life – NOTHING!!! Everything costs – you choose to pay in TIME or MONEY. If you pay in time – it just takes longer but if you pay in MONEY you get your goals quicker. Money is speed.

    If you say ‘I can’t afford it’ – its not true. There is so much info available for you to earn money. Most people have the ability to go and earn extra money today – everyone has a talent or service they can ‘monetize’. Easy – go a teach someone something that you know and charge for it. Put an idea together and sell that or make a offer ‘under $100″. Or sell something around your home. Do that a few times and you have the money to invest in your education or whatever it is you want. If you really want it bad enough. Many people in poorer countries find odd things to sell to get what they want (or barter/trade) – but usually just for their immediate needs like food. We are smart people and have many talents we can ‘offer’ others.

    I find people who are not willing to invest in themselves and say ‘they can’t afford it’ just dont want it enough or arent valuing themselves enough.

  69. Danny,
    Follow your instinct, if you are pulled to do this, do it and do it BIG. You have the business acumen to manage all the details and all the while maintain the growth of your business.

    You certainly aren’t crazy for following your instinct, but you would be crazy not to trust your inner self. Perhaps the doubt and fear isn’t as much about doing the thing, as it is about the consequences of not listening to yourself.

  70. To continue since I couldn’t get the thing to work. There are those people who have worked diligently and for whatever reason haven’t gotten to where they could. With a bit of help they break throug.h and create miracles. I am a small service person whose work transforms those in great pain to releasing it and moving on in life. I could be wealthier if I took on all the cases that called me. I don’t. I work with those who are committed to change even if it means a sliding fee and some of those cases have been the most rewarding. I was helped when we didn’t have money for the care I needed and like a previous poster wrote, I find the means to help when needed even if its a stretch. It makes for a much more fulfilling lifr all around

  71. No you are not mad and your intentions are both honourable and laudable.

    However, I would exercise caution for the following reasons:

    1) As noted in earlier comments, it is essential that people have some “skin” in the game, in my experience over a long life, little sacrifice generally equals little action and fewer results.

    2) Aligned with 1 above, the drop out or failure-to-act rate in many training courses is high, higher still in internet based learning. Higher fees tend to reduce but not eliminate this, my guess is that “free” would increase it.

    3) Having lived in Africa for most of my life, I have experienced at first hand the disastrous effects of rich, well intentioned westerners, their organisations and government’s misguided efforts to “Change the world”. It is somewhat arrogant for us Westerners to decide what is good for people in developing countries. The scramble to cover their corporate behinds by North American clothing brands outsourcing production to garment manufacturers in Bangladesh is the most recent symptom.

    4) You are a shining example of achieving success through focusing and using your strengths. Philanthropy can be a minefield. Perhaps you would achieve more by not initially setting your sights on changing the world but by focusing on helping a smaller number of people in an environment where you could achieve measurable results, then duplicate it.

  72. Danny… Be the change you want to see! If this has touched your heart in such a way I say go for it. It’s often put there for a reason.

    Most of the people I know who have what I want – which is to say, purpose, heart,balance, gratitude, joy – are people with a deep sense of spirituality… They follow a brighter light than the glimmer of their own candle; they are part of something beautiful. I saw something once… that said, “A human life is like a single letter of the alphabet. It can be meaningless. Or it can be part of a great meaning”. – Anne Lamott

    Use your special gifts. Fill a need. You will be rewarded. A gift can be opened by more than one person. – Sue A.

  73. Hi Danny,

    I have been on both sides of the fence here.

    When I wormed at vendor programs for the mentally ill whose income came from government subsidy the great majority didn’t much from the care given.

  74. Danny,

    You have come on the scene and rapidly become known as honest, fair, smart and a good guy you can trusy who sells valuable information.

    Now you are talking Quantum Leap.

    Do it Danny.

    This will make you Legendary!

  75. Danny,

    Your not crazy, and your right about the risk. What if your not “there” yet, wherever “there” is. Can you afford to take the risk?

    I wrote you a while back about a friend of mine, a vet, who has the ability to do great things, but they are having a hard time paying their bills, let alone a luxury of an online class. I honestly believe that you get what you give. You are already giving a lot to your current audience by making your classes so affordable, but reaching out to some that can’t afford anything could reap even bigger rewards. Someone who is hungry for success is much more likely to work your system really hard to achieve success. You have to be willing to take a risk to gain the benefit of that risk, what does someone that has nothing have to lose? That doesn’t mean all of them will become successful, but I believe the odds are greater.

  76. Danny,

    Ask yourself the question Why were you born? Why are you here?

    Only you know the answer. But I would guess that it is not “…to make a million dollars” or “to be a great business owner/boss”.

    You are a great teacher.

    No matter what price you charge for it or how much “skin in the game” the participants have, you will have created more content. You can always leverage that content and the story that goes with it into information that others will pay a lot of money for.

    Good luck deciding what to do!

  77. Danny I think that you are FAR from crazy! I think this idea is pretty awesome!

    Props to you for having such a big goal. I can see how this can be such a big scare but think of it this way: you’ve succeeded once (this awesome blog for example) so you can definitely do it again.

    It does sound very scary since you will be investing so much time, effort and money into this project. You are in a lot better position now (established blogger + huge following + connections with other well known bloggers) than when you first got started so you do have a high chance of making it work if you pool together all of your available resources wisely.

    You’re in a position where you can make this project majorly successful! I say go for it =)

  78. If giving is crazy, then yes, you are out of your mind. I believe that the more you give, the more you get back. I am sure you will know what to do and what risks are worth taking. Just trust your gut. Ultimately, you will make the right decision.

  79. I can understand where you’re coming from and commend your efforts to help. You are not crazy. Unfortunately I can also relate to the author of the email. I have been out of work for 1 1/2 years and have just sent out my last $100 to pay bills. I am completely broke and will probably lose my home in the next few months. Sometimes people need help and my wife and I always did what we could. I’m not sure where I will wind up but I will never stop helping whoever I can. Move forward on your idea and don’t look back. Even if you gain no benefit from it someone else will and that makes it worthwhile.

  80. Had another thought, Danny.

    There is a Chinese saying that the medicine doesn’t work unless you pay for it. I learned this when a friend was at my house and asked for an aspirin, then insisted on paying a nominal amount because “I want to make my headache go away, so I insist on paying for the medicine, so that it works!”.

    So nurturing entrepreneurs is a fabulous idea and equally fabulous….recipients could also be asked to give/do something in exchange. It wouldn’t necessarily need to be money-related or necessarily need to be an exchange with you. But by asking recipients of your expertise to give in some way…it will increase their commitment and also keep the FLOW of ENERGY going.

    Excellent, idea, Danny!
    Love again, Marie

    1. I had never heard of this Chinese saying! Wow – how interesting. As a therapist, I have struggled with setting and collecting (or not collecting) fees for my psychotherapy services. It’s tricky for me, because the internal script says I’m supposed to give it away. But this idea resonates so much, I’m going to spend some time on it. I have to agree – we all have to “pay” something – it is about the energy exchange that another person wrote about in response.

      Thanks for this, Marie!
      Laura Thomas, MFT

  81. Hi Danny,

    I say “Go for it!”

    If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you want to provide a “transformative business education experience for deserving members of your global entrepreneurial community” then feel the fear and do it anyway. Believe in what you want to do and you and your students will be a success. You can make a difference if you want to make a difference. It’s up to you. 🙂

  82. Danny,
    I think you’ve got a crystal ball up there in Canada! Did you write this one just for me? I’m 3 weeks into the Masterclass.

    After seeing your seminar, my finger hovered over the button to press to join – no kidding. Terrified. I also agree, the only reason I hit that button was the more-than-money-back guarantee. Which says a lot about your level of confidence in what you’re selling.

    Although I believed the program had value, I really couldn’t afford it – it’s all going on a credit card. It was an investment in myself, but also an investment in you. I only told my husband about what I did today, I’ve never kept anything from him, but this is money we don’t have.

    On the other hand, would I be as motivated if I didn’t spend the cash, or would I follow the program ‘when I had time – when I can get to it’ – which would be never -especially when you come to the part where you have to spend more money, setting up the site, paying for the email service etc (stuff at least I’ve never thought about when I jumped in.)

    Your fears are justified. Your risks become that of everyone who relies on you. But again those same risks have been successful in the past. Trust that you’re a great business guy. Maybe you can work out some formula that works for the customers just like me – broke! While still being somewhat viable. I like Mike’s idea, it would be great to pay when you actually see it working and you’re earning money, but you’d have to depend on a person’s honestly level. I’m sure that many (not all) would be more than happy to honor that – I would!

    Don’t ever forget (as you’re already well aware, your best customer can bring you more customers by their success stories, nothing is better than direct word of mouth – so basically the more the merrier)

    In essence following your gut has worked for you.

    If you believe in karma at all – whatever you decide to give, you’ll get back and then some (kinda like your more-than-money-back guarantee!)
    Follow your heart it knows where you’re going.

  83. I read thru your whole post waiting for the part where you said you gave the guy (who didn’t have the money for Write Like Freddy course).. where you gave him the course.

    Did I miss it?

    I read a lot of blogs where they want to change the world.. and if that’s in your heart you should absolutely go for it.

    Personally I get a big kick out of making a lot of money.. and I love to give away a big portion of it anonymously. My favorite is to sponsor kids on mission trips who couldn’t go otherwise.

    darlene
    p.s. You definitely struck a chord with this post.. the response is amazing.

    1. Hey Darlene, we do sometimes give our trainings away to people who need them, but that wasn’t really the point of the post – it was more about the general problem that this situation is representative of.

      And I hear what you’re saying, and agree – there’s nothing wrong with making money, quite the opposite – and what a beautiful way for you to give back! 🙂

  84. It’s a delicate balance when deciding how much of your effort needs to go into sustaining and growing your business and how much to give back. I charge a relatively high price for my training services, mostly to larger American companies that can afford it. At the same time I have a lot of empathy for people in underdeveloped countries who operate in an entirely different financial spectrum.

    I agree that it is important that the receiver of your services have to have some skin in the game to have an appreciation for what you are providing; from your standpoint you are still giving the training away though.

    Only you can decide what percentage of your business can be devoted to philanthropic efforts. Once that percentage has been decided you have to find a way to work within that range or you put your company (and the people who depend on it) at risk.

    One of the programs I am currently working on is to bring technical training to third-world countries. I am hoping to leverage some of the abundant wealth in my country to help fund this program, maybe even getting a grant from the government. We spend so much money giving people fish while very little comparatively is spent on teaching others HOW to fish. By the time that money passes through the receiving countries government, often very little makes its way to the people who need it.

  85. Dear Danny,

    I admire your energy, drive, nobility and insight of blogging marketing. I loved your book Engagement from scratch and I look forward to joining more training with you.

    Love,
    Louise,
    Bilka.

  86. Danny
    I strongly believe that value must have a fair price. And free is not a fair price. If you provide a great product you must charge for it.
    First, changing keeps the people away who are not willing to do what it takes. A friend of mine who is a director of a major non-profit in Australia, once said they only work with those in the slums who are willing to put in the hard yards; and I have heard other NFP leaders say the same.
    Second, you must show the way in what it tales to build a good business. You, like all of us, must uphold a good example of what we want our students and followers to do.
    Yes, you can give away amazing value as your up-front product, but honestly I believe there still needs to be a strong revenue model behind it.
    Otherwise we’re back to handing out free aid to the poor, and any student of the policy for developing nations would quickly see that’s a failed policy.

    Mike

    1. “Most people spend their lives trying to make their heart’s fondest dreams come true. Isn’t that what life is all about, “the pursuit of happiness”? We search endlessly for ways to acquire the things we desire, and we are willing to sacrifice much to achieve them. We never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us.”

      Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

      You’re on a good track, Danny. Be wise, don’t jeopardize the enterprise so that you are incapable of helping others. Meanwhile, remember also Helen Keller’s words that remind us that there is no way to avoid risk. So you might as well dive into it. The safest place is often a leap of faith.

  87. I have never commented before but had to respond to this. This is lovely. This will be the work that you look back on with pride in your old age. This is your opportunity to leave a legacy. Good luck

  88. You’re not off your rocker danny… you’re awesome!! 🙂
    As you know from our discussions making a difference is what I’m all about, and thankfully I found you! Your help and training is already making a difference and I’m no longer going around in circles but moving forward instead.
    I know first hand how it feels to want to access training and not be able to afford it through no fault of your own.
    In my case I gave up my career to become a full time carer for my husband after he was diagnosed with a rare incurable brain condition…. however after a few years of caring I needed to do more and was looking for a way of juggling my caring role with working. After discovering my talent for storytelling through a necessity to help my youngest child, I came up with an idea for a new business. One which is based on helping to raise awareness of young carers worldwide through my books for children who are young carers… my hope is to make a difference for young carers worldwide… to see a day when all young carers are properly supported; especially in education.
    Thanks to you and your team Danny, I am moving forward faster than I ever thought possible, and I’m truly grateful!
    Wishing you all the best with your ideas.. I’m sure they are going to be amazing!!! 🙂

  89. This is one of the worst things in business. You see people with awesome ideas and knowledge but with no money, customers or nouse and they and the idea perish because it . Worse yet the idea is gets barstadised by big companies or done in a manner totally different to the once pure idea the creator of it had .

  90. Well… I am going to take a contrary view. Don’t give it away for free. I have been involved in personal development programs for a few years, even running some intro courses. I have found time after time, if you bring someone into the program for free, the dropout rate is extremely high.

    I think that you could make an offer to help people that could be a mini offer where they start the course, start making money and then pay you a portion of that – sort of a pay as you go. Or they do some work for you. Jon Morrow tells a story of bringing someone into his course who did transcribing work.

    I know this isn’t part of kumbaya of above, but I think people have to have some skin in the game and want it enough to work for it. Just my two cents…

    1. Well said, and I don’t disagree Mike, the “details” of Danny’s project may need to be worked out, but the general consensus is supportive. 🙂

      Jane above also said almost the same as you:

      “My only advice would be that they must have some “skin” in the game. “

      1. I need to agree here. YES – GIVE … but retain the dignity of the receiver and get them to put some skin in the game in some fashion. They will value it much more. As an acquaintance my medical advice is ignored more than heeded. As a doctor, even at a $o.50 visit fee, the advice is far more frequently heeded.

  91. Hello Danny,
    I’d like to think, yes: you will do something to help the less fortunate, the people who need your help the most.

    But my experience from the various endeavors that I’ve been involved in over the years, is that as soon as financial success is found that the people who enabled them to find that success are just left by the wayside.

    One example:
    I joined a paid membership which teaches the ins and outs of internet marketing in a step by step manner, good useful information (you could find it freely available on the internet but it was good to have it all in one place).
    Every so often you would be emailed about something that would make a difference to ‘your business being successful’, so yes I would buy into that – never anything that made any real difference but sound information.
    Then then there was the build up to the ‘Life Changing’ course – not part of the membership, but something extra special: sign up to go on the waiting list to be kept informed.
    I was already hyped up to join the course, but guess what?
    The price was $2,970 dollars, way beyond… my reach.
    I had been paying membership for over 3 years, I had been buying extra courses from him and the moment he was delivering what I needed – BOOM – blown out of the water. (Boom, is one of his favorite words).
    The guy who put it together brags he made over $1,000,000 dollars on the day the course was released, yes one million dollars…!

    So, why am I writing this?
    It seems to me the minute there is something worthwhile on the table, it is priced to keep the very people who need it most, out of the equation.
    Why do people start with such high principles; and the moment they start tasting success the principles are thrown out of the window?

    I wish you well and hope you prove to be the exception,
    Michael

  92. As an afterthought, you might enjoy reading this:-

    I’m Glad You’re in My Dash written by Linda Ellis in 1996.

    I read of a man who stood to speak
    At the funeral of a friend.
    He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
    From the beginning…to the end.

    He noted that first came her date of birth
    And spoke the following date with tears,
    But he said what mattered most of all
    Was the dash between those years.
    (1934 – 1998)

    For that dash represents all the time
    That she spent alive on earth…
    And now only those who loved her,
    Know what that little line is worth.

    For it matters not, how much we own;
    The cars…the house…the cash,
    What matters is how we live and love
    And how we spend our dash.

    So think about this long and hard…
    Are there things you’d like to change?
    For you never know how much time is left,
    That can still be rearranged.

    If we could just slow down enough
    To consider what’s true and real,
    And always try to understand
    The way other people feel

    And be less quick to anger,
    And show appreciation more
    And love the people in our lives
    Like we’ve never loved before.]

    If we treat each other with respect,
    And more often wear a smile.
    Remembering that this special dash
    Might only last a little while.

    So, when your eulogy’s being read
    With your life’s actions to rehash…
    Would you be proud of the things they say
    About how you spent your dash?

    If you have received this, it means that you are
    truly special to the one that sent this to you.

    I am glad that you’re in my life and part of my
    dash.

    Send this on to the ones you care about even if it
    means sending it back to the one who sent it to you…

    From My dash to yours.
    Laugh long, live long,
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery.
    Today is a GIFT.
    THATS WHY ITS “” THE PRESENT “”

      1. Ann Marie, I read this as part of the eulogy for a dear friend last year and everyone thought it was so appropriate as well as beautiful… happy to share and hope it brings comfort.

  93. Danny,
    Its a superb way of giving back. I am with you all the way and look forward to being a part of this IMPORTANT contribution… As you know it is my mantra and it will be an honour to work with you and share for the greater good across the world.
    however I’m able to help I will.
    yours ever,
    Susie

  94. Timing is going to be everything with this. Creating a foundation of some kind is going to take work and resources.
    It’s vital you don’t ruin your marriage or compromise your staffing through this. You should only do it when you can afford not only to lay funds aside for it but half of one person’s working hours.
    It will be great for those you benefit and for your own business, because it will draw us all closer to you in community as we, too, come on board. (I presume you’re talking training the third world, even perhaps going out to places where they don’t have internet access?)
    It has to launch at a moment when you are able to step off your treadmill and say, ‘Okay, I’ve got these courses up and running – no more new products for a year or two while I consolidate.’

    1. Dear Danny,
      I have talk in many circles about how generous you are with your knowledge, but I too, like Bobbie, am worried about you (who worries about everyone else), your staff, and your family.
      Do you have a nest-egg for your family? business? employees? insurance? equipment? one-off costs? and all of the other items that you must consider with a business that you’ve built on sweat and tears? If not, than I would just say that what you already offer is such a great reward for those…who can’t pay right now.
      I just don’t want your big heart getting ahead of the big picture.
      Thank you for being who you are. That alone is a testament for all of us.
      Lee

  95. Two quotes I’d like to share:

    “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult..” Seneca

    “Don’t take your thoughts too seriously” – Eckhart Tolle

    Go for it, Danny. I’m with you. Sounds great!

    Lotsa love, Marie

  96. Hi Danny,

    Brilliant post! You are verbalizing what many people in life would never truly want to admit, but feel deep deep down. This is because we have an inherent fear of lacking, that what we have will never be good enough and ultimately, that we will never have enough. So we accumulate to compensate and get lost in a lifetime flurry of keeping me busy activity, without giving back.

    My wife and I are doing your Audience Business Masterclass because you said you wanted to help people who wanted to change the world! Our project is just that thing, something that we know will change the world! In fact we believe we may have come up with the solution to practically help meet the needs of every person on the planet. In short, we believe for every need, and we mean every need out there, there is an offering ready willing and waiting to meet that need. Think about it, there are seven billion of us on the planet, there must be someone out there ready to help you when you are in need. We have called this the Law of EnergeticXChange. The only challenge is knowing where to go when you are in need. It was for this reason we built the practical tool http://www.energeticxchange.com where you can come, input your offerings and your needs and our system matches your needs and offerings, with other existing offerings and needs throughout the world. It is that simple!

    Danny we would greatly welcome your offer up on our site. Reading your blog, I cannot but help to believe that this is one of the reasons you wrote it. Our site is not for profit, non commercial and dedicated to all humanity. In fact we sold or gave away everything we owned in this world to bring this service to life. That was our belief in giving back. We have no income from this, we are here in the US from Australia traveling this journey of EnergeticXChange, with our 11 year old twin children, bringing this message to communities and people all around the Americas and we have lived this way, walking our talk since June of 2011, always knowing that our needs would always be met, because we too give freely whenever the opportunity presents itself or we are asked. There have been times when we have been down to last $0 and someone always comes to our aid. We are now seriously seeking the support of a corporate sponsor that understands that giving is receiving.

    In any case, I believe you would have nothing to lose in putting your offering up here. I would also encourage you to post your needs here too. I know that you may say that you have no needs, but this is really not true. If it were, you wouldn’t even go down to the local shops to buy something, you would be able to secure it from your surrounding communities. So this is what EnergeticXChange is, a practical tool through which people can utilize the significant reach and power of their social networks and communities to ensure that all you have to offer and all that you need can be met, without in many cases having to mindlessly spend on things that aren’t necessary. In this way we feel we also have created the opportunity for people to save up to 20% to 30% of their disposable incomes. I am writing down the greater details of this for an e-book to be released soon. We need to stop perpetuating habits we have learned as part of this old economic paradigm that are mindlessly taking us in directions that are counter to our true happiness.

    More importantly, we need to know that every single one of us on this planet has something that is worthwhile giving. So many of us have been made to feel that what we have, is not worthy of being given. We have also been fooled asleep into believing that we should give when we have. If we do this, we will never give. When someone asks, we need to give, this is in energetic flow with all the universe, so we do not hold up the resource. We also need to do this fully in the knowledge that our needs too will always be met. Great societies in the past worked like this for millennia and not small obscure ones either.

    It is critical now more than ever, that we no longer operate in the old paradigm of fear!

    Blessings and Thanks
    George Kaponay

  97. Life is too short for regrets or niggles on the brain. It is niggling because you made a commitment. Who cares what others think. It matters to you and because of that you know based on what I have read of you, that you need to follow your heart. Whatever support you need, just ask. I have helped hundreds of people who could not pay me to develop and in some cases open successful businesses and in others, fail forward and get to the next level
    You do your best and keep your word, even when only to yourself. Loved the post and I admire what you and your team are doing. You give me great hope for your generation and the future of the world.

  98. Danny, at every stage of my life the crucial thing needed for true contentment and peace has been service to something “bigger” than my immediate circle and myself. (My first career was as an emergency medical care provider, and teaching EMT courses full-time. After that I was an administrator of an international sabbatical center providing 100 day midlife spiritual renewal programs.)

    I’ve been doing a lot of work around identifying what this looks like for the next part of my life, and with the help of you and your team, I think I’ve finally figured it out (just today, in fact!). You already make a tremendous difference in the lives of those with whom you work. It’s only natural to want to spread that further and do even more.

    I applaud the intention behind this and urge you to go for it!

  99. You may know the biblical quote “It’s more blessed to give than receive,”and yet whenever you give, you always seem to receive more than you put out. No…its not necessarily from the same source, but that gift/blessing you imparted to others sure does come back. Giving is more often than not a “win – win” situation for both the giver and the receiver. So go a head Danny…follow your heart, cuz your head is calling :-)!!! Just know that… A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. Proverbs 18:16 (NIV). And it does that when the givers heart is in the right place…I believe your time is now. I mean… we love you, particularly the way you inspire us, without all the hype (I really hate hype), and we don’t want to see you making that scratch on the back of your brain any larger (Yuck Danny!!…What a visual 🙂

  100. Danny,
    Talking about and validating fear is the foundation of my life and business. I applaud you and encourage you to follow your gut with thoughtfulness. I volunteer to help!! Conquering fear is a key to happiness and joy. Move on and through. Good. Good. Good!

    AJ

  101. Danny, I’ve think you’ve heard from your readers…NO…you are not off your rocker! It is what we all dream about…making a difference. And I can’t speak for anyone else but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve told myself that I would start giving more when I started making more. One thing that is so inspiring to me is that I have found people like you online who are thinking this way (about making a difference)…you are a very rare breed but it seems that you are one of the ones leading the way to making this world a better place. Thanks, Danny! I’m also enjoying the Audience Biz course right now. ;o)

  102. No, you’re not crazy, Danny. It’s been my experience that the analogy of life to a three-leg stool is pretty close to accurate: we humans need the personal, the professional, and the spiritual to be working, in order for us to thrive. I think of community service as being a part of that third leg. Some years ago Rick Warren had a bestseller when he wrote The Purpose-Driven Life. Though Warren is a pastor, his message resonates for lots of people, both church members and those who are “unchurched”: when we are clear as to our purpose in being alive, it’s easier to contextualize the events that happen in our lives — both good and bad. Lots of folks, though not all, fixate on the personal (self, family, friends) first, and some never really get that part working. Others do succeed there, and then (or simultaneously) they build a satisfying professional life in which they’re using their talents and advancing in terms of their accomplishments and their finances. At that point, there’s often a realization that there must be more — a time when we start thinking, as you clearly are now, along the lines of wanting to make the world a better place, and not just for ourselves, our families, our friends, and our businesses/employers. That’s when we start looking at how to give back, seems to me. I think of it this way: when we have no money, our whole life is about money — how will I get enough money to afford to eat tonight? Once we have enough money and our meals (and other basics) are assured, we have time to think about moving forward professionally (unless we’re particularly socially-conscious, and want to take care of others beyond our families first). When that professional piece is working well, many of us then think about how to make a difference for the world at large — or maybe just for a somewhat larger group. It’s the personal and professional success/stability that open up the possibility, for many of us, of thinking about the greater good! It’s wonderful that you’re already helping many people to enjoy success. Bless you, Danny, and I look forward to learning more about what you come up with to make this world an even better place!

  103. Danny,
    As the Executive Director of a small nonprofit whose mission is help ALL children learn to read (esp. dyslexic children and adults) I work hard every day trying to find the money to help the families who don’t have the resources to pay for services. Your story is the same. To change the life of a child (or adult) is a noble effort – with high rewards. By assisting those who cannot afford your services and/products you will gain much more than you expend.

    My only advice would be that they must have some “skin” in the game. How you will set that up will up to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean money but they must work hard to achieve their dreams. How you measure that I am unsure but I have learned that when they have no investment (money, hard work, passion, accountability) it is easy to coast.
    Bravo to you and all of us in the world who care enough to change a life, a community and the world.

    1. Jane,
      My young website currently has 50+ free Readers Theater scripts teachers, tutors, and parents use for improving literacy, covering content, and having barrels of fun. Help yourself: http://www.ReadersTheaterAllYear.com Your words are motivating…I’m trying to figure out how to connect with literacy non-profits to help change the world and build confident leaders together.

      Danny, your sincerity inspires hope! Thank you for being a pioneer in exploring a new business model. There must be a way to blast through the mountain of questions and blaze a trail for others to follow. We’re counting on you, sir. 🙂

    2. Jane is right. While what many charge is unconscionable, free doesn’t seem to have any value for most people. They don’t take it seriously.

      I am one of the people you are looking to serve. I’ve been using free and inexpensive information for years trying to build my business. Now many don’t have that kind of time. It can be done, but it takes a lot of sweat and many many tears. Most people wouldn’t go through that.

      Its unfortunate that many of the people who say they want help won’t actually put in the effort. You need to balance your plan with low monthly payments, and not give away what they haven’t paid for.

      Or maybe there is a way that they can work off what they owe you? That might be an idea.

        1. I like Jane Robinson’s thought of accountability, or Carols that says they should work it up, perhaps there can be a barter system as well. 🙂
          I don’t like Victoria’s suggestion of streching the cost out over many month. I have been in the situation of being on a low income and the ongoing pressure of paying the bills is immense. I would never have dared to add another burden of 12 to 18 month payments to it, even for the great training you provide Danny.

    3. Jane, thank you for your observations from someone who is truly on the front lines. I really agree with you – and because you live this every day, you bring true credibility to your recommendation to make sure they have skin in the game.

  104. The thinking behind this post is exactly the reason I love Firepole Marketing. Danny, you should absolutely go for it. And I would imagine the business Ens of things would grow like never before. 🙂 Thanks for being awesome.

  105. Danny, I think this is wonderful and gracious. It’s understandable that you would want to think of the best way to give back and invest. I think contributing to a form of education is a win-win. Here’s a thought. What if you considered a pay-it-forward type of training. Where you could train how ever many people you plan to sponsor, and perhaps have them give back by assisting/teaching a snippet of what they learned to someone else. Or blog/share their experience/development and how they were able to apply what they learned to move forward. Then they learn, others learn, and you benefit. 🙂 Mary

    1. You are new in my inbox, Danny, but I think the idea of offering ‘game changing’ information to people and helping them see it to execution is an amazing goal. I’m placing my comment here because I think Mary’s idea of ‘paying it forward’ is STELLAR! Isn’t that how the world is really changed anyway? It starts with one person, then spreads through the many people he touched and so on.

      1. I’m also adding on here, because I agree with what both Mary’s and Marnie’s comments, and because I am also one of your new subscribers (Not even sure how I found you, but so glad I did!). I am currently doing your free video training series and although I haven’t gotten too far into it, I already know that it’s going to be worth my while completing it. You seem like a truly genuine and caring person, with so much to offer – I say go for it!

  106. Danny,
    I have been with you awhile, and this sounds like something right up your alley. You do truly care which is so refreshing in a business world of “lets make a buck from all these saps out there” !
    I am in the same line of business of trying to give people a voice in their quest to do good. I would love to be able to recommend you as a resource!
    Good luck in your decision making and may it bring you peace and prosperity!

    1. Hey Sheryl, the crazy thing is that “lets make a buck from all these saps out there” doesn’t even work past the ridiculously short-run; it’s only when you’re creating real value for others that there’s any real value that you can capture for yourself.

      Thank you for the support – it helps with the decision-making, and I’m looking forward to see what this will bring. 🙂

  107. I love you man.

    I feel that’s all that really needs said here 🙂

    Ok, I’ll add:
    I will support you in all the ways I know how, if you’re open to it. (I offered some branding + design advice on one of your info-graphics a while back, but ya didn’t bite :P)

    And finally I’ll add:
    A pattern I’ve noticed is that hungry, bold, ambitious entrepreneurs make a lot, do well, and then get comfortable and lose their edge. Where once they were bold risk-takers who knew life was a giant adventure, we all have our time to pass, and there really is “nothing to lose… they often end up comfortable, sedentary, and boring. They stop taking risks, and although no one can say “they’ve done nothing” with their lives, it’s really hard to say “hey, you’re still crushing it and doing it up big.”

    I don’t see you belonging in that group of sit-on-thumb-ers. I see you as a GAME-CHANGER.

    There are a small group of entrepreneurs who are true visionaries, never satisfied and never holding back. They refuse to fall into that comfort zone for too long, or long at all, and they stay hungry.

    They also are the one’s who have to drop old relationships that don’t serve them, take giant monetary risks or world-moving challenges, etc.

    That’s the group I see you in.

    I know I’ve been off the radar, and it’s possible I’ve allowed our friendship to deteriorate, but I hope you know I’ve always kept you in my heart and mind, and I know we’ll rock things as/when the time is right. I have very long-term, big-picture thinking and I believe it’s key.

    And I can apply it to this situation as well:

    In my mind, it’s not even a risk, dude.
    You’re born for this.
    Trust that voice from your soul.
    It’s karma.
    And it’ll come back to you.

    Ring in the Karma Economy man.
    Play big, not small, and hang around people who GET this, and ENCOURAGE it, not judge you and focus on the DOWNSIDES of karma.

    Show the f***ing world Danny Iny.

    So says this off-the-grid success-coach, and no matter what my situation, my wisdom is always channeled, blessed, and utterly ON POINT 😉

    Believe it.

    Whether the venture “succeeds” or “fails” you’ll be in the group who were 1st string players in the game, rather than the scaredy cats who stayed on the bench with the water bottles.

    K, I’m off my soapbox.

    I love ya, man, and I say that pure.

      1. Danny,
        I totally agree with Jason on this one. Go with your gut feeling.

        I love how Jason says; Play big, not small. Hang with people that get it and encourage it, not judgemental types. I also might add that there are those that will always ask for something for free. That is their game. Be wary of those. You might try offering them an e-course with no one-on-one coaching for 1/2 the price of the original course, or something of that nature.

        I for one know that you take your business very personally with much humility, also your engagement with your readers is second to none. Very few business people put in that much effort and integrity. Most are the fly by night types that just want the big bucks from unsuspecting people, then they disappear. I have personally been involved with a couple of those. You are not one of them.

        This string of comments shows how many people believe in you and your work, so go forward, make a plan and “Play Big” if that is what your soul is telling you to do. Giving back can be done in many different ways, you just have to decide what works best for your business.

  108. I think you know what I’ll say: NO, not crazy!

    Actually, I’ll be honest: the number one reason I decided to take Audience Business wasn’t your crazy more-than-money-back guarantee (which IS crazy) or the great material you promised. It was something you said in the webinar…and I don’t remember your exact words, but it was something about wanting to help people create businesses that make a difference. Businesses that change the world. I knew then that you weren’t some sleazy marketing guy. You were the real thing. That idea is what you’ve been selling all along, I think…that’s certainly what *I* was buying when I signed up to be a student.

    So now you’re in a position to do it? Then it’s time! Change the world!

    And I can’t WAIT to hear more details. I have a feeling I may be connecting you with some awesome people I know.

    1. Lisa you totally hit the nail on the head.

      With so many choices out there for products in the end it comes down to the person and whether or not you can work with that person, or in your case, how that person makes you feel.

      Again, you’re right that it’s about helping people out there. You have to be human. Just like Danny was in that webinar. If you’re not, then people may pass by your without a look.

      But if you’re a person who is genuinely a good person, it can go a long way.

      Great insight Lisa

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