Daniel Alonzo on Building a Highly Scalable Business and Living Life on Your Terms
Even the most driven of us are sometimes forced to swerve from our goals when life takes an unexpected turn. And although it might seem like the end of the world at the time, it could also be a major opportunity.
Today’s podcast guest, Daniel Alonzo, started in financial services when he was 21 — and was a millionaire by 28 — but that wasn’t his original plan. His dreams of becoming a baseball player were dashed by an injury. Prior to that, he admits, he was a “bad kid,” whose pastimes included breaking into people’s cars, and stealing whatever was loose inside.
Little did Daniel know that one of these incidents would set him on the path to success. Inside a stolen boombox was a cassette tape by Jack Canfield of “Chicken Soup For the Soul” fame. The tape was called “Self Esteem & Peak Performance,” and listening to it changed Daniel’s perspective on life. It helped him find focus and set goals.
One of those goals was to retire by the age of 30, and he certainly could have done it. By that age, he was generating enough wealth through recruiting other people that he didn’t have to work another day of his life. Of course, he didn’t stop there!
Today, Daniel Alonzo is a coach, entrepreneur, media personality, podcaster, and author of the forthcoming book, Wealth on the Beach. He speaks in front of hundreds of thousands of people a year, teaching them how to create financial freedom and live a better life.
In our conversation, Daniel tells me why building relationships is the secret to success, why he chose not to retire, and how he built a highly scalable business that allows him to live an extraordinary life on his terms.
Featured on This Episode: Daniel Alonzo
✅ What Daniel Alonzo does: After breaking into financial services at age 21, Daniel is now a business coach, speaker and investor. He also hosts the podcast Wealth on the Beach, and is writing an upcoming book of the same name.
💬 Words of wisdom: Daniel met his now-wife Karma when they were teenagers, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. He says that if your partner isn’t completely supportive of your goals, they aren’t the right person for you.
- Sometimes your dream isn’t meant to be — but you might be better off without it.
Daniel Alonzo’s first big dream was to become a baseball player: but like so many aspiring athletes, it was crushed when he was badly injured. At the time, Daniel was devastated. However, he shifted his focus and work ethic to concentrate on building his financial services company instead.Cut to nearly a decade later, and at 28, Daniel had $1 million in assets, and was making the same salary as many baseball players, if not more. He later met the wife of one of the coaches of a major baseball team. She told him how much her husband traveled, and that even when he was home, he was busy working. Daniel realized that the career he ended up with might not have been the one he would have chosen as a teenage athlete, but it has ultimately served him better.
- When you meet someone who inspires you, ask them questions.
People will pay to hear someone they admire speak about their career, but they’re often too shy to ask them direct questions about how they succeeded. Daniel is not one of those people: he’s always been comfortable approaching his business idols to ask for advice. And now that he is someone others look up to, he encourages them to approach him and others with their questions.You can listen to podcasts and read books — and you should — but the best way to learn their secrets is by asking them directly. See it as part of continuing your education: Daniel says that one reason he’s so successful is because he constantly looks for opportunities to pick up other people’s wisdom.
- Train people to keep making money for you while you relax.
Daniel Alonzo is a big advocate of the maxim “work harder, not smarter,” and by that he means train other people to do the work so you can do whatever you want. He was inspired by McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, who realized that the big money lay not in running hundreds of burger restaurants, but in recruiting and training thousands of franchisees to run restaurants for him.Since getting into financial services, Daniel has recruited and trained hundreds of people. By now, he has a network of people he knows he can trust, who are the ones running around day to day, while he’s on the beach, making a steady income.
Daniel Alonzo Clip: Magnify Your Wealth By Helping Others Win
Episode Highlights with Daniel Alonzo
If your partner doesn’t support you, find one who will
“There are people right now in a bad relationship with a spouse or a boyfriend or girlfriend that does not support their life. I’m not saying they have to be in business with you or you have to work with them, but I am saying, there’s got to be some respect about wanting to help you grow and help you get better. And if that’s not happening, there’s got to be a point where you draw the line in the sand, say, Look, we’re either going to be great together or we’re not. And if we’re not, then we need to look at other options.” – Daniel Alonzo
Make the pitch to your coach
“I’ve always gravitated towards the most successful people. In sports, it’s the coach, or it’s the best players on the field. I would gravitate towards a coach-type figure, and then I would be very direct in saying, Maybe I’m not the biggest guy — because I’m not the biggest guy — and maybe I’m not even the most talented guy, but I can tell you there’s nobody that’s going to outwork me. There’s nobody that’s going to want to win more than I want to win. I’m just letting you know, Coach, that I’m coachable. I want to play. I want to be a part of a team. I want to be here. I want to be the the loudest voice.” – Daniel Alonzo
Choosing contribution over retirement
“Tony Robbins said, ‘Retirement equals death.’ Once I heard that, I started to evaluate, If I do retire, what the hell am I going to do? I’m probably going to drink too much, hang out with the wrong people. I’m probably not going to make a difference in anybody’s lives. If you don’t contribute, you’re limiting your life and you’re limiting your happiness… I believe that a life of progress, a life of contribution, is a life of significance. So when I heard that, it changed my life and I said, There’s no way, man, I’ve got too much to give. I’ve got too much energy. I’ve learned all this crap for the last 10 years. What the hell, if I don’t give it away and share it, then what good is it?” – Daniel Alonzo
Steal people’s wisdom whenever you get the chance
“There are young people who are so afraid to ask a question. They’re like, That guy makes a lot of money, he’s so financially independent, he’ll never want to talk to me. I just wanted to know more, and I would ask people questions — people that were way older than me. I’d always be asking questions, always trying to get better, always trying to learn, because I felt like the life hack was me stealing their information. Instead of stealing crap out of people’s cars, I was going to steal information out of their brains, so I could hopefully have a little bit of their success in my life.” – Daniel Alonzo
Outsource the work, keep the profits
“I made a decision that I wanted to build outlets, I wanted to build franchises. I wanted to build something that didn’t need me anymore, where I would train somebody really well and go, OK, here’s your office, go build it. I have guys in my business that I haven’t even had a conversation with for five years. It’s like a renter: You don’t have conversations with them every day, but you’re still bringing in that income every single month. So that was the decision I made. And financially speaking, that’s been literally a $21 million good decision for me. It’s been a revenue stream of income, cash flow, of $21 million. That’s why I made that decision.” – Daniel Alonzo
A smart workforce makes smart money
“We have some really good people in our organization that have been integral to our success. We did $1.2 billion last year in insurance, we did $30 million+ dollars in new investment sales. There’s good stuff happening, but the truth is I’m less than half a percent of any of that. I give all the credit to the miraculous team that we have. We have people that are just incredible workers, incredible closers, relationship-builders and recruiters. We’re recruiting 300 people a month right now. It really is awesome.” – Daniel Alonzo
- Daniel Alonzo Website – Alonzo Academy
- Daniel Alonzo Podcast – Wealth on the Beach on Apple and on Spotify
- Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc
- Discover the 6 Human Needs by Tony Robbins
- Self Esteem & Peak Performance by Jack Canfield
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Read the Full Transcript with Daniel Alonzo
Justin Donald: Well, Daniel, I’m so excited to have you on the show. It was fun being on your show and really getting to know you. And it’s great having you back. And I’ve got to tell you that my executive assistant has been following you for years. We talked about this off-air, and I just thought it’d be really cool to mention this. And she just thinks the world of you and has so many great things to say about you. So, I’ve been thrilled personally about this episode.
Daniel Alonzo: Well, I’m excited to be here, Justin. Your episode with me was phenomenal and just looking forward to a great conversation.
Justin Donald: Awesome. Well, I know we’re going to get that because when we got done on your episode, I just felt like we could hang out and keep talking. And so, my favorite people to have on my show or the people that I would just hang out with anyway, we go grab a drink, a coffee, or whatever and just kick it. And I know you spent a lot of your time on the beach. So, if we were to kick it, we’d have to be on the beach somewhere, I suppose, right?
Daniel Alonzo: I would imagine, yes. We’ll find somewhere nice.
Justin Donald: I love it. Well, you have had a really cool career, Daniel. You started at a young age. And I think unlike most people, you found success very early on and you found success right out of the gates in an organization that you’re still part of. And that’s so rare today. And I’d love to hear a little bit about that story because I think you were like 21 years old when you got started in kind of the financial services industry.
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, look, it all started really, and I like to tell this story because it’s really close to my heart because when I was growing up, I was about 14 years old and I was hanging out with a bad crowd and I wasn’t your typical good kid. And I was out with a buddy one night, and we were roaming the streets and were trying to unlock cars. And we would go in there and just being a couple of hoodlums and where we would find maybe sunglasses or we would find some change in the ashtray or whatever, and then we’d get excited. We’d steal what we could get and we’d jam back.
And one night, we were out, and I ended up finding this boombox radio. And in the boombox radio, there was a tape cassette by Jack Canfield, which everybody knows Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul. And this was unbelievable to me that, first of all, I found a boombox radio. I was excited. I didn’t really care about the tape at 14 years old, but I kept the radio and I kept the tape. And then, a couple of years later, I started to listen to that tape cassette. And that tape cassette changed my life. I started to understand how to ask for what I wanted, say no to people that want to steal all your time. And you know what I mean, just like try to get organized with my life. It was called self-esteem and peak performance.
Daniel Alonzo: And so, I like to tell that little foundation story because I had a little bit of an advantage. So, when I got into business at 21, I was so much– not that that changed my life. I was still a bad kid up until about probably 21, until I got into business. Business really changed my life, but I like to tell that little foundation story because that is what got me thinking about self-improvement, about changing my life. And so, when that opportunity came, Justin, I was ready to rock, man. I was like, no BS man. I wanted to win, I was ready to unleash the power of everything I knew and I learned through those early years.
Justin Donald: Well, it’s interesting. You ended up getting this gift that you didn’t anticipate. You thought the boombox was the gift, and the gift was the tape in the boombox years later or months later, whatever that looks like. And there have been times in my life where I have been robbed and at certain points in my life, it’s like, man, let me play the victim and this totally sucks. And why did this happen to me? But I learned over time to say, you know what, that person may have needed this more than me. I’m fine. I can live without it. I shouldn’t be putting so much value in material possessions anyway. And so, I’ve had CDs and things stolen. And in my mind, it’s like, well, I hope they really get some good value out of that. I hope they get some good value out of these Tony Robbins’ CDs that I’ve had multiple of those go missing over the years.
Daniel Alonzo: It’s funny that you said that because in my last house, we had been redoing our garage and we epoxied the whole thing. And then you have to park your car outside when you do that for like two days. And so, on those nights that I parked outside or the first night that I parked outside, it was ransacked, my little convertible Corvette. I don’t know how they got in. Maybe I left the door open. I don’t know. The same thing that I used to do to people. And they took everything, man, every tape, every CD. I think they stole my golf clubs. I mean, they took everything. And I just remember laughing. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t upset. I remember just saying, to me, well, first of all, my wife’s name is Karma. And so, that was perfect because, I mean, it was karma, pure and simple, getting me back for all those years when I used to steal people’s stuff out of their car as a young kid.
Justin Donald: And it’s so great when you can have the mental strength to direct your emotions and say, you know what, I’m not going to let this bend me out of shape because I can’t control what happened, but I can control how I respond to it. I think that’s cool. And speaking of your wife, by the way, what an unbelievable name and what an unbelievable thing to keep you focused on. It is my understanding just that you two were high school sweethearts. So, yet again, another pattern of finding something that you like early on and really sticking with it, and what greater place to do that than your spouse?
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, I mean, we had met at a little high school party. She went to a different school than I did and I ended up meeting her at this party. And the rest is history. I mean, we’ve been together almost every day since we were around 16, 17 years old. And so, it’s been a good run. It’s been a good amount of years. I mean, look, and I’m not saying it’s been perfect. I mean, we had to grow up together, man. We had to build a business together. We had to learn how to speak and we had to learn how to communicate and we had to learn how to get along and we had to learn how to raise a family. We had to learn business work all while being young kids trying to figure the same thing out called business.
Justin Donald: Yeah, and for those of you that don’t understand this, maybe you’ve never worked with a spouse, I can relate to this that you’ve got to figure out all these things on how to have a good relationship in general if you’re not working together. And then when you work together, it’s a whole nother animal. And there are complexities of working together, but needing to separate work from personal and off times and not being on work, talking about work at date night, but then being able to work together in a way that builds your organization and builds each other. And there is an art to it and there’s a discipline to it and it is not easy. So, I honor you for finding a way to make that happen, Daniel. My wife and I decided it’s best that we don’t work together.
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, look, I mean, thank God that we started to win pretty quick and then we ended up being able to hire people, but those early days, it was a tough thing. I mean, I remember that I was sitting in front of my mom’s house in my little, I think, it was like a ’93 Nissan Sentra, me and her. We just got back home from training. And I remember being in that car and I locked the doors. I literally locked the doors in the car and I said, “Look, you’re either going to support me,” because it was tough in the beginning because she felt like the business was taking me away. I mean, she wanted to be a teenager, man, or at least 21-year-old, right? She wanted to be a young person and have fun and do all these things and not worry about business where I was like a freakin’ maniac, focused, obsessed. Like that’s all I wanted is to win because my goal was to be retired by the time I was 30. Like that was my whole object, which by the way, I’ve changed obviously through the years, I’ve matured. And I was like, I don’t want to retire at 30. That’s no fun. I want to continue to make progress and grow.
But I lock that door and I said, “Look, we ain’t leaving until we figure this thing out.” We’ve been together about five or six years at that time. So, I said, “Look, you’re either with me or you’re not,” like you’re going to help me and like, be pushing me up because I can’t take it if you’re going to drag me down. And so, I literally drew the line in the sand. And of course, we know what happened and what she picked, and it all worked out, but man, it’s like sometimes in life, you gotta draw the line in the sand because there are people right now, they’re listening, Justin, that they are wondering. They’re in a bad relationship with a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend that does not support their life.
Now, I’m not saying they have to be in business with you or you have to work with them, but I am saying, there’s got to be some respect about, like, wanting to help you grow and help you get better and always looking for ways to make your life better. And if that’s not happening, sometimes I think there’s got to be a point where you draw the line in the sand, say, “Look, we’re either going to be great together or we’re not. And if we’re not, then we need to look at other options.”
Justin Donald: Yeah, I think that’s so powerful. And to have someone that is a support system, whether in the business or out of the business, they don’t have to be involved, but they need to be supportive of you and of what is important to you. And my wife is incredible at that. And we just decided, hey, we’re going to work together better in a way where we’re not working directly together. And she’s so great at training people and teaching people things. And so, it’s been cool having her along for the ride and helping us build what we’ve built, especially with our real estate portfolio. She was very integral in the books and creating systems and all kinds of stuff, things that she’s way better at than I am. So, I think that that is great advice.
And something else that you mentioned earlier that I want to kind of single out is you talked about the bad influences of the people you were hanging with and the direction that you were headed before finding this organization that had some great leaders that was able to harness your energy for wanting to do great things in the world. And it’s such a testament to peer group, the power of peer group, the impact of peer group, and the fact that you really become like those you spend the most time with. Would you agree?
Daniel Alonzo: 100%. From an early age or from 21 when I got started in business, maybe it was because of support, for some reason, I just gravitate towards the most successful people. So, in sports, who is that? It’s the coach or it’s the best players on the field. And so, I would gravitate towards a coach-type figure, and then I would be very direct in saying, “Look, maybe I’m not the biggest guy because I’m not the biggest guy, maybe I’m not even the most talented guy, but I can tell you there’s nobody that’s going to outwork me. There’s nobody that’s going to want to win more than I want to win. So, I’m just letting you know, coach, that I’m coachable, man.” Like, you just call the play, and I want to play. I want to be a part of a team. I want to be here. I want to be the the loudest voice.
I remember being in baseball and I remember being the loudest voice on the field, cheering on my teammates. And so, it was that environment of sports that helped me remember that. Like I remembered when I got in the business that I wanted to be a part of a team. I wanted to be a coachable part of the team. I wanted to be somebody that lifted the team versus those guys and gals that it’s always negative, it’s always bad, it’s always something’s wrong, it’s always talking behind people’s backs and the back of the room type people, always talking about what we can’t do versus like, look, the coach just said, we can do it. Let’s fight for the coach, let’s fight for the team, and let’s go win together. And so, yeah, that environment, Justin, is everything.
Justin Donald: And Daniel, what coach doesn’t want to be around someone that has that type of energy and vigor and coachability, right? And what type of players don’t want to be around someone that has that type of passion and commitment for the game that’s going to allow everyone on the team to play at a higher level? Your story here is great because as I understand it, you had a pretty big injury when you played college baseball and you aspired to be a professional baseball player. And in the moment, it probably felt like, oh, my dreams are shattered, but in reality, I think you won the lottery. I think you had the better outcome because you have been able to separate time from money and you have won, you earn an income that is comparable to a lot of major league athletes, but it is showing up whether you work or you don’t work. And that is really exciting.
Daniel Alonzo: It’s funny because when I was– this was, I don’t know, maybe five, ten years ago, I remember going to an Angels baseball game and I had a really good seat and I was sitting right next to one of the coaches’ wives. So, we start talking and she starts to tell me about her life and about the fact that she never sees her husband. He’s gone for nine months out of the year. And even when he’s home, all he does is watch videos and game films and all these.
And now, not that her life is terrible because I’m sure she’s got a decent amount of money and she can spend it on whatever she wants. I’m sure she has a lot of freedom, but you could just tell that there was something missing in her life. And so, it made me super grateful, even more so. I’ve always been very grateful for my opportunity, for every day, every breath that I get from God. I’m always very grateful for those, but it was like I was extra grateful that day, thinking, oh, my God, like I don’t think I would have ever been pro-pro. I mean, I don’t think I have the size. I don’t think I had the ability, but I think I had played some pretty decent high-level college ball, but who knows, right? If I would have gone pro, my life would have been completely different than what it had been because, I mean, think about it, I started at 21. In about three years, I was making $100,000 a year as a young man pretty consistently with almost all passive. And then it jumped to $170,000 and then it jumped to $250,000 and then it went to $350,000 and then it went to half a million.
Daniel Alonzo: And at that time, I was 28 years old. I woke up, I’m 28 years old. I got a million dollars saved in the bank or in my investments, and that was like real money. That was not like property, million-dollar properties. That was like a million dollars in investments and mutual funds and stocks and things like that. And I look back and I go, oh my God, I’m 46 years old, Justin, I haven’t physically had to work since I was 28. Now, I still work, I still want to contribute, I still want to make a difference, I still want to make money. I got a lot of goals, still. How awesome is that? To have that versus nine months not seeing my kids. So, anyway.
Justin Donald: Totally, it’s incredible. And knowing a guy like you, and I have very similar tendencies where I’m all in for whatever the thing that I’m doing is. So, what if that lot had been the way that you wanted it to go? You would have been just as all in as that player watching films like I would have, too. That’s just the way that I think that we’re wired, but what I love is the recognition that you could retire by your goal of 30. You didn’t retire, but you had the ability, you had the means, you had the income to support you if you wanted to do it, but what I always tell people is when you have the income to support your lifestyle and even greater so, if you have it to support the lifestyle that you want to live, like the ideal lifestyle, whatever that is for you, then it just opens up more options and you can ask better quality questions.
And the better quality questions aren’t how do I not work? Well, how do I find something I really enjoy doing? And how do I do it in a time frame that feels really good to me? And when you can figure those things out, how can I do it with people that I am so excited to spend time with? When you figure those out, it becomes the greatest joy because it’s all on your terms and you’re impacting people from a place where you just have so much passion, you resonate and exude this energy because you’re choosing to do it. You don’t have to work, you get to work. You have the privilege to work. You have the opportunity and the blessing to be able to do it. And I know that you can relate.
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, I mean, we’re both Anthony Robbins guys. We’ve been following that teaching for a lot of years. And I remember because I mean, I went to a lot of seminars, I mean, straight out the gate. I mean, I got his whole tape set and series in 30 days and all the subliminal music that I used to listen to and all this stuff. And I remember hearing him speak and he said, retirement equals death. And I’ll never forget that retirement equals death, and I said, and once I heard that and I started to kind of evaluate, I’m thinking, well, if I do retire, what the hell am I going to do?
Let’s be honest, right? What am I going to do? I’m probably going to drink too much, probably going to hang out with the wrong people. I’m probably not going to make a difference in anybody’s lives. And we know the six human needs, right? I mean, we have to have contribution in our life. Like, you don’t contribute, you’re limiting your life and you’re limiting your happiness because you cannot be fully fulfilled unless you have certain things that are met in your life. And so, progress, of course, you’ve heard me say it, progress equals happiness. And I believe that a life of progress, a life of contribution is a life of significance.
And again, there I go again, there’s another human need that we all have to have in our souls and our hearts and our gut. And I just think it’s important. So, when I heard that it changed my life and I said, “There’s no way, man, I got too much to give. I got too much energy. I’ve learned all this crap for the last 10 years. What the hell, if I don’t give it away and share it, then what good is it?”
Justin Donald: That’s right. Totally. And I love your idea here. And we’ve heard a lot of smart people say it and not everyone listens to it. I feel like one thing that I have embraced is this idea of progress. And one of the things we teach in our household that we teach our daughter is progress, not perfection. And I think both my wife and I, we grew up with very perfectionistic parents or at least one of the parents being very perfectionistic. And so, I have some of those tendencies that I’m always fighting. And so, progress to me is such a healthier way of going about it. And I just love that that’s part of what you do.
Again, you don’t have to work. You find inspiration from helping other people. Is that where your passion comes from? I want to understand because a lot of the people that I bring on my show, they don’t have to work and they do, but they do it on their time and they do it in a way that serves them in a way that serves other people really well, but where do you get your passion from? What keeps you going?
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, I mean, I think that there is a level of that need for significance and need for growth, and I basically live those human needs, or at least I’m trying to live those human needs. I want to self-improve. I want to get better. I want to see how good I can become. And why not if I can change somebody’s lives. I mean, well, we have 48 locations today. We have 1,500 licensed agents in our organization. And I don’t know, I kind of feel like maybe I add a little bit of value to some of those people.
Now, a lot of them are independent. A lot of them don’t need me. A lot of them have been way more successful, probably without me than with me. And so, I just say, you know what, thank God, maybe I got a little bit, I gave them a little bit of value so that they can go on to do great things. And so, it’s a part of me that I feel like if I leave, if I don’t continue to get better, if I don’t continue to think about systems and ways for all of our businesses to succeed at a higher level, I feel like I’m doing the world and especially them, which they entrusted me, by the way. As one of their leaders, they’ve entrusted me for guidance and in some sort of inspiration. And I feel like if I leave, if I just check out completely, I’m doing them all a disservice.
Justin Donald: Yeah, that’s great. And it’s great when you have people that you want to pour into. I mean, that makes all the difference in the world when you have coachable people that are eager to learn. I have this zest for life, as many of my friends call it, and I let people know. I am a lifelong learner. I went out to coffee with someone earlier today. It’s really just that I love connecting with people. And he was asking me questions about investing and about my book. And I was asking him questions about parenting. And I let him know that to me, everyone is a teacher. Everyone does something better than me. And I want to learn and grow from whatever it is. I would like every life hack there is. And if I ask enough people enough questions around their superpower or at least around wisdom that they have, I’m going to be that much better off. And then, for me, and I know you’re this way, when you learn it and you eternalize it, then you have to pour it out somewhere. And so, the more you learn, the more you want to teach, the more you want to give. And it’s just this really cool relationship with education.
Daniel Alonzo: And let me just– I want to jump in because, like, isn’t it interesting, though, that we’re two guys here that have done okay, that have kind of built a decent amount of security. And isn’t it interesting, though, that there are young people that are listening right now and they’re so afraid to ask a question, they’re so afraid. They’re like, oh, my God, that guy makes a lot of money, he’s so financially dependent, he’ll never want to talk to me. And isn’t it funny that young people, and so for somebody like me, I was like, I’m like you, man, I just wanted to know more. And I would ask people questions, people that were way older than me. And I’d always be asking questions, always trying to get better, always trying to learn because I felt like the life hack was me stealing their information. I mean, instead of stealing crap out of people’s cars, I was going to steal their information out of their brains so I could hopefully have a little bit of theirs, have a little bit more success in my life.
Justin Donald: I love it. Yeah, that’s so cool. It’s a great way to look at it. And I shared this before, I believe, in one of my episodes that I used to collect stuff, I used to love to travel and collect different things from the places that I’ve been. And at a certain point, I stopped collecting. My wife is very much a minimalist and doesn’t really collect anything. And some of that rubbed off on me in a very good way, but I collect relationships and I collect education and I collect experiences. And I think those are some of the more fun and dynamic things to have in life.
And I know that you’re a big traveler. We share this. We share a love for this. And in fact, my daughter’s peeking in her head in the podcast studio right now. And you have taken– you’ve traveled with your family, with kids all over the globe, as we have. I mean, my daughter has been to at least 20 different countries, and I know you’re the same way. And so, I’d love to kind of hear your thoughts on travel and the importance of travel for you, and then also, though, for the rest of your family.
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, I mean, you know, for some reason, it’s just in me, and I don’t know if it’s just you’re born with it. And I think it’s a part of the learning aspect, too, of why I love to travel because, like, I mean, we stay in nice hotels, obviously, but I’d like to get out of town sometimes. And I like to go to those little remote areas wherever we’re at and eat in these little dive restaurants. And then that way, you can have conversations with people and find out about the way that they live and see how they live and learn how they live. And there’s a part of gratitude that comes from that.
When I was driving down the street the other day with my daughter and I looked out the window, and I mean, I pointed to a homeless guy that was sleeping on the side of the road. And I said, “Just look at that man,” and again, I don’t know his circumstances, I don’t know his story, but unfortunately, there are so many people out there that they didn’t grow, they didn’t continually learn. Obviously, some of them, it’s a mental issue, and maybe they couldn’t help from being in that situation. And my heart pours out to people like that, but there are also people out there that really just made bad choices.
Daniel Alonzo: And so, anything I can give my kids in that aspect to try to guide them. And I think traveling has been one of those, at least for me, is one of those opportunities. Like I love getting on a plane. I know a lot of people don’t like getting on planes. I love getting on planes. I love the act of flying. I love the act of getting excited about, hey, we’re going somewhere this weekend. I love even being in the seat of an airplane where nobody’s bothering you nine times out of ten. It’s just you and your little box and you get to read and you get to listen to Audible and you get to watch movies and you get to– just that time that it’s just you and you. And so, I don’t know, I mean, and then you get to the location and then you get to maybe go on an excursion, or we went to Costa Rica last year, I think it was. And we were able to go on, I mean, ziplining and horseback riding and jumping off of waterfalls and doing stuff that you just never would do.
And so, anyway, so travel for me is a lot of things, but it’s really about because I believe– and you said this a couple of minutes ago, I believe life is about making memories. I want nice things. I want a nice car. I want to– but look, I’d rather spend money on vacations than spend money on a Bugatti. At this point in my life, I’d rather do that. There are certain things that I would much rather have. Now, obviously, we’re all working for bigger goals and dreams, and there’s no reason why we can’t have the Bugatti and go on a great vacation, but there are decisions you make in your life. And if I’m in my stage right now, if I’m going to spend money right now, man, it’s for experiences and memories that could last a lifetime.
Justin Donald: That is just beautiful. And I love that you articulated that so well because that is it, that’s life. Life is relationships and experiences and spending time that you have, basically buying your time back and spending it in a way that you value most with those that you also value most. So, I just think that that’s absolutely wonderful. And a lot of the hard work that it takes to create the income that you have, it benefits you later on once you do it, but if you build it the right way versus building one nest egg where you’re waiting to retire, that’s one way of doing it, but you’re sacrificing today. If you buy assets that produce income, you can have this lifestyle now while your “nest egg” that is more diversified is growing and often, at a greater cliff, with more tax advantages.
And so, it’s interesting to think about how the traditional way of investing is, in my opinion, very limiting. It limits the utility of money and it limits what you can do today because it’s built around a scarcity mindset, whereas if you invest in these assets that produce income and invest in businesses that are independent of you and independent of your time and you can bring on incredible people to help run those organizations, they operate, whether you’re there, running them or not, whether you’re sleeping, whether you’re on vacation. And then it provides an income and the time and space to be able to go do all these things, create these memories, have these experiences.
And man, I’ll tell you what, I want my daughter to learn all these different things about different cultures and different people and different types of food, different ways of living, the joy that people can have completely separate from material possessions, which you find all the time in Third World countries, and that, to me, is life and education. And we share that, don’t we?
Daniel Alonzo: Oh, absolutely. I mean, look, a lot of years ago, I decided that I wanted to be because I’m a relationship guy, I love building relationships, I love meeting new people, again, that’s one of the six varieties, right? That’s the variety of life. I want to meet people. I want to build relationships. I want to make new friends. And I want to learn from those people. And so, for me, a lot of years ago, I just decided I’m going to be a builder of relationships. I’m going to be a recruiter because that’s really what I am. I mean, throughout all these years, I’ve recruited and trained hundreds and hundreds of people. And so, I figured that if I recruited and trained enough people, that’s what was going to give me a life of freedom, right? Because I look at, like a McDonald’s, a Ray Kroc, all he thought about is he recruited and trained all these people to sell hamburgers and fries. And I said, “Well, hey, maybe I should just recruit people to sell investments and insurance.” And I want to be in that sort of industry. And I’ve always been a decent saver and investor, even from a young age.
Daniel Alonzo: My mom used to borrow money from me so she would say, “Hey, look, you got 20 bucks?” And I’d lend her 20 bucks. And I’d probably ask her for some interest, too. I’m just kidding, but the bottom line is that I know from an early age, I made a decision that I wanted to build outlets, man. I wanted to build franchises. I wanted to build something that didn’t need me anymore. So, if I trained somebody really well and I’m like, okay, here’s your office, go build it. I mean, I have guys, I was just sharing this with somebody last night. I have people in my business that I haven’t even had a conversation with for five years. And I still generate, it’s kind of like a renter, one of your renters, you don’t have conversations with them every day, but you’re still bringing in that income every single month, every single day that income’s pouring in.
So, that was the decision I made. And as far as financially speaking, that’s been, I mean, literally a $21 million good decision for me to make just in that business. It’s been a profit of or maybe not a pure profit, but it’s been a revenue stream of income, cash flow of $21 million. And so, that’s why I made that decision.
Justin Donald: That’s fantastic. And it’s powerful when you learn the lesson that the more value you add to other people, the greater your opportunities and your income is. And so, people ask me often like, well, how do you create great wealth? And wealth is broken up into a lot of different categories, right? You’ve got wealth in the form of owning your time and owning your health. And this is how physically, mentally, intellectually, spiritually being able to do the things that you enjoy most and being able to use your unique gifts. And of course, finances are a component of it, but the reality is the more lives that you impact and the more value that you give, the amount of wealth financially and otherwise is going to be magnified.
And so, what a great story that you have with 48 different locations and 1,500 different independent representatives inside your organization, you’re obviously adding a lot of value and there’s a lot of impact. And it goes beyond just the people that you’re working with because they then have their clients and their peer group. And so, there’s just all these continuous ripple effects that happen across. It’s really neat to see. And I want to just recognize you for being able to stay the course when it could be easy to sell your book or to really take a backseat, but what you’ve done is you’ve doubled down and you coach people and you coach them on building residual income and you run these life-transforming retreats. And I’d love to know a little bit more about that, too.
Daniel Alonzo: Well, for, gosh, I mean, at least 20 years, and obviously, we weren’t able to run anything last year. And we’re not doing any big retreat this year, but in 2022, we’ll get there and we’re going to break out and do something great next year. And so, we generally meet in a place like Palm Springs. We stick 300 to 500 people in a room. And we just Friday night, we teach and train and all day Saturday and all day Sunday and we teach people every area that you could imagine that you want to learn about, money, business, health, wealth.
I mean, we talk about it all and it’s in an environment that allows those new people that are entering the business. It allows them to basically supercharge their information. I mean just total immersion into what we’re going to be teaching them for the rest of their life, basically, but they can get a good handle on it in a very short amount of time. And it’s one of the most rewarding, fun things that I’ve ever been privileged to be able to do. I mean, because these people are paying us a bunch of money to come out to a location when they have no idea what we’re going to talk about, really. And that trust is I’m very grateful for that. It’s been life changing for a lot of people.
And I mean, we have a guy right now that he went to his first retreat and he was about to quit the business and he went to a retreat. Somebody on his team, one of his leaders said, “Hey, man, you’ve got to go. You’ve got to do this. Just make the investment. Go for it. It’s going to change your life.” And literally, I mean, he came back six months later. He became a VP, opened up his own office. I think last month, he was paid like $50,000 in his business. I mean, he’s one of the fastest-growing people in the entire organization as well as the entire company. And it’s just fun to think that that little weekend was a starting point, a little cliff for him to jump off into something great. It’s pretty awesome.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And it shows you the power of mindset, right? It’s one little difference in the way that you’re thinking and it changes everything. You’re almost out. You’re about to make the decision to be out versus having a compelling vision for the future. And it’s night and day. The results are night and day. And I just think that that’s cool. One of the things that I know you’ve been working on for a while, and I know that we’re still a little ways away, but you’ve been working on a book. And that book, it’s got a fun title, which is Wealth on the Beach. And you are the epitome of Wealth on the Beach. I think you’ve done a great job, and what a catchy title. I know that we’re maybe a year or two out. I know that it’s a work in progress. And like me, you probably have this desire for it to be just right and it just has to feel great, but I’d be curious about some of your thoughts on that.
Daniel Alonzo: Yeah, I mean, obviously, it’s always been something on my mind. And I’ve always written down my processes and written down how we’ve done, what we’ve done. I probably have a collection of a thousand PowerPoint presentations because I teach people, I mean, think about it. I was doing two trainings a week for 24 years before COVID. So, I’ve been building processes, building training manuals, building how-to-do. And I always told my guys when they were training their people, always make sure that you write down how you did it because it’s funny, it’s interesting that 20 years later, you can kind of make up different stories about how it happened because we all have bad memories. You’re like I don’t know how I did it 20 years ago, I don’t know how I built it, but I’m so clear on the way I teach people in the process because I’ve written it all down as it happened. Like I used to get home at night and my little skinny microphone, if you remember those little skinny microphones that I would plug into my PC.
Justin Donald: Oh, yeah.
Daniel Alonzo: And I would record everything. And this is part of how I built the organization that we have today. And I was just talking to one of my VPs last night, and we were having a drink and we were talking about how we did it because he was one of the catalysts that helped us build it. And he was talking about it. He was like, used to give out these cassette tapes to everybody in the meeting, and then we would go and role play on stage and make sure that everybody knew the same presentation. And we just kept duplicating and duplicating. A brand-new person would come in, and then he would give him the tape, and then we would say, “Learn this, man. And then, on Saturday morning, we would test you on, do you know the script? Do you know the information?”
And it was just over and– week after week, day after day, and then I would get home, I would do a presentation and I would recruit somebody, I’d get a sale or whatever. And then I would go to that little microphone and I would record it by midnight and I’d be recording all night long. And so, that way I had all the words that were very clear like it wasn’t just I wanted to wing it, I wanted to teach people exactly how and why people were telling me yes, because if they understood why everybody was telling me yes and if they just duplicated that, they did the same. It’s kind of like the McDonald’s hamburger, it’s the bun, it’s the hamburger, and it’s the ketchup and mustard and the pickles, and it’s the bun again, right? And they just teach it over and over and over. It’s just a duplicatable process. And I taught that. And that made all the difference.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And that’s the key to scale, right? You find something that you can duplicate, you find something first that works, you continue to improve it till it’s in its finest form. And then when you have that product that is operating at the highest level that it can, you roll that out and you get that out to the masses. And the goal here, the mission is don’t try your own thing. Do what works first, get that down. And once that’s down, if you want to do some innovating, fine. You may not even want to, once you have it down, but you can’t do anything until you get it down first. But I do think that there’s value in still having that location and it’s probably like home base, it’s what you do, your team does where you’re still tweaking and trying different things out because the world changes, things always change.
And then, you can roll it out, and it’s like, hey, we made this tweak, this improvement, get this out to your teams, and you can help grow and scale in that regard, too, but having one aspect of the mad scientist that’s working on things, but really that’s a small percentage compared to what is standardized, what is based on a protocol that can be replicated by anyone. It doesn’t matter what their skill set is. And I think it’s great that you’re able to figure that out. And by the way, that is part of the reason you’ve been able to grow your team the way you have every year, you’ve been able to grow your income every year. And we’re not talking about a 2% to 3% raise, we’re talking about massive steps in income every single year for the last 20 years, I believe. And that’s incredible, Daniel.
Daniel Alonzo: Again, a lot of it is not because of me. I mean, truth be told, full transparency, we have some really good people in our organization that have been integral to our success. I mean, we did $1.2 billion dollars last year in insurance. We did, I think, $30-plus million in new investment sales. And so, I mean, there’s a little bit of good stuff that’s happening, but the truth is, I’m less than a half a percent of any of that on my own, like actually helping anybody. And so, I give all the credit to the miraculous team that we have and some of the smartest freakin’ people. It’s unbelievable.
I mean, we have people that are just incredible workers, incredible closers, incredible relationship builders, I mean, incredible recruiters. We’re recruiting 300 people a month right now. We’re probably helping out 400 to 500 clients every single month. And so, to see that year after year, month after month, I go, oh, my God. I mean, this is unbelievable. I mean, it really is an awesome, awesome thing that I get to be a part of. I feel like one of the most lucky, one of the most blessed people in the world.
Justin Donald: Well, it reminds me of something one of my mentors and friends shared with me. He said, “ABC, always be ‘cruitin.” You always recruit. And he just said, “Always be ‘cruitin.” So, I love that, it brings a smile on my face every time I say it. Hey, this has been just a fantastic time hanging with you, Daniel. I appreciate you sharing so much wisdom with us and I’d love for our audience to find out where they can learn more about you.
Daniel Alonzo: So, I have a really cool YouTube channel, man. I want everybody to check out my YouTube channel, it’s Daniel Alonzo with a Z at the end. And there’s this content, I mean, we’re putting out four videos a week right now, I mean, massive amounts of content. Of course, I have my podcast on iTunes and Spotify that’s called Wealth on the Beach podcast. And that’s been really fun to be able to do.
And by the way, some people are visual, so if you like to see things, then go to YouTube and watch the podcast on YouTube. If you like just listening from iTunes or Spotify, then you can do that too with the podcast. And then I have AlonzoAcademy.com, and that’s just basically my home-based website. So, people can learn about me, they can read up on my story, just be able to contact me through there. And then, of course, my favorite of where anybody should want to contact me is Instagram. I’m very, very heavy on Instagram. I love making videos. I love the creative process. I didn’t really say it today, but I’m an artist. Actually, I was a cartoonist growing up. And so, there’s a part of me that I love the creativity of making cool videos and sharing my thoughts and different photos and pictures and things like that. It’s kind of like I allowed my passions, the things that I enjoy to kind of bleed into my business process as well.
And so, it’s been a fun ride. I’m so lucky and just so excited, Justin, that you had me on. And I’d love to share any of my thoughts. If anybody has questions, I answer all my Instagrams myself. So, please, if you want to DM me, ask me questions, learn more, whatever it is I can do to add value, that’s what I’m here for.
Justin Donald: I love it. Well, thank you for sharing. This has been just a great episode. And I want to leave our audience with a message that I leave them with every single week, and that is to take some form of action today and move in the direction of financial freedom and a life on your terms, a life by design, a life that inspires you every single day. Thanks. And we’ll see you next week.