496. Cream Soda, Costco and a Knack for Business
He compares the crash of his dream start-up to the painful breakup of a relationship. “As an entrepreneur, your identity is deeply invested in your work.” In hindsight, Danny can say, “Sometimes the rebound turns out to be the one.”
Danny Iny is the founder of Mirasee, host of the Business Reimagined podcast, best-selling author of multiple books–“including Engagement from Scratch!,” “The Audience Revolution,” and “Teach and Grow Rich”–and creator of the acclaimed Audience Business Masterclass and Course Builder’s Laboratory training programs, which have together graduated more than 5,000 value-driven online entrepreneurs.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“Entrepreneurs don’t set out to “be entrepreneurs.” They just see a problem and look for a creative solution, Danny Iny explains. In seventh grade, his problem was how to earn an extra $1.00 to buy a soda with his lunch. The cafeteria sold Coca-Cola. Sprite and others, but his good friend wanted cream soda. Danny bought a case of 40 for $10 from Costco. Each day he sold his friend a cream soda at the cafeteria price, enabling Danny to buy the drink of his own choice. Only in hindsight did he realize he was a budding entrepreneur.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
At 15, Danny was mugged. “I was the least athletic kid you can imagine. It was just a bigger boy being a bully, but at the time, it was terrifying. I knew I had to learn to defend myself, even though I might hate it.” He found a nearby Jujitsu dojo and signed up. “I fell in love with it! I spent the next nearly 10 years of my life training in martial arts.” Soon, he was an instructor, offering lessons one-on-one and in classes. He noticed the students didn’t like to go shopping for Jujitsu gear, so he took the initiative to talk to a local merchant. “I became the equipment supplier for my dojo.” Not long after, he began working with several other equipment merchants and tailors.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
After one of his start-ups collapsed, Danny briefly considered “getting a real job.” As a high school dropout carrying a quarter-million-dollar debt, he couldn’t see how a $40,000-a-year job could ever get him out of debt. “At 25, I was not ready to say life was over. I knew I would have to try something new. Counter-intuitively, all this debt kept me an entrepreneur. I was like, ‘what can I do?’” He started a consulting practice working with other entrepreneurs and quickly spotted another problem to solve: many of his clients were doing well, but many others needed help but couldn’t afford his one-on-one services. He created what he calls his rebound company, an online platform to provide affordable business education to entrepreneurs. “Sometimes the rebound turns out to be the one.”
Steps to Success from Danny Iny
- If you have a drive to be an entrepreneur, focus on getting clarity about what you want to do, but…
- …you’ll never have perfect clarity, so get out there and do it anyway. Clarity and confidence will come as you gain real world experiences.
- Learn something, produce something, and sell something. Get into action.
Connecting With Danny Iny
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