I’m super excited to interview Eben Pagan, who has made a huge impact in my life.
Eben Pagan is a very successful entrepreneur and investor who has built over 10 businesses and brands, at the million dollar level. He has devoted his life to teaching entrepreneurs how they can be more productive, build and grow businesses, and create wealth for themselves.
He just wrote a brand new book called, Opportunity. This is going to be the focus of our conversation today.
Fourteen years ago I was in a very dark place in my life. I was a shy, introverted teenager, who struggled with social anxiety and depression. I came across a book, called Double Your Dating, that forever changed my life.
That book was written by someone named David DeAngelo, otherwise known as Eben Pagan. The book shares tips on how to attract a beautiful woman into your life. I read his book 14 times. It opened up my world to new possibilities and opportunities. More importantly, it inspired me to believe in myself.
I’m honored to have a chance to speak with Eben Pagan and about his work and life. This is an interview that you don’t want to miss.
Watch the video below:
Do you want access to Eben Pagan's book, Opportunity? CLICK HERE for instant access!
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I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for the teachings of Eben Pagan.
Here is a sneak peek of my interview with Eben Pagan, where we talk about his work, his life, and his new cutting-edge book.
Can you share a little bit about yourself and your story? How did you get into the online business world?
My parents were hippies from originally from NYC, but I grew up in the backwoods of Oregon. I was a long-haired rock n roll guitar player, who worked in a metal shop and made jewelry.
I dropped out of college to tour with a rock band. This was my starting point. I was 22 when I finally decided that rock n roll wasn't going to pay the bills.
At my height, I was making $75 a week as a guitar player. I reasoned that rich people seemed to have either made their money in real estate or had their money in real estate. I decided to get my real estate license.
Here I am with my 2-door Camaro, rocking a ponytail and I’m trying to convince people to buy real estate. That didn't work out. I started listening to self-help courses and learned about sales and marketing. Bottom line is that when I discovered direct response marketing, I was sold.
Knocking on people's door or cold calling can be emotionally challenging. When I was in my late 20’s I finally got a good job in real estate.
I had a nice car, a nice apartment on the beach, but girls wouldn't talk to me.
I was going to seminars and reading books. However, most of the content that I learned from the self-development world was very hit and miss. A lot of it felt weird and manipulative. By making friends with diverse guys who really got it, I was able to pick it up.
After a few years, I met an amazing girlfriend. I finally had the confidence that I was looking for. A lot of my friends started asking me to share tips on how they could meet girls. I saw that there was an opportunity there. I took what I learned about dating and marketing, and I launched a book.
It was my first real big success. The book was called, Double Your Dating, which I wrote under the pen name, David Deangelo. I built that business to tens of millions of dollars per year.
In 2008, I created a high-end entrepreneurial course for entrepreneurs who wanted to grow their businesses to the ten million dollar level and beyond.
I've taught tens of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world how to succeed.
I started going to the Burning Man festivals, where I met my wife. We have a daughter who just turned 5. We spend almost 8 months of the year traveling and living in different parts of the world. My wife is a love coach and I have a variety of different virtual businesses.
You’ve created an amazing virtual lifestyle for yourself. Do you mind sharing why you decided to go virtual?
In 2001, I started my first online business in my bedroom with a computer. It really worked for me. I liked having my freedom. Even though I worked a lot, it was exciting. I would roll out of bed in the morning, into my chair and check my stats on my sales.
When I started building my business, I hired my first virtual assistant. He was a friend of mine named, Dean Jackson. He showed me a virtual freelance site called, oDesk. I ended up hiring a woman that came to work with me 20 hours/week for $6/hour.
For $120 I freed up 20 hours of my time so that I could focus on other areas of my business. The second person that I hired is now my business partner for my Double Your Dating business. She's worked with me for over 15 years now.
I wish I could say that there was a master plan for building these big virtual operations, but there wasn’t.
We eventually created a team of 70 full-time virtual workers who lived in different parts of the country and world.
Since then, I've broken my business into different pieces. I've taken on more partners and I have different business units. However, to this day, everyone on my team still works from home, with no office.
In your book, Opportunity, you talk a lot about the mindset that you need to have when it comes to creating new opportunities. What do you see as some of the opportunities that will exist in the online business world in the next 10-20 years?
In the past, if you wanted to start a business and you lived in a small town, that town would be your customer base. For example, when I was giving guitar lessons I had to find people in my local area to give guitar lessons to.
Now, if I want to give guitar lessons, I can go online and find 3.5 million people that are connected to the Internet. More importantly, I can figure out what kind of guitar player I am, what I bring to the guitar, and then I can go find other people that are interested in my style of playing guitar.
If we can get in touch with our unique personality type, then we can create work that we love.
For the last year, I've been writing my new book, and I've put a lot of work into it. I get to talk to you about something that is really interesting to me.
In today's world, we can find things that work for us. We can learn new skills online, and master those skills 100 times faster. Once we develop ourselves, we can use our unique gifts to create value for other people.
Could you share how you define opportunity and why people should be interested in seeking out more opportunities in their lives?
The dictionary defines opportunity as, “a favorable junction of circumstances.” It's an interesting way of thinking about it. That's the connotation that most of us have. It's like walking down the street and finding money on the ground. It just happens.
On Wall Street, an opportunity is thought of as arbitrage, where you can buy something in one market and then sell it in another market. Because this happens instantly, it's like a risk-free profit. Some people think of opportunity like this, where you can just gain some value without having to risk anything. That's a nice way to create opportunity.
The etymology of opportunity is from a Latin word, opportunis.
This word is a metaphor to describe when a ship is sailing and there is wind in its sail. When it was in the harbor, and you could see the port that it was sailing towards, that was when it was in a state of opportunis.
When we can see the outcome, that activates all kind of pre-reward centers inside of us. An opportunity has a powerful effect on us, and I think that by really thinking about what opportunity is, and how it impacts us, we can do much better.
Opportunity is really about potential value. When you are on the lookout for opportunities in every domain of your life, and you realize that you are going to receive so many more options in the future, this can be an enlightening process.
Opportunity is changing very fast. We are moving into a time of exponential change.
I call it the “Great Acceleration.” We are finally at a time where you can see the acceleration of change happening, in real time. In the past, you couldn't really see this.
In today’s world, we get a sense of how fast evolution is changing. The ability to connect to anybody online has created an explosion of opportunity. Think of how many more options you have right now, whether that's places to eat, places to travel, entertaining things to watch, people to meet, or education to receive.
Each of those, in a way, is an opportunity. When you start combining and connecting these things together with what you are uniquely good at, it makes for a huge explosion of opportunity. This will only get bigger as we move into the future.
The next 5-10 years will be extraordinary.
A lot of people can have opportunities available to them, but not everyone will take advantage of them. What do you think are the biggest obstacles that prevent people from taking action?
Inside of my book, I dedicate a good chunk to talking about emotions. I think that, in a lot of cases, it's our emotions that get in our way. Emotions like fear, envy, or jealousy are running the show. When they come up, they put us into a state where we can only think about how we can avoid something going wrong.
As an example, I recommend to never make a decision about an opportunity when you are in fear. You can't do anything from this place. It actually shuts down the executive center in your brain and you stop thinking strategically. You can't be in your highest self and think long-term or consequentially.
Rather, you are just thinking about preventing loss. If you are making decisions to prevent loss, you are usually cutting yourself off from a lot of opportunities in the future.
You need to learn how to manage your emotions.
If you find yourself in fear or overwhelm, or what I call “opportunity shock”, don’t make a decision until you can see reality a bit more clearly.
Do you have a process that you use in order to evaluate the different opportunities that are being presented to you?
I have basic life values that are important to me, like energy, a feeling satisfaction, being in my purpose, or lifelong learning. When you are clear about what your values are and what is important to you, then opportunities start to make sense. It adds context to the opportunity.
If you are just looking at an opportunity in isolation, but you aren't asking yourself if it fulfills the important values that you have in your life, it's easy to make a decision based on the wrong criteria.
Warren Buffett says that the most important criteria when you are making a decision about an investment are the opportunity cost. This is all the other opportunities that you aren't taking advantage of.
When most people are thinking about making an investment, I can tell that it’s not being compared to 3-4 other possible ways to use that time, effort, energy and money.
There is no context for it. There is no good decision to be made. It's either a yes or a no. When you know your values and what the other opportunities are, then you can make a better decision.
I'll give you a technique that I share in my book.
A big challenge that many of us face is when we have opportunities that are in different realms that we have to make a decision about. Making a decision between 2-3 investments is relatively easy. You can use a mental model that I suggest in my book in order to determine what the payoff will be of an opportunity.
However, those aren't as interesting to me as are the moments when I'm sitting in my office and I’m getting a big download about something that is really important.
All of a sudden, I hear the pitter-patter of feet and my 4-year old daughter walks up behind me and says, “Dad, I'm hungry.” All of a sudden I've got a hungry daughter, but I'm in the middle of an aha moment.
How do you decide at that moment which of those things you are supposed to be doing?
I recommend that you come up with a universal internal currency that you can use to compare opportunities to each other. This is important particularly in different domains, like the go play sports with friends versus going on a date with a potential partner.
The model is asking, “Which choice is going to allow me to grow the most in my life and lead me to become the actualized version of myself?” If you look at Maslow’s pyramid, he’s got self-actualization at the top. This is you becoming the most that you can become.
If you look at an acorn, what is an actualized acorn? It’s an oak tree. If you are an acorn right now, what does your life look like when you are an oak tree?
The more clear you can get about what your real potential is, the more you can think from that perspective, the better you get at choosing which opportunities are going to fulfill you the most.
Too many people are making decisions solely about money and are neglecting the other parts of their lives. I call this “holistic actualization points” or HAPS. Ask yourself, “How many HAPS, on a scale of 1-10, will this thing contribute to me becoming the best version of myself?”
Now you've got a framework where you can say, “This is a 3, that's a 4, and this is a 9.” Now you know where your biggest opportunity lies.
When you do the things that are not in your typical strength domain, try working on those areas and they will multiply your feeling of success.
For example, let’s say that you are really successful financially, but your health is not well. Life sucks when you are rich but don’t feel good. Look to holistic actualization points that are going to grow you in some way and make you who you desire to become.
Don't just take up a business opportunity because it's going to make you money. Go for the one that is going to expand you as a person.
From my observations of your teachings over the years it appears that you have achieved a really strong sense of balance in your life. What is the mindset that you adopt when it comes to actualizing different areas of your life?
There is a pragmatic element to it, which is that the more I work on each of the key pieces of my life, the better I feel about myself as a person. They are very synergistic.
The Pareto principle is one of the most well-known mental models out there.
It says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. If you go to an area of your life where you're not paying attention and give a little bit to it, all of sudden it works a lot better. Even if you just get the minimum, it makes such a huge difference. That 20% is so important.
I’m a big believer in morning rituals because they allow me to be at my best every day. What are some of the rituals that you practice?
Things have changed since I've become a father. I used to wake up and my first 90 minutes was all about me, whether that was exercising, practicing meditation, or making my green shake. However, now I've got a daughter.
My wife and I created an evening ritual where we all go to sleep as a family, and then we typically wake up in the morning together. Because there is another level of value in my life, now it’s more about family and getting in my green shake. Those are my anchor points.
I'm about to create a new course that is the next level of my original one, Wake Up Productive. In this course, I talk about super-habits, which involves learning how to create rituals and habits for yourself every day.
As you evolve in life and go through different types of changes, you have to move them around and put them into different parts of your day.
For myself, exercise takes place later in the day. However, because I've wired it into my daily ritual, I can move it around much easier. The next level is about taking the habits that you've created, reordering them and creating energy cycles, where you do 3-4 of them in a row. This creates double productivity, where they multiply.
Recently, I've been reading Daniel Pink’s book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. He points out that the most really high-performers take a natural break in the afternoon for about 2 hours. From 3:30-5: 30 pm is my time. I've been trying to systematically drop that in.
Work hard, kick some butt in the first part of the day when I've got a lot of energy, and then unplug and not do anything for a few hours. After that, my energy increases around 5:30 and I have another couple of hours to work on something. In the long run, I think this is going to be a big piece of the equation.
Can you share more about your book, Opportunity?
After 20 years of studying and getting to know hundreds of millionaires and billionaires, it all came together for me. I was thinking about this idea a few years ago.
I realized that what they all had in common was that they were better at finding and creating opportunities. That was the common denominator of success.
Opportunity is the heart of successful entrepreneurship.
Great entrepreneurs and investors can spot the opportunities. From there, I realized that opportunity is going to be exploding for everyone. I'm meeting people that have so many opportunities, but they are shut down and they feel like they don't have any.
I started writing out some of my ideas about how to find and create opportunity. Over the last year, I've written this book and tried to take everything that I've learned about success and how to manage opportunity in life.
I've worked really hard. I haven't invested in something like this in a long time. I teach what opportunity is, where it is, how it's changing, mindsets, frameworks for thinking about it, mental models for choosing opportunities, how to choose the best one, and how to scale up opportunities.
In the last chapter, I give you a homework assignment where you go and discover your own greatest personal opportunity in your life. While we are doing our launch, we are giving the book away for free. All you have to do is pay for shipping.
Eben Pagan has made such an impact in my life. I believe that he can do the same for you.
If you click here, you will be directed to Eben Pagan's page, where you can get his book! All you have to do is pay for the shipping and handling. I hope everyone will take advantage of this epic offer and get their hands on his book.
He also has some great bonuses that he is providing as part of his book launch, one of which is a Companion Guide.
It’s an honor to share Eben Pagan's message with the rest of the world. To anyone who dreams of building an online business, this is the person to follow and learn from. He has been one of my most influential mentors. I'm a better person because of his wisdom and teachings.
Do you want access to Eben Pagan's book, Opportunity? CLICK HERE for instant access!