Terminal Value

Seven Figure Story of Redemption with Daniel Blue

Janine Bacani

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We have Daniel Blue with us today, and what we’re going to be talking about is actually his, what I call sevenfigure story of redemption. And so Daniel actually had some rough, had a rough start to his adult life after high school and he’s actually been able to turn it around to a very successful business in his current situation. I don’t want to give too much of it away, though. So Daniel, please introduce yourself and let’s get the conversation going. 

Hey, Doug, thank you for having me on your show. 33 years old, I’m in Las Vegas. I own a firm that helps people access their retirement accounts, penalty and tax free, and never thought I would be in the position of owning a business with employees and over 1000 clients in all 50 states and really changing some lives. And I think it comes down to

If you want to make an impact and change other people’s lives consistently, then it starts with you.

 Leadership, they always say, is you’re leading others, but how are you leading yourself? How are you leading the person that you look in the mirror every day? And that’s where it all starts. And everyone listening to this has had adversity, has had ups and downs, and I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I wouldn’t trade it for the world because it’s shaped me who I am today. And some of those ups and downs included my mom and dad got divorced and it’s not like that. Like, wow, I think so much of divorce is happening right now anyways. But what made my story unique was my dad moved to a different country when I was twelve years old and he moved to a different country and never came back. And I never got closure why he left and never came back. Just like one day he was here, one day he was gone. And then now it’s just my mom and I. We reconnected when I was in my 20s. So we’re at peace now. All right? It took me forgiving him. I think that’s a lesson for all of us is one, when you forgive someone, that doesn’t mean you forget. Two, when you forgive someone, it’s not so much of you’re doing it for them, you’re doing it for you. Right? And I think because I held on to resentment and I didn’t find peace with my dad because I was really close to him, because I had that trauma and I didn’t come to peace with it. It led me down some dark paths. Ended up getting addicted to OxyContin when I was 18 years old. And prior to that, I was experimenting with marijuana and alcohol and ditching school. Right now, having a father figure in your life, you start seeking other influences, and a lot of times they’re not the right kinds of influences. So I went down that dark path. And while I’m addicted to OxyContin when I’m 18-19 years old, I ended up having a daughter. And I truly believe that God gave me a daughter for a reason. Because I had tried to get clean during this time, I tried to quit OxyContin. For those who don’t know, OxyContin is essentially heroin in the form of a pill. So super addictive. And nothing worked. I wasn’t able to get clean. And I truly believe that God gave me a daughter for a reason, where it was God saying, hey, this is your one and only shot to get clean, so you better take it, dude. And I was finally able to kick the habit. And then around that same time, I went to college. That’s what society told me to do, opt out of college and ended up having a pretty successful career in sales. I was in the real estate space, and that’s what led me to where I’m at today in terms of being in the financial space and owning a company. But I don’t come from a family of money or a family that went to UCLA or Stanford or they have degrees in MBAs. Business was really something that I learned on the fly and made a ton of mistakes. But I’m really grateful for people that I was able to meet along the way that were able to teach me some things. I’m a big proponent of your network is your net worth, and so really grateful for some solid relationships that I’ve been able to have along the way. 

Well, okay. Well, first of all, just congratulations on your comeback story. But I’d actually like to kind of go back a little bit because what we’re talking about, right, you’re coming off a very severe parental abandonment situation. Compound on that, where you have a substance addiction, and now compound on that, where you’re responsible for another human life. Statistically speaking, most people will go off the cliff at that point, but you didn’t. I intuited. That’s very highly correlated with your daughter. But help us unpack that a little bit, because I think there’s a lot of people who are dealing with, thankfully not quite as acute of psychological trauma right now, but still, there’s a lot of people dealing with a lot of psychological stuff. And I think it’s figuring out how you can make that turn to really avoid the edge of the cliff. I think that’s what that, to me, is the big message here.

 Yeah. And I think at the same time, though, you do need to experience things for yourself, right?

You do need to hit that really dark place. You do need to hit that rock bottom. And a lot of times it’d be great to not have to do that because you’d save yourself time, you’d save yourself money, you’d save yourself hurting people. But it’s a part of your story. It’s part of your journey.

 I remember I got clean the day of Thanksgiving in 2009. Six months prior to that day, it was so bad that I missed out on my child’s birth. She was born in a hospital and I was not in the hospital. The idea of missing out on your child’s birth, missing out on cutting the umbilical cord, missing out on seeing their first eyes open, right? Missing out on that, not because I was serving our country in the military and I was overseas doing something honorable right now. I was being a douchebag and I was getting high and I chose not to be there. So I made that critical mistake and it took me actually two weeks before I saw my daughter. So it took me experiencing these rock bottom moments and if you would have asked me this eight years ago, is that something you regret? Was that something you beat yourself up over here? I regret it, but I’m past beating myself up over it right? You have to learn how to forgive yourself too, right? I mentioned earlier I forgave my dad for essentially abandoning his family. You also have to forgive yourself because you’re not perfect. You’re going to hurt people. You’re going to make a bad decision and it just takes you owning up to that and forgiving yourself. So going back to my story, it was November Thanksgiving 2009 and it was Thanksgiving Day. My mom was making a turkey. My daughter Isabella was six months old. She’s at the house, she’s in her little rocker. And I remember telling my mom, hey, I’m going to go to the gas station, I’m going to grab a Red Bull, a monster energy drink. I’ll be right back. That was a lie. I went immediately in the car, called a couple of drug dealers and I tried to score some pills. It’s Thanksgiving Day though Doug all the drug dealers are having turkey. They’re not trying to sell pills so no one’s picking up the phone so here I am in my car called my whole rolodex and no one picked up the phone and no one responded and I came to a point where I realized I am not going to get pills today which means I am not going to get high today which means I’m going to start withdrawing which means I’m going to probably start throwing up in t -6 hours I’m going to start getting the chills I’m going to start getting things coming out of both ends because literally what happens your body craves it so much and when it doesn’t get it it gets sick so I knew all this was coming and I just remember being in a really dark place where my finances were a wreck and I just remember thinking in my car what am I doing is this the kind of example is this who my daughter is going to see when she gets older when she’s old enough she’s six months old she doesn’t know her dad is a piece of crap. But soon enough she’s going to be five years old. She’d be ten years old. What kind of example am I setting? It just took some really deep questions where I’m reflecting on who I am, what I stand for, what I want my legacy to be. I started asking myself questions like if I die today, how am I going to be remembered if I died that day? I was going to be remembered as a reckless person that made bad decisions, that was on drugs, a druggie. Like, that was my brand. That’s who I was going to die and become. That was the legacy I was going to leave. So I started really asking those questions when I was at a dark point in time and that’s what allowed me to pivot and make changes. That allowed me to start getting myself out of that hole. So I think you have to have those kinds of conversations with yourself and unfortunately, you have to be at a really low point in your life for things to click and those questions to have answers that are really real surface.

I really appreciate your sharing because, I mean, there’s a few things I really took out of it. Well, first of all, I want to say hats off for a kind of turning your life around, but also I feel that you’ve come to a point of very high emotional awareness and maturity, which is atypical for somebody who has not yet reached middle age. Many people don’t ever get there at all. But I know I did not have your level of emotional maturity at 33 years old because just a part of my story, right? I went through basically a childhood upbringing of full on, compliant night sky conditioning. It was to go to school, do good in school, go to college, do good in college, get a good job, join the Marines, your family house, be involved in all the activities, all the stuff. And then in 2020, I got a separation notice in my corporate job because we had a new Chief Information Officer who came in and did the Bay Area clean house via playbook. And so I was first on the list, just hit the ground. And so now I’m like, whoa. All of a sudden this whole thing that I thought I had set up just gone. And of course I went through like just hundreds and hundreds of applications, nothing. And then now, of course, the job markets, we normalize. I suppose that theoretically could have gone back, but I just kind of got to the point where I said, all right, look, I’m going to figure out how to do it my way. And that hasn’t been an easy process, but I think what you’re talking about is getting to that point of clarity that says, all right, essentially I’m going to figure this out and essentially go through, however much failure, rejection, whatever, that it’s going to take to get to that point. Is that descriptive of your experience or is there something else that you found that was not a key factor?

A key factor is changing your mentality from a place of being a victim to being grateful. And I learned that first hand.

And I think people listening to this can draw on an experience that might not be the one I’m going to share, but it’s going to be one that maybe there’s some similarities where my dad left the family when I was twelve and I was crushed. My dad was like a soccer coach, my basketball coach, my best friend. So when he left and never came back and my mom couldn’t give me answers, it crushed me. And I remember in my teenage years, and even when I was 1819, just thinking, man, it would have been nice to have a dad around. I remember middle school, why does my friend Brendon get to have his dad take him to a basketball game? Or why can’t my dad help me change my oil or teach me how to drive, or teach me how to tie a tie? So those are victim mentality remarks. And it got to a point where once I had my daughter Isabella, when I was 19 years old, something clicked for me, Doug, where I immediately shifted my mentality. Instead of thinking, man, poor me, I got the short end of the stick. I immediately flipped the script and I thought, you know what, I’m really grateful that I even had a dad up until I was twelve years old. I’m grateful that he was a kick ass dad up until I was twelve years old. Some people don’t even have a dad. Others have a dad and they’re a piece of crap. I’m grateful that when he left, it allowed me to get closer to my mom. I’m grateful that when he left, it forced me to grow up quicker. It forced me to go through adversity quicker. It forced me to experience hard times and adapt. I’m freaking grateful that that was my story. I wouldn’t even change it if I had the choice to either press button one, have a dad the whole time, and he doesn’t leave and he stays, and that’s that. Or button two. My story. I just explained, I’m hitting button two, button B, every single time just because I know what came out of it. And it’s just a reminder that the adversity you go through, the hard times, the pain you go through, when you come out of that, you’re wiser, you’re stronger, you’re more experienced, you’re more savvy, and you just have a different perspective. So that was a really important lesson for me to learn. And then just try to switch the script instead of looking at bad things as this is a victim scenario, it’s, what can I be grateful for? And what’s the lesson? I can extract so I can keep moving forward because chances are I’m going to be dealt this again. That’s what life does to us.

Well, and so I love that because one of the many things that utterly irked me is this notion that you should have your life experience should be bottom left, upper right, just this unbroken line of escalation. And that’s not how it works. Real life has setbacks. Real life, you get your butt kicked. In real life, there will be some day where you thought everything was going fine and then something really major will change. And you can either basically be mad at the world about it, or you can just say, okay, you know what, this is what it is. And I’m basically just going to go out and make it work and go out and figure it out. And along those points, I’d like to hear a little bit about kind of your business that you developed because it sounds kind of unique, because keeping honest here, I’m going off my memory from a pre show conversation, but your business basically helps people access their four hundred and one K. And were you saying without paying taxes? Yeah, without paying tax liabilities, yeah, go ahead. 

Yes. For example, you mentioned that you stopped working for that company. So if you’ve got a 401K from an old job or an IRA, chances are you can’t access that money penalty and tax free. And maybe you’d like to use that money in a different way. Right now it’s in the stock market. You don’t have control over it. You’ve been conditioned to think that this money is something you can’t touch. And if you do touch it, you’re going to pay 30, 40% penalties and taxes. But if you wait until you’re 60, until you’re older and retired, then you can touch it. That’s a myth. That’s not true. There are some IRS approved strategies that allow you to access your retirement accounts, penalty and tax free now. And you can use the money to do cool things like start a business. We had someone in a similar spot that you were in Doug, where they were let go from their job, had a 401K there and they wanted to start a business and they needed like $20,000 to fund their business. What they did, instead of borrowing from the bank, that wasn’t a choice they wanted to go with and they didn’t want to use their savings. They liked the idea of using their retirement account to fund the business. So we showed them how to access that 20,000 penalty and tax free from their business or from their retirement account rather, and then took that 20,000 from their 401K or IRA, penalty and tax free, and then they were able to use that money to fund the business. So think of it as the types of accounts that we teach people how to set up. It just has a bigger menu of options where right now you’re probably just limited to mutual funds or Tesla stock. With Elon Musk. Great. But with us and other companies like ours, you can flip the menu over and you have even more options like real estate, precious metals, investing in your own business, investing into a private business, things of that nature. 

I don’t want to burn too much time, but I’m a little interested in learning about this because of course I think myself and a lot of people who listen to podcasts are familiar with the idea of self directed retirement accounts. Now, I know the way a lot of times that this structure would be that there would be, say one way would be you can have the custodian make payments over to an investment vehicle or something like that. I’m a little interested in how the mechanics work for that kind of thing works. If you’re talking about using a retirement account to fund your business, would you say like open an entity, fund the entity with the IRA or is there some other kind of thing? And if that’s beyond the scope of the podcast, that’s fine. I’m just emotion my own curiosity here. 

I love it. We’re going to geek out here. So self directed IRAs are pretty popular. The one limitation of self directed IRA has over what’s called a solo 401K, which is still a self directed plan, is a self directed IRA does not have a loan feature which a solo 401K does. So the reason why you’re bringing this up and other people may be questioning is a self directed IRA cannot invest into a business that you manage that you 100% own. Correct. You can’t sell transactions, right? Exactly. But a solo 401K has a loan feature where you can take out 50% of the account value or 500, whichever number is less. Take that money out penalty and tax free, use it however you want. There’s no prohibited transaction because the money is taken out of the plan. Right. So you can use the money however you want. The caveat is it’s a five year term, so you’ve got to pay back what you took out within five years. Quick there’s an interest rate of prime plus 2%. So right now we’re telling people it’s about almost 7%, but the interest goes right back to their retirement account and as long as they pay back what they took out within five years, zero penalty and tax. 

Well, I was just about to say but the interest rate is actually not really relevant because again, it’s just circulating funding back to your account. I think of it as almost like the infinite banking concept, but it’s not away from laundering commissions on insurance products, which unfortunately I think is how most infinite banking systems ultimately end up working. Yes, I think we’re just about out of time, but yeah, I think I just want to throw a shout out. Definitely give out your website, because I think anybody who’s really looking to really geek out on how they can kind of leverage more value from their retirement accounts, I think they should definitely give you a call. 

Yeah. So go to danielblue.me, I’ve got a bunch of free content to get you started. I’ve got a lot of articles that I got published through Forbes, so they’re there. danielblue.me. Blue, like the color. And then I’ve got my podcast called How Winners Win, where we teach people different ways to win in their personal life or business life, the financial world. So, a lot of content that’s free links to the podcast on my website. And then I’ve got a book called Blueprint to Your Best Retirement. The book is very simple. Easy to read, easy to follow, teaches people how to access their retirement accounts. Penalty and Tax Free goes more in detail on the solo four hundred and one K. And how to make money tax free. So you can get that book on Kindle or paperback or audio as well. It is available on audio, and then all my social media handles are there. And then if I’ve got your wheels turning and you’re thinking, shoot, I’ve got this retirement account. And the idea of accessing a penalty and tax free sound appealing? I want to learn more. There are some steps you can take on the website to see if there’s a good fit here. 

Awesome. Outstanding. Hey, Daniel, really appreciate your time today, and thank you for sharing your story.

Hey, Doug, thank you so much for having me on your show. 

All right. Awesome.

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