Dan Peña Quotes

Who the Heck is Dan Peña?

Daniel Steven Peña Sr. is a Mexican American businessman and billionaire. He is known for his flamboyant style and wise sayings called 'Penaisms'.

Born August 10, 1945

Best 227 Quotes by Dan Peña

“A CEO’s most important task: Never stop becoming qualified for the job.”

Dan Peña

“A deal has to sound good before it is good.”

Dan Peña

“A deal is either hot — or it's not.”

Dan Peña

“A famous man once said, ‘A sure formula for failure is to try and please everyone.’ Some might say I built a career on doing just the opposite of pleasing everyone.”

Dan Peña

“A good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed next week.”

Dan Peña

“A guarantor is a fool with a pen.”

Dan Peña

“A man who dwells on his past, robs his future.”

Dan Peña

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because something has never been done doesn't mean it can't be done. The fact you have never seen or heard something is not proof that it doesn't exist.”

Dan Peña

“All my life, I was always in a hurry. I was always hustling!”

Dan Peña

“All our lives we are told by the pundits our goals are not realistic. Our dreams are too far-fetched. Our expectations are too high!”

Dan Peña

“All super high performance people go against conventional wisdom.”

Dan Peña

“All you need is the desire, passion, and will to fulfil your dreams!”

Dan Peña

“Always maintain your personal relationships on the same plane upon which they were formed. True friends will rejoice in your professional successes. Allow them to enjoy them with you. Never reassess their personal and professional lives in terms of your own.”

Dan Peña

“Always respect the individual on the other side of the deal. He is not as stupid as you may think. And you're not as smart as you think.”

Dan Peña

“Always shoot for the moon. Even if you don’t hit the bulls-eye, you’ll at least get 80 percent.”

Dan Peña

“Always tell the truth, no matter what. The truth will set you free!”

Dan Peña

“Always, always, always pay yourself - and your employees - first! Through all economic cycles.”

Dan Peña

“Any problem solved will be replaced immediately by a larger more complicated one!”

Dan Peña

“Ask and you shall receive.”

Dan Peña

“Become more disciplined. The pain of discipline hurts less than the pain of regret.”

Dan Peña

“Being all you can be is possible for anyone, but super success is not for everyone. Period.”

Dan Peña

“Build something that is worthy and stands for something to someone.”

Dan Peña

“Business deals start and end with people — the interaction of flesh and blood, bone and sinew, heart and mind, emotion and soul.”

Dan Peña

“Business opportunities abound - but formidable barriers exist. And the biggest barrier is psychological. It is you.”

Dan Peña

“Business should not run smoothly while you're making your Quantum Leap. Chaos is normal. The business on quiet waters is still in the harbor.”

Dan Peña

“Cash only prolongs death. It doesn’t avoid it.”

Dan Peña

“Choose your battles. No one should sue over every wrong.”

Dan Peña

“Conventional wisdom is almost always wrong.”

Dan Peña

“Do what 98% of others won’t.”

Dan Peña

“Don't be a loser.”

Dan Peña

“Don't hire credentials. Hire attitude.”

Dan Peña

“Don't just work longer hours, staying busy as most other people do. Work smart. Stay productive and don't get distracted.”

Dan Peña

“Don't take high performance advice from your peers, family or friends unless they are high performance people themselves.”

Dan Peña

“Don’t be a cunt.”

Dan Peña

“Don’t focus on mistakes, focus on the positive next time!”

Dan Peña

“Don’t set time limits for achieving goals. They should transcend time.”

Dan Peña

“Don’t under any circumstances, ever, second guess yourself.”

Dan Peña

“Don’t waste time on things you can’t change!”

Dan Peña

“Dream big, think big, be big!”

Dan Peña

“Eagles fly alone, they don’t fly in packs.”

Dan Peña

“Entrepreneurship is enduring pain for a long time without relinquishing.”

Dan Peña

“Every party to every negotiation has a comfort zone. The effective negotiator is the one who can define the boundaries of the other party's comfort zone, then place the deal inside the boundary of that zone nearest his own interests.”

Dan Peña

“Every worthy dream has a pay-price-to-action. That means you have to give up something to get something. You can't have it all.”

Dan Peña

“Everybody else is worried about life after death. My concern is about life before death.”

Dan Peña

“Everyone knows how to manage success. But no one ever asks, 'How do we manage failure?'”

Dan Peña

“Excuses are the crutches of the untalented and unambitious.”

Dan Peña

“Failure is not an option, even in the face of great adversity. Just know what your adversity really is!”

Dan Peña

“FEAR is… False Expectations Appearing Real.”

Dan Peña

“Fear of failure is caused by lack of self-esteem and confidence. Dealing with fear is the key to super success.”

Dan Peña

“Feeling anxious is the key to growth.”

Dan Peña

“Find your passion and wrap your career around it. Live your life on purpose!”

Dan Peña

“Focus on the few, not the many.”

Dan Peña

“Get ruthless about trying something different.”

Dan Peña

“Give potential associates and partners the "Doofus Test". Place them under stress to see how they react to pressure as a high performance person.”

Dan Peña

“Give yourself permission to make mistakes. It's called learning.”

Dan Peña

“Good lawyers win so-so lawsuits. Great lawyers can win lawsuits in which you have little or no chance to win.”

Dan Peña

“Good leaders make sense of change in the world, then impart that insight to the team.”

Dan Peña

“Great companies didn’t start with what they planned on doing, but they started out great by who they picked to do it with!”

Dan Peña

“Half-truths and misinformation sell easier - and return harder.”

Dan Peña

“Hell can be the video of your life if only you had taken the actions to become super successful.”

Dan Peña

“High-performance people are never satisfied with what they do or how they do it! Hence, I am always endeavouring to improve.”

Dan Peña

“High-performance people have larger, more expanded comfort zones than most!”

Dan Peña

“High-performance people take action quickly and change their mind slowly!”

Dan Peña

“Human talent is the currency of the new economy.”

Dan Peña

“Hunger makes beasts of men, and demons of beasts.”

Dan Peña

“I can guarantee you, you will never achieve anything greater than your highest aspiration.”

Dan Peña

“I coach my mentees to act as if they are invincible – to act as if they could accomplish anything!”

Dan Peña

“I could not be more proud of the countless lives that I have changed since I began my coaching and mentoring career!”

Dan Peña

“I do what you don’t want to do that you know you’ve got to do to be where you want to be.”

Dan Peña

“I have been following what is now called the 'Spartan Way' long before it became popular!”

Dan Peña

“I have no more mountains left to climb - but myself!”

Dan Peña

“I know what it's like to have a house repossessed... I've been there.”

Dan Peña

“I may be wrong, but I am never in doubt! And anyone who has been around me for even a minute understands that my self-confidence and self-esteem is sometimes overwhelming!”

Dan Peña

“I would rather be lucky than smart! But it is even better to be lucky and super smart!”

Dan Peña

“I’ve never seen a 'part-time' super successful, high-performance person.”

Dan Peña

“Ideas are a dime a dozen. The person who puts them into action is priceless.”

Dan Peña

“If love got the job done, most parents would have produced high performers — it doesn’t!”

Dan Peña

“If you change a billion lives, that's the formula to become a billionaire and change the world.”

Dan Peña

“If you don't think money can buy happiness, you don't know where to shop.”

Dan Peña

“If you don’t embrace a workload others would consider crazy, then your goal doesn’t mean that much to you.”

Dan Peña

“If you left it to engineers, no car would ever come off the assembly line.”

Dan Peña

“If you want things to change, first you have to change.”

Dan Peña

“If you want to make more money, you’ll have to do things differently. You will have to do things you never even thought of doing in the past. You will have to do things out of your comfort zone.”

Dan Peña

“If you want to travel above and beyond the herd, don't try to be better. Try to be different. Or better yet, be first!”

Dan Peña

“Ignorance is a steep hill with jagged rocks at the bottom.”

Dan Peña

“In order to really succeed in business, you must have outside advisors. These must be trusted advisors, professionals at your accounting and law firms with whom you have a very special relationship. These advisors become your moles within their own organization, more loyal to you than their employer… motivated, aggressive, ambitious and bright enough - but not as bright as he or she thinks.”

Dan Peña

“It costs nothing to aim high - but if you aim at nothing, you'll hit anything.”

Dan Peña

“It doesn't matter what morons say.”

Dan Peña

“It is my ambition to say in four words what others say in a whole book.”

Dan Peña

“It is not important what we do, but whom we do it with!”

Dan Peña

“It is not what happens to you in life that makes a difference! It is how we react to what happens to us in life that creates our history and – more importantly – our future!”

Dan Peña

“It isn't a case of taking a big chance. It's a matter of giving yourself a big chance.”

Dan Peña

“It's a changed world! Are you changing?”

Dan Peña

“It's not work if you love what you're doing.”

Dan Peña

“It's wrong to be taught you're the pension fund of your parents!”

Dan Peña

“Just fucking do it!”

Dan Peña

“Learn to play bad golf well.”

Dan Peña

“Life is what happens while you're making other plans.”

Dan Peña

“Life without dreams is like a bird with a broken wing – it can’t fly.”

Dan Peña

“Logic can be a logical process which leads to a wrong conclusion.”

Dan Peña

“Man plans — God laughs!”

Dan Peña

“Management performance sins will always be forgiven during periods of rapidly increasing revenues.”

Dan Peña

“Man’s greatest burden is unfulfilled potential.”

Dan Peña

“Minutia never makes money. It only makes manure.”

Dan Peña

“More of the same usually just gives you more of the same.”

Dan Peña

“Most people procrastinate because they're not sure. So just do it.”

Dan Peña

“Most success and business coaching today is nothing more than a big scam!”

Dan Peña

“Most successful people do it poorly until they do it well. Just keep blundering along. You can't wait until it's exactly right. The product of your quest for perfection is… paralysis.”

Dan Peña

“Motivation is your fire in the belly. But unless it's fueled it goes out.”

Dan Peña

“My candor has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years!”

Dan Peña

“My life was changed a number of years ago when I heard Ted Turner of Time Warner/Turner Communications fame say 'set goals you cannot accomplish in your lifetime'.”

Dan Peña

“My power of concentration is and always has been extraordinary since my army training! In fact, other people say it is legendary and almost cosmic!”

Dan Peña

“My time is much too precious to be wasted on people who merely want to talk about being a high-performance person and can’t or won’t take action!”

Dan Peña

“Never start small where goals are concerned. You’ll make better decisions – and find it much easier to work a lot harder – when your ultimate goal is the ultimate success.”

Dan Peña

“Never underestimate how wrong you can be. Even the most careful planning can be overtaken by external events and circumstances.”

Dan Peña

“Never, ever share your doubts with anyone but your mentor.”

Dan Peña

“No matter how tempting, never accept short-term solutions to long-term problems.”

Dan Peña

“No one loves me as much as I love myself! And if you can’t really love yourself, you can’t love anything you do!”

Dan Peña

“Nothing you'll ever be in business is a matter of life or death. In the cosmos of time, any decision you make is a fart in the wind.”

Dan Peña

“Once you learn to make money it is not that hard. What’s hard is to stay excited about it.”

Dan Peña

“Our lives are a series of lowered expectations year after year. We got pounded by everything around us. Just like our parents and their parents. We are products of our social and economic milieu.”

Dan Peña

“People don't lack goals, passion, grit, or drive - they lack leadership!”

Dan Peña

“People regularly practice playing a sport like golf or basketball – but few people think about ‘practicing being successful’. I had practiced meeting the Queen of England – what I would wear, how I would stand, the handshake – so when I did meet her, I was comfortable – for I had practiced the moment for years.”

Dan Peña

“People that read fucking books don’t take action!”

Dan Peña

“People want to be led by strong leaders, and good leaders are constant students.”

Dan Peña

“People with low self-esteem protect themselves by not taking risks. High self-esteem gives you the power of confidence to take chances.”

Dan Peña

“Plan for success. With no back-up plans, no ripcords, no fail-safes - or you will fail.”

Dan Peña

“Political correctness is a manifestation of a lack of self-esteem.”

Dan Peña

“Popular consensus = recipe for failure. The aforementioned rhetoric is what we and every other human being have been told since Guthrie man.”

Dan Peña

“Practice success before you are successful.”

Dan Peña

“Practice within when you're without. Practice success.”

Dan Peña

“Progress often masquerades as trouble.”

Dan Peña

“Purveyors of conventional wisdom have told me for years I couldn’t do this or that. I’ve kept the list of the things they said I couldn’t do but did.”

Dan Peña

“Quantum leap success means fishing with nets, not just with lines.”

Dan Peña

“Reading books is not taking action! Taking action is pulling the trigger!”

Dan Peña

“Realists are brutally honest with themselves. Yet they still have an unwavering belief that they will prevail.”

Dan Peña

“Regret for the past is a waste of the spirit - and makes no money!”

Dan Peña

“Remarkably successful people habitually do what other people won’t do. They go where others won’t go because there’s a lot less competition and a much greater chance for success.”

Dan Peña

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”

Dan Peña

“Size is the enemy of speed! Speed to react matters more than size of company.”

Dan Peña

“Stick to your knitting. To maximize the return on invested capital, deploy your assets, resources and capabilities in those areas wherein lie your expertise and experience.”

Dan Peña

“Stop sabotaging your success.”

Dan Peña

“Structure follows strategy. If you base your strategy on your existing structure, you limit your potential to what you've already done.”

Dan Peña

“Success starts with you being comfortable being uncomfortable!”

Dan Peña

“Super successful people are macro managers who know that less control means more control.”

Dan Peña

“Super-success is not for everyone, and you will endure weeks and months and years of hard work, obstacles, failures, victories, pain, and any manner of negative experiences to reap the rewards of success, drink from the golden goblet, own the brass ring.”

Dan Peña

“Surprise your associates - and your enemies.”

Dan Peña

“The best form of customer service is self-service. Constantly empower customers to get their own answers themselves.”

Dan Peña

“The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!”

Dan Peña

“The big lie is that success is easy, it’s for everyone!”

Dan Peña

“The business world is divided into people with great ideas, and people who take action on those ideas.”

Dan Peña

“The consequences of a misguided decision are insignificant in the cosmos of eternity.”

Dan Peña

“The difference between a failure and a high-performance individual is how each deals with fear. We are all afraid. A high-performance person uses his fear to galvanize his actions.”

Dan Peña

“The difference between me and a lot of you here is that I have no fears. Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless.”

Dan Peña

“The fulfillment of your dream is directly proportional to your desire to succeed and how much you're willing to sacrifice. If you are not prepared to die, then you are not prepared to live.”

Dan Peña

“The hedgehog vs the fox. The fox is smart and cunning but gets caught up in lots of details, becoming misdirected and chasing his own tail. Hedgehogs do only one thing and do it well and nothing else: eat.”

Dan Peña

“The internet has allowed even more growth possible than in the bricks and mortar industries that I dealt with years ago. It is easier to get a business to a million dollars/pounds in revenue on the net! It is not easy! But it is easier when compared to construction, etc...”

Dan Peña

“The internet is a giant lab experiment for corporate America, and those companies that recognise this and play well within the rules of ambiguity and fluidity will survive and win.”

Dan Peña

“The job of CEOs is not to be the smartest guy in the room but to attract other smart guys to work for him. The group brain is far more powerful than individual brainpower.”

Dan Peña

“The more emotional distractions you have the harder it is to accomplish your goals - especially at the extreme levels!”

Dan Peña

“The more self-esteem you give others, the more you have. And the more you have, the easier it is to give away.”

Dan Peña

“The more you investigate, the less you have to invest.”

Dan Peña

“The old Kenny Rogers song, "The Gambler" has a message for CEOs. "You've got to know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em." As a CEO you'll get more advice from your staff than you know what to do with. But it's up to you to know when to "hold 'em" and when to "fold 'em". Listen to your staff. Listen to your gut. Make your decision and move on.”

Dan Peña

“The older you get the less you are surprised.”

Dan Peña

“The only difference between a Champ and a Chump is ‘U’.”

Dan Peña

“The only goal my dad had for me was to keep me alive to reach the age of reason! He had no aspirations for me vis-a-vis education, wealth, or anything else!”

Dan Peña

“The only things in life you regret are the risks and adventures you didn’t take.”

Dan Peña

“The reason a lot of people don't get more done is they do too many things and they do them all poorly. Focus!”

Dan Peña

“The road to success is always under construction. There are lots of potholes but no traffic jams!”

Dan Peña

“The truth is, I almost always did accomplish what I said I would – in the face of overwhelming obstacles!”

Dan Peña

“The truth is, successful people are not ten times smarter than you. They don’t really work ten times harder than you. So why are they successful? Because their dreams are so much bigger than yours!”

Dan Peña

“The world is full of people who want their ears tickled on strategies for wealth creation and protection and so-called revealed secrets to wealth creation. And there are plenty of slick business coaches who are more than willing to do just that - for a fee. This is the world of the seminar guru.”

Dan Peña

“There is never an easy time to make a hard decision.”

Dan Peña

“There's no secret sauce to being a billionaire!”

Dan Peña

“There’s no seminar in the world that will give you multi-million-dollar advice on building a business from scratch!”

Dan Peña

“This is why you’re poor. Are you willing to work 100 hour weeks? Are you willing to not go on vacation for 3 years? Would you work on your anniversary? Would you celebrate Christmas in January because of business? I have.”

Dan Peña

“To achieve "hyper-growth", avert avoidable mistakes, and let your successes run their course. Do more of what you're doing right - and less of what you're doing wrong.”

Dan Peña

“To be wealthy, one has to add value to others’ life or lives. How can I successfully add value to someone else’s life without trying to impress them or going overboard? Without losing my own dignity and self-respect?”

Dan Peña

“Too many companies try to patch when they should amputate. 'Let's reorganize and save this mess' is a clarion call to disaster. Cut your losses, kick the cuttings out of your way, and move on.”

Dan Peña

“Too many people waste time on personal development instead of execution. They confuse reading for action.”

Dan Peña

“Tough times don’t last – tough people do!”

Dan Peña

“Turner, Iacocca, Ford, Dell, Edison, Gates, Jobs, Tom Watson, Perot, Fred Smith, Knight, Bezos, and probably any superstar you know all subscribe to do what others felt was wrong.”

Dan Peña

“Virtually all big law firms have good to super-good lawyers. All big law firms don't have great litigators.”

Dan Peña

“Watch your peaks and troughs. As long as your lows are higher than before, your Quantum Leap Action War Plan is working.”

Dan Peña

“We all have baggage from our upbringing! That’s life!”

Dan Peña

“We are only as emotionally strong as our deepest, biggest secret!”

Dan Peña

“We are preached to that those 'things' are for the 'other' people; you certainly can't expect that for yourself; whom are you kidding? You'll only disappoint yourself.”

Dan Peña

“We are told you have to remember who you are and where you came from.”

Dan Peña

“We cannot change the past, only recover from it. And perhaps learn its cruel lessons.”

Dan Peña

“We have self-esteem or don’t, based on how we were raised! Self-esteem is normally produced in your first few years of life.”

Dan Peña

“We have two bank accounts - the emotional bank account and the financial bank account. We empty one into the other.”

Dan Peña

“We must all remember life doesn’t have to be fair for us to succeed if we take change and become masters and creators of our own destiny!”

Dan Peña

“We’re all self-made but only successful people admit it. What’s keeping you from doing it? – You!”

Dan Peña

“What gets measured, gets accomplished.”

Dan Peña

“When I came back from the military and completed a four year degree in two and a half years, I developed the extraordinary habits needed to get a lot done in a very short period of time.”

Dan Peña

“When you deal with the opinionated or egotistical, always give credit where it isn't due.”

Dan Peña

“When you get rid of someone, never give them a hook with which to get back in. Always make a clean, definable and irrevocable break.”

Dan Peña

“When you think it, ink it.”

Dan Peña

“When you truly believe in your idea or your company or yourself, then you don’t need to have a huge ego or a huge personality.”

Dan Peña

“Wishing, hoping, and dreaming without an action plan – is nothing more than a pipe dream!”

Dan Peña

“Year-end goals are terrific! Affirmations with goals are even better! And goals, affirmations, along with visualization is even more effective!”

Dan Peña

“You always need a reason to overlook the obvious.”

Dan Peña

“You are paid in life not for what you know, but what you can do. Or get others to do.”

Dan Peña

“You can't have a dream come true unless you have a dream.”

Dan Peña

“You can't win at poker or business with scared money. It gives off a stench that is repugnant to the other side. If you're going to play, leave your money at home and play with OPM - Other People's Money.”

Dan Peña

“You can’t love anybody unless you love yourself first.”

Dan Peña

“You cannot grow exponentially by yourself. You need the support of others.”

Dan Peña

“You cannot make a Quantum Leap if you don't share the wealth with your Dream Team and employees - be it cash, equity, options or warrants that are tangible rewards for performance and loyalty.”

Dan Peña

“You have to have faith in people.”

Dan Peña

“You will definitely encounter lots of resistance on the road to super success but don’t let others stop you from reaching your goals.”

Dan Peña

“You won't always have all the answers. Only take seriously the advice of others whom you greatly respect.”

Dan Peña

“You would think that American educators would want our kids, especially our kids from poorer families, to hear what top-rated Oxford students hear. But you'd be wrong. American schools now hide their students from ideas like mine if they don't approve of the man or the message.”

Dan Peña

“You'll be motivated by inspiration… or desperation. It's your choice.”

Dan Peña

“You've known all along it's tough to be successful. But you'd rather hear the fairy tales.”

Dan Peña

“Your comfort is killing you.”

Dan Peña

“Your doubts are not the product of accurate thinking, but habitual thinking.”

Dan Peña

“Your greatest idea, born out of revolutionary thinking and passion, will die of indifference, apathy and the cancer of low expectations.”

Dan Peña

“Your most valuable natural asset is your own gut instinct. Don’t be afraid of it. your instinct has more power than all of the conventional wisdom in the world.”

Dan Peña

"The Trillion Dollar Man" Quotes

“Analysis equals paralysis! But the main ingredient is not giving up and the amount of heart you possess!”

Dan Peña
The Trillion Dollar Man

“As I have said for many years - we are the average of the 5 people we are exposed to most in our lives!”

Dan Peña
The Trillion Dollar Man

“Hitting rock bottom was necessary for me to put myself on high gear.”

Dan Peña
The Trillion Dollar Man

“Money is not all there is in the world – but it is the only thing anyone keeps absolute statistics and track of since the time of pharaohs.”

Dan Peña
The Trillion Dollar Man

“Not everybody wants fame – only fortune!”

Dan Peña
The Trillion Dollar Man

“There is a massive difference between playing to win and playing not to lose! Which have you followed?”

Dan Peña
The Trillion Dollar Man

"Your First 100 Million" Quotes

“I've lost more money in just one bad deal than a lot of those slick-suited guys on the feel-good-get-rich lecture circuit ever made in their whole lives.”

Dan Peña
Your First 100 Million

“It's about achieving the mental toughness and laser-beam focus you need to make a ton of money.”

Dan Peña
Your First 100 Million

“They used to call me crazy and worse. They'd say, 'Dan, you can't do that!' And, by God, I'd do it. Then, when I made my first few million dollars, they started calling me controversial.”

Dan Peña
Your First 100 Million