Generations Of Wealth

Generations Of Wealth | Dennis Berry | Unconventional Path


There is no one path toward entrepreneurial success. And in some cases, it may unfold in some unconventional path you least expect. This is exactly what happened to Dennis Berry, who became a business strategist and LinkedIn coach in the most unique way possible. Joining Derek Dombeck, he breaks down his key strategies for creating a seamless workflow and building efficient networks, focusing on cultivating trust and value at all levels. Dennis also redefines the meaning of overnight success, emphasizing the power of doing everything the right way and the impact of learning one small thing every single day.

Listen to the podcast here


The Unconventional Path To Entrepreneurial Success With Dennis Berry

Dennis’ Story

In this episode, I’ve got an awesome guest. We’ve been talking a little bit here before we started the show. Dennis Berry, all the way from Playa del Carmen, Mexico right now, but all over the world. Dennis, thanks for coming on.

Thank you, Derek. It’s great to be here. I love that concept. Live your vision, love your life. My background feeds right into that, but mine is master your business, own your life. We’re in the same concept. It’s about loving your life.

What’s the point of living if you don’t enjoy it? Dennis, why don’t you give us the background back when you started out in business and then we can go from there?

In my twenties, I was an old ski racer guy. I lived in different mountain towns around the country and to finance my crazy little lifestyle there, I was a chef. I worked in restaurants and hotels. I went to culinary school. I’m a classically trained French chef and I did that for a while, which leads to a crazy lifestyle. It was the skiing, the restaurant, the girls, the partying, and all that stuff. I did all that but that was killing me.

Eventually, I left that world and my first “adult job” was at Cisco Food Service. This was right around 2000. That was my first intro to the corporate business world. I learned so much about sales and business. In general, marketing. That was when I started growing up. What I realized, I was there for about three and a half years and I ended up getting fired because of incidents related to drinking and driving accidents I had, which led to me being sober for many years now.

In that position, what I realized one day, to answer your question about going back to business was that I was working 60 or more hours a week sweating, trying to sell food to restaurants, hotels, and chefs. I was making about 80,000 a year, which wasn’t bad back then, but my bosses had these nice cushy offices. They had pictures of fishing and beaches on the wall. They were working 30 hours a week and making $200,000.

I was like, “Something’s wrong there.” Cisco is a $30 billion-a-year company. It was $26 billion at the time. Now, it’s $38 billion or something. I was like, “Something’s way off.” I was like, “I want to make more or at least have a better chance of getting a bigger cut of that $30 billion.” That’s when my entrepreneurial business journey began and it didn’t start well. It had lots of twists and turns. I had a catering company. I got into personal training for a while. I had a candle-making company.

I had all these different businesses, but the problem was like many entrepreneurs, I didn’t know how to run a business. I was not running a business well and getting credit card debt. I had a mortgage I couldn’t afford. I started selling coins on eBay. I would buy coins and then I would resell them for a small profit. I was like, “This is interesting.” It was two years before the 2008 crash.

What happened was silver was $5 an ounce and gold was $500 an ounce. I couldn’t afford gold because I was broke, but I started buying silver. I was reselling it and then all of a sudden, I borrowed some money from my brother who’s a finance guy. Within a year, I was selling $3 million a year in coins and precious metals. It changed my life forever. That was where I learned about business, marketing, eCommerce, and customer service. Everything that goes into running a business, I learned doing that and I made lots of money. That was like the big foray into my business lifestyle as we know it now.

Using LinkedIn For Success

There’s so much to talk about there, but I guess one of my curiosities was before we were talking, you have a big LinkedIn following. Was this at the same time that you were figuring out LinkedIn or was LinkedIn later?

LinkedIn was much later. In fact, I’ve had a LinkedIn account for years, but over the years I was doing different business ventures. I was doing a lot of coaching for addiction recovery and alcoholism but that was going well. I did well with that. There were times I had 30 clients, but that one-on-one business model is unscalable and it’s a heavy lifestyle. I realized I was helping people get sober and change their lives. I would teach them how to build a business and they were becoming successful.

I was like, “Wait a second. I can make like five times as much money and work 80% less with that more type of a business model focusing on business.” I made that transition. I didn’t start doing LinkedIn until a few years ago. Even then it was slow growth until I figured out what I know now, which is how in the last year I’ve gained over 90,000 followers. I learned that LinkedIn is so much more than a job or posting board. It’s about building foundational relationships. I’m about to hit a hundred thousand followers based on my methods.

For myself and anyone else listening who doesn’t use LinkedIn properly, I will openly admit I don’t use it properly. What’s the beginning? I don’t expect you to map out how you did what you did, but where can people begin? What is everybody doing wrong?

There’s a list. There are two services that I offer as a coach. This isn’t a sales pitch, I’m just sharing what I do and that’s how I’m going to answer your question. The one side is I do LinkedIn coaching, whereas I show you how to do everything that I’m doing, which is how to write the right content to clearly define what it is you do. That’s the first mistake.

Most people don’t understand even what they do. If I tell you to give me a pitch, you might know you’re an established businessman, but if I tell you to tell me what’s your elevator pitch? What can you tell me? If you’re stuck in an elevator with someone for twenty seconds and they say, “What do you do?” You say, “Twenty-five years ago, I started doing this and then I was transitioned to this. I’ve been divorced now.” They’re gone. You have ten seconds to make an impression.

If you don’t know what you do, which I would say is number one. Figure that out. Get a 10 or 20-second pitch down on exactly what you do, products, and services. Fill out your profile the right way and then learn to start building relationships. The second part or the other service I offer is that we have to set up your business properly and have a seamless workflow. It starts with a business sales funnel. I’m not talking about ClickFunnels, any cheesy ads, or any of that stuff. What I’m talking about is that every successful business on the planet is set up as a funnel.

On the top of your funnel, there are however many potential people that you could do business with. In terms of social media, there are five billion active monthly social media users on all the big platforms. On LinkedIn, there’s one billion or whatever number they throw around. It’s around there. That’s the top of your funnel. We get people into the funnel with our content or a newsletter as we get them down the funnel, your website, or whatever other attraction that you have, some lead magnets, or something like that.

We move them down into maybe you have some courses or a mid-ticket item. At the bottom comes mastermind groups, coaching, or whatever it is that you want to do. When you set that workflow up simply, that’s the keyword right there. We need to set up a seamless workflow that’s simple to use. The problem is all these workflows have kinks in them like broken pages, payment links, and all these things. When you have those, they’re gone. You have one second to make an impression.

If your impression is you have broken links, then they’re gone and they’re going to find somebody who has a seamless workflow. Those are the two things I do. With that said, it wasn’t a pitch for me. It was to tell you that’s how you set LinkedIn up for success. When you do that, you gain followers. You build an audience. Once you have an audience, then you can sell stuff which leads me to the next piece of the puzzle is that most people have the cart before the horse. They’re like, “I’m a coach. I’m going to write a book. I’m going to sell my courses, my services, and all that stuff.”

Paid Ads

They’re like, “Buy my stuff.” You’re like, “Why? I don’t know you.” People do business with whom they know, like, and trust. That takes time. You have to build foundational relationships. The thing I get upset about the most is those paid ads that are like, “Make six figures a month working from home in your underwear two hours a day.” That’s all BS. Don’t follow that.

Those people are feeding on desperate people who started a business and they have this idea of being an entrepreneur. Also, the word entrepreneur is such a sexy word. People love the thought of being an entrepreneur, but building a stable and profitable business the right way is the hardest thing in the world that you can do.

I would say the people who are answering those ads are not going to stick. They’re going to fall by the wayside anyway. You may monetize them once or twice, but it’s hard to duplicate those results.

What you’re saying, and I hope people are hearing this because I don’t sell any cheesy crap. What I sell is people looking at those ads because it sounds like a shortcut. People are looking for a shortcut but let me map out the shortcut for you. People chase those ads when they start their entrepreneurial business for 2, 3, or 5 years. They’re looking for shortcuts or you could do things the right way and in 3, 6, or 12 months, you’ll have a foundational business. That’s doing things the right way. That’s the shortcut and people don’t see that because we’re always looking for the faster way to get there but the shortcut is doing things the right way. It’s building relationships and setting things up properly.

One of my early mentors told me when I started being successful in the coin business. He said, “Dennis, make sure you do everything right the first time because there’s nothing worse than having to back out and redo. It costs time and resources, which is finite for all of us.” It’s doing things the right way the first time from the beginning. If you don’t know, ask for help. Hire somebody. If you think it’s expensive to hire an expert, wait until you hire an amateur.

Also, replace them and hire them over and over again. I’ve been there and done that. I know what that costs. It’s not cheap.

No, and it’s ongoing. You can run those paid ads. There are business models where that works. You can run $100,000 a month in paid ads and if you make back $110,000, $120,000, it works. The problem is this. When you stop running ads, the phone stops ringing because there’s no foundational business. That was your business model so you have to build. The things people don’t understand is that running paid ads or paid ads campaigns like that is a supplement to your business. It’s not a substitute for doing business. People often confuse those two things. You want to do them together, not instead o. If you do things the right way, I use zero paid ads and I make five figures a month.

Running paid ads is just a supplement to your business. It is not a substitute for doing business. Click To Tweet

Part of this that bothers me is when I hear people ask me how I’m marketing my business. I give everybody the map. I don’t do it for them. The reality is I don’t do a lot of paid ads either. I have some paid marketing out there, but this is a great example. In the Generations of Wealth Podcast, I provide content. I provide great people like you on the show who are willing to share their information.

As I add more content, the natural premise is that people are going to come and inquire about what they can do to do business with me but everybody wants that shortcut. I’m in the real estate space, primarily residential, and like commercial real estate, it has always been my bread and butter. When everybody else is suffering to get deals, a lot of the deals that come to me are referrals. They’re word of mouth.

They have nothing to do with any current marketing. It’s the last many years of relationships that I built and doing what I said I would do that then brings me these deals. As you said, there is no easy button. If somebody’s selling you an easy button, it may work occasionally, but it’s hard to build a business on.

Value And Trust

What you described to us is you’re providing value with this show, this interview, and all your podcasts and you’re groups that you run. You’re providing value and you’re building trust. That’s what people do business with who they know, like, and trust. That business, if it’s not transactional, then it becomes a long-term business relationship and that’s why you’re successful.

People don’t understand that part of it because they’re buying into those ads that they have to pay their credit card bills. They have to pay the mortgage that they can’t afford because their house is overvalued and the market’s about to crash again. They’re looking for a quick fix, but the quick fix is to do things the right way. There’s no other way around it. A quick fix, money easily gained is easily lost.

When you throw in a Black Swan event like COVID, you could pay all you wanted in ads depending on what business you were in. It didn’t matter if everybody was on lockdown. That’s where those long-term relationships come into play. For many of us, 2020 was our best year in business because we were established and there was a lot of opportunity, whereas many people were suffering.

It’s interesting you say that. My best year was 2008 because I was well-positioned with my gold and silver so when the market crashes, people turn to tangible assets like precious metals or whatever other number of things. I was well-positioned when that happened. Also, you said The Black Swan, it’s funny, I’m reading that right now. Those events happen. The other book there was Antifragile. You want to be an antifragile so when those events happen, we’re well-positioned for success then we can’t be broken.

However, all of this requires building relationships. It requires time. There are no eight-hour days. I tell people I live two blocks from the Caribbean. I work 16 to 18 hours a day, but it’s not work. On Tuesday morning, I’m working, but I also work on Sunday night and then I also work on Friday night at 10:00. I also work on Sunday morning, but I also take naps in the middle of the day. I also go to the gym at 10:00 sometimes and then I’ll go swimming at one in the afternoon and get work on my tan. There’s freedom, but that comes at a cost and I’ve paid that cost.

Business Plan

It’s a great segue into our tagline of Live Your Vision. You’re right now in Playa del Carmen you said, and I believe you have ideas of going to other parts of the world and travel. You’ve built a business that you can do from anywhere. Oftentimes people think that’s impossible or they may believe it’s possible, but they have no idea how they’re going to do it.

My argument is when you have your vision figured out of what you want your personal life to look like, and then you build a business that not only fits within that but supports that. Essentially, that personal vision is the filter, “Should I take these steps in business or should I not? Can I avoid the shiny objects that are coming at me every day?” How do you explain your lifestyle to somebody who’s 9:00 to 5:00 stuck in the W-2 to make them understand that it’s even possible?

It’s another great question with a ton of answers and it’s not one answer. There are a couple of things. One is I don’t have the responsibilities of kids right now. Also, you have to understand your appetite for risks too because the thing with entrepreneurship is that I have systems set up to teach and train people to help them build their business, but it can still fail. It’s not likely to fail if you do all the work that I’m saying you have the right business model and you do all these things. It’s very unlikely to fail but the level of success is different for everybody.

Another thing I want people to understand is that when you were asking me the question, it was like, “How do you find the right business to build? How do we know if it’s the right business,” or this or that? The thing is this. I don’t know exactly your whole business model, but I guarantee what you do right now is not how it started. Wherever you are in business, whether it was many years ago, the way that you do business right now is not the way you started doing business when you started.

This is something that people need to understand. When we start and you mentioned vision, I have two things that I start all my clients with and it sounds like you might have a similar beginning. We have a business plan. I have a business plan template that I give people and it’s very basic. I’ve written business plans and raised millions of dollars. This is not that. This is more like, “What am I doing? What’s my mission? What are my goals? What’s my marketing strategy? How much money do I need? Are there any projections or a SWOT analysis?”

It’s all these little things. We need to write it down to start. Your business is not going to look like that but we need to have a starting point with some action steps to take to start making something happen. The next thing that we have to do is a vision plan, which is basically a business plan for your life. Inside the vision plan, “What’s my mission statement? What are my visions, goals, and dreams?” If we can’t define it, we can’t achieve it. If you want nine figures in your bank account, write that down.

What do you want your husband or wife to look like? Do you want a house in Australia and one in Europe? Do you want to travel? Do you want a Ferrari? Write all those things down. Those are material things. Do you want kids? Tell me about your health. Write all those things down and then do a personal SWOT analysis. Start doing some goals.

We then take that and make that into a vision board. Once we map all of that stuff out, then we can make a start. Eventually, you grow into that business. You grow into that vision and those dreams and your life unfolds, but it takes a lot of work. I say this all the time. The most successful people, the ones that make it to the top, the Elon Musk, the Bezos, whoever it is you love or hate, or whoever your success hero is, they’re not necessarily smarter or better than we are. They just manage this better. When you learn how to manage your mindset, then you become successful. You can do anything you want. It’s all mindset management.

The most successful people who make it to the top are the ones who embrace the mindset of being able to do anything they want. Click To Tweet

The way that we work with our people, the REI Circle of Trust Mastermind, and this is the hardest thing for most people to do is to figure out their vision, their dreams, and their goals as if it’s already happening and as if money and time doesn’t matter. A lot of people cannot dream without engineering how it’s going to happen. That’s step one is getting it out on paper. What we see all the time, especially on the personal side is people’s vision starts out with stuff. It’s the houses. It’s the vacations, the cars, and your vision should be ever-changing.

Over time, it starts being more philanthropic work and more mission work. Maybe they’re starting a charity or a non-profit because stuff is just stuff. Once you have it, it’s exciting for a little bit, and then pretty soon that new shiny car is dusty and it doesn’t give you a thrill anymore. That’s what we see a lot on the personal vision side.

On the business side then once the personal vision is clear, we do this burn-it-down exercise, which basically says if again, money was not a factor, time was not a factor, what is the perfect business you would want to be in? Let’s describe that. After that’s out on paper, it’s putting together the plan, the steps, and taking those steps. It’s a very similar process to what you just described.

Yeah, it is the same thing. It’s when you define it back out of that goal and start taking a step towards it. What you were just talking about is the solution to everything. Its action and non-action are the source of most of the problems and almost all of the failures. It’s the lack of action. Most failures could be wiped away with some sort of action. We live in our microwave world and people are waiting for success to happen to them and it needs to happen fast because I have bills to pay. That doesn’t work.

I end up at McDonald’s at 2:00 in the afternoon or watching porn or getting drunk or getting stoned. These are all distractions. Instead of doing any one of those things or all five of those things, if you were to take one action step towards whatever your goal is, which is why we need to start there and define what’s my goal. Take one little baby step towards that. It’s like you crack the door and it swings open by itself. Action is the way that we get to where we want to go.

Redefining Overnight Success

Tell me, Dennis, if you’ve seen this. When you have your vision written out and you’re reviewing it daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s in front of you all the time and all of a sudden, things start to appear. Those opportunities were always there in my opinion. You just didn’t know to see them or even if you saw them, you were terrified to grab them and run with them. Have you had similar experiences?

Sometimes we do this action, and correct me if I was off for answering this question. We’re taking action and not seeing any results and this is where we see the “overnight success” story. We see that and we don’t see the days, weeks, years, or decades of work that went into that Oprah interview or whatever it is. You didn’t see all the decades that went in before that interview and it’s the same thing with us. When you define what it is that we’re trying to move towards, it unfolds better than we can define but it’s by taking the action that these things start to happen.

It’s like putting the energy out there. You get a job and everybody sees that somebody got a job, but they didn’t see the 20, 50, or 100 rejections that went in before that job. It’s the same thing with starting or building a business. There are so many things that go into it. Even before you see a logo that went into this appearance, this thing that we see, there’s so much that goes into that. I think people have unrealistic expectations. It’s like if you define your goals, just take anything.

The one thing I like to say is no zero days. It’s 1% compounds. One little thing that you can do each day adds up to massive results. To have no zero days, even if it’s making one phone call, reading one page, watching one podcast, or talking to one person. Keep doing that, and then all of a sudden, your dreams start to happen. We then think, how did that happen? Everything is happening at once. It didn’t all happen at once. It seems that way because you were waiting for that to happen, but all these other things happened along the way.

I love that analogy because the compounding effect is huge. That’s when all the people that initially were telling you, “Be careful. We’re worried about you. We’re praying for you,” are now saying, “You got lucky. You’ve got the world by the ass. You get to go here. You get to live in Mexico. You get to travel.”

Do you know what they say next? Can you help me do that? It’s because I have credit card bills and my marriage is falling apart. I have health problems. It’s predictable. All of it. The results are predictable on either side. If you take a somewhat defined action towards some defined vision that may or may not work out exactly like that, but it’s going to work out like that or better if you’re moving towards it. Also, you can go to McDonald’s at 2:00 and get stoned or get drunk because you don’t understand what the next steps are instead of learning.

It’s constantly learning over and over again. Bill Gates was asked, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” He said, “The ability to learn faster,” and it’s so true. When we stop learning, a little bit of us dies inside. We’re living in the age of AI and technology is advancing at light speed. We don’t have to be experts in everything. Everything that’s happening on LinkedIn, everybody’s talking about AI this and AI that.

Go outside for a walk. It’s still a human world. It’s not terminated yet but learn a little bit each day or each week one little thing so you don’t have to start and be like our parents where we had to explain what email was. If we learn a little bit 1% each day, then in 3 or 5 years when it’s a little crazier than it is now, we’re not going to have to start from zero.

Network Building

I would build on that. Learn something each day, but also meet a new person each day or each week. Expand your network. I started in 2003 and for the first 7 or 8 years of my business, I was a closet investor with myself and my wife. We didn’t have a network. We got our asses kicked in 2007 through 2009 so we had to reinvent ourselves. Now, moving forward, my number two focus is constantly expanding my network.

My number one focus is what you said. I want to learn something new every day. I want to keep expanding my education and my knowledge to help people, but also, to help myself and pass that on to the next generation. Whether that’s my own family or somebody else’s family doesn’t matter to me. It’s a lot of what we talk about here.

Do you know what they say? Your network is your network. It’s as many people as possible. I built my whole business on networking. I used to go before the world down to live networking groups for years. I have a quick story. I used to go to those in-person networking groups like BNI. The one I went to was called Master Networks. I met this girl and she was a bookkeeper. She did bookkeeping locally in Colorado for local businesses.

I saw her for a few months. I went to that group there and then I didn’t see her for seven years. This was in 2016. A few months ago, she sent me a text message out of the blue saying, “Do you still do business coaching?” I was like, “Yeah.” She said, “I have a client. His business is growing too fast and he doesn’t know what to do.” She sent him to me because she knew, liked, and trusted me even though seven years had gone by. He signed up for five figures or about $20,000 worth of work that we’re doing with them right now. That was seven years later.

With that in mind, you want to keep building your network because every day you don’t, in seven years, you’re not going to get that phone call or that referral or that compound effect. Build a big network and that’s what I do with LinkedIn. I have 100,000 followers. Are all those people going to be customers? Absolutely not but inside of there, there’s a bunch who are.

You also, to a certain degree, get to cherry-pick the people you enjoy working with because, over my career, I’ve raised millions and millions of dollars for real estate transactions. I co-owned a hard money lending company for years. All of these things were privately funded by private individuals and those relationships have pushed me into opportunities that I never could’ve dreamed about years ago. We already said it a couple of times and I want to reiterate. All of that took a long time to build. It wasn’t just overnight success.

Every day that you’re not doing something like that, remember the 1%, no zero days. Every day you’re not doing that is one day farther from your dream. You’re either pushing closer or farther away. I was taught we always want to be pushing uphill because if you’re not pushing uphill, you’re sliding back downhill. There’s no planing out but the problem and the difference is that pushing uphill doesn’t have to mean struggle. It just means striving to become better than you were yesterday.

Pushing uphill does not have to be a struggle. It must be about striving to become better than you were yesterday. Click To Tweet

That’s all that it means. There’s no hanging out. There’s time to go on vacation and lay on the beach. That’s it but then get back to constantly improving and becoming better. You don’t have to struggle. Just keep pushing towards your goals. You’re going to get there, but when you stop, you won’t get there. It’s that simple. You take action and you’ll get there. If you don’t, you won’t get there.

Between Coin Business And LinkedIn

Also, the compound effect works in reverse in that analogy because just holding that weight on that incline is going to start wearing you out and you’re going to go down the hill. That will compound and if you’re from the northern part of the country, it’ll snowball. Everybody knows as you start rolling that snowball down the hill, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. You’ve got to stop that backwards snowball compounding effect as well. Dennis, you got done in the coin business, or at some point that plateaued. What did you do after that? It’s because there was a period of time between the coin business and then I jumped you into LinkedIn and we missed that.

There were two different things. That’s a great question because the entrepreneurial journey is not ever a straight line. It’s a lot of squiggles, bumps, and bruises along the way. In between there was I was still doing a lot of addiction recovery counseling and coaching and alcoholism coaching. Back then, it was a different business model. We didn’t have Zoom. That wasn’t a thing. I would meet in coffee shops. I had a shared office space for a little while and it was a lot different.

What happened was I had a big fight with eBay and most of my business was coming from there. I started my own coin business apart from eBay. The problem was I knew sales and I knew how to build a business online, but where I was struggling was marketing. I didn’t have a strong marketing background because it’s eBay. There are a hundred million people on eBay. They do the marketing. What I did was I got jobs at two marketing companies so I could learn marketing. That was the missing piece of my business mind.

I learned so much about digital marketing in general, basic marketing principles, and everything. It has since grown into everything I need to know about marketing, at least at my level. We never know everything there is to know. As I said, it was around 2020 when everything shut down. It was also an amazing year for me too like it was for you. Everything switched. What happened around that time, and this is when I was diving into LinkedIn in 2019 or 2020.

I started The Funky Brain Podcast and I wrote a book in 2017 called the Funky Wisdom. That was my book. It’s about my life in sobriety. I don’t talk about it much because it doesn’t apply to what I do now but I got that done. I had my podcast and I was interviewing lawyers because what I did was I was selling marketing. I was selling marketing to lawyers because personal injury attorneys have six figures a month to spend on paid ads. I was going after them.

I targeted this one entertainment lawyer in New York City, this hotshot woman. She was nice and cool. I got on a call with her and we talked for an hour. I was like, “Do you want to be on my podcast or don’t?” I was trying to get her on. She goes, “Dennis, the reason I was talking to you is I want to introduce you to some of my clients.” She introduced me to some of her clients who were Emmy Award-winning TV hosts, broadcasters, authors, and all these people.

That snowballed because a lot of these personalities couldn’t be on radio and TV shows because the world shut down. That’s when they started hopping on podcasts. They were introducing me to all these people and I started interviewing NFL and NHL players and all these different people. I dove into LinkedIn. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I studied LinkedIn and figured some things out. That’s where we are now.

The Power Of Giving

Is there ever any fear of LinkedIn shutting down your account? I have a lot of friends of mine who have built up pretty large followings on Facebook and Facebook groups. One in general had over 300,000 members in a group and Facebook just shut him down. There was no explanation and no way of getting it restarted. When you put all of your eggs into that basket like years ago with eBay and then you had a challenge with eBay and everything, now how do you protect yourself? How do you protect that list, so to speak, of 100,000 followers?

I’m starting to diversify now because I wanted to build this foundation. We need to diversify. I’m starting to bleed into Twitter a little bit and then I’m moving into Facebook and Instagram. We want to have appearance or build attention in as many places as possible because you’re right. We can’t safeguard at all but I’ve also built amazing relationships, which goes back to when we started our conversation. That’s the foundation.

I have a foundation that I’ve built that can’t be shaken. They could take away my LinkedIn account. Hopefully, they don’t because it’s working well right now but I have multiple mediums of connecting with people and continuing to build relationships. Our focus should always be on building relationships because, at the end of the day, that’s what you have. That’s currency. Your relationships and attention that we were talking about or your audience is where you want to put your focus. It’s not put up a post and make a million dollars.

A lot of people do that and they’re wondering why they’re failing. They put up a post and they’ll even spend the hours writing a post and then they sit there waiting for the phone to ring. That’s not how business works. It’s more about giving than it is about receiving. We have to be in the flow of giving and receiving. You can’t be on the outside of the flow or a circle. You’re giving and receiving at the same time. You can’t be on the outside not giving and just hoping to receive, which is where many people are hanging out and it doesn’t work that way.

Business is more about giving than receiving. Click To Tweet

The way you describe that is the Circle of Trust Mastermind. It’s the exact same thing. We all come in there to give as much as we take or give more than we take from those mastermind groups 100%. That’s literally what the Circle of Trust Definition would be. You defined it perfectly.

We rise by lifting others. It doesn’t work any other way. I can give you a list of most of our problems. One is too much adulting. That’s the number one thing that I talk about. We are doing too much adulting. We’re worried too much about money and all these things. We need to be kids again. We need to enjoy life. Life wasn’t meant to be so serious all the time. We rise by lifting others. We give and give and then ask but the more we give, we’re just one.

This is getting very philosophical, which I think that you’re into, but we are all one, and most of the problems and the anxiety, stress, fear, failure, wars, and all this that’s going on come because people feel that they’re separate. Separate religions, separate money, separate oils, separate land, and all these things. That’s where all the problems are.

If we played well in the sandbox together, we had no problems. We would support each other. Now, it’s not possible because we need the imbalance, and capitalism works and makes the world work better. However, the idea is so radically backwards right now and that’s the source of most of our problems.

Even when you said give and give and eventually ask, I would even say that you give and give and most of the time, you don’t even have to ask. Other people are presenting opportunities to you because they want to give back. I feel like that’s a lot of what I at least have seen in my business life and my personal life. I will give anybody the shirt off my back if they need it and I know I’ll survive.

I do it to a fault. I’ve been burned. On my side of the fence, everything is clean. I live that way. I don’t have to worry about the outcome or what happens after I give you my shirt. I don’t have to worry about that. It’s what I talked about like defining your vision and trusting that it’s already done. I don’t need the time or the money. I just know that it’s done. It’s the same thing with that. It’s like, “Here’s my shirt. Now, I’m going to go. Have a nice day.” Whatever happens after that is not my responsibility.

A few years ago, somebody decided that they needed to break my truck window and take all of my stuff. Apparently, they needed my stuff more than I did. I was angry for a few hours or maybe even a full day. After that, I started thinking it through. First of all, I have insurance. The truck got fixed and my stuff was replaced. That person is probably still living on the streets sticking a needle in their arm. Who cares? It’s just stuff. At the end of the day, I have my family, and my health, and I’m around. It’s another the sun is shining and the heart is beating type of day.

When you can stop holding grudges and take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Regardless if you were wronged or not, just take responsibility. I parked my truck in an area that was high-risk. That was my decision. It got broken into. That’s on me. It makes life so much easier to move on from what happened and it’s going to happen. It’s the way it is.

Let it go. That’s what I said earlier about the people who make it to the top. They manage this better. What you said is emotional intelligence. It’s a resentment. Drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. It’s not the snake bite that kills you. It’s the venom and the venom is holding onto that anger and that inability to forgive. Feel the pain. We have to feel the pain.

We can’t mask over it and get a participation trophy or something like that. You can be angry. What lesson do I need to learn now? What’s next? Let’s go back to our vision plan. Let’s go back to our business plan. What do I have to do to build my dreams because I can’t fix that truck window that’s gone? I’m going to get my insurance money. What’s next? Now what?

Learning And Asking For Help

Dennis, as we start to wind this down, what’s one question I should ask you that I haven’t asked you?

I’ve been at hundreds of shows and nobody’s asked me that one. I like it. It’s the same question. Do you have one piece of advice to give? It is a similar question, but I haven’t had that. The one thing I say is this is the most important thing and I think I kind of touched on it when with the Bill Gates thing. It’s to keep learning. They are always two things. One, if you can go back to your fifteen-year-old self and tell him one thing, what would you say? I would say let it go. It’s not a big deal. There are no big deals. That’s the first piece of wisdom that I learned from my mentor when I got sober.

We were supposed to have this meeting where we were going to go on a hike and have this meeting and something happened. I got busy and the group was still going to go without me. I was supposed to be the head of the meeting. I was like, “You’re going to go? I’m Dennis. How can you leave me behind?” I got so fired up and he is like, “Dennis, relax. It’s not a big deal. There are no big deals.” I thought about that. That was my first big [00:42:37] shock.

I thought deeper and I was like, “There are some big deals like murder, rape, child abuse, or stuff like that.” I was like, “Those are big deals,” but none of those things are happening in my life. What’s a big deal? They’re going to go on a hike in nature without Dennis. It’s not a big deal. I let it go. That’s one. Don’t take anything personally but the real big thing that I say to people is never stop learning.

That’s the number one thing because when you start a business until it becomes successful, there’s so much to do in between those two points. It’s ever-evolving. It could take 1 year or 10 years, but it keeps changing. You have to figure it out. The ones that “fail” only fail because they give up. There’s always a way to do it. Keep learning. Read the book, listen to the podcast, call Derek, call Dennis, and ask for help. Keep learning.

That’s a great point because there are people like you and me all over this world who want to help. They also don’t want their time wasted. If anybody calls me for help, I will absolutely give them a little bit of time because others have done that for me and still do that for me. They will always do that for me. You do have to humble yourself on occasion and ask for help. That’s great, but also be respectful of that. Being respectful of that may be passing that on to the next person who asks you for help. Carry it forward.

That’s well said. It is so important. People think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. It’s humility. It’s saying, “I don’t know how to get there.” I don’t know how old you are, but we didn’t grow up with Google Maps and Waze. We had to stop and ask for directions and the stereotype was that men didn’t want to stop and ask for directions. I always stopped and asked for directions. I was like, “I would rather stop and have this one person who I don’t know think I’m an idiot for 30 seconds and get there in five minutes than drive around for two hours lost trying to figure it out. Ask for help and you’ll get there faster.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength and humility. Click To Tweet

I think I’m only a few years younger than you but I was that person that wouldn’t stop and ask for directions when I was younger. Now, I’ll stop and ask anybody for help. At the end of the day, that one person who doesn’t know me and I don’t know them, maybe I changed their life a little bit. Maybe they changed my life a little bit but even if we didn’t, if we hadn’t stopped, we would’ve never even met. You never know that a two-minute conversation could be the thing that changes your entire world.

Most people are happy to help.

Most people are generally good.

The world is still good. Now, I’m fired up. Here’s another word of advice. Stop watching the terrible and awful news. Those are news shows and we could do a whole thing on this. It’s not the news. It’s the news shows and those things are designed to get you fired up and to hit your emotions. The world is still full of good, honest, awesome, and happy people. Don’t believe all the news shows.

Years ago when I moved here to Mexico, we had a big hurricane. It wasn’t a Category 4 or anything. I think it almost hit Category 2 but the point was where I was, where I was living, all these trees were down and the National Guard was there. They were picking up trees like that old picture of the Marines picking up the flag after the war years or decades ago or whatever it was. The Marines were picking up the trees and supporting each other. There was wreckage everywhere that you could see and that’s the news picture that you see.

They put the tree in the truck and then the one guy was looking at his phone and they were smiling. A couple of guys lit up a cigarette and that was after it. They were happy. The world is not a disaster. There are bad things that happen and there are some idiots and bad people, but that’s not the world. That’s the show that you’re watching. You could tune in if something’s important. You’re going to see it on Facebook or whatever your social poison is and then go have a nice day.

I stopped watching the news probably many years ago. Other than keeping an eye on financial markets and things of that nature that affect our business, I married a farmer’s daughter. The first thing that farmers do is they wake up in the morning, they turn the news on because they want to see what the weather is going to be like. However, they also start their day with the weather and then a lot of negativity.

They then dwell on that all day long until the evening when they turn the news on again and go to bed with some negativity. I challenged my wife on this for quite a long time and ultimately, now she believes the same way I believe. If I want feel-good stories, I’ll seek out feel-good stories, but I don’t seek out the negative stuff. There’s nothing that can come of it that’s positive for me.

It’s just stress and anxiety. There is nothing positive. You’re right.

Closing Words

Dennis, I have enjoyed this conversation and appreciate your time. How can people follow you? They want to jump on LinkedIn and start following you there but tell us how they can get ahold of you, follow you, and look you up if they need you.

The very best way besides LinkedIn is my website, which is There are ways to set up an appointment if you want to have a chat or I have digital courses. II coaching isn’t right for you, I have some courses or just say hi. Send me an email at

On LinkedIn, are you Dennis Berry or where do they find you on LinkedIn?

Yeah. It’s Dennis Berry. I think I’m the only one with the Dennis Berry. You’ll see my shiny flowing hair and my goatee.

Brother, thank you so much. I know you have some great things coming up in the future. You’re going to be traveling around and running your business. I look forward to someday meeting you in person and shaking your hand but for now, this has been great. I thank you for coming on the show.

Thank you, Derek. I appreciate it too. We’ll talk to you soon.

For everyone else, thanks for reading the show. Now, go out and live your vision. Love your life. See you next time.


Important Links


About Dennis Berry

Generations Of Wealth | Dennis Berry | Unconventional PathI’m a Business Strategist and Linkedin Coach.

I help entrepreneurs, mostly coaches, therapists and lawyers, monetize and optimize their businesses without wasting time and money.

I focus on building influencers. I run influencer groups and teach everything you need to know to become an influencer and build and scale a stable profitable online business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *