Shine Your Light | Dan Martell Original (Micro-Doc)


[MUSIC PLAYING] Heading to Portage today
to go talk with some kids. It’s a rehab center. Hopefully change some lives. [ENGINE REVVING] This up here– this is where I
got pulled over when I was 16. So I was coming
down the highway, and the roadblock
was over there, and there was trees
so you couldn’t see. And this is about where I got
pulled over, just right here on the side of the road. The police asked me for my
driver’s license and insurance, and all that stuff. I didn’t have a license. He said just pull over. I lied. And when he kind
of turned around, I took off and ended up
smashing into a house not too far from here. Everything changed in this
little part of the world. [MUSIC PLAYING] I know that for 22 years,
when Dan came to treatment he was very angry. But we felt, and we
knew, he had potential. He’s himself. And that’s why I respect
that guy so much. Because he is himself. No matter what, no matter
who he’s speaking to, he’s going to be the
same Daniel Martell. So Dan. At 16 years old, I found
myself driving a stolen car– high on drugs– just
outside of Sussex. And it was actually on the
exit to Sussex where there was a routine roadblock– we
actually just stopped to see it on the way here– where the police had set
up, and I couldn’t see it. So when I kind of took
the exit, they were there. I didn’t have my– I didn’t have a license. And they asked me to
pull over to the side, and I decided to gun it. And I thought if I could
just get away from them, maybe I could run into
the woods and hide. And what had happened prior
to that a few weeks is I did a break and enter, and
I had stolen a bunch of guns, and I had a handgun in a
backpack sitting next to me. And I said to myself, if I
got pulled over or stopped by the police, I was going to
point the gun at the police and let them do their job. And as I was trying to take
off, I was in a neighborhood. I had quite a bit of distance,
but they were pretty much right behind me. And I saw an open garage. And I thought if I could
pull into the garage and close the door,
I could hide out. And I came way too fast
into this guy’s yard, and smashed into the
side of the house, and started pulling
on the handgun that was in the backpack. And it got stuck. And I kept pulling on
it, and pulling on it. I could hear the
police getting closer. And next thing you
know, the door opened, and the police grabbed me,
and my feet didn’t even touch the ground. They threw me in the
back of the cop car and I woke up sober the next
morning in the Sussex jail. The city jail. Not knowing what my life
was going to look like, not knowing what I was going to– what kind of trouble
I’d gotten myself into. And I got released to Portage. So I remember the day
that I got brought here in the Sheriff’s van– driving down that same road
that I just drove my car down– 22 years ago. If somebody would have
said I’d be driving down this highway in a
super-car, I would have just thought there’s no way. Like it’s just, it’s crazy. Like how would that ever happen? And I did an 11
month program here. I had a lot of shit
I had to deal with. And Rick asked me one day– I actually did a summer program
here after I graduated to work. To build– I don’t– Yeah. 0 guess you guys don’t even
have the trailers anymore, the old trailers. Anyways, I helped build that. And I learned way too
many Dixie Chicks lyrics than I care to admit because
that’s Rick’s musical choice. But there isn’t– and still is
there cabins up there or are those gone, too? Gone. Yeah. So there used to be
cabins at the top and– because it was an
old church camp– and we were clearing
out one of the rooms, and there was this old
computer with a book on Java programming. A programming language, like
random just sitting there. And I opened up this book
and I started to read it. And I was like, oh. This kind of reads like English. It’s not gibberish. I always thought computer
programming would be this like weird foreign,
like, hieroglyphics or you needed to be like a math
scientist to understand it. And I just booted
up the computer and I followed chapter one. And I got the computer
to say, “Hello, world!” OK. Now it doesn’t
sound that exciting. I thought I was a
computer genius. I thought I was like
an undiscovered Doogie Howser of programming. That’s how high I was on
my own ego at the time. But that was enough of a spark
to just realize like, oh. If I can make it do that, I
wonder what else it could do. And truthfully, computers
became my new addiction. And I got out in– it was 1997– discovered this thing
called the internet. Which turned out to
be kind of a big deal. Most of you guys have
never lived without that. It was just starting when
I got into computers. And business became
kind of my outlet to express the
creativity that I had. And the way I look at it is
that entrepreneurship is really the ultimate personal
development program. When you talk about
betterment and being– learning how to be
a better person, there’s really no better
feedback mechanism than building a business. Because if you’re
stuck, people think they have business
problems when they really have personal problems that
just show up in their business. And then programming
became my new addiction. And I’ve been fortunate
enough, since then, to have started five
software companies. I’ve sold the last three,
I became a multimillionaire when I was 27, I’ve since now
invested in 40 other companies. Four of them are billion
dollar companies. And I don’t share
any of this to brag. I share this to give you guys
context for what’s possible. In a 22 year period,
I went from right where you guys are
sitting, to living a life that I didn’t even have the
ability or the understanding to dream of. OK? In 22 years. And I’m just getting started. I’m not even 40 yet. I’m having a lot of fun, and
I’m still just getting started. And throughout that
journey, there’s just been so many incredible
people that just showed up at the right time. And it’s why it’s so important
for me to come back and share my story with you guys, and
support anybody here that– someday– if you get out and you stay
sober for at least a year, and you reach out
to me, I will help you achieve any dream you
possibly could design. That’s my commitment. I’ve done it for many graduates. I had somebody reach
out to me the other day. I really believe that’s
why I’m here on earth. So that’s my story. If you guys have any questions? Let’s have a conversation. Here’s what’s
interesting about what you said– is that I’ve
had a lot of faith. And I’d be lying if I
told you when I got out of here I had any
faith in myself to do anything I’ve done today. It literally was, all right. How do I stay sober? That was it. I had one goal when
I got out of here– don’t relapse. So in AA, if you want to be–
if you want to have sobriety, you actually have to support
other people’s sobriety. I’ll tell you, that’s
a lesson I learned at 17 that most adults to
this day haven’t figured out. Isn’t that crazy? These are things that
you guys are learning. I’m good in business today
because I was in this room. The challenge is
when you guys get out and you have friends that
are still struggling, you’re going to
want to help them because you care about them. Does that make sense? Here’s what happens. I call it the tugboat
versus the lighthouse. You guys want to learn
what this is about? You guys want to know? It’s pretty cool. I don’t have to share it. You guys want to learn? Lighthouse versus tug boat? OK, cool. It’s really simple. The other people
in your life are like boats drifting in
the ocean with no rudder. OK? Now, you got clean, you built a
better boat, you got a rudder, and you see that, and
you act like a tugboat. And what does that mean? Is you go ramming out
there, and saying, fuck. OK, you guys got to
make a better decision. You’ve got to go this
way, that way, right? Because you’re
sober, you’re clean. This can be to
your parents, this could be your step fathers,
could be your cousins, your uncles, whoever it is. People in your life. The problem with that is
that it’s going to drain you and it’s going to
frustrate them. Does that makes sense? So anytime you
feel an inclination to give somebody else
advice go look in the mirror and give it to yourself. Because we all can be better. I don’t know. How you carry yourself around,
it’s like big motivation just to try to
transfer this all out. It’s fine to try and
be successful, but– Can you do me a favor? Can you take that word try,
wrap it up, and throw it out? I don’t– you’ll never
hear me use the word try. I just don’t. I don’t know. It’s like the Yoda thing. There is no try. There is do or do not. Right? But it’s funny how in the
language we use, it just, it sets so much
intention for the future. Who you are today is not
who you need to become to get to the next level. Does that make sense? Who you were when
you showed up– think about your
beliefs and values that you had when you showed up. The person that graduates
doesn’t believe or act that way anymore. Does that make sense? You probably have new habits. Do you agree? You have a different
perspective on life. You’re still
fundamentally who you are. Whatever your name is and
how you show up in the world, you’re that person. But you’re– the
habits, beliefs, and values that you
have are different. And the reason
why that’s true is because if you
didn’t change that, you wouldn’t be
able to have this. When you’re sober
for a year, you’re not going to be the same kid– person– that showed
up day one at Portage. So it’s like every day, when
I ask myself what’s next, I’m actually asking
myself this cool question of who do I need to
become to get that. Because I believe
every day we wake up we have a decision to make. We can either live
an ordinary life, or we can live an
extraordinary life. That’s a decision. We all have the power. So that’s the cool part. [APPLAUSE] The cool part is you
don’t have to do it alone. I’m here. I’ll help you. I’ve got a team, man. I got a team, I got
resources, and I will help you guys
achieve whatever you want to set as a dream. You got to do some work,
but we’ll do it together. Does that makes sense? That’s the commitment. But you’ve got to
stay sober a year. That unlocks the conversation. Cool? Cool. Awesome. Let’s go eat. I don’t know. Let’s do three. It’s really just
ask yourself what’s the next move I can do today. That’s it. Just today. A lot of it I
learned being here. Rehab– it’s not like
10 years in the future. It’s today. How do I stay sober today? So who’s leaving? You guys and leaving? Why. I called my
girlfriend last night. First time in three days. She told me one of our
really, really good friends hung himself. The unfortunate part,
Isaiah, the only person that can keep you here is you. All I know is that if I
didn’t stay, and I could have. So there’s a crazy part about
my program, it was 11 months. And after five, I
could have left. Because I had a
10 month sentence, I did five in Saint
John Regional, and then I had five close
custody, technically, here. And that day, all the
staff and everybody knew that was the day
that I could’ve left and not got arrested. And I’d been gone for a year. Not get arrested. Not nothing. Yeah. It was just like– it
was a hard day, man. I just know that my life would
look dramatically different. And I probably
wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be alive period. All right. See you, man. Reach out, eh Colton. All right. See you, man. Stay out of trouble. Just washed my hands. Yeah. That’s cool. That’s what I– that
was the first building. This is the camp where I
found the programming book. Right in there. That was the one. Crazy. [MUSIC PLAYING] [WHISTLING] [MUSIC PLAYING]

23 thoughts on “Shine Your Light | Dan Martell Original (Micro-Doc)

  1. 22 years ago I walked into a rehabilitation center as a broken teenager. Now I had the chance to go back and help. Watch the story here!

  2. Great video. You've just shared a formula for success. 
    1. Convert the bad habit to a good one. 
    2. One day at a time 
    3. Decide what you want and what you can do today
    4. Go do it.
    5. Learn from the process 
    6. Repeat

  3. Great of you to share Dan and to try and help others.

    I think "hello world" is the ultimate in learning what's possible.
    As you said "take it one day at a time" and imagine your future, then reach for it.

    "Who do you need to be?"
    Still not sure I fully understand that. When you're not that person already, it's really hard.

    But I was a programmer, like you , and I know the power of that first step, of "hello world" and I've built some crazy AI stuff since then 😉

    But applying that to life, seems harder!
    It's like having to "live" the code 😉

    With code it's easy. You learn the commands to control it. It's moderately easy to imagine the outcome and then program the sub routines to get there.
    LIFE seems immeasurably harder – STILL!

    But the big takeaway was; (paraphrasing)
    "people think they have a business problem, but they have a people problem, which shows up in their business"

    We call it mindset, procrastination, fear and 101 other labels and excuses.
    But maybe, ultimately, in the end, it's just "us" that is getting in our own way.

    Undoubtedly it is!
    When I consult, it's always about getting people out of their own way. To do the impossible. To take the leap of faith and believe in yourself.

    I guess that's part of what you are saying?
    To imagine your future and to become who you need to be.

    But I presume it's like rehab. You don't snap your fingers and reach the top of the mountain.
    You have to "work" one day at a time!

    But it isn't easy to get out of your own way, and actually do that.
    And as people, I think we ALL need help to do that….

    To share our stories, just like you did above.

    I was really pleased to see your standing ovation at the end and you connecting with some in the cafe after.
    I can't imagine what they thought of some 30 year old dude, with a sports car and sneakers, turning up to tell them how he "gunned it".

    But I hope they got your message. That anything is possible is you really work for it.

    Peter.

  4. Suffering from adult ADHD , diagnosed just few months back, and I have to admit, me being an entrepreneur was indeed an attempt to self improvise as a challenge more than a convenience of sorts.
    I get your spirit for life. Kudos to us – whoever decided to be.

  5. Been following you for years now.

    Being an online entrepreneur, there is a whole mess of people vying for my attention and money trying to “sell the dream”. I came across you amongst this crowd and somehow you just stood out, there is a resonance of honesty and good intention that comes through in your business advice. the content you share for free is really valuable, thank you.

    I am not running a SaaS but now i listen to your videos that are completely unrelated to what I am doing business wise, just to meditate on the passion and energy and sincerity you emanate.

    This video was so awesome man. Thanks for doing the work you do. I really enjoy it. Love your line about starting a business being a personal development program.

    Recently a friend of mine quit his lead position at a rocket ship startup (literally) during a time that it was really taking off, because the head of the company was being dishonest… my friend is an engineer and his level of integrity is very high and he just can’t compute people not being fully honest. But in business, honesty is not at all the rule, to the contrary, and it often feels like being fully above board is exposing vulnerabilities that are too easily taken advantage of by those people not playing at the same level of transparency, and although my intent is full transparency and truthfulness and goodness to myself and everyone, i often find my self succumbing to being secretive, misrepresenting and exaggerating things in business to protect my self, my money, and my business. … would you ever consider doing a video on this topic … I feel you may have some good insights.

    Thanks again
    Alex

  6. Damn Dan, damn. I was feeling Spirit rising up in me watching this about 5 minutes into it. I am very inspired by what you're doing. The messages, the wisdom, the possibility you are sharing in this video. This is what God put us all here for. I acknowledge your leadership.

  7. Great video!! It's inspiring to see what you have done with your life. I'm 5-years sober and am working on my second startup. I definitely couldn't be where I'm at today without people like you. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you for sharing about this. We all have our stories of adversity but rarely talk about them with others. So this is a great reminder to work to inspire those that are going through what we went though. Great lesson about "there is no try," i love that line by Yoda and applicable to anything in life.

  9. Really beautiful Dan. Wrapped in the humble reality that you can't be life changing for others without first changing your own life. But the fact you showed up and shared it is clearly making all the difference. I can't imagine those kids getting access to better mentoring than when you've stood in their shoes. Powerful mentoring for us all – thank you.

  10. Love the "Doogie Howser" reference!

    Thank you for sharing your story. While our life stories have different plots….there are a lot of similarities and goals. It's great to see you having the heart to visit back here and share your story with those that are facing similar challenges right now.

  11. You are so inspiring Dan! You help so many people not only in business – that's exactly what I want to bocome as well, that's always in my mind and what motivates me to push harder. There are so many things I want to do to help others and therefore I need to make some money to support people 🙂

    Awesome video! Thank you so much Dan!

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