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Does Pedigree Count? A Self-Made Entrepreneur Proves That A Desire For More Is The Game Changer


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Pedigree Or Pure Desire For More? A Hard-Won Rise To Success with Dean Graziosi

No matter how successful they are, many self-made entrepreneurs go through life never believing in their true worth. Most were always different than their peers, naturally making life more difficult. Because of this or in spite of this, they’re driven to succeed, and in many cases, they think their success could disappear in the blink of an eye.

For them, it all comes down to credentials, a “pedigree.”

Not the right pedigree.

A self-made entrepreneur’s pedigree often doesn’t include highly desirable schools and colleges, an internship at a Fortune 500 company, or early connections to business leaders. And their tendency to constantly compare themselves to other successful people can lead to a lifetime of low self-worth, even though their achievements may go far beyond their early dreams of success—and sometimes far beyond those of the people they’re comparing themselves to!

Still, they see themselves as not having the right credentials.

From poverty to legendary.

New York Times bestselling author and the number-one real estate success educator in the world, Strategic Coach client Dean Graziosi might well be the poster child for the self-made entrepreneur. And his story is compelling.

Born in upstate New York to parents who constantly struggled financially, Dean had a never-ending desire for more. “All entrepreneurs have a story that gives us our backbone, our drive, our motivation,” he says.

“In my case, we never had enough money for even the barest essentials as I was growing up. We moved 20 times in 20 years, and we were evicted regularly.”

Dean continues, “I wasn’t the smartest kid, and I also had dyslexia. I didn’t go to college, but I was lucky enough to have the drive, the motivation to get out of that place in my life. For me, the escape was cars. I started fixing wrecked cars while I was in high school and selling them for a profit.

“But when I looked around me, I saw that the people with real money in town were in real estate and naively thought I would try that. I took that same energy and effort and enthusiasm I put into cars into real estate and modeled the successful people in my town.”

Learn the life-changing lesson for entrepreneurs that led Dean Graziosi to end any confidence-destroying comparisons to others’ success. Once he took it to heart as one of his success habits, it changed everything. Visit

Successful people have successful habits.

The first thing Dean realized was that successful people have different habits than unsuccessful people, and he started to adopt those habits in his own life.

Before he was twenty, he made his first real estate deal, with no money down, and he was on his way. At one point when real estate rebounded, Dean was there at the right time applying his usual nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic and hustle. He became a millionaire in his twenties.

It was heady stuff, but more important, it made him realize that there wasn’t just one path to success. “I had told myself all the stories: You have to have the right pedigree, you have to be smart, you have to go to the right college, you have to follow the right channels,” he explains.

“And I believed it until I saw this glimpse of my own motivation, my own trial-and-error experiences, and learning in the way I wanted to learn. I could watch, and I could listen, and I could get things done.

“I started to gain momentum, and by my late twenties, I just wanted to share that with the world, to give hope to people with a desire to achieve more.”

Dean soon packaged his knowledge and hard-earned wisdom, writing his first course on how to make money in real estate, “Think A Little Different.”

Add New York Times bestselling author to his resume.

A few years later, Dean wrote his first book, Totally Fulfilled, which revealed his unique approach to getting optimal results in all areas of life and became a bestseller in short order. Another book, Be A Real Estate Millionaire, followed, this one even bigger than the first, becoming one of the bestselling real estate books of all time.

Now he was the world’s leading real estate educator. He says, “At that time I owned hundreds of properties and was involved in real estate nonstop. I would take what I was good at, create a system, and then figure out a way to market it. In this evolution, I became a good marketer, but I still had to learn how to be a good entrepreneur.”

And along that journey, as successful as it was, there was a loneliness that often goes along with being an entrepreneur.

A new community of entrepreneurs.

Dean believes that one of the best decisions he ever made was to take his friend Joe Polish’s advice to join Strategic Coach. “Everyone there understands you because they’ve all had the same struggle,” he says.

“I ran away from that broke kid in the trailer park who had dyslexia and didn’t go to college, and the only way I knew how to keep the momentum going was just to work, work, work, work. When I wasn’t working, I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing what I thought I should be doing. One of the first things I learned at Coach is that taking time off isn’t a bad thing. All along, I thought I couldn’t take a day off.

“I never gave myself the freedom to really breathe from about eighteen to thirty-five or forty. I was too afraid I was going to go backward. But I started taking free time, and now I know the benefits of having a rested mind and a regenerated body.

“Dan Sullivan has taught me so much about how to be a better entrepreneur. I met Dan, and the impact on my life has been incredible. Now I appreciate that I have talents and skills people value, and I’m so grateful for that—and for not following the accepted path. Today, my brands and my companies have done over a billion dollars in sales since I started out.

“I don’t agree with people who say money doesn’t solve problems. When you get money out of the way, you have the opportunity to find a better version of yourself. For me, that’s the man, the leader, the entrepreneur, and especially the dad I am.”

Create your own credentials — value creation credentials.

Dan Sullivan believes that Dean’s story goes to the heart of what many entrepreneurs find painful about their lives: “They’ve bought into a long-held belief that to become successful, you need to have a certain background, to have attended certain colleges, to know the right people.

“But with the rise of the entrepreneur, this path to success is no longer the only path. No longer do entrepreneurs have to fear being judged by others in the marketplace.”

In Dean’s case, things changed when he stopped comparing himself to others and started comparing only to his future goals for his next stage of growth. He also took total responsibility and ownership for who he is, where he came from, and how he transformed himself. The weight of feeling like he wasn’t measuring up fell away.

Dan’s advice? “Don’t ever compare yourself with an ideal you. Always keep looking back at your progress, at what you’ve achieved. Use that as a jumping-off point to a higher and higher level of achievement and success, and you’ll never have to compare yourself with anyone else in the world for the rest of your life.

“If you don’t have the credentials, create the credentials in terms of the value you create. That’s where your success lies.”