Dan Martell On Transforming Adversity To Philanthropy

On this episode of the Soulfully Optimized Life, I’m honored to bring on my friend Dan Martell.

Dan is an extraordinary soul who’s created a tremendous amount of success in the tech entrepreneurial scene.

By the age of 26 he had started angel investing and has been recognized as Canada’s top angel investor, investing in 34 companies, which includes Udemy, Unbounce and Intercom.

Recently, he Founded and sold Clarity.fm, the network for expert business advice.

With all this success in Dan’s life, one may assume he had it all together growing up.

If that’s what you think, you’re wrong.

Dan didn’t exactly have the “best start” for being successful in life.

He grew up in a challenging home environment; his mother was an alcoholic and his father was always on the road for his sales job.

By the time he was 11 years old, he was already starting to move in and out of foster homes and also was diagnosed with ADHD.

These experiences led him to believe in the illusion that he was broken (nobody is broken) and he soon found himself with a lot of time on his hand and ended up in the wrong crowd doing the wrong things.

By the time he was 13 years old, he got involved with drugs. By the time he was 15 years old, he went to jail for the first time.

He got out and promised he would change his peer group, change his habits, and get rid of all the bad stuff he was doing…only to find himself driving into a house during a high-speed chase less than two years later.

He woke up in a jail cell the next day and had no idea what or who was going to save him this time. He looked up and said, “Whoever is listening, if you help me through this…I promise I won’t waste my life. I promise I won’t be doing what I’m doing and I’ll do whatever I can to give back.”

He luckily got placed into a rehab facility and later moved to Portage.

It was here that he spent 11 months in rehab discovering who he was, his value system, and what led him down this path.

He made the changes he knew he had to, transformed his relationship with his family, and became a new man.

He also discovered a book on programming and was fascinated by it.

He started to practice programming using the computer in the facility.

He then discovered the Internet and since then, put his heart and focus on creating extraordinary things.

Dan transformed adversity to philanthropy and since then he has volunteered to mentor teens who’ve experienced similar challenges growing up as he did.

Right now, Dan is on a mission to teach entrepreneurship to 1,000 kids to help them live extraordinary lives.

He approaches his teaching programs at a totally different angle as he powerfully connects with the audience and makes the experience FUN and AWESOME!

If you work with a group of at-risk youth or know anybody who does, please contact Dan immediately at [email protected]

For the rest of the story, tune in below!

Some questions I ask…

  • What really made the big shift for you from going to jail to reclaiming your personal power?
  • What are some of the experiences you’ve had speaking with the youth that really inspired you?
  • How did the idea for your YouTube channel spark?
  • What’s the vision for where you want to take your philanthropic mission to?
  • What would you recommend anybody to do if they feel lost, confused, stuck to discover who they really are?
  • What advice would you give to anybody who wants to be a philanthropist?
  • What sparked you to have to share your full story…even when it felt uncomfortable?

What you’ll learn…

  • How one experience with an adult who believed in him transformed his life forever.
  • The life-changing power that a caring adult has on youth.
  • The power of belief and how Dan changed them from being in jail to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time.
  • How Dan made the decision to transform adversity to philanthropy.
  • How Dan lives everyday with death awareness to maximize his productivity.
  • Why its so important to choose your peer group and how that influences your success in life.
  • Why you shouldn’t wait until your successful to be a philanthropist.

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Connect with Dan Martell on…





And send him an email if you can organize a group of at-risk youth for an epic seminar: [email protected]

Now, I want to hear from you…

How will you transform any adversity in your life to philanthropy now?

7 thoughts on “Dan Martell On Transforming Adversity To Philanthropy

  1. Jaime

    I love this! Peoples greatest challenges are often their greatest gift. How great to be able to share this with others so that they too, can do the same. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pierre Stanley Baptiste

    Wow! This is a very inspirational episode. Dan has a great story. I would definitely get in touch with him. Thanks for bringing such awesome guest, Adam.

  3. Stephan Spencer

    You have some amazing guests Adam. And it’s not all about their success; they also share their vulnerability and lowest lows. My jaw dropped when Dan described his high speed chase with the police, reaching for his gun, and ending up in jail and rehab. That I did not expect to hear, from the founder of clarity.fm — a site I myself have a profile on. Amazing!

  4. David

    I can certainly relate to that fascination with programming, and how it can transform a life and a career. Great interview!

  5. Malek

    Really inspiring story and glad there are people like this in the world! I really resonated with this story and the way he is using his adversity into philanthropy is an awesome way to make an impact and a difference in those kids’ lives. Great interview!

  6. Amanda

    I recognized the Dan Martell’s name, but couldn’t remember where I heard about him first, and then I remembered that I heard Dan Martell’s jaw dropping and inspiring story on an interview on the Art of Charm podcast! So kudos to you Adam for swiftly growing your podcast and interviewing amazing guests that really are creating impact in their own world and the lives of others. What I love about this interview are the questions that were asked in particular. I like how probing yet gentle they were, and the questions helped to pull out the story in a really beautiful way. Great job Adam!

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