I remember the day Daniel DiPiazza interviewed me for The LipTV as clear as a bell.
The first thing that stood out to me was how great his studio looked. Was the background fake? Probably, I know don't. No matter, it was impressive regardless.
I still feel like it is one of the best conversations I've ever recorded about product ideas and passive income. And this was back in 2014!
Why? Well for one, DiPiazza called me out right away. Right away as in, within 20 seconds of welcoming me. Something in your book struck me as a little bit grandiose, he said. Did I mind if he read a passage from One Simple Idea back to me? When I recognized the claim he was referring to, I started to laugh. Were companies really working for me while I sat back collecting royalty checks, creating new product ideas, and enjoying the life of my dreams with my beautiful wife and three children?
"Come on man, are you pulling my leg here?" he teased. "That sounds like bs! Is that kind of life really possible?"
And just like that, I knew I loved the guy. Talk about cutting to the chase. No one had ever asked me that. I wasn't upset. Why would I be? He was right to ask. I had hired a professional ghostwriter to help me put the first edition together and indeed, a few sections were hyped up.
It was immediately clear to me that this was someone who was going to get the answers to questions worth asking. That DiPiazza was the kind of individual who was going to dig deep to seek out knowledge and information that truly mattered. He was someone, in other words, who was perfectly capable and willing to call bullshit when he saw it. And like I said, I adored him for it.
True entrepreneurs think for themselves. They do their own research. They don't merely accept what they're told; they ask questions and then more questions. They study a subject thoroughly so that they can form their own opinions. (Tim Ferriss can't help but come to mind, of course.)
After our interview, I told DiPiazza to please reach out if I could ever assist him, and that's when our relationship really took off. He wanted to help other smart, ambitious 20-somethings harness skills they already possessed to become entrepreneurs on their own terms, like he had. Was I willing to introduce him to the editors I knew at online magazines, including this one? Sure.
And just like that, he took off running, quickly parlaying his success at one outlet to begin writing for others. Before you know it, I was asking him for his contacts at other publications he had begun writing for.
What's another sign of a true entrepreneur? True entrepreneurs are always looking for an opportunity to put the metaphoric pedal to the metal. True entrepreneurs lean in. They don't take their foot off the gas, especially when they're starting to gain some momentum. Faster, faster, faster! That's what I tell my team pretty much week in and week out, no doubt to their annoyance. I know DiPiazza feels the same way. He has no time to waste. He's going to seize the day and then some. All of the articles he has published about productivity, purpose, and discipline are testament to that.
Not too long after he began writing about the digital economy, Gen Y, and entrepreneurship, he asked me for the name of my literary agent. He wanted to write a book, he told me. I gave him some good advice, but clearly it didn't stick, because he flew out to meet with her in Manhattan. My agent told him the same thing I had: You might have great content, but you need eyeballs.
Eyeballs? A little obstacle like that was not going to stop DiPiazza.
When I heard from him next, he had landed a 6-figure advance from a major publisher for his first book. There is no question in my mind why. DiPiazza says what he does and he does it all with enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication. This is an author who has taken the time to become an expert you can trust. Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business, and Score the Life You Want is a must-read. You heard it here, from me, first.
When we met, I thought I was helping you, Daniel! Now it looks like you're teaching me.
True entrepreneurs can do just about anything they put their minds to. They do not let obstacles stand in their way. They are ruthlessly focused and determined. That, to me, is what being a true entrepreneur is all about.
In every way, DiPiazza is a true entrepreneur.
This will be his first book of many, I predict.