What Does This Make Possible?

Unlike other newsletters, podcasts and messages this week, my message this week is going to be of more of a somber tone. 

Near the end of December, I received a message from a mentor-turned-friend that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. By the time it was diagnosed, it had spread throughout his bones and some organs, and he was given the news that- barring a miracle- he had just a few months to live. 

I first heard Dan Miller’s voice while listening to The Dave Ramsey Show. It had to have been sometime in 2005. That was the year when I knew that I was not going to make it as an employee. It was the year when I knew that I needed to start a business because I had done everything I could do in my job, and I was still offered no more than a 3% raise. 

His voice and optimism shot through my radio.

Would it really be possible to build a business around something I loved, as he described?

I was one of the fortunate ones to have a job doing work I loved. But the pay was dismal and the future of the newspaper world was shaky at best. I listened daily to Dave Ramsey’s show to figure out how to become good with our money. It was there where I first heard Dan. His message showed me options that I didn’t think possible prior to hearing him and then by reading his book. 

Could I really build a business that allows me to love what I do, help others and live that dream life with my soon-to-be family? I had never built a business before. I questioned if I had it in me to do so. 

Nobody else I knew talked like he did. When I discussed it with friends, they scoffed at it. 

“Get real,” one friend said. “That’s pie-in-the-sky garbage to get you to buy his book.”

I bought it anyway. 

It was the only money I spent on any of Dan’s products or services for eight years. Yet I listened to his podcast weekly, rarely missing an episode. In those eight years, we built a photography business that gave us the financial and time freedom that we craved and desired. Dan was my virtual mentor throughout those years, even though we had never met, and he had no idea who I was. 

It was in 2013 when I knew I needed to take a bigger step. I finally decided to invest in myself, and spending more than $1,000 to go to one of Dan’s events was one of the catalysts that took me to the next level. It was at that event at The Sanctuary outside of Nashville, Tennessee that I knew I needed to move beyond photography. The idea of writing books, coaching, creating courses and communities, and all of these other bizarre ideas actually seemed possible after this event. 

I guess it really does matter who you hang around with. Some will tell you to forget your dreams and desires and some will believe in you to make it happen. 

Over the next ten years, I joined Dan’s Eagles community. In 2018, I joined his mastermind. I had the honor of being taught by one of the best. I got to connect with the people he and his message attracted. Many of them are now close friends of mine. What’s most stunning, looking back, is that Dan Miller became a friend of mine as well.

I got to know not just Dan, but his wife of 55 years, Joanne, and his children and grandchildren. Our kids are now friends with their grandchildren.

I always pictured Dan Miller, teaching, writing, podcasting, laughing and smiling well into his 90s. It seemed so normal to think that he would continue to be the conduit at conferences, events and dinners that brought many of us together. So many of us know each other only because Dan formed a community and brought us together. 

It’s hard to imagine Dan not being here with us, but as he said to me in the text, that shared this news with me, his legacy is set. He doesn’t need a statue or plaque in remembrance. We- those he has led and helped – are his legacy.

And it’s a legacy that I’m incredibly proud to be a small part of. 

I wanted to share a few things that I learned from Dan with you. 

1.  What does this make possible?

This is a phrase that Dan taught so many of us, and I hear it often repeated when he is nowhere in sight. That is a legacy, right there. The idea is simple but profound. In any situation-even in the most dire and undesirable- there are opportunities that come from it. 

By asking yourself, ‘what does this make possible?’, you are choosing to find opportunity and hope instead of complaining, disappointment and sadness. 

Even in Dan’s message to me, even though he knew the cancer had spread through his bones and organs, he still was asking himself what ‘does this make possible?’ I can’t tell you how many new opportunities we have found and discovered just by asking this one question. 

2. If you get asked the same question three times, create something from it.

So many of us get hung up on what to create. We overthink so much about it. Dan had a theory that if he got multiple questions on a topic in his wheelhouse, he created a product or service from it. If three people were interested in the same thing, there’s a high likelihood that three hundred or three thousand would be as well. 

Maybe you don’t have the infrastructure to create an actual product in these scenarios yet, but could you write a newsletter about it? Record a podcast? Create a great social media post? 

3. Ready, Fire, Aim. 

This might have been the lesson that had the most impact on me personally. I’d overthink everything and would be frightened to actually ship or publish. When I heard Dan say that he was a “ready, fire and then aim” person, it hit home. I, like many, was a “ready, aim…aim…aim…aim…aim… and maybe, eventually, fire” type of person. And very little would actually get done. 

But when I learned that it was okay to fire first, something changed. After I “fired”, I looked around and saw where it “hit”. It was there that I was able to see how well I did. How far off I was. How I needed to adjust. It made the process of creating content so much easier, because perfection wasn’t the goal, progress was. 

Few lessons have helped me to move faster, more consistently and more confidently than this one. 

I would imagine that Dan would be proud of what I will say to end this newsletter. This news has helped me realize that it’s my obligation to keep sharing the messages that Dan, as well as many others, have taught me. It’s my job to find unique and creative ways of telling stories and sharing lessons from those who have so generously shared with me. Because it would be a sin to allow these incredible lessons to fade. 

Is it possible to be incredibly sad and extremely motivated at the same time? 

What does this make possible, Dan Miller? 

Have an AMAZING week!


P.S. Don’t forget our 60-minute one-on-one coaching FLASH SALE is ending TOMORROW!! Click HERE to lock in your session!


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