Intentional Growth

#244: Dan Martell: From Criminal to SaaS Master, Serial Entrepreneur and Unicorn Investor

Intentional Growth
#244: Dan Martell: From Criminal to SaaS Master, Serial Entrepreneur and Unicorn Investor

If you’ve ever had doubts about how far you can go in life and in business because of how you started, this episode for you. Today’s guest is Dan Martell. Dan is the best-known name in SaaS, but did you know he was notorious in other ways before that? His message is clear: You can be and do anything if you put in the work.

Today’s show follows Dan through his early years and how he got started in business — including all of his failures and missteps — and ends in a great discussion on mentorship and networking. Find out how to use buybacks to your benefit and recognize if you’re wasting energy on projects keeping you from achieving your full potential. He is open and frank about his past, his healing, and his results. He’ll back up the claim that even not-great companies can do 50% ROE and explain why every dollar you take out of your business is actually seven — and what you should do instead of taking the money out.

There are quite a few takeaways from today’s episode. One of the biggest ones is, once you’ve shifted your mindset away from annual income, toward long-term value creation, then it’s time to try to buy back your time. If you want a valuable company in 3 - 5 years, what is your time worth, in order to get you there? But then after that, where are you going to invest (in your business) in order to grow the value of your company? All of these questions can be answered in two different places: Dan Martell’s YouTube channel(if you want SaaS -specific answers), and our training at (if you are a business owners or entrepreneur who wants to educate yourself on how to grow the value of their company with the end in mind).


What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview

  • Why Dan recommends more entrepreneurs reinvest their equity
  • Spend time building your networks and picking the right mentors to help you along your journey
  • How Dan overcame depression and anxiety after selling Spirit and what he advises other entrepreneurs
  • Why you should be blissfully dissatisfied
  • How to effectively use buybacks
  • When you should hire a new role versus when you need to look at your calendar to see what roles you’re doing inefficiently
  • What upper-limiting beliefs are and how to overcome them to achieve your true potential
  • The importance of knowing where your genius lies and spending your time there
  • Why you need to be aware of the type of energy you’re breathing into your team
  • How your valuation might not be what you think it is because of value detractors
  • It’s okay to stop just “doing” things and start thinking deeply about why and the end goal
  • The two metrics that matter: customer retention and expansion revenue


Are You Growing The Value of Your Business

Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get YourIntentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board.

  • Are your company's current initiatives intentionally designed to increase the value of the business?
  • Do you know what you want from your business long term and why?
  • Do you know what your company is worth?
  • Do you know the differences between Management, Family Transitions, PE Firms, ESOPs and Strategic Buyers?
  • Does the business have a written strategic plan on how to achieve the desired normalized EBITDA and valuation?


About the Guest:

Dan Martell might be the best-known name in SaaS. Not only does he run the biggest YouTube channel for SaaS entrepreneurs in the world, but he has also successfully exited three companies and advises industry giants. After making his first million at 27, he was named Top Entrepreneur in New Brunswick and the top angel investor Canada-wide in 2012. He knows his stuff and is passionate about sharing his hard-won insights with every entrepreneur, no matter their background.



18:41 - “Entrepreneurship is my sport” – Dan Martell

19:21 - “Great business people know exactly what knobs to turn to get an outcome. And their hit rate is a hundred out of a hundred, meaning that every move is effective.” – Dan Martell

19:54 - “I call it ‘just in case’ versus ‘just in time’ — a lot of people consume information to learn about the potential future. I like to learn as I'm dealing with struggles and challenges today.” – Dan Martell

23:50 - “That ability to learn how to communicate that the economy of words, the storytelling, the, um, the understanding, their desires and how do you take what they shared.” – Dan Martell

24:26 - “Get around people that have done it before, reverse engineer what they're doing, build a good advisory board.” – Dan Martell

27:38 - “Humans need purpose and they need meaning.” – Dan Martell

29:20 - “The things we create do not make our identity.” – Dan Martell

30:37 - “On paper, they're wealthy and in their lives, they're poor.” – Dan Martell

31:06 - “Once you accumulate some level of wealth, you need to learn how to redistribute it into your life to allow you to do more.” – Dan Martell

34:53 - “You have to look at revenue and capital from your business as opportunity to buy time out of your calendar.” – Dan Martell

40:25 -  “Not only is it better for your mental health, but better for the business to use the buyback principle strategy that I teach, because it inherently will create a business it's valuable because it's not going to be dependent on you.” – Dan Martell

49:11 - “Outcomes are 100% a byproduct of you, your mindset, your decisions, your prioritizations, your strategies, your confidence, all this stuff.” – Dan Martell


Links and Resources:

Instagram: @danmartell

LinkedIn: Dan Martell

YouTube: Dan Martell

Twitter: @danmartell

Dan Martell official website

Mastering Your Cash Flow Digital Course

ARKONA Boot Camp

Reach out to me if you have questions about the boot camp!


You can also reach out to me via email at [email protected], or on my LinkedIn.

Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth