Dan Peña is an American businessman who’s earned a reputation as ‘The Trillion Dollar Man’. But how did Dan Peña make his money?
After a career in the military, Dan Peña made his money through founding and running several companies. He was chairman of JPK Industries before founding Great Western Resources Inc, which he grew to $450 million. He then founded consultancy firm The Guthrie Group.
Read on to learn more about the source of Peña’s riches and how he’s helping to grow the fortunes of others.
Military Career and Businessman
Although he would go on to grow an enormous fortune, Dan Peña wasn’t born into wealth and had a rough start to life. Raised in Los Angeles, he got caught up in crime in the 1950s, and briefly went to jail for alcoholism.
His father, a firm believer in treating misbehavior with tough love, encouraged police officers to beat him if he acted up and Peña credits this with setting him on the path to success.
He joined the army in 1966, serving for three years before he returned to college, and graduated in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration.
Ready to start making his mark he began working in real estate and served as the president of Kennedy Industries Inc., whose interests ranged from entertainment to insurance. He also worked for Bear Stearns and Co, an investment banking firm for which he worked in an international capacity.
He said of his post-military ventures, “I decided to go where they say the money was and that is Wall Street”.
After leaving Bear Stearns and Co, Dan decided to start his own company, and founded Great Western Resources Inc. in 1982. The company, based in Houston, is a natural resource company that he began with an investment of just $820, at a time of immense industry chaos.
In an interview with Creativida, Dan said “the formula for success, especially when you’re coming from nothing, is high self-esteem. Success follows. That’s how I turned $820 to $450 million in 8 years in a collapsing market”.
He spotted an opportunity to bring order to chaos and adapted the company to move with the times. Over the 8 years that he led the business, the company’s worth grew to over $450 million.
Though founder of the company, he was forced out by the board over disagreements, for which he sued, and moved on in search of his next money-making venture.
No millionaire is complete without a castle to represent their wealth, so of course Dan had to have one.
He bought Guthrie Castle in 1984, and renovated both the building and the grounds. He even built a golf course within the grounds in 1994 and the venue provided a revenue stream through its use as an entertainment venue.
Using his castle as inspiration, he founded the Guthrie Group in 1997, a consultancy firm of which he is chairman. According to the company, it is “focused on the initiation, facilitation and completion of transactions”, and he continues to make money from the company.
‘The Trillion Dollar Man’
Though well-known as ‘The Trillion Dollar Man’, Peña’s nickname isn’t a reflection of his personal wealth. It’s actually representative of the combined net worth of his mentees.
Spying another opportunity to expand his influence, and most importantly his fortune, Dan founded Quantum Leap Advantage in 1993.
QLA is essentially an exclusive mentorship program through which Dan runs retreats and seminars at his estate. His week long events are reportedly $25,000 a spot, but his high-flying alumni attest to the value for money.
One former mentor said, “he truly believes in helping people, and he’ll drag you across the finish line”.
Not only has Dan Peña made himself rich, he’s helped to expand the wealth of others.
Watch Dan reveal some of the secrets behind his wealth in the YouTube video below.