Growing up, my dad would get home at 3:30pm from his job at General Electric. He was an aircraft engine tech for consumer jets. One of the things I remember most, were the moments of him setting his keys down in the entry to our house, looking at me and saying, “Dale, I’m wearing the golden handcuffs.”

dad

At 5 years old, I had no idea what he meant. But as I grew older I learned the translation:

“Dale, I have a job that’s too good to leave.”

My dad hated working for someone else. There was an entrepreneur deep inside his soul. And his reaction was interesting. Instead of chasing his dream, he groomed me to build mine. By 5 I was selling lemonade to the neighbors, by 8 I was pushing moving boxes to those on the go, by 12 I was peddling candy at school, and by 19 I was selling my first company for $50,000.

“Dale’s entrepreneurial journey is very diverse, but he truly does seem to have that magic touch in leadership, regardless of the industry.”

-Forbes Editor, Evan Kirkpatrick

But here I am now. At the time of this article, I’m just 10 days to my 30th birthday. And life is on track. My wife and I just purchased a 7 acre ranch in a resort town in Central Oregon. We’re building our dream home (debt free), with a few horses, chickens, a greenhouse, an outdoor skatepark, and a spectacular mountain view.

house

As for life goals, I have been featured in every major business magazine and news network, I’ve dined with billionaires, traveled the world, and I’ve even been paid to speak to companies like Facebook, Adobe, and Spotify.

And the question I get almost every day is: How did you do it? 

In the fall of 2013, I began answering this question in my new book People Over Profit: Break The System, Live With Purpose, and Be More Successful.

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As I began writing, I quickly realized there was no set of tidy tips I could easily hand to someone looking to create a million dollar company or create a life of financial freedom. Rather, my success was driven from a fanatical addiction to a business philosophy that is biologically embedded into the minds of every human.

Real success comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.


My book shares the hidden secrets that play into the unchangeable features of the human heart. Values, steps, tactics, mindsets, lessons, and learnings that have supported the most successful people of all time.

The more you adopt the principles, the more success you’ll have in business and in life.


But it’s more than business success. These principles have built financial freedom, strong relationships, a healthy marriage, wise parenting, and have allowed me to maintain a good reputation.

But they are not easy.

They stand as leadership characteristics that have stumbled humans for thousands of years. I have outlined a few of my favorites below.

1. Incredibly successful leaders choose courage over comfort

A true leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not their insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is their courage to act on what they see, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Inside the book, I share powerful lessons from leaders who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price, than remain silent and die on the inside.

Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage.


Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. It’s also why most 29 year olds are not paying cash for 7 acre ranches…

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2. Blame is perhaps the greatest leadership avoidance strategy.

There are individuals who (for whatever reason) live their lives according to a different set of rules — principles which really do not match the reality of the world. And, as a result, they wind up having significant and ongoing problems in their lives — relationally, financially, and in their careers.

The practice of blaming others for problems you are experiencing, rather than accepting responsibility for the choices you have made, will ruin your life from the inside out.

There are some truly great blamers out there. They are incredibly skilled verbally (and sometimes interpersonally). They can be fascinating to watch in action, as they run circles verbally around others, and (for the moment) look like the victor in attributing the responsibility for a negative result to someone or something.

As I teach in the book, blame is the parking brake for improvement. If I blamed my lack of success on my parent’s divorce, or the $30,000 of debt I had in my early 20’s, or that I didn’t come from a wealthy family I would be a living what’s common: Unmarried, renting an apartment, with debt, working at a job I dislike, and angry that my dreams weren’t working.

Leaders take ownership of their results.


Essentially, successful leaders care less about who or what is at fault, and are more focused on “What can I do to correct the situation and make it work?”

“Dale’s book is going to change the hearts, minds, and bottom lines of today’s business leaders. A must read for everyone who wants a better life.”

-Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS Shoes

One of the best responses I have observed is: “Yes, I did that and it was a mistake. And I’m working on what I need to learn so I don’t make the same mistake again.”

3. You can lead without character… But character is what makes a leader worth following.

Too many leaders have wrongly assumed their position alone would ensure the loyalty of the people. They weren’t mature enough to understand that every follower is a volunteer. I don’t care if you’re a husband leading his family, a freelancer leading a few contractors, or a manager leading 10 employees; Abuse your position as leader and you will lose those you lead. Nobody has to follow. As I point out in chapter 5 “People Matter”…

How you make people feel about themselves, says a lot about your leadership.


You can’t force people, even subordinates, to follow. You might be able to force them into submission, but you can never force loyalty.

As leaders we can afford to be broken, but we cannot afford to be immature. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unaware of your weaknesses. As a leader, you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully growing or you will forever stand still.

Do you want to become a captivating leader? Maybe you’re a new entrepreneur or dreamer. Or maybe you own a small business already. If you’re looking for a practical guide with timeless principles that never fade, principles that push for a healthy type of success, one with integrity, honor, and respect, my new book People Over Profit is for you. Consider my offer below.

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Dale Partridge is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Sevenly.org and Startupcamp.com. He's the Author of the bestselling business book"People Over Profit" and is a keynote speaker for Facebook, Adobe, and Spotify.
  • http://619.be/HaPpY Margo Dae Johnson

    love this article!

    • peopleoverprofit

      Thanks Margo!

      • http://margodaejohnson.wordpress.com Margo Dae Johnson

        your welcome. I am trying so darn hard to make something come from everything I do and I am beginning to think that I am over-thinking and over-doing it to the point of self-destruction. What are your thoughts on that? I also LACK any support from anyone, not even my boyfriend of 14 years…just my 12 year old daughter..

  • http://www.mishkablack.com Michelle E Black

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Although I suspect this will be a validation for what I inherently know it is always good to be reminded of these values surround sound. Congratulations on all of your successes. http://www.mishkablack.com

    • peopleoverprofit

      Thanks Michelle! I think you’re right 😉

  • Ryan

    If we pre-order on Amazon do we still get access to the awesome coaching kit?

    • peopleoverprofit

      Yep! You can enter your receipt number on the home page peopleoverprofit.com and you will receive the downloads.

      • Sandy

        How about the Kindle version? Is the coaching kit available for free if the purchase is of the Kindle version?

  • Helena

    This is a wonderful ,wonderful article about your success! Congratulations on being able to live life to the fullest my friend! Inspiring! May you continue to be blessed.

  • Cassandra LeaveituptoHim Willi

    Awesome read! Blunt honest success is what’s needed today. Congrats on your success and your family!!

  • southbound32

    I congratulate you on your success. But how would you respond to the accusation that your keys are too simplified? I work for a private school which lives out this motto in all its ways. In our state, we rank #3 even amongst public schools. Our SAT scores were the best in the state. Yet, we won’t exist later if we continue the wonderful model that has achieved so much for those who attend the school. Our model is economically unsustainable. What say you?

  • Heather

    What a great article! One thing I struggle with is having the courage to lead. It’s definitely something I’m working on and pushing through.

  • Ariel Lizama

    I want your book in Spanish, great work!
    un abraso Dale.

  • Alexia Soto

    Is your book translated into Spanish? How can I get it? If not, is it ok if I translate chapters and share it with a friend who is very interested in reading it but doesn’t speak English?

  • http://www.connellyandsonsllc.com Todd Connelly

    Well, 20 bucks a pop for a book to teach others how to get rich will certainly make the author wealthy. Good one Dale

    • Steph Kneld

      I agree…. I made that argument on Dr. Davis’ web page in his letter to Oprah where he says that anything for monetary gain is not the real thing. Everyone want to get rich, so they “sell” their “secrets”. The only ones who get rich are the ones selling the stuff… think Tony Robbins, all the TV pastors, Dr. Davis of Wheatbelly fame, the folks who tell you to sell forclusure homes and will “sell” you their “secrets”…. all designed to make them richer than they already are. This seems no different. Thanks Todd… for pointing out the obvious. Sorry Dale….

    • http://www.fb.com/SonsDeserveDads Nathan J Burke

      I agree. Whenever I go to my Doctor and he asks me to pay him, I let him know it’s just a get rich scheme and if he truly cared about me then he’d provide his services for free.

      • Tatyana Dyagileva

        but how he will get his bills paid?

    • Richard Barnes

      Well, certainly – if you already know, understand and put to practice everything in the book, there’s no reason to buy it, right? I think the book is likely devoted to those who don’t already know, understand, and put to practice its content. Congratulations on saving yourself some money. Personally, I need the information. The book was written for people like me, so I’ll be a good deal less cynical about it.

      • http://www.connellyandsonsllc.com Todd Connelly

        My point, is that $20 for a book is overcharging people, simply to gain greater wealth for himself. He could sell the book for $5, still make good money, and leverage a larger audience!

  • Deepak

    Such great suggestions you have made through this article. I am sure the book will be prove a treasure trove for sure. I was reading this book http://beyourownpilot.com. Some of the suggestions on this page are akin to reading this book.

  • White Rose

    Wow, you must be an amazing person to achieve all that. 😀 I guess there’s no room for being shy if you wish to be succesfull. And besides, there are jobs in wich it’s hard to get to any success at all. I deeply wish to be a known artist (illustrator, graphic designer and animator), but unless you’re in a country in wich art is very loved, it’s hard to get a decent payment. What would you suggest for artist who wish to be well paid for what they do?

  • shante

    I love what you have created! And this article is excellent

  • Andria Rene Detzler

    Wonderful article, with ideals I strive to live up to every day. It’s still difficult when the opportunities in my area are scarce in my particular interest area. I’m still trying to research and gather information to see if my idea is even a possibility, and how to start. What suggestions would you have to those who did/do not have the lucky mentor like your Father, and are starting literally from ground level and no idea where to get materials?

  • http://boxextra.com boxextra

    You are truly an inspiration to others. People always need tips and motivation to think out of 9-5 lifestyle and live their life. I have been searching for people like you to give a success story to million others to follow. I have a plan to feature your story to my blog so that it will motivate all others. You are a perfect example for that.

  • http://www.kailanilynn.com Kailani Lynn

    I love that your “success” has become securing a life full of meaning with your family. Too often, people consider success as being able to buy materialistic items, or being envied by other people. You have achieved success, and the type of success you are happy with has the power to make you feel whole. Lovely read! xx

    kailanilynn.com

    • Tanya

      I so agree. I have heard Dale speak on several podcasts, and as he spoke, I was thinking, this is a genuinely good guy who really does care about people and really gets it. It is hard to fake that. We need more entrepreneurs like him.

  • HatInTheRing

    I sort of landed on this page as a victim of clickbait. And am disappointed by the lack of meaty information in this article. Based on what I’m reading here, I’d be better off reading How To Win Friends And Influence People. Which I’ve already read. Being a good person won’t earn you $25M in less than 10 years. It’s making the right decisions. Business Strategies. Having the right connections. Having the right idea or starting several and one sticks. I want to know the steps you took. Not be sold a book and add another number to your blog analytics.

    Tip for anyone reading this on how to get rich quick: Post ads everywhere saying, “click here to learn how to get rich quick”. That will create one income stream from clickbait web traffic. Then sell people something, in this case, a book. 2 income streams so far with no value added.

  • http://lashbusinesssuccess.com Lash Business Success

    Nice article, I’m looking forward to diving into the book! I own a beauty based business and and will be curious as to how I can make this click for my business! http://www.LashBusinessSuccess.com http://www.LashesandaWink.com

  • http://www.genuineonlinefreejobs.com/ Tamil Arasan

    Inspirational! A great topic covering good leadership quality.