418. The Color of Money with Daniel Dixon

Sep 18, 2023 | 0 comments

Today, we’re diving deep into the success journey of an extraordinary entrepreneur, Daniel Dixon. From starting out as a solo real estate agent to scaling the Dixon Group into a force to be reckoned with – now boasting 30 agent partners across two locations, Daniel’s story is a testament to dedication, vision, and resilience. Breaking barriers, he has now established the very first black-owned Keller Williams franchise in Colorado. With his incredible achievement of aiding over 1500 families, translating to a whopping 500 million in home sales, it’s no surprise his team ranks number one in Colorado and stands tall in the national top 50.

But that’s not all! Beyond the realm of real estate, Daniel is a powerhouse of innovation and commitment. From launching a mortgage company and a title joint venture investment business to establishing foundations to uplift the Black community, his endeavors are numerous and inspiring. We’re also thrilled to spotlight his recent venture as the co-host of “The Color of Money” podcast.

Join us today, as we uncover the drive, determination, and the ONE thing that has propelled Daniel Dixon to achieve such monumental success in multiple arenas. Let’s unravel the man behind these many achievements. For those seeking insights on entrepreneurship, community involvement, and a relentless pursuit of dreams, this episode is an absolute must-listen.

Listen to The Color of Money today at thecolorofmoneypodcast.com.

To learn more, and for the complete show notes, visit: the1thing.com/pods.

We talk about:

  • How Daniel Dixon got started in real estate and the skills he used to become successful
  • Playing to your strengths and mitigating your weaknesses
  • Learning to become a great leader
  • The unique challenges of being a Black entrepreneur

Links & Tools from This Episode:

Produced by NOVA Media


Nikki Miller:

Hey, everyone. And welcome back to The ONE Thing podcast. We are here with my friend, Daniel Dixon, who is a visionary entrepreneur who has taken the Dixon Group from a single agent to a thriving mega agent team with 30 agent partners in two locations. He recently bought a Keller Williams franchise, making it the first black owned KW franchise in the state of Colorado. And with his unwavering commitment to excellence, has helped over 1500 families with 500 million in home sales, earning the number one ranking for his team in Colorado and a top 50 spot nationally.

And I have been a witness to his relentless drive for success, which extends well beyond real estate. Daniel has also started a mortgage company, a title joint venture investment business, has launched two foundations to support the black community and most recently became the co-host of the Color of Money Podcast.

Daniel, I am so excited to share your story, to get to learn more about you today. Tell us, how did this journey start for you into the world of real estate? And how did you go from single agent, not that long ago, to 30 agent partners, two locations and 500 million in volume? Walk us through the journey.

Daniel Dixon:

Absolutely. Well, thank you guys for having me. I'm super excited to be here and talk about our podcast and talk about a lot of the things that we do, the successes we've had, and then why we're so passionate about our Color of Money podcast. So the journey really started in 2014, I believe it was. I used to work at Zillow. I used to work at Trulia before they were bought by Zillow. And so we were really heavy on Internet lead generation, and I was calling agents all across the country pitching zip codes to them.

And it dawned on me at one point like, hey, there's a lot of average agents that are making a bunch of money. So if I take that whole process and go build it our self, then we can see what can happen. So I never had this vision of building this team, this thing that we have today. It kind of continued to evolve. What I learned through this process is the hardest thing to do in real estate is convince people to work with you, continually keep your phone ringing, generate leads.

And so when I was working at Trulia, like I didn't understand that that was -- like that aspect and being able to see behind the curtain there was going to be so instrumental for our growth and our success and continually having hand-raisers raise their hand and talk to us and asking real estate questions and things like that every day.

So it left from being the agent I was literally at Trulia selling zip codes to agents and taking my lunch break and negotiating deals as a real estate agent, then transitioned out to become a full-time agent, then never really understood a team or wanted to build a team. Like when we think about being inside of KW and having the MRA playbook and all of that, like I did our shit backwards. We hired people we shouldn't have hired. We were kind of just rogue running the thing. But every day, we had new leads coming in and new conversations to be had.

And so that then put us in a position to have more business than we can handle, then hired a transaction coordinator, showing assistant. And then my mentor told me early on in my career, and this is why we started building a team, two things happened. The first thing was, Daniel, if you can't teach other people to do what you know how to do, then you're worthless. Like I'm worthless. Like you're not going to tell me I'm worthless. I get it now. There's only 24 hours in a day. You can only do so much as a human.

And then the second thing my coach, mentor, friend, relationship coach, my everything, Brett Tanner, he asked me, he goes, dude, I totally lucked out and started coaching with him by accident my second year in the business, I was probably his lowest producing person that he coached at that time. And I wanted to emulate his and duplicate his business.

And so as we started coaching, our first coaching call was D, what happens if you get hit by a bus? I'm like, Brett, I'm screwed, man. Like, my wife doesn't work. She stays at home with the kids. I have three young kids at the time.And if I don't work, we're not generating any revenue. So he goes, we really need to start focusing on getting you out of the business and having you start working on your business rather than in your business. And it was at that moment we really pivoted to who can I teach to do what we know how to do and how can I teach those people to teach more people how to do what we know how to do, which is lead conversion, which is our secret sauce.

And then as we continue to add more agent partners, we can take a lot of these brand new agents. We can pump them full of opportunities and show them how to build rapport instantly, show them the process of being a real estate agent. It's really not difficult being an agent. Writing a contract is writing a contract. Showing houses is showing houses. The hardest part is convincing people on the front end to work with you. And so I lucked out by understanding and working for a company that taught me how to do the hardest thing in this business before I even became a licensed agent, starting selling houses.

Nikki Miller:

It's so interesting, Daniel, because what I find with people is that so often when we do something from a natural skill set or something maybe that we've just done enough times that we just know inherently what we're doing, it becomes that habit that we don't have to think about. It's the equivalent of, I always say at some point, we all had to learn how to brush our teeth, but now we just do it naturally.

And sometimes when you've been in sales for long enough, like you just do that thing naturally. And when you are forced to start leading people or building systems, you have to go backwards and identify, okay, well, why do I have that skill? Where did it come from? What is it and what was that skill set or those habits? What was it that you had that you had to start teaching agents to do? Like what was that actual secret sauce that you used to become so successful that you then had to impart on other people?

Daniel Dixon:

Well, it was a few things. It was the speed to lead process, understanding that most agents are lazy and they're not going to make a phone call in the first couple of minutes and selling Internet lead generation. We were not only just selling zip codes, but we were teaching and training agents how to do these things so they can convert, so they continue to buy more stuff from us. So being fast, you didn't have to be very good. And we tell our agents now, you don't have to be crazy experienced or good, but you've got to be quick.

And so that was the first piece. What are you willing to do or not do in that moment to be able to take that lead and go create that conversation, create that relationship and the connectivity with that client and then go work the lead over time. You make your money on lead conversion. You don't make your money showing houses. You don't make your money writing contracts. You make money on converting the lead whenever that lead comes in. It could be 10:00 at night, could be 7:00 in the morning, whatever that time frame is.

So I think that was the first piece in getting our agents' mindset wrapped around that. There'd be times, I mean I remember being at a casino in Vegas and stepping out to take calls, to take actual leads and have a 10, 15-minute conversation, get them set up on a search. And now that client feels connected, they have what they need. I can work and service that client later. So just having them understand that piece of it.

And then the second thing is going and doing a buyer consultation with every single client, whether it is a best friend or whether it's a brand-new internet lead, they need to understand the journey of being a first-time home buyer. What happens first? What happens next? We educate all of our clients on understanding what's happening around the next corner so they're never in a position where we're being reactive and having to answer their questions. They understand what's happening every step of the way.

And then the third thing is just being human. Like too many times, we're so freaking rigid and we're so like have to be perfect or have to be professional. And people buy from people they like and people that are like them. How quickly can we build rapport and how quickly can we naturally connect with people to be able to be on their team, on their side and then be the professional second. We always have to be professional. We got to dress up, we always got to do the things.

But at the end of the day, like, where are you from? How long have you been here? What are your kids names? You have dogs? I have dogs too. Like the connectivity piece has been a really, really challenging thing, believe it or not, on helping agents understand, because most real estate agents are not salespeople, they're real estate agents. So, like, how do you teach sales on the front end of this?

And again, rapport building and connectivity and just being freaking human, just be human. Go talk to somebody like you're talking to them at the bar, like you're talking to your best friend. Don't be so rigid and awkward calling a lead like, hey, what's up, Nikki? It's Daniel again. How are you? Like, I've never talked to you, but that energy is infectious and people want to continue to talk to people that are having those kind of conversations. Not, hey, Nikki, this is Daniel with the Dixon Group. And I got your inquiry today on 123 Main Street. Like, that's wack. We don't want to talk like that.

Chris Dixon:

Do you see in this building rapport, which clearly is an important part of the process, some people are much more natural and conversational, and they can do that, and others, it doesn't come so naturally? And do you think if you come from a place of curiosity, do you see value in that in a way to get started in the conversation? If you're like, this is something I struggle with or I'm not naturally a good communicator that way, can someone just come from a place of curiosity and discovery and that conversation will naturally get started?

Daniel Dixon:

Yeah, Chris. That's a really good point. I don't know how to teach someone how to be curious. Me, I'm naturally a curious person. I like asking the follow ups. Like even if it has nothing to do with anything, I want to continue to ask more. I'm a psychology major. That's what I graduated with my my degree in. And so I'm naturally interested in human behavior and how people interact and how they act.

So for me, it was natural. How do we teach our agents and how do we scale that piece has been a challenge for us. Asking follow ups, or Phil Jones who was at a family reunion, excuse me, mega camp is another way of continually asking those follow through and follow up questions to get an idea on like, yeah, stay curious. Stay curious, my friends. Well, how do you teach that? We're still trying to figure that out, to be completely honest with you. But I think that's an incredible piece. Like if you can't answer the why behind the answers that are being had, ask more questions around what's going on in that situation or that conversation.

Nikki Miller:

Well, I think, Daniel, to your point, what's so important there is that most agents or anybody who's really in sales will say something to the effect of, well, I don't know what to say. And my response to them is usually you don't need to know what to say, you need to know what to ask. And so it's about learning to ask the right questions and learning to, to your point, be curious. And so often people overcomplicate this and I say, exactly to your point just now, just be a human, just learn about them, learn about what their aspirations are and what they're trying to do and why they're trying to do it. It's not overly complicated.

And what I heard in everything that you said is I think it's interesting sometimes when people build businesses, they sort of get stuck in their business, whatever it may be, and the skill sets and the processes. And they say, well, I'm just really good at this one business. And my perspective on this has always been, well, business is business is business. Whether you're building a real estate business or to all your other now ventures investment business or mortgage business, most of the skill sets are practically the same. So have you seen that? And if so, what specific skill sets have you brought in from your real estate sales team into all the other businesses that you're running?

Daniel Dixon:

Yeah. I think the biggest thing that we teach people now, I think Covid really helped us with this, is really coming from a place of contribution. Like get out of your mind if you want to close a deal and think about how you can service the human and how you can continue to provide value for them. The things I hate when agents say is I'm just, hey, it's Daniel. I'm just calling to follow up. Like no one gives a damn about you following up.

Call with a purpose and call with an intention and call with something of value so that person can be like, oh, wow. When they see the next time you call, you're only going to be able to call a couple times just to follow up before you start getting sent to voicemail. And now that person, oh, they ghosted me. Well, because they have no reason to continue to communicate with you. Be different, provide something of value to them.

We are in the weirdest real estate market that we've seen in probably at least the last decade. And things are changing every day. Rates are changing every day. Homes, the market, everything is changing so rapidly that we're losing sight of being able to come to the conversation with information and knowledge and content that we can easily pull off of keeping current matters off of Zillow, off of Realtor, off of wherever, and just say, hey, I thought about you and just wanted to shoot this over to you and then prompt the conversation on the follow up from there.

So it's just really coming from a place of contribution and just really having the mindset that we teach our agents on just continue to help people. If you continue to help, we'll convert at a really high clip. If you don't understand why someone's buying a home and you don't know their need, then keep asking more questions and stay curious. Because it's not about your commission or putting them under contract, it's about finding the right solution for them and keeping them together through the inspection and appraisal phases. So they don't say that you just sold them a house and you had commission breath. There's so many agents that have commission breath and it's unfortunate in our industry.

Nikki Miller:

I look up Daniel and I say, building a real estate business, this one I know firsthand, building any business is hard. Building a real estate business is really hard. And you did that. You did that at a very high level. And then you said, well, you know what? I think this one real estate business isn't going to be enough for me. Let me go ahead and build four or five others. When did you start that process and when did you say, I think I'm going to do even more and take on even more?

Daniel Dixon:

So I became -- so back in California before I moved to Colorado, I started my adulthood. Well, my first job was selling timeshares. And so I think I was kind of spoiled with learning NLP and learning Zig Ziglar at 17.5, 18 years old. So it naturally helped me kind of be curious. But my first big boy job was doing mortgages for a company called LendingTree. So I started in the real estate industry, originating loans for people all across the country. Then the market crashed. My wife and I moved to Colorado, finished school, did a bunch of other things, and then ended up at Trulia.

And so I'm a real estate agent who had a mortgage background. So there often be times where like, hey, D, I can't do the loan. I'm like, have you thought about paying off debt, restructuring, adding a cosigner, like all these other angles on how to get a deal done and started realizing like, you don't really know how to do your job. If someone's putting 20 percent down and you just click the button on and they get an approval, then you're good. But anything outside of that, you're kind of stuck. So I'm like, I think this is a little challenging.

So we, as my team continue to grow, it was difficult to find our lending partners that could support the growth that we have. And when you're dealing with Internet leads, like we got to go right now, if I'm talking to the lead and I'm connecting with my lender, I can't set an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. They're never going to answer the phone and we're not going to connect. I've got to connect with you right now. No lender out there had a warm transfer process. So pain, pain point. So we're losing opportunities at conversion.

And then the last piece of it was me realizing, wait a minute, I asked my lender, he did like 7 million in like a two-month period with us. So I'm like, hey, how much do you make on every loan? Because I really didn't have an idea. Dodd-Frank changed everything on how lenders are paid, and he started stumbling over his words and getting really uncomfortable. So instantly I was like, oh, you make a lot of money on the business I'm sending you.

So then I started doing a little bit more research. Then I was like, you know what? I'm going to go get license and we're going to go build this thing. Because my mindset with ancillaries, and I've then become addicted to ancillaries, but my mindset with ancillaries is if I can control the client experience, then I can get good reviews, I can get referrals, we can continue to build a really good experience for our client. If I can control the transaction, then I'm going to be able to control the client experience because we've had problems with lenders, problems with closers, all of the things that ruin it at the end for us.

And so if I'm able to do those two things at a really high level, then I'm going to be lucky enough to be able to monetize the transaction. So I'm a little bit of a control freak. And if I can control all the things, then we can get paid on it, but that's down the road. I'm not even interested in that piece of it. I'm interested in making our agent's life easy, our client's life, you know, giving us five star reviews and having them have an incredible experience and then be able to continue to grow on that.

When you start looking at the average agent is so focused on only their commission and we, as real estate agents, make this entire industry go. So we're prospecting every day, making outbound phone calls, cold calls, open houses, all of the things. Most other title reps aren't doing that. Most lenders aren't doing. I've tried to get my lenders to lead generate, they don't do it. Even if they're being threatened by me, they won't do it, so there's no way they're doing it on their own.

So then it was like, wait a minute, we make this entire industry go, inspectors, appraisers, mortgage company, like everybody. So then I started realizing agents are so focused just on their commission. When you look at a normal $425,000 transaction, the agents focused on their call it roughly $12,000, $13,000 commission when there's really like $35,000, potentially even $40,000 of commission at stake in a transaction. So then it was like, wait a minute, we're doing this wrong. If we're going to spend all this money on lead generation on the front end, convert all these leads at a really high clip, I want to be able to control the transaction, control the experience and then be able to monetize these things. Then I started becoming addicted to it.

And now when we start thinking about scale and us growing outside of just Colorado, I'm like, man, there's so many people that we can impact and create incredible experiences on. Nine times out of ten, the bad experience someone had with a transaction was because the lender screwed up and we had to bail at the very end. Earnest money was lost. They didn't get the house and so on.

So I want to change that mindset or that experience piece of it. And it's helped us continue to grow and expand and help our agent partners. If we're doing a deal with one of someone in my mortgage company and we get a curve ball, I can fix it. If we're working with an outside lender, you're just a number inside of their pipeline. It's just a deal. The long-winded answer to your simple question.

Nikki Miller:

Was the perfect answer. But what I love is this theme I'm hearing from you, Daniel, which is I see a gap and then I fill it. If I want something to be different or I want to improve an experience or my experience or my circumstance, I go out and I do something about it. And my experience with most great founders is that that comes from somewhere. They make a decision at some point that they're going to control their fate. Where did that come from for you?

Daniel Dixon:

I'm tired of getting let down. I'm tired of of making excuses and apologizing for other people's mistakes. I'll apologize when I screw up. I have no problem with the accountability. But the lender didn't do something. The seed didn't go out on time. Whatever the whatever the reason is and we're making excuses to save face for other people, I kind of got tired of it. And I want to be able to -- I mean I can only yell at my lender a couple of times before, it just doesn't really go anywhere or do anything.

And then I got to completely change our process and go find another lender. We've hired and fired probably 12 lenders over the years and then it was like, I can't keep that thing because you're not -- we have 30 agents. It's really difficult for one lender if you're not in control to be able to service and properly service 30 real estate agents. So then it was like -- and we're one team out of their pipeline of 30 people they're trying to service because they want to close 10, 15, 20 loans a month. Or the refi pipeline spikes up and now the service goes down because refi is our cake and just they're slam dunks for lenders.

So the pain has created the ancillaries. The pain of sitting down with a title company and having them not be friendly to our buyers at closing or sellers for that matter. At closing was like, wait a minute, I need more control. I need to be able to escalate to somebody that I don't want to work with this person ever again and be able to control again. It's really I'm really a control freak. And the more that we can control, the more that we can control that expectation of what great service looks like and what great experiences look like for our agent partners, for our clients, for our lenders, for everybody that's involved in that transaction.

Chris Dixon:

With being a control freak, I can sympathize with that, by the way. With being a control freak, that obviously comes with some trade offs. What are those for you that you have to be aware of and mitigate for and how have you been successful with dealing with that? Because there's the obvious positives of controlling all of your outcomes and vertically integrating your business and being able to control customer service, experience, all of those things. But where do you have to mitigate on the other side?

Daniel Dixon:

You know, it's a leadership lesson and it's about leading through others. And I can't do all things so I've got to let people fall on their face and not catch them and allow them to learn from those mistakes and then build them back up. And when you know what the outcome is going to be and you try to help, but they've just got to go through it. Like we're an experiential learning type of business where you can't whiteboard it, you can't just teach it in a classroom. You've got to go through it before you understand the why behind what we're trying to teach and coach to.

So it's really watching people you love and care about have to learn the hard way before they start listening to exactly the way that things need to get done. And it's a pain point. I have a really big heart. I'm a cancer. I'm a lover. Like I love my folks like to the end and I've damaged their growth by catching them before they actually fall and really take that learning lesson and take that lump like I've had to go through because no one was catching me when I was falling. I had to figure my way out of figuring my way back up, dust myself off and figure out where the hole was that I need to then go fix. So really, it's the pain of watching them fail and watching them hurt and then the glory of being able to build them back up and help dust them off and kick them in the butt like, let's go get this.

Nikki Miller:

Well, I think that's one of the greatest challenges of being a leader is that you do have to find the balance between not being the person that is the problem solver. And so many leaders when they get into early stages, I think of their business, or some never unlearn it at all is that they want to be the problem solver. And then over time, they end up just becoming the bottleneck to their own business. And even worse, they have trained a team not to think and not to solve problems for themselves and not to become great leaders in their own right or in their own divisions.

And I would love to know, we all I think, who are on that journey, especially the leadership journey, have stories of trying to be the great problem solver and looking backwards and realizing that we actually failed miserably in the process. When did you make that distinction? Or did you have a moment where you just crumbled under all the pressure?

Daniel Dixon:

No, it was really it was about two and a half years ago. A friend of mine, friend, coach, Tom Ferry, I was sitting down with him and he was like, Daniel, you were the bottleneck of your business and you're the reason that you're not going to be able to go where you want to go. And I'm like, oh, that one hurts. Like, what do you mean? He's like, everyone's waiting on you to make decisions. And if they continue to wait on you to make decisions, you're getting busier and they're not growing and learning. And that's when it was like got it, got it. Thank you. We got to let people fail. Let them learn, and then help build them back up, even though I know better. But I can't go do all the things and I can't be that person that everyone's waiting on because I'm stunting everybody's growth.

And so it's a painful lesson to know when, you know, arguably one of the goats in this industry is like, you're the problem. Oh, what do you mean I'm the problem? The reason we're here, like, how am I the problem? But no, he was 100 percent right. It is exactly my fault. And I like to pride myself on building leaders, but I'm building leaders and protecting them in the same breath. You can't really do both. You can build them, but they've got to take their own lumps, they've got to learn their own lessons to really get to where you want to get to with the massive goals that we have.

Chris Dixon:

The reality is, too, that not everyone's in the right role and you aim to develop, and you aim to help people grow and give them opportunities to fail. But ideally, you recognize as early as possible, if somebody's not in the right position to thrive and help them make the transition to where they will be somewhere better fit. And the sooner you can do that for them, the better. And the best way to identify that is to do what you're describing, because otherwise you're going to string it along and the cost of that is huge for you, for your business and for them.

Daniel Dixon:

Yeah. And I think it's for them, right? Like that's the, you can only get to where you want to get to by having incredible people around you. And I have the most loyal, the most loving, the greatest people around me. But I thought my idea of being a good leader was helping them and catching them and not really letting them feel the pain of a decision that was made and then be able to take the learning lessons and the lumps from that. So I think that -- I mean --

Chris Dixon:

That's the balance, right?

Daniel Dixon:

Say again?

Chris Dixon:

Yeah. No. I was going to say it's a tricky balance to strike. And it's always a moving target, right? Because on one end, you can do what you're describing, catch them too quickly, don't let them stumble and learn the lessons. On the other end, you can overstretch them or I guess make them feel like you're not supportive. So you got to you got to check that balance and constantly be measuring it.

Daniel Dixon:

Well, I think that's the hardest part with leadership in general though, is like there's a bunch of books on leadership, and we've read most of them. But the best thing of leadership is learning lessons and taking the lumps. Like you can't prepare for the tough conversations until you've had them and then you've reflected and then you figure out how you're going to go on the next conversation that's similar and then have a different outcome or a different way that you position information.

Reflection is one of the most important pieces I feel like in leadership and just in development. Are we looking back at what we did well or are we looking only at what we didn't do so well so much? Or are we just looking at the successes and what works inside of our world and just geared towards that? Like, I don't know. I don't think we reflect enough when we're trying to change that inside of our organization because we move so fast that it's really difficult to look back the last two or three months and say, look at where you were and look at where we are today.

Being an athlete, when I played football, we never went through film study and looked at it and said, oh, here's all the great things everybody did. We only looked at the bad things that we did so we can be great. But for a lot of people, that's not the way that they process. They want the pat on the back, they want the hug, they want the acknowledgement and the credit for where they've come from. So I've gone through so many lessons in leadership that now, looking back at the books and rereading some of the books, they say them, but just it's really difficult to prepare yourself for that journey outside of just jumping in and reflecting on what you're doing well and what you're not doing well.

Nikki Miller:

And I think, Daniel, the best way to do that, to your point, you mentioned a couple of your coaches throughout the call. I think that when you're leading any organization, leading a big business, it's absolutely vital to have a coach because the truth is you're not going to reflect well by yourself. You just won't. You won't ask yourself the hard questions that you really need to ask. You're not going to see the things that you wouldn't normally see, not because you're not smart enough or good enough or whatever that may be. It's simply because you have your perspective, and coaching gives you another one. What has coaching done for you in your business and in your mindset? Like, how impactful has that been for you?

Daniel Dixon:

It is arguably one of the only reasons that we've built what we've built because I have an incredible human on my team. Like again, Brett is a phone call away, a text message away. We've built an incredible friendship. But being able to -- he often -- I mean, I've wanted to run a team of like five people. And he's like, D, that's not the way. I'm like, I'm tired of these agents. I'm tired of this thing. He's like, D, that's not the way. And he often says to me like, I'm 5000ft above you, guiding you through the brush fire, and you've got to just take my word. I've already been through where you've been.

And I think it's by having, whether it's a coach or a trusted advisor, having people that you know and love and trust that they can tell you when you're completely wrong. And it's different when my people around me tell me I'm wrong. I'm like, but am I, though? Is that just your opinion? Are you sure? But when Brett speaks, it's like, all right, cool, got it. When Tom speaks, I'm like, cool, got it.

And so being in rooms that are bigger than you, there's some people that I have that I consider mentors in my life that aren't coaches, but hey, I'm having this situation. Like what is your perspective on this? And just continuing to gather information and then make a decision that you think is going to be best because you still have to have the individuality. You still have to have your mindset and your brain. You can't just be surrounded by yes people, and you can't just do everything everybody else says. You got to be able to think on your own.

But the ability to be surrounded by people, to give you information and then process the information, look at the pros and cons of different things, and then make a decision, I think has been instrumental in what we've been able to build or understanding why we shouldn't do something, why we should do something, why we haven't expanded across the country yet. That was a big thing for us early and a lot of it was we need the driver. Yeah, but I can get leads everywhere. We need the driver because your leads aren't going to get converted. And know what I know, listen, I was selling leads to everybody everywhere. I know how, no, Daniel, trust me, we've done this before, and it failed, and here's why it failed. Let's build this out a little bit differently so we can have something that's sustainable and not just running really fast.

Nikki Miller:

I think what you just said is really important because I think sometimes there's a misconception with coaching that I get on the phone with somebody and I pay them for them to tell me what to do, and that's not what coaching is at all. Coaching is a way for you to think about what's in front of you differently. And back to what you said earlier, so often we'll get on these coaching calls saying, well, this is a mess and it's because of that person or that thing or the market or whatever it is. And then it almost always comes back to, you are the problem.

But what you realize through coaching is that you are the problem, and you are also the profoundly capable solution. And coaching asks you enough questions to figure out how you can behave differently inside your business or a different perspective for you to take the right path forward. And I think that that distinction is so important because I think some people forget it. And I think leaders forget it when they're leading people, too, that your job is not to just tell everybody what to do, it's to ask them the right questions to bring them to the right discovery.

Daniel Dixon:

Yeah, self discovery is the only way to do it, right? Like when I'm on calls with Brett, he's not like, all right, here's the plan for today. Like, he's just asking really powerful questions that is prompting me to think and then give an answer. And if I'm off target, then we're pivoting and he's asking more questions. He knows where he wants to get me to, but he's not saying here's the idea, here's the plan. You ask these powerful questions.

I mean, leadership is all about question asking and asking the right questions and asking the follow up questions and helping you see some of your blind spots. Especially, I think it's even harder, my best friend coaches for -- he's a running back coach for the Atlanta Falcons. And I remember asking him recently, they just drafted Bijan like number 6 or 8 or whatever it was. And I'm like, how the hell do you coach people who are the most elite at what they are in the entire fricking world? And he's like, D, my job is to remove obstacles that continue to ask them questions and help them achieve what they want to achieve. And I'm like, man, that's so powerful.

And we have not been doing that in our organization. We're solving problems for people and crippling them and not helping and self-empowering and helping empower them by helping them self-discover. These are your goals. We have standards, but these are your goals that you want to achieve. What do you need from the organization? What more do you need from me? What habits do you need to change? What habits do you need to gain to be able to achieve what you want to achieve? This isn't a matter of putting my foot up your ass every day. It's exhausting for everybody involved, I feel like.

Chris Dixon:

I love what you said about removing obstacles. It's so true because you can't see them most often. And many times, you're blind, blind spots. Or maybe you can see them, but you're just giving yourself permission to continue to run into them instead of having someone ask you about them. And we talk about asking powerful questions and the distinction earlier, Nikki, you mentioned about you're not going to be able to do it, hold yourself accountable the same way a coach could. And it's so true.

And I've had this experience and I'm sure you guys have, too, where you can ask yourself a question and then have someone else in a coaching role ask you the same question and the different answers that will come from that. And it's shocking. It's like, how is that so different? But it's just having someone else seeing from the outside and the accountability it provides you.

Daniel Dixon:

And I think for leaders going into one-on-ones, oftentimes we go into one-on-ones and we're looking through their database, not the database, but their CRM and we're telling them where their holes are and we're not helping them self-discover and think on their own to be able to identify what's going on so they can pivot a lot faster and not have the -- like we want to feel needed as leaders. We want to feel like we've got all the answers and come to me always. But then you create this bottleneck and it's a humbling moment to realize that you were the problem.

Nikki Miller:

That would be the name of my memoir. I was the problem and the profoundly capable solution. Right. Daniel, I hear a thread through all of this. And I know you personally, so I know this from our interactions as friends and in business as well, that you just have such a commitment to excellence. And beyond that, you also just have a commitment to people, to bettering the people who know you, who are around you, who are in business with you, to the human beings who come in contact with you.

And I see that in the threads of everything that you've built, from the charities that you participate in and have created and fund, to now the Color of Money podcast. Can you walk me through? I'd love to know before you actually dive into what the Color of Money podcast is, I want to just know the why. There's always a reason that we're called to do those things. What's yours?

Daniel Dixon:

Yeah, it's a powerful thing for me. As I came up and as I continued to grow in this industry, I continue to go to family reunion and mega camps. And I would go, and I'd watch the people on stage, the Ben Kinney's and Goosenecks and Brad and Adam Hergenrother and all these guys and gals for that matter. I got yelled at once. But all these people and none of them looked like me.

And I remember when I was three, two and a half, three years into the business, I was in the city in Cherry Creek, and I'm in a three piece suit. I have this listing. Like I'm good. And there was a lot of older white people that wouldn't look me in my eye or shake my hand. I'm like, man, it doesn't matter what I look like. It doesn't matter what my success is like. We still have these challenges.

And so, yes, I see Ben up there and yes, I see these people up there, but your journey is very different than my journey. I can't go door knocking in a neighborhood. And I can, but often times, like we've heard stories of people getting the cops called on them. Like you have a bald-headed black dude with a beard knocking on your front door, most people aren't answering with a positive, hey, D, how can I help you? So it's just different. Like the experience and the journey for me has been different.

And so as I've continued to grow and then be like my biggest goal was getting into Gary's top 100 mastermind. And I remember going, I think it was family reunion like six years ago, five years ago. And I remember I was so excited to finally be invited in. And I walk in. And I literally sat in the back of the room by myself because I'm like, none of these people are like me.

And like, who can I inspire now that's not going to feel the way I felt as we get into these rooms of being high level achievers. I want to go on stages and speak my truth and talk about the things that I've done and the successes we've had. So someone who looks like me can look up there and say, man, D did it, I can do it too, because we have that limiting belief. Like, well, it's easier for you. Or well, your path isn't as hard as mine's been and it's all nonsense. It's about eliminating those obstacles and powering through them.

And so as I continue to feel that way, I'm like, man, I've got to be able to -- like my passion now, there's not enough black agents in this industry. There's not enough black, wildly successful agents in this industry. And I say black, but I really mean minority, right? There's not enough that are doing it at a really high level and being recognized at a really high level. And I want to continue that conversation around creating more equality and creating more diversity in our company, in our market center, in our industry, in all of the things.

One of the -- I think I was OP, I was like number six or number eight. And the reason I decided to take the OP role and buy a market center was, as I was talking to Mark King about it, Mark's like, D, out of all of the 100 and 360 OPs or whatever it is, there's only at the time five, six, whatever the number was when we were speaking, I'm like, man, we're only going to be able to change the game if we have a seat at the table and then be able to continue to communicate on why things need to be perceived a little bit differently, why understanding my story a little bit differently than what we typically hear.

We all have pain, we all have trauma, we all have challenge. And I want to create a safe environment that allows the thought that you can be there too. Is it uncomfortable when I walk in these rooms and they're 98 percent white? 100 percent. Do I get the arm around my shoulder like D, you're one of us, we'll help you and we'll share information. Absolutely not.

And that's why I feel so indebted to Brett, because had I not started coaching with him early, I would have done a whole bunch of stupid stuff. I would have blown a whole bunch of money. I wouldn't have built the organization that we built the way that we did. And he's been able to help me.

And so the Color of Money podcast, it was birthed with the idea of us talking about wealth building inside of our community strategies. A lot of the things that happen behind these closed doors that people don't have access to. If I'm not invited in the room, I'm not going to have the knowledge. And it's cliche. Knowledge is power, which is true, but knowledge can create the power and the movement and the activities and the mindsets that then can transition and create difference in generational wealth.

And so that's really where we -- Gary asked us to do this. After the George Floyd event, I was one of the, not founders, but one of the people who started our social equity task force. And one of the things Gary wanted to do was create a podcast where we can talk about, to our community the struggles, the challenges, the strategies, the tactics, the successes, the creating this environment of really being able to share information so we can understand and know I'm lucky to know what I know, what I knew early.

And I'm on this mission to continue to speak the things that we do. There's no secrets inside of our organization. There's no secrets out there. Here's what we do. Here's why we do it. Here's a tax strategies. Here's how we process deals, here's how we think about investing. Here's why we track our net worth. Here's how we do A, B and C. And the more that we can share inside of our industry and empower and encourage more agents, more minority agents to get in the industry, support them, put our arms around them and share the information, then we can have more successful agents in this industry.

Then, as we have more successful agents in this industry, now we can bring that back into our communities to then help them talk about encouraging wealth building and investing and buying your first home and fixing credit and just all the things that are not typical conversations inside of our communities.

Nikki Miller:

Daniel, this conversation is so important. And the way that you have this conversation is so important because what I heard you say is that it's about bringing the knowledge so that people can then go and behave differently with that knowledge. And I think that in these minority groups, one of the biggest challenges that you face is that those conversations aren't happening around them. And therefore, everyone continues to stay at the level that they're at. Unless someone takes a stand and says, I'm going to go and figure this out and then I'm going to turn around, put out my hand and take everybody with me.

I was coaching a young woman the other day and she said to me, I just really want a seat at the table. And I said, that's not how you get one. The way you get a seat at the table is you just go and sit. You sit down and you learn and then you take action on what you learn. And then once you've held that seat, you turn around and you pull up a couple other chairs of people who potentially don't feel like they belong either. And that's what I see you doing through this podcast and through everything that you're doing, but especially through this movement. And I'm just so appreciative of it.

Daniel Dixon:

Well, I think a lot of people have a misconception. We've had a lot of backlash on me becoming -- we're the first black owned KW franchise in Colorado and there's a lot of -- we lost four of our five ALC members within the first few months. And maybe it's because of me, totally, or maybe it's because of something different. And this isn't about black versus white. This is about equality and equal opportunity so we can all win.

The knowledge and the strategies and the things that are taught, that's what I love about what Brett's doing with KW Wealth, because that's not a closed-door mastermind. That is a community that he's opening up to everybody. Whether you're a brand-new agent or you've been an agent for the last 50 years, we're all having the same conversations and sharing the same attitudes and the same concepts on wealth building and tax strategy and estate planning.

I would never have an estate plan if it was just me. I would never have a trust. I would never have these things that are just typically passed down from generation to generation. Well, I grew up with a single mother of three kids. A lot of people in our community grew up in single parent households that grew up in the ghettos or grew up in the areas that didn't have money. We don't know these things.

And so you only know what you learn or you're influenced by. And so I think we're passionate about being able to continue to speak that and continue to say there's another way, there's another way, how do we do this and this? Like, how do we get our first house? How do we do all of these? There's so much wealth and so much opportunity in our industry.

And I feel like if we can create a more inclusive environment and we can create more opportunity for everybody to go because this is about everyone going. This isn't just about black growth or black opportunity. We're talking to our community 100 percent and sharing the successes of people in our community that are doing it at a high level.

And this is about everyone continuing to grow and achieve more together. Because I truly feel, again it's cliche, but I feel like we can go further together than we can go apart. And the more that we lock arms, the more that we work with each other and understand each other, the bigger we can go, the better our industry is going to be, the better clients are going to be served. I think it's just going to be better from start to finish.

Chris Dixon:

There's a mindset shift in there for abundance versus scarcity. And something, I'm going to try to say this right, but I think it's the quote is rising tide lifts all boats. And thinking from that perspective of how do we all win, versus having limited resources that you need to squander and sequester and hold from others.

Daniel Dixon:

And it's uncomfortable. We know we're talking about lead conversion. We buy from people that we like and that we know or people that are like us. When we're talking about diversity, we're talking about doing something that's very different than that because these people are not like us. But the more that you understand the other side of the fence, I mean, our politics are so polarizing. Our country is so polarized right now. And the more that you realize, oh, shit, you're just like me. Yeah, your background may be different, or your color might be different, but we share the same belief system.

We have a really good friend here in Denver. She's a Compass agent. She sells 150, 200 million a year on her own. The typical luxury middle aged white female. And we are best friends. We like to say that she's like Martha Stewart and I'm Snoop Dogg because we're so opposites. But the more that we hang out together, like we are the same human in so many different ways. And if she wasn't open minded to having a friendship and having, if I wasn't open minded to that, then we would never have a friendship together.

And again, we're better together than we are apart. Share information. We share strategies. We talk about -- we send agents back and forth to different companies. I've interviewed some of her people before. And I just really think that that inclusivity type of mindset and us all going together and locking arms is, I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but my hope is that we can just continue to share information, be comfortable being uncomfortable, learning new people, learning new perspectives. And then I think that maybe it's next year, maybe it's in ten years from now, but we can continue to put together this passion project and share information, share knowledge, and hopefully impact the world.

Nikki Miller:

And I think this all goes back to this idea that you started with of just being curious. I think when you can do that human to human, you find out how many people are like us, how many people don't feel like they belong in the room no matter what they look like, whether it's because of their socioeconomic background or because of the color of their skin or their religion or their brainpower, whatever it is, whatever story they tell themselves about why they don't belong. So many people do tell themselves that story and walk into that room feeling like an imposter.

And the more, to your point, we can put our arms around each other and where we can make people feel like they belong and ask questions and get to know them and be curious about who they are as a human being. The more we show everyone that from the viewpoint of abundance, the more we show everyone that we can do these things together and that we can build this life together.

I always say when I watch my daughter, I see in the next generation the ability to just, for us, it's not about telling them how we want them to live. It's about behaving in front of our children the way we would like the world to be, that we can show them through our behavior how to come from abundance, how to be curious, how to lock arms with people so that we can all achieve more. And you're exhibiting that real time. And I think it's just, over time, we talk about the domino effect in The ONE Thing, it just creates such an exponential impact.

Daniel Dixon:

Yeah, I'm excited for Gary to ask for this opportunity. I'm excited for Julia Lashay and Emmerich Peace to be on this journey with us, to just share the information, impact, talk and just share the strategies. And at the end of the day, it's the domino, but it's attacking the first domino. We're not going to know all of the things. What I knew five years ago, six years ago, it's very different than I do today. But the mindset of just attacking one thing, one strategy, one opportunity first and then allowing that to start growing over time is the answer.

Like we're not -- I can't stand when people get ready to get ready, jump in, figure it out along the way, have that confidence in your belief system that you will figure it out. You are that good. And every decision I make every day is bad. It's full of bad decisions all the time but I have confidence that I'm going to get it right over time. And so I truly believe that I learn or I fail. I either fail, excuse me, I either fail or I learn. No, either win or I learn. I don't fail.

And it's part of the journey and understanding what that big vision that you want to achieve and just realizing this is just part of the process. I fell in love with the process and not the result of the end game. It's just part of the process, the pain, the hurt, the victories. Like everything is a lesson of opportunity. And if you do it right and you pay attention right, and you reflect right, then over time you stay at the same thing and continue to relentlessly pursue it. You're going to meet success at some point, maybe 20 years from now, maybe next year. But just be relentless. Another one of my really, really favorite books.

Nikki Miller:

So good. And we find the right path forward through implementing the imperfect plan. I think so many people search and search and search for the right plan, not knowing or not realizing or having the experience to understand that you'll never know it until you start. You literally cannot build the perfect plan because you don't have a clue what curveballs life is going to throw at you. You could never know. Daniel, at the end of every one of these podcasts, we ask, what's the one thing that you would want our listeners to take away from today? What's the one thing that you would want to leave them with?

Daniel Dixon:

I think it's really just a matter of learning to do versus learning to know. So many times, in our industry, people go, even outside of our industry for that matter, we go and we learn, and we take all these notes and we do all these things, and we don't implement anything. And it's not about understanding what's around every corner necessarily, but it's about taking the first step. That's one of the reasons we named our company First Step Home Loans, because that's the hardest part for every first-time home buyer is taking the first step and doing the loan app.

Just take the first step, learn to like, do and implement. Don't learn to know. Get your knowledge over time. Prepare yourself properly, of course, but just jump in. Jump in, start doing. When I first heard the term cost segregation, when Brett was writing it on a whiteboard, I'm like that makes no sense. It's probably illegal. And the second time, the third time, I did it, I got the study back, didn't know what I was doing.

And now I'm like, oh, I know this thing like the back of my hand. But it took three years and understanding the concept 15 times before you actually get it. So it's just like, have your trusted advisors take steps, learn lessons, open a door, realize that's the wrong door, close the door, go in a different door, like continue to be a part of that journey and part of that process. Learn to do. Don't learn to know.

Nikki Miller:

I love that. And Daniel, where can everybody find you? If they want to follow you.

Daniel Dixon:

On Instagram at @DixonSoldIt. That has a link to all of my things, my link trees and all that other fun stuff to everywhere that we are on social.

Nikki Miller:

I want to thank you so much for being here today. This is such a powerful conversation for anyone, real estate or otherwise. I'm so thankful for what you're doing and not only the community, but also with this new podcast. Thank you for spending some time with us today.

Daniel Dixon:

Yes, ma'am. Thank you, Chris. Thank you, Nikki. Appreciate it.


Thanks for listening to The ONE Thing podcast. If you're a bold risk taker who wants to dream big and achieve a higher level of success in your life or business, visit theonething.com. There, you'll find information on one-on-one coaching, our exclusive community membership program, and customized workshops that will help you get your team or organization aligned and rowing in the same direction. That's T-H-E, the number one.com to start living the life you've always dreamed of today.

Be sure to follow the show to stay up to date on weekly episodes, guest interviews and more. Plus, we would love to hear from you. Send us a voice note by going to speakpipe.com/theonething or email us at podcast@theonething.com. We'll see you next week.