Today’s interview is with Dani Johnson, an internationally renowned financial expert who’s been interviewed by Oprah, Good Morning America, and Forbes. In just two short years, she went from a homeless cocktail waitress to a millionaire, and since then, she’s traveled the world equipping people with proven and easy-to-follow strategies for financial success. Download Johnson’s powerful books, including Spirit Driven Success and Grooming the Next Generation for Success, on Vyrso today!
1. Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world. We take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later. Yet the average American has over $225,000 in debt and less than $500 in savings—what are we doing wrong?
Everything! We’re working too much, and we’re working hard instead of smart. I used to be like all of those people until I had a heart attack at age 24 and a nervous breakdown at age 25. I was so consumed by this culture’s definition of success, I worked as though I were a slave to my business and a slave to money. I had to learn the biblical skills that took me from 100 hours a week down to 20, and I tripled my income. Since then, I’ve trained hundreds of thousands to do the same. We cannot work, live, act, walk, and talk like the majority of Americans, otherwise we’ll be just like them! You have to learn a new way of living, thinking, and doing everything in life.
That’s why it’s so important to learn the skills on our website and in our books and training materials. They get results. We’ve taken hundreds of thousands of Americans, just like the ones you mentioned, who are now debt free, making more money, having more fun, enjoying their lives, enjoying their spouses, and enjoying their kids. They will never go back to the way they used to live, just as I will never go back to the way I used to live.
2. What’s the biblical definition of financial success, or is there such a thing?
There are 2,500 verses in the Bible that talk about money. There are 220 that talk about salvation. I think God has a LOT to say about money, but most people only know the few negative Scriptures. They don’t know about the thousands of very pointed and positive verses concerning money, the very specific ways God tells us exactly how to make money, and how to create wealth.
Financial success is not being owned by money, being controlled by it, worrying about it, fretting about it, and being anxious about it. If you chase money, it runs from you. If you work with excellence and diligence, and you prosper where you’re planted, it comes to you. If you increase your skill, according to the Bible, skill brings success. If you increase your skill, then you make more money. It comes to you when you don’t chase it. The Bible says diligent hands produce wealth. It also says lazy hands will go hungry. Most people do not bring excellence, diligence, and higher skill sets into the marketplace, which is why they end up trapped in poverty.
There are principles about money you must learn if you don’t want to be broke, average, and mediocre. They are God’s principles. There are billionaires on this planet who use God’s principles, but they don’t walk with him. Wouldn’t it be great if all believers knew those principles? Imagine the orphans we could all feed together! Imagine how many of the elderly and the sick and the widows we could help! Imagine how we could spread the gospel even further if we understood those principles!
3. What’s the number-one obstacle Christians face when trying to achieve financial success?
Excuses. Excuses are a result of ignorance. Most Christians believe in a “lottery god” or a “poverty god,” which has been preached from the pulpit for hundreds of years. The poverty god says it’s wrong to make money, and if you want to be meek, then you have to be poor. That is not scriptural. Meekness is a condition of the heart, not a condition of the bank account. The lottery god is the most newfangled god everyone seems to be following. That is the “All you have to do is pray, and the money’s going to fall out of the heavens” god. This produces laziness, and it violates all of God’s financial principles.
The lottery god and the poverty god both end up stuck in poverty. If you follow the one true God’s biblical financial principles, you will succeed. But ignorance produces excuses, and excuses will keep you broke.
4. Many kids who grow up poor and abused end up raising their children in the same environment. How were you able to break this cycle and forge your own path?
I refused to be like my parents. Initially, because of my resentment and bitterness toward the way I was raised, I made the vow, like most people do, that I would never be like my parents and would not raise my children in the way I was raised. Initially, that was my motivation. But then the Lord made it clear that this was not enough, that I needed to fully forgive my parents for the way they raised me and the things they allowed me to see. And I needed to forgive myself for becoming like them. I had to learn new skills because I was trained to fail emotionally, relationally, socially, physically, financially, and spiritually. I was trained to fail in every area of my life because of the example my parents set and the training they demonstrated.
Business taught me if you want to succeed in something, you’ve got to learn new skills and strategies from people who are succeeding in those arenas. So I studied the Bible and people, and I applied what I learned. Therefore, I am not in the same place where I started. You can learn the same strategies and skills I learned, and you can change your finances, relationships, and improve every area of your life by using the same time-tested biblical strategies.
5. In just two years, you went from a homeless cocktail waitress to a millionaire—how did you achieve something so amazing in such a short time?
A year and a half before I was homeless, I invested in some business training, which I put to work by starting a business that began out of the trunk of my car and a payphone booth. Even though my first business had failed and resulted in homelessness, I got very serious about helping my clients reach their goals. I focused on giving the best possible service I could, and that resulted in great success. I also developed new strategies and methods which led to my clients referring others to me daily, and helped them succeed in their businesses, careers, and finances.
6. You’ve said that everyone is born with talents and abilities—what’s the best way to discover what those are and capitalize on them?
Quit focusing on and coveting other people’s talents and abilities. Everyone wants someone else’s strengths, but wanting someone else’s strength isn’t going to give it to you. When we covet other people’s talents, we’re saying “God, you made a mistake when you made me.” In reality, he formed you in your mother’s womb, and he put talent in you for your purpose and for your life. But most people, with all of their insecurities, just don’t want what they have; they want what somebody else has. This keeps them from being all they were wired to be.
I used to be that way. I started with nothing. I couldn’t read, I was terrible with people, I didn’t have any friends, and I was the “least likely” to succeed. And then I stopped focusing on what I didn’t have, and became grateful for what I did have. And bam! Never in a million years did I think I’d be a nationally syndicated TV and radio host, in business for 25 years, and a bestselling author. I did this just by using simple strategies a third grader could use. God knows what he made you for. As soon as you embrace it, you’re going to love it! You’re going to shine and excel, and your life will shock you.
7. Starting today, what’s one change a person could make to start achieving financial success?
Take the money you would normally be spending in foolish places and start attacking your debt, or invest that money into things that will make you money instead of buying things that will keep you stuck, broke, and in debt. You can learn new skills and strategies that will help you make more money than you ever thought possible and help you get promoted in your profession. One thing you can do today is go to DaniJohnson.com and start taking advantage of all the materials we have available for you. Become a student, and you will get results.
8. You have a personal mission to donate a million dollars every month to provide food and shelter to children around the world—what inspired this mission, and how can everyday people help?
When I was homeless, no one helped me and I’ve realized why: I had never helped anyone. But God completely transformed my heart. He put a passion in me to not only help others succeed financially and personally in their families, but that we, together as an army, take a portion of everything we make to help provide for kids in our country and abroad who are abused, don’t have food, don’t have the ability to get to school, and would stay stuck in another generation of great poverty if we didn’t intervene.
So I would love for you to let me help you succeed financially, and then you and I will take $1 out of every $10 we make, and transform villages of homeless kids. Let’s transform the lives of orphans, and help them find a “forever family,” and help them to grow up with an education, go to college and be able to then turn around and help their families and other orphans. You can do this by going to KingsRansom.org or calling 888-291-7123.
The Bible says if we ignore the cry of the poor, when we cry we will also be ignored. You want to make sure that when you cry, he hears you. So answer the cry of the poor right now.
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Discover the keys to financial success: download Johnson’s transformative books today! Get Spirit Driven Success for just $9.59 and Grooming the Next Generation for Success for $10.19.