Larry Weidel: Today we are speaking with Danielle Oropesa. She’s going to give a behind-the-scenes view of the million-dollar-income life—being a high achiever, having success—the things it takes to make that happen.
Don’t think that because you’re successful, you’re going to be treated like royalty and be immune from criticism. Danielle grew up as the pampered daughter of a super successful entrepreneur. Where did you grow up?
Danielle Oropesa: I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then my parents lived in Coral Springs and then moved to Parkland when I was 12.
LW: You’ve lived the gilded life. You had the opportunity to have the easy life because the money was not going to be an issue for you because of your family and your upbringing.
You married an up-and-coming young man who was gung-ho about making his way in the world and came from a rough background, Omar Oropesa.
It’s tough because if you’re in a marriage, you live through every up and down and every emotion, not on the outside, but behind the scenes.
You have to deal with these things one by one, minute by minute, and then you add the complexity of children. At any point, you’ve got the opportunity to opt-out of pursuing greatness.
Omar then became a multi-millionaire at a young age. He and Danielle have been able to build a life for themselves where they could travel the world. They’re getting ready to move into a bigger house in the ultra-exclusive community in Parkland so things are going well, but it doesn’t come easy.
I thought it would be great to hear from Danielle about how you can raise your kids to be successful. You want to give them opportunities, but you don’t want to reap irresponsible, out-of-control offspring.The thing is you can't control kids, but you can set up the odds for success and give them the best possible chance to enjoy being productive in life and do positive things rather than chasing pleasures and nightclubbing, the shallow… Click To Tweet
Talk about your upbringing and how you were treated by your parents that gave you this responsible outlook and great underpinnings for success in your life.
DO: My parents to begin with were school teachers. My father started out with very humble beginnings. He had a lot of struggles early on so they really appreciated all that they had.
They have a very sweet story. They were high-school sweethearts. They got together when they were 15 years old. My mom and dad were high school prom king and queen.
My dad decided he was going to go to college. They went to college together in New Jersey, graduated, and became school teachers. After a couple of years, they wanted to get out of the cold and decided to move to Florida.
They were married for several years before they had me to ensure that they were in a good place financially. They were introduced to the business when I was two. When I was four, they transitioned into owning their own business and working together.
Growing up, I saw my parents really work hard, which gave me grounding. I saw them work together and complement each other. When my dad needed help, my mom filled in with what needed to get done and vice versa.
They kept us grounded and taught us to appreciate what we had. We would sit down on Sundays when we got a little bit older, and they would give us an overview of where the business was.
There were times when the business was doing really well and money was flowing in, and then there were times that the business was more challenging. They needed my brother and me to be mindful of that.
My father would say, “Right now money’s a little tighter so we need you to be mindful of that and not constantly ask your mom for things that you don’t need. Think about it before you ask her for stuff—whether you need it or not.”
That gave me a sense of understanding the ebbs and flows of business and appreciating what we had and not taking it for granted because you can’t always assume that things are always going to be great.
My dad always used to say, “You can’t bet on what’s coming. You can’t live life on that. You want your business to keep growing, and you have to expect it to keep growing, but you can’t spend like the money is already coming in.”
My mom and dad taught us a lot of responsibility when it came to money. Whatever money I had was the money I spent. I knew not to spend extra so I was very responsible as a young adult with money.
LW: When the business is going well, did that give you a license to ask for whatever you wanted?
DO: I couldn’t ask for whatever I wanted. When business was going better, we always knew because we would travel more or get extra stuff, but I was still always very aware of how hard my parents worked, and that’s why I appreciated it.
I saw how hard they worked, how many hours they put in. I appreciated the value of the money that we had because of the time that I knew it took them.
With your kids, your employees, and your business, keep people who are on your team involved so they can keep the same spirit and be in tune with where you are mentally.
The idea of sharing this with your staff and your kids is an interesting idea. I didn’t expect to hear that. Do you have a comment on that?
DO: When we would talk, it was a family meeting. Every Sunday a big part of our being grounded was that we were raised with a strong belief in God. Every Sunday we would have a family meeting.
He shared things on a very child-friendly level. It wasn’t like he shared a whole bunch of stuff, but he would say, “Hey, I need you guys to be aware.”
It wasn’t necessarily about the business. My grandparents lived with us, so there was a time when my grandma was sick, so it was more stressful on my mom at the time.
My dad would explain, “I need you to be more aware of where how your mom’s doing and be more helpful.” We matured very fast because of those talks. We were able at a young age to ask questions and understand.
We understood real life. There are different challenges in life. You have to fight through the challenges.
Always, in the end, it was positive. We’re going to work together through whatever it is. It was a positive message to my brother and me, but it was also a way for us to work together as a family.
That was what set me up for having a very good, responsible outlook on money and life in general and where I wanted to go in life.
I wanted to make sure that I married somebody that was like my dad, a hard worker and a go-getter, somebody that had a lot of motivation in life to do big things.
LW: That’s the other extension of it. It helped form your own decision-making. You had that awareness not only of the situation that you’re dealing with as a family, but it also allowed you to evaluate other people in situations in your life in a more productive way.
DO: Right. I saw how tough my dad had to be to handle all that. He juggled all the hats—being a great dad, running a great business, working really hard, taking care of my mom, and being a great husband. I saw what a great man looked like.
I always knew that the man I wanted to marry would be tough, work hard, have goals and dreams, and be willing to work really hard to take care of his family.
LW: This is exactly why I wanted to do this podcast so people could hear super successful people talk about things and understand the importance of communication.
So the challenge is—with your staff, your family, your team, whatever it is—getting a regular time and place on the schedule to communicate and review things.
Communication is important. The point is to come up with a specific way that you can communicate with key people in your life on a regular basis.
I like the idea of the cooperative attitude that you picked up that you project subconsciously with your mother and dad working together.
There wasn’t tension, backbiting, or a cross-purpose going on. There was unity behind the family goal of being independent, financially successful, and making the business grow.
That informed your growing up as much as anything. Attitude is everything.
DO: Yes, the most amazing part of growing up was to see how they worked together, not necessarily doing the same things. They knew—and this is now how Omar and I have run our family—all the things that needed to be done.
They knew all the business things, the personal things, the kid things, the things with my grandma and grandpa, everything that needed to get done, and they figured out who was going to do what in the most efficient way.
They worked together as a team. Wherever my mom would stop, my dad would start and vice versa. They pieced together their relationship like a puzzle. I saw a cohesive unit. They weren’t going in two different directions.
They might not have been going to the same place, but they were working towards the same goal down the road. When my brother and I got busy with activities, sports, and school, my mom handled all of that so that my dad could focus on working the business.
Then during the day when we were at school, she would go into the office to see what needed to be done. They made sure that everything got done, but there was no overlapping. It worked so efficiently because it was like they were one person.
That showed me the perfect example of how to be like that. That was the life that I wanted when I grew up. I wanted a life like my mom and dad had where I can have a husband where we can be focused on the same things and work together.
We work based on our strengths and weaknesses. We maximize our strengths because he does all the things that he’s really good at, and I do all the things that I’m really good at.
LW: For teamwork to be successful, you’ve got to have that harmony of the belief in what you’re doing. Anything we do in life that is new or bigger, we have to “puzzle piece”—I like how you came up with that—our way to figuring out how to do it.
Every day is different. You’re doing the same thing on a basic level, but then you’ve got to make it all work with the time schedules.
That’s why attitude, flexibility, communication, and relationships are so important. You’ve got to have fun as a team, and you’ve got to give each other room to screw up.
Life goes up and down, and you don’t know how much, so you’ve got to be nimble and cooperative. You’ve got to “puzzle piece” your way through life.
There’s a whole lot of satisfaction in figuring out how to get through all the confusion of the day to stay on track and keep moving to where you want to go.
That’s the whole idea of a team—you’re working together, overlapping each other. For that to happen, you’ve got to give, watch your tongue, and make sure that you’re encouraging. Everybody else is more important than you.
They’re going to need that reinforcement from the top.
DO: Going back to communication. As you were talking, I was realizing it’s something that Omar and I do with the kids. We do it differently because we do it separately.
This has allowed them to be very mature 13 and 14-year-olds. Omar started many years ago. He calls them morning talks that he’ll do every weekend.
They’ll talk about business, the world, and school, whatever they want to talk about and whatever he wants to communicate to them.
Communication is such a key part of any relationship, and Omar and I have great communication. We have great communication with our kids. That’s something that I definitely learned growing up that was instilled in me.
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