Daniel Moneypenny is a rockstar at networking, making deals happen, and naming companies and their products. I know a lot of people and can honestly say no one is even a distant second to the hustle and value exemplified by Daniel Moneypenny. I have had numerous conversations with people who have just met him, and then been introduced to me as we have some things in common. They always start by asking, “Is he for real?” My answer is always the same. Yes. But you better be serious because it is drinking from a firehose. He is going to connect you with a lot of great people and make things happen, and you must be ready to keep up.
How did Daniel Moneypenny get started and develop himself into a top networker?
In high school, I got “C’s and D’s.” Then “went to the military, the 82nd Infantry Airborne, in Wiesbaden, Germany. I ran track for the army track team. And I was part of the Prix LeClerc team.” After he came back from the service, he did his undergrad from 26 – 30 and got almost all A’s. An English professor noticed he was excelling at writing and encouraged the skill.
Before long, Daniel had “a couple of businesses, a running store, an antique shop, had the first Finish Line running store in the country.” This led to him developing ads for his businesses and other businesses and doing some branding work. Within a short period of time, people recognized his talents and his fees escalated, turning into a lucrative branding business. “We ramped it up from $500 in the name up to 30, 40, 50k for a name, which is a fact, and for large names of billion-dollar companies. We’ve named many billion-dollar companies around the world and hundreds of products.” The whole time, he was also building his Rolodex and developing his network.
Daniel continued to go into more detail, “So I took all the branding, all those relationships. Because they are very discreet, they are very personalized relationships, people must trust you, you’re going to go away and create for them. I was always a zero-fee guy, meaning if I did not get a trademarkable entity, I did not get the fee. We have a 94% success rate. So that was a good way to build a reputation. You cannot charge people money for stuff they can’t use, although a lot of people did that back in the day. So, I had all these relationships over the first 18 years of branding and talking to people, and networking. I starting to do professional networking, even while still doing branding. “
Over time, Daniel explained he developed relationships with over 41,000 companies. I asked him how he manages so many relationships.
“We network with about 41,000 firms and make connections with about 1,200 people that are in an exclusive network. They pay a front-end fee to join and then commissions on the back end. So, the branding lead into the networking and that led to the M&A.”
So, branding leads to networking, which naturally leads to helping people with bigger deals, and a Mergers and Acquisitions service. We have a “big wheel of buyers and sellers and my partner Sean Coleman and I are currently in about 70 deals. So, branding and relationships are turned into networking. That turned into deals, buying, selling, finding, doing recaps. And we get a finder’s fee.” Daniel went on to stress it is always a win, win, win relationship.
How do you manage your network of people who you work with?
Daniel answered, “It is almost impossible… but we have some good people in the network. We vet them before they come in. And we watch them as we go along. Occasionally, somebody will cheat us, we kick them out. We do not sue them. But we kick them out, they can never come into our network again. It’s the 80/20 rule of 50 years ago, almost still goes today in anything, but it’s more like 85/15, I think has moved into that. I think there’s 50% of people that can still provide you with most of your revenue.”
How many things have you branded roughly, and do you have some examples?
1000s. We have samples all over the website, all through the website so you can see them. Lots of company names, lots of product names, lots of product extension names, lots of corporate identities, product campaigns taglines that campaigns. I started out they were called slogans in the 70s. a slogan was $500 in corporate positioning statements $20,000 there is a difference in language there.
How many businesses have you been involved with that people have bought, sold, or raised money for?
“I have been part of many deals. People have bought many nice-sized businesses through us. Smaller deals where a business was sold or raise money for, another 30+” replied Mr. Moneypenny.
What is the most fun thing you do and what is the least fun thing you need to do?
“The most fun thing I do is obviously see my family happy. I like to work out, I have a lot of friends I work out with. I love history. I love to travel. The least fun thing to do. Accounting, end of the year, things like that. Anything to do with a myriad of numbers. I do not like that. But I like connecting. Literally, we connect 1,000s of people in a year.”
Does Daniel Moneypenny stop networking on vacation?
No. Much, much to the dismay of my wife. No, I mean, I do back off. No, I mean, as soon as we go to the beach or go for sushi, I take cards with me. I am never not networking. And that is a good thing. And a lot of ways. I mean, I do turn off. And when I am at home I do decompress quite a bit. But I am always networking and I mean ALWAYS.”
What does an average day look like for you?
My routine would be I’m up really early, like 5:00 to 5:30. I read the papers and work on some emails and things like that. Light stuff. Then working out. I like to kick back on Sundays and stuff like that. But my days are chopped up between in-person meetings, lots of electronic correspondence, some phone calls. I don’t really like phone calls or Zoom calls. I really like to be with someone, look at them and see them. But an average day is just a very robust busy day doing a lot of things, often including travel, for a lot of people and taking care of my family, they take care of me.
Do you do Pro Bono work?
We also help a lot of people out. It is not all about us. We are sharing our success with people all the time. On our website under who we are, there’s a pro bono page with several hundred, 501 C3 and entities that we give time, money, creative and all those things to. Daniel made sure to point out that “Time is money, and money is time.”
Who should reach out to you and how can they find out more about you?
I think that is a good point to make for something like this where people might see the word networking and think you just want to meet anyone. You generally will make money on any kind of transaction that you help create. That is how you make your money.
Daniel Moneypenny explained, “That’s how I make my living. I still do the branding, and then the network, where receiving commissions on things from people that were placing new business, the network is when people have a business, and they want to have more business driven into it. Instead of spending a lot of money for a sales team, they can have us come in for a small front-end fee and commissions on the back end of everything that we send them.
But yeah, so almost everything can be sold. Almost everything has a price. Not everyone is for sale, till sometimes you ask them. I have no problem asking someone if they would entertain an exit. And sometimes they say no. And the next day they are calling you. You never know. It is all strategic. It is all timing.
We all know that timing is everything, and it could not be truer than today. And with the baby boomers like me, coming out of 911, the 2008, 2009 real estate problem, and then COVID, there are a lot of transactions going on right now. People between 60 and 80 have had it and they want to maybe settle down and spend some of the hard-earned money that they have spent a lifetime building. So that is why it is very robust right now. And everyone knows that. And it is a good time. It is a good time to be out there. And you never know who you are standing next to. You never know who you’re going to meet. So, it is always good to be nice to people. Talk to everyone. If you can, if you have an opportunity, help them out – you just might be standing next to your future.“
Sage advice from Daniel Moneypenny. I want to thank him for taking the time to invite me to his home and do this interview. If you want to find out more about Daniel Moneypenny’s Branding service, Network Service, or M&A service, follow those links. His website is a wealth of information from his client, his pro bono work, and his network. It only takes a few minutes to see how wide his personal network is.