Stay vigilant, determined, and dedicated to whatever your dream is and don’t be afraid to ask for help to achieve it.
Daniel P. Orfin learned the value of a dollar from a very young age, and it has impacted his life, work ethic, and ceaseless determination ever since.
Born in Metro Detroit, Dan Orfin spent his early years in Sterling Heights and then later moved to Rochester with his parents, two brothers, and sister. Starting his first job as a paperboy at the young age of 12, Dan has never been afraid of hard work. After working for a small business owner in Rochester and graduating from high school, Dan Orfin went to Western Michigan University and got a degree in Production Operation Management. He then worked with General Motors before getting into the insurance business in 1999.
Emboldened with an entrepreneurial spirit and a determination to never give up, Dan Orfin founded Orfin & Associates in 2000 to help others plan their financial futures and feel comfortable with their retirement. With honesty, integrity, and truth as core values, Daniel Orfin aims to help clients eliminate as much confusion as possible when it comes to planning for retirement.
Dan also recently founded the Dan Orfin Scholarship Program to cultivate positive change and help those in need. He hopes to help those who wish to further their education but lack the financial means to do so.
Where did the idea for Orfin & Associates come from?
I wanted to be able to help people. Planning your financial future can not only give you the freedom to follow your dreams, but also to provide safety and security for your family. We live in difficult financial times, but that does not mean that people cannot be planning for their retirement. Throughout my years of working in the industry, I have realized that the thing that people lack when it comes to securing their financial future is the tools—I have those tools, and I want to share them with whoever I can.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts early in the morning and begins with a self-care routine. I exercise, read, and get everything set up for the rest of my day. The key to success is being prepared for any eventuality and this means meal-prepping, schedule planning, and task prioritization. If I don’t have this morning routine, my whole day feels out of balance and it sets the tone for procrastination for the rest of the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When it comes to helping clients plan for retirement, I bring ideas to life through active collaboration. As a facilitator, I help bring focus and clarity to my clients’ financial plans, helping to influence and encourage them to make smarter decisions. One of the best parts of my job is being able to bring my clients’ ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the introduction of financial planning applications. From Mint to Wally and Acorns, these apps are making it much more reasonable for clients to take charge of their financial future and identify spending habits as they happen. While these apps are unable to help people plan their long-term goals and enact an exact plan and vision, they are fantastic in conjunction with a financial planner.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always schedule time to create ‘flow’ and focus on my day. We are constantly bombarded by emails, meetings, text messages and phone calls, and it cuts our productivity in half. Multi-tasking is a myth that has long been dispelled, as the ability to focus on one task allows you to execute on a higher level. This habit alone has increased my productivity tenfold.
What advice would you give your younger self?
As someone who is addicted to progress, growth, and improvement, I would tell younger Daniel P. Orfin to worry less. There is a work ethic and ambition inherent to my character that has been carried with me throughout my life and I have always worried that it would go away. I have since learned that not to be true. If you put your head down, work hard, and refuse to give in to failure, you will succeed. No matter what it is you choose to pursue, chasing it with a ceaseless persistence is the key to achieving your goals.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think that it is essential for people to start considering their retirement the minute they start working. While it may be the last thing on your mind, smart financial planning from a young age—even as young as 16—will serve you in the long run.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I ask everyone in my company, no matter what position they hold, for their opinion. Too often leaders overlook the opinions of the people who work for their company, and this is a practice that needs to change. Whether they are your accountant, administrative assistant, or vice president, they have a perspective of your company that you may not and their opinion is just as valuable. Too often I see leaders forgetting about or actively avoiding their employee’s opinions, and I think that this is a major mistake.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has helped me grow my business is having a genuine interest in my clients and their lives. Relationship building is the most important thing you can do to build your business. Not only do you not know who you are going to meet (or who they might introduce you to), but being able to genuinely make a connection with others is what makes financial and retirement planning so rewarding—growth is just an added bonus.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have been caught underprepared for a meeting in the past, and I have never made that mistake again. You only get one chance to make a first impression with clients and business partners, so you have to ensure that it is a good one. From doing pre-emptive research about their company to reviewing their LinkedIn profile, there is no harm in being over prepared, but a lot of harm in being underprepared.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love to create a membership community that provides people with pro-bono advice on financial planning and retirement. If you are someone who has no experience with retirement savings and finance, navigating the banks, plans, and advisors can be intimidating. I would love to provide a charitable space to help those unable to afford those services.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent was donated to a local charitable organization. I consider myself to be in a privileged position, and while $100 is not a lot to me, it is everything to a small organization supporting the local community.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The best piece of software that helps my productivity is Slack. Slack is a digital platform that allows users to schedule projects, manage schedules, and stay up-to-date on approaching deadlines.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Everyone should read “The Wealthy Barber”. This book was written by David Chilton and is a common-sense guide to becoming financially independent. Written in the style of a novel, this book presents practical and basic financial advice for the average person and is written in a way that is easily digestible. From putting away 10% of your income every year into savings to planning for the future, this book has everything you need to get started.
What is your favorite quote?
This is an unusual but powerful quote by Anne Frank: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” I am a big believer in giving back to my community wherever possible, and this quote has always resonated with me. Whether I am giving my time, money, or resources to those in need, I always ensure I make space in my life for giving back.
- Hear everyone out, even if you disagree with them. Everyone knows something you don’t know.
- Give back in every way that you can, because there are always those in need who would stand to benefit from your time, resources, or money.
- Stay vigilant, determined, and dedicated to whatever your dream is and don’t be afraid to ask for help to achieve it.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.