Daniel Chan

The Billionaire's Magician

Dan Chan is a master magician and is often seen performing at exclusive Bay Area society and corporate events internationally. Chan is referred to as the “Billionaire’s Magician” (having performed for 187 billionaires to date). Events so exclusive he regularly asked to sign non-disclosure agreements for his high profile clients around the world. He is often featured at events for Yahoo, Google, George Lucas, John Madden and Hollywood’s exclusive Magic Castle.

Dan has performed for Airbnb, Apple, Bank of America, Baidu, BitTorrent, Buzzfeed, BMC, Breathometer, Charles Schwab, Chevron, Cloudflare, CISCO, Deloitte, DOCOMO Innovations, EA, Ebay, Facebook, Golden State Warriors, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Kleiner Perkins, KRON4, Marriott, Merrill Lynch, Novartis, Open AI, Oracle, Paramount Pictures, PayPal, Pfizer, Quora, Radio Disney, Red Hat, Ritz Carlton, Roche, Sequoia Capital, SF Giants, Shutterfly, Sony Play Station, Specialized Bicycle, Thumbtack, Twitter, USCG, USMC, VISA, Wells Fargo, Wild Aid, Yahoo, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and billionaires around the world.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

When I graduated college I had no idea what I wanted to do, I ended up working at PayPal. I had only vested 13 months of my stock options when I left to pursue my dream of performing magic, I gave up approximately 3/4 of my stock options because I wasn’t happy with my job. I would use my sick days to do shows. Once I made with the magic side hustle I transitioned fully to full-time performance as a magician.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I typically wake up at 5 am and start exercising. I visualize what I want the future to look like then think about the small steps I need to make to get there. I then plan out my day depending on when my next shows are scheduled. I’ll look at the market to see if I need to rebalance my portfolio and if so I’ll execute a few trades. I’ll then do paperwork, marketing, and advertising for a few hours. If it’s a show day I’ll get ready for the show. On show days I might be traveling to Las Vegas, Carmel or Shanghai.

How do you bring ideas to life?

As a magician people are paying me top dollar to deliver results. I’ll often sandwich new routines between the time tested material I’ve done for years. I know many performers write the full routines out before they perform something. I often test material out with friend and family also I’ll create two versions of a routine both a stage version and a close-up version. I’ll sandwich a new routine or bit in between something I’ve done for years.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m really excited about self-driving cars becoming a reality. I still think it’s 5-10 years away but I’m still dreaming of the time where I can set the car to a destination and relax on my way to work.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Having large goals makes me more productive as an entrepreneur. It makes you take action, daily. As the saying goes, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So I set my course and get ready for the journey.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Charge more for your services, say no more often, especially to clients who don’t respect your worth.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary. Enough said…

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Read daily.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats helps you to understand the business landscape and make the most of what you’ve got, understanding what you’re lacking, and eliminating risk in your business operations.
It also allows you to understand your competitors, and differentiate so you can compete successfully in your chosen market.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Tackling too many goals at once. I still have trouble with it…
I told myself that I would need massive media coverage in order to get to the next level. I ended up getting featured by Buzzfeed on their front page for a short while and was named Silicon Valley’s Favorite Magician.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

This question is so generic. Do what you love not where people say the money is. You’ll end up happier in the end. I would have been more financially secure if I stayed at PayPal for the full four years and cashed out all the stock options. You are unique, take the path less taken.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A Grammarly subscription. I didn’t realize how poor my grammar and spelling is. It’s important that your writing is free from errors. With the volume, I write it’s an absolute bargain.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Text replacement when I type “pck” on my phone I get “To learn more about our offerings check out our packages here: danchanmagic.com/Packages.html”
When I type “ks” it get fill automagically with “James and Grace Chan recently appeared in a segment for Kids Say the Darndest Things on ABC. To check out the video of this appearance check out the videos here: ”
This has eliminated my need for a secretary or virtual assistant.
“bzz” automatically becomes “https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/williamalden/meet-silicon-valleys-favorite-magician”
I use this hack 20 plus times a day to send messages to potential clients.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Ray Dalio Principles. The main gist is that all the decision making we make daily in life, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules.

What is your favorite quote?

“Your thoughts determine your actions
Your actions determine your habits,
Your habits determine your destiny.”

Key Learnings:

  • Visualize where you want to go and where you want to be 10 years from today. And plant the seeds of action and thoughts that will get you there.
  • “Your thoughts determine your actions
    Your actions determine your habits,
    Your habits determine your destiny.”
  • Learn how to use text replacement on your smartphone AND laptop to minimize time typing.