SA 008: Dan McLaughlin from The Dan Plan


In this episode I talk to Dan McLaughlin, Founder of The Dan Plan. Dan has an amazing story. He quit his job as a commercial photographer to pursue his interest in seeing if he could take K. Anders Ericsson’s work of 10,000 rule and getting there through deliberate practice. We’ll get into why he chose to do it, how he’s accomplishing it and what his overall goals are.

Guest Bio:

Dan is an average man by most standards. When The Dan Plan began, he was a 30-year-old commercial photographer with no previous experience as a competitive athlete, nor was he in particularly good physical condition. Dan is slightly under average height and weight, had never played a full 18 holes of golf, and had only been to a driving range a handful of times. He was not even sure if he was a left-or right-handed golfer. Dan currently resides in Portland, Oregon. (Source:

Some Questions We Ask:

  • What is Dan’s background?
  • Has Dan always been the type to approach goals and attack goals in such a way, or, did this project really drive that out of him?
  • What is it about the game of golf that made Dan choose it as the cornerstone to his quest?
  • Has Dan even played golf before he started with the plan?
  • About the setup, the design on how he was going to approach the process for his goal. What sort of support did he need, what sort of development around him did he need to achieve this goal?
  • What is his daily routine right now? What’s a day in the life of Dan today or tomorrow?
  • What would he tell somebody today if they wanted to take the first step in finding their purpose or doing something that they really wanted to do but they haven’t had the drive to do it?
  • What’s the book that has most inspired Dan, and why?
  • If he could have dinner with one person he admires, past or present, who would it be and why?
    • Bill Murray

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

  • K. Anders Ericsson and his research on deliberate practice
  • What Dan found out about himself and about the goal of showing people that you can accomplish things if you approach this 10,000 hour concept with deliberate practice
  • What did Dan do to develop the right fundamentals and techniques around his game during that first year
  • Dan’s perspective on Nature vs. Nurture

Connect with Dan:

Website | Twitter

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  1. Ted on August 20, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    When did the actual interview take place with Mr. McLaughlin?

    • Nick DiNardo on June 10, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Ted!

      Thanks for writing in. I interviewed Dan back in April of 2015. Great dude doing some amazing things to test the limits of deliberate practice.

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