In 2001, Daniel embarked on the path he’d always intended to take, establishing his creative advertising agency, which blended traditional advertising methods, technology and high-production value content, delivering outstanding results for his clients and partners.
Today he blends all his knowledge of branding, marketing and creative with Web 3.0, blockchain and the metaverse.
Daniel’s other passions and pursuits include interests in animation, visual effects and an original content production studio he founded in 2004, with a core focus on developing intellectual property. Daniel has been nominated for a raft of prestigious awards through his work and gained international attention, leading to numerous business ventures.
Genuine, easy-going, yet infinitely ambitious and hard-working, Daniel thrives in his role, driven by creating value.
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Here we sit down with Daniel, to learn a bit more about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. Tell us a little more about your journey as an entrepreneur – how did you get started? What inspired you?
Daniel: To sum it up in one word, testing.
I started many years ago in my spare room with 5k.
I knew I wanted to be in business from a very young age.
When I first embarked on the business path, I never realised how much it would stretch me. All I wanted to do was great, valuable work. Then, I realised that I needed to fully understand the importance of leading teams, cash flow, being able to read financial reports, pretty much everything. I had to learn quickly and went into an education frenzy, consuming every bit of information I could about what was needed to be a good business person.
I never stopped learning from others, even today, where it’s more important than ever.
Q. What’s one thing in your routine that you do consistently that has made a huge difference in your personal or business life?
Daniel: I always make a conscious choice to be as good a person to others as I can be. I stay away from speaking badly of others, even the ones that haven’t done right by me. I don’t see the value in vengeance or the need to become involved in petty arguments. It’s not very productive.
This one habit has kept me sane and calm in situations where lashing out could almost be justified. It has also allowed me to focus on the good people in my personal and business life and turn my cheek on the rest.
Q. Who are your mentors and inspiration? and what knowledge or insight did they give to you that was valuable?
Daniel: I have many mentors and inspiring people around me. I studied business people like Walt Disney, John D. Rockefeller and Enzo Ferrari to understand how they thought and behaved, but I also turned to less-known people like Rosa Parks and Jane Goodall. The latter proves that heroes come in many forms. In addition, my wife and biggest supporter through everything, along with my three boys, often teach me many things that I apply to both my personal and business life.
Regardless of what these people did, they all shared a common trait. Never give up, and never compromise your principles.
I try to do this in my own life and now teach it to my children.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Daniel: I think about the thrill of winning my very first significant client when the business account was a little above zero. I remember the mixed emotions of achieving a goal that sometimes felt impossible. However, I worked with that client for over fifteen years and still enjoy personal relationships many years later—the power of doing valuable work.
Q. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Daniel: Under the radar. We have enjoyed business growth through collaborations and referrals. At this stage, we are trying to engage with new audiences in different locations, so we are embarking on a solid digital strategy over the next twelve months, focusing on creating strong communities around our brand and projects.
We want to be part of conversations and hear opinions, good and bad. These conversations and thoughts will tell us if we are being as valuable as we can be.
Q. What have been your biggest failures or challenges?
Daniel: For the longest time, I subscribed to the fact that failure is the most outstanding teacher and that without it, you can’t succeed. The problem I had was that I believed it to be true for others but not me; I can’t fail. I recall experiencing my first actual loss in business a long time ago, and it hit me in so many ways because I wasn’t prepared.
I somehow believed that my dream run was forever. I didn’t anticipate nor plan for the situation that would lead to considerable financial implications, but worse, the emotional impact it had on me as a business leader.
I had a hard time dealing with the guilt of dropping the ball. It took much soul-searching, challenging conversations and self-forgiveness to move on and act like a true leader again. Failure teaches valuable lessons and makes you faster, stronger and wiser. The thing you have to get your head around is that the lesson is learnt after the test.
Embrace it; after all, life is a series of events you must navigate. Good and bad.
Q. How did this failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?
Daniel: It forced me to look at things differently and prioritise the important things in life. It made me play the business game a lot better and not make the rookie mistake of assuming that things won’t change quickly, good or bad, because they do and will. It would help if you were in a position of power when they do.
Q. If someone was to create a TV show about you, what would it be about and what would it be called?
Daniel: It will be called The man from tomorrow. It is a story of a man that exists in two parallel times. The present and the future. His mission is to use his knowledge of the future, and travel back in time to prepare people for what’s coming. Something like that! It could be a franchise picture, for sure. I’m an optimist.
To keep up to date with Daniel and his journey, connect with him on LinkedIn.