IndustrialSage: Danny Gonzales
Hey, everyone welcome to another episode of the IndustrialSage Executive Series. I’m Danny Gonzales, your host. No, just kidding, I am David Caron. So, today’s episode is going to be a little bit different because today I’m interviewing the one, the man, the legend, Danny Gonzales! Cue applause!Danny:
Yeah, exactly. This feels weird.David:
Yeah, I know. I’m sitting in your chair.Danny:
You are sitting in my chair.David:
I’m sitting in Danny’s chair. But this is going to be good, okay, because Danny, you’ve interviewed 150 plus people from a variety of different organizations?Danny:
Yeah, probably, yeah.David:
I mean just on IndustrialSage.Danny:
Just on IndustrialSage.David:
That doesn’t include, all the other location interviews and all that that you’ve done.Danny:
I’ve interviewed one or two people, yeah.David:
“Just a handful-” hundreds. Hundreds. I’m telling you, hundreds of people. And it’s great because it’s wonderful content for our audience, for everyone that’s tuning into IndustrialSage and learning and discovering things, gaining some insights, but I thought that it would be important to know a little bit about Danny. So, what makes him tick, who’s inspired him, why this whole IndustrialSage thing came about, or how it came about, maybe who has influenced him in his career… because Danny’s got, he’s got a substantial career, 13 years running a video production company. It’s no small feat. So, enough of me talking. We want to hear from Danny. So, Danny, let’s just start maybe this episode with kind of your journey like where, like maybe from start to where we are today, maybe not everything. Like we don’t need to know like your birth story, kindergarten and grade school and high school all that, but maybe college and after that you can kind of share with us what has really impacted you on your journey.Danny:
Yeah, so, interesting story I’d say. I’ll start with… where the whole journey really started was, I’d say right before I graduated high school. I had like a senior English class thing that basically said, “Hey, for this thing you need to do a video.” And I was like, “Okay, whatever. I guess we’ve got to do a video.” So, I talked to some certain people. I don’t know if you remember that. You were involved in that. I had to make this, and I always thought that was like the nerdiest thing ever. And I was like, “The computer nerds can do this, I don’t really care about this. Whatever.” But the seed started… was planted. I was like, “This is kind of interesting.” And so, that year after I graduated, I went and did some missionary work, and I lived in Mexico for a year doing some works on youth mentorship.David:
Oh, ¿habla Español?Danny:
Hablo un poquito de español.David:
Okay, I don’t know what you just said.Danny:
Vamos a continuar en español. Que bueno–David:
Lo que paso es- what? Oh, sorry, yeah.David:
So, we’ll continue just briefly in Spanish after some of… No, I’m sorry. I digress, okay.Danny:
We probably have a very good addressable market we could do in Spanish. But so I was in Mexico for a year, I was super excited about it because despite the last name Gonzales, I actually didn’t learn Spanish from my family. I had to take it in school and so I was like, “It’s kind of cool.” So, while I was down there I had seen over the time, this is 2002. So video and stuff was relatively it wasn’t… nowhere near as exploded as it has now. So, it was a little bit more difficult to come by but some tools were coming out and stuff, and so I met this one guy who had actually made a bunch of these little, we call them these little ‘virtue videos’ because we were working with youth mentorship and youth programs and stuff. And I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. You could put text on them, and so he was like, “Well, listen, you’ve got the program here and this system where you can figure it out,” and so I was like, “Okay, well let me tinker around.” And so I did and it just kept growing- it snowballed. I really enjoyed it. So I came back afterwards, started college and I kept doing this on the side. Meanwhile I was pursuing… I wanted to go into the FBI. I don’t know, I wanted to do that. Makes sense.David:
So, in order to go to the FBI, there’s- I wanted to be a special agent. There’s four areas to go. Accounting actually is one of them. I ended up getting a scholarship to go into accounting. So, I was like, “Alright, I’m fully fledged, going into this thing. But at the same time I was doing all these videos on the side, and then I was working with another group doing some more with the same organization but doing more youth mentorship stuff. And so, we would do videos as a way to sort of communicate like good virtues and leadership skills and different attributes, and that was a whole lot of fun. So, I was doing that on the side but still like, “Hey, I want to do the FBI.” And so, my junior year of college I got the opportunity to do one of two internships. Either go intern at a production house in Atlanta, they do some really really cool stuff- It’s called Elevation. They do a lot of what they call broadcast billboard designs, like on- not print, but for TV.David:
Yeah, digital billboards!David:
Or TV billboards?Danny:
I can’t remember the actual name of the-David:
So, real high-level, higher production value?Danny:
Super high level! So, like-David:
Like you guys.Danny:
I think they did like the Piers Morgan show. They did his intro and stuff and they’ve done some really cool stuff, so- you’re welcome, Steven, for me gloating on you. Check out Elevation. Anyways, so, it was either go there or go do an internship with the FBI. That was my junior year, and so I ended up doing the internship there at Elevation. And I was just like, after that summer I was like, “This is amazing!” I got to go travel. I got to go shoot these documentaries, got to do all this stuff and I was like, “This is super cool, I think I really want to do this.” So, alright, but I’m like “You know what? I’m going to finish school, let’s do this accounting thing, and I’m sure that’ll help me, but I don’t know.” And so I kept doing the video stuff, freelance doing all these things. Ended up getting like whole projects. People, some of the parents of the kids I was mentoring had businesses and they’d say, “Hey, can you go do this? I have this product that we’re putting in BJ’s-” which that time, nobody knew what BJ’s was- it was like Costco or Sam’s club I guess. Even… it was the precursor or whatever to Costco. And so, it’s like this little end cap TV thing. I said “Alright, well, I guess we can do that,” and started doing weddings and then I realized, “Oh geez, maybe we should incorporate.” So, I incorporated, and then just kept on going. That was in 2007 and I’ve just kept on going since then. And we’ve just evolved and integrated and that’s a little bit of the journey there.David:
And so… you’ve done a lot of different types of videos A lot of different clients, from weddings to product videos to obviously a lot of industrial videos. How did you make that decision to say, “You know what? I want to focus on this industrial marketplace. I want to use our video production expertise and capabilities to be able to help the industrial market”?Danny:
That’s a great question. So, I think it was, there’s a couple things. I think it was a realization that we as a company had the ability to be able to really implement storytelling in a way, specifically with B2B customers in a way that others weren’t able to do. I think that for a while there was a big focus on other… B2C gets all the love, right. So, alright, so, they do all the really cool stuff and so people think, well, B2B it’s like whatever and I didn’t believe that. And so I remember there was a pretty big, it was a big distributor. It was actually HD Supply. This was years and years and years ago. And they wanted to do an identity video, and we had done a lot of stuff in their space and so they wanted to do sort of the traditional corporate video like, the big music and the voiceover, “Hey, we are the best since whatever.” And I just thought, “Let’s do something different. Let’s do something really cinematic. Let’s do something exciting.”
And so we kind of, I kind of had to push them because they were a little nervous with something new. They were like, “I don’t really know.” The thing was a smashing success and I mean, the president of the company- there were several companies, but the president over all of them was floored by this thing, and said, “This is amazing.” And it just got me really excited because it got all the employees and the customers very excited about what they did and they were getting feedback saying, “I finally know what we do; I feel like I can go home and I can tell my family what I do, and I’m really excited about it,” because it helped them to understand who they are, what they were doing, and it created some more purpose. And that got me really excited because I feel like a lot of companies particularly in the manufacturing in the industrial space, I feel like they think, “Oh, what we do is, it’s dirty and it’s grimy.” There’s a workforce development challenge where a lot of younger Millennials and the next- Generation Z or whatever they’re calling them, are kind of like, “It’s kind of dirty and boring and I don’t want to do that,” and you know what? I think the reality of it is, there’s some amazing engineers, some amazing things that these industrial companies do. And that has been super exciting for me.
We look back and see, we’ve done a lot of work in this space and we’ve done some- some of our best work has been in that space and I think it’s because that, again, they kind of maybe look at themselves as like, “We don’t have a really cool… We just make this.” HD Supply, they’re a distributor for electrical products anywhere from light bulbs to laying out the grid and having transmission distribution lines, and they’re like, “Well, we’re just a distributor or whatever.” It’s like, “No man, you guys actually help to power- to bring power to people’s lives, and what does that empower them to do?” Pun intended, Let’s focus on that instead of saying, “Oh, I just move boxes. I take a box off a truck, put it on a pallet and then I put it on another box.” Say “No, I’m actually, I’m helping in this ecosystem to power people’s lives.” and I think, yeah, you pull that story out and you show that, and then people are like, “Oh, wow, that’s super cool.”David:
You have more of that emotional connection.Danny:
Exactly, exactly. So, that got me excited and we’ve been able to do it over and over and over again and I just think that honestly, B2B in general, it’s changing now, but they didn’t get the love as much from from a video standpoint, and I think the manufacturing industrial space is a subset of that for sure, and I just feel like, man, there’s some amazing things that are going on here and I want to be part of it.David:
Well Danny that is fantastic. Thank you for sharing that. I want to switch gears just a little bit. Maybe talk about, maybe some of those people, those influencers who’ve maybe inspired you or influenced you throughout your journey, whether it’s making decisions or deciding on what direction you want to go, how you want to do business from a character perspective. Maybe talk about those things. Share those with us.Danny:
That’s a loaded question. So, there’s a couple things there. I’d say number one is actually my grandparents. My grandfather, my dad and my family they’ve all had obviously a big impact on me like I think most do. But my grandfather just passed away about a couple weeks ago and he was- both him and my grandmother were immigrants and migrant farm workers. And so they were dirt poor, had nothing to their names. They would tell me stories on how when they grew up in Mexico and, I mean like no electricity, no running water. My grandmother was afraid to sleep inside her house because it was dark at night, and so she would go sleep on the streets outside when she was like eight or nine years old because her mom… their dad died, her mom was working, she was there by herself. I mean we’re talking about a very tough life.
And so I remember hearing stories of how they would go from farm to farm and they would pick cotton or pick vegetables or whatever. They would sleep in the farmhouses and I remember my grandfather telling me one time, because, “I remember hearing the scratching noise all night long underneath me,” and he said, “In the morning I woke up, I ripped up the floorboard and there was a nest of scorpions underneath there!” and it was like… crazy. So, I remember hearing all these stories and to see how my grandparents really sort of, took advantage of the opportunities that we have- we live in this great country- to be able to actually capitalize on the American Dream, and make themselves something. Now they weren’t like super rich and had all these businesses and stuff, but they were able to really make a name for themselves and provide a better future for their children and for their grandchildren and their great grandchildren. They were able to climb out of this poverty, they were able to learn about, “Oh, we need to save money and we need to not spend more than we do,” and then it would start- they bought, they had owned a couple of rental properties and so… that’s been a big influence, big for sure.David:
As a kid, you know? Just… I don’t know… just going out there and you have an opportunity to really to make something of yourself and you can- you get in what you get out. Or what you put… You get in what… I’m totally butchering the phrase.David:
Good in good out.
Yeah, exactly. Garbage in garbage out, good in good out.David:
Yeah, that’s something like that.Danny:
So, that’s one thing maybe a little long-winded on there but the other thing that has really helped me and it helps me out and there’s many, but the other thing was actually kind of going back to this missionary year that I did after high school. It’s something that I draw on probably almost on a weekly basis. That experience was very interesting because, and there were multiple people that I was working with and I had, was able to draw influence from, but I think the whole experience of going into a completely different culture, Yes, I’m culturally Mexican but also half like French-Canadian or whatever, but going and then bringing in this like American mentality, going into Mexico, trying to do work down there and I’m, “Oh,” the American mentalities: “We’re going to get stuff done. We’ve got to go, we’ve got to go, we’ve got to do this!” Totally different over there and you’re like, “What is wrong with these people? Like, what?” You have a greater understanding and appreciation for the world and for humanity and realizing that people do things differently than you think, and it’s just opening your mind to all of that.
But then also just experiencing all kinds of new things. Big challenges and things that I look back on and say, “Man, I can’t believe I forgot the one time that I got lost!” Taking a bus from Aguascalientes down to Guadalajara, and then I was supposed to meet up with this group of people, and I didn’t have any money, and I talked to the taxi driver and I had no fear and I was just like, “Oh yeah, whatever we’re going to figure it out. We’re going to… I don’t know, I think it’s maybe around over here.” I mean this is before GPS, cell phones… I forgot the phone number to the group that I needed to go to, like I was legit lost for like three hours. And then showing up and finding somehow like, “That house looks like it! That looks like it right there!” Showing up and the group’s like, “Dude, where were you? We were leaving in five minutes!” and having no fear… and that’s something that I, that’s one small little story of drawing on, I feel like in business and everything it’s like you’ve… every time you come up with a challenge or there’s some fear or something, you look at it and you say, “Listen, I’ve been here before. It looked different, but I’ve been here before, and you can do this and let’s keep moving.” Anyways, little things like that have really kind of impacted me.David:
Those are really fascinating stories and from the family aspect from it being that close to home, so to speak, and having that personal connection with that influencer, it’s really amazing and it’s a great credit to society, how you can really go from just some really crazy stories of challenging lifestyle situation to coming here. There’s the dream being able to… maybe not millionaires and billionaires and things like that, but like you said having a successful lineage for your children, grandchildren, and so forth. I mean, I think that’s a beautiful story. Also, many prayers and blessings to your grandfather passing away.Danny:
That’s always challenging. I lost both my grandparents on my mom’s side last year. So, I know.Danny:
Sorry to hear that.David:
But it’s the understanding how they work and like you said, it’s that influence. You can really build and grow from their experiences. And that’s also something, from the executive series, that’s one thing we’re always trying to be able… that’s a great purpose of this show, is that from… whether it’s your experiences or any of the other executives that come on the show is we were able to understand and share and grow from these different experiences. So…Danny:
That’s another reason for this wonderful executive series. So, you know, we’ve talked a little bit about your journey, who’s influencing you, maybe we can talk a little bit more maybe present day in… okay, we won’t necessarily all go into COVID and all that because it has some very particular challenges…Danny:
But maybe from a higher level that maybe is going to span a little bit longer than just, say, the COVID period that we’re kind of dealing with… but those challenges you see in the industrial space because you have a different perspective than say the manufacturer or the buyer within it. It’s a little bit third-party, so to speak, involved. Can you share some of those challenges that you’re seeing the industry facing?Danny:
Yeah, so, I mean there’s a lot but I think that certainly there was, the challenges that were there pre COVID are the similar challenges that are going to be post COVID if not like times 10. And I think really the biggest thing that we’re seeing is, when you’ve got this whole generational shift right now, you’ve got a whole series of… it’s a big workforce thing. You’ve got the baby boomers who are retiring. They’re leaving, maybe they’ve got a generational business and they’re passing off the keys to the kids and the grandkids, and one of the challenges is being that… When you look at the baby boomer population, the next generation, Gen X, is half the size of the boomers. So what’s happening is, when you’ve got 10,000 plus boomers who are retiring per day, the amount of jobs that are being fulfilled by the Gen X… they can’t completely like fulfill all those, which means that the Millennials which are twice size of Gen X but the same size as baby boomers are moving in and they’re being fast-tracked.
And so, one of the really really big challenges- and again, COVID obviously is exacerbating it and it’s really shining light on it, but it was there before and it’s going to be there even more- is really this understanding your buyer, understanding your supplier, your partner on fundamentally how they buy and how they want to do business. And I think that has been a really really big struggle with the manufacturing industrial space right now because it’s been the traditional means of going to market: “Oh, we’re going to do a trade show, we’re going to do print ads, we’re going to do all this stuff. The digital thing, I don’t know, I don’t understand it. It’s out there, I know we should change, but it’s just hard.” I think that is really one of the biggest things. It’s really understanding if you put the sort of the trifecta of this, you hear a lot about being customer obsessed, customer first.
And I think that there’s really three buckets that’s going to fall under, it’s sales, marketing and operations. We need… those three areas really need to be aligned more than ever. I mean sales and marketing primarily have been, you know, this side of the building and that side of the building. Operations is somewhere in the middle. Those all really need to be aligned and the digital component is a huge piece to all of it. So, it’s really understanding getting into the mind of the customer and understanding how can we not just sell to them, it’s not just about our marketing message and branding and all this but it’s also really getting a deep understanding about what their challenges are, what their pains are and evaluating again, not from even just a sales content and messaging standpoint but also from an ease of doing business. How can we make their lives easier, and that could be pre-sales that’s post sales because let’s be honest, we’re always selling. Even after you’ve sold that deal or whatever, you still have to continue to sell. So, these organizations really need to embrace these digital technologies, and really look at this whole ecosystem on how all these things play together, and then kind of reverse engineer the sales, marketing and operations efforts behind that. That’s what I think is really the key challenge right now.David:
Yeah, I really couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on that. It’s very evident that’s what’s happening and I kind of, I think that to a certain degree what IndustrialSage is doing, because I want- we always talk about organizations. Maybe how they got started, so I don’t want this to be, “Oh, this is all about IndustrialSage,” per se.Danny:
So, the spin that I want to have on it is really… so IndustrialSage: you started it and I feel like and I know that it really answers a lot of that challenge that you’re talking about within the industry. So, maybe when you explained us how IndustrialSage got started and kind of that journey, you can also dive in a little bit in that regard.Danny:
Yeah, so IndustrialSage first of all started back in 2017, three years ago. And so, the whole reason why I started it was- I called it the great experiment because it… we’ve got Optimum Productions, the video production company, then IndustrialSage is essentially the media arm of it that’s focused on the manufacturing industrial space. So, this set that we’re on right now, we kept, over and often, we kept running into an issue. The challenge where companies need to be able to create content that could be like there’s one banking client we had specifically. They needed, we would go to, you know, like the Ritz-Carlton and try to make this space look nice, like make it look really nice, and we try to do it I think once a quarter because they would have these like panel discussions where they bring in their chief economist and it was, we always we’d run into all these issues all the time of trying to make it look good and not look like a conference room or not look like a… not a hotel room, and we ran into that with several other clients.
So, we thought, “You know what, why don’t we create a space where they can be able to do that and we can help create content at scale because we think that the ability of creating thought leadership content and other type of content is really the way of the future.” So, did it, found this set, built it, said, “Alright, let’s build the set. Let’s do the space.” And then the next thing was like, “Well, listen, I want to be one of those companies that we’re going to drink our own champagne.” I changed that word. Used to say “eat our own dog food,” but I’ve been working on that.David:
Well, no, I prefer Kool-Aid. I mean, “Drink your own Kool-Aid.”Danny:
Okay, sure, that’s a good one. We drink our own Kool-Aid, yeah, exactly. We drink the Kool-Aid and it’s our own and it’s good. So, because I think that’s important. So we said “You know what, it’s really hard to sell something you can’t see, especially in our world in this digital world.” So, we thought, “You know what, let’s show people what you can do. Let’s show what things could be like, how you can do it,” and so we started IndustrialSage for the purposes of demonstrating that. But also with a secondary point saying, “Hey, we kind of want to focus in the manufacturing space,” because it was either going to be, “We’re going to do a show on the manufacturing space,” or “We’re going to do a show featuring, small business within the Atlanta community.” And so, obviously you see what we did, and the whole point was really to share best practices and thought leadership content around sales and marketing for that space.
And then after about two years we said, “You know what, we think we need to make a little bit more of a pivot. We need to open it.” We’re hearing from people that are saying, “Hey, this is awesome. I’d love to hear topics on ERP or Lean manufacturing or more manufacturing news.” And so we said, “Okay, maybe there’s something here,” and after the 100th time of hearing that we said, “Okay, let’s open this up a little bit more and really help companies to essentially, create a platform where companies can be open, where they can share their content.” We really essentially want to kind of create the playground, if you will, where all these manufacturing industrial digital experiences can happen, and that’s sort of the nexus of where we want to go and where we want to take it,” to help companies to be able to shape their content, maybe create their own expert series, their own executive series that can be branded for them and use it as a sales tool, use it as a thought leadership tool to be able to get their knowledge and their expertise out there, not be salesy, and use this as a platform to be able to do that. And so, obviously we’ve created a lot of different programs off that and that’s sort of the idea and the goal. We didn’t see that out in the marketplace and we thought, “Well, you know what, we think there’s a huge opportunity here especially as digital’s growing, is let’s focus on a specific niche channel and expand on it.”David:
Yeah, that’s really wonderful. I mean, that, IndustrialSage in a nutshell, here we go, and so I think- so there’s the practical side of, “Okay, this is what we did. This is why we got started.” Now how do you apply how it’s really kind of answering that challenge so to speak that you talked about with workforce…Danny:
Change of the guard and like, how does that all work? It’s one thing to be able to show your expertise, for businesses to be able to talk about their knowledge and resources and information, but is anyone really going to watch it?Danny:
That’s great question.David:
Do people consume it? I think- I know I’m asking a super leading question here, okay, so don’t worry. It’s a leading question on purpose.Danny:
I don’t think people are going to watch it. No, I’m just playing. Well, our analytics dictate otherwise, they do. And actually interesting thing is I, some of these episodes stuff we’re doing are more longer forms. So traditionally when you would think “video content,” you’d say, “Oh, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, two minutes, you don’t want to go longer than that online, otherwise people aren’t going to listen.” Well, we’re actually finding that the engagement rates are actually a lot higher than I thought, to be honest with you. When we started on this when our typical content is 20 to 25 minutes long, we’re getting 30% to 40% engagement rate which just blows my mind.
But to answer your question about how we’re really positioning it and helping these companies be able to do it and are people actually going to watch it… I will answer this in a COVID answer, but again this was true before- but especially now, right now, because a lot of these companies in the manufacturing space traditionally would rely on heavily, heavily attending trade shows and other in-person type events. Those are completely off the table, and so you have to pivot to a digital means. And so everyone is scrambling right now trying to figure out, “What do we do? How do we do it? How do we replace that? How do we, what lead gen tactics can we put in?” And so, the answer honestly, really- and this answer was there before, but we’ve now been accelerated by five years- is my firm belief is really in… it’s hard driving into thought leadership content. Why? And the reason is, when you look at the way that people are buying, okay, if you look at the buyer’s journey, typically there’s a big focus in when people are researching a product, or they know they have a need, then they start researching it, then they put it, “Let’s put up the RFPs.” That’s where the big focus of all that content typically happens. Why? Because it’s very transactional and from a sales standpoint, well, we know that we can count on this for pipeline revenue, and we’ve got a quota to make. We have numbers we need to do, so, that makes sense.
The challenge is, not everybody is there and how do we… a lot of these sales cycles can be very very long. How do you shorten that? The golden goose is when a company has a problem and they say, “Oh, we’ve got a problem with… we need more mugs,” or whatever. Okay, immediately off the tip of my tongue I know where I’m going to go at least to start, and it’s XYZ company because I’m familiar with it. That is what the thought leadership piece is really going to be able to help to answer and then some. And so, it’s really about sales is really all about education, and so it’s thinking about,David:
I mean education, relationships.Danny:
Sure. Yeah, absolutely.David:
It’s building that, but to your point…Danny:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. So, if I can listen, if I can assume the teacher role, okay, then I assume some sort of authority, some expertise over that. So, when you have a question you come to me. I’m the… I’m the knowledgeable one. I’m the guru so that when you have a sales question or you have a need and you know it, you’re going to come right to me. So, that’s really what it is. Just short-listing, a great strategy to build a shortlist for your company to be able to be the number one, two or three. On someone’s shortlist say, hey, we have a problem. We didn’t have it before, we didn’t even know we had this problem, but man, I’ve been watching this guy, I’ve been watching this content on LinkedIn for the last year and a half, and by golly this problem came up and I know exactly who I’m going to call, and that sale can go way faster with that. And so it’s kind of putting some of your sales and marketing a little bit on autopilot, and if you think about it that’s kind of what you would do at trade shows.
I mean it’s… there’s a whole… you can… trade shows are like a Swiss Army knife. You can use them for many many different things and you can touch people at many different points of the buyer’s journey, some who have no idea about you, have no idea that they have a problem that you can solve. Some of them they already know about you and they’re evaluating you, and some are existing customers looking for that second sale or whatever. So you can kind of hit them across the board. Again, with that gone, you’ve got to pivot to other things and this is why I think it’s such a big deal to have that thought leadership content because you can take these conversations, and you can have them on demand. And what I mean by that is, people now want to buy on their own terms and on their own time.
When you look at the work-from-home movement that’s happening now because of… out of necessity. The work day is completely obliterated. It’s not a… and it was kind of like that anyways but even more so now. Eight to five is not… that’s not a thing anymore because you have people that are like, “You know what, gosh, I don’t have to report in at eight. I do my best work at 11 o’clock at night. I’m just going to shift my schedule. I’m going to do that.” Well, you think that if I’m a sales guy and I’m calling in-between, eight and five or whatever and I’ll be able to get a hold of that person at 11 o’clock at night? Probably not, and that person may have a need. What are they going to do? They’re going to start searching for that. So, we have to put that content out there, and it can’t be this, “Oh, it’s 45 minute long, they’re probably not going to watch that.” But if we can do it in small little doses, you start feeding that out, that’s really the sort of the whole goal here.David:
Yeah, I mean that’s a great explanation of really why IndustrialSage came to be. How it came to be, and the purpose behind it is really to be able to facilitate the whole, ‘If you build it they will come.’ To a degree, if you build it and it’s available, people are going to find it.Danny:
So, having that content available.Danny:
So, we’ve talked a lot about IndustrialSage, the industry challenges, your thoughts on it. All really fantastic topics. Now I want to get super personal, okay? Super personal. Alright, we’re going to… let’s come in a little bit closer. No, just kidding. No, but, yeah, when you think about the life of an executive, all the demands that you’re faced with, there’s a lot of stuff happening. A lot of stuff going on, a lot of people depend on you for decisions, answers, questions all of that, and it’s not for everybody. And so my question is, maybe, what’s your routine? What’s your morning routine, how you kind of prepare yourself for the day to be able to answer all of those different challenges, those questions, those hurdles, the fires, all those kinds of things?Danny:
I can answer that in two ways. I can tell you what I try to do, and I can tell you what I actually do, and it’s really a blend. Now, so the daily habit typically is… I can tell you one really big thing that I’ve rooted out and that’s been helpful is waking up and having a purpose of not just grabbing my phone and looking at emails and looking at news and whatever. It’s just kind of just getting up and being focused on, take a shower or whatever, get ready. And one of the big things is, I guess two things. It’s actually, for me, prayer and meditation. And so actually just, and by prayer it’s really almost like emptying my mind of things and almost just like trying to get rid of distractions and almost just being, and being still. It’s an interesting concept and not even just like, “Oh, please help me with this.” I mean, I do a good chunk of that. But it’s just kind of sitting there, emptying your mind, being open and receptive and just being still. So, that’s number one.
And then number two is kind of planning out, looking over the day, planning it and saying, “Hey, here are the key objectives that I need to get done for this day.” And typically I have a tendency to do, “Alright, I’m going to do these 15 things.” Recipe for disaster. Let’s focus on two. What are the two big things that I need to get done today so that they flow into my overarching goals? That could be weekly, monthly, quarterly, what have you. And you can kind of reverse-engineer that. And then just start drinking a ton of coffee, get into the office, and tackle the day. I mean, that’s really it.David:
Now that’s, it’s good routine. You’ve got to have a routine at a minimum, something to adhere to. It fluctuates. It’s different all the time. I mean you have kids, a couple of them, like four or five, six… What are we at now, four?Danny:
I’ve lost count. No, I have four.David:
Four kids, four beautiful kids, great family life. I know this because Danny is a great friend of mine, and so I think that’s also a major contributor is having that strong family life that enables you to be able to have a strong business life also.Danny:
Yeah, my poor wife. She’s awesome. Yeah, you’ve got to have a strong, yeah, I’m very lucky. I’m very blessed.David:
Blessed, yeah, I would say so. And so, we’re going to wrap up here in just a minute but maybe share with everyone, this isn’t an executive series question. So, I always ask everybody this question. Okay, so, we’ve talked about a bunch of different stuff but there’s certain things that when you meet people when you talk with people you want to leave them with something. Maybe some advice or a story, just something, a little nugget. Maybe you could share with everyone that’s listening today one of those things that you always like to be able to share with people. It could be anything. This is the executive series, you’re allowed to say whatever you want. It’s your show. I’m the stand-in interviewer here, but maybe we can end with that.Danny:
That’s a loaded question. I’ve got to think about this. I wasn’t prepared for that. Alright, so here’s what I would share. This may be not conventional but and I think that my mind typically tends to go towards business stuff, but I think for this answer I try to share this, maybe it’s a little morbid but I would say think about the person that you are and the person that you want to be, and hopefully they’re the same. And if not try to make them the same because I think at the end of the day when I think about it, when I’m on my deathbed what’s going to be the most important thing that I’m going to be thinking about? And am I focused on those things right now because at the end of the day I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to die. I’m going to die, we’re all going to die and everything around us there’s a downer, right? No but everything around here is passing, and so I think that if you kind of live that way and think about that, that influences the decisions you make, how you treat people, how you run business, certainly from ethics to character, and I would strongly encourage to think about that because that takes a lot of things away off the table and you’re like, “Oh, this is a petty little thing,” and you’re like, “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t be worried about this or that or the other, and maybe I should be focused more on my family versus, ‘Oh, I’m so freaked out about, all this other thing and I’m making, all these sacrifices,’ at what cost?” That would be my advice.David:
Yes, oh, Danny that’s perfect. I mean that, I don’t think it’s morbid. I think actually it’s a great reset because there’s a lot of challenges that every day people are facing whether it is work related, business related, family related or has nothing to do with any of those topics. It’s just something else, okay, but there’s a lot of challenges. And it’s being able to really… What is that? What’s your polar north, we call it. Okay, and based on what you’re saying, that polar north is who I want to be and if I’m not doing that… I mean I think it’s wonderful, actually really really wonderful advice. That’s why I love asking this question.
So, Danny thanks again so much for being patient with me to interview you today on our executive series. Thrilled to be able to share this with our audience. I think they’ve been hearing you asking the tough questions and now I get to ask some tough questions, maybe a couple loaded questions also. But guys, thank you again for listening for watching. Please make sure you give us a review. We want to hear your feedback. We need reviews on our podcast. We need a thumbs up or a like on any of the content especially this one because I’m going for a raise. No, no just kidding not really. But, yes, seriously, this is important. It’s great content and if you have an executive or you are an executive, and you think you have important stories to tell or insights or anything like that and you’d like to be a guest on our show, drop us a line, industrialsage.com/contact/ or email, anything like that. Send it in a LinkedIn message, whatever it is, we’d love to have you on the show, share some insights we… obviously it’s open, but we want to be able to get your message in front of those that need to hear it. And so, thank you so much for being here. Danny, do you have anything you want to say?Danny:
Do what he said.David:
Do what I said, do that. Okay, beautiful, I’m going to record that and play it back over and over again. Alright, enough of me, have a great day, go conquer the world and this is IndustrialSage.
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