Daniel Priestley started out as an entrepreneur at age 21 and built a multi-million dollar event, marketing and management business before the age of 25. A successful entrepreneur, Daniel Priestley is an international speaker and best-selling author, He has built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore and the UK. Daniel Priestley is the founder of Dent, which runs a 9-month growth accelerator programme for small enterprises, working with over 500+ entrepreneurs each year to develop their businesses. Entrevo has offices in the UK, USA, Singapore and Australia. Daniel uses campaigns to help raise up to $100,000 for charity each year and is connected to some of the world’s most known and celebrated entrepreneurs and leaders. With a passion for global small business, Daniel Priestley is the author of the three best-selling books Key Person of Influence, Entrepreneur Revolution and Oversubscribed. Please enjoy my interview with Daniel Priestley…
When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?
My mentor used to respond to that question with “I breathe for a living”. I loved that response because it made people laugh and it suited his character. I normally respond with “I’m an entrepreneur and an author. I co-founded a business accelerator in 2011 and we now work with over 3000 companies across the UK, USA, Australia and Singapore.”
I just finished Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. It’s a rollercoaster ride of overcoming all sorts of problems across 30 years in order to build one of the most recognisable brands in the world. After reading it, I have enormous respect for him and the business.
What’s your earliest memory of reading?
As a child, my parents read to me almost every night. We covered great titles like The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and even Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (a 500-page story about a legendary samurai).
If you could encourage young people to read one book in particular, what would it be?
Depends on how young but I often encourage teens to read The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho.
Can you remember your first demonstration of entrepreneurial ability?
I was 10 years old and after a small house fire damaged a number of items I decided to host a garage sale. I collected goods from neighbours (on a 50% split) and had dozens of bargain hunters turn up and buy my loot of second-hand items. At the end of the day, I had enough money to buy a BMX bike and a computer game – it was epic.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked for several years in McDonald’s and mostly loved it however I clashed with a manager who made it her mission to give me the worst cleaning jobs possible. I can still remember the smell of my uniform after those shifts – yuk. I’ve also been a pizza delivery driver, a door to door sales person and a barman which all had their horrible moments.
Do you read as much as you’d like to?
I enjoy books on audible while I commute and wish I had more time to actually read books for myself. With young kids, my most enjoyable reading is children’s books before bedtime.
What books do you feel are important reading for people on your career path?
It’s more important to write. It’s too easy to read and read and read; thinking that more input is needed. I’ve found the greatest insights come out when you have to write about a topic. I’ve also discovered the book that most changes your life is the one you write.
When you think of success in the business world, who is the first person that comes to mind?
Elon Musk is an alien from another planet where visionary business is 1000 years more advanced than it is here on earth. I’m not sure how he finds time for anything else but in the area of business, he’s pretty remarkable to watch.
Is there a book that you’ve read more than once? What is it and why did you revisit it?
I’ve read several books more than once because I find the value of a book is in the implementation. I noticed many of my successful friends chose a few authors and a few titles to reread often and apply what they learn rather than constantly jumping to the next idea.
What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?
What two pieces of advice would you give a young aspiring entrepreneur?
Work for 2 years for a small, fast-growth business. Do whatever you can to attend meetings and learn sales skills. Two years under the wing of an experienced entrepreneur will save 10 years of mistakes.
What’s your favourite genre of book?
I love biographies.
What do you think a world without books would be like?
A huge opportunity to invent the book.
Is there an author whose writing you’re such a fan of, that you’ll read everything they release?
Peter Diamandis is someone who I can devour every word. He writes about how the world is getting exponentially better.
Do you think digital books will ever completely replace real books?
What book do you feel humanity needs most right now?
A book about how to make the most of the extraordinary times we are living through and to improve the planet.
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?
The ones I wrote. After becoming an author, all sorts of opportunities opened up to me. I often tell people to write a book because it will have more impact than any you read.
What’s the worst advice you hear given to young people looking to start their own business?
To go after passive income – if you don’t want to be doing it, don’t try to earn money from it.
What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?
I’ll be reading my childhood favourites to my kids.
If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?
It’s far too soon to be thinking about that.