Not all success stories come from Harvard, Stanford or some other well-to-do institution. They’re not always raised in the Hamptons or Beverly Hills. Some of the most inspiring stories about accomplishment and success started in the streets. Every entrepreneur struggles. We all have barriers to overcome, paradigms to smash and stigmas to battle. There are a precious few who have much more they need to work through before they even get to the entrepreneurial struggle. Howard Shultz (Starbucks), Larry Ellison (Oracle), John Paul DeJoria (Patron Spirits) and Danial Petrie (Fatherhood Encouragement Project) all have something most entrepreneurs haven’t experienced; substantial poverty before they enjoyed success. Shultz grew up in subsidized housing. Ellison was raised by his Great Aunt & Uncle after losing their entire wealth during the great depression. DeJoria lived off of 27 cents and a backyard garden with his mother and brother while he was growing up. Petrie was in and out of foster homes since the age of 3. The other trait they share is they have each battled through and became a level of success no one would have predicted for them.
FEATURE ENTREPRENEUR: DANIAL PETRIE
Danial Petrie is one of those entrepreneurs who has succeeded more than most. He has also struggled more than most. Alot like Howard Shultz, Larry Ellison and Jon Paul DeJoria, most people would have predicted a life of incarceration instead of significance looking back on his up bringing. Danial grew up just outside of Chicago in the worst part of Rockford, IL. THINK: People who can’t afford to live in the south side of Chicago. That is pretty rough. Through his childhood, Danial was in and out of different foster homes since he was 3 years old. You get the picture. It wasn’t good. He was well on his way to living the paradigm that was given to him. Struggling in school and always getting in trouble one way or another. We all have a starting story. The one that writes like an adventure story that we’re never meant to complete with impossible odds. Danial’s story started off quite a bit more impossible than most. And his results are quite a bit more extraordinary than most as well.
BRINGING THE GOOD FROM THE HOOD
Danial’s ‘turning point’ in his hero story started with the loving attention from a thougtful foster family. In his late teen’s, he realized the path he was on and decided to re-write the story in his ‘choose-your-own-adventure’. He became the first in his family to graduate high school and then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Educaton at Rockford University where he also played basketball. It later became apparent that basketball was going to form a cornerstone of what became Danial’s community work. He started his career as a teacher but learned a lesson most teachers do; the work is tough and the pay is poor. Though he left teaching in favour of a higher salary in the corporate world, he knew that he still had a passion for teaching and could really be a person that could help inner city kids at a grass roots level.
Danial had started teaching leadership and computer programs at Youth Build. The program grew to 38 kids.
33/38 Kids enrolled in College
when less than 5/110 kids enroll in College, that’s the kind of impact he has had through his program. A couple of epiphanies happened for Danial;
- YMCA CEO challenged him to create a system for the kids after they finish his program.
- Found a mentor who taught him about Affirmation Leadership.
Danial became more involved in the community, built relationships with local leaders and started promoting events and programs to enroll inner city kids for free. This lead him to launch the FATHERHOOD ENCOURAGEMENT PROJECT.
The Fatherhood Encouragement Project found humble beginnings in 2015 when Danial chose to meet 3 other Dads in a Chic-Fil-a. Those weekly meetings started to grow and more Dads would attend. Where else would a man go to learn to be a role model for their kids if they never had that example in their life? For Danial to help as many kids within his reach, he knew he also needed to help their Dads to become role models and teachers.
Through this not-for-profit, Danial has been able to build a community with impact. Not just for the kids and their Dads, but the whole community as the entire group gets involved helping to serve in other charities and programs.
Through their efforts, they have been able to serve 6000 families, get 600 kids to inner city programs and serve over 800 homeless and counting. Danial’s service doesn’t stop there. In additon to being a family man himself; a husband and a father, he is a best selling author of ‘The Power of You Are’ and soon to be published ‘Guard Rails & Ground Rules’, he has also found the time to launch his passion project; The Future Collegiate Stars Youth Basketball League. Through all of his community efforts and his career to date, Danial explains that influence, whether you need it for business or for building an engaged community requires Authenticity and Relationships.
The first part Danial shares about what it means to be authentic is to be honest about your story. Not only can it encourage others to share their story, you can make a connection you may not even be aware of. People need to stop hiding who they are.
This is an amazing lesson from Danial. Certainly he has a past that would make most people blush. Then again, many people have a past they would rather not admit to. We don’t get to change where we started. We only get to change where we are going. That is true for every individual, regardless of history, status, income or vocation.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS IN BUSINESS
“Relationships will make or break you” explains Danial. You can’t just be the one who only reaches out for stuff. Friendships only work when there are two of you making an effort to be a friend which should always be two-sided. You’re both living life together.
There is no relationship without trust. Authenticity and relationships go hand-in-hand.
According to Danial Petrie, we ultimately control our own destiny. He wasn’t that different from the 6-figure earners before him. He learned to create his own opportunities.
Follow your heart. Dive in with both feet…. all in. It might work out or it might morph into something different and even better. Don’t just chase your dream, make it happen!