The Power of Daniel
There are few things in my life that surprise me – this is despite running a $125m global cyber security business tracking world-wide hackers, being a Star on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and driving Ferraris at 200 miles per hour. In early April 2014, I had the opportunity to speak at the International Car Wash Show with my fellow Shark, Daymond John.
More importantly, I had the opportunity to meet someone who truly surprised me; he was Daniel Wang, a brave, optimistic 16-year-old boy who has survived and beaten brain cancer for the past 3 1/2 years. It was through the Chicago-based charitable organization Cancer Kiss My Cooley organization that Daniel entered my life.
It’s More Than Just Business
I think and breathe my business, and I am hugely proud of and committed to building my cyber security business in a very exciting field that is constantly changing. It’s a thrill to run this business and see the people, technologies and satisfied customers we connect with every day. I also work on building the many businesses I’ve partnered with through the 10+ years I’ve been on “Shark Tank” and “Dragon’s Den,” the Canadian equivalent. Ever since the beginning of my career, I’ve donated time, money and effort towards numerous wonderful causes, charities and organizations but Daniel was different.
A Small Moment Can Do a Lot
My life is adrenaline — busy 24/7 with cross-country travel to see customers, LA studio time for “Shark Tank,” numerous speeches monthly, Ferrari races, and a busy family life with my wife and three wonderful children. I love being busy and thrive on action. But the two hours that I spent in Chicago were different, a small moment in my life that I got to share with Daniel.
Left-Handed Gift Cards
Daniel endured 72 days in the hospital after he underwent emergency brain cancer surgery following his shocking diagnosis. Over the past 3 1/2 years he has had weekly speech therapy to learn how to control his breath and voice, weekly physical therapy to relearn how to walk with his right leg. But his use of his right arm never returned. Undaunted, Daniel taught himself how to use his left hand and draw beautiful illustrations that provided comfort in the hospitals. He developed a line of inspirational cards and a website, HopeThroughCards.com, to sell these cards that he drew with his left hand.
It’s All About the Attitude
I spent a half hour in the Ferrari driving around Chicago with big smiles coming from Daniel at every turn. But it was the quiet moments that were the most special. Daniel shared with me his feeling and challenges in the ongoing therapy with the most optimistic attitude I’ve ever heard anyone express.
Just Ask – Everyone is Willing to Help
We wanted to go above Daniel’s wish to meet me. He met Daymond and I in the green room before our speech. Daniel asked every question he could think of and Daymond and I gladly answered them. This was just the beginning of Daniel’s special day. We called Nick Mancuso from Lake Forest Sports Cars Limited in Chicago to provide a Ferrari California (Daniel’s favourite car) for us to drive and a backpack of Ferrari goodies to take home. Tyler McQuarrie, my racing coach, donated a Go Pro to install on the windshield to record our adventure and the Rosebud restaurant in Little Italy in Chicago provided a beautiful lunch to greet Daniel and his family when he showed up in his new ride with his favourite Shark. What a thrilling moment for the Wang family!
Motivation Goes Both Ways
I’m in the professional motivation business at my company, in my speeches and through my two books. I try my best to instill hope and optimism to each of the Shark Tank entrepreneurs who lay out their hearts and souls on the show for us to determine their fate. But Daniel was different. He provided me with more motivation than I could ever rally.
The Power of Daniel
We all live busy professional and personal lives but please remember to make the time. There are Daniels in every town, school and hospital. Enjoy the following video and share it with friends and family.
I look forward to writing my next post soon.
To your success,