My Top Experiences & Lessons Learned in 2016 (Written for Millenials)

2016 has been the best year of my life. I invested a lot of time into learning about myself and took the most action towards achieving what mattered most to me. This is the way I determine the success of … Continue reading

How a Group Of Cows Taught Me About Team Work

Holstein cows at pasture, grazing. Staffordshire.

It was an average Tuesday morning on my way to work when I saw a sight on the side of Highway 75 that made me question everything I knew about team work.

Let me tell you the story.

I woke up for work around 6:30 AM and brushed my teeth just like every morning. Next, I threw some gel in my hair, got dressed and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. After eating my omelet I walked out of the door at 7:30 AM.

I took my normal route down 75 where I would then take exit 131 in order to make it to work by 8 AM. Normally I would see nothing too exciting on the highway, usually other cars, birds, trees and the occasional heard of cows here and there.

But on this morning the cows surprised me; that’s right, the cows stole the spotlight for the day.

Let me explain further. You see, the night before it had rained heavily (as it often does in Florida) and as a result I could see the fields in which the cows would usually roam were severely flooded. I imagined the cows wouldn’t like to sleep wet and was wondering what they do and where they go during times like this. My question was shortly answered as I cruised down 75 in my Honda Civic.

On my right hand side I saw the cows. What they did left me amazed.

Out of their entire roaming area which was covered by stagnant water, there was one small hill. It was almost like a little mountain; about 10 feet wide and 5 feet above the normal roaming grounds.

There were about 15-20 cows standing on it together. At the same time. Collectively, they resembled one massive cow standing on this platform to avoid the water. It reminded me of human assembly and how humans gather together in times of support and need. It was truly amazing to see them work together like this.

From adults to calf’s these cows came to the understanding that they did not want to stand in the water.

In addition to this understanding, the cows also had to physically get every other cow on this hill successfully. How they managed to do this and how long it took, we will never know, but they got it done.

The cows acted as one based on a mutual agreement. Everyone agreed, everyone acted in the best interest of the group and everyone stayed dry as a result.

Great, but don’t humans do this all the time? Isn’t this why C-Level executives spend a third of their day in meetings with their teams? Sure this is true but often when humans are on teams we have to deal with the issue of every team member putting in equal effort, don’t we? I can recall many school projects and even work assignments that everyone did not place the same level of importance on. This is an issue and led me to ask this questions:

Is the real issue not finding team members who work hard, but finding a goal that all team members actually care about?

Do we need to challenge ourselves and wonder, maybe our groups need to be comprised solely of people who want to do this, people who truly support this cause, have desires to reach this goal and wouldn’t tolerate anything but success?

What do you think?

In conclusion, the cows taught me that anything as a team is possible so long as every team member wants to achieve the end result and gives it the same level of importance. The cows served as an excellent example of how goals are achieved when all team members are on the same page and want the same results for the same benefit. Hopefully as humans we can take something away from this to make sure our teams continually reach success.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the content. Please like, share, & comment if you found the content valuable and worth sharing. 🙂


How Death Sparked Drastic Progression and Growth in my life 

When you glanced at your feed today and looked at this title, you probably though something like: “What?” “Is this guy serious?” “How could death (the polar opposite of progression and growth) spark progression and growth at all?


Allow me to explain, this is my story.It was September of 2012 when I was still a chemistry major in college (yea I know, big mistake). I was studying in my room when I received a phone call from a dear family friend. He asked me if I was okay and needed anything. Confused by his generosity and sensing by his voice that something was wrong I asked him what he was calling about.

He told me after calling his place of employment to check his schedule, (the same place my father worked) he received news that my father had passed away. My initial reaction was a laugh because I had just spoken to my father the day prior. My father also had no medical conditions and fairly great health throughout his life. He was the type of man that you would never find sick; in fact, I don’t believe he ever broke a bone or had any surgical procedures of any kind in his life time either.

The family friend assured me that he was not joking. I still didn’t believe him, but decided to call my sister just to make sure all was well.

The phone rang about three times, then my sister picks up. “Hello?” Her voice was calm, this instantly made me feel as though everything was okay; certainly if he was dead she would be hysterical, right?

Wrong. She admitted that Daddy was indeed dead and that she was on her way with our neighbors from the east coast of Florida to pick me up (I live about 2.5 hours away from them on the west coast of FL). 

I’ll never forget that moment. I had so many questions, what happened? Where is he? Where is Momma? What are we going to do? How did this happen?

“His body is at the hospital. Momma is Hysterical. I don’t know what we’re going to do Danilo, but I just can’t cry anymore” my sister said.

According to medical examiners he suffered from a massive heart attack that none of us saw coming.

So after moments of grief and explaining what had happened to my roommates, I emailed my professors at Florida Gulf Coast University to explain what had happened and that I would be missing classes for the remainder of the week.

That weekend was a tough one for sure. But one thing was certain, this life event would spark a flame within me that would burn so passionately and cause me to reach what I like to call my “personal version of success”.

So after that week at home I knew two things. I needed money and I needed a plan.

Addressing money, my father made a decent salary which was able to help support me in college. I would pay for all personal expenses but Dad helped with rent and school. This meant that I now had to supply myself with enough money to cover both expenses. Thank goodness my mother was able to cover car payment, insurance and my cell phone bill for the time being. But I also knew that upon graduating I would have to have a job set up so that I could immediately begin making real money to help my mother and fill in the shoes that were now void in my family. This is where the planning came in. I had to figure out what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it and how I would make it happen. Thank goodness I still had 2 years left in college.

My immediate action was setting up a conversation with my manager at Cole Haan (my place of employment at the time. (Love their shoes by the way, go check them out!!) to discuss an interest in management. Which also meant discussing a pay raise (what I needed). The conversation went well and given that I had already been there for 2 years I ended up being a pretty good fit. So I was then able to pay for my own rent, utilities, credit card payments gas and food. But nothing else, I just had enough for the essentials, but thank God I had that.

Since I easily inherited stress from being broke with no extra money for myself or just for peace of mind at night, I decided to pick up another job in the mall I worked at. I would choose Brooks Brothers as my 2nd employer and used that money to get credit card bills down as well as be able to go out with my friends every once in a while.

The next part of my journey was not a part of the plan at all. I like to believe it was faith or perhaps a miracle. While working what seemed to be like an average day at Cole Haan, an equally average young gentleman came into the store and started to examine some of our leather British tan duffle bags. The bag he was considering was $400, so I approached the guy and started conversation.

Me: “It’s a beautiful bag, I’ve contemplated spending my entire pay check on it before.”

Customer: “It’s really nice, I have a trip I’m preparing for and this looks like the perfect weekend bag”

Me: “Funny, check the tag and you’ll see the name of the bag is actually the weekender.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s pretty funny”

From that conversation I would learn that he was an alumni of my college and a fellow marketing major (that’s what I stuck with after switching to chemistry). He then told me about the company he currently worked for and how they had an internship program he thought I’d be perfect for. He gave me his business card, purchased the bag and left the store.

His name was John and he had no idea that he had just given me the direction I needed which would dictate my future.

The company he worked for was called Gartner Inc. an IT research and advisory firm. It was a great company that paid its employees well and I knew if I could get into that company, I would be able to earn enough to support myself and help my family during this difficult time.

I followed up with John immediately but then had to ask myself…okay now what? How can I put my foot in the door here? How can I ensure that I get this job when I graduate? Mind you I was two years away from graduation at this point. The answer at the time was, “I have no idea”.

So I started where I could and decided to research the company. After reading the “about” section, I still had no clue what the company did nor did I locate any way to apply. So I did the next best thing, I directly called a recruiter.

That’s right, a 20 year old college kid called a recruiter of a company he knew nothing about and asked about a job that he wasn’t qualified for.

To this day, I am so glad I decided to do this.

It turned into a wonderful Q&A session all about Gartner with a woman named Liz. She was great and even told me about a Gartner open house that was happening in the following month, she told me I could learn more about the internship program and even meet the person who was in charge of recruiting for the internship!

Are you kidding me? This is exactly what I needed. A plan was being created without me even knowing it and it felt amazing.

So I attended the open house, met the internship coordinator and applied in January 2014. After 5 intense interviews later, I was told that I had been accepted as an Intern and would begin in June.

I was ecstatic. This is exactly what I wanted and knew that if I crushed it in this internship, I could land a full time job after graduation.

I worked my butt off and built a positive brand at the company. People knew me as the sharply dressed kid who could get meetings and sounded good on the phone. My managers gave me positive feedback after all of the tests we had undergone and I was certain that I was in a good position to get the job. But I never acted like it was secure, I knew that at any moment if I slipped up I would risk all of the work that I had done thus far and I wasn’t going to let that happen.

Fast forward to the end of the internship. I’m now at the career development office at Florida Gulf Coast University, meeting with the internship coordinator there to discuss the details of the internship. I had still not heard from Gartner on whether or not I received a job offer. Then in mid discussion on the job duties of the internship my phone rang. I stepped outside to take the call.

It was Natalie. The internship coordinator who I met at the open house one year prior. She told me she would like to have the pleasure of extending a full time job offer.

I almost dropped the phone. I started crying. I had accomplished my mission. I went from a troubled kid who had no idea how he would crawl out from a devastating death that gave the family financial woes, to someone who had just landed a full time job with a great company and be financially secure moving forward.

This is my story.

I honestly have no idea where I would be or what I would be doing if my father was still alive. I credit his death and the insurmountable stress and worry it caused which left me with no choice but to succeed or fail entirely.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Please comment, like or share if you found the content valuable 🙂

3 Reasons why you have no idea what to do with the rest of your life.

Recently I’ve come across many friends and even acquaintances of other friends who constantly express that they have no idea what they’d like to do with the rest of their lives. 

It’s not an uncommon thing at all. Most of us have shared this feeling at some point in our young lives and some of us still feel it today.

But have you ever thought why? Why don’t you know what you want to do? Why don’t you know what you like? Why aren’t you thinking about turning your hobbies into a career? 

Why isn’t it so simple for me?

Here are the reasons why.

1. You Surround Yourself With The Same People And Make No Effort To Branch Out.

Friends, you need them in life; they can help you out when the going gets tough and they can even help you feel good when you’re down. 

But each person in your life brings you something. In other words, you gain something from hanging out with them; whether it’s the pleasure of their presence or a tangible resource. Nobody has a friend that they hang out with for no reason, there is always an exchange of some sort.

When you don’t surround yourself with new people or you consistently stick with the same people for years and years you’re constantly exposed to the same things, have the same conversations, and do the same things. There’s no growth in that, meaning no long term benefit for you!

Ok great, but how can new people help me figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life? 


They introduce you to new things, people and experiences.

 How much more likely are you to do something when you have the support of a friend? I know some people who need a partner just to go to the gym! 

These new people will open your mind to trying new things that you may have never even thought of before. As creatures of habit, many humans are set in their ways and we think we know the things we like and don’t like. 


Sometimes we need another person to give us a push and then bam we find joy in something we would have never discovered otherwise.

2. You Never Leave Your Comfort Zone.

Like I just mentioned, we are creatures of habit. We enjoy doing the same thing every day, we like our daily routine, it’s perfectly normal to feel that way, no one is wrong for that.

But again, there’s no growth in that.

When was the last time you deviated from your daily routine? When was the last time you went to a new city? When’s the last time you did something for the first time?

If it’s been a long time for you, then you should start thinking about making changes.

If you’ve been working the same job for years and have no opportunity for growth then leave it.

If you’ve been living in the same city for several years and have no plan on how to advance forward in your life, then leave it.

If you’ve been with a significant other that you see no future with who does not add to your personal development and success, then leave them.

If you only think about today, well you better start thinking about tomorrow.

Being comfortable is a trap, you should always be looking for ways to grow and step out of that comfort zone. 

When you do this, you get exposed to new things and will certainly have new experiences. This “newness” will create opportunities for you to see things you’re not used to and be exposed to what could be the passion you never knew you had.

3. It’s not important to you.

Depending on your age and where you are in life, the remainder of your life and what you choose to do with it should be a very important topic.

If you don’t know what you want to do, that’s okay. What’s not okay is settling for that answer. 

If you constantly find yourself saying I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know and you’re not doing anything to figure out the answer to that question then it’s clearly not important to you.

As I said before, degrees of importance will vary depending upon where you are in life and where you plan on going. It’s okay if this topic isn’t important to you today, it eventually will be and when that time comes you will consider answering that question.

But if you lack the curiosity and genuine interest of figuring out what it is you’re passionate about, no advice in this blog or anywhere will help you figure out what it is you want to do. You need to find the motivation and seek out your passion because it is not something that happens overnight.

Make a conscious effort to figure it out. Like I said it’s not easy, but don’t expect it to fall in your lap either. Get out there do something different and see what comes your way. 
Good luck.

As always, thank you for reading and feel free to leave any feedback.

4 Reasons why having people skills is more important than formal education.

Going to college is an amazing experience. Dedicating a portion of your young life to develop skills and learn how to succeed in the real world is a journey you will never forget.

But what about the things school can’t teach you?

How about dealing with people? Or making a good first impression? Getting people to like you? Working successfully with a stubborn boss or co-worker?

How can we teach this? We can’t. Sure you could locate reading material on the subject but we cannot teach attributes in the same fashion as reading and mathematics.

People skills and “how to deal with people” in general is an ability that must be acquired. Some people learn them, others do not learn as fast, and some don’t learn at all.

Here are some reasons why having people skills can is more important than having formal education.

1. Getting a job will never be an issue.

According to the bureau of labor statistics, the customer service industry had over 2 million open positions in 2013 and over 15.8 million positions in sales. & that number is growing. 

These are industries that do not require college degrees but still have upward mobility. In sales, one has the ability to create a lucrative income by earning commission for all transactions. One could easily rival the pay check of their college educated, degree wielding friends by working in sales. 

2. You will always have connections.

In addition to always having a job, when you have people skills you are able to make connections. When you have connections or “plugs” as I like to call them, you have access to more resources. Knowing the right people can also help you out with finding employment as well as just making life easier.

It’s awesome knowing a bartender or bouncer to help you get drinks or skip lines, but it’s just as awesome to know the CEO of a company. Any resource that can make life easier is a good one and having people skills will help you meet these plugs.

3. Your conversations will never be dull.

Having went to college and graduated I can tell from personal testimonies that you will meet a lot of intelligent people who can ace a test but fail so miserably at the social aspect of life. 

What do I really mean? I’m talking about people who achieve great success in school but have no real social value that accentuates the lives of others.

These are people who struggle with building relationships. People who are not comfortable or have little interest in meeting new people; they care so much about their priorities that they lose sight of the fact that we all need resources from each other to succeed and consequently don’t reach out to others.

When the time comes that they do need to reach out to others or have some sort of social obligation like any of the following:

·         Birthday parties

·         Family get togethers

·         Job interviews

·         Weddings

They have so little experience in building these crucial relationships that they fail to do so in life. By either being awkward or having nothing to exchange, others don’t find their presence valuable and therefore would rather spend their time with other people. 

When you have people skills this will not be the result. People will find you attractive or mentally stimulating in some fashion and choose to spend their time with you in addition to giving you access to any resources they have. These resources could be as simple as a retail discount at your favorite shoe store or a job interview at your dream firm.

4. You will always be preferred over other job candidates.

Here is a very important thing to mention. Looking great on paper with an outstanding resume is good. But more and more companies are putting an emphasis on company culture. “Does this person fit in with our company?” The resume is less important now a days and companies are challenging candidates to have the duality of looking great on paper while also fitting in with the company culture. 

According to an article on,(

“Most companies surveyed said that “cultural fit” carries the most weight when considering an applicant, while grade-point average mattered least.” 

This means that the emphasis is on you! The resume is the least relevant thing on the table and it’s time for you to show off that human capitol you have inside of you. 

If all you have is a dazzling resume and no ability to show people why you are right for the job…then you might be out of luck.

I do understand that some of these jobs will require further education; however the rules still apply. A doctoral graduate with an amazing personality will always get the job over the precocious Harvard grad who lacks the social piece.


4 important qualities that will attract successful people to your life.

Many people, now and in the past have complimented me on my ability to network. While I do consider it a strength of mine, I figured out that there was more to it than being comfortable with approaching strangers and being able to make a good first impression.

After years of shaking hands and introducing myself to strangers I deemed as “successful” I discovered that there were certain qualities those individuals liked to see. Something attracted them to my presence or the topic I was speaking about. 

Here are 4 qualities I believe I believe young people should practice to attract successful people. (If attracting successful people is something that you would like to do).

1.      Be a confident speaker.

According to the institute of national health, 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety.

This means that we may come across as unsure or timid individuals; people who don’t believe in their words or doubt themselves.

Here are some things that may strike the mind of a successful person when conversing with an un-confident speaker.

·         This person doesn’t believe in them self or the words they are saying.

·         This person is intimidated of me.

·         This person sees me as having higher social or socioeconomic status.

·         This conversation has no value to me.

When these conclusions are drawn it can create a lot of deviance. What I mean is, when 2 people are speaking and one can see that they are at different levels of life or success they lose interest in the conversation. They may infer the individual brings no value to the interaction and chose to gather it elsewhere. The more successful of the two might also feel the deviance and believe that they need to be nicer to the person or adapt their speech to resonate with them and limit their abilities all together.

In addition this can really take away from your credibility as a person; sending people a message that the conversation and information discussed may not be legitimate.

Now when you hear a confident speaker, these are some thoughts that may come to mind.

·         This person believes in what they are saying.

·         This person is passionate and able to keep my attention.

·         This person is intelligent.

·         This person has the ability to inspire.

These thoughts are more positive in nature because they are rare. Not everyone is a confident speaker (36% of people, according to the institute of mental health) so when we come across one, their social worth is higher than that of an average person.  If you have ever listened to a TED talk, have any of the presenters ever come across as unsure of their ideas? NO. They are absolutely passionate in what they say and usually invest their lives spreading it; As a result their ideas are considered “worth spreading”. Do you think the delivery of an idea can affect its value to an audience? Tremendously, delivery isn’t everything but it can make or break ones opinion of an idea so it’s best to practice this skill. 

Successful people usually love to learn so if you are able to convey an idea that is new to them and confidently explain it, you are sure to win their attention.

2.      Maintain eye contact.

Eye contact is huge. It is a nonverbal that screams confidence; a desire to be recognized and may also be used for intimidation.

“Giving more eye contact can show that you are in control, charismatic or dominant.”- According to M.Farouk Radwan MSc, and creator of “” Think about the work environment for successful people, most of them are top managers or owners of businesses where nice people get stepped on. Having these qualities make you more important and powerful in their eyes since their superiors probably display similar traits.

 Successful people like certainty, if you are able to demonstrate control of a conversation or come across as dominant they are more likely to find interest in you because you exude these attributes.

3.      Bring something to the table.

You need to bring value. When meeting someone for the first time you are selling yourself to that person. You need to convince the individual that time with you is time spent wisely and there is something to be gained from it; teach them something, discuss their interests or ask them about their story.

The best way to do this is to discuss things that interest them. No one hates to talk about them self, so I often get people to share their stories of success and see where they came from. This eliminates having to discuss a topic that might be way over your head or beyond your experience.

Another great topic to discuss is goals. When young people in particular are confidently able to express their goals, you give off the following impression:

·         You know what you want and how to get there.

·         You are future oriented.

·         You come across as confident and intelligent.

·         You increase your present and future value.

When you speak about your goals you should be passionate and exude the 2 qualities we discussed earlier in order to maximize your conversation. Ability to do this will show that you are goal oriented and driven; the more attributes common to successful people that you can display, the more you’ll be seen as valuable and a person they need to associate with.

It’s always great to bring something to the table but if you can’t, it’s okay; you can always ask for advice. When you acknowledge another’s success and admit your inexperience the person will appreciate that you find their words valuable, making for pleasant conversation. 

In addition they will see that you are curious about a particular topic and see them as a resource to be used. Successful people love to contribute and teach others because it makes them feel important. Become someone’s protégée, ask to meet regularly or communicate frequently in the case that you need more information. Natural curiosity demonstrates your thirst to improve and gain knowledge, a quality that the successful admire.

4.      Be attractive in some sort.

You don’t need to be a fashion model, although that would always make life easier, but create some attraction through your appearance. Here are some ways that you can be attractive aside from a physical sense.

·         Dress like a successful person.

·         Regularly hang out or be in locations where successful people tend to be.

·         Take part in some activity or actions that gain the interest of successful people.


When you are able to be attractive whether through the way you dress, where you spend our time, or what you do, one thing is certain; you will attract the attention of the ones you emulate.