“Give, give, give, and your life will be better.” –Daniel Linares
We’ve heard so much about giving and we know that it is a value that brings people all sorts of good things. In the entrepreneurial world, however, people meet a measure of reluctance on this. They have a business to protect and grow afterall. On the contrary, giving actually brings in more profit, a profit that is beyond monetary value. This episode touches on how entrepreneurs can give a high level of touch to their clients. Be a customer centric today- a legend to your customers that will be remembered forever.
Listen to the podcast here:
01:21 Chasing Dreams
07:12 The Frank Sinatra
16:29 ‘I’m Going to be My Own Boss’
24:35 Shifting from a Horizontal Mindset to a Vertical Mindset
37:19 Bringing a High Level Touch to Your Customers
44:41 Unconditional Giving
“The more challenges you get you learn so many techniques.” –Art Costello
“Fear is what stops people.” –Art Costello
“Once you have your core expectations set… it makes your ability to connect with other people so much easier because you’ve satisfied your own expectations.” –Art Costello
“We all possess the skills needed to do that next thing, maybe you need to polish up a little bit on it, but stop waiting for perfection.” –Daniel Linares
“It’s only the stuff in our minds that are really holding us back.” –Daniel Linares
“Our minds really are the tricksters in our lives. That’s why your belief system has to be so passionate and strong about what you’re doing.” –Art Costello
“The more you give yourself, the more you get in return tenfold. It is just the law of the universe.” –Art Costello
“Give, give, give, and your life will be better.” –Daniel Linares
“When you come from a place of gratitude, your life is just going to feel more meaningful every day.” –Daniel Linares
“Gratitude, for me, would be your number one thing to be being happy. It has nothing to do with money.” –Daniel Linares
Stop waiting for the perfect time to do your next big thing. The perfect time is always the time you start to let go of whatever’s holding you back. Join @myexpectation as he talks to @DanielLinares on #verticalmindset #customerservicecentric… Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast. Today, I am honored to have Daniel Linares. He’s right up my alley. I love this guy already. I think you guys are gonna love him. He’s a professional DJ, MC singer, an all around performer. He provides an unforgettable experience for the most discerning of clientele born in the most ethnically diverse place in the world, Queens, New York. He understands all cultures. Daniel is an avid traveler whose work has taken him to cosmopolitan cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, LA, Miami, and various islands throughout the Caribbean, which we’re going to talk about having attended Frank Sinatra School of arts, which we will talk about. He knows the importance of not only entertaining guests, but engaging them and bringing energy into their experiments. He’s built a reputation for producing spectacular events that are uniquely, exceptionally tailored to every single client. Welcome, Daniel. Can you tell us your story, how you got started on this great trip.
Daniel Linares: Wow. Art, thank you for that fine introduction. I wasn’t expecting all of those fun little nuggets about me, so it was refreshing to hear it cause I don’t hear it often (laughs). I’m from a humble household in Queens in New York. I grew up in the five boroughs. I still live in New York, and lucky to travel all over the place, but New York is still home for me, and people have always asked me, do you ever see yourself moving away from New York? and my answer has always been NO, maybe a little bit now later on in life, you know, maybe in the future to get away from the fast paced, but I’m just so used to the New York City speed, and movement, and it really just feels the entrepreneurial side of me. It began just as early, I guess as middle school where I started to figure out my identity, and what really moved me, and that was music early on. I was lucky to come from a supportive household of parents that supported anything I wanted to do. I’m one of three, I’m the oldest of three kids. My brother’s three and a half years younger than me. My sister’s five years younger than me, and we’ve all really chosen our own paths with 100% support. And I think we all turned out pretty okay because they never tried to make us who they thought we should be. They allowed us to be who we wanted.
Art Costello: That’s powerful. That’s powerful to have parents like–
Daniel Linares: –yeah
Art Costello: –that.
Daniel Linares: And I get the chills every time I talk about it, because there’s a lot of people that aren’t as fortunate that have grown up in some sort of dysfunction. And I’m quite the opposite. People say: “What struggles have you gone through?”. And I’m lucky to not have had these intense struggles, and it’s helped me become the person I am now.
So, you know, early on I, I’d say middle school, I was in a singing group, so I was part of a group of five guys,and we were sort of the pseudo celebrities, and our middle school where we would sing, and we’d dance. And this was around the boy band era. Not sure if you’re a big boy band fan art, but you know the NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, B2K, the Boys II Men. It was like a really fun movement for us because you know, we loved music, and we had these role models that were making such great music. So, I decided, wow, I like this singing thing. I love RnB, I love pop music. Let me audition for a high school that is all about the performing arts. So I did, I actually auditioned for dance, and audition for voice. Little did I know was dance was actually ballet, audition (laughs), and I was more of the pop star, kind of like hip hop style dancer. So that was like a really (laughs) funny moment for me, and a couple of my friends, we thought we were going to be doing some maybe hip hop dance, but we showed up and we were actually attempting to do ballet, and it was really funny. So, we definitely didn’t get in to the dance program. But a couple of us we got into the vocal performance background, or program I should say. And I was at the school, Frank Sinatra School Of The Arts at the time, it was only a year or two old. So, I came in as a very early class. This was back in the early 2000, I believe. I got there in like 2001, 2002. And you know, it was just lucky that they were still figuring things out themselves. So it felt like a school that was still finding its roots sort of. So, we had that creative ability. I could go outside, and get food it felt like college before college, which they don’t usually have in high school, but it was actually a school founded by Tony Bennett, the Great Tony Bennet, who was a very close friend of Frank Sinatra.
Art Costello: Let me tell you a quick story, real quick. I worked in the music business in the music management business, and I worked for Jose Feliciano, and I happened to have the privilege of, it’s a long story, but I’ll make it short. I went to Vegas a lot, worked in Vegas, and traveled all over the world, scouting new talent, but I had just made contact with Johnny Weissmuller who was the original Tarzan, and he was invited to the very first entertainer of the year awards in Las Vegas. This is around 71 maybe, maybe 70, and I had hung with a lot of the guys in Vegas. Well, I walked back, and Sammy Davis Jr was there, and Don Rickles, a young Don Rickles was there. Roy Clark, I mean just all the Vegas entertainers that were there, Wayne Newton, they were all backstage. And Sammy Davis grabbed me by the arm, and said: “Art.” He said: “I’d like to introduce you here, to this guy.” And I turned around, and he says: “Art, this is Frank Sinatra.” And I got to meet Frank Sinatra, and hang with them for a couple kind of days that we were all out there. But people, what they don’t know is he had a heart of gold, and he really cared about teaching young people how to come up in the business, and he’s just a host of knowledge. So,when you said: “you were at Frank Sinatra’s School Of The Arts”, I was just thrilled to see that, because I know that it fulfilled a need in him–
Daniel Linares: –Wow
Art Costello: –you know, and his purpose.
Daniel Linares: That was really nice, and even more barriers. I think Frankie broke, I don’t know if you saw the Quincy Jones documentary on Netflix, but if you haven’t, you have to watch it. Art, it outlines this musical genius, who thinks to Sinatra was one of the first musicians that were of African American descent that was allowed in a white only hotel to stay there, because Quincy Jones is what I think helped make Sinatra is very unique sound, and, and the Fly Me To The Moon, and these incredible productions. Frankie, loved Quincy just like he loves Sammy Davis, and some of the earliest times of when Sinatra was in Vegas, this might’ve been around at the same time. It’s what you’re telling me is Frank said: “Look, owners of or managers of Vegas properties, if you don’t let my entire band, including the black band members stay here, then we’re not going to perform.” They listened to what Frank said. —
Art Costello: –Oh, absolutely (laughs).
Daniel Linares: –it is really profound to hear that, that Frank said, wow, like: “I don’t care. Yeah, I know racial barriers are what they are, but we’re going to break that down right now. I’m Frank Sinatra, and that was going to happen.”
Art Costello: Yeah. And that’s typical of him. You know, it really is typical of the way that he carried himself in his caring attitude about other people, in his loyalty. He was very loyal, to the people that surrounded him, and helped him. You know, a lot of great things that people don’t know about entertainers that pop up in conversation–
Daniel Linares: –It’s true grant music, but he also was just a really great person at heart that wanted to change things because there were some silly rules back then.
Art Costello: Yeah. You know, and you’ve been in the entertainment business, you’ve seen it, you know, where people get to levels that are so up in the rankings of entertainers, and that goes to their head, particularly back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s you know, they was a superiority thing like, I’m so and so on. You’re going to treat me this way. Frank, just wanted to be Frank, and have people treat him just like he was any other of the guys, you know, and–
Daniel Linares: –well said. I certainly admire him, and Tony Bennett being such a close friend of Frank, said: “okay, I wanna create a performing arts school that is all about the arts. That’s about the vocal performers, about the dancers, about the actors, and musicians”. And I was lucky to be a part of that early movement that Tony was very much hands on a part of. And Tony, he came to our very small performances, that were in these smaller theaters early on. Now they have this larger space, but early on they shared space with a few colleges in Queens, and it was just a priceless experience for me that I think helped shaped me creatively, and kind of showed me that life and or school does the need to be this classic structure of this is the way it’s supposed to be.
Art Costello: You know, that’s one of the beauties about growing up in a place like New York, or Los Angeles, or Chicago, Dallas, where they have a diverse group of students, but not only that, they have a diverse way of thinking, you know, that just encompasses so much because I grew up, as I told you in New Jersey, and then moved to upstate New York, and it was actually the most traumatic part of my life because, when I went from such an urban area as new Milford, New Jersey, and then went to a little town of evoke in New York, where in my entire class there were no more than 20 kids. We did not have any of the things. We didn’t even have the ability to play baseball, which was my whole thing. I was a Brooklyn dodger fan. I mean, I bled blue. I wanted to be Sandy Colfax. I wanted to be Roy Campanella.I wanted to be Duke Snider and that was my fantasy. And then to have to move to somewhere where I had none of it. I was on a farm that had, my nearest neighbor was three, four miles away, and they were in their 90’s, and I had nothing, and I became very lonely and lost. So, you have really been blessed–
Daniel Linares: –That’s a tough transition Art.
Art Costello: It was a tough transition, and you know, I don’t know how much you know about my story, but (laughs), when you get the chance read it, and you’ll see how I’ve overcome it ,and how I had to teach myself everything, everything because I didn’t have parents like you did. They’ve encouraged or had expectations of us.
Daniel Linares: No, it’s okay. I would like the just natural nuances of, of the conversation, and I get the sense that you and I can vibe for just hours back and forth with ease.
Art Costello: We can, we can. I could tell. I do. So (laughs) we’ll get to some point in the show where we’ll have to say, oops folks, it’s time clock is ticking folks(laughs)
Daniel Linares: Just to kind of–
Art Costello: –Yeah
Daniel Linares: –speed through the rest of my story. I went to this high school, had the privilege of performing at Carnegie Hall with a select group of singers. And you know, there was a saying when you performed Carnegie Hall, you know you’ve made it, and I was in high school, and that definitely didn’t feel like I made it. But it was like this real amazing privilege to be a part of a group of the Colla Voce, the chamber singers, where there’s maybe 20 or 30 of us that were hand selected to be a part of this professional choir and professional orchestra.And you know, that was just one of the most priceless things that has happened. And then from there I had a lot of interest in the music business. So, I applied to this school in Long Island called the Five Towns College, and wanted to get a deep audio technology, and music business background. So, I was there for four years, unlike some other college students. I did the four year program in four years, and actually got a bachelor’s in business with a minor in audio technology. So, I thought in college that I wanted to get into the music business. And now I sort of am, but not in the way that I imagined. I thought I was gonna be producing records, doing, you know, potentially as an artist, or as a producer, or as an engineer. I had a lot of interest in that, so I had like the creative brain, but then the technical side that I was so comfortable in, and one thing led to another, I think, I guess some of the jobs that I had where you were talking baseball, I was actually a baseball umpire for little league. So baseball was something really near and dear to me. I used to be big into athletics. I played All Star Bowling up until like 18 years old, and basketball as well. And I worked as a, let’s see, umpire, I worked for Sam Ash Music, and the Audio Department. And my last job before I said, you know what, I’m taking this entrepreneurial thing full time was working with Apple Incorporated. You know, by the time I left I was with Apple three years or so. By the time I left I was in charge of training, and onboarding, and educating new hires. About the culture of Apple, and what it was like to be in some of the busiest stores in the entire world. I happened to be in a store that was in Long Island, which is right next to Queens, and it was the busiest store per square foot in the entire world that Apple occupied. So, I’d say a big part of how I’ve been able to excel in my line of work, and it was kind of reinforced to me at another conference that I went to was being exposed in this retail environment to so many different types of people so quickly. And it just allowed me to think very quickly on my feet on how I’m gonna speak to this person, the kind of energy that I want to mirror because they say in sales, if you’re able to mirror somebody’s energy and deliver it differently to different people, you’ll be really, really good. It’s like being a chameleon in the sales world. So, I’d say a lot of my ability to get up and host an event with a microphone and do it with comfort is, I mean I’ve been doing it for over ten years now, but I think just being exposed to so many different types of people and being on that stage, if you will, in a extremely busy Apple incorporated environment.
You know, it was something that, what I alluded to before about a conference that I went to, they surveyed and tried to figure out of the 2200 salespeople that we have working for our B2B business, why other top 10, 20% exceeding at such a high level? Like what is it about them? And they realize that a majority of them were either only high school educated with no college degree, or a minimum three years customer service experience in a retail environment. And I was like, oh wow. Maybe that’s why I’m so comfortable in sales. I don’t even call it sales. I’m just comfortable in talking to people about things that I’m passionate about, and they just so happened to buy (laughs). But you know, it was really fascinating. So, those of you who are trying to get better in sales, maybe you can jump into customer service job for a short while ,and just soak some of that up.
Art Costello: Anything that exposes people to multiple, I [INAUDIBLE] events, but multiple stimulus interactions. Stimulus really, really gives you confidence. It builds you comps in certainly in the retail business (laughs). I’m sure you could tell me stories about how things have been challenging to you, and the more challenges you get. You learn so many techniques, which brings me to my point about when you do so many varied things, audio engineer, retail, all these things that you’ve done, you’re setting the stage for a broadened horizon, a better things to come because, you don’t have that fear. You know, fear is what stops people from doing. You and I talked a little–“The more challenges you get you learn so many techniques.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Daniel Linares: –Absolutely.
Art Costello: –Bit about this before, but fear is what stops people. What was your most fearful thing that you overcame at any point in your life that you actually just said, I’m going to go out. I’m gonna do it, and I don’t care, and it’s not fair to say I don’t care. It’s, I’m gonna do it to the best of my ability and let the chips–“Fear is what stops people.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Daniel Linares: –It was leaving my retail job and saying, I am going to be my own boss. I’m going to try this entrepreneurial thing, or rather, I’m not gonna try it. I’m gonna do this entrepreneurial thing and I’m going to make it work. And I think that move was tough for me. I guess the luxury that I had for a few years was I was still at home, so I was like 21, 22 I was still at home, started building a brand, starts with building a company. And a really good decision that I made was instead of being this jack of all trades company, and just the catch everybody who’s listening up, I run a wedding entertainment brand in New York City. People hire us to facilitate the entertainment side. So djs, musicians, master of ceremonies, sound, lighting, and people hire us for all those good fields for their wedding. But for me, I decided when I started the brand to be a niche focused brand. And what I mean by that and is this term that I love to use is theirs. I now know this as a fact. There’s riches in the niches. And the analogy that I like to say is why do people go to a general physician versus going to a specialist? Yes, you’re gonna maybe get similar information, but would you pay a little bit more or a lot more to work with somebody that knows exactly what you need that specializes in the area that you’re looking for? And that’s the decision that I made. I said: “look, I want to be a specialist in wedding entertainment for a number of reasons. It’s a higher price point. People wanna work with the best of the business.” You know, arguably a lot of people walk in and they say: “we know that the wedding entertainers, the most important part of the success of a wedding,” and you know, they work with us, and we throw them an incredible event. So early on, I decided I want it to be the ultimate niche brand. But then I said: “How can I differentiate? There’s a lot of people already in this space. How can I differentiate?” And I started to think of, okay, well back to my retail job, let me think about this retail thing. Apple had the customer experience side sort of figured out and what a lot of people may not know is Apple based their core standards of service around the Ritz Carlton Hospitality Standards Of Service. So it was this customer experience mindset that was, you know, very customer centric. And I said: “how can I take a wedding entertainment brand, which has the stigma of having a lot of cheesy people working in that space.” Actually a lot of things that people say when they meet: “Hey, we stumbled upon your brand because, we’re not looking for the cheesy entertainment, we’re looking for White Glove Touch Entertainment.” So I said: “I’m gonna be niche focused, and I’m going to be customer experience centric.” And what it does mean? It’s speaking to the true needs of the customer, what they really want. It’s not about the equipment that we have or how nice our suit is. That’s part of it. But the talent that Danny Meyer, the master of Shake Shack, the man who founded Shake Shack, and he owns over 16 other restaurants, he goes by something that resonates so deeply with me, which is 49% of the success of a company, or a brand particularly in service is the product. So you hand them a business card. 49% of the success of that company is the product or service, but then the other 51% is how you make the customer feel along the way. And the biggest differentiator is how you treat the customer. Why is Danny Meyer, why does he have 16 restaurants, and now none of them accept tips anymore. They actually include the tipping built in to the pricing model. It’s because he’s very customer experience centric. He believes people should not come in and pay for good service, they should expect the good service, and these are foundations that now resonates so deeply with me that I’m building into my brand is that customer experience. People should expect it, especially from those that are doing at the highest level.
Art Costello: You know, you use a word that is huge with me because my book that I wrote is called expectation therapy. And I have a whole different view on expectations that most people have. And it’s kind of really in line with what you’re saying because I believe that once you have your core expectations set ,and you know what they are, and you know how to feed them, and it makes your ability to connect with other people so much easier because, you’ve satisfied your own expectations, and you’re kind of wanting to fulfill those in the people around you. Coz, I don’t think it’s so important what other people is expect as much as what you expect. And if you expect to be the best at what you are, you are going to be the best. You’re going to strive for that constantly. If it’s at your core. Now, if you’re just one of these people that mouthed the words, it doesn’t have much meaning. But what people like you and I who are very passionate about what we do, and how we do it, our expectations, and I can tell, and I know that at a young age, your expectations, we’re growing all the time and you were learning how to handle disappointment, and rejection, and all those because anybody that’s been in the entertainment industry knows about rejection and not getting it perfect. And that’s the thing, it’s about being able to manage your expectations, and being able to get through it will get you through any situation that you encounter. I’m living proof of it, Vietnam, Marine and Vietnam, death of my wife in 2006 to Ovarian Cancer. You know, my stories full of how I mastered my expectations and how I, how I expected the unexpected, and how you learn to handle the unexpected is has a lot to do with how you expect. And I know that people really don’t understand it, but it’s very, very true.I love your story–“Once you have your core expectations set… it makes your ability to connect with other people so much easier because you've satisfied your own expectations.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Daniel Linares: –And just to touch on one thing that you just mentioned is so many people are waiting for that perfect time to do something. And we’re conditioned around this horizontal mindset. And this is something that’s so profound to me, this horizontal mindset. Let’s think of it in the corporate world where you work hard enough, you’ll get a promotion, but it’s gonna needs to be two years. You work hard and maybe five years into it, then you qualify to be the VP. And then maybe if you work hard enough for another five to 10 just maybe you’ll deserve executive level, or partner, or what have you. And a lot of entrepreneurs kind of go by that same mindset. Well, if I put in enough time, maybe I’ll be deserving, or maybe the time will come, or the plateau will show up where I deserve to, let’s say write a book, or start doing speaking engagements, or start doing podcasts with people, and declare myself an expert in a space. And what I’ve switched, is instead of having this, oh, let me be an entrepreneur for 15 years and then eventually I think I’ll deserve it, is switching from that horizontal growth staircase mindset to a vertical mindset. And the big difference is you don’t have to wait until it’s perfect. Launch it in a prototype stage. So, what do I mean by that? I’m actually on a podcast right now with Art, who I’m absolutely loving this conversation, but you might say, how did I get to this point? I declared to myself that I know enough about several areas of subject, particularly customer experience, and service, that I said to myself: “Well, there’s people out there that have been doing it much longer than me. Why should I deserve that?” And if I set up, I don’t deserve it. I wouldn’t be on this podcast right now. And I said: “I do deserve it.” I got this invisible or imaginary wall that was in front of my next step out of my way and said: “I deserve it.” And that’s all that it took. So what I implore people who are listening to this to do at any age, of any level of experience, you don’t need to wait 10. 20, 30 years to do that thing that you think you’re not ready for. We all possess the skills needed to do that next thing. Maybe you need to polish up a little bit on it, but stop waiting for perfection. The world is filled with people that are waiting for perfection that never, ever start that thing that they want to do because, they never think that they’re there. So I implore people, the visual that I love to create is, and it’s stealing from this quote that I heard in some way, shape, or form. Jump off the diving board. What you think might be ton of bricks that you’ll be landing into, might be a bed of feathers, and it’s maybe less more waste, less more stressful, or 0% stress because, it’s only the stuff in our minds that are really holding us back.“We all possess the skills needed to do that next thing, maybe you need to polish up a little bit on it, but stop waiting for perfection.” –Daniel Linares Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Our minds really are the tricksters in our lives. You know? That’s why your belief system has to be so passionate and strong about what you’re doing, because every day there’s millions of obstacles that they’ll make you say, nope, nope. Can’t do that. You know, I put the word can’t add in my life. I think the biggest trainor for me though, I don’t know, I, (laughs) I got such a unique story when I was seven, I sold Christmas cards in July around Cresskill, and new Milford, and Dumont, New Jersey. I just saw this ad in a comic book and just started doing it, and it led me to knocking on a door one day and a man, big burly man answered the door and he goes: “well, you’re young whippersnapper. What do you want?” And I said: “Christmas cards to sell in July?” And you get a big smile on his face. He said: “Selling Christmas cards, Huh?” I said: “Yeah.” He said: “How many boxes you got?” I said: “Oh, I think I’ve got about 10 boxes.” He said: “How much are they?” I think they were like a buck a box, or something like that back in 1956 maybe, it was even 55 I don’t know. Anyway, he looked at me and said: “I’ll take them all.” And I was just beaming. I mean, you know, I had been, I had this cart and I just hauled these cards around every day after school and every minute I could sell in these, you know, these cards. So he bought them all and I said, it was turning around to leave after he paid me. He said: “hey.” He said: “You got a lot of gumption.” He said: “What have you ever thought about having a paper route?” And I said: “Oh, I’d love to have a paper route.” I said: “But I can’t, coz I’m not old enough.” And he said: “Well, I’m the district manager for the New York, the Newark Star Ledger.” And he said: “I think I can get around it.” He said: “I’ll give you ten customers, and start you with 10, and give you an area, and that’ll be your area.” So I took him up on the offer–
Daniel Linares: –Wow.
Art Costello: A year later I had 165 customers. I went door to door selling those papers all the time, just like I did the cards. I hired my older brother to help me deliver because (laughs) they we’re so–“Our minds really are the tricksters in our lives. That’s why your belief system has to be so passionate and strong about what you're doing.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Daniel Linares: –Wow.
Art Costello: So much work and stuff. I hired my older brother to help me do it. And that was my first entrepreneurial experience. And you know, I just never had that fear of stuff with business and stuff. Now I always tell people when I don’t use the word I’m fearless because, if I had to walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope, I’d have fear. And I had fear in Vietnam. I mean even though I was a Marine, well trained, I was, you still live in with a certain amount of fear. So, I know there is no such thing as fearless. But what I also know is it’s how you face that fear. Coz the Marine Corps prepared me not only physically but mentally to overcome anything in my life that I had the challenge of and just–
Daniel Linares: –mindset.
Art Costello: –Just do it. Yup. Mindset that you got it. A mindset is huge on the successes that you have in life. And I call it a lot of people, negative expectations that will stop you from everything. But if you have, the positive expectation of always in mind was no matter what, no matter what, everything always works out the way it’s supposed to. And I look at every single thing in my life, Vietnam, the loss of my wife to cancer, every challenge I’ve ever had, I’ve looked at as God is teaching me something. He has something he wants me to learn. And I’ve always looked at every challenge as a learning experiences. You know what happens if you do that? There is never a failure in life because the value is–
Daniel Linares: –Oh,yeah.“It's only the stuff in our minds that are really holding us back.” –Daniel Linares Click To Tweet
Art Costello: –learning, and not making the same mistake. And that’s where the value of living that way comes. So, I’ve really appreciated your, your ability to maneuver through all the challenges that you’ve had, even though you say you haven’t had them. I know better. I know that there’s challenges that maybe you haven’t had these major big shootings that have happened to you, but you’ve had the challenges everyday that have made you grow into Daniel and Eris that has just become this really super person. I mean, I just got this, I’m very intuitive about Pete and your, you know, your blessing–
Daniel Linares: –alright.
Art Costello: –in my life, and I hope you’re a blessing in everybody’s life because you have a lot to teach people.
Daniel Linares: Wow. Well let me tell you something. I haven’t done a lot of podcasts. Well, to be honest, this is my second podcast, and it’s not every day that I connect so quickly with somebody who I think shares so many values,and conveniently you’re not too far away from me (laughs), but it’s, you know, the feeling is mutual, and I really appreciate the kind words, and you know, I, I’m already learning so much from you just based on this conversation. So thank you for having me and I’m just honored to be here.
Art Costello: Yeah. You know, and we will continue to have learning experiences together coz I’m not the kind of person that just kisses, and runs (laughs), you know, you know, we just, we’ll have a good time. And by the way, I’m in Texas, so.
Daniel Linares: No, not far. I still fly all over the place. I was in Orlando, I’m going to Arizona next week.
Art Costello: Where are you going in Arizona?
Daniel Linares: I’m going to, what is it called? Gilbert, Arizona?
Art Costello: Yep.
Daniel Linares: It’s not too far from Phoenix.
Art Costello: My best friend’s in Scottsdale. So that’s not too far away. Yes.
Daniel Linares: I still don’t have the Arizona Map in my head. I think I will once I get there of how close these different cities are. But yeah, I, I still haven’t had an extended stay in Texas yet.
Art Costello: Yeah. Austin is very, very unique. It’s very diverse. It’s growing. I mean, when I came to Texas back in the early 80’s, I mean, it a population was like 150, 125, 150,000, now I think in our general area would hit 2,000,000, maybe.
Daniel Linares: Wow.
Art Costello: Something like that. In a million and a half–
Daniel Linares: –or outside of Austin, are you in that?–
Art Costello: –I have a ranch outside of Austin, but I’m remarried, and my wife is a nurse anesthetist, and does anesthesia, so she has to be at the very pro close proximity to all the hospitals, you know, when she travels and stuff. So we live at her old house in the city proper. So–
Daniel Linares: –beautiful.
Art Costello: –Yeah. Austin’s a really unique place. You’d love it because of the music, and the culture though. It’s changing. It’s like everything else in this world.
Daniel Linares: I’m the crazy guy who wherever he travels in there, the story comes up because it’s reminded me of Nashville. I’ve been in Nashville a couple of times. I’m the kind of guy who somehow talks his way onto getting on stage with the band, and singing some songs with the band.
Art Costello: (laughs)
Daniel Linares: Particularly when I was in Nashville last, there was this really great band. They’re playing like a mix of country, but some other things in there, and I was vibing solo with them. They had me there for like a few hours. We were like jumping back and forth and performing. So maybe if I come to Texas, I can perform with some of the bands at some of the local.–
Art Costello: –Yeah, yeah. Well there’s a ton of them. And in it’s any genre of music that you can pick up.–
Daniel Linares: –Amazing.
Art Costello: –From hip hop, to country, to soul, to jazz. I mean a lot of great musicians here, you know?
Daniel Linares: Well, I’m starting to get more reasons to be in, in more cities. I’ve just been expanding my network, putting more effort into meeting more people, whether it’s through business events, and now podcasts. Look at this.
Art Costello: Yeah, well, you know, my podcast just went number one 70 on all overall on iTunes. So–
Daniel Linares: –Congratulations, overall, holy cow.
Art Costello: Yeah, I mean when you consider that there’s millions of podcasts out there and you hit one 70 that’s pretty cool (laughs).
Daniel Linares: I sensed people feel the curiosity in you, in your curiosity, in whoever you’re speaking to. And I think that, that’s how people listened to you. Just time and time again, you have this curiosity that is so genuine, and I think that makes for the best conversations.
Art Costello: I love people, I love people and I love their stories and cherish them. You know? Because I know, you know, I know the difficulties of, you know, some people and I know the joys of some people and I love the journey. It’s all about the journey and what you can learn and everybody has something to teach me. That’s my thing is that, you know, I can’t possibly do everything that you do and you can’t possibly do everything that I’ve done. So, I have to rely on people like you and to teach me, you know, to give me that insight into things. And I just love people. So, so what’s up besides Gilbert, Arizona? Tell me all about what you’ve got coming, and where people can get a hold of you and [inaudible]–
Daniel Linares: So, what I’m working on now is, so many people have come to me and said: “Hey Dan, do you need to somehow teach some of the psychology of why you’ve become successful?” And over the last we’ll see, you know, six months or so, I’ve said: “Okay, you know what? I’m gonna build a business where I teach, like service based businesses, how to connect with their customers more on an emotional level. There’s so many people trying to do it the wrong way. And the term customer experience, people don’t even understand what that is because, they’re focused on how beautiful their website looks, or what their product, or service does.” So those of you listening who might have a customer, or have a business and you might say: “Okay.” You know, what can I do to elevate my brand’s customer experience? It would be start thinking beyond your job role or start thinking beyond what on-paper relationship looks like with you in the customer. And what I mean by that, there’s a customer who was huge, New York Mets fans, both of them. They even had Mr. Met at their wedding. I’m not kidding you. And I said: “Wow, this was such a special experience. It was an amazing time.” I think we appreciated each other. Those are my favorite kinds of clients. The clients that are, that are just like so thankful that we were there to help them celebrate a big moment. So I turned to my assistant, I said: “Look, I want you to find something special for this client. They’re huge Mets fans.” So, we went on Ebay, and found a autographed David Wright baseball card from his final game, I think it was last year or the year before, final game autograph. We bought it, I think it was 150 bucks. Something like that, sent it to the customer with a thank you card without any expectations. We just want them to say like, look, you’re appreciated and you know, having us there, we know that you could have chosen anybody else and it was really meaningful for us to be there and to help you celebrate. Here’s a little something. I know the both of you absolutely love the Mets. Thank you for having us. And the client was just in awe. They called us up and they were just like so emotional in a good way because we’ve become such good friends over the course of the planning, and the wedding that we’re just so thankful. And you know, they send us clients all the time now. or people. But where they’re really lacking. And I think why so many people who understand the emotional side of the customer journey are succeeding, is how can you bring a high level touch to a customer experience?
Art Costello: Yeah. You know, those things are invaluable. But you know, really the great part of this is that because of your genuineness, you know, you’re so genuine and people know that that was done not out of, it’s a good thing to do for a client. You did it because your hearts said, hey, these are great people and all that. And I’m sure you, you make that connection with almost all your clients. I mean there’s, I know there’s difficult people in the world, and I loved the challenges of difficult people, but you can win every single one of them over if you just have the expectation that you can do it. So–
Daniel Linares: –Agreed. And it’s not just sending them gifts. I don’t want people to think, oh, I just have to send everybody signed baseball cards or whatever it is. It’s just thinking outside of the box all the time. Like how can I in this exact moment do something special in a moment of how is this handled? Like this is other story. We were doing a wedding in New York City. The bride didn’t eat anything the entire day. She forgot because she was just overwhelmed with the moment, right? So the end of the wedding, I hear the groom walking up to the venue, the Maitre d, the person in charge and said: “Hey, my wife is hungry. Do you guys have any food?” And they said: “Oh, we don’t have anything left, or everything’s in the garbage, or what have you.” And that interaction was about to be over. So I walked over to the groom and said: “What can I get your bride?” And he looked at me like, wait, what do you mean in his head, his wait. Dan’s the DJ. He did a great time, a great job. He’s the MC. He hosted the event. They know that I’ve gone out of my way for other things for them just leading up to the big day, but I said: “What can I get your bride?” He said: “Anything.” I said: “How about Sushi?” And it was like 11 o’clock at night and it is New York City–
Art Costello: –(laughs)
Daniel Linares: –But it’s still 11 o’clock at night. I said: “I will be back in 30 minutes.” In my head I’m like, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to find anything close by. I said: “I’ll be back in 30 minutes and I will bring you something.” So my team is breaking down the equipment and I said: “All right, it’s New York City. I’m sure I could find something.” So I look it up on Yelp. If those, you don’t know this on Yelp, you could click, you could type in Sushi, and then type, and then select a filter open now. So what businesses are open right now that can help me with this moment. So, to fast forward through the story, I run two blocks north, literally run, and run two blocks east. Found a place called them up in advance and ordered like I think three or four Sushi rolls. Picked it up while I was waiting for them to finish. I called an Uber, and 30 minutes, 36 minutes later I come back, they’re actually staying on some of the higher floors. I think they had like the penthouse in the same venue. It was like one of these members only clubs that had a party room, and they were staying upstairs. I delivered it to them. They said: “Oh Daniel, we don’t have any cash, dah, dah, dah.” I said: “That’s not why I got of you guys. This is your big day, and I want you to be happy. Enjoy the Sushi. Thank you for having us.” And that was it. So it’s just these little acts of randomness that make your customers remember you forever. Forever–
Art Costello: –They’ll never forget it–
Daniel Linares: –And in 10, 20 years they’re gonna say, Oh my God, you remember at our wedding that I didn’t eat. But Daniel who didn’t have to do that whatsoever, he ran and got a Sushi, who does that? And that’s the kind of things that you should really keep in mind to just grow an exceptional brand year after year. And it’s just a snowball effect. If you could do this to more and more customers, they’re going to tell more and more of their friends and their family and your business is just going to be growing word of mouth without you even trying.
Art Costello: Yeah. I want to leave you with this thought. It doesn’t matter just about brand. You should be doing that every day of your life for people because the more you give of yourself, the more you get in return tenfold. It is just a law of the universe. You know? It just works that way that the more you give them yourself, your heart, your assets, everything. I’ve always been a huge giver. You know, it just, I feel better giving than I do receiving. I hate to get gifts, but we’d have a whole different world.–“The more you give yourself, the more you get in return tenfold. It is just the law of the universe.” –Art Costello Click To Tweet
Daniel Linares: –Oh yeah.
Art Costello: –You know, just think of all the places where people are hurting and everything. And just a kind word. I love my wife and I go to New York. We’re gonna have to get together when we come.–
Daniel Linares: –I would love to, I would love that.
Art Costello: –Yeah, but when we go to New York, my wife always teases me and laughed. She says, when you get on the subway, you don’t know a soul when you go out, get off the whole car, knows who you are. Because I’ve gone around, and introduced myself, and met people and all that, but I have met some of the greatest people who just sit and tell me their story. You know, just like we’re doing now. It has made such an impact on my life and I know that, I hope that I’ve made an impact on their lives. You know, that they’ve learned some little tidbit to me, from me that they’re gonna take, and it’s gonna stick with them. And that’s why we all do what we do.–
Daniel Linares: –[inaudible] believer in the give method as well. Just give without expectations in all areas of your life. I know we’re talking about business a bit here, but if you just give to people on selfishly free advice, free business, this, you buy a random gift for a friend, or a friend of mine who was a photographer. I bought him this random shirt that said everybody’s a photographer until, and then it’s like the photographer dial is adjusted to the manual setting.–
Art Costello: –(laughs)
Daniel Linares: –Just like a [INAUDIBLE] said: “Your friend Rafal, he would like this, I’m gonna buy it for him randomly, and just send it to him on his birthday.” I think in like five weeks, something like that.
Art Costello: That’s great.
Daniel Linares: You just give without expectation, not saying, how can I leverage this relationship for my own benefit? And I’m a actually a big Tony Robbins Fan, and that’s one of his biggest things. Just giving without expectation. And the more that I give, the more reciprocity people they’re giving back to me and–
Art Costello: –absolutely
Daniel Linares: –more give, give, give and your life will be better.“Give, give, give, and your life will be better.” –Daniel Linares Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Yup. Any words of wisdom before we sign off?
Daniel Linares: Words of wisdom Art, you have all the wisdom you’ve been preaching such value nuggets? For me, I really think we touched on some of the most passionate parts of, of I think what I really stand for, words of wisdom would be, when I was thinking about the Shower Epiphany’s just a company’s that I’ve had in my life, it’s been, okay where you know, where have I really have had these Epiphanes that have changed me for the better, and for me it’s been practicing gratitude a lot, and what I would implore people to do in this fast paced world of the Internet, and social media, and all these distractions is one, put your phone away, (laughs) and just appreciate the life that’s in front of you. But just remind yourself, every day I try to remind myself what are three things that I’m grateful for, every day. Wake up, starting that without even looking at your phone. Don’t look at email until 11 o’clock like I get up around nine o’clock, I’m more on the later schedule because of my line of work. But, what are three things that you’re just super grateful for? It can be something that happened yesterday, the random person that bought you coffee for no reason, or the person that waited an extra seven seconds to hold the door for you. Or it could be a moment from 10 years ago, 15 years ago, that was with the family. That was, you know, for me, I often think back to this time I had in Disneyworld with one of my grandmother’s who’s no longer with us, just the whole family was there. It was just a priceless moment that I was so grateful for. And I was 15 or 16 years old at the time, so I was like 15, 16, 17 years ago. But, when you come from a place of gratitude, your life is just gonna feel more meaningful every day. And if that is able to transfer not only into your personal life, but into your professional endeavors, you’re just gonna have a more fulfilled life. And gratitude for me would be your number one thing to be being happy has nothing to do with money. I recently met somebody who has all the money in the world in Australia and he’s still happy, but that’s not what makes him happy. It’s the relationships, and the giving that we were just talking about, and I would just tell people listening, practice more gratitude. And if you are, I’m sure you agree with me on this, but if you’re not, if you’re waking up and just reacting to life, reacting to the notifications of, of your phone and, and random emails, and putting out fires, and this, this, this and this, that’s stuff will happen. But come from a a gratitude driven start to the day and your days are just going to feel better. They’re going to be more intentional and you’ll be a happier person“When you come from a place of gratitude, your life is just going to feel more meaningful every day.” –Daniel Linares Click To Tweet
Art Costello: I couldn’t have said it any better. I mean that is folks, that’s powerful. That’s life changing. When you take what Daniel said, and start applying it to your life, you will make a difference and your life will start turning out, and turning around, and all the things that surround you will start becoming better, because you’re better, because it comes from with inside of you, not from outside. No outside stimulus can ever satisfy you that comes from within you. With that being said, Daniel, I can’t thank you enough. I’ve made a new friend, and we’re going to have fun, and do a lot of stuff, and I’d love to have you back on another time. You know,
Daniel Linares: I would love to, if every podcast was like this, I would do them every day five times.–
Art Costello: –(laughs)
Daniel Linares: –Art, you have some schedule in Uman, and honored to have crossed paths in this random Internet way. It’s not everyday that you can have these really deep thought provoking conversations with people, and it feel completely authentic. So thank you for having me on.“Gratitude, for me, would be your number one thing to be being happy. It has nothing to do with money.” –Daniel Linares Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Well, how thank you, and it’s genuine for me. I’m, we’re going to do some stuff. I like it, man. I think you’re great.
Daniel Linares: Thank you. And I’m like, oh, Art has to be on my podcast, and I don’t even have one yet.–
Art Costello: –(laughs) Yeah
Daniel Linares: –It’s a marathon right now (laughs).
Art Costello: –There. There you go. There you go. Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today. You know where you can get ahold of me. Expectation Therapy. Daniel, can you tell us your website?
Daniel Linares: Sure. I made it really easy, and I bought the domain www.Daniel.NYC, Daniel.NYC. It redirects to my full name, which have to spell out for you, but nice and easy. D-A-N-I-E-L . N-Y-C working on a lot of great things, and you know for me, I just want to help people communicate their x factor and why, you know, why the emotional side of your customer experience is the most meaningful one. So, I appreciate you are. Thank you for having me, and I look forward to the next time we chat.
Art Costello: Absolutely. We’ll call it another week and a really, really successful podcast this week. This is a great one, everybody. Thank you for listening.
About Daniel Linares
Passion and creativity combined takes his human form in Daniel Linares, an MC, DJ, and Founder of DLE Event Group. Not only is he an expert in delivering leading-edge events, he is also an expert in delivering his customers’ needs. Working with all sorts of people, culture and backgrounds developed in him the ability to discern their thoughts and desires well. He knows how to communicate with people’s heart and that’s what makes him dazzling and exceptional.
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