Daniel Barrett is a producer, musician, author and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Rubicon Artist Development which is an innovative music studio and development program that works with artists such as Ruthie Foster, who is a singer-songwriter that has earned three Grammy Award nominations. In addition to producing and mentoring artists, Daniel is the founder of the award-winning and internationally touring band Porterdavis. A few years ago his career took a major right turn when remodeling his house turned into a disaster and Daniel decided to do something about it. That something became a flooring installation and design business.
“I was running the music school and I was doing gigs with PorterDavis, and I’m on a date and I’m just bitching about how we went up to Dallas and they paid us short and we had to drive back through the night and then I’d teach a bunch of lessons. You know, she said, you sure do complain about music a lot.
I was like a spit take, like, excuse me. She goes, yeah, yeah, no, you, you totally, you clearly love music, man. You sure but complain about it a lot. Clearly you love it. What part do you love? And I was like, kind of taken aback. I was like, well, I do it all so that I get to go make records, you know, all the other stuff.
She goes, well, is there a job where you just get to make records? And I’m like, yeah. You know, like I’ve done, you know, produced. And she’s like, you’re a smart guy. Just put all your eggs in the thing that you love the most. And see if that works out. I mean, I still, like, I feel like this sort of chills all over my head and neck just, I was like, oh yeah, that’s, that’s fricking brilliant. That’s just makes infinite sense.
I was diffused and chasing too many chasing too many prizes at the same time. And she focused me on the prize that mattered and the thing that I loved.”
All right, you got Daniel Barrett here on the establishing your empire podcast. Thank you so much for coming by to the house. And doing this in person, of
Daniel Barrett: [00:02:45] course, it’s kinda comforting to do it in person. It’s like we get to do things in person again. Yeah. Finally. Right.
Daran Herrman: [00:02:51] Yeah. And for me, it’s you get so much more of a personal connection together, but to start off, I kind of like to start off with a question, just simple, but sometimes hard to answer is just, you know, tell us a little bit about, about who you are, what you do, that type
Daniel Barrett: [00:03:06] of thing.
Oh, that’s general. I am Daniel Barrett and I do a lot of things. I’m a husband, a father I own several businesses. I’m an author musician. And I’m a meditator or runner. Yeah, that’s I love that question.
Daran Herrman: [00:03:25] It’s actually a hard question. Cause it’s like, tell me about, about yourself. So let’s start off and we could start off anywhere.
But I think the place that I would like to know a lot about is your music career. So Porter, Davis, awarding wedding band out of here in Austin you know, maybe go back how you got into music. Like how’d
Daniel Barrett: [00:03:45] that start? I was in a group in New York, a little outside of New York city in the suburbs and I was, I was somewhat happy kid.
I was like, I played a little bit of sports. Wasn’t too good at it. I was kinda got decent grades, but not the best grades. I just kinda like having like a little a good life, but just kind of under the radar and it was fine. And Someone handed me a guitar to party in and taught me every rose has its born by poison.
And it was like, you played this G chord and then this SI at nine and you just move your two feet fingers. And like people were all of a sudden number one looking at me, which I was like, hi, you know, and then like girls were looking and love the song and then people were singing it. And I was just moving my fingers over two strings.
And like, this is powerful. This is cool. The one thing, and I was also kind of like a little overly sensitive as a kid that was like not awesome. You know, it was like, I didn’t, I wasn’t particularly psyched about that quality and it wasn’t particularly celebrated. But then I started learning music and I was learning to play led Zeppelin songs, all this kind of stuff.
And, and I, I remember some, one of the really good musicians in the school school was like, Hey man, you got a nice feel. What like, so then I was getting positive attention for feeling a lot, which I was just like playing the Zeppelin song the way I felt it, you know, it was cool. Like I love the way that song felt and I didn’t think anything of it.
So it kind of spiraled from there. And I just fell in love with music. I loved the social aspect about it, but I also just loved playing. Like I just fell in love with how sounds came together. So that was, that was in high school. I was late, like 15. What was your first band? The first band I was in was Yosemite crotch.
Oh no, we corrupted youth. That’s not true. Corrupted youth morphed into chia, Yosemite crotch. So that the name got worse, the name. Oh. And then it, and then they wouldn’t let us play the school dances Yosemite. Cause they didn’t want the word crotch in it. So we became chia Savalas, which is like a chia pet and telly Savalas.
And and we yeah, we, we had some sessions naming the band. We were, we were early adopters of, of just sort of inspirational additives to try to like come up with band names and stuff like that. We were early adopters. We spent a lot of time naming the man. We should have practiced as much time as we spent and naming the vein.
Daran Herrman: [00:06:22] us through like, okay, so you’re planning in high school. That’s great. You do just like straight out of high school or college or whatever, and be a musician or how’d that path
Daniel Barrett: [00:06:33] where to go. It was strange. It all seems strange. It all seems like a long time ago now. But I just fell so hard in love with it and I kind of.
Saying that I, I don’t, my upbringing was kind of nondescript. I’m thinking I’m like thinking I’m like, what did I do? I was kind of nondescript. I just was sort of under the radar, not what I, I was okay at sports, not great, like okay. At everything. Yeah. Just kind of like do to do. And then I felt like, oh, this is, this is like, it was like a homing signal.
All of a sudden it was like, I got like some blues brother kind of feeling just like, I’m on a mission now. Like, this is like, I don’t, I didn’t eat. No, if I was any good at it. And I really wasn’t and haven’t been good at it for, for periods of it. Like, I didn’t know that all the time, but like, it just didn’t matter.
It was like, this is the truest thing I’ve ever felt. And I feel alive in a way. I’m like no longer nondescript I’m on a mission. Like this is the coolest and then cool is not even a good enough word. This means something to me. I heard Jimmy Hendricks. And Stevie Ray Vaughn and Bob Dylan, and I was growing up in the suburbs and there was just a lot of suburban blah, you know, it was like, you know, unless you were killing it at the football game, you were just kind of, you were nondescript like me, you know, like that was just one of the, nothing about it.
Boring almost. Yeah. It was just like, that was the stock. The stock was athletics. And I guess in certain circles I grew up in New York. So if you had a really nice IROC Z that could get you some status that was you know, in I think you’re aging yourself here a little bit and cavalry cheese, you know, if you have the right cavalry cheese and an IROC, Z U R I am age himself 46.
But this was just I just truth in Jimi Hendrix and felt truth in Stevie Ray Vaughan and had heard ideas and Bob Dylan and, and some of those other guys that just. I’m like, well, until I find something that affects me more, I, I don’t, I don’t think I think this is where I’m going to put my focus.
Daran Herrman: [00:08:45] so bizarre. How’d you take it from the feeling and enjoyment and a lot of people will do this, not just in music, right? Photographers. Oh, I enjoy taking photos, but how do you make a living
Daniel Barrett: [00:08:54] doing it? Well, I didn’t for a long time, you know, I, I I mean, it’s a long and winding story, but I mean, I’ve done every single job inside of music.
I was I did get a degree in it after like nine or 10 years of going to different schools. So I taught it in elementary schools. I tried to manage people. I did a lot of teaching. I opened up a music school. I. Ended up finding my biggest joy and most success as a producer, I shot, I had a recording studio for about a decade.
And so that was my main when I found that that’s a, that’s a great story about how, how that all came to be. But when I found production, then I actually you know, they were like, find out what lights you up and then find what the world needs. And I found that kind of really sweet spot between those two concepts with that.
And then that was just like 10 years of, of, of joy, you know, like really in the sweet spot.
Daran Herrman: [00:09:57] So, and I think we should definitely dive into that. Let’s go back so a little bit, cause you know, I think we’ve got a couple of themes that we’ll go into and, and. Let’s let’s go into like maybe I think some people will listen to this will want me to ask some story early stories about Porter Davis, how’d you guys get together.
And maybe if there’s some stories before that, that led to Porter Davis. Right? Give
Daniel Barrett: [00:10:18] me give me that. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s just, it’s, it’s been a while now, frankly, so it’s, there’s so much of it, but early on, I mean, I got turned on by the guitar, but again, you know, what did that mean? I’ve told them, you know, Hey mom, dad, can I, can I go get lessons?
I mean, there was no, no concept of a career. I just wanted to learn more, you know, poisoned songs so I can add more repertoire, maybe GNR lies. So I can play them at parties no concept, but then when I started to find Jimmy Hendrickson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, I had a spiritual connection to it and it was really quiet.
I wasn’t going in Santana. I started to feel, I grew up in the Jewish tradition and again, same thing as everything I had done, everything was kind of Like it was fine. You know, like I was a good kid, got, went and went to Sunday school, like, but I didn’t have any real spiritual, whatever. I just wasn’t real spiritual about it.
I just did what I was supposed to do. And then when I sound music, it just kind of lit me up. It led me, I just thought that there was something more true full. And I just, just decide I to follow that. And I don’t know what it was. And it was like a, it was a thread I would follow musicians, read about musicians, and then they would, you know, then I would read it the writers that they would talk about.
And I just kinda went on this. I just went on a journey that I’m still literally on at 46. Like that, that feeling has not changed. I’m still 100% as engaged with growing as a musician. And just as excited about the projects I’m doing now and music as I was when I was 15, 16. So that’s kind of, so
Daran Herrman: [00:12:02] how’d you find other really great musicians or, you know, any tips or tricks there, or even just how it actually happened with, you know, with the bands that you’ve been in and actually coming up with something that was good, right.
That people enjoy it, or like, you know, I
Daniel Barrett: [00:12:17] don’t, I haven’t done that too many times, but I, I know it’s a great question. And again, it’s been so long it’s, we’re talking about, you know, I started this path that I’m talking about right now. I probably learned that poison song at that party in 90, 91 91, probably somewhere around there, right around 90.
And so we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re talking about multiple decades. And one of the things that I did was that I always put myself over my head and I still do. I’m always do that. That’s that’s me as well. Yeah. Fire aim. And I just, when I was, I did go to Berkeley college of music and for a little bit, for a couple semesters, and there was a saxophone player whose name?
I can’t remember. He was like the first dude with sleeves. I’m telling you when I was there in the mid nineties, like people had tattoos, but you know, like you’re, you’re on, I didn’t have sleeves at that point. He was a bad-ass, he was a sax jazz sax player. And he was just like, throw yourself in. He just told me, and I don’t know why I was giving me advice.
Cause we were, I mean, it was great advice, but it was funny. Maybe I looked like I needed it. And but he was like, just throw yourself in with the best musicians possible. And if they kick you out, they kick you out, just throw yourself into situations and they probably won’t kick you out. Just do your best.
I had another guy Mark Hart, who’s still a dear friend. And I, I joined my first professional band was called hypnotic clambake. So it’s like the names didn’t get much better, but that man actually had something going on. Like it was a jam band that did world music, but like the dudes and fish, that band, the, you know, this is mid nineties in when fish was like immuno really happening.
And that, that band really liked him, not at clambake. So that was the first band that I joined that had a following that was touring the whole country. And I joined as their guitar player. And this drummer joined the same time I did. And we’ve, we’ve just stayed great friends. And he gave me three rules that also in terms of how to get yourself in situations three rules were being a professional musician.
Number one, don’t be a Dick. Number two, show up early. If you’re on time, you’re late. And number three, always do your best. And he’s like, if you do those three things, you will have a career in music. I can guarantee it. And not just
Daran Herrman: [00:14:46] music, a lot of places I think showing up is a big, I think a lot of times people pay professionals because it’s guaranteed that they’ll be there.
Yes. And they probably will. And they’ll, there’ll be professional. Right. You might not even be the, you know, the best, but you’re going to, you’re guaranteed
Daniel Barrett: [00:15:00] to be there. Yeah. I mean, that, that happened. I mean, that’s a future conversation. I have a great design and construction business going now. And in addition to all the music and what’s the name of that that’s called Barrett flooring.
And I have to make sure you plug it. Yes. I mean, that’s fine if you’re, if, if, if any of you listening or a custom builder in Austin, Texas, then, and then holler at your boy, but other if you’re not then yeah. You know, cause we specialize it various with very specific builders. It’s like a really business to business type thing.
But you know, the builders we work for a lot of it is just, you know, I, I haven’t really thought, I don’t think about this stuff very much. So it’s fun to, to, to do that in a lot of what I do think is interesting. If there’s anything interesting about my story, one of them is that the music career has so set up the success in the construction career.
And you know, all the different, like, you know, oh, don’t let your kids be a philosophy major or an art major. I mean, all of the music stuff has, you know, just learning just how much showing up man. It means to professionals, you know, like The the builders just, you know, I just, a lot of people don’t show up.
So I show up and if I can’t show up, I call and say why I can’t show up. And when I will show up in that small thing that I’ve been doing since Mark Hart told me to do that when I was a 19 year old guitar player has led to like a lot of fun, a lot of, you know, a lot of, a lot of successful relationships, which is, which is everything, you know?
So showing up
Daran Herrman: [00:16:35] for sure. And it’s huge. It’s so simple, but it’s so big. What about the coolest show you’ve ever played or a show or live music experience that brings a motion or saw I feeling or just a memory to
Daniel Barrett: [00:16:48] you? Yeah, it’s funny that evoked cause there’s so many, but there was a moment where Porter Davis played at the salmon arm music festival in seminar Canada.
So It was just real cool to go from, you know, I just never, I never was doing this based on the fact that I thought I was hot shit. I just knew that I had to do it. And that I did see in the world, if I followed something with everything I had, despite the fact that I had only sort of medium talent, it wasn’t, I wasn’t horrible.
I had some feel for it, but I wasn’t this prodigy. I was like, if I was one of the questions I wanted to answer for myself and for the kids that I now have, I have kids eight years old and four years old was like, if you, I needed to answer this question, make a map. If you love something enough and you apply yourself wholeheartedly to it, if you have, you know, enough talent and enough intelligence, but not prodigy level, can you make it work?
I had just had no clue. Cause most of the people around me were they made a very prescribed. Decisions. And so that’s what I had. I had a lot of really good examples of people who did things that were known quantities. And if you did this, you become a doctor and you do this, and then at 36, they spit you out.
So, so yeah salmon arm was for, was a Porter Davis show we played in, I don’t know how many people there, I, some, I think it was more than 10,000, less than 20,000. So it was the first time I played to what I’m people played a hundred, I mean, but for me it looked like a sea of people. Cool. Like where you can’t quite, you don’t, you can’t make out the people at the end.
That was just like it was a gas and I was nervous as hell. And it, so number one, there was a feeling of like, holy cow, like I’m getting better, played a legacy of people like this is cool. And they’re all really nice. And Canadians are so gracious. Fricking love, Canadians, all my I’ll shout out to all the Canadians.
Okay. There, if you’re listening. But I remember going to their Tim Horton’s, which is like, they’re Dunkin donuts, you know, or, but, but, but better. And in Colona, Canada, and I just, they kept calling it Timmy’s and I was just, I like to get excited about local flavors and cool stuff like that. So went to, Timmy’s got coffee, got, went to seminar and got to know everybody, like next day.
And like, we got out there and I was like, holy shit. That’s a lot of people, like, I’m nervous, excited, and like we’re out. And we’re just like a little trio. Like the Mike played like a box like a Cahone. So there was like no drum set harmonica and me and my guitar. And it was like a lot of folks and we just had to fill a lot of energy and and we went out there and I was like, hello, you know, like, No, I was lead singer and timely, like a Porter Davis from Austin, Texas.
And I think I said something like, and we are fueled today by Timmy’s. Thank you. Or we hit the Tim Horton’s on the way. So we all ready to go. And everyone just cheered. For some reason, they love this dude from Texas, like talking about the coffee shop in the love, the warmth. I literally have chills thinking about it.
This set just killed. Like we killed, like we like, at least in my heart, like it was like 45 minutes of like surfing a wave of positive Canadian energy, which I highly recommend. And I never knew that I get to do that. And it was just all like I got to have, I got to have the moment and I was like, it was a great, I, we have so many cool.
We played, we did a lot of street performing and some of those like really intimate moments playing for four people in Harvard square in Boston. I did have a couple of like these rockstar moments or like minor rockstar moments. And when you’re not a rockstar, it’s like, it’s really cool. It’s like, you get to like, it’s like somebody opened a little portal for a few minutes and then closed.
I was like, thank you. That’s cool. Yeah.
Daran Herrman: [00:20:54] I love it. So, and Porter Davis was pretty successful, especially as bands go. How did the transition from like having a band and doing pretty well to, you know, changing up, producing and opening up a shop?
Daniel Barrett: [00:21:08] All respect to my wife on that. Well, first of all, I had been producing since 96 incredible singer, still one of the greatest singers I’ve ever heard in my life.
Her name is Kristen . I was her guitar player and she was getting ready to make her first album and we didn’t know what a producer was. We didn’t know what to do. We were just like kids. We were early twenties, I guess. And. I don’t know if I sit I’ll do it, or she said, will you do it? I didn’t know what it meant, but it went really well.
It was nerve wracking. We surrounded herself with really good players. I mean, I’m the bass player in that record still plays with John Mayer. We were all kids going to school. Like the drummer, John sands has been with this great Sarah Amy Mann for years. Like we were, we kind of like stumbled and Kristen having to be one of the greatest singers in the history of singers and still is so it’s like, I was kinda, she was very generous with me to let me hang, but I guess it just went well.
Like we didn’t overthink it. We all played pretty good. And it was well received. So early on, I got joy from that process and, and things seem to go well, like better than I expected. It’s something in terms of, I know some of the. People who listen to your podcast are entrepreneurs. And it’s, I think that was from that.
I learned that, oh, certain things you do, you’re just going to work your ass off and you’ll get this far. And other things you’ll put in that same or moderate energy, and you’ll get a lot more back from it. It’s like, oh, this, this might be where some of my ability lies at the time. I had no clue, but I just got lucky.
But the production side of it, I just, when it turned out years later, we are is that I just had extra. I just loved it so much. I didn’t even know. I was just like, I had a tension for things that. Had I had attention for things that I didn’t understand was not everybody cared about. So I was like, oh, like, you know, if you’re editing photos, like, yeah.
I mean, I used
Daran Herrman: [00:23:09] to, like, I spent hours upon hours, especially pre like Lightroom days where you all had Photoshop and I’d spend like two hours on a photo. Like people, people didn’t do that, like, right. Like it’s insane. It wasn’t even a photo. Would it, they would go anywhere. Right. You know, I think it was just a photo
Daniel Barrett: [00:23:24] and you’re having a great time learning
Daran Herrman: [00:23:26] and YouTube being and doing it nonstop and early on.
For me actually, even still, I was probably a better editor that I was a photographer. And then the other side of it kind of relating to your story that you see in the photos here. I loved music, I played brass trumpet, you know, Flint horn, all this stuff, but I was just, okay, you know, and then I got like even college and those people were, were okay, but they were so much better than me.
Right. And not even at any levels that were high. So it was one of my ways to be a part of the music team is to like, well, I’ll, I’ll take her, you know, I can take the photos, you know, and do videos and stuff like that. So it kind of hooked me in, in a side door. Right. And I got to be on stage. I was on stage at ACL and some of that stuff I got by even smaller piece of that door open, you know, but
Daniel Barrett: [00:24:16] it’s part of it.
But you, you fear there and if you love something, you just it’s enough in some ways, just to be part of it. If you. Judging and comparing who gets to do this, who gets to do that, that can Rob your joy, but like you’re on stage at ACL, whether you’re there carrying water, the dude carrying the water to radio hit is a bad-ass water carrier.
Like that’s like the, and like coolest water carrier in that city that day. So on the scale of things he’s winning. So, so yeah, and, and it’s, I relate so much because I think I didn’t want to be lead singer and the hot shot guitar player. And I kind of was, but I was pretty good at that, but I wasn’t I didn’t have, have the same kind of moves that I had in the production side.
And by moves, I just meant like a lot of it’s just capacity to handle that detail. Like I just loved the details. So that was my way to be part of the game. I just like, oh, well, I’m going to okay. Guitar player, but nobody’s beating my door down. To do that. I can get gigs and I can be a good soldier and work hard.
And I was okay. It wasn’t like I was bad or anything like that. I still feel that way about my guitar playing I’m solid, but I’m not, it’s it’s I have to work really hard at it. And it just to be professional grade, you don’t have to like really put everything I have in it, into it, just to kind of.
Landed. And even still, I have friends who are, you know, if they put the same amount of effort in would just be, you know, it’s just so, but how
Daran Herrman: [00:25:54] did you, okay, so you know that you like it and you’re pretty good at it, or at least you, you enjoy doing it. How did you make it like a full fledged business?
Well, is there something that pushed you off the cliff, the Y wife talked to you and you like how that, that step is very important. A lot of people don’t take it.
Daniel Barrett: [00:26:11] There’s 15 years of other smaller stories, but I’ll give you the seminal story. And the story that like really changed my life. I started dating this stunning red head who is now the mother of my stunning red headed son.
And, you know, just she, but we were just dating at that point in Porter Davis was playing, I’d already opened our music school. Red leaf school of music, which still exists. I had sold, I sold that to genome. Who was my business partner at the time. And I’m so pleased that he’s had such a great, like, I think 12, 13 year run with that.
But I was I was running the music school. That’s where I’m at Dallas, our friend, he came to work there. And I was doing gigs with Porter Davis, and I’m on a date with this awesome red-headed chick. And just bitching about how we went up to Dallas and they paid us short and we had to drive back through the night and then I’d teach a bunch of lessons and she’s just eating.
And we were definitely getting pretty close, you know, like it was looked like this was fell in places and, and, you know, she said you shouldn’t do complain about music a lot. I was like, it was like a spit take, like, excuse me. She goes, yay. Yeah, no, you, you totally, you clearly love music, but man, you sure.
The complain about it a lot. Clearly you love it. What part do you love? And I was like, kind of taken aback and I was like, well, I do it all so that I get to go make records, you know, all the other stuff. She goes, well, there’s there a job where you just get to me, I make records. And I’m like, yeah, yeah, like I’ve done, you know, produce, you know, she’s like, why don’t you consider stop and go the Dallas for 50 bucks and maybe even consider stop.
And although it’s all that, stuff’s beautiful. If you want to go Dallas good Dallas, but you know, and maybe even stop, you know, teaching green day songs to accountants and she’s like, you’re a smart guy. Just put all your eggs in the thing that you love the most and see if that works out. And it was like, you know, it was just I mean, still, like, I feel like this sort of chills over my head and neck just, I was like, oh yeah, That’s fricking brilliant.
That’s just makes infinite sense. So I told Davis after, you know, we were probably 15 years into the band. It’s like, I’m still in the band, but I’m not going to do X, Y, and Z, or I’m not going to there for this. And these are the things I can do. We’ll do local, like I’m into it. We’ll do fly dates like salmon arm.
And it’s not, we’re not done, but I can’t, I’m focusing my time. And then I told him Gino’s like, Hey, I’m, I’m, I’m going to go do a thing. And I sold him my part of the business. Cause he was, he was happy to be doing that. And I had a little house and I turned it into a studio and, and there’s more to it, but that, that was the I was diffused and chasing too many.
Chasing too many prizes at the same time. And she focused me on the prize that mattered and the thing I loved and the thing that went back to that Christus Felly record that I also not only did I love it, but I apparently that more of the time I had more of, I wish I had a better way of saying it. I keep saying I had moves, but I, if you ever see me dance, I don’t really have moves.
But like I had, I had ways of solving problems rapidly and apparently better than average. So I was able to solve more problems faster. And I
Daran Herrman: [00:29:38] think you solve problems that aren’t just technical problems. You dive into the psych of people. And yeah, that is a lot when you’re working, when working with people for one, but working with artists, that’s a whole nother level.
Real quick though, before we go into is it’s interesting that some simple questions or some simple statements. Completely fork knife, what you were doing? Yes. Do any, I wonder how we could give advice to people, people that don’t maybe have a significant other or a way to ask her and maybe you just need, maybe that’s just it.
Maybe you just should have asked her questions. You know, what’s this look like in five years? Is this what I’m happy with? Am I complaining? You know, maybe self check yourself. Am I complaining too much about one thing over and over? But it’s interesting how you kind of got a audit of your life there from somebody else
Daniel Barrett: [00:30:26] I believe.
And I’m just, this is unscientific, so you can fight me on it in the comments, but if anyone’s listening life is telling them those things, it may not come from your fiance or your fiance to be, it may be, you know, people have been trying to tell me that by not coming to my shows for a long time, you know, or only moderately are hit and miss, you know, life was telling me like, life is, I believe life is telling us every single day, almost every hour of every day, what we need to hear.
And I think in that moment I was ready to hear it and I, and my love for Andrea I think that there is some something subconscious, which is, I mean, I don’t know, she probably would didn’t know what she was saying, but she’s like, you know, like I’m not. I like you, but I’m not gonna hitch myself to a complaining cliche of some frustrated musician.
She’s like, I believe in you. And so before we get engaged, like, let’s see if you got moves. Yeah.
Daran Herrman: [00:31:33] Well, and I, there’s probably a piece of that, but in a day, I think you hit on, it’s amazing things about how we’re told all the time in so many different ways, just slow times subtle and sometimes not subtle, but you were willing to listen to it and that’s massively important that moment.
Yeah. And I think we only need to make one or two big decisions every year. There’s we don’t need to make a thousand good ones, just one or two good ones, right. One or two that, that can really change your life or even just make it a good gear for that matter.
Daniel Barrett: [00:32:03] There’s a great interview recently with Jim Collins and Tim Ferris.
I love Jim Collins. Love Tim Ferris and Jim. You can check that one out, but he, he says something along the lines of there were some moments he, I realize that not all moments were weighted the same. There’s certain moments in your life that will be weighted so much more heavily. And how you show up for those moments will define whether you’re lying as, you know, like outrageously wonderful or, or not.
And, and they’re, they’re really Jim Collins of course says it way more articulate, but but, but that was one of those moments where it was, it was a portal. It was like, you do choose to walk through the store and do you choose to take responsibility? Number one for it? Because she, she, I remember her saying a Mark Guy and I thought that was interesting.
I don’t know. That was, cause I don’t know. I mean, I was, I am, but I wasn’t, I didn’t know how smart, I mean, it was like smart enough, like, but was I like, I don’t know. I was she kind of. She was saying that I think you can do this if you really want it bad enough. You know? Like, but how bad do you want it?
You know, it’s giving you permission
Daran Herrman: [00:33:11] to
Daniel Barrett: [00:33:12] yeah. Yeah. She was, she did give me permission. She’s like, is she, she said so much about how the relationship was going to go and just we dating. She’s like, I’m going to, I’ll back you, but I’m not going to back you Willy nilly and I’m not going to watch you, you know, spin your energy out and waste it.
And so it was kind of it was an amazing moment. Yeah. She’s still exactly the same way. So how did, okay, so you, you get the studio go and everything’s looking good. How’d you get business? Like, you know, cause there’s a million
students. That’s an awesome story too, was like, this was like you talking about seminal times in my life.
And, and again, I live in stories. There are so many stories, but the, the, the crux, the seminal story of that moment was I was like, okay, well, Well shit now, like now I know what the plan is. This is, you know, so for your entrepreneurs, this was a really good moment to, oh, I wanted to say one of the thing about like, not everybody has it.
I said everybody has access to that wisdom, but I also read like a mofo. Like I would talk to the authors. I would listen. And I would imagine what the authors would say. I didn’t have like a board of directors. No one gave a shit what I was doing most of the time. Sorry, I’ve dropped a lot of well, but it’s how I communicate.
Bleep. No, I don’t, I think kids would be bored with this podcast, so don’t worry
bleep. I just I just books and I still do nonstop and
Daran Herrman: [00:34:40] I would pretend any, any book that stands out or that you recommend to other people on a regular basis.
Daniel Barrett: [00:34:46] So many. Yeah. At that point in the sides,
Daran Herrman: [00:34:49] the remembering pot process, which we’ll get into.
Daniel Barrett: [00:34:51] Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. One of the, what was cool, cause there was a lot of magic happening there. I think there are also, I would love to know. So if any, if I’m the only one who thinks this way, but I think there are periods of my life that have been very linear and I’ve just kind of had to go grind and like life is asking me, like, if I give you one in one, will you make two?
If I, you, if I, you know, I’m gonna, you’re going to put it in five effort and you’re going to get five back and I want to see if there’s no wind will you row. And I think like life is just asking, like, do you have what it takes to row? If there’s no wind and and then you show life like, yeah, good roll, man.
I’m like, I’m going to Rome. You know, but not, I didn’t know his row. Sometimes I sat there waiting no wind, no sale. Other times I think life has been telling me like, all right, now, put up your sale and see if you’re willing to receive. You want to go a little faster. You want to see some other cool things, put up the sale and I’m going to take you on a little I’m gonna take you on a little ride when might die out halfway.
You have to row, I might, you might not win the whole way. It’s so I think there’s this like little game I’ve been playing with life, which is like, I try to use the wind cause it’s fun and it’s exciting. And, and if it doesn’t, if not blowing, then I’ll just wait a little bit and see if it wants to come.
If not, then I’ll find like, okay, guess I got to work for it. Like, you know, so so the, the whole the, the, the books you were asking me about were there’s one called the success principle. And that was just an incredible by Jack Canfield and Jack Canfield ended up doing one of the, this was, I was going to say there was magic.
That was a magical time where I was getting a lot of wind. So the dude who wrote the book that gave me a lot of the principles to get into a lot of incredible situations, ended up being a friend of my co-author and ended up writing one of the F the recommendations on the jacket of the book. So it was wow.
Not very well articulated because I’m remembering it as it see the remembering process. I’m remembering it as, as it happened. I can even tell you that story again because I, I fumbled it, but it was Jack Canfield’s book, the success principles that got me doing things. Yeah. Seem to, I wouldn’t say, made the wind, but helped me unfurl the sale and raise the sale.
He’s like, this is how you’d be ready for, for life’s kind of joy and wind to take you places. Until then, I don’t know what else. Well,
Daran Herrman: [00:37:17] and I think there’s so, you know, we always heard here about like the five people that are around you kind of are who you could be and, you know, we’ll show you the success you could be or who you are, but sometimes you can’t pick five great people, especially if you’re younger or something, but books, YouTube videos, podcasts, all those can, can get you there to five people that are a B on your reach, perhaps.
And even sometimes momentarily. And not every, like, I’m a big fan of I, I read a lot too as well, but YouTube videos and podcasts, I think. New ways to digest information much quicker and only the pieces you want to read or hear or listen to. But let’s, let’s go actually, before we go into the book, cause I want to ask about that, cause that, that is part of the story of having your studio,
Daniel Barrett: [00:38:09] but L and that book came back up, also hinges on how I got my first clients and that’s true.
Do it. You want to do it? Yeah, sheriffs do it. Okay. I had done a concert for dogs. Did you know about the concert for dogs? Well, I’ve had one before it wasn’t mine. I did a concert. I did a boards and bands Fest with dogs for town, like animal center. But
this was literally, we played for the dogs dogs.
Daran Herrman: [00:38:38] Okay. So that’s how bad
Daniel Barrett: [00:38:40] it got it. Wouldn’t it was great. Dr. Joe Vitale. Right. I wrote a book called there’s a customer born every minute. I didn’t know him, but our drummer was in like a magic club with him where I don’t know what you know, guys would. Yeah, that’s, that’s a whole other thing, Mike and his magic club.
But he had this dude named Joe Vitaly, Mr. Fire. And he was releasing a book and they were doing a thing where they were going to line up these dogs and we were going to, they needed a band to play music and they were going to filter it through this thing that only so only dogs could hear it. And he was going to call the TV station to come film this concert for dogs.
And, and the. And there was a mermaid and some other things and, and go figure it was a book about PT, Barnum. It was really cool customer born every minute. And I had never heard of Joe never heard of, I don’t know it was just this music dude, but Mike said, yeah, Hey, this guy’s really cool. And he needs to banned for this thing.
We’re not doing anything Tuesday afternoon. You guys want to go do this funky concert for dogs. And we’re like, well, I guess so. Sure. Whatever. So we did that three years later, two years later, this book called the secret comes out and it was this massive hit. And my father sent me a copy and I’m just there, you know, eaten Cheetos, watching this thing.
My dad sent me to, you know, try to, probably to try to encourage me to get a job or something like that. You know, the secret is get a job. Right. And I’m like, that’s the dude comes on like that. Concert for dogs guy. I call them my drummer. I’m like the concert for dogs guys in this like famous Oprah book thing.
You know, I was, I was blown away that that was the guy. So it really, it really knocked me out. I was excited and I really loved the secret. Like I really, not only was I excited that I knew a dude in it and had played a concert for dogs for him. But it, it knocked me out. It was that same. It was, this was prior to Jack camp.
This was the first kind of shift in thought, which is like, oh man, like how I curate, my thoughts is going to curate. Everything I do. So so that was that, and I never really reached out to Joe. I just, he was now famous and not just like whatever I was just, that was cool that I knew that guy once fast forward, several years to when I’m having this, I have this conversation with my soon to be wife about like, you know, being, you know, focusing on opening a studio and being a producer full-time and then like, I don’t know anything, like, I’ve just done lots of local stuff.
Like I need to, if I’m gonna make a living at this, I need to branch out. I see. I just had it in my head that I need to be national. That was like his funny word. It was like a mantra. I was like, how does anyone get national at anything? So local, I want to be national. I didn’t have any great like definitions.
I just knew that, like, I just walked around like a crazy man saying the word national The national national, national national, who do I know that’s national, not many people. Oh, the secret dude, Joe he’s national. He went national. I knew him when he was local, but now he’s national. It did him a favor one time.
I wonder if there’s any chance he would talk to me for a little while about being national. I’ll find a cooler way to say it. But like, let me reach out to him. So I sent him an email and I get back an auto respond that says like, you know, I can’t, I, you know, responding, can’t respond to everybody. I’m like, ah, crap.
I finally only get a response from him, which was really nice. And he was like, sure. I remember you. Thanks for doing the dog thing. Yeah, I’ll have lunch with you. I just invited him to like and he and he was like, yeah, I’m free in like two months.
Great. That’s amazing. That’s awesome. Like, I was so grateful and that that’s, you know, if there’s if the content is one of the contexts here is entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs gratitude. If someone gives you, like, he gave me an eyedropper full of hope. Yeah.
Daran Herrman: [00:42:58] And on the flip side, though, you did something there.
You didn’t just like, I I’m all, all about cold reach out to everybody, but you know, I get a million of those and like they’re usually pretty fake and all this, but you know, there was this mutually benefiting benefit fitting situation there because you did something and, and you were just asking you weren’t asking much for them either, which way, but the cool thing is that you also reached out one of the big things.
I always say when people are starting a business or wanting to do a business or even have one or even want to get a job, just Excel sheet. Yeah. Well, at least 10 people hopefully get to like 50 and then put them in a priority priority list and just start reaching out. Okay. You know, one by
Daniel Barrett: [00:43:38] one, right?
Yeah. Yeah. And I didn’t feel like he owed me anything. I just thought there was like maybe some chance he might want to, and this is a big difference. I, I re cause I’ve had entitlement at different points in my life and it’s never really gotten me where, you know, anywhere, but in that case, I really did feel like, well, you know, it is what it is.
I’ll try. I totally get, if that, you know, he was so gracious and two months, and just being like, that was a really positive. Yes. Like that one was awesome. And it was just the most, I think. And then I, you know, it’s so funny. It’s like, oh, two months, it’s so long, but no, I had two months to be jazz facilities, meeting this meeting.
I ended up being unbelievably great and life-changing, and you know, still one of the best friends I’ve ever had never will have. But I had two months of just hope, excitement, and energy and got to think about it. So it’s like the anticipation. Yeah. Is just as good as sometimes as the thing itself, it’s just like, Ooh, how’s it going to be?
So I had all this energy and then, so I finally, it came, you know, I drove down to Wimberley, Texas where we were going to have lunch. And he I just remember having, and I’m not like a prayer guy. I just had this like vision or prayer. I was like, I was going down there. This is really important to you.
I was going down there to get something specific. How do I become national? I want to be national. But I was like, what if I had something that he needs, it occurred to me that I might have something to bring to the table. And I had no idea what I couldn’t fathom, what it might be, but I felt prayerful because somewhere along the way, it might’ve even been the Jack Canfield book.
And I have to reread that book. This has been a couple years, I’ve read it 10 times the success principles, but there was something about reciprocal value. It was like, I don’t want to just go down there and get I’m going to buy him lunch, but he doesn’t need anyone to do that, you know? But like, what if there’s something in my heart, like this is, this means so much to me.
And I kinda was like, God or jar or great mystery. If I have any, anything in my heart that could be abused to him, please bring it forth. So that this isn’t just about me, just about me. And it was a cool thought. I hadn’t, I hadn’t had that
Daran Herrman: [00:45:56] mentality.
Daniel Barrett: [00:45:57] I do. I do think like that, practicing that mentality. I think I looked upon it by grace in that moment, or I just had a good moment where I just realized that, you know, I, I, or that, or the books I had been reading, but just making sure that like, if there’s any value I can bring to the table that I do because I don’t, I want reciprocal value.
I don’t want that. Where I’m not creating a significant or greater value back. And so we went down and had a wonderful lunch. We started brainstorming and we ended to brainstorming about his thing a lot, like, which was cool. And I was having a ball and I pushed it, Tim on set. And I was like, no, you’re you could do even more with that.
You got to take it. And he loved the idea and he said, oh, I’m usually the one pushing. You’re making me think bigger. I’m like, that’s really nice. Yeah. I know that this would be like, we started jamming on it and he helped me with some things. And then at the end he said, by the way, I’ve been looking at my whole life for this.
So I created this. This training program, that was, it was a recording studio, but I was also helping develop artists to not many people have been doing that. So he said I’ve been looking for I’ve all I’ve really want to do is play music. That’s been my biggest, I hadn’t told him too many people. Can I sign up for your program and as is Dr.
Joe, this is Dr. Joe at the end of our lunch saying, can I start? And like when he’s like, I don’t know, when can you start? So I think he wrote me check that moment and I’m going to say the number. I think it was like a $5,000 check to start as a down payment for a recording. And that was so much money.
I don’t think I’d ever bourbon been handed a $5,000 check. I mean, you know, I have a construction company and there’s some big numbers flying around with some big houses, whatever it doesn’t matter. It’s not all mine, but I get to hold the, I get to hold a lot of big checks and portions of those trickled to me.
But I hold some big checks. I’d never, I don’t think I’d ever held a $5,000 check,
Daran Herrman: [00:47:56] especially written to you to do a service that you are doing, not you’re working for a company and there’s something powerful about somebody paying you directly. Like here, here’s the money for what you’re going to do for
Daniel Barrett: [00:48:08] me to do the thing.
And that I had dreamed to do most in the entire world. It was just like a moment that drive back from Wimberley was like I literally, I don’t know if you can, you can use it that I have chills thinking about that ride back. I haven’t thought I haven’t thought about that ride back in. I’m thoughtful about a lot of these things in a long time, it was an unbelievable moment and I bought Andrea’s engagement ring with it.
So that was the coolest, it was a magical time. It was like there’s times of there’s times of rowing. And there’s times of like that, that I like got a pretty good sale up. And I figured out how to, how to. Tip it or how I don’t, I’m not, I’m not my sailing metaphor falls apart really quick, but I’m like, this is cool.
There is something you gotta work hard. You gotta have practicality. You have to have some skills and ideas, but there’s also this way of receiving energy or receiving guidance. And it’s out there help us out there. Or people are just, can be really kind and things work out after a while. But it was really, I think it was there’s some magic to it.
There’s some other. This other intelligence of like really starting to figure out who I was and, and being attracted to the right people who needed what I had and creating symbiotic relationships is a really, really cool moment.
Daran Herrman: [00:49:33] And did fair. Also, you did something big for him cause he always wanted to be a musician and now he’s done well, like 13
Daniel Barrett: [00:49:39] albums or something.
A lot of records. Yeah. We’ve, we’ve done and all, you know, knock on wood, we’ve done them all together. And they’ve been some of the greatest times of my life working with some of the greatest musicians on the planet and just, just joy does pure joy that, that, that relationship has been just incredibly.
Daran Herrman: [00:49:59] how did, can I interrupt? Sorry. Was pivot right to the book because he wrote it with the same person Dr. Vitale. Who’s been on the. And I’ve done a lot of stuff for her as well through through you. How, how do you, how did this come about? Like, why I, and so it’s called the remembering process and forgive me if I’m wrong, but basically the idea, the general idea is you actually go to the place after you’ve actually done something in your head, like say you’ve already created it or got the job or whatever it is, and then work backwards from there type of thing.
And in a very general sense, it’s
Daniel Barrett: [00:50:32] interesting too, because we have this metaphor of like rowing and also the sale. So there’s two ways to do it. There’s we can do it like very practically like a, like a, just completely concrete kind of engineer’s brain, which is like, you know, go to the end result, go a little past it and try to use logic to think about ways that you could have got to the desired result.
There’s also a way about it that I, you know, I keep using this word magic. I think there are. Other types of thought or other types of feelings or other types of energy that can inform a project that, or a life that give something and this isn’t purely physics, but I call it quantum. They give it a non-linear kind of boost get further, faster than if you were just kind of trudging it out or using only logic, you tapping into some other parts of yourself.
Daran Herrman: [00:51:30] And I’ve always used it in probably not as exciting word, but vision like visualize vision of the future. Right. And see down that path, because I think God attach emotion to certain things, especially things that aren’t as easy to get or that isn’t, you know, gonna happen in two days. It’s very difficult.
So to me, I’ve always kind of tried to like visualize and get, how would I feel if I got that right. What, what
Daniel Barrett: [00:51:57] would that be like? And you’re using kind of sense memory. Like there’s this, when you think about, when I think about that, drive back from Wimberley, I get a sense of memory and it gives me these goosebumps really almost can feel like what it was like and kind of hear the road and seeing that that’s a real memory that really happened.
And in the remembering process, you know, I was, I was talking about this, a ride home from Wimberley and I got literally chills talking about it. And I kind of felt like a little flush. I could kind of hear the road passing by and just kind of feel the heat through the window. It’s like this memory came back whole, whole bodied, and we try to get to that place for things that haven’t happened yet.
So we’re using our sense of smell or sense of feel our sense of touch or sense of visualization or our ability to visualize. And, and we’re, we’re getting to a place that is, you know, let’s say I’m, I’m thinking about my son’s older son’s wedding. He’s eight years old and just the joy of the tuxedo that I’m wearing and walking him down the aisle.
And just seeing him not eight, but 18 than 20 and 24, 26, however old, let’s say late twenties, early thirties, and what a man he’s become and, and the beauty of the wedding, which means that we’re healthy and well and have done well for ourselves. And just the peace that I feel and the little sweat, you know, of walking down the aisle and the lights and, and then working backwards from that place using this sort of all these senses to kind of.
Really feel the future real and then work backwards and then, and kind of play that game all the way back and in the right meditative state that process goes from just creative visualization to it. It really does start to accelerate current circumstances. And I think
Daran Herrman: [00:53:57] sometimes push it forward. Like I think a lot of people, you know, never leave the starting blocks, right?
Yes. What about actually, how, how, okay, so how did you write a book? You’re a musician, you get a studio like author, like how did that even, how did you even start that?
Daniel Barrett: [00:54:12] We work really hard to get bunch of like lots of great material for his music albums. And I had always had like a weird thing that I did.
I mean, I started doing this with songs, like instead of trying to write a song, I would remember this. Instead, I would, I would remember it playing on the radio, hanging out with my friends. It didn’t exist yet, but there was something about remembering the song. The songs came from a different part of either my subconscious or my brain, or if you believe that some songs have almost a spiritual depth to them.
Some of them, I felt like came from almost another place within me or without me. I don’t know. I don’t, I’m not an expert on that, but it certainly felt like it was sourced differently. And so I just was helping Joe get his material together and I was telling him what, no, no, no, no. Don’t, don’t write it.
Remember it. I remember. And I, I got home that night and we were so on fire with our friendship, with him. His project. It just was like this just great fast friendship that still, it just, we just, you know, you meet your, your friends that are just going to be your friends forever. And we were just like, this is amazing.
And and he email me, he said, Hey, by the way, where did you learn that technique about remembering the song? And I emailed him back and I was like, I don’t know. I just always have been doing that since I was a kid. You know, since I was a teen after after I learned another cup of poison songs, I realized that it was like hard work to learn all these songs, but I could write one and I could just, I just found writing to be I just loved it.
And then I also found it to be easier than learning much songs. So I write, I just started doing it once kid. And he said, that should be a book. You need to write it. And I emailed back, we’re emailing in and I said, well, I’m not really an author. I mean, I said, I’m not an author. Do you know any?
And and I, and I said, just kidding. Would you write it with me? Because I, I that sounds like fun, but I don’t know that in our start. And he he agreed, he agreed. And we wrote the book. I remember finishing the first draft of the book. I had committed to finishing it the end by the end of that year.
And my wife and I, before we had kids, went to marathon, Texas at the gage hotel. And I had promised him that I would finish it before I did. He had done his parts and I still had some parts that I owed and I just. Busted it out at new year’s like we, we were away for new years. I’m sorry. I spent a lot of this time.
I said I would do this. And that was the thing about, about Joe. And what about Jack Canfield? Like one of the things is like, you know, keeping your word, you know, like I said, I would do it. So Joe taught me at that first lunch. I’d asked him some questions and he said, you have to be careful what you voice because the universe is listening to see if you do what you said you do.
And if you say a bunch of things and don’t do them, then the universe starts to wonder if you mean it. But if you mean it, then the universe somehow knows that. And helps you keep your word after a while. Like it just, there was kind of cosmic, but it was really, I was like, all right, it’s working for him.
And I was kind of, wishy-washy about a lot of things. And so I was like, no, I’m finishing this book at the gage hotel. And we did. And he pitched several books to this publisher. And ours was one of them and that was the one they picked up. So it just kind of went on, went on a journey.
Daran Herrman: [00:57:48] It’s fantastic. So now, okay.
I know we’ve got so many different areas, but this, this is know life is so interesting. So, all right. Musician band playing all over the place, you got a studio and then you do a whole crazy, you turn right turn or whatever you call it. And you get into flooring, floors, construction. Yeah. First, before you get into like what you guys do and all that stuff, how did that even ha like obviously something you had a project or something, something got you excited or hated it or something happened?
Daniel Barrett: [00:58:20] Yeah, we had a bad remodel. It just went to crap and, and I invited Crooks into our house. And then they did a terrible job and left with our money and then our house is rotting. Cause it, they didn’t waterproof it correctly. So and I was so embarrassed to feel ashamed that I let these people in my house and I was responsible to them as a terrible feeling.
And so then if you’ve ever, or had a bad remodel or no, been a part of it, you ended up having to become more versed in what’s happening and a little bit more than you ever wanted to. And I found it to be interesting. So, but I didn’t think much of it. I was like, okay, I’ll figure this out, try and get this done.
And then we found some other people who came and redid the entire bathroom again, cause it was all done wrong. And I didn’t know it because I was ignorant. So that was kind of where the seed happened. I did get interested and then and then I just got interested in how things are made, you know, like it just I’ve always liked.
Knowing how things come together. I think that’s the producer in music. I was interested in how the parts come together. Like that’s always, so that’s my mind works that way, but but the seed was like, it didn’t, I didn’t make a business out of it for quite some, for several couple of years, but I remember just thinking like, wow, man, like, how is this so hard to find somebody good at this?
That doesn’t make any sense, so many people need this. How has, how did, how did that suck so bad and everybody I’m calling to help fix it? No, one’s that interested in it and it just didn’t and it just didn’t make any sense. And the entrepreneur in me kind of like, I just packed that little idea where I was
Daran Herrman: [01:00:01] like, cause it’s expensive too.
So I guess stuff is cheap
Daniel Barrett: [01:00:04] to get done. Yeah, no, it was super expensive, especially for us, you know, I, at that time, I mean, it was like, you know, I just expenditure for us and it just bothered me that nobody had figured out how to do this better. It was like, really like, it almost like personally offended me.
Like I kind of had like, in some ways it was like, this has to be fixed. I was like a personal vendetta. I didn’t know that, but it was like, this doesn’t make sense. I keep thinking like, cause I don’t go as much out to the supply houses, but I keep wondering if I’m going to see that guy out at one of the he’s probably in jail, but I hope he’s in jail or somewhere.
Or I don’t know, in his jail and his version of jail.
Daran Herrman: [01:00:45] So what’s one of your FA one of your favorite things to do now that you’re in the flooring business and tile and all that stuff.
Daniel Barrett: [01:00:51] It’s just people, it’s just, I’m in the people business. I don’t install. I don’t, I, I I’m I’ve never installed a floor.
I’m interested in the same way that like, and I probably could, it’s not, I actually would like to, I, I do a lot of loading in my guys kind of yell at me, like stop it, sir. But like, I love loading. I’m like, dude, we’re getting paid to work out. Let’s go, let’s get small. Like that to me is like, I am like, you know, that’s unbelievable.
I love lifting heavy things and I love sweating. So like, like that part doesn’t bother me and I love crafting. And so like this it’s just more the, the thing I love is the people it’s the same as being a music person. It’s just slightly, it’s just,
Daran Herrman: [01:01:31] and you get, and I think it’s almost better that you’re not the installer because you, then you’re doing it like a real business should not what, like an installer does, which the installer is more focused on actually installing in the work and whatever, and getting to the next gig and this and that.
And you’re able to actually see it as you would.
Daniel Barrett: [01:01:50] Yeah. You see, like I got permission to not be an installer. I had been in business for a couple years. And I want to give a shout out to Tom Rieber, who has a podcast called the contractor fight. He’s become a mentor and a friend. He’s actually a great musician, too.
We’re going to think we’re supposed to jam in Colorado in the fall, we’ll see, like he’s having a, like a symposium or something like that. And we might do some jamming at that, a great drummer in, in great podcast. And I was, I became an avid listener and then he had a thing where, you know, they said like a listener could submit about their business and he might interview him, like, see, might solve it.
He’ll solve your problems on the, on his podcast coaching session with Tom Murray. So that’s another thing, kind of like the Joe thing, which is like, You know, I wasn’t afraid of what, I didn’t know. Like I probably sounded like a dumb ass, but, or I was afraid I would, but I was just like, that’s incredible information from a guru in my thing.
And he’s probably not going to get on the phone with me, but, and did you already have
Daran Herrman: [01:02:51] the copy of this at this stage
Daniel Barrett: [01:02:53] or not? Yeah, I was in business like a year and a half and I was struggling terribly with it. I was like, what have I done with my life stage? Which I think a lot of Contra entrepreneurs go through.
It’s like completely. What about multiple times? Yeah. Oh yeah. Like, yes. So I got on the air and with him or I got on his podcast and it was a phenomenal talk. And one of the things I said was like, oh yeah. I mean, like sometimes feel bad that like, I’m not an, I’m not an installer. So I don’t come to this.
And some of the, you know, some of the, like the construction and foreign guys looked down on me cause I’m like, I haven’t really done the actual work. I’ve just arranged for it to happen. And yeah, I just produced it. I produced it exactly. And he said, oh, no way, man. That’s why you have, cause at the time I was already doing a pretty significant amount of business.
Like that’s the one thing that came, you know you know, you talked about when you have business ideas, sometimes you’re able to launch them and see if that they take, you know, it took like I was doing I was doing, I thought it was a lot. And then I spoke to him and he was like, oh yeah. That’s like, it was like, like a couple of million dollars of, of gross business in our second year.
It was like a lot. It got very and again, if you’re not, you know, that doesn’t mean that was all coming to me, but it was okay. The gross was, was really good for a young business and he said that’s He said, and I just was like, ah, I’m embarrassed. Cause I don’t really, he said, no, man, that’s why you have a business is because every dude who ha comes from installation, the minute something goes wrong, they throw in their knee pads and they get out their trial and they go fix the problem.
He’s like, you don’t have that ability. So you have to fix business problems with business. You have to fix people problems with processes, processes, and people. And so that was, that was the grace. Yeah. I mean, I really and the one thing I could do is market and as an entrepreneur, as a, as a new entrepreneur, as a new sort of founder or owner I I’m biased that they have to really be versed in sales.
Like I just think the sales process is you can’t, I I’m dubious unless they’re just an incredible process and an operations person and are balanced by a great salesperson. I just think that Some, some younger business owners are afraid of sales and that’s not, that’s not going to work.
Daran Herrman: [01:05:18] Yeah. I mean, you have to, no matter what business you’re in sales of what you’re pitching sells of yourself.
And even, I think, you know, in the physical areas of like construction, people don’t even use easy stuff like Instagram and Facebook and stuff like that. And when such a visual thing, it’s so basic, but a lot of times it’s just not used and referral is huge in that area. And so if you treat one person, well, you know, you could very easily get more business.
What has worked for you marketing wise? Like, is there anything that has been kind of something that you were surprised or just something that you do on a regular basis or anything that
Daniel Barrett: [01:05:55] just happened? That’s a great question. I mean, Instagram has been great. It’s free people. Oh, you have great Instagram.
I don’t think it’s particularly great. It’s not bad. I care about it. So I put some care into when I do post. But yeah, I mean, you’re, you’re correct. I am baffled by businesses, especially that have any visual element that don’t invest in their Instagram right now. It’s like just, and I don’t mean invest money.
I just mean it takes some time to post thoughtfully and have a voice in it. You know, and the voice is really important. The captions, it’s funny. I had somebody help me with that for a little while. And my wife was like, I’m with your Instagram dude. It’s weird. You know, it was like, it was just a month and it’s just, it was in a bunch of people were like, you’re different.
I’m like, no, it’s not me. Like, and it wasn’t even like, it was bad, but they could just feel that like, it wasn’t fake. It was fake. Yeah. And I was people see through that pretty quickly and I like doing it. And so, so Instagram’s been great, but I’m going back to Joe Vitale and Jack Canfield and the success principles and Jo Vitale it’s funny, I’m remembering the old title that spiritual marketing, which became the attractor factor, Dr.
Frederick, the attractor factor which is I really people ask me because the sales, you know, we continue to grow. I’ve always been okay at, you know, even in the studio, like even with music, I’ve been able to get gigs, I’ve been able to get work. And it was like, you know, you follow through, you show up.
That’s a big thing. But the energy about it, Christine Kane I did some, some work with her. She’s a great coach and marketer and she marketing and sales is just creating energy around something that you’re excited about. And I’m like, I have a lot of energy. So I’m like, all I have to do is create energy around something.
And, and I think people miss that I’m not big on tactics. Tactics are good. But energy and authenticity. Like, I love it. We do, I had a personal vendetta about it and I’m just like, every time we do a kick-ass job, I take that first contractor. And I wrote me like that, dude, I, you know, it’s just, I have energy, you know, like, so I, I, I have a really, really close friend Tony Villareal from build five.
One, two is a builder that I work with and we just talk about tactics first authenticity, like so, so sales to me is is to find what you’re genuinely stoked about and just ooze it and exuded and let it pour out. We do some things. I do some extra work for people here and there, but I just. I don’t know, I don’t, I, one day I’ll try to articulate it better because I think this would change a lot of people’s lives and a lot of businesses that deserve to thrive that people are being too tactical well about.
Daran Herrman: [01:08:49] I also think if it’s really, if it’s really hard to sell, you’re probably not exerting that energy or maybe you’re just pitching the wrong thing. But I think it’s so much easier to sell when you care about it, you have energy around it. Like you don’t have to be thinking you don’t have to prepare as near as much as they just comes out.
And it becomes so easy. The second piece of that though, too, is to ensure that when you are really good at cells and all that, that you making sure that you’re actually doing something that’s very valuable because you can really good at selling something that’s smart, 50 bucks. You know, that’s so funny that you say that because in the recording studio, I had good, good sales because I was actually serving an underserved market in both cases in, in the studio.
Daniel Barrett: [01:09:32] There are a lot of really great studios. And like most of them, I couldn’t afford the studios and mostly artists that I was hanging out with. Couldn’t boredom, like, you know, just the, these really top-notch kind of Bentley recording studios. And and then there were like some medium studios, but there were a lot of artists that really, really, really wanted to record.
But weren’t quite ready, but if they could be ready would be, could really go to like one of these sort of medium grade studios. But if they went too early it would just, it just wouldn’t work. Weren’t quite ready. So I specialized in, I found that it could be really a value to people who are just shy of being I’m ready.
And I had all this patients cause again, funny, like this is, I don’t think I’ve ever stimulated in this way, but I kind of said I wasn’t being falsely modest. Like I really wasn’t a bad guitar, but I was pretty good. I had a degree in. But like, I had to work really, really hard for it. Like every little bit of it.
So when it came to hanging out with people in the areas, they struggled I just, it was easy. It was just like, nah, it was like, it was easy to be with them in that place without judgment where somebody who is more gifted would be like, why can’t you, she it, right. Yeah.
Daran Herrman: [01:10:45] That was like, you understood the
Daniel Barrett: [01:10:47] process to get there.
I understood exactly where they couldn’t play it. And it’s really fricking hard. And, but try it like this, and this is how I’ve gotten through that. And then they were, they were thrilled and they would get ready. The point is, is that I found a place that needed serving and it was the same thing in, in the, in this flooring we specialize in flooring.
For custom builders and that’s hardwood, tile floors, and, you know, really nice big bathrooms up Barrett flooring design at Barrett flown design. If you want to see our work, it’s really beautiful work. But there was just a huge need for it. So a lot of my entrepreneurial life I was not clear.
To really understand and be brutally honest about what people needed and what they didn’t need. And just, and I didn’t know that just because I really wanted to do something real bad didn’t mean the world needed that.
Daran Herrman: [01:11:39] Right. That’s completely true. And sometimes it’s good to know that earlier than later, cause you could wake up 10 years later realizing it and we, yeah, I’ve been there too.
Last couple of questions. This doesn’t have to be business-wise it could be personal, it can be both whatever. Five-year smell. Where
Daniel Barrett: [01:11:54] you see yourself? Oh, I love that. It’s funny. I went to embarrassment. I feel like embarrassed at that question for some reason. I don’t know, like I have zero idea why?
I mean, I want I don’t know why that is. I it’s. I think it’s interesting because there’s a I feel so ambitious. Like I just want to it’s like, it was so big. It was like, whoa, I almost scared myself. Barrett flooring is in every major city in Texas and starting to go national. Exactly. That’s it. So you want to scale up?
I want to scale up and then I’ve also you know, I’m doing some work in music right now with the great artists that have worked with a bunch of named Ruthie foster, who is a great singer and, and that album. So yeah, in five years I’ve scaled up nationally and I have a Grammy. Yeah. Yeah. I love, and my kids are thriving and enjoying the ride with me.
And I’ve also Done something along the line, I’ve done one marathon fit at an elite level as well. So yeah, and, and and enjoying time with the family and doing Grammy level music and scaling up Barrett flooring.
Daran Herrman: [01:13:06] See, I like that answer, actually. It’s funny that you preface it, that you were kind of embarrassed about it, but you actually, one of the best answers I’ve ever had of that one is because you learned multiple aspects of your life.
So when we, Christine, my wife and I will plan the year before the year starts, stuff like that. And you, I, you know, there’s family, there’s, there’s kind of. Well, you’re doing, doing you for your career or business or whatever it would be. Short-term, long-term their personal goal, fitness goals, health goals and you hit life goals with family and you kind of went through that whole gamut of area.
And I’m a big believer that if you don’t plan it, life’s gonna play on you. So, you know, develop your north star and go for it. And not just one area
Daniel Barrett: [01:13:46] across all the major areas, spiritually, physically family. Of course career-wise I, all of them, if any, one of those, if I’ve scaled scale at Barrett flooring, but I’m not inspired by the music I’m making I’m not sure that that’s successful
Daran Herrman: [01:14:03] be happy.
You might be happy, but not truly happy, right? Not that we’re ever going to be truly, truly happy, but as close as possible. Right. I
Daniel Barrett: [01:14:10] think the embarrassment and I said the embarrassment, because I think that it’s like, I don’t know, you know, if your audience are. Entrepreneurs or wanting to be entrepreneurs or somewhere in between, or there can be an embarrassment about our our assets.
Like there’s this sense of like even our successes
Daran Herrman: [01:14:30] too? Yes. Yeah, of course. There’s a fear of being successful. A lot of people won’t know it or see it, or even think that it’s true, but
Daniel Barrett: [01:14:37] it’s extremely true. Yeah. And I wanted that out there that it’s it’s I feel it’s cool. It scares me a little too. Like I just put it out to the universe to, yeah.
And to all these people it’s like, yeah. I put that out and it’s I don’t know. I just think it’s important because. What, what you don’t hear from these bad-ass is like, I listened to, you know, I listened to Ferris is like, what, what I really like is when you get into like the goofy, like awkwardness of all this and how much failing forward, I didn’t have, you don’t have, you don’t have enough hard drive space for all the failures and all the awkwardness and all the stuff I’ve had, you know, licks I’ve taken.
So just that awkwardness of like scaring myself a little bit and feeling a little bashful about announcing my five-year goals. But I think it’s just also really important
Daran Herrman: [01:15:25] looking backwards, any regrets
Daniel Barrett: [01:15:27] along the way. Oh, that’s a great question. I do love that question. Very, very few. I’m not buying more Austin real estate when I could have that’s that’s it’s like I regret not having a crystal ball and I was
Daran Herrman: [01:15:42] like, I’m not buying Bitcoin in like
Daniel Barrett: [01:15:43] 2000.
Exactly. No, a cheesy answer. No, I, I regret you know, interestingly enough, It’s also holistic. If someone, if you could tell your 20 year old self one word, what would it be? And I said, meditation in my meditation practice, you know, I regret the time, you know, not taking 20 minutes a day to connect to my spirit.
There were periods where I wasn’t meditating. I meditated a lot over the last 20 years, but it’s such a rich tool that I, I feel sad about time that I didn’t get to plug in, but I, but the absence of it in the contrast of that helps me really appreciate that practice now. So it’s not, it’s not accurate, but I just think that’s such a, and sometimes where I let myself get unfit physically, because I think I get all, I drive a lot of my power through the body and through the meditation practice.
So so really like there’s times where I let my personal practices go. It turns out there’s never really a good time. To let those basic foundational practices go. There’s never an, I w I would convince myself that it’s okay to not, you know, work out or meditate for a while. And that wasn’t really true.
Daran Herrman: [01:16:57] It’s by the bat at the times, you should do that the most is the times that we forgive herself any good ways of meditating, any reputations tips, tricks.
Daniel Barrett: [01:17:05] I love the passionate meditation, which is I, I did you know, probably 25 years ago. I did a course. I had a great boss at this weird head shop that I was managing in in Harvard square and Peter Dunn you know, talking about our great entrepreneur.
He, if you became a manager, he would send you for a 10 day. He would offer you to pay you to go do a 10 day meditation retreat. I mean, talking about a radical business, dude, he, he Yeah, Peter Dunn is a real, real special in that way. So I did this course, and so I’ve always stuck to that because I did this 10 day silent retreat and it but there’s, there’s no one way I’ve done a little bit of T TM style with a mantra.
I’ve done all kinds, but I keep coming back to like this, this form of, of the passionate that I was kind of sort of indoctrinated to in that course,
Daran Herrman: [01:17:57] last question, I end every podcast this way. How would you like to be
Daniel Barrett: [01:18:01] remembered? Oh, I love that question cause I just went straight to my family. Yeah.
I, I definitely if you know, I talked about that those five-year goals, if I’m not deeply lovingly hilarious, honestly, joyfully connected to my sons and my wife in five years, 10 years, 15, everything else was a complete sham. Like that is like the absolute guardrails. Everything else is a fun game, a fun adventure, but the meaning that they, that being a dad and a husband has brought to my life is that’s really so that’s and also, I just want to be remembered that I treated people really well, that, that that’s really our special sauce to bear it flooring.
Like if we disrupt by going by scaling up I’ll tell people, our secret right now is like, we’re going to treat people better than anyone else, you know, that’s our, you know, that’s, that is sort of the experiment that we’re going to play. I mean, we’re going to have high standards, but can, can you get ahead by radically treating everyone from who either works for you works with you or you work for better than they’re used to being treated.
That seems that, so, so it was that great with my family and that I treat people exceptionally well. That would be. Done
Daran Herrman: [01:19:21] scene while I love it. Daniel Barrett, huge pleasure to have you on the podcast. Love the conversation. I think we went in a lot of great, fantastic areas, a lot of stuff that I’ve known about you and definitely didn’t know.
So it was a big joy.
Daniel Barrett: [01:19:34] That’s awesome. Thank you so much. Cheers. Great.