Thursday, February 12, 2009

Living Abroad Matters 12 - Our Son Shines

Celebrating Daniel's Success
Our son Daniel’s company Triumphant Events celebrated its second birthday in the UK. In two years since arriving in London with a suitcase and a credit card, Daniel and business partners, Glen Carlson and Marcus Ubl and their dedicated team have notched up some impressive achievements: running highly successful sell-out events with a total of 34,087 bookings, 709 affiliate partners and 482 members of the XL business network. The crowning glory was a spectacular event at the famous Palladium for 2000 people.

The infant company has turned over more than £1 million each year, kept about 12 employees on the pay-roll, established a thriving office in Fulham and made donations of £25,000 to charities, The Hunger Project, Global Angels and The Sage Foundation in India and supported the Step Up Foundation, which runs motivational seminars for youth.

To celebrate, Triumphant Events threw a Summer Boat Party on the Thames with more than 400 guests, dressed up in a James Bond theme! I got to wear the little black dress and Andrew donned his suit and bow tie.

Guests in their finery mingled on the decks and below the decks of the magnificent R.S Hispaniola with a view across the river to the London Eye, tourist boats passing by and traffic rumbling on the bridge overhead as the sun gradually set about 10 pm and the party goers hit the dance floor. Indeed a ‘triumphant’ scene for Daniel and the TE team.

Andrew and I remember the day in September 2002 when Daniel, at just 21, already successful as a manager running wealth seminars throughout Australia, declared it was time to start his own company and he’d thought of a catchy name, Triumphant Events. “That’s nice Darling”, I said, the ever-supportive mum of his grandiose ambitions. Little did we realise where his vision would lead.

Daniel was a natural entrepreneur from an early age with a fine appreciation of money. At four, unimpressed with the concept of receiving a gold star stuck on a chart if he cooperated with doing his chores, he persuasively suggested that a gold coin would provide far more effective motivation. But his entrepreneurial flair really showed up with his first profit-turning garage sale which led to several teenage businesses. Like Underage Discos that packed out the venue in Noosa. And the year, Marcus and Daniel dressed in tuxedos and went door to door selling roses on Valentines Day. The ladies couldn’t resist two handsome and charming young guys.

Since being in London and attending Daniel’s business events, we have been mobbed by his admirers complimenting us as parents and asking our secret to producing such high achieving offspring! I have reflected on what we put into Daniel’s character.

I know he benefited from strong early maternal bonding as a baby; all that feeding on demand and carrying him around in a sling helped him grow into a warm and affectionate man who can connect deeply with people.

And then as a little chap, he was in the unusual position of having a close relationship with his dad who was also his teacher. The pair of them went off to school together and had more fun than you can imagine in that small rural school where kids brought pet lambs for Show and Tell and Mr P led sing-alongs and drew funny pictures. Little Dan certainly didn’t suffer from the unavailable, distant father syndrome!

As a teenager we encouraged his every wild dream and scheme and passing fad and never tried to dampen his enthusiasm or deflate his irrepressible confidence! Some parents think it’s their job to ensure a kid doesn’t get a ‘big head’ but we took the opposite approach, constantly building his self-esteem and trust in his own abilities.

I like to believe I had input into Daniel’s media savvy and flair for copywriting, his humanitarian heart, his love for travel and adventure and his gift of the gab! I was holding philosophical discussions with him since he was a wise little toddler!

Andrew role modeled everything he knew about business and marketing, taught him how to play guitar and how to do computer design and cultivated Daniel’s cheeky sense of humour. The two of them were a non-stop comedy routine.

Growing up in the Have It All 80s sparked his interest in seminars! He saw his parents going off to many ‘life-changing’ weekend events and coming home full of more outlandish goals!

Some kids hate high school but I’ll give credit to his positive school life where he starred as a student leader, being a natural in front of the classroom and in front of hundreds of students at assembly. And now he’s a natural on the stage in front of hundreds of adults.

And Daniel was blessed to have grandparents who adored him; an involved Pa who took him fishing, showed him under a bonnet and how to swing a golf club and a doting Nana who dressed him up as Saucepan Man, made him jelly cakes and took him to swimming lessons on summer holidays. He was the only kid who could talk with his head under water.

But beyond the skills and qualities parents nurture in children, there is something else that belongs completely to the individual; the heart’s desire. In all of us, a powerful drive stirs at an early age; for Daniel it was being a creative entrepreneur, for me it was the thrill of seeing my story and name in print in the primary school newsletter, for Andrew it was drawing clever cartoons and for Justine it was the elation of the stage from the instant she first wriggled into a lycra costume.

We all discover some talent that meets a deep emotional need; the need for recognition, the need to express our unique creativity, the need to make a contribution to the world and it takes hold and becomes the driving force of our life.

Daniel is loved and respected by the vibrant business community he has created in the UK because he is an inspiration. He encourages people to connect with their heart’s desire and dream big dreams. With the invincibility of youth, he shows how to succeed and fail and succeed and fail and succeed again. We are proud of you Daniel. Keep on striving. Keep on believing. Keep living the dream that we can all create a better world.

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