A real-life story of unlocking individual human potential and breaking through mental blocks.
A frustrated young boy becomes, against all odds, an Australian Champion Athlete and in the top 1% of Business Coaches Globally.
It started when I was 9. Inspired by an old lady supporting the Salvation Army, I gave her 50% of my paperboy income and found my calling: someday, I’d be a doctor to help people – but first I’d have to overcome some internal battles.
You see, in school I couldn’t learn, read, hear or see properly. I kept being told I was stupid and I didn’t apply myself – my teachers failed to realise I was riddled with learning and physical disabilities.
Later I developed knee and hip problems. At 11, the pain was so striking, that one day I collapsed before my mother’s eyes. Doctors said I almost only had access to the left hemisphere of my brain and very little to the right one (child psychologists assessed my IQ with an outstanding result of 130 points, which is in the top 2% of IQ’s – whilst postulating I was only accessing about 5% of my right brain).
My head felt a constant intense pressure. My eyes didn’t work correctly. It was hard to process information sequentially. My spine was twisted, and many other problems resulted from it.
Indeed, life was a constant struggle. Various health problems, Epstein Bar virus, Chronic Fatigue, injury and major surgeries haunted me throughout the years. Easy things were always hard for me. Everything required a big effort – yet, I mostly kept my suffering and frustration to myself, so no one knew that, at 11, I decided to end my life.
Fortunately, I failed spectacularly: launching myself from the sidewalk straight into the next moving vehicle wasn’t helped by doing it at a zebra crossing. Also, as I jumped, the car I leaped out in front of was of a friend of the family. Remarkably, she stopped the car quickly, waved and said hello in such a special way, that I felt like God was saying to me, “you’ll be fine, Daniel, and you’ll be a big success, so just keep going”!
I kept going, but I kept struggling, being bullied, not making anyone happy, not fitting in, and having a disastrous relationship with my brother. I moved from one lousy job to another, until I scored another chance to turn the game around.
Life had made me good at something: wakeboarding. I got to be a 3X wakeboarding state champion, and competed with the world’s best at the X-games… but only until my many health problems kept up with me.
With my uncle’s support, I worked hard to become one of the top 10 Real Estate sales creators in Australia, in only 6 months, and was introduced to great minds: Brian Tracy, Og Mandino and Neil Jenman. Still, in 2002 I went back to my wakeboarding adventures: a nine-month journey of training in Europe, UK and the USA which brought me back to Australia with some broken ribs.
I worked for the family business and later co-founded with my brother Liquid Malisha, a clothing company that sponsored events, riders and created best-selling movies. Money and fame didn’t make me happy or fulfilled my potential, though.
In 2006, I got injured just six weeks before again trying to be Australia’s wakeboarding champion. For 6 weeks, I challenged the odds by using neuroscience to visualize my success – and I made it happen. I won and learned that, if I could again be the Australian champion, despite health issues, surgeries and lack of training, I could become a success at anything in life.
That didn’t make things easy, though. 2007 was a bittersweet year for me. I went to Dubai as the first professional wakeboarder to train expats. I landed and instantly felt it was my place of strength and belonging. For the first time in my life, my mind and body were free from pain. Still, my brother shut me out of our business, leaving me without income, and I was in a toxic relationship. I felt anxious, alone, and depressed.
My visa expired. I returned to Australia to re-group, get some money out of my business, and get another visa to return to Dubai. For me, Australia meant suffering, while Dubai felt like home.
I did return to Dubai to enjoy success and the same toxic relationship… but business and relationship deception kept haunting me, forcing me to again leave Dubai – indebted, with no prospects, and an easy target for my disabilities.
Back in Australia, I felt embarrassed. People thought I was a mess. I fell into a deep dark pit that seemed impossible to climb back from… until I climbed out of it after remembering that I became Australia’s wakeboarding champion against all odds. I applied for a Cabin Crew job with Emirates, and earned a ticket back into Dubai, where I met my gorgeous wife while feeling happy, energized and balanced.
Sadly, in 2010 my wife had a severe accident on an aircraft. She had to battle pain, depression, isolation and legal battles for the following 2.5 years. We had to leave Dubai and I tried everything, afterwards. A money-wasting online business. My old flying job that wouldn’t take me back. 300 job applications that yielded nothing. I was like a zombie on anti-depressives: I had my wife and a 10-month-old baby to take care of, and no solutions.
Nini didn’t enjoy Australia, so she left with Nakita to Taiwan. I reacted and began building my coaching business – my way of fulfilling my calling to help business people, and of working from home to be with my family. I worked 15 to 17 hours every day to make it work, and then it failed. I sold everything we had in Australia, business equipment, surfboards and clothing to fund our return back to Taiwan. With a handful of amazing clients and a night-time TESOL job paying $10 an hour, I eventually started coaching full time.
My business grew rapidly and I created partnerships with Drs. Tad and Adriana James and Brian Tracy. Within months, I received the FocalPoint Rookie of the Year Business Coach (Globally). So far, I have influenced tens of thousands of people through my events in Taiwan, Sydney, UK and in the USA. And here I am today, enjoying success, after so many hurdles.
Bullying, rejection, criticism, self-limiting beliefs, mental blocks and fearing failure never stopped me. All the hardship I faced was an intensive boot camp that made me stronger and more determined than ever to be successful.
I’ve led a team of 17,000 cabin crew members from 136 nations. I’ve helped thousands of business people to manage their time more effectively, remove self-limiting beliefs and make a lot more money. I’ve made it to the top 1% of athletes and business coaches in the world.
Now, I’m a happy accomplished husband, father, friend and business man – and I hope that these words encourage you to relentlessly pursue what ever you seek to become and to become as happy and accomplished as I am today.