So we asked if Daniel would so kind as to be our Wellness Guru this week and share with you how he stays fit and healthy and what inspires the entrepreneur in him.
1. Tell us about yourself Daniel, and how you got to be where you are today?
Whilst studying at Central St. Martin’s I had already formed several business. A web design company and a social networking site and magazine for clubbers called Essex Uncovered (before the days of Facebook). My philosophy was to quickly test business ideas in the real world, and adapting and evolving them based on the results. Selling sunglasses online was one idea that worked. Teaching at the local college after graduating provided the seed finances. Flash forward 5 years and Sunglasses Shop was growing. When a business has under 10 or so in the team everyone is a happy family. If someone doesn’t pull their weight, it has a massive impact on everyone and the team looked out for each other. Over 10 people demands the founder become a people manager whilst juggling all the marketing, operational and growth activities. It was tough and there were not enough hours in the day. But pre-parenthood, you can work every hour you can keep your eyes open for. I was fortunate enough to sell Sunglasses Shop about 10 years in, and I stayed on for another 4 years to continue growing the brand. This gave me time to think about the next venture.
After exiting Sunglasses Shop when it was Europe’s largest online sunglass retailer, I thought that what I do for the next 15 years needs to be something I am personally into and has strong ethical values. Being a parent makes you think about the bigger picture for the world, so business for me now is more than just creating a financially successful brand.
I am a triathlete. I am an entrepreneur. I am a father.
I would like a brand I can buy into knowing I am not only getting quality, function and style. I want to know I am buying into a brand where the ethics and the credentials are just right. From a low carbon footprint, through to ethical sourcing, and staff wellbeing and ongoing strong inspiration from incredible athletes and adventurers around the world.
Hopefully this is possible and Sundried was born.
2. Tell us how you spend your average working day (including what you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, fitness schedule etc) Every morning I will get up at 5:30 am and go out for a run or ride. Typically a 7k run. In the week a shorter 40 minute ride. At the weekend a 2 hour ride. I will have breakfast afterwards and then hit the office.
The Sundried staff start ay 8am and I like to try and get an hours work before the others get in. Every hour at work, EHOH stands for Every Hour On the Hour and is an emerging fitness trend developed by www.sundried.com to combat the dangers of sitting at work and living a sedentary lifestyle and we all get up and spend 5 mins to break up the sitting at the desk.
Lunch is sandwiches. Mixed nuts to fuel and snack on throughout the day.
We finish work at 4pm, so it is a spin with the dogs before dinner with the family.
3. What inspires you? I am inspired by successful, organic business professionals. Especially those who juggle families. I am inspired by any triathletes who have full time jobs. I am inspired by many of the young entrepreneurs taking full advantage of social media and all the website tools at the fingertips.
4. What’s your goal in life? With Sundried my goal is now to have a brand that my kids can work at, and be proud of working there. For me that means the business has to operate successfully for the next 15+ years. That means the business has to be environmentally aware. Something I am sure the next generation will focus a lot more of their attention to. It means the brand has to be seen as 'cool' and desirable.
5. What does Wellness mean to you? To me wellness means healthy on the outside, inside and especially in the mind. Looking good is only a small part of wellness. You need the full package to be 'healthy and happy'. Everything in moderation. So do eat chocolate if it makes you happy. Do eat nice food (organic of course). But all in moderation.
6. Given you design sportswear, is there a budding Sportsman inside you and how do you relax? I think I have missed the chance of being a sportsman. But I have recently qualified as a personal trainer. That means I can help others achieve their dreams and ambitions. It also means I can help my family stay heathy. I would love to complete a full Iron Man when I turn 40. Relaxing is spending time with the family and walking the dogs. And especially going away somewhere with an amazing pool.
7. Tell us your Top 3 Tips for Wellness?
Get active at work. If you are behind the computer every hour walk up the stairs, jump about, do some press-ups.
Get a fitness watch with a move alert to help. If you are too busy to look after yourself, sooner or later you will need to make time to become ill. Walk, run, cycle to work wherever or whenever you can. If you can fit fitness into a commute, it means you can kill two birds with one stone (as they say).
Go to bed early. No point being tired. Start the day feeling good and fresh or there is no hope.
8. So what’s next in your career/life? The focus I hope is just on Sundried. Making the brand as ethical as possible. Educating on fitness and wellbeing as we do it.