Success does not happen in the blink of an eye. It runs deeper than that where persistence, hard-work, and a lot of sacrifices are put into. Phil Daniels, a transactional attorney in the field of digital media entertainment, describes success as a product of persistence that requires building brick by brick. Phil talks about why there is no such thing as an overnight success and why everybody should focus on their own path and stick to their own race track when it comes to building businesses. Working with some of the biggest and most famous celebrities, from Gwen Stefanie to the Black Eyed Peas, on structuring deals that are at the intersection of content, talent, technology, and platforms, Aaron shares the importance of systems and going to where others are afraid to go because the opportunity to create something lies in there.
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Phil Daniels on Building Success Brick By Brick
I’m excited to have all of you on. It’s great whenever you learn and educate yourself about anything that you do, you bring on mentors. Remember, there’s a difference between coaching and mentoring. The simple difference is in coaching, it’s that person who will kick your behind and get you going to do what you’re going to do. Mentoring is the person that is there where you want to be or has information of getting you to that place, which is why we have The Mentor Studio, which is why we do so much to educate ourselves and those around us. I have the pleasure of introducing a gentleman who I’ve known a few months. It’s when you meet somebody and you’re like, “Not only will I work with that person, but they’re one of the most brilliant people in what they do and the way they strategize.” You want them almost to mentor you. I do feel in many ways, he’s a mentor of myself. I like to introduce everybody to Phil Daniels. It’s great to have you on the show. Phil, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and then we’ll educate the audience.
I’m from the UK originally and I was an attorney for many years in the UK. My area has been in media, content, brands and technology. I’ve worked with some of the biggest and most famous celebrities over time from UK music acts to working with US musicians and bands, from Gwen Stefani to the Black Eyed Peas here in the States. I’m working primarily now in the area of digital media entertainment where I worked on some of the most significant productions and work with a lot of a social media celebrity talents as well. I’m a transactional attorney who understands how to structure deals, understand about the business and understands pretty much the intersection of content, talent, technology, platforms and rock bands. That’s me in a nutshell.
Phil’s background is tremendous. For those of you, whatever it is in entertainment that you want to get into, whether it be a speaker on stage, that social media or that social influencer part is huge. Phil is truly one of those experts in the field and he’s going to be also doing mentoring on The Mentor Studio and be there for the community. That’s awesome. We talk about the end in mind, you always have to look at the end in mind and where you’re going to go. What would you say is one phrase or motto that means something to you or best captures your life’s success?
Persistence. What immediately comes to mind is I model myself a little bit on Winston Churchill, even though I’m not sitting here with a cigar. He was always about never giving in. My personal story is that I pretty much have done everything on my own. I’ve been with some fantastic people who’ve supported me and given me guidance over the years but to the audience, everybody’s got the strength to fulfill their dreams, keep the faith, believe it and work hard. It’s 24/7 to build my business. I am running a very significant entertainment law firm here in Beverly Hills. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. It requires building brick by brick.
I love it and it’s so important. Talk a little bit about creating the daily habit and how that’s been important for you because in any business you’re in, there is no shortcut.Stick to your race track. Don't worry about what the other horses are doing. Click To Tweet
I’m talking specifically here about the law firm which has been my primary focus, but we work with other companies and clients and help them build businesses around their brands. We worked with a lot of celebrities who are building businesses, whether they’ve got a book, whether they’ve got a merchandising line, whether they’ve got a music strategy or content strategy. I’m a big systems and processes guy. Meaning every business, every project, whether it’s big or small, you’ve got to lay a firm foundation and a system that can enable you and everybody in your team to have that leverage.
Building the business you built, some the social influencers that you are part of your firm are huge, and what they’ve created is huge. Part of that is not just, “I have a pretty face.” You’ve created strategies around all of that. Is that true?
In my profession, going back to what you were saying about some of the things that comes to mind and what I said about never giving in, it’s that persistence. You’ve got to go where other people aren’t going and people are afraid to try because there’s always opportunity an opportunity to make money and to create something. People are too concerned about following the crowd and not stepping out on what they’re doing and taking risks. That is the approach I take with a lot of the work I do with my individual clients and the companies I work with, which is trying to find those areas where there’s an opportunity and figure out how we can use all the tools in the box we have and the resources to get us to where we need to be. It’s looking a little left field all the time.
What’s interesting is if you look at anything you’ve created, there’s one major challenge or obstacle or even failure because failure is good, everyone. The more you fail, the more you’re moving forward. Entrepreneurs, we fail all the time but we learn our lessons and create feedback.
From a personal perspective and probably a lot of us have a habit of doing this. It’s if you have a vision and a certain set way of how you see something working out. You become so bought into that strategy or that’s the way it should be. You try to force that opinion or strategy to your peer group. What I’m learning more and more now is to sit back and listen. Collaboration and community are key here. This is the great thing about The Mentor Studio. What I’m trying to say here is that I’ve learned that collaborating and having a community of people to bounce ideas off, you learn a thing or two. You get to pretty much test your own theories and you realize that time is that maybe you weren’t right after all. That’s the great thing about The Mentor Studio. There’s a great community of people on this platform, resource that you can find those people to bounce ideas off and realize perhaps you were wrong about something. That’s the way forward to success.
It’s creating also the community, the team, and all of that will make a big difference. From a perspective of if I am brand new, maybe I’m breaking into the industry, maybe I want to be a big-time speaker, maybe I want to be a producer or a director. Is there anything in the beginning about changing my mindset on whether I should look at it as a business? What are a couple of things you tell a brand new client?
I would say listen and learn patience and that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just because your friend down the road got a big acting deal and he’s got this or the musician just got signed to Sony and he got this, nobody knows the real details of what somebody is doing. My advice would be to stick to your path and stick to your race track. Don’t worry about what the other horses on the race track are doing. Yes, it’s important to know what your competition is doing, but stick to your path because you get distracted by what other people might be doing.
It is that piece because it’s not having the distractions. We get distracted many times that makes a big difference. It’s moving our path and staying clear on that path. It’s making the piece of what is it that you want, creating the end-goal, and creating that part makes a big difference. You started a business and you look at it as a business. You’re going to be helpful to have people move forward and keeping the momentum. Is there one last piece of advice that you want to give to everybody out there who’s thinking of being an entrepreneur?
Life is short. I know it’s a cliché but you don’t want to live with regrets. If you’ve got a burning desire to do something, you should do it. You shouldn’t worry about the money because if the passion is there, and your $5,000 committed to making something happen, which is your dream, you’ll do it and the money will follow.
Phil, it’s been great to have you on. I know you’re going to be here again. It’s wonderful that you’ll be helping especially those that are beginning and starting because that’s a hard place to be. I appreciate your time with us. I appreciate your being part of The Mentor Studio. You’re giving back because you don’t have to do this but you want to do this. We want to make sure those going through a hard time don’t get stuck and don’t have to get beaten up along the way.If the passion is there and you're committed to making your dream happen, do it and the money will follow. Click To Tweet
It’s great that The Mentor Studio exists for this very reason.
Thank you so much. I know you’ll be on more with us and we’ll have more time to spend together. Maybe we’ll have time to tell some great client’s stories. That will be great. We’re going to bring a lot of A-listers on here too, people to learn from. Thank you, Phil. You have an amazing day. For the audience, make it a great day. Do one thing for yourself and do one thing for somebody else and life will be good. Thank you, Phil.
Thank you very much, Michael.
About Phil Daniels
PHIL DANIELS, formerly a UK attorney with the BBC, is co-founder and partner in Ginsburg Daniels Kallis, LLP, a premier Entertainment law firm and pioneer in digital media law, as well as handling traditional TV, film and music law. A hands-on attorney, he helps clients to develop, produce and distribute content across all media platforms.
He works with the leading studios, networks, production companies, brands, agencies and talent in the space. His firm drafts and negotiates agreements relating to interplay of talent, content, brands and technology. Phil also angel invests in cutting edge media companies, with his portfolio companies having successful raised VC financing and in some cases achieved exits.
He’s also created and helped build new venture companies with and around his clients, including vinyl record company, video content and merchandise businesses. Phil likes to give back, and is the co-founder of the “Impact with Influence” nonprofit, which has a mission of accelerating, supporting and promoting communication and messaging for maximum influence.