“How to Visualize” with Daniel Booter

One of the things I do is visualize. I am a visual learner and that’s also where my creativity comes from. I visualize every plan I have. This helps me take on any situation, no matter how outlandish it might seem at first. Visualizing gives me a roadmap to get me where I need to […]

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One of the things I do is visualize. I am a visual learner and that’s also where my creativity comes from. I visualize every plan I have. This helps me take on any situation, no matter how outlandish it might seem at first. Visualizing gives me a roadmap to get me where I need to be and help me understand how I can take on any situation.

As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Booter.

Daniel Booter is the CEO and founder of D.B. Marketing Group, a marketing company that helps celebrity clients and companies develop and execute their marketing strategies. The company focuses on many aspects of marketing such as social media, photo, film, graphics, branding, & crisis management. All the exclusive work done by Daniel with The NBA, Capital Hill, and Jeff Hamilton as well as his contribution to the United Nations with the coordination of the marketing work for their globally recognized large scale events, are highly praised. In addition to serving as CEO, Daniel also uses his knowledge in marketing towards assisting non-profit organizations that help underprivileged children in different countries because he believes he can use his marketing knowledge to inspire young entrepreneurs & people across the world.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Iwas born and raised in New Jersey by two parents until the age of 16 when my parents separated; from there on I lived with my hard-working mom. During the ordeal, I learned a lot about life and because of it I had to grow up quickly. Despite this, I was always into business from an early age. I used to think of ways to make money and had that natural push. I started my first business at the age of 6, which consisted of having my friends catch frogs for me & I would sell them to other kids for $20 a frog. I would give my friends a few dollars for their efforts & buy ice-cream for everyone. In highschool, I started another business. In University, while studying marketing, I started my business in the same field with D.B. Marketing Group. I made a lot of great connections through my early years in business, and this landed me the foundation on which my marketing company stands today.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.

I saw my mom running her business for 18 years. That lifestyle inspired me and showed me what I wanted to do in life. When I was younger, I had a few business pursuits and my mom always supported me with them. That support made it easy when finding my own path and brought me down to becoming an entrepreneur. The character Rocky, from the movie also inspired me, he had a great story. Rocky came from nothing, he didn’t think he could win, many people doubted him, but he made it to the top and stayed humble. I always remember him when I go through tough times in business; to keep my eye on my goal and to never give up.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

While I operated my first business, I did not have much self-confidence. One of my teachers in high school, although an English teacher, was more of a life coach. I was very close to him. I shared my business opportunities and he would show his hopefulness for me. I was caught off guard, but that built up my courage and self-esteem. At the time I was applying for universities as well, and he told me to keep faith and I got into the universities I did not believe would consider me. He showed me I could succeed. That same year, I was assigned a project in sociology on the topic of things to do before you die; my proposition was to give flowers to someone who deserved it and I gave the flowers to him, he was super emotional. Unfortunately, in that same year he was battling cancer, and he passed away the day before I graduated high school. I did create a video giving him the flowers for my class and it was uploaded on YouTube. Due to his persona, many people in my town knew who he was and the video gained popularity. That was memorable as it left me with a memory of him, but affirmed the hope he had in me. That was my first video ever and it went viral.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I was invited to go to Los Angeles to attend Big3, like I have so many times in the past. Big3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league with rosters including former NBA players. This was the first year LeBron James was on the Lakers. That particular year, LeBron showed up to the event for the first time; but I was in Manhattan and missed the event. Fast forward to this year, Jeff Hamilton, celebrity jacket designer, invited me to LA, but I declined, because of work I had to get done in Manhattan. The same night I was supposed to land in LA, Jeff was invited to Rich Paul’s house (sports agent). When Jeff went there he saw LeBron James & LeBron mentioned the first time he met Jeff was when he was 17. Funny enough, I could have been introduced to LeBron in such a personal way because of the invite by Jeff. The huge lesson I took from this was if you see an opportunity you should take it. I could’ve moved around my work here in New York without an issue and grasped the amazing opportunity, however, I missed out twice!

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

To anyone who is trying to emulate my success or follow in my footsteps, I would advise them to enjoy the process. You need to appreciate everything that happens: the failures, the emotions, and the negative moments because you need them to appreciate things. Understand that it is that appreciation that makes you a success. Without that, you won’t be able to grow and appreciate what you do. Don’t rely on other people to make things happen, if you have a goal and a mission, then you have to act. That is the only way you will get to where you want to be. Anyone can try to become successful, but there is a significant difference between people who just try and people who succeed. The ones that are successful take matters into their own hands and don’t give up. It may take longer than you want, but you have to stay hopeful.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The book “Rework” helped me reimagine my business pursuits. I read the book in 2011 right before I started my marketing company. Before the book, I had a way of thinking when it came to business, and after reading the book I was able to expand my thought process & really understand the importance of focusing my energy on the right things. I learned something profound reading this book. I learned I didn’t need any huge investments or other resources to start or create a successful business. All I needed was an idea and creative solutions. This book generated part of my business DNA and gave me the skills to become successful.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“The only mistake in life is the lesson not learned”- Albert Einstein. This is one of my favorite quotes, as Einstein is one of my heroes. Einstein had many people doubt him, but he took every opportunity, and left every door opened with his theories of special and general relativity. I practice this ideology because it resonates with me so well. I always try to seize all the different opportunities that life brings me & learn anything that I can from the lessons that are given. I take chances and when things don’t work out, I learn from them.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

One of the interesting and exciting projects I am working on is with Jeff Hamilton, as we revamp his entire company, selling jackets to the mass market. I helped Jeff receive his license with the NBA this year. Jeff has created custom leather jackets for influential pop culture names such as Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James etc. Working with him on this venture is pretty amazing, and I’m ecstatic to be a part of it as he is both an iconic designer, as well as an important part of basketball history. This year has been difficult for everyone, due to events such as covid or the death of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers taking on the championship, along with the continuation of the basketball season has been a positive event for many. Jeff designed the Lakers 2020 Championship jackets and with all of this going on, I can see the personal value people hold for the jacket and we treat it as such. The memory of Kobe’s legacy and this victory live on it forever; with the jacket titled, “City of Angels”

I am also using my expertise as the marketing director of a worldwide basketball organization. The organization teaches core values, and strong habits to have in life all through basketball. For three years, I have been a part of this organization and I have spoken to so many children that don’t have father figures to teach them these essential life lessons. The organization takes numerous trainers and coaches, and creates leagues in different countries for the advancement of these children. In Belize, we have become the largest basketball league in the entire country. We are looking to expand to Uganda, the Philippines and have already expanded to The United States and Canada.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?

One of the strategies I follow is taking a step away, because you naturally have to cope with stress as an entrepreneur, so it is essential to take a look back at the issue with a different lens. You must reset your mind and body, once so as to revisit the situation with a calmer mindset. Another strategy would consist of controlling your emotions. It is important to not become emotional about the problem, try to keep your emotions on the side in order to be able to deal with the stressful situation in an effective manner. Another way to cope would be by dedicating time to an activity you can do in order to relieve stress. I have a daily run in place for 3 miles and a workout session. During my run, I do not think or talk about business. I enjoy being with myself during this time; it helps me reset. It also promotes productivity as it relieves stress, but this type of stress relief could come from anything, reading a book, taking walks etc. You need to find what works for you and what your key is to cope with the burden of stress.

Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

The biggest strategy I use is preparedness; I think over all possible problems that I may face in order to be ready for anything. I also make sure I am rehearsed, as I need to know what my goal is in order to optimize results. It could be as simple as only a meeting. It’s important to know what you want out of each scenario. I have a ritual before any high-pressure situation, it’s to make sure I have a matcha latte that morning along with an early morning run. Having these rituals create patterns for success. Another key factor while preparing myself for high-stress situations is setting aside any and all excess stress that I may have. I have to make sure I throw away any problems I have that don’t pertain to the moment. I can always get back to those problems later. These strategies make sure I’m ready and optimized for any situation.

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.

One of the things I do is visualize. I am a visual learner and that’s also where my creativity comes from. I visualize every plan I have. This helps me take on any situation, no matter how outlandish it might seem at first. Visualizing gives me a roadmap to get me where I need to be and help me understand how I can take on any situation.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

The special technique I use to eliminate interference is by removing anything unassociated with my goal. I can block content that is not related to the matters I am focusing on. I tend to ignore content that is unimportant at that moment. That easily helps me keep focused, and stay away from distractions. The goal is more important than any distractions that might come up.

We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

When I start a project, I need to finish it. If I’m not able to, it eats at me. Leaving things unfinished is one of my pet peeves. This leads me to be very diligent about my work, and making sure it’s done exactly the way I need it. As you can imagine, this brings out great detail and focus when I am working. Having habits like this has really helped me stay on task and finish jobs that aren’t for everyone, so it plays a huge role in my success. Having this mindset and being able to conjure it for every project is a habit I would never want to lose.

What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

You need to create goals to develop great habits. Think about what habits you want to obtain and work at them every day until they are a part of you, this takes time, but it is worth it to be the best version of you. We all have bad habits, but having these goals and working on them every day will help you get rid of them. I’ve seen that when you fail and cave into your bad habits it’s easy to give up on your goal of creating a good one, but you need to be able to forgive yourself and continue without losing your motivation. Failure is part of success, so you need to continue to work at it every day, until you’re happy with the habits you have created for yourself.

As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

I think flow is such an interesting topic, I generally refer to it as my zone. When I’m in my zone I’m just locked into my job and nothing else attracts my mind. It’s amazing because when you get into that zone it feels as though time has slowed down for you, nothing else matters, and you have tunnel vision. It’s not easy to do, and you have to train yourself to get into a kind of meditation and get to a point of zen. When you develop this as a skill for long enough, you should be able to tap into it whenever you like. The best way to obtain it, is by practicing. It is certainly not an easy state to achieve, but overtime you can do it.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would say, simply help someone out. If you can easily help someone then do it. Imagine if somebody saw a person in need and helped without asking. How much would it help the world? Just take a few minutes out of your day if you see an opportunity. We could learn so much about one another and the world if we could do that. You can ultimately start a chain reaction that will inspire millions across the world if we were all able to help someone in need. It’s easy to stay in the shadows of someone who needs your help when you aren’t being called to, but I always believed that if I can do something, then it is my responsibility to do it.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I know exactly who! It would be Mark Cuban. In 2015, I was representing a client and friend Abdul Jeelani, a senior NBA player, the first to score a point for the Dallas Mavericks. As I was working with him, he passed away. I was in touch with the Mavericks and as soon as they heard about his passing they reached out to me and flew myself and the family out to watch the game that held a ceremony to honor Jeelani on the court. While I was escorted onto the floor by the Mavericks staff, I was surprised to be introduced to Mark Cuban, I thanked him for the opportunity and all the support he gave to the Jeelani Family and I. He was a pleasure to speak to & extremely respectable. It was an honor to meet him in Dallas and I would love to have a private lunch with him to discuss not only his journey, but the similarities with each of our journeys; and of course the game of basketball that first brought us together.

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Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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