"This decision set me on a collision course of screw-ups, let downs, mistakes, self-doubt, more mistakes, self-discovery, listening, learning, clarity, motivation, action, joy, and happiness."
Hi there. I’m Daniel DaRocha, the “Dan” behind DanThinks.com. In 2015, my life radically changed as I set out for the first time as the owner of a business, specifically, Erika Record Baking Equipment. I had taken advantage of an immense opportunity and was able to go from employee to owner. But that’s the punchline; getting to the position of being able to own a business was an evolution of thought and action for me as a person and a businessperson. DanThinks.com is a vehicle to share the things that I found most helpful along the way.
A bit of my background:
I am a first generation American. My parents came to the US from Brazil in the early 1980s. My father was an electrician in Brazil, but when he arrived in the US, his trade credentials held no merit. He did what he needed to do to provide for his family; working as a shop hand during the days and pumping gas in the evenings (New Jersey not pumping their own gas since ‘49!). With a little time, he went back to technical school, learned how to weld and became a proficient tradesman.
My mother was tasked, as many moms, with taking charge of the home and family duties, but a second income was still necessary. Although she never finished high school, that had no bearing on her entrepreneurial spirit. When she arrived in the US, she started working on a jewelry assembly line. But working a factory shift job didn’t allow her the flexibility required to raise three kids, and it also didn’t pay enough to cover aftercare and the extra needed funds for the household. As a result, she started, on her own, cleaning homes and offices in between all of our family needs.
I was raised to be a good worker bee. Even with my mother running her own small business, it was still an extension of manual labor. My parents wanted my life to be better than theirs. They didn’t want me to endure, as they had, in the trenches of blue collar-dom. In their pursuit of the American Dream and to keep me away from what they perceived to be not ideal, they pushed me to perform well school in order to find myself a nice office job.
Fast forward two decades, I’m a college grad, with an accounting degree, humming away as a public accountant. My wife was pregnant and also working full time. From a career standpoint, I was completely unprepared to be anything more than a good, hard working employee. The toil of public accounting had worn me down and as a young husband and father I was looking for a change, a jump to the other side of the fence. I put the feelers out with some friends asking if they had any clients that were looking for a controller or assistant controller. A partner from the first firm I worked at out of college said he had a small business in desperate need of a controller, but the hire would need to be someone capable of assisting with sales, operations, human resources, on top of all the accounting and finances. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. In all actuality, I wasn’t ready for it. I took the job anyway, probably for the money, it was a pay bump after all.
This decision set me on a collision course of screw-ups, let downs, mistakes, self-doubt, more mistakes, self-discovery, listening, learning, clarity, motivation, action, joy, and happiness. Kind of in that order, but also in a loop, over and over again. Somewhere in that loop (which continues today), I found a way to buy the business from my now former boss, changing the course of my life. It has certainly not been easier than public accounting, but it has been a hell of a lot more rewarding.
Back to the blog:
This blog is a manifestation of my experiences, a recollection of my real world education, the books, inspirations, tips and strategies that have helped me, and the lessons I continue to learn. My hopes are that maybe you can gain comfort, knowledge or guidance from my continued struggles and successes, but in the end, it is simply, what Dan Thinks.