Top Turks is a monthly feature on E2M. It features the movers and shakers in the fields of entrepreneurship, digital marketing, social media, and technology, offering insights into how business leaders think, work and have fun.
Our Top Turk of the month is Dan Fleyshman, a young achiever who became the owner of a publicly traded company at just 23, and is an Angel Investor and adviser at over 24 companies. He is Founder of Elevator.Studio.
That’s not all. He’s also a philanthropist who has supported several charities and also launched his own, www.modelcitizenfund.org, which has been featured on Fox Sports, NBC, MTV, and ESPN for supplying homeless shelters, teen abuse shelters, and orphanages around the world. Dan has also featured in Forbes, Maxim and CNN. He is the author of www.youcaring.com/beyondwalls.
To encourage newbie entrepreneurs, Dan conducts a free-of-cost quarterly event called ‘Elevator Nights’ for companies to present for five minutes each to his angel investor friends.
We got in touch with this young talented genius and asked him more about his typical day.
1. What do you do within half-an-hour of waking up?
The first thing I do is drink half-a-bottle of water to wake up my system. Then, I wash up in the restroom and dive right into my cell phone to respond to the texts, social media, emails.
2. How much time do you devote to work daily?
This may sound crazy, but I rarely do anything, except work. I’ve integrated “work” into every aspect of my life and deal with lots of other people’s companies as an investor/advisor. Besides the weekend, I rarely do anything, but work. So, 16 hours a day is a safe answer.
3. What is your daily work routine like?
I’m occupied with my phone and laptop for the first few hours if there are no meetings. Then, I go to the office around 10AM and work there until 7PM, depending on if I’m filming content, having meetings, etc.
I’m mostly at the office replying to texts and emails all day, and I visit each staff member at the beginning of the day. Towards the end of day, I see what they’re up to and ask if I can help.
But mostly, I talk to all staff and manage all projects via group chats and group emails.
4. How many times in a day do you check your email?
Four times. First in the morning at around 8AM, then at lunch time, then before leaving office at 6PM or 7PM, and before sleeping post-midnight.
5. How much time in a day do you dedicate to researching or reading/watching industry-related news?
At least an hour. I’m obsessed with seeing what everyone else is doing in the industry, good and bad. I love reading about what’s going on and sending articles/videos to friends in those niches or to those who would care about the content.
6. What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?
I was the youngest founder in the history of a publicly traded company at 23 years old.
7. What has been your biggest failure so far?
I built an online poker site to become one of the five largest brands in this space. Then suddenly something called ‘Black Friday’ happened, where my main competitors were shut down by the federal government.
Although I wasn’t in trouble, I still willingly shut down the poker site and paid back tens of thousands of players within four days. It was a tough week, but not a tough decision. I wanted to ensure that all the players got their money back. That was the most important thing.
8. What is your biggest dream?
To give out millions of my ModelCitizenFund.org backpacks to the homeless. I founded the charity 6 years ago, and each backpack is filled with 150 emergency supply items.
9. How do you unwind?
10. What is the one crazy thing about you that very few people know?
That I crack my neck and back multiple times a day so loud that you can hear me from across the room!
11. How do you spend your weekends?
Reading, writing, catching up on recorded shows like Shark Tank, Billions, POWER, and some of the good Netflix series.
12. What mindset do you think is required to become a successful entrepreneur or a company?
It is important to be relentless, to be willing to fail and understand that lots of things you do are going to fail. But because you’re relentless, you’ll get through them, fix things and persevere.
One also needs an action-based mindset. Don’t sit and think for months about doing something. Just get started without spending too much money. Start the process and utilize resources for things, big and small.
13. If given a chance, what is that one thing you’d like to change in your life (personally or professionally)?
Have a baby that I can mould into an athletic, passionate genius. ; )
14. Your One piece of advice for startup owners ?
Don’t listen to people that haven’t been in your industry.
(Your uncle who owns a real estate office is probably smart, but that doesn’t make him an expert in launching an online clothing store).
Do ask more people within your industry for advice!
(The advice you get from an expert or an industry veteran can save you tons of time, money and energy)
15. Would you like to share anything other than what is asked here? About you or your company.
I throw monthly events called ‘Elevator Nights’ for 300 investors/friends to listen to speakers/panelists in various niche industries.
I’m working on my second book to follow up called, ‘How To Set-Up Your Business For Under $1,000’. It will be available at www.buythisbook.com and is about personal branding. I’m also one-fourth of the way through writing my third book on events!!!
Please tell us a few things about you that not many people know:
- Your phone brand – Apple
- Your computer brand – Apple
- Your favorite app – Open Table for restaurants
- Your preferred dress code at work – Athletic wear or Business Casual
- Your waking time – 8AM
- Your bed time – 2AM
- Your favorite pastime – Poker
- Your favorite blog/newspaper/news channel – TechCrunch
- Your inspiration – My Mommy
- Your health mantra – Stay active, eat well and force yourself to drink water often.
Dan Fleyshman is truly inspirational because very few entrepreneurs are able to achieve the kind of milestones that he has, and that too at a very young age.
Not just that, he has managed to strike the perfect balance between business success and philanthropy, a quality that the modern world at large is in dire need of.
Here’s hoping he achieves more success in the future.