My Formula

Though I’m not yet “successful”, I am working toward success and I’m getting glimpses at it. My formula has been simple and will remain that way: create so much dope content consistently that, once you are discovered by an entity bigger than yourself, your body of work will speak for itself.

 Whether you see it every night or not, the moon does an amazing job of consistently taking the place of the sun in the sky. Some nights you see it in all of its magnificence. Some nights, you catch a sliver. Other nights, it isn’t seen at all. But it’s always there, doing its job because there are those nights when it really gets appreciated for all that it is.

I’m trying to be like the moon. I’ve been blogging for nearly 15 years now, jumping from platform to platform as my vision changed. For the past five years, I’ve been working on this, The Daniels Daily Reader. What once was a professional development blog for millennials is now a lifestyle blog for young professionals, touching on everything from business dress to leadership to issues facing society. I’ve written over 1,100 blog posts on this site and, as of late, 95% of the photographic content found on the blog is my own. My writing, my photography, and my points of view have matured since I began this blog but The Reader has always rested on two key characteristics: consistency and quality.

So, when Corey Freeman, Creative Director of LionsHead Media, approached me, said he’d seen my work and and presented me with the opportunity to work with his company, I thought “Wow. Writing on this channel for five years and now, my shot is here? I’m ready.”

I have a body of work. That body is so extensive, I am going to be able to use it to create a book without having to come up with too much additional content. And, as I continue growing, writing, and gaining more exposure, I know that what develops from this picture will be bright.

Consistency + Quality + Opportunity = Success

Make professional development a priority.


Meeting Ms. Issa Rae

This weekend, I had the opportunity to collaborate with LionsHead Media, a black tech company out of Durham, and photograph Issa Rae of HBO’s “Insecure” as she spoke to an auditorium full of students at North Carolina Central University. Kicking it backstage with Issa (like we’re best friends, right?) was nothing short of inspiring. This young lady is doing exactly what I want to do in a lane that’s different from my own, but the same principles are applicable. She has taken a corporate web platform (YouTube), created an unmarketed but very real aspect of black culture in “Awkward Black Girl”, and developed such a cult following that she was able to author a NYT bestseller, pen a deal with HBO, and take everything that she’s learned to an HBCU campus in order to inspire the next generation of young black creative minds.

It was super dope to be able to connect with her backstage chatting with her about her come up, getting an autograph for my wife, and listening to Corey Freeman, Creative Director at LionsHead Media, explain to her the impact that Durham’s Black Wall Street had on the United States. Additionally, I was able to create content off the personal interaction as well as capture some awesome photographs of her that I couldn’t have gotten without having the access I got through LionsHead. But the most powerful things I got from the conversation between NCCU student Christina Boyd-Clark of LionsHead Media and Issa were these five quotes that I was able to jot down in my notebook in between snapping. Take them and allow them to inspire you as you work to further your brand and your community.

“(The stereotypes that the media shows) are valid black experiences but not the only black experiences.”
“In this day and age, there’s no excuse not to create.”
“Where’s your content online?”
“I get a lot of inspiration just by living life.”
“(Success) depends on talent and consistency, but consistency more than anything else.”

All very simple concepts but I chose them as my top quotes because it shows that, in this day and age, the formula for success is not rocket science. It’s just about taking care of the basics and doing so consistently. You have to provide a different angle that isn’t already out there. You have to be putting yourself out there. You have to live life and interact with people in order to create. And you have to go hard regularly. So do it and maybe one day I’ll be photographing your speaking engagement.


Once again, major shoutout to LionsHead Media for the opportunity to meet a young lady who is working to change the conversation around black lifestyle and what is seen as the norm within our culture. We’re not all gangstas, charismatic entertainers, welfare moms, and bad b_____es. Some of us are awkward and insecure and oddly funny folks who don’t like seeing the same person in the hall three times in a work day because how many times can you really say “Hello”?


Make professional development a priority.