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Leadership Series: David Fagan

Today we had the pleasure of interviewing a leader in business: David Fagan. He has made an impact in a number of different industries and has given us an opportunity to peek into his mind with this powerful interview you don’t want to miss!

What inspired you to start your current business?

I love helping good people tell their story, overcome being the worlds best kept secret, and inspire action in every audience.  Plus, the job I wanted did not exist and the pay I deserved was not possible any other way.  

What is the story that inspired the name of the company?

Icon Builder Media is all about helping people become the authority, a celebrity expert or what I’d call an icon in their industry.  I even wrote a book called Cracking the Icon Code that is all about how to get more influence, credibility and exposure.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your life?

It’s given me a lot of freedom to pursue my passions, serve who I want to serve and design the life I want to live most.  It’s also taught me some tough lessons about money, organization, communication, credit, and leadership.  Not only have I sacrificed but my family has sacrificed at times.  I’ve paid the price in more ways than one in order to become what I am today.

What motivates you?

People saying I can’t do something.  Being the best in my business.  Doing something life changing and business epic that is unforgettable.  Creating something that might live on beyond my own life and circle of influence.

How do you generate new ideas?

I love to listen to classical music, movie soundtrack music like Elfman or John Williams.  I like to watch inspirational movies, or even have intellectual conversations with other people that challenge me to have bigger, better and more clear ideas.  I like to research and study out what other good people are doing and see how I might improve upon it or make it my own by adding my flavor, style, or story to it.

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

My ego might get in the way, that I might not hear out the people I should.  That I might risk too much or take too big of calculated risks that might not be easy to recover from.

What are your ideals?

PRODUCTIVITY – That I might do the right thing at the right time rather than just being busy

HARD-WORKING – That I might put in large amounts of focused time rather than being lazy or scattered

DISCIPLINED – That I might be consistent day in and day out with a plan and a schedule.

This is my P.H.D. that I try to live by.  When I am falling short I ask myself am I being productive, am I working hard and am I being disciplined.  These 3 things keep me on track.

How do you define success?

Laying my head on my pillow every night know I did the best I could with every opportunity given to me and every person put in my path.  It’s very stressful and haunting to know I may have squandered profitable potential or powerful possibilities.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Absolutely, surrounding yourself with people that bring out the best in you, having the right tools and tech, having a really good decision making matrix and P.H.D.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

All the different aspects of business and getting to do such a wide array of activities.  It’s hard to get bored as an entrepreneur.  There is always something to do, to learn or to experiment with.  I also really enjoy setting my own schedule, creating time for physical activities, prioritizing my children and living by my own design.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Getting my message out to large groups, speaking to an audience of thousands, being on major television shows that have massive platforms, or even just having a large following.  If I had to pick one moment it was being on Fox and Friends.  It was my first big interview and even though I went on to do many more like Neil Cavuto, The FIVE, What’s Happening Now, the Doctors Show and even the Today Show the first one just seemed like such a big step and such validation that I had accomplished something unique for the best of the best.

What do you wish this company to accomplish within the next year ?

My company in terms of the name and brand really aren’t the focus.  I have aligned myself with a family of companies some of which are owned by my wife Isabel Donadio and her business partner Anniece Acker that are really the flagship organization(s).  Their umbrella company is called Talent Support Services with several other very organizations call Top Talent JV and Top Talent Magazine.  In their world I am the creative director and they pay me (Icon Builder Media) to be their spokesperson, rain maker and marketing genius.  Their company has exploded because of the complete team they have and the need in the marketplace we all fulfill.  I really enjoy pulling our brands and resources together to help speaker, authors and experts get more influence, credibility and exposure. 

What do you wish this company will accomplish within the next five years?  I don’t believe in that question.  Yes, we want to serve more people and make more money but I believe more in being open to the possibilities that will present themselves.  I believe in evolving and being open to opportunities that can be unpredictable.  I encourage people work more with a power play mentality.  Power Play’s are activities and goals you can accomplish for meaningful results in 4-8 weeks.  Ask yourself “what can I do in the next 4-8 weeks to get more positive results and or make more money.”  Long term goals really screw up a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners.  I know this is contrary to what a lot of the gurus teach and I’m not against goals rather I just think you need to get up and running quickly.  You need to figure out proof of concept and attract paying clients as fast as possible.  Money solves a lot of problems and creates a lot of opportunities.  I think it’s even good to have options of different places you may want to go in business and prepare from them all so that when they become a real opportunity you are ready to can take advantage of them.

What does proper leadership look like to do, what is an example of leadership you have seen that is not proper?

Good communication, many times overcommunicating expectations, vision and the ways to get to where the team needs to go next.  I think a good leader provides the training needed, the tech needed and the time needed to do a good job.  This is a real good start.

For the aspiring entrepreneur reading this what advice will you give ?

Have one hand up reaching for a good mentor to pull you higher while having one hand down reaching to pull someone to where you are.  You learn from the people that are where you want to be but also don’t forget you also learn from helping someone else.  The teacher always learns the most.  Surround yourself with people that will bring out the best in you.  Live a healthy life for optimal performance and so that you can put in the long hours needed.  Be careful of things you want to get for your business “that pay for themselves” because they rarely do.  Hire the best people you can afford.  You must always do the best you can with what you have to work with but always hire the best people you can afford.  This is the fastest way to avoid learning curves and collapse times frames that are keeping you from bigger profits.  Also, remember to market what people want not necessarily what they need.  You’ll give them what they need too but you always want to market what they want!

What final words do you have for all of the supporters?

Get rid of your excuses.  Be willing to do things that others aren’t willing to do.  There is someone out there creating success with less than what you have to work with in far worse off conditions.

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