The Knight Of Positivity: How To Be A Positive Light To Life With Daniel Knight

WRT 43 | Positive Light

 

When life gets tough, it’s easy to fall back into the dark areas of the room. But how can we be a positive light when life happens? The driving force behind Unicorn Universe, Daniel Knight, narrates how his father impacted his life, and when he heard his father transition to the other side, it took him long to experience grief. He also shares the birth of the Unicorn Universe and what it does in the community. Daniel also takes us into how to be a positive light because life isn’t always about unicorns and rainbows. If you want to be inspired to rise above the darkness and be a positive light, this episode is for you. So, why don’t you grab the reins and let’s gallop into the beautiful journey of Daniel today? 

Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach.

I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide

Email: daniel@unicornuniverse.io

Website: http://UnicornUniverse.io

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The Knight Of Positivity: How To Be A Positive Light To Life With Daniel Knight

Our guest in this episode is Mr. Daniel Knight. He is the owner of Unicorn Universe. What is that? That’s why you will want to tune in. You’ll want to hear Daniel’s story, his upbringing, and his life, and be inspired. Let’s get into the conversation now.

 

WRT 43 | Positive Light

 

Our guest is Mr. Daniel Knight. Welcome, Daniel.

Thank you so much for having me.

Thank you for being here. It was a pretty good connection that we made. The conversation was good. I’m looking forward to this. I love that you said no topic is off the table, and that everything is to be discussed. There are a couple of different things that our community will find encouraging, inspiring, and a lot to hear. I’m looking forward to it. Daniel, what is the whole Unicorn Universe? We cannot not talk about it.

I like to bring the brand out in as many ways as possible. You have a business. You want to get the name out there. Unicorn Universe is my business. I founded it with a few different people at the beginning of January 2021. We are all about making connections. We find out what people need and then we’ll make introductions to other people based on what we think will help them get to where they’re trying to go. We do that through our community. We have active members who come to our connection events. It’s all about trying to focus on who we can connect for each other that helps with whatever it is that we’re working on.

An example of what that may look like or why. If I can scroll through the internet to find a particular person who’s an accountant or a person who’s a therapist or this or that, why would I want to come to the Unicorn Universe? Why would that be advantageous for me?

When we talk about people that we bring into our community, it comes down to the type of person above all else. You can know that the people in our group are generally trustworthy people. They think in abundance. They are givers. They want to support other people. They want to collaborate with other people. That is our way of saying, “You can trust that the people in the Unicorn community are these kinds of people.”

That, in addition to let’s say somebody needs marketing services. They launched a new product and they want to create a campaign. They’re looking for somebody to help with the marketing. A lot of the time, people will go and shop around and maybe even end up engaging with somebody for their services, and then not get what they expected or the services are subpar.

Because we have some involvement from the introductions that we make to people, sometimes we’ll get involved in helping make sure things are going as expected. If it’s a company we’ve set up a partnership with, you can generally trust that they’re going to do what they said they’re going to do. We’re an extra layer of support for people.

How did you come about the name Unicorn Universe?

We knew we wanted to do something with unicorns because the group of us that started it were all unique and different in our own unicorn-type of way. We knew we wanted to do something fun so we went with Unicorn. We spent a couple of days figuring out what we wanted to do with the business and then we came up with the Universe because that supported what we were creating.

We're all unique and different in our own unicorn type of way. Share on X

The one reason why I wanted to have this conversation with you is that the show is often about people sharing their journey from the death of a loved one, but often out of that, people have to reinvent themselves. They have to maybe start up a business because we’re now in this virtual world where someone can take the skills that they’ve given to an employer and now create their own business. Do you have people in the Unicorn Universe who assist people in doing something like that?

Specifically, with those kinds of transitions going from an employer relationship to a self-employed relationship.

That would be maybe someone who does coaching because someone may have not been speaking out a lot. Someone may need an accountant because they have those needs. They may need to have a legal advice. They may need to understand how to network. I could see how being part of your Universe could be a step into helping them do that turnkey situation instead of having to find all these different people creating their brand and developing a marketing campaign. That seems like something that could benefit somebody who’s looking to have a life perspective change like that.

We will do what’s called a Dream Discovery with people where we figure out where they’re at in their business and what they’re trying to accomplish. We’ll have a natural conversation with them. Sometimes these different things will come up like that. Sometimes people are like, “I just started my company. I’m still trying to figure things out.” Depending on what they say, we might have people to connect to them. We understand that through building relationships with people in the community, as well as establishing more formalized partnerships. We’re actively focused on trying to find people we can connect with to help them out.

The Dream Discovery is pretty interesting. What does that normally look like in a conversation with someone and how long should they a lot for that time?

We have it set for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Currently, it’s scheduled for 30 minutes, but there’s a 15-minute buffer. We used to them for a full hour, but it ended up being quite a bit more than what’s necessary. In that conversation, we’ll generally ask people why they started their business, what their goal is for the business, or what’s their long-term vision.

Anytime I put a number on it, I always seem to be wrong. I’ll ask somebody, “What’s your five-year vision?” They’ll be like, “I’m still thinking about next month, let alone five years from now.” I’ll be like, “Let’s talk about longer-term vision. Where are you trying to be a year from now?” They’re like, “I’m talking ten years from now.” It’s always interesting to see what is someone’s version of a long-term vision.

I’ve defaulted to, “What’s your long-term vision?” I’ll ask them that. I’ll ask them what is working and what’s not working, and what they enjoy the most out of the business that got them to start it in the first place. Sometimes we’ll ask them if there are parts of the business they don’t enjoy doing that maybe they could partner up with somebody else and offload that work so they can be focused on what they love doing the most. It’s a natural conversation.

We have set questions that we like to ask to figure out what people are doing for marketing and when was the last time they updated their brand. Also, if they’re happy with their logo and all sorts of different things. There are so many different elements to a business. People need different things every step of the way.

There are so many different elements to a business, and people need different things every step of the way. Share on X

That sounds good. Thanks for explaining that. For somebody getting into a business for the first time, it can be very unnerving trying to develop a business plan and create a strategic outlook. Oftentimes, I found from my accounting background that people have a clear idea as far as the area they are a subject matter expert in or what the business is about. However, all the relatable items like payroll, taxes, and all those other different things can weigh you down in trying to focus on the business that you’re trying to service or you’re trying to provide to people. What were you doing before you became a Unicorn in the Universe?

Before that, I had a business helping financial advisors and financial service professionals set up their systems and automate the technology. We streamline their workflow. We did a good amount through operational development at my corporate job at Hertz. I was with them for about five years. I worked in a regional manager position where I helped them with a lot of different playbooks.

I got good at creating processes that made things happen automatically. I plugged in technology to automatically do those things where possible. My experience at Hertz helped me get the job to do operations for some other companies. It was through that that I started my business doing operations and tech development.

Where are you from originally, Daniel?

I’m from Spain. I moved here when I was very young. I was under two years old.

Who moved here with you?

It was my mom, my dad, and my three older sisters. They had three more kids after moving here.

You would have been the youngest, but now that was adjusted. Are you the middle child with three before and three after?

Yeah.

My sister who lives next door to me is the middle child. There are two above and two below. Do you feel having those middle child scenarios going on or it’s all a myth?

It comes up. I don’t think it’s too bad but the middle child syndrome is there. It’s real.

When you came from Spain, where did you come to in the United States?

We moved straight from Valencia, Spain to the Sandy, Utah area in Salt Lake Valley.

That does not sound fun compared to Spain. I’m sorry for anybody from Utah, but thinking of Spain, Utah seems like a big difference to me.

Especially if we’re talking about fun.

You are two. How are you supposed to be thinking about fun at two years old?

My parents were LDS so they wanted to move to Utah for the LDS community, the Mormon Church. That’s a huge reason why they moved here. My mom met my dad in Spain while she was on her mission. My mom is from the US but my dad is from Spain.

For those who don’t know, explain what LDS stands for. I’ve been to Utah. I’ve been to the location there but a lot of people have not had that experience. If you could explain what LDS stands for and why Utah is so significant to the LDS community.

LDS means Latter-Day Saints. It’s a religious organization also known as the Mormon Church and it’s very prominent in Utah. The church was started more toward the East Coast, but then they pioneered over here and decided to develop Utah. That is how Utah became what it is through the LDS church. The reason it’s so significant here in Utah is that it started here and about half of the population in Utah is LDS. It’s a very strong community. You can talk to most people at the grocery store and most of them will say they’re LDS and they probably went to church on Sunday.

Do you still practice the LDS faith?

I do not.

When I was in Utah, I didn’t want to say compound, but where it was, it was massive. Can you explain a little bit about what that looks like? Until I saw it, I had no concept of the organs, the pipes, and the different places of worship there. I believe also,  the underground facility. There’s a lot of effort that was taking place to do that intentionally it seems.

Are you talking about the temple specifically?

Yes.

Even the churches are robust in size. There’s nothing small about those but the temples, you can imagine the best location in the valley that you can see from any place in the valley. That’s where the temple is going to be. It’s going to be up on a high hill and it’s going to be lit up day in and day out. You can see it. It is like a bright shining star in the middle of the valley from wherever you can see it. They’re massive.

It is a temple. Some of them are a lot nicer than others, but they are super nice. They don’t cut any corners when they build those temples. There are tons of glass chandeliers. It’s all white. Everything needs to be white. In fact, all the clothing you wear in the temple when you do the baptisms has to be white. It’s all super pure. Very purist is how I would describe it.

What was your upbringing like in this robust family in Utah? What was that like for you?

We did go to church every week. There were a lot of church events that we would go to and all sorts of different things that we would do. The church had certain missionaries who would come around the house. People who would do home teaching. I spent a lot of time with my family, especially growing up with six siblings. There is always something going on. It was funny because my immediate family is fairly large, but then my extended family ends with my immediate family.

There are still some people in Spain but on my mom’s side, she had a brother who passed away very young. She didn’t have any other siblings. On my grandma’s side, they didn’t have a super huge family either. On my dad’s side, everybody else lived in Spain. I still have people there but we don’t know them. It was like the seven of us plus my two grandparents. That was our immediate family.

Is your dad still living?

He’s not. He passed away about ten years ago.

Do you mind talking a little bit about that? How did your dad pass?

One day, when I was 21 years old, I got a call from my stepsister. My dad was currently living in Spain because he got deported. I got a call from my stepsister and she let me know that he had passed away in his sleep in his mid-50s from a heart attack. I wasn’t terribly shocked. I always knew that my dad was going to go this way. I knew that it was going to be a heart attack because his dad, his dad’s dad, and every male above him died in their mid-50s from a heart attack.

What I realized is that there’s a very common theme that they all had, which was that they were running bakeries and eating very poorly. They are not taking care of themselves and are stressed out working from 4:00 AM to midnight every single day, pushing as hard as they can to make a buck. When he died, we had this agreement that I would go over there, take over the bakeries, and run them.

At that time when he passed, he had seven bakeries and a warehouse like a distribution center. You’d think, “You go over to Spain and you have this whole business all setup. You go over there and run it.” At that time, I was living here in the US doing my own business. I’m enjoying and loving life. I loved what I was doing.

I was fixing and flipping electronics off of the local classifieds and then selling them on eBay. It was super easy. It was the easiest job that I ever had set up for myself. I would post an ad in the classifieds and say that I’ll buy people’s broken laptops, iPads, iPhones, tablets, or whatever. I would fix them and sell them on eBay. I put them in a prepaid envelope and UPS would come pick them up from my doorstep. I had this business running out of my apartment. It was awesome.

It sounds like it was right up your niche. You can decide on the volume, good or bad, and people need their electronics. That was nice.

I worked for my apartment. People would come to meet me in the lobby. I’d check out the item and then give them some cash. I will fix it and the mailbox person will come and pick it up from my doorstep. It was awesome.

The first thing that comes to my mind is Neo in The Matrix where they’re coming to the door and they’re knocking. He’s handing them something and getting money. I can almost relate everything back to The Matrix, but that’s what I saw in my head. It was dark and quiet. It’s like, “Here you go.” There’s a tech going on with that.

There were some sketchy incidents doing that business. Part of why stopped was because I can’t tell you how many times I was meeting somebody at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning buying a phone in the middle of the ghetto. I’m in Salt Lake so it’s not that bad but these people need their money.

You have a bit of a Neo going on. It’s not that everyone that is homeless is dangerous, but there’s a very large homeless population that I saw in Salt Lake City, Utah that I didn’t see elsewhere. I thought they went into the LDS community because of how generous people are there in helping, supporting, and the weather. Every place has a seedy area. There is going to be someplace no matter what it is. There was a little bit of Matrix going on with the little Neo going on. The bakeries in Spain, we got off track. The Matrix popped into my head. I can’t help myself.

I was doing this business and it was working like clockwork. I was making okay money, but my life was easy. When you’re working for yourself, that’s one of the reasons you do it. It’s for that freedom to do whatever you want. When my dad died, all of a sudden I was like, “I need to go and run these bakeries.” I was like, “I’m not doing it. I’m not going to do that. Why give up everything I have here?”

There’s a very important part to this that I didn’t mention. I came to find out that he had all these bakeries but he was a couple hundred thousand dollars in debt for equipment and materials. There are all these people chasing them down trying to get this money. I’m like, “I don’t understand. I have the option to take over a failing business that has killed my dad and every male above him or stay here and do what I enjoy doing, and not take on all of this debt.”

 

 

You can guess what I did. I stayed here. I did not move to Spain. I said, “I’m going to break that mold. I’m not going to be another male who dies in their mid-50s from a heart attack just like my dad and everybody above him.” That was the time when I decided that I needed to change some things up. It’s funny because that’s when I ended up going and finding a job because I was a little discouraged that my dad had this business that seemed all successful and here he was super broke. I’m like, “Forget it. I’m going to go get a job and let somebody else handle the risk and send me a paycheck.” It didn’t last very long.

Let’s go back a little bit and thank you for sharing that. How did you convey that you were not going to go to Spain and you were not going to take over the business? How was that received? How did that go?

It wasn’t like a super-defined thing. It would have been as crazy for me to go over and take it over and run it as it was for me not to. It was because I wasn’t there. I wasn’t running it. For me to go and take it over would have been weird. At the same time, it ended up all getting sold off to pay off debts. This whole business that my dad essentially killed himself building disappeared.

That is a lot to think about. I am sorry for your dad and I’m sorry for the generations that this happened over, but it does speak a lot to the idea of the level of stress that we place on ourselves for something that can be dissipated very quickly. A lot of things can seem so important right now and have so much value, but it can easily be gone and none of it downright matters when those material things are gone. It’s about the person.

As I said, it reaffirms that decision to not do it because what good is that doing for the world? If you want to create a lasting impact, you can start a business that creates a legacy and passes on wealth for a generation or two or maybe even 100, but what impact is that creating? Is that a legacy that is worth being super proud of? It’s not to say that it’s not, but I felt like that wasn’t what I wanted to do.

I don’t think only businesses are something you support with what you’re doing, but you have to be strategic about that. Going back to one of the things that you talked about understanding somebody’s dreams and helping them lay that out, owning and running a business is better with the right people in place to help you focus on those things. What type of relationship did you have with your dad overall?

I had a good relationship with him. I would speak to him multiple times a week sometimes for hours at a time. We would talk about all sorts of things. I looked up to him for a lot. He was very inspirational to me. As far as a model for hard work, I will give him all the credit that is due for that. I think it killed him. He showed me how important it is to work as hard as you can and how much more important it is to not.

The memories I have of my dad almost all involved work in some way. We’d go and work at his bakery or I’d go with him and sit at his office while he worked. I’d go help him open a bakery. It’s all working. I didn’t have a huge relationship with him after he got deported when I was twelve. It’s not like that was a huge thing, but a huge part of it was him working but we had a good relationship. I was devastated when he passed.

That is what I wanted to talk about. Thank you for mentioning that. I know you said it’s been ten years but when you look back on that, how did that impact you? Sometimes people we’re like, “It was hard.” How did that show up in your life as hard? How did that work?

As far as my relationship with my dad is concerned and how losing him impacted my life, he was somebody that I could call and talk to about all of the things I was doing in my business. Also, all the things that I was doing to create a life for myself. Everything that I was doing at that time, I was always thinking about making my dad proud. There isn’t anybody else above him or above me aside from my mom who I was working to show myself to.

All of a sudden, I was like, “What do I do? Why do I do anything?” It was very odd to lose somebody that I could tell anything to and now I don’t have that person. I have a brother but there are things that I wouldn’t tell my brother that I could talk to my dad about and tell my mom. That was a challenge.

How did you manage that void? Your dad passes. You’re a young man just starting to come into your own. What impact did that make on your day-to-day existence when you spoke about trying to find purpose? What are you doing it for? How did that show up in your life? How did that look for you?

For a big part of it, I was operating purposelessly. That’s a huge reason why I was miserable at my corporate job and it hurts because I was there to make a living. It was a stepping stone to stop working in auto sales. I was very intentional at this job and I hated to get out of it because I knew I didn’t want to do it. What did I want to do? I didn’t know.

The purpose that I have found for myself has found me in a way through connections, getting to know people, and collaborating with people to create the Unicorn Universe. I am very fortunate because I’ve found that purpose through trying different things out and through getting clear on what’s important to me.

How long were you working at Hertz?

For about five years.

Of those five years, how long do you think that you were probably actively grieving and trying to cope with your dad’s absence?

I don’t think I did a whole lot of grieving while I was at Hertz. A lot of that is because I was just going and going. I was working on there. I was with a girl who I was pretty serious with. I had been with her for about five years. It was almost like the timeline of working at Hertz and dating her were aligned. What’s weird is after she and I broke up and after I left Hertz, I spent a lot of time focused on myself.

I feel like it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I felt the grief from losing my dad that I hadn’t felt for so long. It’s interesting because I know he’s been passed for ten years. It’s almost as if it is easier over time, but what’s interesting is that it has seemed to get harder over time. It’s weird. You wouldn’t think that’s the case but when I talk to people who are my dad’s age who talk about conversations with their dad, it is confusing to me.

It’s like, “You’re like my dad’s age talking to your dad about his dad. He’s still alive. That is crazy.” It’s so interesting to think about how much support and knowledge people have at their fingertips with their parents. It’s weird because there have been some days when I could go for a phone call with my dad. I need to talk something out with him but it’s gone. There are days when the people I know who have a dad my dad’s age and they’re still leaning on that advice, it’s harder. It’s like, “I can’t believe you still have that access to somebody like that.”

Thank you for sharing that and particularly, the idea about the length of time because people who have not had someone close to them die take the grieving process nonchalantly. You bury them, go back to work, and you appear to be fine. For those five years, it sounds as if you were doing something that I hear a lot of people doing, trying to stay super busy so the grief doesn’t catch you.

You are like, “I’m on the move. I’m doing this, this, and that.” After a while, grief eventually at some point in time needs to come out and it hits you like a brick wall. It’s like, “I have to deal with that, as you were saying, focusing on yourself. How did you realize that it was the grief from your dad that you were managing or dealing with?

At some point, I was meditating or something and was thinking about my dad and it hit me how much I miss him. For the first time in a very long time, I bawled. I cried harder than I had ever cried over losing my dad within the past couple of years. It was harder than ever after losing him. I’ve never seen his grave. It’s always been a weird thing for me because I was told that he died. My sister is where he is at, but I haven’t seen that. I haven’t been back to Spain since he died. I helped him open these bakeries and was working there with him. There’s resistance to going back to Spain because I feel like it’d be very difficult for me.

 

 

I think it could be both. It could be difficult and it also could be satisfying as far as closure to be able to have that. It’s a mixed bag per se. The emotions are flowing from your dad’s death and his absence. How did you learn to manage that? What did you start doing from there? This is becoming apparent that he’s gone, and the hurt and the absence of that is real.

Unfortunately, I got very used to my dad being gone at a very young age. When I was 9 to 10 years old, things went down in my family’s situation. My house was swarmed by the FBI just like in the movies. A fleet of SUVs raided our house and they took everything from us. They had indicted my dad for laundering $10 million for the Colombian cartel. He got locked up and put in jail at that time.

I was very young at that age. He then got deported a few years later. I was very used to him not being there. To adjust to it and that’s why it took so long to feel the impact of losing him. I’m used to already not having him. Over time, there are more and more instances where I would have wanted to be able to talk to him but wasn’t able to. It caught up to me.

How did I get through it? There isn’t a whole lot you can do about it except for managing your attitude. I dealt with so many difficult things in my life. The last thing I would want is one extra problem, which is my own mindset. I might as well let that be a positive light for everything that happens in this world. Why let that be the one extra thing that’s also negative? I can have my dad die, but I’m going to stay positive. I can lose my house, but I’m going to stay positive. As soon as you feel too negative, it gets very dark very quickly.

 

WRT 43 | Positive Light

 

I was going to ask. You said you’ve experienced a lot of hard things in your life. What is that laundry list of hard things that you’re thinking of when you say that?

The whole situation with my dad getting deported and locked up. Shortly after they came in, we lost our house and everything. They had to sell off all of our cars. The only way we had a car was because somebody in the church loaned us a car and then somebody else gave us a car. Had it not been for the church, we probably would have been homeless. It wasn’t long after that that my mom then had breast cancer.

A lot of these things that happened in my life aren’t necessarily things that happened directly to me. The negative things that happened directly to me are things that caused me to be a troublemaker crazy kid. These are things that happened to my mom. She’s the one that went through a lot. My dad was abusive. I didn’t have to go through that, but I watched him with my siblings. I watched him do things that he shouldn’t have done.

There was a point in my life where I spilled my brother’s milk and he being my dad, I blamed it on my brother. I tried to pass that off to him. My dad did not like that so he proceeded to waterboard me with milk out of the fridge. He dumped gallon after gallon of milk on my head and spanked me. He told me to go take a shower and then told me to come to clean it up. That wasn’t cool. That’s a memory that’s locked away for life.

We moved a lot after he got deported. Over a four-year span, we moved seven times or something like that. We didn’t have a ton of money as kids growing up. The church was very helpful to us. It was a lot of little things but overall, I’m pretty optimistic about how things have gone. I have all of my siblings and my mom is the closest person in my life. I still have her even after she fought breast cancer. She had another cancer scare not too long ago, but that’s all going okay. Life is good at the end of the day. Things happen. You just have to stay positive.

How do you stay positive? Not just a statement, but when X happens, how do you choose the positive?

There are a couple of ways that you can do it. What I like to do is I like to find the silver lining in things. I can find a silver lining. That’s always great. I don’t like to dwell on the negative things. If something happens, just move on. It’s not a big deal. Find the silver lining. If it’s a lesson, an opportunity to grow, or it’s because you are now stronger for whatever happened, there’s usually something good to happen or to come from something bad that happened.

A lot of the time, take responsibility. Many people get so stuck in the blame game like, “All this happened to me and it’s so and so’s fault. This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this person or that person or whatever.” I find that the easiest way to not dwell on a situation is to own it as your own fault.

Even getting rear-ended on the freeway. Maybe you could have left earlier. Maybe you could have given yourself more space. That’s a totally out-there example, but when you stop blaming everybody else for things that happen in your life and you take that responsibility, it’s not a problem. It’s not a big deal when things happen. You are like, “That happened. Can I fix it? Could I have done anything to prevent it? Move on.”

When you stop blaming everybody else for things that happen in your life and take responsibility, it's not a problem. Just move on. Share on X

I heard something you said about the crazy kid version. When did that transition into the responsible person? I want to hear some of the crazy kid life and then how it became Mr. Positivity.

The only person who gets an exception to the things not happening to them is my mom. She got abused by all the things that I did as a teenager. At one point, I was fifteen years old. Me and my friend, after a church dance, decided to make a bomb out of toilet bowl cleaner, aluminum foil, and a plastic bottle. That’s all it takes. We made this this bomb. We had made a few before and he goes, “Daniel, it’s starting to warm up.” He hands me the bottle and it explodes right in my face, down in my throat, and in my eyes.

I’m with him and this girl that he likes after this church dance. I’m swearing and we are not allowed to swear. I was throwing up because I ingested all this toilet bowl cleaner. My eyes were burning. It was awful. His mom came rushing outside and was like, “What in the world just happened?” “Daniel just blew up his face.” We washed out my eyes. She rushed me home. She was like, “You got to let your mom know so she can take you to the hospital.” I’m like, “Okay. I’ll do that.” I took a shower and I was like, “I’m fine.” I went to bed.

You did not tell your mom.

There was no way. I woke up in the morning and I could not see. I was totally blind. I was terrified. I was like, “What am I going to do?”

Were you blind or were your eyes swollen shut?

It was both I think. I could open and it was super blurry. If you were to close your eyes as much as you can with your lashes barely letting light through. It was not even that good though. My mom was not there at that time but we got ahold of her. She came and grabbed me and she was like, “We got a rush you to the hospital right now.”

They did and they rushed me and passed everybody like people’s broken arms and all these things. They rushed me and right away they were like, “You might lose your vision.” I had an eye patch on both eyes for about a month and they took one of them off and then I had one rocking on the other eye for about another month, but I was then known as Eye-Patch Man in middle school. It was a terrible time. That was middle school.

Did your mother find out why you were blind or did you just say you woke up like this? How did that go? Will your mom find out about it now when she tune in to this?

She knows. I know she knows that I blow up my face.

At what point did you tell her? Is it when you were in the hospital crying or later?

That’s what I’m trying to figure out. When did I tell her what happened? She probably just found out. She added it to the list. If she had a list of things that her kids did that were not okay, I would take up five pieces of paper from that list.

I want to hear one more, Daniel. You were known as this Mr. Positivity. I need to hear how you got to that. I need some more of the crazy Daniel story so I appreciate the maturity that has happened over the years.

I was quite the pyromaniac. This other time, me and my friends would put newspaper in a shoebox, light the newspaper on fire with a can of spray paint in the middle of it, and then shoot the can of spray paint with a BB gun. It would explode and create this mushroom cloud of fire from the compressed spray paint. I almost burned our house down one day and my sister told on me. I was the dumbest bad kid because I would record everything and put it on YouTube. My sister could go and show my mom the video and my mom’s like, “Are you kidding me?” It was the 4th of July and she grounds me. I’m like, “I’m not grounded. It’s the 4th of July.” I went out anyway.

I’m going to say do not try this at home. We’re going to put that disclaimer out. What did the newspaper have to do with the can and the spray paint? What was the value of that?

It was the fire starter.

I thought you were going someplace else with the box and I see the spray can come in. How close were you to it when you guys were shooting it with the BB gun?

Maybe 20 feet, give or take. I had a hose with running water next to me.

You have some safety measures going on too. Do you have children now?

I don’t know.

You see what’s coming your way though, right?

Why do you think I don’t have children?

If it happens, I want to hear about it. I want to hear all of the stories. When did you start becoming this person who is looking at things positively versus this very reckless child that you were?

The two don’t necessarily contradict each other. I was a very positive kid, but I was also blowing stuff up.

Do you still blow stuff up? Are those still the same or they’re different? You don’t have to answer that. We’ll leave that as a question on the table.

I think I’m good. I don’t think I’ve blown anything up in a while. We should be good but if you put me on a camping trip with a can of spray paint, we don’t know what will happen.

You said you were always a positive child.

Maybe not always, but a lot of kids, when they go through certain things, they’ll cover up their sadness and emotions with jokes, with positivity, or with this facade that they are happier than they actually are. I did that when I was younger, but it infused in me a general energy of positivity. I have learned how to stay positive whether faking it or faking it until it’s real, and being in a positive attitude or to try to be positive. I’m not always positive. I get super angry about random things but not all the time. My dog knows that things are not always unicorns and rainbows.

Life is not always unicorns and rainbows. Share on X

I know that’s important because it sounds like you explaining that, you started grieving the absence of your dad at a very young age. You were learning to live outside of his presence, which is helpful for someone to think about, “How do I learn to manage at that young age in the absence of someone that I love?” Maybe someone is an adult now and they may have never dealt with the death of a parent or a divorce of parents and not having that space.

Grief shows up differently in our lives. It is oftentimes related to the death of a person but there are other parts of us that we grieve. There was grieving going on in young Daniel that probably morphed out in different acting up in how that came to be because that energy has to go someplace. I can see how that works. Thank you for saying, “Not always positive,” because life doesn’t always afford us that. There are a lot of different things, but your endeavor to continually take charge of your own work-life shows up in a lot of different ways.

Those are things you have to nurture. Those are things you have to put time into. You don’t start a business now and it takes off. It takes a lot of time and energy. I remember when we were speaking and you were talking about how much time you put into building the Unicorn Universe, what that looks like, and your energy in that. What does that look like for you on a day-to-day basis?

 

WRT 43 | Positive Light

 

I don’t keep track of the time that I’m working on Unicorn Universe largely because I don’t need to and I don’t feel like I would either way. I enjoy what I’m doing. It doesn’t feel like I’m working a whole lot. Am I? Yes. Have I put in you know countless hours working away to create something faster than if I was going to sleep at a reasonable time some nights?

I’m going to ask you what time that is.

All the hours and sometimes all-nighters into events. It’s the whole gamut. I have put in the hours and then some. As I said, my dad showed me a hard work ethic. I have a hard work ethic. I know when to stop and have a good balance, but I have had plenty of 70 or 80-plus-hour work weeks. I wouldn’t be able to quantify it and I think it’s okay. There are weeks where I’m working from 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM until 2:00 AM every single day, and some of those days until 4:00 AM. It doesn’t happen anymore, but in the early phases, it totally happened.

A lot of it is because I enjoyed doing it. A lot of it is because I wanted to grow. A lot of it is having that work ethic being so strong. I was always working from 8 years old, going to the bakery with my dad and 12 years old, running newspapers with my mom, to creating my business fixing and flipping electronics. I was making up for credits that I lost from not being in school toward the end of middle school, doing extra work credits on top of extra credits in school, and then always working towards something new Working a ton of hours is pretty natural for me. It’s pretty normal. I feel like it’s pretty balanced now. I spent a good amount of time, enjoying time with my dog or doing physical activities like bike rides, runs, hikes, or whatever. I’ll put in the work 100%.

In the beginning, you spoke something about the dream consultations you have with people. What is your dream for the Unicorn Universe?

My dream is to help ten million businesses. I write that goal down pretty much every day, if not, sometimes twice a day, to bring people together and ultimately, support companies and civilizations that are focused on creating a positive difference in the world by making connections that help them accomplish what they’re trying to do faster and with more ease. Align with those companies who have missions and visions that I can support with other companies that are aligned with those things too, and work with them to collaborate and create a greater impact by working together.

Create a positive difference in the world by making connections that help them accomplish what they try to do faster and with ease. Share on X

Many people are competing and they’re fighting against each other. They are splitting up resources and operating in a scarce type of mentality when if you flip that on your head and you operate from an abundance mentality, we can create a lot more impact by working together, an exponentially greater impact. My dream for Unicorn Universe is for all these people to work together and support each other on projects to create a positive difference in the world and ultimately, have this system that is designed to generate revenue for these purpose-driven businesses in ways that haven’t been done before through connections and access. The different things that we’re going to implement with technology will help people achieve their dreams. That’s what I see us doing with it.

I have two more questions. If you were to pick any age and go back to talk to younger Daniel, what age would it be and what would you tell him?

I have answered a similar question, but I would go back to the eight-year-old Daniel and tell him to be comfortable enjoying his life. That’s what I would say.

Be comfortable enjoying your life. Share on X

What gives you joy these days?

Freedom to do what I would like to do, being around people who are positive and uplifting, being with my family members, my nieces and nephews, hanging out with good people and enjoying those times with the people that I love. That’s what it’s all about. Also, my dog. I’ve got a Doberman. His name is Thor. He gives me a lot of joy and has cost me a lot of money, but I love him.

I will let you close this out. Are there any thoughts and things you thought you wanted to talk about that we maybe didn’t cover? However long you want to wrap this up.

First and foremost, Tina, I want to say thank you for having me on. I do appreciate it. I know when we lose people in our lives, it can be a very challenging thing. I don’t think anybody ever knows what we’re dealing with. It’s important to recognize that not only for ourselves but for other people, and understand that other people don’t always know what we’re going through either.

We have to have our expectations set that not only do we not know what other people are dealing with, but other people don’t know what we’re dealing with either. You have to maintain a positive attitude that we’re here. That means that we have the ability to create a positive difference in the world. That’s what I’m here to do. I feel like that has been part of my mission since I was very young. It is to spread positivity even on my darkest days because if I can be somebody’s light when they’re having a rough day, then that’s what I’m going to try to do.

Thank you.

Thank you, Tina.

Thank you for being with us and being part of this conversation. The journey of grief often has twists and turns that we don’t expect. We may find ourselves having to start a new career or maybe start a new business. That’s why I thought a conversation with Daniel would be helpful. He also lost his dad. He’s had his different grief experiences. He is part of the hood.

Thank you for being here. I am sorry for the person who has died and the grief that you’ve experienced that has driven you to this community, but I’m glad that you’re part of our hood. Welcome. I look forward to hearing from you. Send me an email at WidowhoodRealTalk@Gmail.com or go to our website, Widowhood-RealTalkWithTina.org. I want to hear from you. Share your journey and be part of the community. Talk to you soon.

 

Important Links

 

About Daniel Knight

WRT 43 | Positive LightDaniel Knight’s mission is to positively encourage, inspire, and challenge billions of people to be the best version of themselves that they can be. He is a well-rounded, highly experienced individual who stands for Unity, Equity, Abundance, and Joy. He is passionate about delivering a powerful, well-thought-out speech to create a positive impact for all.

With his experience through attending three speaker schools, extensive practice, hosting a podcast, speaking at multiple events, and joining his local Toastmasters club, his passion will leave your audience feeling empowered and energized to make improvements toward accomplishments that elevate their life to new heights.

Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach.

I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.

Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide