This week’s Man Of The Week is Daniel Tal for his inspiring perspective on the importance of both, businesses and individuals, to give back to society and those less fortunate. From a young age, Daniel witnessed his Mother give back through the smallest of actions, quickly realizing how simple it is to raise money and donate to causes without disrupting his daily life. He soon discovered that doing good in the world was his true purpose and as a result he now runs two non-profits and has supported causes from arts, culture, LGBT, to the environment and many more! Today, Daniel Co-Founded DUDEBOX and is a Director of Operations at Manifesto, a fixture in Toronto’s arts and culture scene where he hopes to inspire the next generation to be better than him and show them how giving back is actually better for business.
Age: 30 years old. It’s official.
What do you do? (Work)
I try to do as much as I can. In my personal life I’m a board member and active organizer of the non-profit I co-founded called DUDEBOX. My professional life is equally rewarding; I’m the Director of Operations and Development for Manifesto, a fixture in Toronto’s arts and culture scene.
Why do you do it?
Because it’s fun, inspiring and it’s my ethical responsibility.
How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
By setting an example to a shifting society. We’re proving that not only can you build a successful business model that is hype, sustainable and profitable, but you can factor in a charitable element in a way that enhances the entire process and brand. We’ve donated over $120,000 to various local and international causes, but more importantly we’ve shown other entrepreneurs that not only is it easy to give generously, it’s actually better for business.
What are 3 defining moments in your life?
– I remember shopping at the grocery store with my Mom, and at checkout the cashier asked “Would you like to add a dollar for United Way?” and my Mom was like “Sure”. To me that was a pivotal moment; I realized how simple it is to raise and donate money without really disrupting regular life.
– After our first official DUDEBOX party/fundraiser, I sat down with my friends for lunch to chat. I was super nervous because I was going to tell this group of poor guys that I thought we should keep donating all of our profits to charity. But before I got a chance to share my thoughts, one of the other guys said it first and everyone else was like “Totally, I was thinking the same thing”. That’s when I decided to get a stupid DUDEBOX tattoo. I shouldn’t have told you that part.
– At one of our parties we were raising money for a local cancer support network, one of their former clients (a cancer survivor) pulled me aside, told me her story and hugged me with tears in her eyes. She thanked me for the work we did, and I thanked her for fighting and being a beautiful person. It was epic as shit.
What is your life purpose?
Do good and do it well.
How did you tap into it?
It’s a part of everyone; we’re all good people. I’ve just been privileged enough to have the time and resources to realize a shared calling to help others.
Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
I look up to the people making moves around me despite the barriers they’re facing; they inspire me to be grateful for my blessings and use them to help others. Over the years mentorship has come to me from many different people, but right now I’m “between mentors”…don’t judge me.
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
I try to start as many conversations as possible every day, whether it’s a text, an email, a call or a meeting. Maybe it’s just “how’s your shoulder?” to a friend or “let’s raise a million dollars” to a collaborator. Regardless, my daily habits consist of a morning coffee and opening as many doors as possible. That and kissing my dog way too much.
When do you know your work/life balance is off?
At all times because it’s always off. I’m trying to discover where the line between work and life exists, and to be honest a part of me thinks I’m in a good place because I can’t see it. If work tasks and life’s passions intersect often, maybe I’m lucky? Still figuring that out.
Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
I broke both my wrists and tore a bunch of muscles on an elementary school ski trip. That was painful physically, but my pride hurt a lot more when I had to rely on my parents to bathe me and help me with the…cleaning after a visit to the little boys room.
What did you learn from it?
My parents love me unconditionally and are unbelievably supportive to the point of grossness
There are always ways to wipe, even with two immobile arms. They may chafe, they may scrape, but they’re better than yelling “I’m finished!” at the age of 13.
If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
Stay inspired, always be kind and never stop working.
How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
I aim to choose my girlfriend every day, on a real level. I try to choose her because of who she is: her strengths, her hopes and her challenges. I also buy her flowers a lot and play with her hair 67% of my downtime. She’d argue 34% though.
Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
That’s my jam. I run two non-profits and have personally and professionally supported countless charities/causes over the years. They’re chosen organically and have crossed the spectrum of need including arts, culture, poverty, environmental, medical, LGBTQ, community, mental health, international crisis and more.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
There would be a couple, but for this stage of life it’d have to be Bunji’s “We Ready For De Road”. *Airhorn*
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
I’ve got a master plan in the works, so in three years from now I see myself even more immersed in the non-profit or “for purpose” field, focusing on creating systemic changes to the way we help each other. All of this while a parallel business runs itself and pays my rent (that’s the master plan part).
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
Be better than me and be better at it than me.
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
The same book my Dad passed along to me as a kid: Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. It’s as beautiful conceptually as it is visually and lyrically.
If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]