There are people that come into your life sometimes, and they make a more significant impact than you anticipated. They swoop in just being their usual selves all the while they are installing in you something bigger, something better. It creates this thing that either you never knew you had in you or reminded you that it was there when you forgot every once in a while. For me, it happened on a cold Saturday back in January of 2017. I met Jason for the first time at his office to have him as a guest for my show. Before we started, he showed me around his shop. He showed me his process, how he engaged his team, and his picture of the first truck he bought to service his clients in his electrical contracting business. Then, went to his office and started our conversation. The first question I always lead off with is “what’s your story?” Little did I know of how impactful Jason’s story was about to be to me.
Jason Daniels was a lot of things. Driven, strong-willed, some would even say abrasive. However, there is one word that always came to my mind when I think of Jason…authentic. With Jason, what you see is what you get times 10. He never shied away from that. He came off a bit strong to some but only because he required that authenticity of everyone he met. I guess he felt that for you to be real with him that you had to be real with yourself first. Now you may think I’m describing this hard-nosed entrepreneur and to a certain extent, I am.
However, Jason Daniels was more than that. Ever wanted to see Jason lighten up? Mention Riley. All of a sudden that tough businessman turns in to a mushy, doting, and loving dad. And while he pushed us to be better, someone was pushing him to be better. Enter Beckie. His loving partner that he was head over hills for and grateful she was in his life. So with his home life in order and his business humming, Jason could have easily just settled. He could have gone “I’m good, who cares about anyone else.” However, if you ever thought that about him then you didn’t know him. He went around to conferences, networking events, schools, and more speaking to people that they are greater than their self-imposed limits. That they can be the absolute best version of themselves. When I had an event, he gave one of my attendees a free mentoring session. She came away more encouraged, and I have seen her grow as an entrepreneur. I mean come on, what other outcome would you expect when learning from the Titan himself. Jason loved this city. That’s why one of his last projects was to help nonprofits all around Shelby County. We shared a common belief that everyone, no matter what you been through, what you look like or where you come from, that everyone deserves the ability to make the exact life they want…just as he did.
So now his passing leaves us with a question. What will be the legacy of Jason Daniels? Many will have their say, and they are entitled to their opinion. To me it all depends. Did he ever tell you that he believed in you even if you didn’t believe in yourself? Did he show you that you can turn your life around even when you have made mistakes in the past? If you were doing well already, did he tell you that there’s always the ability to level up? If the answer to all of those questions is yes, then that’s my answer. His legacy will be his ability to inspire people that sparked internal awareness that brought about external actions. I was not a close friend of Jason’s nor would I ever pretend to be. However, through our mutual respect for one another and his will to succeed, I hope he knows that he held me accountable every…single…day. Whether it was to be a great entrepreneur and even better person, Jason demanded that of me. I will be forever grateful to him for that. So if he did that for you, then you owe it to him to live your best life. Start your business, write your book, learn a new skill or hell decide to do something that leads to the betterment of your life. That is what he would want from you. No, demand of you and ultimately that will be his legacy.
The Titan that told us we could all be one too!