Can you describe your cultural, educational, and professional background?

I am from Wilmington, North Carolina…a coastal town along the waterway known for cool beaches and a thriving riverfront. I grew up very humbly in an all-white neighborhood a couple miles from Carolina Beach. My father Glenn Dickey is known as “The Man of Many Hats” with him being: A Longshoreman, A Tenured Insurance Agent, A Licensed Funeral Director, A member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., A Master Mason, A Shriner, A Landlord, A pioneering DJ in the city of Wilmington, A Tennis Player, A Mentor, A Brother, An Uncle, A Father & A Grandpa.

My parents Glenn and Delia Dickey have been together my whole life which is apparently very different these days and my mom is where I get a lot of my personality and gifts too, she’s an artistic woman who expresses herself through food and florals. My mom has always done life her own way, she’s an entrepreneur who owned a popular store in the Seabreeze part of the city & a flower shop on the north side of Wilmington as well. My mom never really cared very much about the opinions of others and I’m sure that’s where I get that from. I have 2 older brothers Loren and Brian and a little sister named Audrey…I am also the coolest uncle ever to 8 nieces and nephews ranging from a funny acting recent high school graduate to a funny acting 1-year-old baby…My family is full of talent, humor, intellect and loving personalities!

Demographically speaking Wilmington is about 75% white, another 20% black, and another 5% of other minority population. Although I experienced racism at a young age in my neighborhood being called “A nigger” etc., quite a few of my best friends are white even now, we went to school together, Christian youth groups together, played sports together and made mischief together.  That is where I get my black boy, white boy swag from as some of my “Atlanta Peeps” describe me lol. That experience growing up made me want to attend and HBCU, so I went to Barber–Scotia College on a vocal scholarship, a college whose alumni include the honorable Mary McLeod Bethune (founder of Bethune-Cookman University) & more.

I majored in Mass Communications and minored in Marketing in college because I have always loved communications (aka: running my mouth, since being a big mouthed kid in school lol), public relations, and journalism. I was majoring in Business Administration at first, but a lot of people from my school’s Mass Communications Program were using me for their projects like, “Yo Dickey, I just need you to do this on camera or say this, or that thing you did earlier, etc.,” and I was like, “wait hold on, you guys are getting a grade for this?” So, it made me more interested in our Communications program, but upon graduation, my career began in the financial industry after a brief sabbatical.

Wow.

I was winning “Employee of the Year”, sales awards and was basically running financial institutions after college before I moved to Atlanta. Oddly enough, I was an entrepreneur very early on, as a 12-year-old kid I had my very first business. My dad always had work for us to do, rental properties for me and my 2 older brothers Loren and Brian to maintain but he wasn’t paying, nor was I eating what was available for lunch and my dad was a “My way or the highway” kinda dad and I wasn’t feeling it. We would be cutting grass, etc. and I would intentionally sabotage the work projects lol, I would see a piece of wood or a metal instrument in the grass and I would run right over it with the lawnmower nearly breaking them.

He then moved me over to working at the radio station at like 5 or 6am, as he was also a popular adult contemporary/gospel DJ growing up.  He would make a tape that would play for 90 minutes and once the tape stopped I was supposed to stop the tape, flip it over and press play for the other side and be done. Simple enough right, how about I fell asleep and was only woken up by him slapping me upside the head as the station was playing natural sound for however long I slept when I missed the tape flip. As a result of my efforts or lack thereof, my dad stopped bringing me to work with him. I was a super smart kid though and was paying attention to how my dad moved.

So ironically at 12, I actually started a business cutting lawns around my neighborhood except I wasn’t the one cutting the lawns, I had an old white man, who was probably around forty to fifty years old to cut the lawns that I was booking for him. I also have to mention again that I was only 12 years old at the time and I was actually making the lion’s share of the money. So fast forward to now and here I am running an agency simply built around RESOURCES, people I can call to get this or that done for my clients all across the world!

Can you talk about what that transition was like coming out of working for banks, then into PR, then into entrepreneurialism and the phases you had to go through?

For me personally, one of the things that makes my journey really different is the fact that my whole life I have always tried to figure out how I can get paid off of being who I actually am innately as a person. It wasn’t me learning new skills because the things that make me dope at what I do now are because people have a high regard for me and the ones who know me personally have warm and sincere love for me as well. People meet me for the first time and feel a real warmth and assurance that they get from my energy alone as if we’ve known each other forever. So, people have always been available to me for whatever I needed that fell into their skill sets, I’ve always been connected, I’ve always had someone I can call to get this or that.

So, to answer your question, transitioning for me wasn’t that hard. My walk-through business is my walk-through life and I walk with God through it all and he has a way of always reminding me that he’s there. I worked in banking, I’ve always been a very detailed oriented person – it worked, I moved professionally into PR with Nicole Garner Scott at The Garner Circle PR, I’ve always been connected – it worked, my family name meant something growing up and that actual taught me something very valuable as well. Plus, I’m a Virgo! lol

Team Virgo!!!

So things have to make sense to me, they have to be logical, especially with money. During my time at Generations Community Credit Union which is a minority-owned credit union, I moved marketing initiatives forward easily and organically because I could make the personal calls to the local news affiliates for ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX news to make that a part of what I was up to. So opening The Resource Guild was the next logical step in my progression.  I had my 1st business utilizing the RESOURCES around me at the age of 12, got my degree in Mass Communications/Marketing, worked in banking and finance, moved to Atlanta, ascended to the highest levels in Public Relations at The Garner Circle and then opened a 360 Brand Management & Strategy Consulting Agency that advises businesses on essentially every aspect of how they do business including their branding, advertising, public relations, consumer engagement, celebrity procurement, sponsorship procurement, financials, HR and legal consulting. The Resource Guild is really a one stop shop!

Did you face any struggles coming into entrepreneurialism? If you did, what were some of those struggles and how did you overcome them.

Anytime you have passion for anything that you will ever do in the world, there will always be some sort of adversity that you face. I think that’s God’s way of seeing if we really want it or not. You are going to automatically deal with struggles. I certainly had my share of struggles when I moved to Atlanta. When I moved to Atlanta in 2007, I had a sizeable amount of GUACAMOLE (money), just about $10,000 stashed away in my savings account.

I could only imagine coming from finance.

Exactly!! When I moved here, I was like a kid in the candy store. I moved in May of 2007. So throughout May, June, and July I wasn’t even looking for a job. So I was in these “ATL Streets” every night, I would go from the 112’s to the Buckhead clubs and back. Those first few months in Atlanta were a lot of fun. At this point, my face card gets me into every door in the city and most across the country but I still have fond memories of the shenanigans and finagalings that initially got me into some of these rooms initially and feel like it was one of the funner times in my Atlanta journey. It’s funny because I would tell my friends related to the amount of women here, Atlanta is like going to Baskin Robbins with a one hundred dollar gift card on fifty percent off day. I was basically running through all the flavors and I had a good time doing it, I feel like single men can’t commit in Atlanta until they get that out of their system, It’s out of mine now and my approach to all relationships these days is “quality over quantity” in order to truly prevail in the marketplace as an entrepreneur! I’m a single dope black male looking for a woman not intimidated by a man chasing greatness to take over the world with!

Did you ever hit rock bottom?

Yes, I definitely did hit rock bottom. I started working at BB&T, right when the mortgage crisis came clearly into view. I was later let go, over time I had liquidated my savings and was out here for quite awhile looking for jobs to no avail. The walls started closing in, my bills were still due every month and I was simply out of money. So I made a request to my dad to give me a couple of dollars. My dad basically said, “The only way I will give you money is if you move back to North Carolina.” My move to Atlanta and everything I wanted to do in Atlanta just seemed like something I needed to get out of my system to my parents. I disagreed with them, at that point, I didn’t see my life anywhere else. So I stayed in Atlanta I lost EVERYTHING, car repossessed, credit cards maxed out,etc,etc ROCK BOTTOM! Now we fast forward like 8 years to me owning an award winning agency working with some of the top brands and top names in the industry and the rest is history. I can now feel how proud my parents are of me when they meet people who know me and rave about their son, who I am to them and what i’m continuing to accomplish here in Atlanta and across the country. I remember one year I got them front row seats and backstage passes to hear Tamela Mann, Le’Andria Johnson and more at The McDonald’s Choir Showcase in Charleston South Carolina with my good friends Gerald and Tia Footman. I met them at the door, walked them up to the front and as we got closer, my fussy mom was like “Daniel, why are we walking all the way up to the front” I replied, “Duh Mom, because this is where your seats are!!” and she had that look like “OH! Okay well excuse me” lol. I’ll never forget that moment with them…so when I took them backstage to meet and take a picture with Tamela Mann, they were just over the moon proud and my mom had this lil photographer trying to flirt with her, I almost got him fired lol! Keep going people!! God’s timing will be the only one that will ever work out for you!

Can you describe what your firm, The Resource Guild, is and what kind of clients you service?

The Resource Guild is a solution based 360 Degree Brand Management & Strategy Consulting Agency, we are only here to identify and solve problems for growing businesses. It’s funny, because some of my friends describe me as “The Human Google” because I literally know somebody that does everything. From A to Z, mechanic to medic, celebrities to high-ranking executives and everything in between all the way down to some of the less fortunate in our world – the whole gambit! The Resource Guild is a place where resources come together to benefit our clients who are looking to go to the next level and enhance their brands in the realms of public relations, branding, advertising, and consumer engagement. Our widespread services span from celebrity procurement, sponsorship procurement and cross all the way over into legal and HR consulting. We work all these different angles because the lens that I work from is one where if all those things are not agreeing, then your brand isn’t clicking on all cylinders. You could be making money, but if people don’t like your staff then that’s a problem. If people don’t know how to find your business, then that’s a problem. If people think your website is a disaster, then that’s a problem…all of these problems and MANY more are solved at TRG.

To be able to trust the company and believe in what they are doing enough to support them and to be an evangelist for them are the kinds of things that we create over at The Resource Guild. We have been blessed to work with all kinds of companies like Ferrari, Maserati, Nissan, Nike, Miller, Coors, Hennessy and more all the way across the spectrum to film/television, small businesses, churches, faith-based clothing lines, nonprofits, independent recording artist and more…if we like you, you can afford us and we believe in you!

“As long as I’m able to continue to move in my own rhythm and at the beat of my own drum to help benefit businesses, their growth, and the actualizing of their dreams I don’t think I will ever be looking for any additional motivation.”

What is the difference, mentally, that you have now compared to working in corporate America? How are you different?

I don’t know if I am all that different because I have always been a very fearless individual – like very unapologetic in my way because everything I’ve ever done has produced results. Even in those corporate jobs, my bosses were always Daniel fan’s. I’ve always the person who ended up having the free range of motion, thought, and creativity to be who I am. Because I always got that leverage from my employers, I’ve just always looked at it as, this is what Daniel’s going to be doing.

I think leaving Corporate America allows you to no longer be a prisoner to a life that includes getting your paychecks on the 1st and 15th until THEY decide they no longer want/need you. You get to decide what is right for your life and times, you get to learn that all money isn’t good money in a very real way. At this point, if I don’t really like the person or the initiative, then I won’t work on it, it’s that simple and even in my dry seasons in business it makes all the difference…I’d rather miss a few meals and be late on a bill then to work with people and things I don’t believe in…#GoodVibrationsOnly!

So what currently keeps you motivated to keep going with The Resource Guild and as an entrepreneur?

My name is Daniel and Daniel in the Bible is someone who interpreted dreams.

C’mon now!

And I get to interpret and help people actualize their dreams for a living. I don’t go on any searches or quests for motivation or encouragement. My clients call me all the time and send me the sweetest messages, or they call crying over something I told them was going to happen a year ago and now it’s actually coming to fruition. We have always produced results as well. As long as I’m able to continue to move in my own rhythm and at the beat of my own drum to help benefit businesses, their growth, and the actualizing of their dreams I don’t think I will ever be looking for any additional motivation. Apart of being an entrepreneur and starting your own business is it has to be a self-medicated environment. There has to be a fire that burn insides YOU or you might as well just go collect a paycheck somewhere. If something doesn’t burn inside you that tells you, you can do more, be more, and see more, then you won’t ever do it! If there is a fire, then that’s a flame that you have to fan yourself.

“I think more times than not; people who work jobs aren’t working in their passion. When you aren’t working in your passion, it escalates the way you die inside. You’ll die inside in different ways.”

What are 3 signs someone could look for in themselves that would tell them they are ready to transition from employee status into full on entrepreneurism?

I think that it’s fool’s gold to only have a corporate job because corporations treat you inevitably like, in the words of Snoop Dogg, “We don’t love these hoes.” Yes, you’re making a cool salary and have great benefits, but at any point, you can get called into that office and get laid off. So you’ve really built up a false sense of security around a lifestyle that is so temporal. The only thing that can’t be taken away are things that you have earned, produced, and created yourself. I think more times than not; people who work jobs aren’t working in their passion. When you aren’t working in your passion, it escalates the way you die inside. You’ll die inside in different ways. For example, that girl that always wanted to be a dancer. She has a nine-to-five working at Bank of America and when she gets off of work she has to take care of her family and other things that may take over her life. As a result, she’s not happy. That unhappiness then bleeds over into all of her relationships. She’s mean, cold, and dry. Those things can/do happen to men as well, but the point is people are unengaged and unenthused. If you’re unenthused then you need to work from home. Don’t work in any capacity where people have to interact with you, your bad energy is going to have impact on the days of all that you encounter. I think that people should always devote some time to things they are passionate about. And maybe it’s business, but maybe it’s something philanthropic, or social, or any of those different things. No matter what is going on in your life, you should be doing that.

  1. You have an idea in a passion that is native to who you are as a person and you have an overwhelming desire to express it.
  2. Your venture solves a problem that exist in our world
  3. You have trimmed your expenses down to the bare minimum, saved some money, have people who believe in you and you are prepared to weather a storm.
Are there any books or motivational speakers that has helped your transition from corporate America into entrepreneurialism?

I’m one of those people who will read self help books and think to myself, “Oh, I already think that way or I could’ve written the book.” I don’t necessarily have a lot of books that have shaped me in that perspective, although there are a couple of books that I’ve read that I would recommend someone to read. One of the books is called Clutch: Excel Under Pressure, by Paul Sullivan. I think that’s really important because in life you have to be clutch. Excelling under pressure is what life requires because there are going to struggles and adversities that are promised, not only to those who want to be rich, but to all of us. It’s going to happen. Being able to have the ability to manage, maneuver, and make things happen in those times in life are what makes the difference between people who are successful and the people who are quitters and decide that life is too much for them.

I’d also say the Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, is another great book to read because people think that book is simply about romantic relationships, but every relationship in your life should be loving. Even your business relationships. I think when people love things, they do more for those things, they put more energy into those things, and they exert more for those things. That’s why I think it’s important for people to love what they do! So the Five Love Languages, that’s an important book because every person needs love. Everyone needs to have those feelings, your boss does, your employees do.

That is so true!

They’re going to have their ways they receive love and you have to be able to communicate that to them so that they can be the people that will run through walls for you.

Another book would be The Power of Broke, by Daymond John. Daymond John is a world class innovator in business and in entrepreneurship and to know that he did it from the ground up, that can be an inspiring story for anyone that is interested in being an entrepreneur. We know that money usually isn’t the first thing that happens, money is usually – “THAT PART” – doesn’t usually happen until later on. I don’t think that people understand the path of paying your dues is necessary.

A fourth book that is a good thought stream for me as a strategy consultant is Good Strategy Versus Bad Strategy, by Richard Rumelt. It goes back into some of the major business deals that have happened in our world and where good strategy took place as well as where bad strategy took place and how some deals and some companies went up in smoke because of it.

REBEL is actually an acronym for Revolutionary Entrepreneur, Business, and Entertainment Leader. Why do you consider yourself a REBEL?

My mantra for my life is summarized in what I call #TheKIMPrinciple, I wholeheartedly believe that if we (K)eep (I)t (M)oving forward positively and productively no matter what comes our way in life, good things will always find a way directly onto your path. Time is taking us forward whether we like it or not, the human element allows us to decide our attitude as we go forward though…my goals has always been to do it positively and productively no matter what.

One of my grandfathers Reverend Dr. W.K. Raynor has been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ for over 80 years, he’s the second longest tenured reverend in the history of First Missionary Baptist founded in 1866, he has honorary doctorates from schools and letters from President’s of the United States of America, etc. My other biological grandfather Dr. Daniel Carter Roane was actually a civil rights activist that became the first black physician to work in an integrated hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was a co-plaintiff in the civil rights litigation that led to the integration of Wilmington’s tax-supported hospitals, it’s been said that he was also one of the black doctors who taught Althea Gibson how to play tennis…so all that I am ultimately is a man trying to stand on the shoulders of the legacy of the men and women in my family.

I’m not one of those people who considers themselves really at all. I’m very selfless by nature, I feel like I exist to help others unlock who they truly are so they can actualize their dreams. God gave me a lot of skills and abilities that bring a bunch of things and people together. So yes, I’m very self-aware, I know that I’m a very unique individual, fearfully and wonderfully made to do amazing things on this Earth, to that end I’m honored you guy’s think that I’m a Revolutionary Entrepreneur, Business, and Entertainment Leader. But i’m really just running the race God gave me to run in my own way at my own pace….and trying to get all that’s in me out before my time expires, including some music REALLY SOON…Unbeknownst to some, I’m also a accomplished vocalist who traveled the country singing with a nationally touring college choir. I’ve shared stages with artist like John Legend, Robert Glasper, Carl Thomas, Ghostface, Camron and Dipset, Lloyd, Donnie McClurkin, Donald Lawrence and many more…#BookOfDaniel

How can our readers support your business?

They can follow us on our social media platforms @ResourceGuild and they can follow me personally, @MrDanielDickey, to get my perspective on life, what I do for a living and on some of the projects that we work on. They can also subscribe to our mailing list at www.TheResourceGuild.com. People can ­­support me by pursuing greatness and pursuing information. That’s the thing, people are always like, “How do I start?” Just BE DOPE! Figure that part out first. That’s the most important part because at the point where you become a talented tool you are a resource, once you become a resource, The Resource Guild will likely find you! “It’s a secret society, all we ask is trust, and within a week watch your wrist freeze up” – Jay-Z