Hey! My name is Daniel, and I’m super passionate about helping children succeed. Currently I do this through my business, Xenontech, by helping teachers get back to teaching. But that’s not how it all started…
I’m blessed with a wonderful and supportive wife, and two beautiful kids. You know that saying “Behind every great man, is an even greater woman”. Well that’s my wife!
I love almost anything with a motor, cars especially. I currently own a R34 GTR and an 80 series Landcruiser.
Growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney, I attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mount Pritchard. This school had a good mix of nationalities, but there weren’t many Asians. I was this nice, kind, gentle short little Asian kid with chongy eyes (still haven’t grown much).
As Anti-Bullying programs weren’t what that are today, I was easy target for bullying. I was called things such as:
This went on for a while, and no one would stick up for me either. I was too scared of going to the teachers or to my parents.
Until one day I decided to stick up for myself. I love Al Capone’s quote of “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness”, as that was me from this point on. The nice, kind, gentle short little Asian kid, was no more. I got into fights quite regularly, that it became normal to me.
By the time I hit high school, I felt well-seasoned to take on all the bullies, that I was afraid I would become one. During my first few weeks of high school, I witness someone get bullied (still one of my good mates today). From that point on, I knew exactly which side I wanted to be on… The victim’s side, sticking up for them, as I knew how it felt not having anyone stick up for me.
I’m so glad I was able to overcome this stage of my life, as I know the effects of bullying can follow a child to adulthood, and can even lead to suicide. I was so fortunate that bullying didn’t negatively affect me. If anything, I must say it positively affected me. I’m a firm believer of a line I often hear from Aaron Sansoni, “Things happen FOR me, not TO me”.
I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, always wanting to make extra cash. So when CD burners first came out, I convinced my parents to buy me one and I would pay them back. So I started copying various types of CDs, software, music, Playstation games, mixed tapes etc. Not long after, this $700.00 burner was paid off. This money was ok for a 12/13 year old, but I wanted to see what else I could do. Everyone started having mobile phones at that time, so I seeked out good second hand ones to on sell. Not long after, I started to hang around new, older friends. They had older brothers that had access to firecrackers from Chinese New Year celebrations. As you can probably gather, there was a demand for these and I was the best candidate to fill this gap to the kids around my age. So I start selling firecrackers. This didn’t last too long, as I got caught selling them at school, and was suspended for 4 days.
As I continued hanging around these older guys, I start to see that firecrackers wasn’t all that they were into. They also sold drugs. It seemed like what I would earn in week, they would earn in a day, and what I would earn in a month, they would earn in a week. So I started selling drugs. The funny thing was, it wasn’t because my family struggled to provide, in fact they were quite comfortable financially. I just really had a passion for making my own money, but not thinking of the consequences. Which is where my entrepreneurial journey began.
I was making a couple thousand a week, which was awesome for a 14/15 year old. As time went on, I started to see the other side to this business, from both my own experiences and other people’s. It really opened my eyes to the path I was on, and showed me that’s not where I want to be. I was selfish, only thinking about myself, and not considering the consequences of my actions. The amount of people harmed using the drugs I sold, and their families. All the money my friends’ made eventually went back into lawyers when they got caught. All their cash and assets confiscated by police. But what affected me the most was seeing the disappointment in their family members. They couldn’t see this from their perspective, but I could looking in from the outside. To imagine me in that position, and putting my family through all that, and for what? To make some quick easy money, that would eventually be gone anyway. So I did a complete 180, refocused my goals, concentrated on my education (had to play massive catch up initially), and never looked at trying to make quick easy money again.
In 2004, I started out doing my Bachelors of IT specifically in IT Support. At the same time I got a job at the very high school I attended, St Johns Park High School, which we still manage to this day. The transition from student to staff was very strange, especially since I wasn’t a model student to say the least. At the beginning, I saw my job as just fixing computers.
Then it evolved to helping teachers and staff with technology to do their job. And now, I’ve found a much deeper meaning to what I do. 21st century learning relies heavily on functioning technology. Without this medium, teachers aren’t able to deliver the education that each child deserves. So every issue we resolve, and every piece of equipment we fix, positively impacts the future leaders of tomorrow, our children.
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