MS: What was your pivotal moment in life that made you take this direction?
JD: When I was 20 I woke up and couldn’t move my legs. Obviously, it was scary and life-changing, so it sent me on a journey to live life my way. But not a literal journey, cause I couldn’t walk. I got over it eventually though — the paralysis thing, not the living life thing. I still do it on occasion too.
MS: How did you get started/where did you begin?
JD: I graduated early and took off to Europe to hide from responsibility and figure out that living life my way thing. Along the way, I started writing. It helped that it didn’t cost anything to get into because I was super broke.
MS: What made you want to be what you are now?
JD: I was incapable of anything else and since I like money, and people keep paying me to do this, I do this. I asked my mom recently what I would say as a kid when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Apparently, I always said a pirate. This is close enough.
MS: What are your favorite parts about what you do?
JD: For as long as I’ve been doing this, I still get a rush when creating something, anything. It’s my drug. It’s one of my drugs. It’s a drug I get paid to enjoy.
MS: What are your short-term and/or long-term goals at the moment?
JD: I prefer short-term goals because it puts some pressure on you to achieve them. Long-term lets you get lazy. Soon, I’m going to put out another book and Steve Walter & I will launch something that unites the creative community of Connecticut. Stay tuned!
MS: What is something(s) you wish you knew in the beginning?
JD: Everyone is dumb. Regardless of IQ or experience, we’re all just cutting corners and not paying full attention. If you realize that, you can use it to your advantage.
MS: What is your favorite quote(s) and why?
JD: “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
MS: What is your ideal day in the work life?
JD: Talking less, making more.
MS: What are some things that keep you going?
JD: Not thinking much. You can overcome anything if you aren’t really paying attention.
MS: How do you approach a work life balance?
MS: What is something you wish people learned or knew more about in your industry?
JD: It’s nothing like Mad Men. We’re all too nerdy for that much fashion, sex, and intrigue.
MS: What does supporting local mean to you?
JD: I like to know who I’m doing any business with. It makes it more meaningful — less transaction, more connection.
MS: Is there anything you wish to add?
JD: I’m terrible at math, but worse at puns.
MS: If you could solve one problem in the world, what would it be?
JD: I’m terrible at math, but worse at puns, and tend to repeat myself.
MS: How do you align your business decisions with your values each day?
JD: I try to be as annoyingly rebellious as possible, and that reminds me I’m staying true to myself.
MS: What is the most valuable advice you’ve received?
JD:Sometimes it’s worth poking the bear.
MS: What is your definition of success?
JD: Looking forward to your day, not what will come later.
What was a challenge you did not expect to overcome that you did?
JD: I’ve mentioned it a couple times here, but I don’t overthink things, so I don’t get too caught up on challenges. I’ve overcome paralysis, lost everything I owned a couple times during disasters, and had a house fall on my head. If you spend too much time thinking about how you won’t overcome challenges, you’ll succeed.
MS: Looking back on life, how have you or values shifted or refined?
JD: No, I’m still just as dumb and immature.
MS: What are you most proud of and why?
JD: Not being dead from all the dumb stuff I’ve done.