Always be thorough when it comes to knowing the facts.
Daniel Faroni was born in 1977 in Ottawa, Ontario, in Canada. From a very young age, he regularly displayed an aptitude for — and an above-average ability in — mathematics. He attended the University of Ottawa and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He went on to earn an MBA in Economics from the University of Maine. Daniel Faroni also holds a PhD in Economics from Carleton University.
Throughout his studies, Daniel Faroni worked a variety of jobs with one thing in common: An emphasis on the mathematics he enjoyed. Whether it was a cashier position, bookkeeping, or math tutoring, everything was fuelled by his passion for numbers. Eventually, after graduating he landed a position in the financial industry at the age of 24, and he has worked in the field ever since.
Currently, Daniel Faroni is an executive business analyst at BMO Capital Markets in Ottawa. In addition to this position, he also spends frequent amounts of his time giving business development lectures at local universities and colleges, sharing his knowledge and successes as best as he can so that future generations can thrive.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I always knew that the sound logic of numbers and their inner workings were what fascinated me the most. It was only a matter of time until I was able to put my aptitude to good use. As it turns out, I was just as interested in the inner workings of businesses as I was in the hard numbers; everything has a logic to it, in my opinion.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day, no matter what specific task I am doing, I’m always thinking about how things are currently functioning and cross-referencing it with my own ideas of how to improve said functions. In order to optimize my productivity, I have to have an “always-on” mindset.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As I said before, everything has a logic to it: This includes people. In order for me to truly bring an idea to life, it has to be 100% accepted by those to whom I am proposing it. This means that I need to find ways to make everyone happy, without compromising in the area of providing improvements.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One current trend that excites me is called ‘Digital Transformation’. Business analysts are now brought on to help companies transition to digital methods and this represents an exciting new frontier in the working world. Machines are able to accomplish more than ever before, even going so far as to fully automate tasks previously thought only accomplishable by humans.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Whenever I am on the job, I tell myself one simple thing: there is always a better way to do things. While this might sound incredibly pessimistic, I view it as an internalized optimism. It’s the notion that new and more efficient methods are always achievable, if only I put my mind to the task of discovering them.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say simply to learn to work with people. In my earlier days, I thought I could get by with my skills alone, but the harsh reality that I learned over the subsequent years is that the best ideas in the world are worthless if you can’t sell them to people. More importantly, taking the time to properly build and reinforce relationships with everyone I interact with is arguably just as valuable as the innovative ideas I propose.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
In the business circles I run in, the idea of going out of your way to help people is treated almost like a sure-fire way for you to run your business into the ground. But my philosophy has always been to go above and beyond what I am paid to do in terms of assisting businesses and I believe that generosity has the chance to breed more generosity, making life better for everyone.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
To anyone who is working with financials — and that’s virtually everyone in the business world — I cannot stress enough the importance of looking over your current financial state and updating your records every single day. No matter how secure you might feel in the moment, the hard facts are your best chance at maintaining your business, not your feelings.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Always plan one step ahead further than you think you need to. When you take your best-laid plans and extend them just that one step farther, you’re tightening your grip on success.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One company I was hired to work with unfortunately didn’t end up any better off after my services; I realized soon after that this was because I didn’t take the time to invest in the people I was working with. From that point, I doubled down on my interpersonal relations.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think that if we can currently automate menial working tasks, it could be invaluable down the road to have the analytical tasks that I perform be automated as well. Machines could be a second set of eyes for the work that I and all other business analysts do.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I do a lot of typing in my work, and just recently I invested $100 into a more ergonomic workspace. The difference is profound, and the amount of soreness I feel at the end of the day has been drastically reduced.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Microsoft Excel has proved a great help to me over the years; it may not be fancy or new, but it gets the job done effectively. I need to keep records in almost every aspect of the businesses I work with and Excel is my go-to program of choice for having clear and concise records.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis’ by Barbara Carkenord. It breaks down the role of business analyst into the core essentials, and I’ve applied it to my day-to-day workings ever since I first picked it up.
What is your favorite quote?
Richard Branson once said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”
- Always be thorough when it comes to knowing the facts.
- People are just as important as ideas.
- There is always a better way to do something.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.