Danny Gavin is the Chief Strategist and Founder of Optidge Internet Marketing Agency. Based in Houston Texas, this small boutique agency has helped hundreds of companies of all sizes grow their online presence.
When Danny’s not working on an Optidge campaign, he can be found working as Vice-President Director of Marketing for Brian Gavin Diamonds. Then in the evenings he lectures at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business as an adjunct professor.
As a formerly ordained Rabbi, Danny is tremendously passionate and involved in Houston’s Jewish Orthodox community including acting as cantor at his synagogue and regularly volunteering.
You may be wondering what does Danny do in his spare time. Or questioning if he has any time to spare? He spends his non-teaching evenings with his wife and their four boys. Together the Gavin family enjoy swimming in the grandparent’s pool while listening to blaring music morning, noon or night!
Where did the idea for Optidge Internet Marketing Agency come from?
Just after I had completed my MBA from the University of Houston, I began a lot of internet consulting work. I noticed there was a large divide between businesses and potential customers. A gap I was hoping to bridge and then maximize with my own consulting work. I wanted to incorporate two words ‘optimize’ and ‘bridge’ and sat down with my wife one evening to brainstorm a company name that utilized those two words. Out of that session, the word Optidge was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically spend most of my day helping other people, including clients and my own team members. It’s in the evenings once my own children are asleep that’s when I get my work done. That usually means I go to bed very late often getting very little sleep during the week.
The key to being productive for me is making lists and then prioritizing the items on those lists. It’s my clients’ needs that are always at the top of my list.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I feel that bringing any ideas to life definitely requires a team or group effort. I rely on the advice and talents of my team at Optidge to take a raw idea and bring it to fruition. That to me is the whole reason why I’ve selected my team. For me this is the beauty and part of the excitement of working in this type of collaborative atmosphere.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Working from home in the long term is a trend that excites me the most. We live in an era where the talent can’t always come into the office. I didn’t think I’d ever see a time where people could work at home, collaborate from a distance, and still be productive. But since the pandemic people have been able to work from the comfort of their home while creating good work. I’d say this trend has already opened up so many new opportunities. I’m excited to see where it will take us in the future.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My habit of making lists and prioritizing the responsibilities within those lists makes me tremendously more productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self not to be afraid of change. It was always something that made me anxious and I found it difficult to deal with. I would have advised my younger self that change is a part of our lives and it’s something that eventually you will get used to.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Problem solving at 2am leads to some amazing solutions. Most people say I should be sleeping!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Whether it’s G-d or a Higher Power of your own making, believing in something greater than yourself and that there is a preordained plan for your life and your business is something I highly recommend others believe. I pray daily and firmly believe that G-d has created a plan for my life. Every day, I take the time to pray to him and thank my own higher power for the path my business and personal life is taking. With all the highs and lows that an entrepreneur faces taking the time to pray is something I feel is crucial. It centers me and allows me to focus on growing and developing my business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Doing a good job. It’s as simple as that. It’s making sure we don’t let our customers down. If we do our job well, they’ll let others know and that’s honestly how we’ve managed to grow our business to the size it is today.
The second approach is making sure you hire people that you know you can hold on to. Employees that can grow with your business, that want to stay with you, that have an investment in the company.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My most vivid failure as an entrepreneur came early on when I first started out. I was too trusting. I agreed to business actions verbally instead of getting things in writing. In many of these situations, I was able to overcome failure by listening to my gut. If my gut told me not to agree to any questionable situation it was usually correct!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Who needs towels when you have the body dyer? Similar to hand dryers, body dyers do the same thing but for your entire figure. Just step out of the shower, bath, or even the pool and step comfortably in front of the multi-faceted body dyer and let it do all the work. In a few minutes, you will be comfortably dry and ready to get dressed. No more towels or chaffing. Thank-you, body dryer!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought arts and crafts supplies for my four boys for the duration of the summer. These varied items will not only keep my boys busy but they will educate, entertain, and keep them quiet while both my wife and I work from home!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Slack. Myself and the rest of the Optidge team use it as our internal messaging service to communicate with partners and clients. It cuts down on the need for email. It allows for much more instantaneous conversation. Due to the fact that we work in an agency, it organizes conversation by client or project. Essentially, we can operate the business almost entirely through Slack. It’s that easy!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman is one of my favorite books. Though the idea of outsourcing to poorer countries is not a new a concept, I believe the underlying principle of always being one step ahead, not being too complacent in our jobs or comfort level is something many of us still need to understand. If this pandemic has shown us anything, I believe it’s illustrated how our lifestyle can change in an instant.
What is your favorite quote?
“And you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” (Leviticus 19:18)
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if you treated your fellow being the same way you treat yourself?
• Love lists & prioritize
• Embrace change
• Any job worth doing is worth doing well
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.