Q: Who is Danilo Acquisto?
Danilo: In a more simplistic way, I am just a young guy with massive dreams and crazy drive who is inspired by far too many things and wants to do far too much. All that has changed is that each day I make sure I learn something new and improve myself. I am now a face on national television and a voice on radio with my fingers in many other pies.
Q: What is your passion?
Danilo: This is a bit of a tough question to answer. My passion in life is just to see change. This can manifest in so many forms. It could be in changing the way a business is structured, changing the way people view specific topics, changing the world, changing someone’s life for the better. It’s all about having a real impact and using your life to leave a legacy.
Q: What inspires you?
Danilo: I think I am inspired by failure. I am inspired by seeing how far I can push myself. Success is never the destination or “prize”. Success for me is how often I can learn and grow. So I am inspired by new challenges that I face every day and how I choose to view and overcome them. Failure is so inspirational if seen in the right light.
Q: If you could spend time with one of your role models whom would it be and why?
Danilo: Wow I think even though it sounds lame I would love to spend some time with Jesus. That man got the whole world speaking about him and managed to influence generations of people yet still he remained so humble and focused in his devotion and vocation. People were just drawn to him – he radiated this amazing energy and even though he received so much resistance he persevered and changed the world. That’s powerful – true power and fame. He made himself relevant to the people at the time.
Q: How do you deal with negativity and criticism?
Danilo: I won’t lie and say it’s easy to receive. Criticism is never nice to hear. It’s an attack on the core of your being. However, in the line of work I do it is my job to talk to over 3 million people, each with different views, beliefs, loves and hates etc. It is impossible for me to please every single one of them. It is my job to focus on the majority who look up to me and take a keen interest in what I do. The key is to be brutal with yourself – to take each piece of criticism and ask yourself whether it is valid or not. If it is valid then take it and grow from it – you grow as a person and are then given an opportunity to grow yourself. But if it is just resistance to your path and you feel like you are on the right track then just ignore it. People will move on and find someone else to bother. It’s a momentary emotion – This time will pass.
Another mechanism is to keep TRUE friends close and your family even closer. They are the most critical but will catch you when you fall. Don’t rely on fans or fake friends. They are only there when you are succeeding and won’t push you to do better.
Q: What is your most humbling moment?
Danilo: Every Sunday at church I am humbled. I am forced to look outside of my crazy lifestyle of glamour and realize what my true purpose is in life – how do I positively affect the lives of others. There was also a moment when my ego got the best of me at a location insert shoot for Hectic Nine-9 and I was called in to the office and put back in my place. There is nothing worse then being told how dispensable you actually are and that regardless if you are right or wrong, you need to respect your elders and superiors. Arrogance although is a beautiful trait can sometimes not be the most productive.
Q: The youth looks up to you; do you look up to them? If so why?
Danilo: Young people inspire me every day. I get asked so many questions from my fans about doing what I do and it is so inspiring to see how hard working some of them are. It inspires me to build my brand and work hard so that one day I can be a pillar of support and opportunity for young people. So yes, I do look up to young people. They are filled with so many innovative ideas and are not bogged down by structure and rules – they have goals and will risk their lives to achieve them. It’s such a powerful trait. I love young people!
Q: How do you plan your day-to-day life and when the plans fail what is your coping mechanism?
Danilo: Ok so besides being a Hectic Nine-9 presenter and a radio host on Good Hope Fm I also strategically manage a singer and MC a lot and I start small companies and provide consulting work to big corporates. So I am a busy guy. I make sure that I plan my exercise every week, I make sure that as soon as I book a meeting that it goes STRAIGHT in my phone. Everything is organized on my phone. I will admit though that I am very disorganized. I am late for many things and double-book myself but that’s only because I over commit myself – I get excited easily. I now have a pseudo manager and publicist to help me with structuring my schedules.
When my plans fail it is really disorientating as you had an image in your head that you would be so busy today and when it fails your day opens up. This means that you need to begin prioritizing other tasks like doing house work, renewing licenses, starting new businesses, replying to the billion emails I receive in a day, doing community service etc. There is ALWAYS something to do and achieve. I always go to bed feeling like my day hasn’t been wasted. I don’t know if that answers the question though.
Q: At Project Ignition we dedicate ourselves to youth upliftment, what is your way of giving back to the youth?
Danilo: You know, I could always just type out a list of the community service initiatives I work at but that for me is not giving back to the youth. That is supporting current structures that improve people’s way of life. My job is much greater than that and much more powerful. Every time I am on air it is my duty to inspire and give people hope and joy. With these in a young person’s heart, life becomes a journey and an adventure where anything is possible as opposed to just a chore. Besides inspiring, the work I do on the side is looking WAY into the future and creating platforms for young people to use when they are ready – innovating media, creating magazines that inspire and teach, engaging in talks etc. All I can be is a model of hard work. If you want my lifestyle you need to work as hard as me – I am not going to provide the answer for you. I will support you though and make the journey easier. That’s what I do to give back along with doing as much community service as I can.
Q: What is the one quote/saying that can always apply to Danilo Acquisto?
Danilo: “All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” Pope Paul VI
Any Dream is achievable. ANY dream!
Q: Do you have words of encouragement for the youth?
Danilo: My words of encouragement are just that you can be anybody you want to be. All great things start somewhere very small. Madiba started as a sheep herder, I started as a teachers child studying law, Some of the best entrepreneurs started out in shacks in townships… What connects all these people is passion, determination and a belief that they have what it takes to change the world. Go out there and be the next Oprah, be the next Madiba. Be the best you that you can be – there is always opportunity for growth. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Nokia started out making Fisherman’s Boots. Everything must start somewhere and fail MANY times before the one success comes. Be patient and when in doubt, try.
Q: How has your involvement with Project Ignition impacted in your life?
Danilo: To be honest I haven’t engaged much with the organization as a whole for a long enough period to truly appreciate the impact it has in our lives, but the small amount I have spent doing work with Project Ignition I am just in awe of the dedication people have for growing others. It is so selfless and Christ-like. We need more people like that in the world.