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Exploring Life & Business with Brian Daniel of The Celebrity Personal Assistant Network

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Daniel.

Hi Brian, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Since the early 1990s, I have been working with celebrities and high-net-worth families in a variety of capacities (but all part of the service industry). When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was a personal trainer in the Beverly Hills area. The gym was right down the street from 20th Century Fox Studios; so I worked with a lot of film and TV stars, producers, directors and other types of entertainment industry professionals. Next, I moved into hospitality and worked at some of the premier properties in the Los Angeles area — ones especially known for their celebrity clientele. While working in hospitality with VIPs, people started asking me to do personal assisting on the side, and that eventually turned into a full-time profession for me. During my tenure as an Executive Personal Assistant, I worked for Hollywood A-list, millionaires, billionaires, American aristocracy, and even royalty. In 2007, right before the financial crisis, I decided to take a step back and become an elite recruiter for the world’s best personal assistants. I noticed a gap in the industry. Most domestic staffing firms are “jack of all trades” operations and don’t specialize in assistants, so I decided to start the world’s first firm dedicated to the profession — so The Celebrity Personal Assistant Network was born.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It certainly wasn’t smooth. Right after I started, the financial crisis of 2008 hit the world. In additional to that, because I specialize only in personal assistants, that is a both a blessing and a curse. Other employment agencies who don’t specialize can be all things to all people, so they don’t have to depend on just one revenue stream. Having said all of that, I believed in the concept and I stuck with it. As far as I know, I’m the only consultancy in the world who specializes only in personal assistants to celebrities and high-net-worth families.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
There were a series of events that happened that inspired me to start my staffing firm. Among them, my visits to several of the top employment agencies in Los Angeles. After my 2-year run with the Saudi Royal Family was coming to an end, I started — for the first time in my career — to interview with domestic staffing agencies about finding my next job. In the past, I just did everything on my own (i.e., networking). I really can’t explain in words how shocked and appalled I was by the treatment I received at the “prestigious” agencies during the interview process. The level of arrogance and unprofessionalism was breathtaking. In hindsight, I was actually happy that it happened because it inspired me to start my own staffing consultancy because I knew there was a better way to do it. My personal assistant agency is special in so many ways: — We only place full-time, permanent positions (no temp jobs or part-time gigs) — Most of the jobs we place are in the $80,000 to $100,000 range — We don’t do any advertising whatsoever (all clients are referrals or come to us) — I’m the world’s only headhunter that has worked with celebrities, billionaires and royal families — I literally wrote the book on the elite personal assistant industry and have inspired hundreds of candidates to change or elevate their careers The one thing I would have to say that I’m most proud of is that I never caved in and sold out — meaning that I stuck to my original concept and wasn’t a “Jack of all trades agency.” I specialize in what I know about. Other agencies have tens of thousands of candidates in their computers and can get you birthday clowns and magicians. They are commission factories and their service — for the most part — are impersonal.

Any big plans?
Right now, I’m looking into opening two offices overseas since so much of my business comes from the Middle East, Asia and Europe. I have pretty big plans for 2021 but can’t make any official announcements yet.

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Brian Daniel

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