#075: Hustle, humility and heart - Dan Monheit of Hardhat

By Jordan Michaelides
July 17, 2018

Dan 1   Landscape

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Dan Monheit ( @DanMonheit ) is the Director of Strategy and Co-Owner at creative agency Hardhat, Co-Host of the Bad Decisions Podcast, MC of lecture series Real Big Things and a self-confessed sneakerhead.

Dan truly embodies the archetype that is “Chutzpah” - combine that with his need for incessant learning on cognition and you have one impressive media brain. From small beginnings lecturing at Monash University, to jumping straight into his own agency, Dan is full of that entrepreneurial spirit we see common amongst our guests. Couple that with running a podcast, a series of lectures with a fascinating premise and running the strategy of HardHat - you have an immovable force in a rapidly changing industry.

Michael Jankie was kind enough to introduce me to Dan a few months ago, and as you probably already know, I always sit up and listen when a former guest makes an introduction.

This was a great episode that included:

  • Curiosity, psychology and behavioural economics

  • Hardhat & ad agencies

  • Real Big Things and Bad Decisions

  • Distilling useful information and switching off

Enjoy the episode!


02:23 - Introduction

04:37 - Sneakers and fashion

08:26 - Sneaker obsession, NBA

11:26 - Lessons learnt from his parents, his heritage

17:05 - Curiosity, psychology and behavioural economics

20:36 - First marketing job, starting a business

24:12 - Hustle, humility, and heart

27:48 - What he’s learnt from running an ad agency

29:57 - The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago

30:51 - How the industry has changed, starting ‘Hardhat’

36:58 - What will never change in the agency business?

37:48 - ‘Real Big Things’ and the ‘Bad Decisions’ podcast

45:58 - A ‘Real Big Things’ event that blew his mind

48:33 - Distilling useful information and switching off

53:20 - Principles: Gaining perspective, broadening context

58:32 - Daily routine and decompressing

01:01:48 - Best purchase under $200

01:02:20 - A book he’d gift someone

01:02:43 - What is difficult to find middle-ground on?

01:03:18 - If he could have a billboard anywhere in Australia