The Modern Break Up author Daniel Chidiac went from broke to rich after Who Says You Can’t? You Do
Daniel Chidiac, 34, from Melbourne makes millions as an author
A school-leaver has revealed how his best-selling books flew him from minimum wage in a muddy workplace to first class around the world.
Daniel Chidiac, 34, from Melbourne, made it big after his first work as an author ‘Who Says You Can’t? You Do’ will hit the shelves in 2018.
But before he cashed in, Daniel was struggling — languishing under a mountain of debt from a failed company, quitting his business degree and working in workplaces for just $15 an hour to make ends meet.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Daniel, who has since written a second book, “The Modern Break Up,” said he was ashamed of where he was in life before “made it.”
“One day I was knee high in concrete and mud on a construction site, slipped because it was raining, the boss yelled at us and I knew I didn’t want to be there anymore,” he said.
“I didn’t tell anyone I was working, I was so ashamed, not that there was anything wrong with it, but it didn’t feel right to me,” he said.
Daniel’s life looks easy now, but he says it wasn’t always the case and he had to find his way the hard way
At one point Daniel worked on the railways and as a laborer making ends meet
Years earlier, Daniel had his first break through the “this ain’t me” moment.
He sat in a college hall and listened to a guest lecturer explain how he made $150,000 a year and traveled the world with his job.
“I looked at everyone around and they nodded at each other like ‘this is good,'” he said.
“I grabbed my books and left. I knew I didn’t want that life. I didn’t want to work for anyone else at that age and I had bigger dreams financially,” he said.
His next “aha” moment came during the global financial crisis when the company he had started with his brother went under.
“Looking back, that was a big mistake, we were young and stupid,” he said.
He had big dreams of success when he dropped out of college – before starting a business that failed. This led him to write down his thoughts in a notebook
Within three years, these “thoughts” became a self-help book picked up by a popular publishing house
The brothers had been on vacation in Europe together and were fond of a clothing brand, so they contacted the company to see if they had distributors in Australia.
“They didn’t, so we went to the bank and took out a $70,000 unsecured loan. In retrospect, I don’t even know why they gave it to us,” he said.
They bought shares and started selling the expensive clothing line, which was initially popular.
“Some items were $500 each, so when the GFC hit, things dried up,” he said.
“We went under and my brother and I were both left with huge debts.”
He then became a laborer to pay the bills.
Now Daniel spends much of his time traveling and claims he only books first class or business class tickets
“Some days I was working for $80 an hour, which was great, but other jobs would only pay $15 or $20,” he said.
He also took a job with track buddies, but his heart was never in it.
One day, Daniel was bursting at the seams—he had so many thoughts that he knew he had to write them down.
One notebook turned into two, and soon he had dozens of lined notebooks full of ideas.
“I finally took ownership of my mistakes, looking back at where things went wrong and right,” he said.
“At first I had no idea I was writing a book, but one day it dawned on me as I was staring at all the notebooks.”
Daniel’s second book ‘The Modern Break-Up’ has been hugely successful – it’s his first fictional book
Daniel had never been an avid writer.
“I didn’t plan it, it just flowed out of me. I would wake up at 3 a.m. to write before going to work, and stay up late doing the same thing,” he said.
Once he realized he wanted to publish something, he named his brother and close friends.
“My brother has always supported me in everything I wanted to do, but my friends thought I was crazy,” he said.
Once he finished his book, he realized that the challenge of getting it published had only just begun.
“I couldn’t even get it edited and I was willing to pay people,” he said.
Daniel says he used to be ashamed of where he was in life – pictured here for success
“A very well-known woman in the industry told me that the book would never be published or would yield anything.”
That only made him want it more. He took another look at the book and reformed it.
Then we managed to find someone who wants to endure it.
“Writing the book was difficult, but I had no idea it was the easiest,” he said.
By then, Daniel had paid off his debts and saved enough money to self-publish.
“That was in 2015 and sales were very slow at the beginning,” he said.
“Then I started promoting it online and before I knew it I had sold 100,000 copies.”
Then he finally caught the attention of publishers.
Penguin picked up the rights to the self-help book in 2018 and handed Daniel a healthy six-figure sum.
Now the book is available worldwide in 13 languages.
Daniel’s second book is fiction.
The novel, released in 2019, is based on a woman who broke up with her long-term boyfriend.
It follows her thoughts and feelings as the relationship comes to an end.
He was afraid to tell people what he did for work because his heart wasn’t in it
And it’s a huge hit with celebrities and their followers.
“After the success of the last book, I started my own publishing house and released the book myself,” he said.
It has been translated into three languages, with Daniel signing individual contracts with small publishers rather than partnering with a company that already has translation contracts worldwide.
And he’s not done yet.
“I’m working with producers on my own film and have been working on a script for the past six months,” he said.
Daniel’s days of debt are also behind him.
“I have saved and invested and I want to move to the US to continue my career, so I will buy a house there,” he said.
Daniel’s first business was a clothing store – but the high-end market was boosted during the GFC and his business failed
Daniel wants people to follow their hearts – he had never written before, but listened to his intuition and is eternally grateful to him
‘I currently spend most of my income on travel, I only fly first class or business and have been all over the world.
“I also channel a lot back to the company and my brand,” he said.
Daniel wants others to believe that they too can achieve their dreams.
“I’ve doubted myself so many times and wondered if I had done the right thing,” he said.
“But I followed my heart and found my calling.
“If you are authentic and what you do comes from the heart, you will succeed.”
Daniel also has plans for a second novel, which will follow his last, this time the story of the male protagonist.