The cliche’ is that time stands still for no one. It’s a cliche’ because it’s the truth. We all get the same amount of time and what you do with that time is what matters. Do you sit still and idly let time pass by, or do you set a fire under your you-know-what and ignite a flame that attracts others?
A long time ago David Addi decided he would choose to be the flame – and five years after we first shared his story, there’s wonderful news to share… David Addi is still Fired Up, personally invigorating his life, his promotions company, and his clients.
It’s been one heck of a ride and the name of the company still fits David’s personality and his promotional items.
“It’s just, it’s a name that’s just exciting, it’s fun,” says David. “It exudes excitement, you know, when people see their logo on something, they get excited. The best example I can think of is when somebody is on a basketball team or a baseball team, or any sports team. When you get that jersey and you’re like, man, that’s awesome. You know, it’s got my team name on it, it’s got my name on it, it’s got my number on it. People just get excited and, it brings out a lot of passion in people.”
Like so many others, if there’s one thing David loves, it’s passion.
“I’m a big sports fan,” says David, “a Philly sports fan, (David lived in Philadelphia for part of his childhood), and whether it’s football or hockey I love seeing the players come out of the tunnel all fired up and ready to go. I thought how could I present this same enthusiasm to my clients about my business? That’s when I came up with the name, FiredUp Promotions.”
Fast forward to 2024, and Fired Up Promotions is running on full tilt, as is David, both professionally and personally.
“We have a full-time, virtual assistant,” says David, “and very, very exciting news, we have hired our first full-time, real live employee, to handle all sorts of inquiries coming in and really being a growing member of this team. So here we are and 2024 is going to be very exciting for Fired Up. We’re taking a big step in the direction of massive growth.”
While the business has been growing, so has David’s family. The thing about true success however, is you can’t really have one thing without the other. When you’re a thriving entrepreneur like David you have a choice to make, you can make your life fit your business, or your business fit your life.
Fortunately for David’s family he has chosen the latter. "If you can’t get fired up about your family, what can you get fired up about."
We now have four daughters, Ayala's, the oldest, then there’s Zahava, Naama, and Aliza Chaya. Aliza was born during Covid. She’s my Covid baby. That was a really interesting time to say the least.”
And then there’s my son, Avigdor Zushe Yosef, he is one-year-old now, and he’s the first boy in the family. That was very special. We didn’t find out in advance, what gender the baby was going to be. It was definitely a big, big surprise. Even now it’s still a little bit surreal that he’s here."
Though the family has grown and is a huge blessing in David’s life, there has also been heartache in the past few years since David first shared his Fired Up story. Just like in any life, there will be trauma and loss. In this case, it was a loss that reminded David what life is really all about.
“You know, COVID really shifted my perspective a ton, but even taking it back before that happened, in 2018 my father-in-law passed away very suddenly. He came to see us with my mother-in-law because my wife was expecting our third child, our third daughter Naama.”
“They came in to be with us because my wife Dalya, had a scheduled c-section. But my father-in-law ended up in the hospital with sepsis… and within 24 hours… he was gone.
That was a big, big shift in my perspective on life. I think growing up in America, we are very blessed to have a lot of access to “things”. But at that moment when I was sitting in the emergency room waiting to hear about my father-in-law, I realized like, wow, life is really, really short.
You never know when things are gonna head another way, take an unexpected turn. My in-laws had just bought a house next door to us.
They were gonna move in. We had all these plans, and then, just like that, he was gone. And I realized from then, you know, life is short, so you have to take advantage of all you can while you’re here.”
And then this past year David lost his Saba (grandfather). "I had just landed in Boston for a show when my mom called me and broke the news to me that my Saba had passed. That one was very tough. I knew my Saba for 37 years and losing him was very difficult.
My grandfather or Saba as we called him was the most honest business person I ever met. He left Morocco and came to Philadelphia and opened a radiator shop that worked on trucks but as I also found out ships and even jobs for Boeing.
People knew that my grandfather was incredibly honest and in an industry full of scammers they knew they could trust my Saba to take care of them in a fair and honest way.
He was a strong man and in fact was a professional bodybuilder when he lived in Morocco but his true strength was his inner being. Multiple people told me they never heard him say a negative thing about anybody and I never heard him say something bad about anybody.
He was a quiet man and always tried to find the positive in every situation. I miss him very much but I know he will always be with me."
“Losing close family members, made me realize you can’t caught up in things, in having the fanciest car, or the biggest house. You know, that’s not what’s really important in life. What’s really important in life is to be able to take care of your family, to give to your community, to give to other people.
Because at the end of the day, the only thing you’re gonna take from this world are the good deeds you do. And that’s something that I really, really believe in.”
“And Covid really sort of amped up that shift even more. I had a lot of anxiety during Covid because the whole world seemed like it was coming apart. And I learned to really let go and let God take over and let him direct my life as he saw fit.
I really went through a pretty, pretty big transformation, going from somebody who was constantly running and trying to hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle.”
“I think hustling is great, but if it’s hustling just to make more money, I don’t necessarily see a purpose in all of that. Now the hustle is to take care of other people, take care of my family, take care of my kids, take care of my community, take care of whoever needs help.
When people ask me for donations or things like that I always try to do what I can.
I have a different perspective on money now. Just going through the situation with my father-in-law and Covid, and just sort of realizing I’m not gonna take any of the money with me.
So while I’m here, I’m gonna try to help out as many people as I can. Try to help out the community as best as I can and try to be a giving person.”
To give, to serve, to love. With those three life concepts in focus, David knows the sky’s the limit. As a matter of fact, there was a time David thought he’d be helping others to fly the friendly skies!
“Shortly after graduating college, David applied to be an air traffic controller. He says it was one of the most challenging things he’s ever done. “I studied so hard for that air traffic controller test,” says David. “I was shaking so hard during the test that I had cramps in my legs for three days after it was over. I got the score two weeks later and I was in such a state of joy.”
But the happiness didn’t last long. David’s dreams of helping pilots soar through the heavens, turned into an emergency landing. “Six months after my graduation I got a notice the government was changing the hiring laws,” says David. “I was devastated. They threw away our scores. The government said it didn’t matter even if you graduated with top honors. It was as if I did nothing. I was absolutely crushed. I didn’t want to get out of bed.”
A few jobs later, David found passion in promotional items and created Big Daddy Addi Promotions. And before you knew it, through growth, change and vision, he morphed the company into Fired Up Promotions.
Which brings us back to center.
So what’s the goal now for the company David has built? First things first, David says it’s about who he is inside. Become more and you have more to give. For David it’s about being the person that can take chances, lean over the edge… and then take the plunge. That’s how you stay Fired Up!
“I’ve learned over the years, the, the best things happen if I always try to stay uncomfortable,” says David. “The minute you get comfortable you settle into a state of, all right, I don’t have to do too much mentality. If I’m comfortable I don’t grow. And I always want to be pushed. One of the reasons I go to synagogue is to see my rabbi. He pushes me all the time, always pushing me, driving me, you know, he’s the one that made me hire the virtual assistant. I never thought I’d be able to give up control. And he said just do it. And I did, I jumped in. I didn’t know what I was doing, it was scary.”
“I’ve done a lot of scary things over the last five years, just jumping in, taking chances and making it happen and just trusting that it’ll turn out for the best. If you don’t take chances, you don’t get anything. No risk, no reward. So absolutely there’s nothing wrong with trying and failing. It’s not trying that hurts. When you do nothing, you get nothing.”
Do something and do something with passion. Then bring others along on the journey with you and you can make some beautiful music together. David has taken that idea to heart and turned it into a very cool promotion for his own promotional company. If you want to lead you have to eat your own cooking. David has become a “chef” in that regard.
“We shot a music video this year with acclaimed rap artist Nissim Black,” says David. “He’s a fascinating individual, grew up in Seattle, and then actually converted to Judaism, just an amazing, amazing story.
One of these really just very inspirational people. I had this idea for years to do a rap video since I started my business, but I could never figure out how to go about it, how to get it done.
I ended up getting in touch with Nissim because he came to Baltimore for an event and I ended up helping him find the venue.”
“We got to talking and so I pitched him the idea for my Music Video and he loved it. So we collaborated and shot a video called Fired Up, which really, if you listen to the song and you really listen to the lyrics you’ll hear incredible depth.
The song Fired Up is being excited about life and letting things go, trying not to be in control. Because I think the more you try to be in control, the less in control you actually are. So the song’s just about being… being you and having passion, a passion for life.”
Everyone on David’s team is Fired Up about the future. Growth is the goal and ideas are at a premium, fresh, new and client-centered.
“We’re really gonna dive even deeper into what clients need,” says David. “I think a lot of people don’t even realize all the different services we offer. They sort of think, ‘oh, hey, you know, you can put my logo on something,’ which is true.
But there’s so much more. We do a lot of packaging fulfillment, custom items, pop-up shops, fundraising ideas. This year is all about trying to give my clients really good ideas, ideas for their businesses, ideas for their marketing, you know, ideas that’ll help them make more money.
That’s really the ultimate goal. The bottom line is when we sell something to our client, that not only do they love it, it actually provides a great ROI on their investment.”
“I definitely wanna do a lot more custom jobs. Stuff that’s not catalog stuff, stuff that’s not run of the mill items, things that are really built from scratch. We’ve completed work on a really cool boxing ring box for somebody.
It’s created as a shock-and-awe box and it’ll have a little sound chip in it and it’s very different. Definitely different. We love a good challenge, building stuff from the ground up.”
Building from the ground up is how every successful business, and life for that matter, is created. The foundation should always be an attitude of gratitude, making sure others feel that they are valued and appreciated.
David and Fired Up Promotions know that what matters is that other people matter!
“We actually sent out these gratitude boxes this past year,” say David. “And so something we’re trying to get into is a quarterly habit of sending a gift, sending, you know, a little something in the mail. I’m a big fan of mail.
A lot of people don’t send mail anymore. We’re certainly digital, but I’m a big fan of something you can receive in the mail. Even a little postcard, a letter, a note.”
“And I really try to focus on being appreciative because when I focus on being appreciative of other people, not just my clients, my family, my suppliers, I find that I tend to complain a lot less as well,” laughs David.
“Being grateful takes the focus away from things like, what are all the issues?
Everything seems to work itself out. I also try to keep a gratitude list. I try to write down weekly just to remind myself, you know, this is what I’m grateful for.
And you know every day when I pray, I always try to pick one thing besides the family, which is a given, that I’m grateful for, including a client or something else.”
Gratitude, passion and perseverance. Never give up and work with the fervor to feel and make others feel Fired Up about what you do, that’s the ultimate goal. We all overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can do in five, or ten years.
David knows this is all about the long game, he appreciates how far he has come and can already see just how far he can go.
“We’re just really excited going forward. It’s hard to believe that we started to share this story five years ago and it’s amazing how much has changed in that short period of time. I can’t even imagine what’s gonna happen in the next five years.”
The story continues, and there’s one thing for sure, the time is now to be Fired Up about the future. The best is yet to come.