Toledoan’s book offers life-changing ideasWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Toledo native Jason Daniels offers readers a step-by-step guide on how to change their lives and reach their full potential in his book, “Get Off The Gerbil Wheel.”
Daniels, who is vice president of strategic initiatives for United Way of Greater Toledo, began writing his book in 2003.
“I sat down to what we would call today an antiquated old computer, one night at about 1 or 2 in the morning. I just felt the need to write and I love to write, but never did I think I’d write a book,” he said. The first two chapters of “Get Off The Gerbil Wheel” were written that night.
A case of writer’s block halted the book while Daniels started his own company, Jay Ramon LLC, in 2004. Daniels and his wife of four years, Kelli, co-own the business, which specializes in inspirational speaking, seminars and workshops. Daniels added more to his plate in 2005 when Bill Kitson, CEO and president of United Way of Greater Toledo, hired him as a development officer.
“Jason is an incredibly talented and driven individual, and on a professional level we have been lucky to have those talents for the past six years,” Kitson said. “On a personal level, one of the things I admire most about Jason is his determination. He told me six years ago he was going to write a book. Not only did he do exactly what he said he would do, but it has a message others will find inspiring, motivating and passionate.”
Daniels’ book stayed in its early stages until 2010 when he had the chance to attend a workshop at Gap International. The workshop, which focused on how to develop breakthrough strategies in 90 days, inspired Daniels to tackle his book again.
“It was really that training, those people that were part of my three-day class, that taught me that I can actually write this book and it’s not going to be as cumbersome as I thought it would be,” Daniels said. He wrote the rest of the book in 15 days.
Since the book’s launch, Daniels has received positive feedback.
“One of the things that people keep talking about is [how] I talk about your exponential potential in the book and especially about how your potential knows no boundaries, it knows no limits, your potential is always speaking to you,” Daniels said.
He said the book doesn’t just help readers take that first initial step, it walks them through an entire process.
“I tell people, ‘Once you get off the gerbil wheel, how do you get out of the glass cage that houses you’?” Daniels said.
The book’s process inspired Daniels to start a publishing wing of Jay Ramon. In the future, Daniels plans to make “Get Off The Gerbil Wheel” into a series with possible books aimed at women, Generation Y and college students.
“There will be a book that is written, produced and ready by the spring of 2012 because my goal is to write a book a year, if not more, because I have this writer’s bug now,” Daniels said.
Ashley Lanagan, who recently started her own marketing firm AL2 Marketing Solutions, worked with Daniels to develop cover art, marketing and layout for the book.
“It’s the first project that I actually did as having my own business,” Lanagan said. “The book would
really help people refocus and really help them re-evaluate their priorities and where they want to be later on, a year from now, two days from now.”
2012 will be another busy year for Daniels, whose first child is due in March.
One thing that won’t change for Daniels is his love for Toledo.
“I love my hometown Toledo and one thing I would say is if you can start a business here, you can start one anywhere,” he said. “ All the talent and everything we need is right here.”
“Get Off The Gerbil Wheel” is available for $13.99 at www.jayramon.com. Daniels will host a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at Downtown Latte, 44 S. St. Clair St.