Entrepreneurship senior Gannon Daynes is finishing his career at Cal Poly on a strong note, despite encountering several challenges along the way.
When Daynes first arrived at Cal Poly, he was ranked top 50 in the nation for men’s tennis in his age group; however, despite his successes after 15 years of playing tennis, he struggled to adjust to the dynamic of college athletics.
“I struggled to connect with my peers during my first two years of college due to the diminished confidence that I had in myself — it felt like I had lost my identity for a period of time there,” said Daynes. “Prior to college I perceived myself as an elite student and athlete, but during those first two years I felt like I had lost many attributes that were special to me, I was truly lost.”
At the end of his sophomore year, Daynes knew he had to make a change and resign from his tennis career.
“This was an extremely emotional decision for me,” said Daynes. “I came to the conclusion that I had to take ownership of my life and realized that tennis was a driving negative factor of my happiness.”
After leaving the tennis team, Daynes’ life turned around completely. Throughout his junior year, he began to regain his confidence both socially and academically. He began to set — and achieve — goals he had never before thought were possible.
After his junior year, Daynes had the opportunity to intern for Gothic Landscape Inc. – the largest privately owned commercial landscape company in North America. His work that summer gave him the drive to not only succeed academically but to set out to leave a lasting impression on Cal Poly during his last year here.
Now, in his senior year, Daynes is thriving. He has made Dean’s list both quarters this year — a goal he has always struggled to achieve — and is actively involved in the marketing mentors program.
The Marketing Mentor Program is a new program at Cal Poly that pairs elite students with freshman and sophomore marketing students to help advise and guide them through the development of a marketing plan. Daynes is currently the only entrepreneurship student who is a mentor in the program, but that hasn’t held him back; this past year he spent months writing the training manual that will be used for years to come.
“I attribute all of my success to finally taking charge of my life and making decisions that made me happy and fulfilled instead of focusing on others,” Daynes said. “Although that may sound selfish, I believe that if you are not happy and confident with yourself you will never be able to help anyone else.”
After graduation, Daynes will be participating in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Summer Accelerator Program to further develop his startup Sectrvm. Spectrvm is a wearable bass shaker geared toward committed Electronic Dance Music (EDM) fans that will improve the communal and immersive experience of EDM music festivals.
Daynes’ final note the he would like to leave for all readers is, “I hope everyone who reads my spotlight will take away that it does not matter where you start, but where you finish. I am a living representation of that and I am only getting started.”