Good Morning to Greatness with Chad Diamond Dann

In today’s episode, Chad talks about his experiences following and filming your host, Mike Riscica, including his personal highlights from the Young Architect Conference. He also discusses what he’s excited about right now and the meaning behind his saying, “good morning to greatness.”

Grindstone Films | Chad Diamond Dann

Chad Diamond Dann Good Morning to Greatness with Chad Diamond Dann Podcast

As a child living in upstate New York, Chad Diamond Dann didn’t feel a close connection with his family or peers. He was poor and often bullied as a child. He came from a family of truck drivers, mechanics, and race car drivers, but he was most interested in writing poetry and listening to rap music, and when he grew up, he decided to follow his passions and become a rapper. 

Chad started releasing albums while working as a short-order cook at Cornell University. In 2009, he quit his job, cashed out the money he’d saved up, and moved to California with a suitcase full of mixtapes. He began making connections in California and eventually connected with a producer who flew him out to Australia to record. He signed an independent record deal, returned to North Hollywood, and recorded an album. Eventually, disagreements with his label about the image he was presenting came to a head, and Chad ended up not releasing an album, being cut off by his label, and taking a job at an Italian restaurant to get by. 

Eventually, Chad returned to New York, feeling like something of a failure. He suffered from depression and didn’t want to get a job at first. He eventually ended up taking a job at a Subway, a step down that hurt his ego. However, the news wasn’t all bad – it was during this period that Chad met his future wife and reconnected with his mother shortly before she died. Chad later enrolled in college, graduated at the top of his class, and began his own business. He moved to Portland for a year for a job, then refocused on his own project, Grindstone Films. 

What You’ll Hear on This Episode  

  • Where Chad grew up
  • Chad’s interests as a child
  • Chad’s early career as a rapper
  • Why Chad ended up leaving California and returning to New York
  • Why Chad ended up going back to college
  • How Chad started his own business
  • Chad’s move to Portland
  • What Grindstone Films is all about
  • What it’s like for Chad to follow Mike around and film
  • Chad’s experience at the Young Architect Conference
  • What “good morning to greatness” is all about 
  • Chad’s advice for aspiring architects
  • What Chad knows now that he wishes he’d known before
  • The movie that changed everything for Chad
  • Chad’s favorite gadget
  • Chad’s best time-saving trick
  • How listeners can connect with Chad

 Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode

  1.   It’s always OK to be who you are. 
  2.   Make it a point to do the hard work to get to where you want to go.
  3.   Don’t be afraid to change the game.

Chad Diamond Dann’s Advice for Aspiring Architects

“Be yourself, be great, hustle hard, and change the game.”

Favorite Quotes

“I think what I know today is that it’s OK to just be yourself and embrace all that you are. It’s about the journey”. Chad Diamond Dann on what he knows today that he didn’t know back then

“Independence Day. Will Smith.”  – Chad Diamond Dann on the movie that changed everything

“My cameras, man. My video cameras.” – Chad Diamond Dann on the resource he can’t live without

“I don’t know if I believe in saving time.” – Chad Diamond Dann on his best timesaving trick.

Resources Mentioned in the Show:

Chad Diamond Dann

Grindstone Films

Chad Diamond Dann on YouTube

Chad Diamond Dann on Instagram

Chad Diamond Dann on Facebook

Grindstone Films on Facebook


Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

Hi I’m Michael Riscica.

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