Small World Inc is an online brand of David Small and companies/charities he’s started. David Small is an author, public speaker and entrepreneur. Small World Inc consists of;
Small World Hockey Schools (international ice hockey programs)
Small World Health (Home of the 90 Day Health Challenge)
David Small’s public speaking and books
iUseLess.net – (an environmental charity)
and the Small World Inc Music Player (supporting unsigned musicians)
MO: Where does your entrepreneurial spirit come from? Who or what were your early influences or inspirations?
David: My grandfather passed down his business mind to me. After fighting in the war, he did what we’re “meant” to do, he got married, went to work, and started a family. My grandfather loved to take calculated risks in business. He also had a sense of adventure, which I feel is important for entrepreneurs. I have so much respect for people who get up each day and go to work for their families. We may not all make millions, but the people who put their work boots on each day, without complaining, really inspire me. I always had that business mind, when kids would be selling lemonade, I’d be the kid who is managing four lemonade stands taking a profit from each. Some of my inspirations now are Dave Ramsey and the Lampo group, and Tim Ferriss and some of his ideas.
MO: Can you talk about the inspiration and process behind putting together the Small World Inc. music player? What kind of feedback have you been getting so far?
David: I grew up with music all around me, on many nights growing up I would drift off to sleep to the sound of my mother playing hymns on the piano. I, unfortunately, am not very musically talented, but wanted to come up with a way that would allow me to be “involved” in music, despite my lack of musical abilities. I have so many people in my life that ARE really musically talented, so I decided to use my online brand and presence help promote them. I admire people who can string together words and melodies to share a story or thought, and I know how difficult it is for anyone to make any money off their “art” these days. I built the Small World Inc Music Player and the music page on my site to help promote their “art” and hope that maybe someone will buy their music, or book them for a show. So far, the music has been one of the highlights (and most rewarding) parts of the new website – people email me and say “wow, the music that was playing in the background was so amazing” or “I sometimes just leave your site open in the background to listen to the music” – it’s rewarding being able to use my business mind to help these talented musicians. Who knows where it will go!
MO: How have you been able to create five different and thriving businesses and charities and still find time to be a successful writer as well? Any tips for our readers on managing multiple businesses?
David: Outsource your weaknesses. I have an assistant who helps me with areas of my business that I am not naturally gifted at (driving traffic, advertising management, etc.) and I have an amazingly talented web designer on staff that can grasp my vision and bring it into reality. Once I find talent, I don’t want to let them go. I spend 8 months of the year living in Europe, coaching professional ice hockey, and there are always long hours on the bus or plane to be writing, it’s not work if you love it. I love every one of my mini business sites, so spending time working on it is rewarding. All of my sites have one simple thing in common, help and enrich other people’s lives; be it technical ice hockey skills through one of our ice hockey camps, a weight loss challenge through Small World Health, or the words I write in my books, being able to motivate, encourage, and enrich someone’s life is what it’s all about – it’s so rewarding. When you have five different businesses to manage it can be hectic, but, when you have one goal, to make someone’s life better or happier, it is easier to stay focused on what you’re doing.
MO: Your second book on Leadership is almost done – and due out in Fall 2012. Can you talk about the book and the creative process behind it?
David: One of my all-time favorite books is “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. Each year that I coach professional hockey players, or meet inspiring people, I give them a copy of that book in hopes that it will encourage and motivate them. Last year I wanted to give that book to a player I was coaching, but I felt he needed to read more about leadership, so I began to search for a great book about Leadership for athletes. I couldn’t find much, so my brain said, “if it’s not there, write it.” – so I did. My goal with the book isn’t to tell people about the textbook meaning of leadership, but rather to teach that through your weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings you can still be an amazing leader and amazing person. I’m not the world’s greatest leader, but I believe in myself and what I’m doing, and I think that’s what matters.
MO: What keeps you motivated and inspired?
David: The things my friends do. I have one friend, Toni, who is an Officer in the Finnish army – he says there are days that he’s lying in the mud, with explosions all around him, and he hasn’t slept in four days, and he asks himself “why am I here”, but never thinks of stopping. He says when the week or training exercise is over, and he may be hitting his pillow for the first time in four nights, he’ll feel good for surviving the week, and that he’s stronger because he went through the shit. I have another friend, Byron, who is a farmer in Saskatchewan Canada – and he works 16-18 hour days all summer long tending to his farm. Sometimes I’ll get off an ice session with sore feet, or, feel too tired to write anything today, and then I’ll think of my friends who humbly work so hard everyday, without complaining, and it inspires me to work harder. Sometimes you have to go through long days, or the shit, to come out of it stronger. It motivates me to want to make some money through my business so one day I can tell Toni or Byron I’ve bought them a vacation to Thailand for a week, because their quiet work ethic inspires me on a day to day basis.
MO: What is the most important piece of advice you have for those looking to start a business?
David: In the words of Nike; “Just Do It”. You’ll screw up 9 times before you figure out that the 10th time is how you should do it. I started working for myself because I liked the freedom that comes with it, but, I’ve come to realize that my “why” for business needs to be deeper than just not listening to a boss. Before I started Small World Inc, I wanted to figure out why I was doing it, and I realized, in a very selfish way, that it makes my life better when I can inspire and enrich someone else’s life – so I want all the work of Small World Inc to make your life happier. Figure out your real reason, then just go do it.