Hey, it’s Peter: (I’ve wrestled the keyboard from André!)
David Dewane became slightly obsessed with the idea of “digital minimalism.” He saw phone addiction take on some genuinely unpleasant forms and, one day came up with an unexpected way to pack real value back into an easy to consume physical format.
Scanning through “throw-away tweets” and “insta-quotes,” then forgetting about them instantly. That’s OK. But what about great literature — words and stories that are meant to move and evoke emotions; that linger in people’s minds forever?
Long-form pieces that deserve to be discussed with others, maybe even have a lasting impact on someone’s life.
So David created a membership: you can pay him $50, and you receive a limited series of tiny printed booklets throughout the year. The booklets have similar dimensions to your smartphone, making them effortlessly portable.
David founded Mouse Book Club: the idea is brilliant.
Understand: David himself writes none of the materials printed in the tiny books — the pieces are all carefully curated from existing literature, short stories, speeches, etc.
After a relatively short while, David’s tiny little business was bringing in $10K a month, without fail. People are flocking towards David’s company because they resonate with his idea, embrace it — support it by voting with their wallets.
Ideas like the Mouse Book Club don’t spawn from “how to make money” courses.
Ideas like this come from deeper within you. Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means: “thing that you live for” or “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.“
Tiny companies — like David’s — come into existence after some genius inspiration, spawned by previously unrelated ideas smashing together and making something new in your mind.
Stephen King says it best:
“Good [story] ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
As with David, you need to be shown different ideas and possibilities — stuff that makes you think; keeps you awake at night and gets your blood pumping. Success leaves clues, little trails of happiness.
All it takes is an inspiration, packaged up for you through examples and write-ups from others who did something amazing before you. Insights. Evidence that it can be done to melt away doubts.
Forget “blueprints” and “systems” and “step-by-step” BS. Each of those will kill every bit of creativity inside you. Most successful creators don’t need — nor want — “paint-by-numbers,” because where is the fun in that? Breakthrough insights are found between the lines, in the nuances.
The idea for Tiny is Mighty [TiM] surfaced when I visited André and Anita in Gibraltar in 2019.
As we were enjoying pureed avocado on toast at a local vegetarian place, the conversation, as it often does, moved towards tiny businesses and how we saw them as potential life changers — freedom creators.
Fed up with the current slew of hyped-up information — available at a hefty price — we wanted to bring something new and refreshing to the market.
A “Mentos” version of our marketing insights — to become your personal “fresh makers.”
Do you have any idea of the number of successful creators and makers out there in the mad world of internet commerce?
You know: people actually doin’ it. Livin’ the life you desperately want — freedom, money, on your terms.
There are lots of them, a crazy amount. Not always visible or easy to find, but they’re out there, quietly making a ruckus for the people they serve.
We have access to a lot of them because it’s the type of entrepreneurs and creators we actively seek out. They are our kind of peeps.
Peeps like David from Mouse Books.
There’s so many of us out there, each writing their tiny part of entrepreneurial history — designing a life they are proud of, a life of freedom.
We want to do a couple of things inside TiM.
What to Expect inside TiM
Please note: this is the first iteration of our membership so there probably will be some changes happening along the way.
- Highlight Success Stories: We want to dig up success stories because we love them and want to share with you what’s possible if you execute on one stellar idea.
- Our own “re-make” of that Success Story: We don’t write the story so you can go “copy” it. That can never be the intention. All of the stuff André and I have ever done has had some prior idea built-in that was “invented or inspired by someone else.
- Asset Creation: Sometimes you want/need to see actual examples of ads, MPPS’s, angles and hooks. How to decide what POP to talk to, which people to target with your messages.
- A place for conversation and questions: Every Story appearing here will have a discussion box below it. What we rather not see is mindless chatter. If you have a question or a remark about THAT specific story, please mention it and we’ll discuss.
Please note that we will never highlight (or talk about) the “he made millions with drop shipping after buying this course” type stories. Smart ideas, tiny set-ups, stellar products, unique insights, etc. All of these will get featured inside the walls of TiM.
We take what’s there and build further upon it. Extending creativity while respecting simplicity in its purest form. We take a certain story about a tiny entrepreneur worth talking about, then write another version about it. A different way of doing something that’s proven to work.
How to structure a story while keepin’ it real. We’ll get some of those inside TiM as well. You can call them “potential case studies,” we’ll call them “shit that makes sense doing.”
If there’s something you’d like to see added to the Story, you can make those suggestions below as well. Again: keeping comments on point is important, we don’t want to create a second Facebook here.
André and I decided to make TiM a one-year experiment; Season 1 of Tiny is Mighty.
Season 1 will be over ten episodes, roughly a month apart. We’ll iterate on the project throughout the year as we work to make it better.
If Season 1 of TiM delivers on your expectations (and then some!), and we enjoyed the process, we’ll consider commissioning a Season 2.
- Enrollment in TiM: Season 1 costs $50/mo over ten months (billing will automatically stop after month-ten, making your total investment $500). You’ll retain access to TiM: Season 1 indefinitely.
- You can cancel at any time. (Just shoot André an email.)
- Episodes will mainly be long-form (text based), and accessed through the Academy.
- There will be a comments/discussion thread attached to every Episode.
- We will also send (via email) “mini-episodes” between the main Episodes. Each mini-episode will tie the previous Episode to the following Episode — creating extra context and nuance (opportunities for breakthroughs).
We hope to have you along for the ride. It’s going to be fun. 💪
Have questions? Use the comments below.
One of the things we want to include in TiM is that every bit of communication needs to add value — even something as silly as this welcome post you’re reading right now.
What we want to warn you about is the “tactics” that sometimes seem to surface when reading the stories. You might believe that, in this article, it was all about creating mini-guides in print as the new media carrier.
Maybe you figured that you should do the (exact) same to become as successful as David from Mouse Books.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
David used the mini-guides as a way to curate timeless content in a novel approach that could be consumed without flipping on a digital device.
If you’d try to use the same media format to talk to football aficionados about last Sunday’s game results — you’d:
- fail miserably and,
- you’d have totally missed the point of this article.
The printed guide is the tactic — tactics are only valuable if the strategy supports it. Curating timeless evergreen content pieces that don’t change over time — that works for this.
But news content that’s here today and gone tomorrow (or faster) and needs constant updating to stay accurate, that would not work for this.
Option #2 deserves a different approach: a strategy that is designed to carry along change and allows for speed and accuracy of delivery.
We’ll address that option soon enough inside TiM.