Daniel Dubois is the second guest on the Dynathrive Q&A Sessions, and I am excited have him on as he is a close friend, as well as someone that has immense experience in business and lifestyle strategies. This article will give readers an idea on what it means to pursue an entrepreneurial lifestyle, while maintaining optimal human performance during the process.
A brief background about Daniel…
This young entrepreneur set a strong foundation for business at an even early age with a neighborhood lemonade stand, which was then followed by two clothing line launches in his early teens, and now a community sharing platform called ShareShed that is increasing in exposure by the day!
Daniel is the perfect example of how hard work and play are a combination towards achieving success and fulfillment. When he is not working on ShareShed, he is spending time with his loving family and friends, experimenting with outdoor adventures, traveling, keeping fit, helping his community with charity work, and constantly evolving through self-development projects.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the Q&A with Daniel Dubois!
First and foremost, I must congratulate you on winning the BC Business 30 Under 30 award. What a tremendous achievement to have earned in your early 20’s.
Daniel: Thank you Poyan. It was definitely a great honor to have been presented this award along with the many aspiring business leaders throughout BC.
Can you explain what ShareShed is all about?
Daniel: ShareShed is about creating a world of unlimited access to adventure. The biggest barriers we face to getting outside and adventuring is not owning the necessary equipment, and not being a part of an outdoor enthusiast network. At ShareShed we’re removing all the barriers to empower people to expand their horizons, get active and live vibrantly.
How does it work?
Daniel: We connect people who are looking for access to outdoor gear with people who own equipment that want to make extra cash by renting it out through a web and mobile app. ShareShed is referred to as the Airbnb for kayaks, standup paddle boards, camping gear and other outdoor equipment you shouldn’t have to own, to have access to.
What media has ShareShed been featured on?
Daniel: ShareShed has been featured on The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, CBC, Vancity Buzz, North Shore News, 102.7 The PEAK, as well as other media outlets. ShareShed was presented live in front of 20,000 youth at WE Day Vancouver with millions watching online and on TV.
How did this concept of sharing first come to mind?
Daniel: It all started when I was backpacking in Australia with our good buddy Remy Pannikar. Early into our trip we met a family who ended up hosting us in their home. During this time, we were waking up early and going surfing or biking with their youngest son. Even though we were on the other side of the world, we were part of a tight knit community.
When I came back home, I went to university and in my entrepreneurship class we watched the TED Talk: The Case for Collaborative Consumption. This video made me completely redefine wealth from what I own, to what I have access to. It made me think back to Australia, and how we truly were wealthy in the sense that we didn’t own anything, but we still had access to anything we could ever want. For example, we didn’t own a surfboard, but we were still going surfing, and we didn’t own bikes but we were still going cycling. It made me want to create that same world that we felt in Australia, not only for other travelers, but here at home for Vancouverites in their own backyard.
You mentioned “creating a world”, can you elaborate?
Daniel: ShareShed is about creating a world where we can make money off what we own, yet have access to anything we could ever want. ShareShed empowers people to live an environmentally conscience, affordable, and community minded lifestyle by facilitating community sharing.
Sustainability: I personally don’t know many other ways to be more sustainable than not consuming in the first place.
Human Connections: For every transaction there are two human connections that take place. We are building a strong offline community for people to connect, learn and share knowledge with one another.
Economy: Money that is transacted over ShareShed goes directly into the local economy. By renting from a local you are supporting that person and keeping money in the local economy, which has a massive ripple effect on our society as a whole.
Before we used to have giant corporations and people working for them. In the sharing economy, people can signup for websites like Airbnb, or ShareShed and start making money off their idle capacity in less than 60 seconds.
What was Hootesuite’s Next Big Thing Foundation? And how did that help with the growth of ShareShed?
Daniel: It’s been absolutely incredible. It’s hard for me to even imagine where I was 8 months ago compared to what I’ve learnt since.
Thanks to The Next Big Thing Foundation, ShareShed has an office space at Hootsuite HQ2, startup funding, industry professional mentorship and additional in-kind support. For example we’ve taken classes on coding, and have access to top class events throughout the city. We are also tapped into their global network of movers and shakers.
In 2013 you spoke at We Day Vancouver in front of 20, 000 people. What was the message you conveyed in your speech?
Daniel: To motivate students in continuing to make a difference past their high school years.
If you were to go back in time before the inception of ShareShed, what would you do differently having the knowledge you have acquired to date?
Daniel: I wouldn’t do anything differently because of how much valuable learning has come from my mistakes and inefficiencies.
If I was to give advice to someone who was where I was at a couple years ago, I would say understand what motivates you, where you want to go, and be honest with yourself about the amount of work that you will have to put in to get there. Many people put their head down and run into something without really questioning if that’s the right direction for their life. The best piece of advice I can give is to deeply understand your values and use those values in every decision you make. There’s not much that is stronger than being truly tapped into your purpose.
For someone in early startup days I would recommend internalizing the Lean Startup book and start internalizing building, measuring, and learning to become habitual. As always, be constantly working on yourself and giving 100% in everything that you do. 100% effort and 100% focus.
I know that you are highly active in both charity and volunteering work. How do you find time and motivation to regularly give back to your community?
Daniel: We all have the same amount of time; it’s just how we use our time that’s different. That’s why the saying “If you want something done, ask the busiest person in the room” exists. I value giving back so I make time for it. My motivation comes from the impact I’m making in other people’s lives. That’s also my motivation behind ShareShed, which consistently drives me to do more.
You have traveled to many countries in your young and fruitful lifetime. What are the biggest changes you see in yourself having experienced the various cultures?
Daniel: Increased awareness for societies and cultural norms that we habitually live in. Last year Lucy and I traveled to over 25 countries and the word awareness constantly came up. Critical awareness of our impact on people and the planet as well as the ripple effect that it creates. Most importantly, the impact we want to have on the world and awareness of the life we want to live. Real education is less about knowledge, and more about simple awareness.
Here’s a good video that articulates what I’m talking about: This is Water by Patrick Buckley
What is your philosophy on how to maintain optimal health and physical performance?
Daniel: Again, awareness; if you want to lose weight, you have to be aware that you are consuming less calories than you are burning. If you want to have optimal performance than you need to be aware of the time you spend in specific tasks, and audit your lifestyle to be conscious of both how you spend your time, and how you can improve upon your productivity.
I can speak on the “what” forever, but at a high level I would recommend morning and evening routines, consistent education from podcasts, TED Talks, and an overall thirst and curiosity for learning and growth.
Give us THREE books that you believe every entrepreneur must read:
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracy
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
I am a big believer in morning routines, and how one conducts themselves first thing upon waking. What does your morning routine consist of?
Daniel: Morning and evening routines are an evolutionary process that will most likely evolve and be tested. I use the lean startup approach to my routine: build, measure, and learn. For those who don’t have a routine but want to get started, start with baby steps (essentially your MVP in Lean Startup talk).
First step would be to set your intention and what you are looking to gain from a routine. Maybe your first routine action is to start with just closing your eyes and taking one deep breath before you jump out of bed. I use this to consistently grow and make sure I’m putting 100% into the areas that matter most, and to maximize my natural energy oscillation cycles. A routine is extremely powerful and even the simplest routines can be life changing.
Week routine: Lucy and I meet on Sunday evenings to go over our week plans. We talk about our specific goals in health, education, mindfulness, relationships and our career. We’re essentially accountability pals to make sure we’re both putting in the right energy and work to live the lives we want.
I base my morning and evening routines off of the “Life SAVERS” approach.
S – Scribing: I write about what and whom I’m grateful for, how I’m feeling and what my intention is for the day. I use this time to make sure my purpose aligns with my day plan. This helps me explore how I can tap further into my purpose, and how I can be of value to others throughout the day.
A – Affirmation: Make believable positive affirmations in the present tense.
V – Visualization: Visualize the world you want to create as well as visualizing putting in the work to make it a reality.
E – Exercise: I was in Boston at MIT listening to a neuroscientist talking about managing your energy levels. She said that one of the best things you can do to kick-start your day is interval training. I also cycle everywhere, which is one lifestyle adjustment that I highly recommend.
R – Reading: Reading a book that doesn’t require you to retain specific information (non-business or overly stimulating) before bed is recommended, but I use this step to reflect over what I’ve committed on paper the day(s) before.
S – Silence: This can be meditation, prayer, breathing exercises or simply relaxing. Lucy and I use an app called Headspace for meditation. My go to in both the morning and at night is focused breathing.
Who are the most positive influences in your life?
Daniel: The people I spend the most amount of time with are my most positive influencers. My family (including Rem and my cousins) as well as Lucy’s family are both super inspiring and supportive. Recent mentors such as Meredith Powell from The Next Big Thing and Kevin Kirsten from No Limits Group/Entrepreneur Organizations have been super influential in my current endeavors. The former Harlem Globetrotter and False Creek Godfather, Mel Davis is someone who I have always had and always will look up to.
What is your favorite quote?
Daniel: “Win the day”
What is next for Daniel Dubois and ShareShed?
Daniel: To revolutionize habitual living.
Thank you Daniel for being a part of the Dynathrive Q&A. I know that your story and drive to pursue your multitude of goals will motivate others to do the same. I am grateful to have you as a close friend, and great influencer. All the best in your upcoming endeavors.
Daniel: Thank you brother! and thanks for having me.
Where can readers that want to learn more about you and ShareShed find you online?
For Daniel Dubois…