GORAN Srejic may be nicknamed “Tiny” but the co-founder of The Green Shed is ticking off some big goals, one of which is raising $1 million for charity.
He’s over half way there. The Green Shed’s co-founders or, as Tiny calls them, “the four musketeers”, which include couple Sandie Parkes and Charlie Bigg-Wither as well as Tiny’s wife Elaine Stanford and, of course, Tiny have raised more than $530,000.
Once a month on “Charity Day”, all proceeds from The Green Shed are collected and once $10,000 is raised it goes to a nominated charity.
“I don’t need my best friend or daughter to be dying from cancer to do the stuff I do, I have a policy: if you can, you should,” Tiny says.
But this is only one of many goals that Serbian-born Tiny, who says he has always been part of at least five businesses at a time, is ticking off.
Tiny’s family came to Canberra from Serbia when he was five, but it was working overseas as a young man amongst older workers where Tiny was given his nickname, which stuck in Australia because it was easier to pronounce than Goran.
Growing up in what he describes as an “unsupportive environment”, Tiny has spent the last 30 years mentoring people and giving as many as possible a hand.
“I have a scholarship where I have a few students stay with me for a year and I coach them on business and life,” he says.
“If you live through it you can understand it and don’t need to read a book about it.”
For Tiny, a training course run by a real estate company more than 30 years ago, was a big influence on his life.
“One of the teachers walked in and said: ‘By the age of 65, one of you [out of 20] will be wealthy, choose now’,” he says.
“So I looked around the classroom and thought: ‘I hope there will be two because I’m not the brightest’.”
During the course Tiny was told to write down his goals for the next 20 years, put the list in his bathroom and read them every day.
When Tiny shared his list with family and friends they laughed, but he kept reading his list every day and says he ticked all the goals off. Most of it was about doing something for someone else and a small part related to financial goals.
“Some of the goals were to be a good dad, a good husband, a good friend… make somebody’s day; every day make somebody laugh,” he says.
These days, among the other goals Tiny is planning to tick off soon is the construction of an amusement park in Serbia, Bora’s Labyrinth, which is aimed to provide Serbian families with an affordable holiday.
And, on a new adventure, The Green Shed has been producing a special one-hour television show of, what Tiny says is essentially “a day in the life of The Green Shed”.
The “special” – a “garage sale on steroids” – began filming after Tiny rang some mates, started a production company and then worked with crew who are famous for shows such as “MKR”, “Burke’s Backyard” and “Survivor”.
“The one-hour special will be offered to Netflix and a few other production companies,” he says.