Matt Brown is Small Nation’s Vice President of Development, overseeing the identification and management of the company’s commercial and residential properties. He leads the maintenance, new construction and administrative teams, and guides Small Nation’s small business entrepreneurs throughout their growth process.

Matt is a numbers guy and a born organizer, but he believes his key role in his position is to help people become more self-aware about their aspirations for being an entrepreneur so they are prepared for the challenges they’re going to face. Part of his job at Small Nation is to be a sounding board and “therapist” for small business entrepreneurs, helping hem overcome challenges and them find solutions to their problems. Many times aspiring or young entrepreneurs just don’t know what steps to take in what order, or, what questions to ask about what NOT to do as a small business owner. He helps help paint the big picture and coaches them through those hurdles.

Matt joined Jason and the Small Nation team in 2012 after graduating from Ohio Northern University with a BSBA in Management and career starting jobs in insurance sales and hospitality operations. Since that time he has been instrumental in helping over 50 small business owners find their ideal location, walked them through a renovation process, and helped support them emotionally as they took huge risks. Matt’s favorite part of the job is sharing lessons and advice that help small business owners succeed.

In addition to his role with Small Nation, Matt is a small business entrepreneur himself. He founded Ada Ohio Properties, Ltd. in 2013, which provides multi-unit off campus living experiences for Ohio Northern University students. Matt’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is Iron City Sports Bar, a 150 seat local restaurant that filled a gap in Bellefontaine’s restaurant scene. Iron City was a concept created from scratch, branded and promoted through the Small Nation “Hustle Hard” approach. The restaurant became profitable in the first 10 months of operation.

Matt is a published author of an Insurance industry sales and marketing book, a member of the Downtown Bellefontaine Partnership, and a member of the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance Board of Directors.

Matt lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio with his four active young sons: Jackson, Aidin, Collin and Nathan.

In Matt’s words:

What was your first job?

I had a lawn care mowing business at age 10. Grew it to 24 accounts by age 16. I used other people’s mowers so I didn’t have to purchase trailer/gas/etc. Rode my bike to most all accounts. Had to learn about scheduling jobs, negotiating price, and making lawns look good so the customer was happy – little things like sweeping sidewalks and driveways when you’re done.

What motivates you? Why do you get up every day to do this kind of work?

Because of the legacy I’m building for myself and family. One day my sons will be proud of the work I did and how I contributed to the success of not only the Small Nation team but communities I serve as well.

In a sentence or two, how would you articulate the professional legacy you want to leave? What kind of contribution and impact do you want to make in the world?

I’m highly motivated to create major impact in the communities I work in and the lives I have an opportunity to touch either directly or indirectly. The legacy I leave behind is the most important thing to me, it’s more important to me than immediate currency or wealth. By focusing on that it allows me to be patient, think about outcomes differently, and make decisions not based on short term gain. If I have motivated and impacted just one young person’s choice to stay in their local community and take risks that lead to a better community for their children, then that’s the ultimate goal. I can only hope that people who are open to changing the way they think about their life and how they can impact their community will be motivated after hearing my story or seeing me in action. Then they will be willing to take their own risks and make an impact too.