Dr. Menahem David Smadja is a well-known author, economist and religious scholar. Dr. Smadja has spent 35 years studying economics and its impact and influence in the religious world. He has been able to observe the behavior of people on a daily basis, about their spiritual and material response to the problems of everyday life as well as to extraordinary problems and stresses.
This socioeconomic and microeconomic foundation has allowed Dr. Menahem David Smadja to develop macroeconomic solutions to helping manage the most significant challenges of this 21st century. His most recent scholarship brings together social, economic, ecological and theological dimensions to address the pressing issue of global warming.
How did you get started?
In 1989, I started advising companies in China, governments in Africa and around the world.
What inspires you?
I want to help put into place simple, non-revolutionary ideas, existing since the beginning of time, that allow humanity to share wealth through social entrepreneurship. Moving from individualism to multi-participation. Events of the past century, both at the industrial and technological level, have compelled human beings to change their behavior towards themselves and others.
We find ourselves in a never-ending race to go faster and faster and this makes us forget essential things, such as loving others and ourselves. We have also forgotten our responsibilities as caretakers and stewards for the environment. The result has been a global ecological disaster.
How do you make money?
I make money as a consultant, through book sales and lectures. I am also a university professor in China.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took about two years for my consulting business to become profitable.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I really did not have any doubt. The ideas I have been writing and talking about have withstood the test of time. I have established strong relationships in China over the years and China has shown remarkable growth for more than 25 years.
How did you get your first customer?
My first client came to me after he read my financial report analyzing the stock market crisis of October 1987.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Take the time to understand who you are talking to, his or her origin, education, ambitions and the country he came from. I respect the famous saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I often have to make difficult investing decisions, such as what, where and how much to invest, so I would have to say these are the toughest decisions I have to make.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Faith in the future, faith in G-D and faith in people, and believing that everything is possible.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My appointment as international advisor of a Chinese government organization.
What does the future hold for your business?
My focus has expanded to Africa and I truly believe that Africa will be the China of tomorrow.
What are you most excited about?
My recent research has centered on how the concept of the Sabbath or day of rest can be applied to address the climate change crisis. In brief summary, my proposal calls for an international day of rest comprising of approximately 53 days per year and an additional 15 days off where both individuals and industry would refrain from all creative, manufacturing and productive activity. These 70 days, representing approximately 20% of the year, would help achieve the shared goal outlined in the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) of a 20% reduction of pollution globally by 2050.