Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 181. Blake Mycoskie started something that mattered to him. That something was TOMS. His title in the company: Chief Shoe Giver. The story is remarkable. I’m not going to lie, I’d never heard of him or his shoes until I stumbled on his book, Start Something That Matters. I read it at the end of 2011 when I was formulating my new venture and beginning to put together my business plan. In a nutshell, it’s ridiculously inspiring. He created a for-profit business that has a sustainable and large philanthropic aspect to it—and it’s a big fat financial success. He calls his business model, “One for One.” You buy a pair of his shoes and a pair is given to a child who is in need of shoes. Same with his book. With every book you purchase, a new book will be provided to a child in need. One for one. So simple. So incredible.
Whenever I finish a book, I immediately write a note on the inside jacket cover with the date, my thoughts on what I’ve just read and my signature. I started doing it several years ago because I tend to share a lot of books with my friends. Not only will they know what I thought but also, they’ll be reminded to give it back. It’s a win-win. On Start Something That Matters I wrote, “11-14-11, Okay, Blake, I’m doing it…I’m starting something that matters—at least to me—and that’s all I can promise. Brilliant! Inspiring! Motivational!” I recently pulled the book off my bookshelf because I’m about to loan it to Dear Friend. She’s on the brink of discovering exactly what she wants to create from what she has and it’s vitally important to her that it matters to her. The book is a perfect fit for where Dear Friend is at right now. I can’t wait for her to read it. Of course, it’s dawning on me that I should have gotten it to her before she left for Toronto. Oops. Sorry. But on the up side for me, now I have enough time to reread it!
The pages are dog-eared, lines are highlighted in yellow, and neon green post-it notes rise out from its edges. This book touched me. It influenced me. Especially in how I’m setting up the business model for my new venture. I haven’t officially launched yet so it will be good to revisit all of his principles before I move forward. On the inside flap of the book it reads:
LOVE YOUR WORK,
WORK FOR WHAT YOU LOVE,
and change the world—
ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
How could I not love this book? But what really sold me, as a natural born entrepreneur who loves creating businesses, was the concept of conscious capitalism. The inside cover flap goes on:
“What matters most to you? Should you focus on earning a living, pursuing your passions, or devoting yourself to the causes that inspire you? The surprising truth is that you don’t have to choose—and that you’ll find more success if you don’t…You can find profit, passion, and meaning all at once.”
What are you passionate about? What really matters to you? Figure it out. Create from it. Change the world.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…what matters most to you.