Each of us has a way of seeing and way of being that determines the size of our aspirations, our goals, and options. Many people who aspire to “the good life,” which includes being a part of the world’s rapidly expanding middle class, see only a handful of options open to them.
One aspiration might be to get a job in a Global 1000 corporation that pays a hefty salary and bonus with retirement plan, another might be to become part of a Silicon Valley, VC-funded start-up with an exit strategy that allows you to cash out at 30-something. Then there are the tradespeople, Joe the Plumber, and what not.
Blake Mycoskie, a 30 something entrepreneur and NYT best selling author, has written a book that reveals an option to leading the good life that most of us never think about. His book is called, Start Something that Matters, and it is catching on like wildfire. You see people reading this book everywhere–on the airplane, at the beach, in the office.
Blake took a t trip to Argentina at 29, where he met a woman from a charitable foundation who was giving away shoes to poor children. Blake’s entrepreneurial zeal was sparked. Why not turn this into a business that provided kids with shoes on an ongoing basis, not just when someone wanted to give a donation.
Thus was born Toms Shoes, short for “Tomorrow’s Shoes.” Buy one pair of the company’s alpargatas or another of its styles and Toms gives a pair of shoes to a poor child somewhere in the world. Last year the company reported that with the help of charities and other groups, its giveaways had passed the million-pair mark. It’s a good example of create a cause, not just a business.
Blake suggests 6 tips for anyone wanting to “Do well, by doing good.” 1) Find your story, 2) face your fears, 3) be resourceful without resources, 4) keep it simple–products and services, 5) build trust with employees and customers, 6) and realize that giving is good business.
Said one reader I know who read this book, “I have been working for decades to get rich. Yet I always had a vague intuitive feeling that something was missing. Now I know what it is. I am no longer eager to just get rich. I am eager to matter.”