Start Something That Matters - Blake Mycoskie

Start Something That Matters - Blake Mycoskie

Discover how the combination of a social purpose and a good business model can make you reach the peak of success with your company.

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Have you ever imagined being the one who makes a big positive impact on the world through a profitable own business?

The author and owner of world-renowned TOMS footwear company Blake Mycoskie demonstrates that success can be made and you can still make a difference with your venture! All this through the 6 steps of its revolutionary business model.

The world needs more initiatives like this! If you also have this purpose, how about starting to be the professional behind social change?

About the book "Start Something That Matters"

The book was written by Blake Mycoskie and published in 2014 containing 192 pages. Being divided into 8 chapters, the author outlines the necessary directions for those who wish to unite their willingness to undertake and earn their income by working for a purpose that inspires them.

For each pair of TOMS shoes, or a copy of the work sold, another pair is donated to a child in need. In 2010, the company reached the goal of one million new donated shoes. By the way, this book was considered #1 New York Times bestseller.

About the author Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie is a renowned US entrepreneur with a vast number of businesses in which he was founder and/or co-founder, such as: Mycoskie Media, Reality Central, DriversEd Direct and TOMS Shoes.

He was third in the race for the The Amazing Race program award, receiving honors such as the ISPA Humanitarian Award (2013).

He currently owns TOMS Shoes, which had its work started in 2006.

To whom is this book indicated?

This work is indicated to every person who wants to put into practice that idea of entrepreneurship that can help someone's life.

Main ideas of the book "Start Something That Matters"

  • You do not need to have excellence in knowledge in the cause you want to undertake;
  • Being willing to face and learn from mistakes can be your best way to learn;
  • It is possible to unite personal, professional and philanthropic ambitions in one mission;
  • The success formula is not unique and unchangeable. It changes over time, so don't get stuck with past dogmas, update yourself;
  • Supporters of your company and your brand history outperform customers;
  • Be a leader who gives confidence;
  • Donation and concern for social causes are the key elements for the differentiation of your business.

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[Book Summary] Start Something That Matters - Blake Mycoskie

Overview: "Find Your Story"

Going after your story and having it behind your business is one of the most important lessons brought by Blake Mycoskie.

At the age 29, the author was in his fourth startup venture when he went on a well-deserved vacation in Argentina. By chance (or not), he met the representative of an NGO who donated shoes to needy children. By walking constantly barefoot, they were more likely to get disease and bruise on the soles of their feet.

Recognizing a scenario of poverty and sensitized by this reality, decided to think of solutions to change this context. But how to put this plan into practice? He would not want to momentarily help communities, but rather to have a steady flow of giving.

Blake sought to unite a strong Argentine market niche to commercialize in the United States (espadrilles shoes) with the One for One concept (for each pair sold, another will be for a needy child).

Even though he had never worked in the shoe business, he decided to embark on that purpose.

What is your story?

"A good story transcends borders, breaks down barriers and opens doors," says the author.

Great stories have the function of connecting people. As evidenced by a study by Carnegie Mellon University, in 2009, the key to making your product memorable is not the facts, but the compelling stories.

Today's market is filled with consumers who want to align with company principles and support the causes that address them. Supporters always outnumber customers!

So the book "Start Something That Matters" advises to try to search your history, your affinities, which makes you have passion. Reflect on your dream as this will be the centerpiece of your story.

Whenever you have the opportunity, tell your story and seek partners to build it with you.

Overview: "Face Your Fears"

Fear can be a big hindrance to those who want to start their activities. Several factors provide this feeling, as: fear of not working, financial loss, being frustrated as a professional.

Blake Mycoskie exemplifies overcoming fear with the "Butter Hunters" cookbook, written by Pam. It had problems with an initial publisher, leading to high financial debt.

After borrowing her second loan from the bank, she again tried to publish her book and was able to close a deal. This led to the sale of about one million four hundred thousand copies.

Pam's story of inspiring others to eat better and healthier was the driving force to keep them from losing hope.

Fear is a feeling that will be present with us for the rest of our lives, so knowing how to identify it and get around it is the best way to keep it from making you fall into self-sabotage.

Do not wait for the right moment!

In most successful endeavors, their leaders have gone through countless difficulties, ranging from rejections to bankruptcies. However, they did not let that deter them.

"What distinguishes ultimate successes from ultimate failures is the answer: what do you do with them?"

Don't focus on fear, focus on your actions! Reaction to the feeling of fear may be the main factor in achieving or not achieving your goals. Try to be comfortable with fear so you can have more confidence in situations that cause insecurity.

"No matter what happens: if you win, lose or draw, never forget that life goes on!"

Know that we all make mistakes, and there is always a chance to recover. Do not worry about what others will think and try to not keep toxic people around who demotivate your initiatives.

The big secret of a good idea will always be in the execution and not just in the idea itself.

Overview: "Be resourceful without resources"

You do not need to have the capital you deem necessary to meet all the initial demands of your business. Many times we want to raise the status of the business without thinking that small steps are needed to achieve big journeys in the future.

Do not think that TOMS started its activities in a large office in New York, with a beautiful view of Central Park. On the contrary, just as Mark Zuckerberg co-created Facebook in his university housing, Blake started TOMS activities in his small apartment.

The author shared it with two other people, using the shoe storage rooms and the kitchen as an office for meetings with his clients.

Lack of financial resources should not be a factor that hinders the creation of your company. You learn to solve problems creatively and to not waste money!

Big business failures have come from business that started with a lot of money, such as Pets. com, Webvan. com, eToys, and more. While companies like Google and Microsoft are examples of startups that started very economically.

We realize, therefore, that it is not enough just having money, it is necessary to know how to invest it in the right investments, not to exceed, learn to articulate with few resources and use smart strategies.

Enjoy what you have!

The book "Start Something That Matters" says to use free social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more to make your customers interact with your brand. Seek to explore alternative meeting places like your own home or garage. Be creative!

Make a good impression! Investing in business cards is a cheap and effective option to demonstrate professionalism.

Overview: "Keep it simple"

"Keep it simple. Do one thing and do it the best you can!"

Simplicity used wisely can bring unmatched profitability to your business.

The simple design of Apple products, such as the iPod, was fundamental in demonstrating the distinction of this music player. It could be more expensive compared to other similar ones, but the ease of use has made the object practical and uncomplicated to use.

"All you really need is a website, business cards, and a place to work."

Have as little as you can carry so you don't get distracted by superfluous things. And that includes technologies; give yourself a break from social media, disconnect at least on the weekend.

Overview: "Build Trust"

Building trusting relationships must be essential not only in the employer and employee relationship, but between the employees themselves, with customers as well as suppliers.

Inner trust

It is your responsibility as a leader to influence those around you to motivate and stimulate their potential. Great leaders know that empowering your team is the fastest way to succeed in your business performance.

Thinking horizontally can be a great factor for great ideas to circulate in the business environment. Important contributions can come from any level of employees.

Rather than addressing these power-based relationships, the concept of servant leadership arises to work on concepts such as empathy, commitment, listening skills to assist in the authority of leadership.

External trust

The role of the leader is not just inside the company, it is also necessary to gain trust outside the company. When you lose the trust of those involved in the organization, you lose everything!

Think, for example, about how you could help a customer in a way no other venture would? Nordstrom has a consolidated policy of autonomy and trust among its employees. When a customer forgot a plane ticket at the brand establishment, the employee left her job and went to the airport to personally return the ticket to the customer.

Actions like this, or ways to make customers see your business as something consolidated and reliable, is essential for them to invest in your products for the rest of their lives.

Overview: "Donating is a good deal"

"If you incorporate giving into your business and your life, you will see more returns and rewards than you ever imagined."

The book "Start Something That Matters" points out that you can support yourself through your own business and, through donations, help people who really need attention.

The donation brings a new image to your company. People are sensitive to the cause you believe in by becoming supporters and spreading the ideals. Plus, you still have effective participation in a positive change in someone's life in the world!

This wave of achievements also hits its trading partners. Large corporations seek to join other companies that embrace certain social causes.

What do other authors say about it?

In "Everybody Matters", the authors Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia say that contributors should be encouraged to innovate and try new things, even if they fail. This makes them realize that managers have full confidence in their potential and their work. In the book, this practice is called "responsible freedom."

Since fear can prevent us from accomplishing what we want, Mel Robbins, in his work "The 5 Second Rule" says that courage is not only necessary for great acts. We often need it on a daily basis for basic functions.

Finally, in "Grinding It Out" Ray Kroc, one of the founders of McDonald's says to find our differential. Do not be overwhelmed by a mistake that will give you up on your dream. Even the most successful people have overcome many failures that are part of the path to success.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

According to Blake Mycoskie, the most important step of all is to start something!

There is no right formula for achieving absolute success for your business, but you can draw practical action through the teachings presented here, such as:

  • "What's the story that motivates you?" Think and research the stories behind the companies you consume the most and see which ones identify you the most;
  • "If you had no money, what would you work for or do with your time?" Answering this question can help you find your story;
  • "What would you simplify in a product you like?" This way you can stimulate your creativity to analyze products and think of more effective and practical ways to use them;
  • "If the product you like turns out to be part of your donation profit, how would you feel?" A positive, self-satisfied feeling may be the initial factor in wanting to bring that feeling to your business.

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Also, if you were interested in knowing all the details of this work, the complete edition is available for purchase by clicking on the image below:

Book 'Start Something That Matters'