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Entrepreneurship Gems from ‘TOMS’ story

Entrepreneurship Gems from ‘TOMS’ story

Am I right?

You’ve either used, seen or heard of TOMS shoes.

And if you are asked to describe them in a few words, you will use terms like –  simple, trendy, comfortable. What you may not know much about is their journey – beginning from something simple and humble to a great worldwide movement.

If this is your first time of reading about TOMS, well… here’s your opportunity to learn about their story from ‘idea stage’ to ‘worldwide impact’.

Below is review of a book on the TOMS journey authored by the founder himself.

Read on…

Book title: Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie. Published by Spigel & Grau, 2011. I read the hardcover version and its just under 200 pages.

The book has eight chapters which aims to inspire readers to start their OWN something that matters. 50% of the proceeds will go towards supporting deserving readers through the Start something that matters fund.

The founder, Blake Mycoskie, was into his fourth entrepreneurial start-up before the idea of TOMS evolved. (It was during a time-off from work to Argentina). Seeing poor children shoe less with all the resulting effects; blisters, sores, infections – struck a chord in him.

He saw a problem and decided to seek solutions through business, rather than use the typical charity route.

TOMS as he explained is about a promise – ‘a better tomorrow’, hence the name. His innovation was based on the Argentinian national shoe: Alpargata. He worked on tweaking the design, materials and a few parts like the sole.

The story detailed within the book is interspersed with images, journal entries, interviews and other relevant tips, advice and reflections. There are also stories and advice from other entrepreneurs who are doing something that matters.

He discusses 6 elements you can use to start and sustain something that matters to you and the world. He describes how he utilises these principles in his own life.

Its interesting how he merged fulfillment in business and life while on his mission. He went against all odds and created a new business model for bringing about wealth, fulfillment and having such great impact on the world at the same time. Its simply coined as one for one; for every TOM shoe you buy, one is given away to a child in need.

This is social entrepreneurship at its best – its all about G.I.V.I.N.G.

The tone of the book, font and interior design is casual, friendly and story like.  I have read the book twice, I’m still taking down  notes and intend to recommend a few ideas to team members.

Read the book if you want to ‘make a difference in business and make a business out of making a difference’ (Blake Mycoskie).

Some entrepreneurship gems (embedded in quotes)

”TOMS is more than a product, but rather part of a story, mission and movement anyone can join.” (page 19)

”Customers and employees come and go. Supporters are with you for the long haul.” (page 32)

”Becoming comfortable with fear, and acting confidently in its face, will not only give you more courage when facing it next time but also greatly increase your chances of achieving success and happiness”. (page 53)

”Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you… If its important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.” (page 66)

”You don’t have to start a business or big initiative right away – you can just begin by changing your mindset. Commit to seeing the world through the lens of how you can initiate meaningful change.” page 167

”Even if you are not going to start a company that matters, you can still start something small that can be built into something that matters in a big way.” (page 167)

Ready to start something that matters? Grab your copy and dig in. Its just like a mentor talking to YOU.

You can read more entrepreneurship gems from the Google story.

Have you found your passion? If yes, how are you using it to make a difference? If not, are you inspired to make some meaningful change or start something that matters?

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