Thursday, January 10, 2013

Change the World - Start Something That Matters

TOMS Shoes
TOMS Shoes (Photo: Wikipedia)
by Sandi L Gordon

My tagline is Work Happy, Love Happy, and Change the World.

One of the people who has inspired me to change the world is Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes.

I heard Blake speak at Willow Creek Community Church a couple of years ago, and was truly motivated to change how I do business.

Ahhh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. You may or may not have heard of TOMS Shoes. TOMS is a for-profit company that has a non-profit subsidiary, Friends of Toms. What makes TOMS so cool?

They have developed (and copyrighted) the One-For-One philosophy. For every pair of shoes they sell, they give one away to a child truly in need. TOMS has also expanded into eyeglasses, using the same One-For-One philosophy.

They have provided brand new, free shoes to kids all over the world (40 countries from Argentina and Haiti to right here in the US). They also have provided needed eye surgery that helps save and restore sight.

As a business model, TOMS is unique - the One-For-One social responsibility message is their main marketing. It is clear that I am not the only one inspired by this - TOMS are now sold in stores like Nordstrom and even Whole Foods Market.

TOMS has also been really creative with their marketing, participating in fashion shows, social media, university campus, and churches (non-denominational).

So how did Blake inspire me to change the world? I not only bought shoes after his talk, but I bought his book, "Start Something That Matters." 100% of the profits from the book go to a foundation that helps launch ideas of entrepreneurs and students.

"My goal is to inspire others to go out and make a positive impact, to start something that matters to them," Mycoskie said. "In my book, I felt a deep sense of responsibility to share everything that we've learned at TOMS over the past five years, so that others can learn from both our mistakes and our successes, and go out and chart their own course - Blake Mycoskie.

In his book, Mycoskie talked about social entrepreneurs like Tony Hseih, founder of Zappos; Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water; Lauren Bush, founder of FEED Projects; Eric Ryan, co-founder of method; and Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, building sustainable and socially conscious businesses from their own passions. In keeping with the One-For-One model, for every book sold, a new book is provided to a child in need.

As soon as I read the book, I decided that I was starting something that matters. Although I've been a business and lifestyle coach for 10 years, I developed a new business model to include giving 25% of my business proceeds to non-profit organizations that help people help themselves.

Five that are near and dear to my heart are Kiva, SavetheChildren, CharityWater,,, and my local church.

There are lots of ways to change the world - all it takes is starting something that matters.

Sandi Gordon is a lifestyle balance expert who galvanizes countless people to work happy, love happy, and change the world (even with insanely busy lives). She reaches readers internationally with her e-newsletter, and teaches people to make money, build super-strong relationships, and make a difference through her energetic training programs.

Through Sandi's "Change the World Effortlessly™" initiative, each product purchased gives back to a non-profit that helps people help themselves. Visit for more of Sandi's tips and tricks for building a life you love.

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