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Lincoln Wright
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The Story and Lessons of Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie: A Guide for Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs



Start Something That Matters: A Book Review




Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business that makes a difference in the world? Do you want to learn from someone who has done it successfully and shares his insights and advice? If so, you might want to read Start Something That Matters, a book by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes.




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In this book, Blake Mycoskie tells his personal story of how he started TOMS Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. He also shares his six principles for starting something that matters, which are based on his own experience and lessons learned from other social entrepreneurs. These principles are designed to help anyone who wants to start a business that combines passion, purpose, and profit.


In this article, we will summarize the main points and lessons of the book, analyze how it relates to the current social and business environment, and provide some tips on how to apply its principles to your own endeavors. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a social activist, or a curious reader, we hope this article will inspire you to start something that matters.


The Story of TOMS Shoes




Blake Mycoskie's journey as a social entrepreneur began in 2006, when he visited Argentina as a contestant on The Amazing Race. He noticed that many children in rural areas did not have shoes, which exposed them to health risks and prevented them from attending school. He also learned about a traditional Argentine shoe called alpargata, which was comfortable, durable, and affordable.


He decided to start a shoe company that would sell alpargatas in the US market and donate a pair to a child in need for every pair sold. He named his company TOMS Shoes, which stands for Tomorrow's Shoes. He had no experience in the shoe industry, but he had a clear vision and a compelling story.


He faced many challenges and obstacles along the way, such as finding suppliers, distributors, retailers, and customers. He also had to deal with skeptics, critics, and competitors. But he also found many opportunities and supporters who helped him grow his business and expand his impact.


Today, TOMS Shoes has donated over 100 million pairs of shoes to children in more than 70 countries. It has also launched other products and initiatives that follow the same one-for-one model, such as eyewear, coffee, bags, and books. It has become one of the most recognized and respected social enterprises in the world.


The Six Principles of Starting Something That Matters




In his book, Blake Mycoskie shares his six principles for starting something that matters, which are based on his own experience and lessons learned from other social entrepreneurs. These principles are not rules or formulas, but rather guidelines and suggestions that can help anyone who wants to start a business that combines passion, purpose, and profit. Here are the six principles and what they mean:


Find Your Story




The first principle is to find your story, which means to discover your passion and purpose and tell your story to others. Blake Mycoskie found his story when he saw the need for shoes in Argentina and decided to do something about it. He also found a way to tell his story in a simple and compelling way, which attracted customers, partners, and media attention.


To find your story, you need to ask yourself some questions, such as: What are you passionate about? What are the problems that you want to solve? What are the opportunities that you see? What are the values that you stand for? What are the skills and talents that you have? What are the experiences that shaped you?


Once you find your story, you need to tell it to others in a way that resonates with them and inspires them to join your cause. You can use different channels and formats, such as websites, blogs, social media, videos, podcasts, books, speeches, etc. The key is to be authentic, honest, and transparent.


Face Your Fears




The second principle is to face your fears, which means to overcome fear and doubt and take action on your ideas. Blake Mycoskie faced his fears when he decided to start TOMS Shoes without any experience or expertise in the shoe industry. He also faced his fears when he faced challenges and setbacks along the way.


To face your fears, you need to acknowledge them and understand where they come from. You also need to challenge them and replace them with positive thoughts and beliefs. You need to take small steps and celebrate your progress. You need to seek feedback and learn from your mistakes. You need to surround yourself with supportive people who encourage you and help you.


Be Resourceful Without Resources




The third principle is to be resourceful without resources, which means to use creativity and innovation to solve problems and make things happen. Blake Mycoskie was resourceful without resources when he started TOMS Shoes with a limited budget and a small team. He also was resourceful without resources when he found creative ways to market his products and reach new customers.


To be resourceful without resources, you need to think outside the box and look for opportunities in every situation. You also need to leverage your existing assets and network, such as your skills, knowledge, contacts, etc. You need to collaborate with others who share your vision and values. You need to experiment with different ideas and test them quickly and cheaply.


Keep It Simple




The fourth principle is to keep it simple, which means to focus on the essentials and avoid complexity and distraction. Blake Mycoskie kept it simple when he designed his products based on a simple shoe model that was easy to produce and sell. He also kept it simple when he communicated his message based on a simple concept of one-for-one.


To keep it simple, you need to define your core value proposition and stick to it. You also need to prioritize your goals and activities and eliminate anything that is not aligned with them. You need to simplify your processes and systems and automate or outsource anything that is not your core competency. You need to communicate clearly and concisely with your audience and stakeholders.


Build Trust




The fifth principle is to build trust, which means to establish credibility and trust with your customers, partners, and stakeholders. Blake Mycoskie built trust when he delivered on his promise of donating shoes for every pair sold. He also built trust when he shared his story and his impact with transparency and authenticity.


To build trust, you need to be consistent in your actions and words. You also need to be reliable in delivering quality products or services that meet or exceed expectations. You need to be responsive in listening to feedback and addressing issues or concerns. You need to be respectful in treating everyone with dignity and fairness.


Giving Is Good Business




The sixth principle is giving is good business, which means creating a positive social impact ```html proved that giving is good business when he inspired other entrepreneurs and companies to adopt the one-for-one model or similar social missions.


To make giving good business, you need to align your social impact with your business model and value proposition. You also need to measure and communicate your impact in a clear and credible way. You need to engage your customers and stakeholders in your social mission and make them feel part of it. You need to innovate and scale your impact as you grow your business.


Conclusion




Start Something That Matters is a book that offers valuable insights and advice for anyone who wants to start a business that makes a difference in the world. It tells the story of Blake Mycoskie and how he started TOMS Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. It also shares his six principles for starting something that matters, which are: find your story, face your fears, be resourceful without resources, keep it simple, build trust, and giving is good business.


This book is not only informative and inspiring, but also practical and actionable. It provides examples and tips on how to apply its principles to your own endeavors. It also encourages you to take action and start something that matters today.


If you are interested in reading this book, you can download it as an epub file from this link: Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie. You can also visit the TOMS Shoes website to learn more about their products and impact: TOMS Shoes.


We hope this article has given you a brief overview of the book and its main points and lessons. We also hope it has motivated you to start something that matters in your own way. Remember, as Blake Mycoskie says in his book: "The most important thing is just to start."


FAQs




  • Q: Who is Blake Mycoskie?



  • A: Blake Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. He is also the author of Start Something That Matters, a book that shares his story and his six principles for starting a social enterprise.



  • Q: What is TOMS Shoes?



  • A: TOMS Shoes is a company that sells shoes based on a traditional Argentine shoe called alpargata. For every pair sold, it donates a pair to a child in need in more than 70 countries. It also sells other products and initiatives that follow the same one-for-one model, such as eyewear, coffee, bags, and books.



  • Q: What are the six principles of starting something that matters?



  • A: The six principles of starting something that matters are: find your story, face your fears, be resourceful without resources, keep it simple, build trust, and giving is good business. These principles are based on Blake Mycoskie's experience and lessons learned from other social entrepreneurs.



  • Q: How can I apply these principles to my own endeavors?



  • A: You can apply these principles to your own endeavors by asking yourself some questions, such as: What are you passionate about? What are the problems that you want to solve? What are the opportunities that you see? How can you overcome fear and doubt? How can you use creativity and innovation? How can you focus on the essentials? How can you establish credibility and trust? How can you create a positive social impact and generate profit?



  • Q: Where can I find more information about this book and its author?



  • A: You can find more information about this book and its author by visiting these links: Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie's website.



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