This is essentially my "Part 2" of the review for Blake Mycoskie's Start Something That Matters book I just finished reading. The first review was my thoughts on the book itself (which I loved, and seriously I recommend you get it and read it!) , this is going to focus more on the impact the book has had on me, and the way in which I plan on working towards starting my own something that matters.
But first, a little background...
I have been in my career field for around 7-8 years now, I have known that I want to be doing exactly what I have been doing since I was 15 and my uncle painted a gloriously magnificent picture in my mind of what Communications/PR/Advertising (and business) looks like... exciting, energetic, fast paced, hard, challenging.. and mostly just different and adventurous all the time. So, almost 13 years ago I settled on this as my path. All throughout college I knew what I wanted to do, I got a degree and worked in my field throughout college, graduated and jumped right into my field and have been in this field of study ever since... A little over a year ago I felt like I was supposed to go back to school (*tears*), so I have been pursuing a double masters in Business Administration and MS in Leadership.
I have worked in jobs that I loved, hated, was apathetic about, or incredibly passionate about. However, I have always loved helping those who have small businesses or new businesses understand things about communications, marketing, PR, advertising etc.. It has always struck me as sad and frustrating because they typically do the best they can, but there is no way new and small businesses can afford graphic designers, communications people, web designers, etc.. So, I love helping them where I can with whatever I can or at the very least directing them to the friends I have in the particular area they need help in. Essentially I have been doing some form of consulting for five or so years now.
So, while reading Start Something That Matters, I began thinking, why am I not actually pursuing consulting?.. I love it. I love everything about consulting... It is different every day, I get to help people with my skills, I get to network, I get to learn, I get to give business to my friends who are in various different fields.. but mostly, I love the fact that I get to help new or small businesses succeed, which makes a huge difference in the lives of the employees and their families.. The trickle down effect is astronomical!
One of the things that struck me the most about Blake and his approach to business and the philosophy's behind TOMS is how much he truly mixed profit and social responsibility. However, the social responsibility is really what sets the business side apart and makes it successful. The loyalty that is built when a business makes social responsibility one of the main goals is amazing to read in his book, and confirmed for me that everyone wants both of those things, to do something that has a greater purpose and provides/pays the bills. So, due to this, and the fact that I 100% agree with this in my own life and my own desires, the first 10% of income will go to organizations of the "clients" choosing (even before bills are paid).
So, my new business will look something like this... You are a new/small business, you are struggling, need help with a website, advertising, etc.. but you're working on an extremely tight budget. You would hire me to create a package that works for your needs.. after we have spent a decent amount of time building our relationship, my understanding of the needs and goals, I would coordinate with the various professionals (who all have businesses of their own) to help with the specifics needs of your package (web design, graphic design, photographer, videographer etc..) and you would then pick the ones with the styles that match your own tastes... We would work out the payment plan/options, and you would pick which charity you want your 10% going to (everyone has favorites)... but I would of course have a list of my favorites to choose from just in case (because I know so many people who work for amazing charity's as well). Then, I would commence to working to help your business succeed.
My something that matters is helping new and small businesses succeed whether by consulting for them or with them, while also supporting charities that make a difference.
This is a slow process to get this started and going, but I am pumped... Especially since I can start and grow this slowly while I am still working full time and getting my double masters (oye vey.. clearly I don't have enough to do). But, I now have a purpose behind the double masters and the things I am learning working for a national organization, all of these skills will be vitally important later.
Currently I am working on finding a name that captures my idea (feel free to send me any ideas you have), then getting the business squared away both legally, identity wise, and the look and feel of what I am doing (I cannot start a business claiming to help others without first following my own advice and getting websites and things)... Then (and until then) I will also be working on building my network of experts and professionals to partner with me (let me know if you're interested in partnering with me and joining my network). And of course, lots of prayer will be taking place in the next while for this whole thing.
Should be exciting!