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Start Something That Matters – Being Inspired by TOMS One for One Business Model

I am one of those people that looks for inspiration on a daily basis.  Both Brenda and I just kind of wake up each day and say “what can we create today.”  It hasn’t always been that way.  I think maturity and following your passion naturally lends itself to making you a BETTER you.  And let’s not forget how important it is to have that special someone in your life that just gets you and allows you to be the best you.  We have gotten this far because neither of us said no.  Neither one of us woke up one day and said “this is crazy and I want my old life.”

This leads me to the post and starting something that matters.  While in Birmingham, AL I went to the bookstore with my dad.  That’s one of the things we do when we reunite.  We both walked over to the new release section and went about searching for that next great read.  It’s great to buy and read books online but there’s nothing like walking into the bookstore with your pops and picking up a book – doing this together.  What will this new read have to offer?  So on this particular day I saw Blake Mycoskie’s book “Start Something That Matters.”  Blake is the founder of TOMS shoes whose purpose is super simple – for every pair of shoes they sell they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.  As Blake puts it “there will be no percentages and no formulas.”  The name comes from Shoes For Tomorrow, TOMS.

We think this concept is brilliant.  At the core of his for-profit business model is the concept and promise of giving.  Blake’s enthusiasm and drive is infectious.  I don’t actually own a pair of TOMS but I will soon.  It matters where we put our dollars and it feels great to know that the simple act of buying a pair of shoes can help a child in need.  I think this human connection and commitment to taking care of each other is the driving force for TOMS success.

Brenda and I are coming up to our one year anniversary of living full-time in the Airstream.  We have traveled over 11,500 miles, all the while sharing and educating about simple, green living.  We have talked with thousands of people and had many open houses.  We now want to take our vision to the next level.  We want to start something that matters and incorporate a similar one for one type of model.  We aren’t sure where this will lead us – for profit vs. non profit, grant writing, partnering with schools/farms, some sort of Kickstarter funding to get us going, etc.  We do know that giving will be at the core.  Too often businesses put giving on the back burner, as a secondary thought or they feel obligated to give something to someone, anyone so they look good.  We will not be those people.  As a community, country and world we can’t afford to be those people.  The old business model can simply stay that… an OLD business model.  We want to be movers and shakers, be a part of a better tomorrow and be active creators of that tomorrow.

OK enough of the soap box.  But you get the idea.  We can have a successful project, educate others AND give back all at the same time.  More to come.

PS – We welcome ideas, suggestions, your success stories, etc.  Just reach out 🙂

6 Comments

  1. I have mixed feelings about TOMS. I was *about* to buy my first pair when I heard about their founder speaking at a Focus on the Family event, and even though he released a statement claiming not to know the full extent of their beliefs, I’ve kind of lost interest in supporting them.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-nereo/progayantitoms_b_893433.html

    Love your enthusiasm though!

    • Hi Leigh –

      Thanks for writing. I didn’t know this story. I did some research and checked out Mycoskie’s response on change.org. Here’s the link.

      I do love the one for one concept and of course support equal rights for all!!!! I am interested to see how this plays out for TOMS and Blake.

  2. Cece, this is off-topic but you mentioned a wifi service that you used with unlimited data. could you send me a link or name for that company.
    Frank DiBona

    • Hi Frank – no worries about placement of your ??? The internet reseller is Millenicom – http://www.millenicom.com – and they have a Sprint and Verizon internet service. We started with the Sprint service – unlimited for $70/month but the coverage wasn’t adequate. We switched over to the Verizon plan – you buy the USB stick (or provide your own) and then pay an activation fee and $60/month for 20GB. We have used the Verizon plan for 3 months and through 8 states and the service has been good.

  3. Hello! My husband and I are part of a master mind group, consisting of 4 couples, in the process of reading and discussing Blake’s book. Our goal is to come up with a way to “start something that matters” with the one to one model in mind. On a different note, my husband and I recently came upon Tiny Homes designs. We were looking for home design websites so we could start designing a home of our own and absolutely love the idea of a tiny home. We currently live in a 3 bedroom home which is approximately 1200 sq ft. We have started preparing for our tiny home by getting rid of clutter and letting go of all te things we simply don’t need. I’m curious to know if you have decided on a Tiny Home design and what the deciding factors were for you.

  4. Hi Jasmin – thanks so much for writing. Yes the one to one model is a great foundation to build a life, business, etc. I loved reading the book. Our tiny house is 500 sf and is over a 100 years old. We are going to do an entire interior remodel and remove some interior walls, open the floor plan and update the materials and feel of the place, not to mention bring the efficiency up to our standards. We are currently working with an architect to design a new floor plan and we haven’t finished with that just yet…. but soon. We will post a blog on the design once we have decided. Good luck with your plans!

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