For quite awhile now, I’ve been pretty darn focused on getting the Evolved Enterprise book finished. After the first week out we’ve gotten all sorts of support, kindness, shares/likes and continued positive feedback.
This book has been a long time in the making and something that I’m extremely proud of. It’s great to see the message resonating with so many people. It’s also nice to get some media attention with Entrepreneur.com & Forbes.com.
“Businesses Who Ignore This Trend Will Be On Life Support In 4-7 Years…”
(Thanks to Maverick1000 member Garrett Gunderson for getting this story out!)
Entrepreneur.com – Evolved Enterprise Listed as #1 of “4 New Books That Can Change Your Entrepreneurial Life”
And coincidentally (or maybe not) BBC just posted a new article that features me along with a few fellow Mavericks. It discusses what motivates entrepreneurs, like us, to take chances and put so much on the line. It’s a quick read. http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20151028-meet-the-millionaire-daredevils
I figured this newsletter would be a good place to share a preview chapter from Evolved Enterprise with you.
The big idea behind this book is the concept that business can become one of the biggest levers for good—which in turn, is good for one’s business.
This is so much more than making a donation or “giving back.” There is a deep inner connectedness between what brings you joy and happiness, how you create impact, and where profits come from.
Evolved Enterprise Diagram
Let’s take a look at each section of the Evolved Enterprise™, and then we’ll explore it in more detail as we go.
The core is really about your personal evolution (YOU). The better you get at knowing yourself and what truly makes you happy and feel fully utilized and contributing in a meaningful way, the more you’ll be delivering your greatest work. Business can really reflect your true essence and your true calling of who you actually are.
And what makes this most interesting is it’s not a linear progression of working on yourself first and then working on the other pieces. It’s not a 1-2-3 process. It’s all continuously going on in a holographic way, where one change here actually affects the whole.
Moving outward with the Evolved Enterprise™ is the Cause wrapped around your authentic big WHY. Why are you doing what you’re doing, and where is your impact focused?
Our why is “Changing the way business is played.” (The word “played” is included to highlight a bit of fun here, too.)
I love that notion of changing the way business is played, and that fits into the bigger picture of my personal lifetime mission.
That’s a pretty tall order—but one that I’m willing to put forth my resources, energy, and talents toward. Truly something I think everything I do can line up against.
Culture is next. This is where you want to think about your team’s evolution. Defining core values and actually living them is a big part of the culture. In our companies, we call it Maverick DNA, and I’ll share more in the culture section. Honestly, I previously thought culture was B.S. and only for big companies, but I’ve since realized it makes a huge difference if you want to accomplish something grand. What’s more, you can create amazing team alignment by figuring out what is the bigger mission for your team.
Moving on to Community. That’s your customers/clients/members, and we’ll spend a whole lot of time on this covering “Community Code 2.0.” It’s about creating a new identity and potentially giving your customers a chance to be part of something bigger.
And finally we have Creation, representing your product or service. How do you “bake in” your impact? How do we make something meaningfully different? How could it be marketed for real? And what is the significant story you would like shared? These are all questions we’ll tackle in the upcoming sections.
So what’s next?
If this resonates with you, it’s time to step into your true destiny of greatness….
You’re being tapped for your talents, capabilities, and gifts to help open up a new era of evolved entrepreneurship. You’re needed as an emissary to lift and transform the notion of what business can truly do and be.
I would even go so far as to say it’s not an accident you’re reading this material at this particular moment….
Together, we can collectively create the tipping point for entrepreneurs, communities, and organizations to align their heads and hearts for utilizing the massive economic leverage of business.
Then your successful example becomes the catalyst for others in your industry and marketplace. But even better, it’s amplified and leveraged by the ever-widening circles, networks, and ripples of other Evolved Enterprises™.
Entrepreneurship can be the ultimate expression of artistry and love if you let it….
I believe your company can be your canvas when you bring forward your greatest work that really matters. It takes a high degree of talent to combine these Evolved Enterprise™ elements in unique ways, elegant business models, and team alignment and then bring in your full heart.
What if greater happiness, more meaningful impact, and increased profits are ALL surprisingly interconnected?
Inside these pages, you’ll see a lot of exciting examples of companies that get it at different levels and are making it work in a big way. There’s a revolution happening, and we’re just at the beginning of something monumental.
(Evolved Enterprise Preview)
Chapter Six: What Is Your WHY?
Finding your WHY is the core nucleus and driver for what you’re doing. If your answer is to get rich, then I’d argue that’s not enough. Sure, it can be a motivator, but it’s not going to sustain you through the ups and downs of business or to actually build something meaningful. And the fact is, I’ve never seen anybody truly succeed in the long run by only looking at what they’re going to get.
In one of my first journals 15 years ago I wrote a core value of “I get rich by enriching others 10 times to 100 times what they pay me in return.”
That’s become my internal formula to judge a project or offering by because it’s in synch with an unyielding natural law. Not surprisingly, when you deliver that much value, the marketplace compensates you accordingly. This goes along with a famous quote motivational speaker Zig Ziglar frequently used: “You can get anything you want if you help enough people get what they want.”
Taken another way, the Evolved Enterprise can serve the greatest collective good yet still remain totally self-serving for you—a beautiful notion of what actually is best for the whole is best for you.
The marketplace is always self-correcting. So the only real strategy to enduring and lasting wealth is to over-deliver as much as you can and provide just as much value.
Now you can turbo charge that with an authentic cause or big reason why you’re actually in business.
I saw this firsthand with my ten-year-old dude, Zack.
For the past four years, we’ve put on a Family Freedom event for kids ages 6–16, tailored to their interests and comprehension. We have some fun family experiences, sessions for parents, and specific ones for the kids. Then the kids break up into teams to learn about business and run different ventures. (Maverick1000.com/family)
We’ve done it over July 4th so the businesses are selling related products and services. Children will create their own promotions and pricing, understand their budgets, and market them to the 4th of July crowd.
My son Zack is a little less outgoing than his younger sister, Zoe, but when we added a charitable component to his team’s venture, he couldn’t be stopped. They were selling glow sticks, and his opening pitch was “Save the Bay—buy a glow stick.” I’ve never seen him so committed before, and it was because he was also helping a cause bigger than just himself. I was really proud of him.
Save the bay was because we were in Annapolis, MD, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Linking to a cause that’s central to you or your customers in an authentic way makes a dramatic difference. I have no doubt his sales increased, and they even got just straight-up donations from people without them buying a glow stick.
This is a small example, but when you truly tie in something that really fits, you see dramatic jumps.
Working with Maverick NEXT member Anthony Balduzzi, we developed a key cause that truly made sense around his life story. Anthony was already doing well with his health and fitness information publishing business but was in the midst of a serious rebranding initiative. He had put a lot of thought into both the updated website design and revamped brand messaging to specifically niche down to helping men over 40 lose weight and regain their energy—but I didn’t think that was enough.
Here’s how Anthony describes our work together:
“Our big aim with the rebranding was to empower our information publishing business model to have a far greater social impact than simply selling eBooks and weight loss courses online. Within the first 10 minutes of the call, Yanik adeptly assessed the strong, unexploited niche that our rebranded business could become a market leader in: helping fathers over 40 lose weight and regain their vibrant health.
With our more focused audience in place, Yanik then helped us construct a new product offering (weight loss challenge for charity) that would help increase our revenue, improve our customer experience, and enable our brand to have the social impact we wanted with our rebrand with 10x the potential brand impact.”
It all started with Anthony’s story that I helped dig out to make a more meaningful connection to his cause. Tragically, Anthony’s father died from brain cancer just before his 10th birthday, and that created a burning desire to help that’s never gone away. Together, we came up with the concept for “Fit Father Project” (www.FitFatherProject.com), and it’s full steam ahead for him. He says it on his site:
I promised Dad that no fathers would ever have to go through his pain and lack of health. Not on my watch. And I set out on a 10-year mission to figure out exactly how men get (and stay) healthy for life. I know it’s what Dad would have wanted.
We worked on matching up this compelling story with a cause that would matter and really fit here. Going back to the time when he was a kid, he picked Camp Kesem as their cause because they put kids into summer camp whose parents are battling cancer. He has a real innovative model we developed to make a difference:
We donate a baseline 10% of all our profits to Camp Kesem. For every pound you lose on any of our programs, we donate an additional $1 directly to a Camp Kesem attendee fund. Fitfatherproject.com/camp-kesem
Now, if you’re paying attention, you noticed Anthony’s compelling story. We’ll talk more about that in the next section because it’s such a huge component here. All of these elements work in concert together and synergistically create a greater whole than the sum of their parts.
I like the way Two Degrees Foods (TwoDegreesFoods.com) clearly states their reason why on their site:
We fight childhood hunger. It’s why we exist.
We do this by asking people to reconsider their daily purchases.
At 2 Degrees Food, we believe that your everyday purchase choices have a big impact. Instead of grabbing just any snack, you can now choose one that feeds your hunger and helps do the same for a hungry child. That’s the power of the Buy-One-Give-One model: For every 2 Degrees bar you buy, we feed a hungry child.
They’re using the 1-for-1 model to create a direct impact to feed one child when you purchase a bar. To date, they’ve donated over 1,000,000 meals by working with several on-the-ground cause partners in different areas of the world.
I first heard of Two Degree food bars on a United flight because they were one of the featured in-air snacks for purchase. And that’s another HUGE bonus you’ll see when you apply the Evolved Enterprise™ concepts in a genuine way—bigger companies will look to potentially partner with you. If you choose the bigger partner correctly, it’s a good move for everybody. You get to benefit from their increased distribution and exposure, and they get a bit of your halo effect. And not only will partners be interested but the press will be intrigued too if you are making a genuine difference.
Inauthentic Hurts More Than It Helps
Picking your cause should have either personal significance for you or be tied back to your product in an area that your customers would want to see their support go to. If you are just trying to piggyback on a cause to get “brownie points,” you might get some bump in sales and revenue, but you won’t see a dramatic lift in team engagement or customers actually becoming serious advocates for you. You see this with multi-nationals that simply add a charity component without really considering how it fits into their overall DNA more deeply.
In a 2010 KFC campaign, they put out pink buckets of chicken to fight breast cancer. For each pink bucket of chicken, KFC would donate 50 cents to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I didn’t even see any tie-in until a friend pointed out it might be around the breasts of chickens and women. Nice. This triggered a PR disaster because one of the risk factors for breast cancer is a high-fat diet and obesity.
With the total interconnectedness of the Web, this goof creates a serious black eye for the company involved and the cause partner. That’s why I believe you need to seriously consider who you partner with and in what capacity.
Choosing a Cause Partner
Some brands and businesses lend themselves more easily to work with cause partners; for instance, a food company might align with serving meals to the homeless or a food kitchen. It makes sense, and there’s a perfect tie-in. However, you don’t have to only be pigeon-holed based on your category. It’s critical to consider your own story, what authentically fits, and also what your customers are ultimately looking for.
For example, another Maverick NEXTer I worked with was putting together a line of clothing in a very particular marketplace. (I’ll keep the details a little vague since I don’t want to give everything away as he is still in the process of implementing these ideas.) Now, the marketplace has some already well-defined community values in place, and we chose well-known cause partners to match the community values. We also spent a lot of time talking about identity and community (coming up soon). After the session, here’s what he reported:
“I felt like applying Evolved Enterprise to our business takes it a step up, from being a basic transactional retailer, to the next level of being an entity bigger than just itself, with more purpose. Evolved Enterprise is a different type of thinking that helps focus on delivering value.”
This type of thinking does take your business to another level beyond a one-dimensional, transactional company.
Another consideration could be your ingredients or components of the product. One Evolved Enterprise™ in Colorado is an artisan tea company, Teakoe teas. They’ve made commitments to build beehives based on their sales because of the importance bees have in our world. Honey is part of their iced teas, so they are using their impact here. And they have a little fun with it by saying they’ve impacted 20,000 jobs, talking about the bees and the number of hives they’ve been able to adopt. (www.teakoe.com/pages/thrive)
When looking for cause partners, check out Guidestar.org and CharityNavigator.org. Both of these resources will allow you to search by categories and give you a good look at the charities’ ratios of serving vs. administration costs.
Choosing Between Known and Unknown Causes
One consideration is whether you partner with a well-known charity or a smaller one. With a known partner, you are getting built-in name recognition that might have a bump for you in overall sales. But with a relatively unknown partner, you are making a more direct difference. One tip: If you are going to work with a bigger cause partner and you are a smaller company, there are lots of hoops to jump through. I would make contact with a local office since they are usually much easier to work with and you get the same name recognition.
That’s exactly what I did back in 2003 for my 30th birthday bash in Orlando. We held a birthday “party” for 530+ of our best customers, and the only way to get in was a $50 donation to Make-A-Wish. I worked with the Orlando chapter, and they were super excited to come in for a $25,000 check. We won because the attendees felt good about their registration fee.
Today we solely focus on entrepreneurship for our impact.
Why? Entrepreneurs are our world’s catalysts. Individually, we drive growth, value-creation, and innovation. But collectively, I believe 21st-century entrepreneurs have the greatest leverage available to impact the globe.
Our Reason Why: Changing the Way Business Is Played!
Connecting and Catalyzing the World’s Most Impactful Entrepreneurs, Mavericks, and Influencers to Co-Create a Meaningful Global Shift in Business
Like us, you don’t have to just pick one cause partner if you don’t want to. You can have certain products related to different causes that match up, like we looked at in Evolved Enterprise™ Impact Model #4b: Donate Where You Want.
For instance, with our Maverick Impact fund, we have helped support programs ranging from microenterprise in East Africa to ex-offenders in East LA receiving business training. To me, the theme is always around entrepreneurship and making a difference for underserved communities. Even more than cash, I’m always interested in how our Maverick network can contribute their brainpower, resources, and network to make a difference. We incorporate this in a significant way directly into each of our events and experiences, so it’s not just an “oh by the way” but actually baked right in.
As you’re considering the Cause, you’ll need to decide if it’s simply a one-time promotional-type thing or truly built into your business in some way. No question, being truly integrated gives you a greater impact, but dipping your toes into the water with a specific cause and specific promotion is okay too. That way you can see if there really is something to the Evolved Enterprise™ stuff.
One more consideration is how you can leverage a cause partner in a mutually beneficially way. Make-A-Wish is probably not going to promote you to their donors, but a smaller cause might. Get creative. I know one Maverick1000 member piggybacking with some of the biggest charities because he offers them a way to tell their story better, and his material becomes a ride-along. So a nice win–win.
Want more? Look out for your own copy of Evolved Enterprise landing on your doorstep soon as my gift to you! Or if you’d like to order bulk copies for your team or colleagues – www.EvolvedEnterprise.com/bulk