I first heard the TOMS shoes story from Blake at the Orange Conference in 2007. I think that this was when TOMS had just become very popular with the general public. I was struck with how passionate Blake was about shoes for people who didn’t have any. I thought to myself, “Now this is an organization that is making a big difference in our world.”
Exactly 10 years later, I found myself picking up this book off of my shelf (I’ve had it for a few years) and deciding to read it. The TOMS story is so inspirational. In short, Blake was an entrepreneur who had many startups. On a backpacking trip to Argentina, he discovered that everyone seemed to be wearing these shoes (alpargatas) and that they were SUPER COMFORTABLE. He then visited Buenos Aires and discovered that many of the children were running around without shoes. To live without shoes is a rough life. your feet crack, and then everything that you step on gets into those cracks and you can get very sick because of it. Blake decided he wanted to make a company that 1) profited off of a redesign of the alpargata and 2) gave a pair of shoes to a child who needed them for every one that was purchased. And the rest is history…
I loved reading this book, not only because of the TOMS story, but because of Blake sharing his passion about WHY he started the company and the principles that govern how TOMS shoes works. He gave Six Traits of Starting Something That Matters:
- Find Your Story
- Face Your Fears
- Be Resourceful without Resources
- Keep It Simple
- Build Trust
- Giving is Good Business
Now, I won’t go into detail on those six traits… because I want you to read the book. It was an awesome read! (It was also a pretty quick read… it only took me a week or so to read) I highly recommend this book if you are looking to start something that matters and makes a difference in our world.
So go here and grab the book… and then go here and grab yourself a pair of TOMS shoes (you won’t regret that decision… they are SUPER COMFORTABLE and your putting shoes on the feet of a kid who doesn’t have any) and BE THE DIFFERENCE!