Start Something That Matters

by Blake Mycoskie

Number of pages: 208

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

BBB Library: Entrepreneurship

ISBN: 9781400069187

About the Author

He founded TOMS Shoes, a company that matches every pair purchased with a new pair given to a child in need. He later debuted One for One Eyewear, which provides eye treatment, glasses, or surgery for every pair purchased.


Editorial Review

Increasingly, the quest for success is not the same as the quest for status and money. The definition has broadened to include contributing something to the world and living and working on one’s own terms. In this book, you will find some of the counterintuitive principles that have helped TOMS grow from an interesting idea to a company that in five years has given more than a million pairs of shoes to children in need. Through six basic steps, we will show you how you, too, can create something that will make a difference, whether it’s a nonprofit organization, your own social enterprise, a new business you create on the side while still working in the mainstream, or perhaps even a new division of your current company. Find your story, face your fears, be resourceful without resources, embrace simplicity, build trust, incorporate giving in your business, and most importantly start something that matters, be it big or small.

Book Reviews

" Mr. Mycoskie tells a convincing and lively story. If his entrepreneurial insights are not original, he repackages them as well as he does the alpargata, taking the familiar and making it fresh. Having given away a million pairs of shoes—to children who, when barefoot, might be vulnerable to hookworm, tetanus and other soil-borne ailments—buys Mr. Mycoskie the credibility he needs. I finished the book not only wanting to buy a pair of Toms but also wanting to "start something that matters" myself." - The Wall Street Journal

" Mycoskie uses the lessons he learned launching that company as a template for others, laying out six (just six!) guidelines that folks should follow if they're thinking about 'start[ing] and sustain[ing] something that matters.'"- Los Angeles Times

"The book covers the story of TOMS, their goals, how they work the company, and the impact they are making. However, it is also much more. In amongst the stories of his own company, Mycoskie discusses other entrepreneurs and businesses that have influenced him and the way he runs his company. Some of his biggest concepts are trust (within the company and with vendors and customers), facing fears when starting a company or venture, and keeping it simple." Helen's Book Blog

"The book provides insights into the benefit of properly utilizing free labor (i.e. interns), how to ask for free services for your cause, and using social media to spread the word." Web Gnomes

" Blake’s book starts out with the story of TOMS- which don’t get me wrong, is a great one, but I could not do it justice here. Just know that he wanted to give something back. He started a shoe company based on an Argentinean shoe, the alpargata. For every pair he sells, he gives a pair away to a child in need in Argentina in an event that he refers to as a “shoe drop”. The idea is charitable, stylish, and also makes a profit." - New City Success

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Wisdom to Share

Almost everyone has a passion for something, but sometimes we have trouble saying what it is.

Almost everyone has a passion for something, but sometimes we have trouble saying what it is.

It’s surprisingly easy to lose touch with our true passions—sometimes because we get distracted with everyday living.

If you’re not sure about your passion, ask yourself three questions: If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do with your time? What kind of work would you want to do? And what cause would you serve?

The more strongly you feel about what you do, the more likely you are to push yourself to be good at it and find a way to make a success of it.

If you organize your life around your passion, you can turn your passion into your story and then turn your story into something bigger—something that matters.

Stories are the most primitive and purest form of communication.

When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know.

A good story transcends boundaries, breaks, barriers, and opens doors.

Fear is much more common than most people realize. That’s because we live in a society where fear isn’t something we like to talk about.