One factor that tends to be common among successful businesses is risk-taking. Most business moguls tell of how they took risks and gave all their efforts in gaining market for their ideas while having particular goals and visions. Furthermore, most of them tell of how they began with as little as a dollar in order to achieve their visions while aiming towards success (Ries, 2011). Blake Mycoskie in his book Starts Something that Matters presents a good example of success in regards to the business world.
The business idea by Blake Mycoskie came up in 2006 when he was twenty-nine years old and was moving from Texas to Argentina to spend his holiday. By then Mycoskie was operating a company, "green" drivers-education company that functioned to educate people on how to use hybrid vehicles. During his stay in Argentina, he became fascinated with the Alpargata, a type of shoe that aligned with features of an espadrille. From his perspective, the show would make huge sales in the United States. Still, in Argentina, he came across an American lady who was operating a shoe drive that focused on delivering shoes to children from unfortunate families within Argentina vicinities (Mycoskie, 2012). The questions that came across his mind after the experience were: "Why not create a for-profit commercial to help offer shoes for these teenagers? Why not come up with a solution that guaranteed a constant flow of shoes, not just whenever kind people were able to make a donation?" With that, the Tom shoes came into perspective from the phrase tomorrow shoes. The viewpoint was that if a pair of alpargatas or any of it were bought, toms would accord a pair to an unfortunate child in any part of the world. In the year 2010, the Toms Company reported having taken part in more than a million giveaways with the support from charity organizations. Therefore, through the sale of the Alpargatas, with the intention of providing help to the society, Mycoskie was able to manage his project successfully and also gaining support from various charity organizations. Mycoskie looks at six elements as important for the success of any business. They include; identifying ones story, facing the inevitable fears, being resourceful even when the resources are absent, maintaining it simple; building trust and also realizing that giving is one of the successful business strategies (Mycoskie, 2012).
During his start-up phase, he began the business in his small apartment in Texas where he had hired three interns whom he had obtained through Craigslist. His kitchen table served as the area for discussion while his living room was the shipping zone. Mycoskie had also spent time researching on the Alpargatas and their influence in the U.S. shoe market and was also unsure about the consumer preference for he was not interested in issues regarding the fashion industry. He was also unsure of whether people will like them or not, the prices to place on the shoes, the types of consumers to target and the places to sell them. Through the interests he received from his friends regarding the shoes in addition to the stores that he would sell the shoes, Mycoskie became motivated to engage in the business (Mycoskie, 2012).
The author does not mention about the future prospects of the company. However, he puts emphasis on success being associated with assisting others and making a difference in the society. According to Mycoskie, the strategy of if a pair of alpargatas or any of it were bought, toms would accord a pair to an unfortunate child in any part of the world, has highly contributed to the success of the company. Possibly, the same strategy will continue expanding its growth. On the lessons learned, Mycoskie explains that he has learned about the essence of giving back to the society when operating a business whereby success is not only reflected by money but also by the level of giving back to the society. I might apply this strategy by identifying a need in the society and look for a convenient way of making profits and also assisting the needy; possibly providing to the charity organizations 20% of profits (Mycoskie, 2012).
In regards to finances, the author does not mention specifics regarding his capital. However, he explains that through the help of artisans in Argentine, he was able to make the shoes that he wanted. Furthermore, he was able to get interns through Craigslist who assisted in the distribution of the shoes. His orders kept on increasing on a day to day basis such that the Toms Company received recognition using popular magazines and newspapers. It is quite evident that Mycoskie aims for growth in both his business and helping the society. He looks at the aspect of assisting the society as a strategy for success instead of only focusing on financial growth (Mycoskie, 2012).
In synopsis, the book is a good example in regards to the aspects of identifying opportunities and risk-taking in entrepreneurship. As stated earlier, Blake Mycoskie in his book Start Something that Matters presents a good example of success in regards to the business world. From his simplicity, risk-taking, involving others, adequate management of sources to helping the poor in the society, Mycoskie represents the true definition of an entrepreneur.
Mycoskie, B. (2012). Start Something that Matters. New York: Virgin.
Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Start-Up: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Portfolio Penguin.
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