Howdy folks – today, I want to dig deep into the story of a real life social entrepreneur’s business to help YOU as you manage that balancing act between making a dollar AND a difference.
Let me introduce you to Najat Murillo from Live the Give (LTG). Live the Give came my way a few months ago and man, I’ve been hooked ever since! Basically, they sell a sweet line of straightforward apparel for men and women. Every bit of clothing they sell is WRAP certified, meaning they can guarantee it’s produced in places and in ways that honor the people who create the clothes while ALSO paying them a fair wage.
And that’s a huge thing for me – not just because I believe sustainability is vital to the future of business, but also because it’s a really struggle to find simple tees that fit me great AND serve a greater purpose. Najat and team do all of that with grace and skill 🙂
Here’s a quick shot of my wife and I, modeling our favorite LTG gear on a recent service trip to Jamaica:
Anyway, I want to take a bit today and share with you 3 of the most important steps that Live The Give took on their path to growth. I’m doing this because I think these are crucial steps for any of you to take as you grow and I want you to have a real life example to latch on to.
1.) Weave your ‘why’ through your brand. Najat (the founder of Live the Give) is a former elementary school teacher, so the fact that LTG donates $3 of every sale to global education is a no brainer for her.
And you don’t have to look far to see that story as a central part of her business. By simply clicking ‘our cause’ at the top of their homepage, you’ll quickly get the full scoop on WHY they do what they do.
You’ve got to do the same if you want to succeed as a social entrepreneur. Long gone are the days where you could start a business and just have philanthropy as an afterthought. To win in the impact business space, you’ve gotta have a ‘why’ that’s near and dear to your heart. It’s gotta have personal meaning for you. And you’ve gotta weave it into every touchpoint people have with your brand.
Live the Give shows us how to do that with excellence.
2.) Create meaningful partnerships. Because there’s simply no way you’re going to do this alone…
Najat very creatively reached out to me at Social Change Nation just as I was embarking on a search for simple, great fitting tees that make a difference. Coincidentally, my wife and I were also just weeks away from a giving trip to Jamaica via our social good hotel, Hostel KC.
And that’s exactly what YOU’VE got to do if you hope to grow big in this space. Find like minded ventures early on and build strong relationships with them. By carefully selecting a few partners to grow with, you’ll be taking a vital step in your journey to successful social entrepreneurship.
3.) Be ‘business centric.’ I love LTG’s cause, but the simple fact is that if their shirts were anything less than stellar, I couldn’t have gotten behind them. Each tee is made to feel luxuriously soft and fit to flatter, unveiling the effortless simplistic style at its best. The high quality material the tees are made from helps to keep them looking new – wash after wash. Live the Give’s tees have a modern look and are versatile – wearable on the job or on a night out.
On a personal note, I’ve honestly never had shirts that fit me better nor shirts that I’m more proud to wear than LTG shirts.
But this never would’ve happened if Najat had just tried to let her social mission be the star of the show…
Take a cue from LTG as you grow your venture – Make your product or service the star of the show and your cause the supporting actor.
Soak in these real life lessons from Live the Give to help you rocket forward in social entrepreneurship. And while you’re at it, run to livethegive.org and use the coupon code ‘SCN20′ at checkout to save 20% of the latest styles there 🙂
-Keep on rockin’ Change Nation,