News flash: The business status quo has changed. Dramatically.
As an entrepreneur, author and architect of two creative agencies before I arrived at Firespring, I can tell you business is a lot different than it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago.
It’s no longer purely what you bring to the market. It’s much deeper than that—but also much simpler.
Why a business exists is what matters now. Your unique purpose differentiates you for today’s consumers, especially since 80% of millennials want businesses to be a force for positive change in our society.
At Firespring, we’re ahead of the impact curve. We cemented that status when we became Nebraska’s first Certified B Corporation® in 2014, but it was because—long before it became official on paper—Firespring had made a simple flip.
People before profit.
It’s one of the things that inspired me to merge my previous business, Evol Empire Creative, with Firespring. In the conversations that led to that point, many with Firespring founder and CEO Jay Wilkinson, my idea of what a business could be changed.
My notions of work and business had been vastly different. The grind to work harder and bear more stress were badges of honor. It was live to work, not the other way around. It was all about the almighty hustle.
I’ll never suggest not working hard or hustling—it has to be done, and we work our asses off at Firespring. But…in this age of perfect-life Facebook posts and Finstas, people want real. They want substance. They want to know why your business is here and what you’re providing to the world.
So a business should be a force for good within people’s lives
To borrow a quote from one of my new favorite shows, The Mandalorian, “This is the way.” We rally around putting our people to work for the betterment of our community, and we’re one of a growing tide to make that shift successfully. Literally thousands of businesses like us—under a few different banners, from 1% for the Planet to Conscious Capitalism—have proceeded to put people first and watch their profitability take off. (Just ask our friends at Do More Good.)
That’s what Angie Kubicek, our sterling chief marketing officer, and I, the trusty vice president of digital experience, are exploring through The ROI of Why podcast. In each episode we peel back a different layer of the purpose-driven business onion, discussing new topics or talking with the best and brightest in the impact space.
We’ve talked to some heavy-hitters thus far, including:
- Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of the B CorpTM movement.
- John Rood, strategic vice president of marketing at Disney Channels Worldwide.
- Michelle Kinder, former executive director of the Momentous Institute, one of the 100 best workplaces for women.
- Rand Stagen, co-founder of Conscious Capitalism.
The list goes on—and will keep going on.
In one of our latest episodes, Angie and I talked about what’s at the root of purpose-driven business and the thirst for meaning, from both the people in our employ and those we do business with. Listen below or wherever you go for your podcasts, and be sure to leave us a review.