For Blake, it is a gift to be an entrepreneur. In his 20's, he thought his purpose would be creating wealth and giving it back in his latter years. "Well before I started TOMS, my thinking was in my 20's, 30's 40's and 50's I would work and build businesses. Then in my 60's, 70's and 80's I would give it all away. I never thought the two could be intertwined until I had the idea with TOMS. We can actually make a difference in the world and create a business at the same time. It has been an incredibly joyful experience to do that and build a company with that ideology from Day 1."
Below is a sneak peek hearing Blake's perspective on three words that developed TOMS Shoes and what success looks like as a new model.
I think more and more people are now speaking about purpose. I think it is a good thing to focus on because when someone has purpose, they have success. No matter if that’s in the field of business or other parts of your life. When you are living a purposeful life, you can really achieve success.
"I think being successful is enjoying your life and having fun doing it."
I am so excited now when I go into a bookstore and see more and more books about this concept of mindfulness and really being conscious of your impact on people, on the planet and on the decisions you make. And I think living a mindful life is a great part towards living a successful life.
At TOMS, fun has been part of our mission. Who knows how long we get to be on this planet. You should have a lot of fun! I think being successful is enjoying your life and having fun doing it. My Nanna, who was a huge influence on me, would always say "I might not be here for a long time, but I am here for a good time". I think really embracing and never apologizing for loving fun is something all us can do to be successful.
When Blake started his first business as a college laundry service he was 19 years old and before he knew it had 40 employees. He was branded this term “young entrepreneur” and even didn’t know what young entrepreneur meant at that time! He started getting introduced to established entrepreneurs and noticed a pattern he was attracted to.
"Some of the men and women I had met who had started very successful companies were spending a tremendous amount of their time doing philanthropy. Giving back and really thinking about making the world a better place (past creating a tremendous amount of wealth) was a new type of entrepreneur."
For Blake, doing something you truly love, where you are inspired, engaged and that lets you grow is the way to RiseUP. One of the ways of being a heroic entrepreneur is to bring people along with you on that journey and give them the opportunity to live a meaningful and purposeful life.