Blake Mycoskie – The Business of Changing Lives
Guess how many shoes were given to children because of the long-term thinking of ONE MAN?
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, you’ve heard about TOMS; the shoes with a cause that took the world by storm. Every time a pair is purchased, another pair is given to a child in need. After reaching over $500 MILLION in sales, this business model is PROOF that capitalism can be GREAT when used for GOOD!
I am so honored to have the founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, joining me on The Ed Mylett Show! Not only has Blake sent over 86 MILLION pairs of shoes to children around the world, but he has also provided clean water to over 600k people. He has accomplished ALL of this through entrepreneurship, driven by his passion for serving others.
In this interview, Blake shares his awe-inspiring journey building TOMS from the ground up and how he turned his passion into a half-BILLION dollar company while simultaneously making a conscious impact for GOOD around the world.
We are expanding the boundaries of what it means to be an entrepreneur and how building a business you are PASSIONATE about will ultimately lead you to exponential success both financially and personally. This is arguably the MOST important business lesson of all time!
As you’ve heard me say before, fulfillment does NOT come from external accolades. Blake seemingly had it all, but he soon realized he DIDN’T when he was diagnosed with depression and struggling in an unhappy marriage.
We dive deep into his scientific and research-based discovery of what it really takes for people to live their best lives, fueled by purpose and fulfillment. We’re sharing ACTIONABLE STEPS you can start taking TODAY to live and feel better! There is so much value packed into this one episode that you will need to watch/listen more than once!
Who Is Blake Mycoskie?
If you haven’t heard of this man already, you’ve heard of his company, TOMS Shoes. Blake Mycoskie created the One-for-One business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased. This simple idea, sparked when Blake noticed the hardships faced by children growing up while traveling in Argentina has become a movement: TOMS Shoes has provided over 86 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, TOMS Eyewear has restored sight to over 600,000 people since 2011, and TOMS Roasting Company has helped provide over 600,000 weeks of safe water since launching in 2014.
Today, Blake spearheads a company with Pat Dossett, called Madefor. This monthly habit-changing kit uses evidence-based research and proven scientific principles to help others achieve lasting positive change.
I’ve always thought that business can be a force for good in the world, and the work Blake has done through multiple companies is undeniable proof. If you want to change lives — your own and those around you — you’re going to want to do the three things Blake shares with us in the episode.
Whether you’re feeling defeated or ready to propel others into the next version of themselves, this content is for you. I know it might sound crazy for two people on opposite ends of motivation to need the four same keys to transform their lives. But I’m telling you that what Blake shared today is GOLD — it served him when he was at the peak of his career and was walking through depression. On top of all that, I can say personally that these tools have positively impacted my life. Let’s get started!
Do Good with Your Life by Intentionally Learning and Mastering Communication
Guy Kawasaki said in his book, Selling the Dream, that Steve Jobs was an evangelical leader of the culture. That’s religious terminology, but what it means is, if you’re an entrepreneur, you need to start looking at yourself as an evangelist for your cause. Whatever your company stands for, that’s your cause. You need to represent it, communicate it, and fight for it.
Whether you’re communicating through written words, using social media, sending out mailers — any kind of advertising, including public speaking — the better communicator you are, the more your message will powerfully impact others. This being a common thread between successful entrepreneurs. They find a skill to become evangelists for their businesses and master it. As a result, their business flourishes.
If you’re thinking, “Hold up! I’m terrified of speaking in front of people, and I’m not a natural writer.” Blake and I both believe that these are skills you learn and perfect. You don’t have to be born with them; in fact, most of us aren’t. Here’s how Blake got into public speaking:
“I never really considered myself a very good public speaker until TOMS. What happened was at first people didn’t like the shoes. They said they looked like karate slippers. They thought that they weren’t that comfortable. People made fun of them. This was not like an instant fashion hit, but people loved the story. I mean, they LOVED the story. The story just lit people up almost in a religious way. And so I realized the only way this was going to work was if I got on the road and told the story. So I got an Airstream trailer, and for 78 days, I traveled from LA to New York and back, and I would stop and speak anywhere that people would listen.” – Blake Mycoskie
I want to point something out here. Blake didn’t pick up a shoe one day and think, “I’m such a great speaker that I bet if I tell the story behind these shoes, people will buy them, kids in Argentina will have shoes, and I’ll make lots of money.” No — Blake had a cause in his heart that needed help to catch fire. He realized that sharing the story behind the company through public speaking was what the cause required for the company to thrive and accomplish its purpose. So, Blake started speaking, and he mastered the art. But mastery didn’t happen overnight.
“Malcolm Gladwell talks about 10,000 hours to mastery. I became an incredible public speaker because I did it every day for years. [Eventually,] it got around that I was a pretty good speaker … so I got a speaking agent, and I would get paid like $5,000-$10,000 to give this talk, and then I’d sell like $30,000 worth of shoes. This is the greatest use of my time possible. … I was like a rockstar on tour, and I never came home. … I really learned that craft, but I bring that up … because a lot of people are afraid of public speaking and a lot of people think you either have it or you don’t, but I’m a great example of it [being a learned skill].” – Blake Mycoskie
If there’s a skill that you think would uplevel your life or business, start doing it. You are capable of learning. And who knows, learning the skill that seems scary and impossible might open incredible doors for you to share your message and make more money1
If you’re not an entrepreneur, don’t write yourself off here. Communication skills are valuable in personal relationships with your significant other, the people you work with, and even yourself. The better you’re able to communicate how you feel and what you want, the better you will be able to navigate relationships and support yourself in becoming successful.
Do Good with Your Life by Committing to Change One Thing for 30 Days
I’ve often said that self-confidence comes from keeping small promises that you make to yourself. Blake and his business partner, Pat Dossett, took this idea to a whole new level when they set out to discover what it takes for people to achieve lasting positive change and feel fulfilled in their lives. By leveraging neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to change — they learned that we could alter our habits and the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us.
If you want to change any area of your life or think about yourself or others differently, here are two factors they discovered through scientific research that will help you create habits that stick:
ONE: Focus on ONE new thing.
“After doing all this research, [we learned that] you really can’t learn a new habit or practice while simultaneously learning other things. Your brain has to go into the state of deep learning, almost obsession, and it needs to do it for 30 days. … We found that as a society, we’ve moved away from this philosophy of deep learning. In some ways [when learning a new thing, you] almost want it to feel monotonous because that’s how the circuitry in your brain is creating new pathways.” – Blake Mycoskie
TWO: Commit for 30 Days.
“In order to go from this fixed mindset — which is when we think that our brain is just always going to be the way that it is — to a growth mindset, where the neuro pathways can change, we’d have to really commit to this practice of one thing for 30 days. … When you commit to something like, ‘I’m going to drink this amount of water every day for 30 days and document how I feel,’ this goes back to the neuro-plasticity thing, because you’re proving to yourself that you can stick to something just as simple as water. So when the next challenge comes, it’s easier because [you can say to yourself], ‘I did that for 30 days, now I can do this for 30 days.’” – Blake Mycoskie
Instead of trying to overhaul your entire life choose one thing you want to do differently — get up earlier, exercise 3 days a week, call a family member and catch up once a week, learn a new language — then commit to following through on that change for 30 days. This will allow you to focus all your attention on one new thing, increasing your probability of finishing strong, and build belief in yourself that you can change and do hard things.
Do Good with Your Life by Caring for Your Inner and Personal World
Have you ever felt like you had it all or at least every reason to be content and still cried yourself to sleep? Do you numb your depression with two beers a night? That’s because external things and achievements will not make you happy. Even the contributions you make will not necessarily make you happy. Neither will having the perfect formula to achieve your ultimate potential.
Learning to live from a place of wellness and gratitude is often neglected by high-achievers in their pursuit of success. So a good place to start to reclaim feelings of joy is attending to mental and physical health. However, experiencing a purposeful life that feels fulfilling is an inside job. Blake learned this in 2017 when he really did have it all and was still diagnosed with depression…
“Ultimately, a beautiful truth is that your inner peace and your wellness and your joy cannot come from external things. That hit me like a ton of bricks. In 2017, I got diagnosed with mild depression. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t feel like I had a purpose. I had very little energy levels. And I didn’t know if the days ahead of me would be better than the days past. That was a very scary place. What made it even worse was …I [was aware that I] had everything that everyone wants, and I was [still] feeling depressed. So the shame on top of the depression was a really, really scary cocktail to be taking every day.” – Blake Mycoskie
The good news is that Blake is super proactive and solution-oriented. So he set out to discover what he missed in all his success. That’s when he teamed up with Pat Dossett. Together they created Madefor. Not only was Blake able to reclaim his sense of joy for life through the creation of Madefor, but they’ve now been able to offer this experience to countless others.
There are two things I want you to get from this if you’re going through a hard time or feeling unfulfilled in life: One, you’re not alone. This is a common experience for high-achievers. Slow down and care for your inner world because that’s where we experience real joy. Second, your darkest moments can be the catalyst for splitting the darkness in someone else’s world and offering them hope. Don’t give up.
#MAXOUT with Blake Mycoskie
Everybody in their own way was born to do something special and great with their life. Eventually, you’ll find it if that’s your intention. The key is to make finding that special thing you’re supposed to do in the world your intention. Blake made it his intention. After he sold TOMS Shoes, he made it his intention again. And you know what? He found it again. You are no different. You were born to do something great and special in this world. And I hope this content inspires you to find it for yourself and bring it to life.
Now, I’ve got to be honest. I only gave you three highlights in this post. There were SO many more actionable pieces that Blake shared on the podcast that I hope you take the time to listen to it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
With that said, make sure you’re following Blake on Instagram! Don’t forget to check out his monthly habit-changing kit company Madefor. And everybody, make sure you’re sharing the greatest show in the world with people you care about and believe in.
And guys, every day on Instagram, I run the ‘two-minute drill.’ So follow me and comment on my post in the first two minutes (7:30 Pacific and 10:30 Eastern) to be entered into a daily drawing for coaching calls with me, #MAXOUT gear, a ride on my jet, or a chance to see me speak live!
Go #MAXOUT your life, and God bless you!