Posts Tagged "startup website"

The first five years can be brutal, but sticking to your mission — the reason why you started — is the way to go. Do that by avoiding these pitfalls.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Believe it or not, border walls and driverless cars now have something in common: When Quanergy launched in 2012, it was a promising Silicon Valley startup that seemed destined to play a major role in the driverless car revolution. But, when Quanergy’s particular technology for autonomous vehicles fizzled, the company shifted its mission substantially — toward surveillance.

Because Quanergy’s lidar sensors (the same technology as that used in driverless cars) “see” in 360 degree views and spot objects from about 100 meters’ distance, they’re being tested in outposts along the U.S. border with Mexico. The company’s hope? That instead of steering consumers’ cars, Quanergy’s technology replaces a physical border wall with a virtual one.

Sure, Quanergy is clearly on a mission. But is its trajectory veering toward profit rather than purpose? Its mission shift to the illegal immigration issue is reportedly wounding employee morale, as well. And that’s hardly a first: Google, Salesforce and Microsoft are just a few other big tech names that have received employee pushback after making partnerships with the U.S. government.

Related: Tesla Crash Raises Stakes for Self-Driving Vehicle Startups

Quanergy isn’t the first company to have drifted from its mission over the years. At young companies, “mission” tends to be the most well-defined component of an organization. After all, the orginal idea behind the company’s being is what makes the work necessary and drives employees to action.

Unfortunately, as forces push and pull on that mission, crises of identity may lead companies to bounce around and forget what made them great in the first place. Fool’s gold (think: early-stage funding) can knock brash startups off track. It then becomes easy to fall into the trap of misaligned revenue streams; and, here, only companies with defined missions have the grounding they need to resist temptation.

Although it may difficult, founders have to remember that mission (not revenue) determines whether their company will sink or swim. Every other piece — whether related to strategy or structure — depends on the power of the mission driving the business.

What makes your mission so special?

By the time I joined LaunchCode, we already had a clear mission: Our business existed to close the talent gap in technology through free training and apprenticeships. We didn’t need to wonder what to do in pivotal moments because this framework was our guide.

In fact, this overarching goal is what drew me here over all other opportunities. Sure, other companies were pursuing similar goals — but this company was explicit about why it wanted to pursue this business. The big-picture view of the the mission that resulted made it easy for me to do my job and for the company to grow.

We’ve grown to 42 employees in the last five years, and our alignment has helped us create positions and hire people who can immediately help us move in the direction we want to go. If we’re unsure about a hire or the need for a new position, we look to the mission statement and find our answer.

Having a solid groundwork is essential to gaining the trust and support of the right stakeholders. The mission lays the groundwork for hard decisions, financial factors and other variables, consistently communicating what everyone inside and outside the company can expect.

Related: 4 Techniques for Crafting a Mission Statement Worth Remembering

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple Inc. in the ’90s, he brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy by doubling down on a mission to build customer-centric products. Today, Apple is one of the biggest consumer brands in the world. This is largely because of Jobs’s contagious commitment to what Apple was all about.

As new challenges rear their heads, a company’s ability to snuff them out will depend on continued focus.

How to identify and avoid 3 threats to your mission

Threats to company missions are everywhere. Luckily, founders can employ a few simple strategies to mitigate the most common ones.

1. Gradual drift

Decisions that pull organizations away from their stated purposes (usually for money) help in the short term, but they can create long-lasting issues and rifts. And, according to research by Wiley, businesses that accept more money and influence from venture capitalists have greater mission drift.

To combat this problem, sit down with your leadership teams to set intermediate and long-term goals for the company, with your overall mission in mind. Don’t take shortcuts or count on windfalls; set attainable goals that don’t require compromises to your mission. Place benchmarks along the paths to those goals to keep morale high in the bad times and check yourself during good ones.

2. Irrelevant offerings

Although it’s now the poster child for the failure to adapt, Blockbuster once enjoyed a reputation as an industry disruptor. By creating customer-centric inventory practices that didn’t cut into profit, Blockbuster founder David Cook changed the dynamics of the industry. Unfortunately, the company remained committed to an irrelevant mission after industry change occcured in the company’s final years.

Related: You May Run From It, But Disruption Is Going to Occur All the Same — Here’s How to Embrace Change

Industry and technology factors outside a company’s control can cause irrelevance, but not necessary if the company determines it should act. Being ready to pivot is important: When disruptive technology or drastic economic change comes crashing down, a company’s original mission might no longer fit the market in its original form.

At that point, it’s critical that the company evaluate the core idea of the mission, determine whether the market demands an update and remain committed to the new principle. In many cases, outside pressures positively influence startups by forcing them to shape their missions for the long haul.

3. Misinterpreted meanings

A good mission provides a clear foundation, but clarity does not guarantee understanding. Because many people read the mission statement of the company before they read anything else, founders must ensure that their missions are understandable not only when they’re read in isolation, but also when they’re read in context.

According to Capgemini, 75 percent of companies surveyed said they identify as customer-centric, but only just under a third of consumers agree with that assessment.

So, make sure you overtly align other components of your company’s identity with its mission. Create a vision statement, values, testimonials and more to back up your primary claim. If someone doesn’t understand your goals at first glance, supporting materials should make up for that problem. Avoid miscommunication by picking clearly defined mission parameters and delivering on them.

During the first few years of growth, mission really is everything. It determines sales, partnerships and possibilities, both today and in the future. Don’t let easy mistakes turn big opportunities into big regrets. Navigate the potential pitfalls and lean on your mission to shape your company for years to come.


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Jon Sebastiani, whose first business was acquired by Hershey, now leads snack company Smashmallow.


6 min read


In this ongoing column, The Digest, Entrepreneur.com News Director Stephen J. Bronner speaks with food entrepreneurs and executives to see what it took to get their products into the mouths of customers.

Jon Sebastiani scored a major win with his first business, Krave Jerky, when it was acquired by The Hershey Company in 2015 (financial terms were not disclosed).

The entrepreneur, whose background is in wine, founded Krave in 2009 and has since gone on to run an early stage private equity firm that invests in food companies. But two years ago, he once again got the entrepreneurial itch and founded Smashmallow, which seeks to raise the bar on what Sebastiani called a nascent category: marshmallows.

Related: 8 Things You Should Know About Chef’s Cut, the Company Founded by 2 Golf Caddies That’s Now a Multi-million-Dollar Jerky Brand

Smashmallow, which creates flavored marshmallows such as cookie dough, cinnamon churro and mint chocolate chip — and also sells rice crispy treats — can be found in more than 15,000 stores. The privately funded company said it expects more than $40 million in retail sales in 2019.

Sebastiani spoke with Entrepreneur about where the idea for Smashmallow came from, what his initial goals were and his advice for other entrepreneurs.

On the origin of Smashmallow

“I have a vicious sweet tooth. I have a daughter. Today she’s 10 years old, but when I started Smash three years ago she was seven, and she’d always have sweet treats around the house — cookies, brownies, gummy bears. When you’re training for Ironmans or marathons you really have to be extremely disciplined on your diet, and oftentimes those don’t mix with a vicious sweet tooth. So over the years one of my little tricks was marshmallows, because when you look at the ingredient panel and the nutritional deck, a marshmallow kind of scratches that itch of a sweet treat. Yet from a sugar content standpoint and from an ingredient standpoint, it’s really not that bad for you.”

Image Credit: Courtesy of Smashmallow

On what he thought the business could be

“The basic business thesis was, can we make the marshmallows snackable by utilizing clean ingredients, removing corn syrup and any artificial flavor and creating a more decadent experience by adding inclusions to it? So a pretty simple thesis was built, but the basic big question from an entrepreneurial standpoint [was can we] change consumer behavior. The thrill of an entrepreneur is changing consumer behavior [around marshmallows].

“We’re not leading the next wave of plant-based meat replacement. This is a simple disruption, but it’s an example of changing the conversation around usage occasion by offering a healthier more guiltless sweet treat.”

On the opportunity

“Most people think marshmallows are for s’mores, rice crispy treats or hot cocoa. Very few people snacked on them, but we wanted to change the conversation. So we packaged it in a bag in a pouch that resembles a snack bowl. We have great flavors. They’re beautiful looking. Then we sent out in a messaging strategy that went right after other sweet treats and positioned it as a less-guilty sweet treat. … The results were pretty astounding. People were adopting the product, snacking on it, giving us feedback, like, ‘Wow, where have you been all my life?'”

Related: The Founders of RXBar, Acquired by Kellogg for $600 Million, Built the Company by ‘Having a Bias Toward Action’

On why entrepreneurs are building food businesses

“The consumption of food in the U.S. is changing so quickly in terms of what consumers demand and are looking for, and as an entrepreneur to participate in this sweeping change where we are so nimble, we have access to so much capital, we have relationships with all the leading retailers in America that are wanting innovation and we’re able to move so much faster than big food — it’s like a gold rush in terms of opportunity.”

On what kinds of products entrepreneurs should create

“[Food] buyers tend to be risk-free, and they’re looking for incrementality. So if you have a product that is driving incremental, premium or penny-profit growth to their set, they’re going to get behind you. That’s what’s happened [with Smashmallow]. Since Target has launched the brand, we’re driving an incremental purchase. We are not cannibalizing their premium set.”

Image Credit: Courtesy of Smashmallow

On where entrepreneurs go wrong

“A lot of entrepreneurs look at the marketplace first to see what’s working, and then they design their product out of what’s working rather than looking into the abyss of the unknown and truly delivering a first-mover product, whether that product is in the form of changing a usage occasion or simply a new product. But when you’ve found a unique product that’s alone driving innovation, you’re going to get a retail community to support you more. True entrepreneurship is the ability to find an opportunity within a nascent category or within a new product experience that is driving different consumer behavior. So the bottom line is differentiation.”

Related: This Snack Company Grew Quickly Out of a Dorm Room After It Sold Its Products to Tech Companies

On whether he wants Smashmallow to follow Krave’s path

“We’re running our business and building our business for the long run. We truly want to build an iconic brand that will withstand time rather than sprinting toward some exit in some predetermined amount of time. But I think ultimately we invest and build brands for some eventual partnership or exit in some capacity.”

On his secret weapon

“One of the skills that many entrepreneurs forget about is the ability to listen, because by virtue of having the courage and the backbone to go out and actually start the business from an idea that you have takes a lot of risk and courage because you could fail. Therefore a common trait of these entrepreneurs is overconfidence, and sometimes overconfidence will preclude you from listening to honest feedback. Despite my past successes I don’t ever want to be drinking my own Kool-Aid, so I live in a very humble place and really try to practice the art of listening.”


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The market fell again on Friday.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The wall of worry the stock market is trying to climb is getting higher by the day.

The major stock indexes sold off today after fighting back from steep losses yesterday. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were down more than two percent and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.05 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed down 3.03 percent, with only one of 60 stocks on the index (Bed Bath & Beyond), posting a gain on the day.

Two major factors are causing the anxiety. The prospects for a trade deal with China appear in jeopardy after the arrest of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities. If the temporary truce in new tariffs ends, global economic growth is expected to suffer.

The second issue is the Fed and its tightening monetary policy. Lower than expected November job growth numbers reported today were potentially good news for investors, in that they may forestall central bankers from hiking interest rates aggressively. It didn’t placate investors, however. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates this month, though it may slow or eliminate rate hikes next year.

The volatility once again hit high-growth technology stocks hardest today. The FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix and Google — now Alphabet Inc.) were down sharply after helping stage a comeback in the market yesterday. Netflix (-6.27 percent) had the biggest decline of the four.

The rest of the tech sector fell heavily as well. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. was down 6.75 percent–the biggest drop on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. Adobe Systems Inc. (-5.04 percent) and salesforce.com (-4.3 percent) also declined. Twitter, which has 16 analyst buy ratings compared to three sells according to TradingView, had the smallest loss in the tech sector, falling 0.39 percent.

Other high growth stocks were also hammered. Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. up 43 percent this year, was down 3.51 precent today and biotech firm Alexion Pharmaceuticals fell 4.49 percent.

Fedex Corp. continued to fall on fears of a slowing economy. It was down 6.36 percent and is now off more than 20 percent since mid-September. Other cyclical stocks like food makers J.M. Smucker Company (-2.64 percent) and Tyson Foods (-2.92 percent) and business Services company Cintas Corp. (-3.62 percent) also declined. Clothing makers Ralph Lauren (-3.61 percent), L Brands (-4.73 percent) and Under Armour Inc.(-2.58 percent) were down sharply.

Casino-operator Wynn Resorts, levered to the enthusiasm of wealthy gamblers in China and the U.S., continued to magnify market volatility, falling 6.6 percent today.

The big retailers also suffered. Compared to Costco Wholesale Group (-3.58 percent) and discounter Dollar Tree Inc. (3.32 percent), Walmart was down a more modest 1.67 percent. Hospital operator Universal Health Services declined 4.12 percent.

The only stock on the Entrepreneur Index™ that gained on the day was specialty retailer Bed Bath and Beyond. It was up 0.57 percent but is down 43 percent this year.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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Do the unexpected.


1 min read


This story originally appeared on Lewis Howes

Do you go the easy route? The expected route? Or do you find your own path that complements your unique passions?

Finding your own way takes inner strength. You won’t be able to do it without believing in yourself. It takes a special person to defy expectations and break into a new field. People will doubt you when you do something unexpected. That’s a given.

It’s how you respond when people try to dissuade you will determine if you’re successful or not.

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk with an unlikely zookeeper who is known online as The Real Tarzann: Mike Holston.

Holsten is a 24-year-old zookeeper at Mario Tabrue’s Zoological Wildlife Foundation. He recently did a collaboration with Will Smith and has over 4 million followers on Instagram.

Holsten says that working hard, believing in yourself and prayer will help you be successful against any odds.

So, get ready to learn how The Real Tarzann came to be on Episode 724.

Subscribe on iTunesStitcher RadioGoogle Play or TuneIn.


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An authoritative new study finds that regardless of product category, brands with legitimate sustainability claims do better.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When we built the Barefoot Wine brand, we lived and died on the latest Nielsen ratings. So if you are in the packaged goods space, you want to pay careful attention to the latest Nielsen report “How and Why Sustainability is Gaining Momentum with Customers.

For the purposes of this report, Nielsen chose to study purchases of three of the most common fast-moving consumer goods, coffee, chocolate and bath products, because of their differences from each other. What they found was that products with sustainability claims generally outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories.

For instance, based on sales for the 52-week period ending 3/24/2018, the weighted average of all three categories showed 3 percent more growth for sustainable products. Sustainable coffee 11 percent more, sustainable chocolate 2 percent more and sustainable bath products 13 percent more than the total of their respective categories.

Related: This Brooklyn Entrepreneur Was Shaken to Her Core by Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake and Did Something Incredible

In the case of coffee, brands advertising environmental sustainability can claim greater retail shelf placement because of increasing demand. Having built a retail brand ourselves, and having had to fight over precious shelf placement, we can attest that this is a very big deal. Better shelf placement generally means better sales.

According to the Nielsen report, “Brands that are able to strategically connect (sustainability) to actual behavior are in a good place to capitalize on increased consumer expectation and demand.” The report adds, that “Sustainability claims on packaging must also reflect how a company operates inside and out.”

In other words, customers want sustainable products from sustainable companies. This includes everything from labor practices to the environmental impact of their production. We caught up with Tim Grosse, who has written extensively on this subject and is the CEO and founder of E Squared Energy Advisors. He says, “This new consumer sustainability report from Nielson reinforces what we have been advocating for in terms of sustainable energy programs and technologies that reduce the planet’s carbon footprint.”

He further states, “This is official validation for how energy and sustainability work together to boost your top-line revenue growth and your profitability at the same time. Your business can ride this tsunami wave by gaining market share from the rapidly growing number of environmentally responsible consumers or your business can lag the market and peers by ignoring this trend.”

Related: 5 Reasons Why Sustainability and Social Issues Attract Customers

For years we have been saying consumers vote with their purchases. It’s nice to see the world’s most respected sales research and analytics company finally prove it and do so in terms that any company can understand, sales! With the rapid increase in climate-related news, damage and hazards to health, this new mega-trend can do nothing but accelerate.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment mandated by Congress a decade ago was just released. According to Tony Barboza of the Los Angeles Times, the report by 13 federal agencies found that climate change is now being felt in communities across the country. “It projects widespread and growing devastation as temperatures and sea levels rise with worsening wildfires and more intense storms bringing cascading harmful effects to our ecosystems infrastructure and society.” The report calls for immediate steps to reduce carbon emissions.

In other words, consumers are already being affected by the purchases they have made in the past. They know they must change their spending habits now for the sake of their own health and that of their children. Oh, and that millennial market that everyone has been trying to crack? Who has the most to lose? The millennials of course! They and the next generations behind them will live the longest in an increasingly compromised environment.

As the Nielson report concludes, “No matter what, sustainability is no longer a niche play: your bottom-line and brand growth depend on it.”

But as Grosse says, “Energy efficient alternatives, such as chiller and HVAC optimization, LED lighting retrofits, and solar energy are a huge piece of the sustainability puzzle. With the recent price shifts, these technologies are very economical as well. In fact, many solutions provide almost immediate positive cash flow while dramatically lowering a company’s carbon footprint.” He adds, “Companies that embrace new energy technologies enjoy a triple-bottom-line win in productivity, profits, and planet.”

Related: What Condoms Can Teach Us About Sustainability

So now, energy efficiency is not only desirable, it’s sustainable, and it’s doable!

The Nielson report says “Unmet consumer needs exist across many categories. Strategically aligning your business and marketing strategy to meet that unmet demand will ensure that the next big sustainability wave is a market win for your brand.”

It’s time to jump on the energy and sustainability bandwagon now … or miss the boat!


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How this traditionally soft skill yields hard, bottom-line results for organizations big and small


8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


It’s easy to be cynical these days. The 24/7 news cycle brings us images and extreme headlines about tragedies almost as soon as they occur. If you listen to the rhetoric, it’s easy to believe violence, sexism, ageism, xenophobia and prejudice are winning the day. 

However, there is another — more positive — way to look at this. Access to information from around the globe gives us opportunities to consider the needs of others and to respond with compassionate action. Yes, playing to our emotions is the cable news and social media business model. But what we choose to do with our emotions is up to us. So, why not choose empathy? 

We all know empathy is the right thing to do, but empathy is not just good for the world (and our own sanity). It can also bring a competitive advantage in business. Our ability to see the world from the perspective of others is one of the most crucial tools in our business toolbox. So, let’s walk through the business benefits of empathy and acting with compassion.

Related: The Dangers of Being an Empathetic Leader

1. Increased sales, loyalty and referrals.

Every skilled salesperson knows that the key to closing sales is anticipating your customers’ needs and demonstrating how your product or service will suit their needs best. Truly understanding your customers’ needs means reflecting on their fears, desires, pain points and whatever keeps them up at night. If your sales team doesn’t intimately understand your customers’ lives, how can you expect them to explain how your products or services fit their lives? This is the power of empathy in business.

Going beyond increased sales though, what’s even more valuable are loyal customers and strong referrals. To see repeat customers and customers transformed into super fans, make sure this empathy mindset enlivens the culture of your entire organization from customer service to the accounting department. 

One industry where empathy clearly counts is in the ultra-competitive airline industry. Any company that can make flying more convenient and pleasant scores points with perpetually frustrated passengers. By now, we’re all familiar with this string of PR blunders from United Airlines demonstrating the failure of empathy on a corporate level. But you may be less familiar with Ryanair’s empathy success. After implementing their “Always Getting Better” program, which many customer annoyances like hidden charges,un-allocated seating and carry-on baggage restrictions, Ryanair saw a net profit increase from €867 million to €1.24 billion (US$1.39 billion). CEO Michael O’Leary famously remarked, “If I’d only known being nice to customers was going to work so well, I’d have started many years ago.”

Who knew being nice could be so profitable?

Related: United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane by Airport Employees

2. Accelerated productivity and innovation

When customers perceive your company as empathetic, you will see sales increase, but wait…there’s more. Employees with strong empathy skills are also more productive and innovative. This means if you want to increase efficiency and expand the number of problems you can solve for customers, you want to hire employees with strong “soft skills.”

Google knows this well. Since the company began in 1998, Google focused on hiring the best computer scientists, software engineers, analysts and highly skilled STEM professionals. But when it comes to putting together successful teams, it turns out that soft skills rule. Project Aristotle, a study released by Google in 2017, showed that the company’s most important new ideas came from B-teams comprised of employees exhibiting a wide range of skills including: equality, generosity, curiosity toward others’ ideas, empathy and emotional intelligence. These teams may not have had the top scientists, but when team members feel confident speaking up and know they are being heard, great ideas are born.

Related: United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane by Airport Employees

3. Greater competitive advantage and market value.

The highest performing companies also top the list of the Most Empathetic Companies. This might seem surprising at first: Don’t you have to be cutthroat and willing to win at any cost to be competitive in this global, capitalist economy? Well, if you’ve been paying attention, the answer will be obvious. In fact, statistics show that empathy is more important to business success than it has ever been.

According to the 2016 Empathy Index, a report published by UK consulting firm The Empathy Business that seeks to analyze the internal culture of 170 companies on major financial indexes, “The top 10 companies (on the 2015 list)…increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50 percent more earnings (defined by market capitalization).”

How’s that for competitive advantage?

Related: 4 Ways to Turn Happiness into a Competitive Advantage

4. Expanded engagement and collaboration.

So if the best managers and team members express empathy and a willingness to act compassionately toward others, it stands to reason that companies with cultures that encourage empathy would attract highly engaged individuals. And that’s just what the data show. Empathetic companies also have better retention and higher morale among employees.

This makes a lot of sense when you consider what today’s workers value. Good, high-performing individuals have lots of employment choices. Among other things, the gig economy and access to technology have created opportunities beyond traditional corporate work. So, it’s time to think beyond traditional corporate benefits.

Additionally, according to a Gallup poll, 60 percent of Millennials are open to new job opportunities, while only 29 percent of them report feeling engaged at work. This means less than a third of workers born between 1980 and 1996 feel connected to their companies. Studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization show that this lack of connection can result in higher absenteeism, lower productivity…and lower profitability and share price for the company over time.

What skilled workers are demanding is a different kind of working experience: they want their voices — and their workplace requirements — to be heard. That’s bad news for companies that aren’t considering company culture as they look toward future growth. Fortunately, making small, subtle shifts toward improving empathy in the culture can make a big difference.

Related: Take Responsibility for Your Company’s Culture to Boost Productivity

Small changes can yield big results.

All of these business benefits sound great, but none of them are likely to make any company empathetic. To really make a change, the first step is to WANT to understand where others are coming from. When you focus on wanting to understand your colleagues, you can cultivate empathy in your own sphere of influence, which can have a big impact on your team, brand and the world.

Here are some key areas to consider as you plan ahead for 2019:

“Employee of the month” awards do not constitute an empathetic environment. When we feel that others value our contributions, we feel respected. While trying to create an empathetic environment from the top down is unlikely to work, letting workers know, through word and deed, their work is valuable should be a daily focus.

Respect makes workers more engaged. There is an intangible value to feeling respected by one’s colleagues and superiors. We’re more likely to take personal responsibility and our desire not to lose the respect of others means we’ll be more engaged. Listen closely to how employees talk about their work. Ask them what would make their jobs easier and make them feel heard.

Motivate based on individual needs. In Daniel Pink’s bestselling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, he points out that financial rewards are not universally enticing. Consider how your company rewards colleagues. How much better would things be if we asked our team members what they would like? Use empathy to see things from their point of view and act accordingly.

Consider ways to flip the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as they want done unto them.” This rule goes for every stakeholder involved in your organization from investors to board members to customer service representatives to clients. This is the mantra of the empathy mindset. Get out of your own head. Engage in more active listening and curious conversation to unlock what matters most to them.

As you reflect on the business benefits of creating a more empathetic company, you may have noticed the irony of compelling you to set aside your interests by showing that it’s actually in your interest to do so. Of course, in an ideal world, the drive to do the right thing would be motivation enough. But because motivation is unique to each individual — and organization — presenting a menu of reasons to embrace empathy is a good idea. In my own career, I have personally witnessed leaders and marketers who have embraced empathy purely for PR motives, but found themselves personally transformed — and left with a desire to do more good for the right reasons. Sometimes, initially speaking to selfish motives can help people and organizations transform “from the outside in,” and end up making the world a more empathetic place.


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