This book matters and it is a book about doing work that matters.

What matters most to you?

Should you focus on earning a living, pursuing your passions, or devoting yourself to the causes that inspire you?

But why can’t you have it both, the surprising truth is that you don’t have to choose, and that you will find more success if you don’t.

I’m a huge fan of the concept of social business. i.e., a for-profit business where the main goal of the company is not to put money in the pockets of shareholders, but rather to make the world a better place.

Basically Blake sells shoes called TOMS.

TOMS is a derivative of the word ‘tomorrow’ and the idea that we have a better tomorrow. When Blake and his team started the project, it was called the Shoes for Tomorrow Project. Then it was just Shoes for Tomorrow and then Tomorrow’s Shoes.

But what makes TOMS special is that it is a social enterprise that has given over 1 million new pairs of shoes to children in need.

It all started when Blake took a trip to Argentina and discovered that many children did not have shoes, which caused blisters, sores, and infections.

There were charities giving out shoes to the kids, but they were dependent on donations, which meant they had little control over the supply of shoes.

Being an entrepreneur, Blake came up with the idea of starting a shoe business that would fund the giving of shoes.

When Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child. Hence the campaign 1 for 1. 

This business would make profits while aiming to do good in the world.

Blake shares his story to encourage others to start something that matters and to lead a life of meaning.



I love this book. Every time I read the work that Blake does, I’m challenged to do good.

Blake shares practical tips for getting started and discusses principles for sustaining the company.

He also tells the stories of other entrepreneurs who have led lives that mattered.

This inspirational book is about one man who created a movement and made a difference to a million impoverished children.

I highly recommend this book to entrepreneurs and those outliers who want to do good.

My favourite quotes

  • “Stories are the most primitive and purest form of communication.”
  • “Supporters beat customers every time.”
  • “No matter what happens, win, lose, or draw, never forget that life goes on.”
  • “A lack of resources is no reason to avoid starting a company.”
  • “Complicated lives and heaps of possessions don’t necessarily bring happiness; in fact, they can bring the opposite”

  • “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
  • “One day, when I own a house, I’ll keep a library full of books. Books are different from other possessions-they are more like friends.”

  • “When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. It is a key not only to starting a business but also to clarifying your own personal identity and choices.”
  • “Conscious capitalism is about more than simply making money—although it’s about that too. It’s about creating a successful business that also connects supporters to something that matters to them and that has great impact in the world.”
  • “No matter how convenient it is for us to reach out to people remotely, sometimes the most important task is to show up in person.”



2 thoughts on “Book Review: Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

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