THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL POST ABOUT BUILDING A MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS BY FOCUSING ON HELPING PEOPLE. But it IS all about building a million dollar business while making the world a better place and helping people. And, it includes practical & actionable steps on how to do exactly that plus examples of other companies that have done this as well. So if you’re a heart-centered entrepreneur trying to grow a business or someone who simply wants to have a bigger impact through philanthropy, I’m hoping this post will inspire you on your path to being a millionaire.
Building a million dollar business is definitely one of the main goals for Real To Ideal. Not so I can bathe in champagne on a yacht. But so I can donate millions to different charity organizations to improve living conditions and opportunities around the world. Philanthropy is literally my reason for creating Real To Ideal. I knew that I’d never make a big enough difference by skimming from my corporate paycheck or living simply from a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. So I started my own business and now I help others start and grow their own business based on whatever passion fuels them to greatness. For me, it’s making the world a better place, one client at a time. For you, it might be wanting to send your kids to college or to retire by the age of 42.
Along this journey to create a 7-figure business, I’ve heard from MANY different hugely successful leaders say you can’t succeed if you’re focused only on the money. You need to get out there and SERVE. Add value. Do good in the world and the money will follow. You hear this so much it’s become a bit of a buzzword (buzz-sentence? buzz-idea?). It’s almost cliche. If you were to focus only on serving, you’d probably go out of business because you don’t really have a business. You have a charity run by volunteers. But the truth is, there’s a million-dollar idea in that buzz.
You need a solid business foundation first and foremost, but if your focus is on people, not profits, you’ll succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Of course, don’t take my word for it. I’m still working my way to the million-dollar mark. Instead, I’d like to present Dale Partridge’s word.
$10 Million Revenue In 2.5 Years = $4.2 Million Donated
Dale Partridge built Sevenly on the idea of donating 7% of each sale to charity and after 2-and-a-half years they’d donated $4.2 million dollars!!! Not to mention built a solid company of 50 employees and $10 million in revenue.
In his interview with Rachel Rofe, he pointed out that money wasn’t the focus – it was a byproduct of doing good in the world:
“I remember the lesson that I learned is that building a million dollar company wasn’t even on my radar. It was a just a result of what I was doing and I had to stop seeing money as the primary goal but rather as a product of helping a million people. So I shifted into that mindset and I just got lost in helping people.”
It was lessons like this one that lead Dale to look at other hugely successful companies who were focused on philanthropy and combine his research with what he’d learned at Sevenly and combine all that wisdom into his book, People Over Profit.
Later in his interview with Rachel, he describes the leadership lessons he teaches in the book, which are organized into 7 core values:
“It requires a leader that’s capable of…what I actually say in the book is they’re constitutionally incapable of operating without them [the 7 core values]. And it takes a focus on valuing people, it takes a focus on telling the truth completely and clearly and it’s hard to be authentic and transparent and to focus on those things and quality, keeping quality high and generosity and courage.”
He also speaks in the interview about overcoming fear and the need for courage, especially when it comes to speaking out about things others aren’t publicly talking about:
“Fear is such a hard thing because it sits on your shoulder everyday and it tells you why you won’t be able to succeed and why you can’t do it…I think a true leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It’s their insight, that sets leaders apart and it’s the courage to act on what they see, to speak up when everyone else is silent and encourage…I spoke up for good causes, I spoke up for people that want to start their dream…”
There’s plenty more incredible wisdom in the interview too, I highly recommend checking out the full audio + transcript on Rachel Rofe’s website:
People Over Profit & Socially Responsible Companies
I haven’t read Dale’s book yet, but I just added it to my Kindle reading list. You can check out People Over Profit on Amazon.com BUT I highly recommend signing up for smile.amazon.com because it’s free, it’s synced to your regular Amazon account and Amazon donates to the charity of your choice with every purchase you make!!! So sign up and check it out:
And of course, just in time for holiday shopping – make your dollars count by shopping at Sevenly.org
And a HUGE THANK YOU to Rachel Rofe for bringing this interview to life and sharing it with the world! This happens to be my favorite topic and I’m thrilled to be able to share and promote what you’ve created here. <3 <3
Practical & Actionable Steps To Building Your Own Million Dollar Business
Ok, enough about Sevenly and how they’ve reached the top, let’s talk about you and YOUR million dollar biz in the making! How exactly does one grow a heart-centered business without going broke? Let’s start with the foundation – finding a balance between work & life, income & outgo, giving & receiving.
Walk Your Talk
Be the change you want to see in the world. If philanthropy motivates you, show people how your donations are changing the world. If volunteering is your gig, show people your volunteering efforts. Inspire people with your good deeds. Show them how they can get involved. Show them how they can live like this and do business like this too.
Be the leader of your part of the (r)Evolution. Follow your own advice. Practice what you preach. Work it into every aspect of your biz. Patagonia doesn’t just promote social awareness, they encourage their employees to take paid sabbaticals each year to volunteer for the cause of their choice. They have a traveling sewing department that will repair your Patagonia clothes so you don’t have to buy new ones.
Be like Patagonia and Sevenly – treat your employees like the brilliant people they are, weave your beliefs into every aspect of your biz, save the world with every client who hires you and every contractor that agrees to work with you. Become the best YOU possible and build a company you’re proud of.
Integrity, Honesty & Honor
There’s a super simple way to conduct business with integrity – Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to see plastered across Facebook or TMZ. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t screw people over. If you’d die of embarrassment if you were caught and exposed, then you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
This is equally true for exaggerating. Don’t inflate your numbers or results. We’re at an interesting point in online business history right now where some people are getting away with being scam artists because people are afraid (or legally prevented from) naming the villain. But you can already see that this era of silence is coming to an end and those people are being publicly shamed and forced to close up shop for good.
You poured your heart and soul into this business, don’t let it be ruined because you were trying to impress someone or “fake it til you make it.” Just be yourself, be real, be honest. Your ideal clients will flock to you for your authenticity. Remember snowflake, there’s NO ONE else on the internet like you – with your unique set of skills, experiences, history, personality, passion, dreams and imagination. So be the best YOU you can be and let integrity guide you to massive success.
Generosity Vs. Over-Delivering
So how do you make money by simply serving people if your goal isn’t to make money? That’s a confusing line that many new entrepreneurs struggle with. Everyone tells you to get out there and serve, add value, give your stuff away, you can never give away too much, hustle hustle hustle!!!
Months later, you’re exhausted from creating free content and not making sales.
YUP. I’ve been there. And I’m here to tell you, the sales won’t just magically happen as a result of giving away the farm. But at the same time, giving away the goods is the only way to be seen as trustworthy and good at what you do. So here’s the plan:
Give Away Information
You can give away information all day long and people will still need to hire you for help implementing what you just gave them for free. As it is now, all the information you need to do almost anything is available free on the internet. Yet people still struggle with how to put this information to use. Having the information doesn’t mean you have it in the right order or that you know how to apply it to your unique situation. That’s why you hire someone to help with that. But how do you know who to hire?
How about the person who handed you the information in the first place? If they’re claiming they know how to implement it in a way that gets results, then that’d be a good place to start. So give it away! Show off that beautiful brain of yours and all the wisdom it’s collected over the years! Build your authority, your expertise and your influence.
Connect The Dots
You do need to show people that you can help them implement the information you’re giving away. Don’t expect them to automatically know that there’s more to this than just reading the info. Connect the dots for them. Demonstrate that this info is generic but you can help them get specific. Show them the value of taking this info and working with an expert to make it fit their unique situation. Include a call to action when you give them the goods.
Give Away One Piece Of The Puzzle
Help people with their most immediate problem – you know, the thing that keeps them up at night, sweating with fear and anxiety. But only give them the first step to fixing the problem. Leave them hungry for more. Think of it as the cliffhanger at the end of each episode of your favorite show. Help them feel the need for the rest of the solution and then hand them the key to unlocking the rest. Make your call to action super clear so they can jump at the opportunity to hire you.
Be Super Clear About What Results You Help People Get
If you aren’t already 100% crystal clear on what exactly you do for people and the specific results you help them get, then stop and fix this. If you’re not clear what results people are buying from you, they’re not clear about it either. And confused people don’t buy.
Once you know this, start talking about it everywhere – your sales page, your blog posts, your social media marketing, your conversations with your hairdresser, waitress, barista, etc. You have the equivalent of the CURE FOR CANCER and it’s your responsibility to let everyone with cancer know it!! End the suffering in the world and let people know what you do!
Be Super Confident About What Results You Help People Get
If you know you have the cure for cancer and you’re chatting with a cancer patient, are you going to be too shy to tell them you have the cure? NO!! You’re going to get excited and tell them you can HELP!! This is the kind of confidence you should have every single time you talk with an ideal client. Be confident! If you believe in yourself and what you’re selling, others will too! If you don’t, no one else will either.
Companies That Think They’re People
Body Shop – The Wildest Christmas Ever Campaign takes proceeds from sales of certain gifts between Thanksgiving & Christmas to fund projects that protect endangered species (such as the Orangutan, Sumatran Tiger, Malayan Tiger and the Asian Elephant) through its Bio-Bridge program. But the company pretty much pioneered social responsibility from the beginning. Check out the company’s history and how far they’re reaching for 2020.
Newman’s Own – Donates all of its profits to charity, including this $1.5 million to 37 orgs to support access to healthy food in the world’s “food deserts” and this £175,000 to children’s charities in the UK.
Solo Eyewear – donates part of its proceeds to restorative eye surgery and prescription glasses for people in 32 different countries. Improving eyesight improves a country’s economic potential because of the benefit to the labor force. Jenny Amaraneni and Dana Holliday are a couple of young entrepreneurs who started Solo as a class project at San Diego State U and have had a HUGE impact on the world.
Promise of Potential Boutique – Prosperity Coach, Possibilitarian & Philanthropist Maria Hinton started off as a money mindset coach and has grown her million dollar online empire to include the Promise of Potential Boutique which donates 100% of proceeds to Free The Children and Food For Kids.
And of course, my personal favorite – Real To Ideal – the business behind this blog and the platform for the Real To Ideal Movement for Business Bliss which plants a tree in honor of every new client (2 trees for referrals) and donates 5-10% of all income to charities that I’ve vetted and genuinely believe in. You can see the full list of organizations my coaching income supports on the Real To Ideal Philanthropy page.