How do you go about starting a business that has the biggest potential for impact?
You might think the best way is to do whatever makes the most money the fastest, or to focus on new green technology, or to fill the niches with the greatest social need. All of these, and many others, indeed have the potential to do much good, but there’s one type of business that goes right to the core of human interaction and makes an understated, yet significant impact: Consulting and Coaching.
One of the things that separate humans from the other animals on Earth is our capacity for collective learning. When a single individual learns a new skill, knowledge, or wisdom, they can pass it on to others – who pass it on to others, and so on exponentially.
Businesses that specialize in teaching others – whether it’s life skills, financial skills, business processes, or even how to start a business of their own – begin a domino effect that enriches the community well beyond their client base. Even more amazing is how the consultant/client relationship forms a strong and lasting bond that transcends the traditional business transaction and sets up a sustainable flow of information that can have global effects.
Central to what makes these businesses special is their desire to give – to give their time and knowledge to enrich others’ lives. And perhaps that desire to give is what makes it so easy and natural for these businesses to look beyond their client-base, to contribute towards a bigger community, solving a bigger issue than what their job entails.
Here are some stories from purpose-driven businesses that are creating lasting impacts on their clients and the bigger community:
STORY BY: Stella Petrou Concha (CEO)
The Australian corporate recruiting agency Reo Group has a unique and enthusiastic way of giving. Whenever a candidate gets a job placement with a Reo client, a celebratory bell is rung in the office. That bell is not just about notching a business win for the team – it also means that another 50 hours of education have been provided to indigenous children in remote regions of Australia that lack educational opportunities. For CEO Stella Petrou Concha, this is one way she hopes her company is ‘elevating human potential’.
This mantra permeates deep into their processes as well. Reo doesn’t just hand its clients a list of candidates that qualify on paper for an open position. They get involved by consulting corporations on hiring and encouraging them to consider “wild card” candidates who have the drive to succeed but may not fit the typical mold. Reo’s inclusive approach to both recruiting consultation and giving is a perfect example of how a business can be set up to make positive impacts several levels removed from its business activities.
By integrating her philosophy of elevation into everything her business does, Stella is creating a cycle whereby the children benefiting from the education provided by Reo’s B1G1 projects could very well become placement candidates one day, starting the cycle anew.
LOCATION: UK/US, Global
STORY BY: Zander Woodford-Smith (CEO)
If you ask most CEOs what the purpose behind their daily decisions is, the answer is likely to be… profit. But Zander Woodford-Smith is no ordinary CEO, and his coaching firm, Stryv, is no ordinary company. ‘It’s the impact’, Zander says, ‘that Stryv makes through its B1G1 projects that is the driving force behind everything we do.’
Stryv doesn’t just coach. They provide what they describe as a ‘personal growth platform’, not only for individual learners, but for those interested in coaching themselves, and other social entrepreneurs like Zander. So, they not only help people achieve their own life goals, but also train up others on the practice of coaching.
It’s vital to Zander and Stryv that they align their business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and they’re serious about making a difference. Each quarter, they pick three SDGs and three projects at three different giving amounts. They then set revenue goals designed to achieve their giving focus for the quarter, making their projects a fundamental part of their business.
Stryv exemplifies the idea of a purpose-driven business. They not only spread life-enriching knowledge to their clients and communities but do so with a sharp focus on their impact worldwide.
STORY BY: Jeremy Britton (CEO)
When CEO Jeremy Britton started 24 Hour Wealth Coach, he wasn’t talking about working 24 hours a day. Would you believe 24 hours… a week?
That’s right, Jeremy says your goal as a business owner should be to spend about 24 hours each week running your business – and the rest doing the things that are important to you in life. The Australia and Bali-based coaching firm teach aspiring entrepreneurs how to take advantage of both traditional and modern business practices to minimize their working hours.
Jeremy’s favorite B1G1 projects, not surprisingly, center on entrepreneurial education. He is passionate about helping others achieve their potential, especially in developing areas where there is a wellspring of raw talent, but a scarce opportunity. His giving projects thus align perfectly with his business of educating people to help enrich their own lives.
When Jeremy hand-delivered much-needed supplies to a school in Zimbabwe, he said it made him feel like a parent at Christmas. It’s all too easy to detach ourselves from our giving and say we’ve done our good deed for the day. But seeing the impact firsthand – especially in the smiling faces of children who are fighting for better opportunities tomorrow – can be a lasting motivator.
These are just 3 of many purpose-driven businesses out there disrupting the industry with the unassuming power of meaningful and connecting giving practices. By extending a little more to others, they’ve transformed their businesses into something a little more than extraordinary.