“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex… It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
Back in 2013, inspired by bigger companies like Zappos, Southwest Airlines and Patagonia, I co-founded The Happy Startup School with an old school friend to encourage more budding entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life.
Not any old entrepreneurs though, but rather a unique group of people that wanted to create businesses for reasons other than money – companies where people came before profit, and a fast exit wasn’t the goal.
We wanted to create a new movement of entrepreneurship that focused on happiness and impact, with the bottom line following suit. 4 years on and we’ve built a community of 100,000+ that believe in our mission.
Small is beautiful
However despite this now growing movement of more mindful entrepreneurs – and clear evidence to support them – the great majority are still on a treadmill, chasing numbers around a spreadsheet, without even stopping to consider why.
They follow the crowd, and typically someone else’s ideals — whether that be investors, partners or shareholders – with the needs of employees, customers – and the founders themselves coming last.
More than 40 years ago E. F. Schumacher wrote Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered. It examined our modern economic system — its use of resources and impact on how we live — and questioned whether they reflect what we truly care about. The revolutionary ideas are as pertinent and thought-provoking today as when they were first published in 1973.
At The Happy Startup School we’ve always loved this school of thought and felt that the incessant pursuit of growth at all costs is both damaging and unsustainable.
Which begs the question: When is enough enough?
Charting your own path
Our community is proof that it’s possible to balance purpose and profit. And not just possible, it makes perfect business sense. Also it’s possible for everyone to achieve success on their own terms, and not all have to pursue growth for growth’s sake. For many in our community, small is beautiful.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa
We believe business can, and should be, a force for good. If you agree we have a gift for you.
To help more people start companies on the right footing, we’ve published a new e-book Building A Startup That Matters. It’s available for free for now, but will eventually cost $19. It’s 10 years of entrepreneurial experience crammed into 75 pages of practical insight.
Subscribe below and we’ll email you a copy.