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RECENTLY I HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION with a local service club about Conscious Capitalism. One of the members remarked that he’s heard about companies wanting to “do good” for decades. So what does Conscious Capitalism – and similar kinds of thinking – bring to the discussion?

This is a fabulous question! Because, in fact, some companies have engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other kinds of philanthropy for a long time.

What’s new is how this is growing and accelerating. First, because people have been developing some core competencies and given us a language.

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I just released a new webinar, so I wanted to make sure you’re able to take advantage of it. You can connect for free with the information down below – and these webinars are always live, not recorded.

I’m digging into the struggle that we all have with attracting the right customers. You may be lucky to have a sufficient flow of customers, but it’s easy to end up with ones who cause you more grief than they’re worth.

Plus, the revenue from these customers may be just fine, but what about the rest of the relationship? Because, if you’re following what I write, you probably have more impactful goals than just money. It’s your mission.

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It may seem like the forces of darkness are out to get you. I feel like that myself sometimes.

If you have a deeper purpose or vision, though, you can cut through the darkness because it’s always available to you.

It’s even more fascinating to me that my light of inspiration can affect others even more than it does me. It’s infectious.

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Seth Silvers launched Story On in 2015 to help companies create amazing marketing strategies built on the power of stories. It’s a powerful concept, because stories operate at a much deeper level than traditional “features and functions” marketing. This approach can be absolutely transformational for attracting a loyal “tribe” of customers, donors, and employees.

Seth has had the opportunity to work with some great businesses on both a local and national level. Those successes grew into some extended engagements which, though valuable, began to draw Seth away from his core mission of helping purpose-driven businesses market with stories.

So he’s rebooting his approach, getting back to having a deeper impact with those clients for whom this will create true transformations.

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RECENTLY I WAS TALKING with a colleague this week at a Conscious Capitalism meeting. We were exploring why customers should even care about the character of your business.

It’s a great question, and an area which is shifting.

Customers look for the best deal, right? So they’re not going to let you get away with even two percent higher prices just because you think you’re the “good guy” in the industry. But there are many, many counter-examples.

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Here we are, staring down the barrel of a new year. Fresh and shiny and unspoiled like the newfallen snow.

I find it really helpful to focus on the opportunity, to use this as a chance to be optimistic. If that leads you toward making resolutions or reviewing your plan, wonderful!

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IT STARTED WITH A WORLD backpacking trip.

Newlyweds Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandström discovered the joy of generosity when they filled their pack at a local market, then passed out food as they met needy people during the day.

So they decided to launch a company!

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A FEW YEARS AGO, Simon Sinek explained a framework he called Why-How-What. He was drawing a distinction between the way we usually market to customers, and a much more effective method of capturing the emotion and inspiration first.

I have a link to his TED talk at the end; it’s quite good.

I’ve noticed that the same process works remarkably well with engaging and inspiring employees.

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HOW OBVIOUS is your company’s mission?

Is it so compelling that customers can tell you what it is, in their own words?

Is it so clear that your employees are thinking about it in some way every day?

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RECENTLY I WAS READING an interview with Jay Gould, CEO of Interface Corp. He has wonderful experience leading a variety of companies, large and small.

He described a trend he’s noticed called “purpose-washing.” He uses it to describe companies that slap a message of purpose on their outreach to employees because they’ve heard that Millennials want that kind of thing.

That’s like declaring “New and Improved!!!!” because you want something to say on the box that looks exciting.

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