The Body Shop sold you lipstick, you bought something much bigger -- you bought an ideal. That is the subject of this week's FC Expert Blog post.
Do you want to know why I liked Anita Roddick so much? In her I saw a kindred spirit. She was a true entrepreneur at heart. She took advantage of her business instincts and savvy to invite people to the right kind of conversation. It took her a lifetime of dedication and work, and she did it so totally that we can now look back and say -- thank you, with sincerity. She worked from her strengths.
I have long used conversation as a space to invite learning and the advancement of thought to the benefit of projects, business, and life. More than an entrepreneur I am probably enterprising -- a sort of Dame MacGyver, someone who can use the tools she has at her disposal to make things happen. For me, for you, for everyone willing to pay the price of entry -- engagement.
Kaospilots is one of the organizations that will miss her thinking. She was long part of the elite of business people who made their hall of respect. When talking about the grassroots entrepreneur, Dame Roddick explained that you are born one, and the qualities you need are (in her words):
- The vision of something new and belief in it that's so strong that it becomes a reality.
- A touch of craziness.
- The ability to stand out of the crowd because entrepreneurs act instinctively on what they see, think and feel. And remember there is always truth in reactions.
- The ability to have ideas constantly bubbling and pushing up inside until they are forced out, like genies from the bottle, by the pressure of creative tension.
- Pathological optimism.
- A covert understanding that you don't have to know how to do something. Skill or money is not the answer for the entrepreneur, it is knowledge: from books, observing or asking.
- Streetwise skills. Most entrepreneurs she met have had an innate desire for social change. They understand that business is not just financial science.
- The ability to mix all these together effectively.
- And finally, every entrepreneur is a great storyteller. It is storytelling that defines your differences.
And what a great story she shared with us. Value-based customer service is not lip service.