Thankyou have no fear

Thankyou.jpg

I've just finished reading Chapter One, a book by the founder of Thankyou . For my non-Aussie readers (most of you), Thankyou are an Australian based social enterprise that sell a range of products including bottled water, body care and food items (check them out). They sell these products so they can fund projects across the world to lift 1 billion people out of extreme poverty. They were founded by three 19 year olds back in 2008 and so far have managed to successfully disrupt the traditional retail market with each of their products via a combination of sheer determination, status quo changing ideas, excellently executed marketing campaigns and because, well, they are a movement much more than a product provider. They exist to solve one of the world’s largest problems - extreme poverty - and as we all know from Simon Sinek, 'people don't buy what you do, they but why you do it'.

Chapter One was their latest marketing movement and fundraising campaign. A book written, horizontally (buy it and you'll see what I mean), about the organisation’s journey so far, with no recommended retail price. Customers pay what they want for the book with all profits going towards funding the launch of Thankyou NZ and a new baby range to fund health programs for mums and babies. Of course they had a target and of course they've smashed it, raising over $1.2 million dollars in 28 days through sales of Chapter One.

Two things really stood out for me from reading the book and they're things that I (and we) already know but find it so easy to forget and to slip back into our comfort zones.

  1. Everyone has the power to make real change happen. The three 19 year olds who believed in an idea and have now helped to provide 192,367 people with safe water, 89,751 with food access and disease fighting services for 302,814 people prove that. They’ve made that happen despite all the many and obvious reasons and people who told them their idea couldn’t work. You just have to start. And you have to keep going even, and especially, when you fail.
  2. You can’t let fear get in the way. Thankyou have never been afraid to challenge how things have always been done and to do unconventional things to get extraordinary results. But this is the one that hits hard. Fear cripples us and limits us from achieving our potential almost every day.

Chapter One asks you three questions on fear to help us imagine what our lives could be like without it:

  • How would you live your life if you had no fear?
  • What would you say?
  • What would you do?

It’s amazing what it conjures up – a life free from fear. How much could you achieve if you weren’t scared to take that first step or make that decision. Would you quit your job, move abroad, change industry or career, start a business, do something others would consider crazy, tell someone you love them, tell someone you don't love them, state you opinion even if it differs from everyone else at the table, speak up in that meeting, be vulnerable, learn a language, try something for the first time? What would you do?

I’ve been thinking about that question for the last couple of days and anyone who knows me well, knows I’m not one for mediocrity. I want to enact the kind of change the team at Thankyou are trying to achieve. I’m not sure exactly what it looks like yet but I know it’s about empowering men to talk about their mental health and connecting communities on a large scale.

So, I’m making a commitment here to do things differently. My life isn’t to be lived working for someone else; I want to start a movement and help be a catalyst for change. I’m going to work with a very close friend of mine, Mr Billy Dunbar, to produce a resource for charities to help them communicate as well as the biggest brands (no pressure Billy). I’m going to speak out on issues I’m passionate about. I’m going to be opinionated. I’m going to stand up for myself. I’m going to become a life coach. I'm going to figure out what my social enterprise will look like. I’m going to tell people how I feel. And I’m not going to run away from the hard stuff, the challenging stuff or the things that make me uncomfortable. It’s going to be great. Will you join me?