Today, millennials look for a career differently than the past generation did. Millennials look for passion and purpose behind careers, not simply monetary success. Andrew Gottlieb, the CEO and Founder of No Typical Moments, shares how he took the leap of faith from being an intern on Wall Street to launching his own business. Andrew credits resilience as one of many notable success factors. He dives into the importance of having a career that you’re interested in and passionate about. Andrew also shares the “pivot community” he created to guide millennials in finding their purpose while in the process of pivoting.
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A Millennial In Transit with Andrew Gottlieb
I’ve got a great guest. His name is Andrew Gottlieb. He’s the CEO and Founder of No Typical Moments. It is an online customer acquisition company that aligns with impactful companies and brands who are championing new ways to advance humanity and leave the world a better place. His agency has worked with brands such as Eckhart Tolle, Lisa Nichols, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts and Ken Blanchard. The only person in that group that I happened to be friends with and know pretty well is Lisa Nichols. I heard of all these other brands and pretty significant groups as well. Andrew, maybe you could help me to pronounce Eckhart Tolle’s name correctly.
No one’s ever asked me the pronunciation of it. I’ve always said Tolle, but now that I’m in my head about it, I could have been butchering this my entire life.
I’m not the only one because I’m a huge fan of his back to my lawyer days. When I was transitioning, when I was pivoting out of full-time law practice and moving into this other training space, teaching and speaking work, Eckhart’s book, The Power of Now and then later A New Earth blew my mind. It blew me wide open. That’s a phenomenal bio. You’ve done a lot of great work. You’ve created an incredible company and work with incredibly powerful minds and impactful people in the world. What’s not written in that bio that you would love for people to know about you, Andrew?
I would say this is more an attribute and characteristic, being from the East Coast as well. I’ve started to connect deeper with what it means to be from Pittsburgh. Before we jumped on, while I was chatting with your wife about the shooting that happened in Pittsburgh, I’m also Jewish. What came out of that for me is the two combinations of being from Pittsburgh and being Jewish. Pittsburgh is a very gritty and resilient town that doesn’t give up. There are so many times in its history where Pittsburgh should have been bankrupt like Detroit where half the population left. The steel mills collapse.
There are many instances that Pittsburgh was a down and out city and it had a resurgence. I view that story through the same lens of being Jewish and how resilient people we are. The same type of story. Maybe a little bit more violent in our past of what people have attempted to do to us. I’ve started to appreciate those attributes and how they’re a part of my personality. It differentiates me from the average Southern California person who’s always been like you’re describing, it’s 70 and sunny is probably like hailing and 35 degrees out right now in Pittsburgh.
There’s so much there. I’m thinking to myself resilience is a big part of our message these days. It’s part of what we have been most called to speak about and offer insight on. How is it that resilience has become such a big part of us? I look at it through the lens of having pivoted so many times in business and how resilience is such a key component in the successful pivot. We know that we’re pivoting daily and in so many ways, and to bring back Eckhart into the mix. One of the concepts that I remember reading and I think it was in A New Earth was this idea of a collective pain body. We have our pain-body for sure and stuff that is stuck in the cells of our bodies that creates pain; physical pain, emotional pain, mental pain, all of that.
There are also collective pain bodies on groups of people, cultures, religions. For sure, being Jewish myself, there’s a collective pain body among Jews worldwide. It’s been people that had endured and suffered and had been on the receiving end of rough things. Resilience, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but for sure as DNA goes, as a trait, resilience is one of those traits that both may get passed down through that in the collective from generation to generation based on what people have endured. It’s also something from an epigenetic standpoint that can be cultivated through the environment.
I hadn’t even thought about it bringing the Eckhart Tolle perspective. I don’t know what it is about resiliency within myself. It’s a combination of the two of it’s in my genes and there are certain instances in my childhood that created that resiliency within me. I can give you an example. Growing up I was a small kid. Until my junior year of high school, I was about five feet and 100 pounds. I was super tiny. I was simultaneously playing competitive soccer. I went on to play college soccer. I was at a huge disadvantage being that tiny and tried to compete in a sport like that. What it instilled in me was that resiliency not to give up. There are so many instances of coaches telling me I was too small and I didn’t weigh enough. All of those things that made me dig deep within myself to keep on going for something I was passionate about. On top of that, what most people didn’t know is I had a human growth hormone deficiency as a kid. I had to inject growth hormone into my butt every night for about three years straight.
Friends of ours from when we were living in New Jersey, their son also has the same thing going on. That wasn’t easy on them and the whole idea of it, I’m sure. There are so many ways in which we’re meant to believe that we have to compete. Part of that is being able to succeed in life and compete in life has to do with our size and has to do with our ability to be stronger or faster. This idea that resilience has a lot to do with the physical aspects. Clearly, your story shows that and so many other. It’s bringing up so many other stories I can think of where people have been told they couldn’t do something. Whether it was a physical limitation or some other limitation that someone else imposed on them and said, “No, you can’t do this. Maybe you want to try something that’s a little different because you’re not going to succeed at this. You’ll fail at this. It’s going to frustrate you,” and all that thing. It only turned up the heat inside of them. Not so much to prove but to live it out, whatever that looked like. I’m not saying it’s initially the destiny to do it but clearly, when you were told that physically, you couldn’t do this at a high level, something inside you said no.
I would compare it as well with those early childhood instances that shape your character. Once you do landmark form and all that stuff in your 20s and 30s or 40s, you start to understand why you became who you are. I see it a lot with Millennials my age, I’m 29, who had the trust fund baby upbringing and they had everything given to them. They weren’t in situations where they needed to develop that resiliency and drive. I’m seeing it now of what it looks like when you’re in your mid-twenties and you’re pushed against your boss’ criticism or trying to build your own company. You have that first obstacle in your way and you have no idea what to do and you just dropped.With millennials though, we want our jobs and our work to have meaning and purpose behind it. Click To Tweet
That’s a big topic right there. There are a lot of people in the entrepreneurial space now, probably the bulk of those folks are Millennials. There are a lot of people side hustling and starting up businesses at all kinds of ages. They’re in their 50s and 60s. There’s a resurgence of people after age 50 who may be run the gamut of their career path. They’re too old to hire and too young to retire in that space almost. That was the title of a book that ultimately became pivot. That was the early title vying for that title. Then there are this whole other group of folks that are still in the employment arena. Those are mostly Millennials. The largest part of the workforce is Millennials. There’s this idea that Millennials are a little soft in that area. I’m just probing it. I’m not even questioning what you’re saying. I remember watching Simon Sinek. He had a well-shared viral video about Millennials and it was negative.
I thought it was super negative on Millennials and maybe I took it a little personally because our oldest daughter is 26 and then we have a 24-year-old daughter and then our next two are Gen Z. You know our eldest daughter pretty well, Chelsea. She’s quite resilient and a hard worker and she’s creative and Matthew, her fiancé, is the same thing in the entrepreneurial space too and dealing with all that. I just feel like they want so much more out of the working experience than what I wanted at the same age. At the same age, for my dad and me, we were like, “How can I earn a lot of money? How can I earn at least enough money?” To have a family and take care of my responsibilities and do all the things that a responsible adult does. Especially after you get married or you start having kids and all that thing. I wasn’t thinking about how I trade my time and whether the trade was a fair trade. I didn’t start to ask those questions.
Part of my pivot came when in my late 30s, I realized that I’m trading my time almost exclusively for money. That time I can never get back and the money is empty. It’s the soul-sucking experience of doing something for the money and not feeling driven by purpose and not feeling like it’s a part of a bigger mission from my life. In the end, that emptied me. It was like my cup was emptying and then I’m waking up in the morning and feeling empty, which sucks. I want to dive into your pivot story as well but before we do, any more thoughts on the Millennial piece? I do think there are some elements of when you’re a trust fund baby and everything’s given to you, you can see how you could be a little soft. There’s no question that the generations of kids in the last 20, 30 years, that parents have gone out of their way to make things easier for them and keep them germ-free and keep them out of harm and all that stuff. I’m just questioning are they soft or not? I’m putting you on the spot here.
It’s definitely by the individual. It’s a mixed bag. My Pittsburgh friends tend to be more on the non-soft side of the spectrum. In full transparency, my Encinitas, California friends are on the softer side of how they go through the world. It’s much more about flow and is divinely timed, which I get it. I think both worlds can be combined into one. With Millennials though, we want our jobs and our work to have meaning and purpose behind it. That adds a layer to this that we don’t like settling for work just to pay the bills. Sometimes that can be misinterpreted for being soft because we’re not paying our dues and going through the system. We don’t see the need to spend years of our life doing something that we don’t care about that’s not making a positive impact on humanity.
You helped a lot there because that’s my instinct about it. I’ll admit I’m not the most objective because of our kids, but that’s how I see it. I see it as they want to make the same trade that I was willing to make without questioning because there was no questioning in my generation. You weren’t questioning that way. I know my parents weren’t questioning that either. It’s a good evolution that people entering the workforce would be questioning how they trade their time. What’s the higher purpose for it because if there’s a great purpose to it, then go all in and develop the work habits and work ethic that lead to great results. We all know that you don’t get things without a price and that price is time and that price is your energy. It’s putting in your love and attention. You can’t shortcut that system. Why do that necessarily for something you don’t believe in? It’s a balance there and maybe it’s a balance between grit and flow. It’s that East Coast grit and that West Coast flow. I don’t know what you’d call that.
I had an example of a friend in Encinitas. She quit her big corporate job and she was putting up her practice. Seven months later we are chatting and she was like, “I’m running out of money.” I was asking her what’s going on and try to dive deep into her business model. She ended up finally admitting she’s only been working maybe four hours a week on building her company. It was like you can’t go to a company working four hours a week. I know you’ve read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. That was an eye-opening conversation of she may have been an outlier, but I know she’s not alone. Just thinking everything’s going to manifest and flow. There’s that balance of divine synchronicities lining up and pushing you in the right direction but still, putting in the work to make it happen.
Andrew, thank you for that because this idea of grit and flow and how important it is to integrate or at least have access to both of those things when needed is a key ingredient. Maybe that’s something that can be offered even beyond this podcast to people in the community that doesn’t maybe completely get that piece of it. I’m a huge believer in flow and manifestation and allowing things and not trying to force stuff. There’s no question that the effort that goes into creating a result sometimes means you’ve got to put in at a minimum the time. If nothing else, you’ve got to put the time in.
All of those big clients you listed out, none of them was a result of me having my big business development list and going out prospecting. All of them came through what I want to call sheer luck. There was no organized structure. It was just random synchronicities and it happened, but I also was working super hard on progressing the business simultaneously.
I forget the definition of luck that somebody once used, but this idea where preparation meets opportunity is what you call luck or you could call success. Being prepared so that when opportunities come, you’re able to seize them is something that maybe isn’t so sexy. In the sports equation with Olympic athletes or with professional athletes, they practice 90% of the time. They’re only on the field to play or in competition 10% and the rest is prep time. It’s operation. There’s a great older book. It’s the early ‘70s, Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World. It’s a powerful book. There are tremendous insights in that book. There’s a place in it where as part of a mantra, the character in the book is asking for ability.
He’s not asking for opportunities equal to his ability but ability equal to his opportunity. That’s an important distinction. We don’t want to get opportunities that meet us where we are in the things that we can handle now. We want to be able to grow our ability to meet the opportunities that are everywhere. That is about grit. That’s about taking a proactive approach to it. Not just sitting there in the Namaste pose and waiting for the stuff to rain down on us. Let’s dive into your pivot because you’ve got a wonderful story of change. Will you share that with us?You don't get things without a price and that price is time and that price is your energy. Click To Tweet
One of the big pivot moments is a direction that took me from Wall Street to eventually launching my own business. I can go back a little bit leading up to that decision point. You’ve probably have heard this from a lot of other people. Growing up, you’re the straight A student. I was preparing for SATs since the seventh grade. You grow up studying super hard and getting good grades, but it doesn’t lead you to, “This is what I want to do with my life.” You know you can show up and do well in tests and written exams. As I entered college, there was a lot of directions my curve could good on. My dad’s a dentist; he’s the team dentist to the Steelers. He has his practice. It was a very clear road of taking over his practice if I wanted to. It had been simple. I played soccer in college and the first night of our pre-season we got together and were chatting with some upperclassmen. They were asking me what I was going to major in and do with my life. I said, “Maybe I want to take over my dad’s dentistry practice. I don’t know. That sounds like a cool idea.” They asked me, “You must know chemistry.” I said, “No, I hate chemistry. It’s my least favorite class in high school.” They go, “You do realize to be a dentist, you’re pretty much going to be a chem major in college.”
Then immediately I was like, “I can’t be a dentist.” Within the first ten minutes, I call it and I tried to say I was not going to be a dentist. That led me to a question, “What do I do?” Being a type-A personality, overachiever and super ambitious, that led me to Wall Street. There’s also an existential crisis I was having. In my sophomore year, I injured my ankle a bunch that season on the soccer team. I just had the realization that I was not going to be a pro soccer player and I needed to figure out what I was going to do with my life. That led me to the exploration of heading to Wall Street and interning there. That got all of that at my system in ten weeks that summer.
You’re faster than me. It took me eighteen years.
I was super resistant for most of the summer. What influenced me and this is why Eric connected us is this was what my talk was about back in August. I had two roommates who poked at me every single day. One was working in entertainment and one was working in film. They came home so excited every single day talking about how awesome their internship was, the people they’re meeting and the projects they’re on. All I came back and could say was my pretentious little suit and a briefcase I had. I was crunching a bunch of numbers in Excel. That didn’t change. That was every single day for weeks on end. At first, I thought it was an important work and then over time they’re poking at me and asked me, “What do you enjoy doing with your life?” I was in denial of it. I was in the world view that you’re just supposed to work, make money and die pretty much. That summer opened my eyes to what would it look like to have a career that you’re interested in and you’re passionate about.
Where did you go from there? That’s a great awareness. If you speak to your family and they take that insight home, people are going to be like, “That sounds great but now what are you going to do?”
My Jewish parents wanted nothing. Go follow your dreams. I came back to college that fall. I was against Wall Street, but then I kept getting lured back in for more internship opportunities. At the moment back then, it was hard to say no still as they were being presented to me. I went on a robust internship search and I don’t even remember applying for the internships still to this day. I have no idea how they found out about me. If I emailed a resume, I was sending it in any and everything I could. It ended up being a political consulting firm in Washington DC. I decided to take that and it felt like a step in the right direction. Politics had always been something that had interested me. My senior project in high school was organizing a voter registration for our senior class. I went to DC the next summer in a very exploratory mode of, “Is this the right direction for me?” It was a step in the right direction but it still wasn’t it. That summer was a lot harder. I spent another summer and it’s my senior year.
My safety net is going to evaporate in ten months. What am I supposed to do? I then went on and volunteered in a political campaign in my college town that fall. It was still a step in the right direction but it still was not it. On top of this, I got rejected from every job I applied to in college. Not even here’s an offer, come and reject it. It was just flat out rejections everywhere. The only opportunity I had was to go to New York City that summer after graduating and volunteer. I jumped on that opportunity. That did not go over well with my parents at all but I also know if I didn’t do that, No Typical Moments would not be in existence now.
What volunteer opportunity was that and how did that turn into the pivot that became your new business? Take us down that path as well in terms of how the business got started. Was it an instant success or did it go through some iterations before you figured out some recipe that worked?
I know you like the name and it may sound familiar if you’ve ever read Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. Instead of no ordinary moments, I took a twist on that and said No Typical Moments. I read that book entering my senior year. It was my first exploration into personal growth and development and awareness. I still remember reading that book and then going outside and observing the sky above me. I was so oblivious to all of that. I knew after reading that book and just scribbling in my notebook. I kept writing down “no ordinary moments” because of that moment in the book. I went on Google and found a synonym for ordinary which is typical.
I came up with No Typical Moments and I was very convinced even then that one day I’m going to have a company called No Typical Moments. I had no idea what it was going to be about, but I knew it was going to be somehow related to the journey that I was on and I experienced. Later that spring, God sends a mass email from someone I connected with during those internships saying, “My friend just started a podcast and you should go check it out.” It was about this guy who was living on the beach in Costa Rica running a blog and making six figures. That sounded cooler than anything I’d ever seen or experienced in college. It was like, “I need to explore what that dude did.”Every new level we elevate to is its own new realm of challenges and opportunities that present itself. Click To Tweet
You are doing typical Millennial stuff right now.
It was at first an interest in how do you create a life like that. As I dove deeper into what he was doing, I realized how much I had a passion for the internet and technology and social media was still relatively new back then. I worked on it. Spring of 2011 was when I had the initial idea. Fast forward a few months, I went to New York City and volunteered. That was more of an exploration of self and who is Andrew through the constant volunteerism and giving back. I did that summer. I worked on this for a year and a half on the side until September of 2012. I was working for Minor League baseball team and I decided to put in my two-week notice. I left that job and dived full-time into building up this organization and took that leap of faith.
How has it been for you?
Every new level we elevate to is its own new realm of challenges and opportunities that present itself. I think I’m doing better in those ebbs and flows and reacting less. I’ll give you an example of what’s happening right now. As we entered Q4, our revenue started to dip a little bit and at first I was like, “What’s going on? This is out of the ordinary.” We just had our best revenue profit month ever in August. It blew out of the water of what anything else we’d ever done. I was thinking, “We’re going to keep on growing like this over the next couple of months.”
Then we had some clients paused unexpectedly, a few fired us unexpectedly. We hadn’t had a client fire us in a year and we had two do it in 24 hours. It was a jolting experience of, “What is going on right now?” That week we had two others decided to pause. As we entered October, I started to feel a little bit of that dip because the new clients we have coming on board had been a little bit slow in onboarding at the moment. In August, I was totally stressed out going, “How did we go from that in August and then two months later, this is happening and we’re dipping?” I started to look at our numbers and then I saw in the last two years, if I had detailed numbers three years ago, it would look the exact same.
I started to realized that actually, this is our business model. We have a huge peak in August every single year. As we entered Q4, marketing starts to slow down and people are already prepping for Q1 2019. I just went, “If you had known your numbers better, you would realize that your business isn’t seasonal, but Q4 drops in revenue for you every year. You’re making massive gains the other nine months of the year with a peak in August.” When I sat back, I went, “It’s still not cool that we drift like that but now I understand this is our yearly fluctuation.” What we need to be preparing for as we enter 2019 is Q4 and preserving profit better and more effectively throughout the year.
You already said, and I think this is important, that knowing your numbers is a big deal. For people who are entrepreneurs that aren’t numbers people, that’s what they say, “I’m not a numbers person. I’m not the math guy or woman.” Knowing your numbers is essential. Whether you know them or if somebody on your team or some outsource solution that you’ve got can tell you them, you do need to know your numbers. Especially to identify a trend and it’s a seasonal trend for you. That’s one aspect of it. What else did you learn in that experience that you think might be valuable as part of your development as both an entrepreneur and a leader in a company?
What was funny was when those clients fired and paused, when that was going on, 90% to 95% of the clients we worked with were truly value-aligned clients. We had a few that were in this gray area where they were not doing anything bad and not doing anything good. They were just there and they became clients for one reason or the other. I went to Al Gore’s Climate Change Conference and came away from that super crystal clear that any client we’re working with that isn’t focused on consciousness and personal growth and development or environmental issues isn’t the client we want to be working with. Like that, all of those clients have paused within a week. It was like, “Be careful what you wish for, Andrew, because you said it and this is happening now.”
It is remarkable how quickly the universe responds to our thoughts and our true intentions. I remember when we were running a large company in the training space and we knew that we were going to be pivoting and that the next thing was going to be something different. As soon as that is spoken out loud and even internally, but as soon as you give voice to it and give language to it, it’s incredible how fast the universe will respond to that. Clients are the same way. When you know very well who your clients are, you’re attracting them. When you know who your clients are not, which is also very powerful, you might repel them. Do you buy that? What do you think of that?
I’m the face of the company per se. I don’t do that much personality marketing but I’m the first person they meet and interact with from a sales process standpoint. I’m this tree-hugging Millennial burner and there’s a specific type of person who loves that. Then there’s another type of person who’s completely repelled by that. On the positive side of what happened then is within a week, I called that falling apart, I was told that we had some amazing aligned clients. We work with Eckhart Tolle through Sounds True Publishing if you’re familiar with that brand.Knowing your numbers is essential. Click To Tweet
We’re told that Michael Singer is going to want a project with us. We did a pilot project with Jason Silva in October, which is leading to potentially some other opportunities. We’ll see how that progresses. We were told we’re going to be working with Marianne Williamson and Thich Nhat Hanh who’s another author at Sounds True. As I was calling that in like the top dogs in the industry, suddenly it came out of nowhere and advanced. Those are coming but it still was like I’ve been playing a little small because I didn’t think we may be in at that level to be working with amazing clients like that across the board. On the positive side, it was the eye-opener of what’s coming.
Was this just your own insight and then a verbalization of that to yourself? Was this more formally put to the team as in, “We need to know who are aligned with us and anybody that’s not, we want to gently allow to say no thanks or to release them so to speak?”
We have a lot of conversations internally with who we are and where we’re going. We’re very clearly a values-aligned company from who we hired to who we want to work with. We’ve done those exercises and verbalized it to each other. I am very clear of who we don’t want to be working with and associating with. I would say it goes back to that luck component and it just happened. What I was telling everyone during that week of clients falling off was something better is waiting for us. Maybe it was my own way of coping and I felt I was lying to myself. At times, I was repeating it. I had to keep on repeating it up like, “Something better’s coming, something’s better coming.”
Even from a talent perspective in all of that, we had a new PM we had hired who also quit during that week within the first 24 hours. Now we just got done with our interview process for a new PM who’s 100 times more aligned for where we’re at and what we’re looking for as a company. It’s funny how it does work out, but it also was a combination of definitely verbalizing it to our team and the universe. We also put in the work to make it happen simultaneously. We hired someone back in April to improve our hiring system because it was often not fully functional. Back in April, we knew we needed a more robust hiring process when we want to bring more team members on. It finally got implemented in September after that individual left within 24 hours.
What’s amazing to me is the level at which your company is conscious or it’s an organization that is aware. Just by being aware doesn’t mean you necessarily get everything you want when you want it and how you want it. Every entrepreneur’s journey is one where you’ve got to be okay with the unknown. You’ve got to be okay with uncertainty and when things don’t go your way. It’s applying consciousness to that at that moment, whether that’s to breathe, to be present with what’s happening and not trying to resist it or change it, but embrace it. Embrace the opportunity that either is there and you can’t see it or it’s there and you maybe are not wanting to see it and resisting it or what have you. That level of consciousness is a big part of business now. I don’t think people knew that years ago, how much an organization itself very much like us as individuals is either conscious or unconscious. You’re running an organization that you’re designing from a consciousness standpoint; it sounds like.
We should be legalizing our paperwork very shortly. I texted our lawyer to get it to become what’s called a benefit corporation. Have you heard of that new legal term?
I haven’t heard of that as a legal term. What’s the distinction there? It’s not a not for profit though, right?
It’s a hybrid. Typically, it’s a for-profit company but you have it shorter like a nonprofit saying, “We’re here to do this for the world.” You’re legally held to those standards. For instance, if we took on an oil and gas company, I own 100% of the organization but let’s say we had investors or we publicly traded like you have a legal standard, that takes precedence over what your investors want. Let’s say you do have investors; they can’t push you to maximize profit and take shortcuts if it’s going to impact your mission. Patagonia is one of probably the biggest benefit corporation. What was interesting and I haven’t done enough research on it, is Etsy went public as a benefit corporation, which is super interesting from a case study perspective. They legally don’t have to listen to Wall Street in their short-term demands for profit if it’s going to impact their mission negatively.
This is more than just the bylaws or is it pretty much driven?
It is a legal denomination.Sometimes we're pivoting because something just happened and we weren't planning it. Click To Tweet
I think Patagonia is private. Etsy is definitely a public company. Ben & Jerry’s is a benefit corporation but I don’t think they’re public. There’s one other, Kickstarter is a benefit but I forgot if they’re public. The other element of this which you may have heard of is called a B Corp. It applies a lot better in their business model versus ours. With them being a storefront and having ingredients and their supply chain, having both of those certifications, they can’t cheat on their ingredients. They cannot buy cheaper ingredients and have tighter margins. B Corp then is like a green building certification. It’s a third-party system that comes in and you have to do their tests and get a certain number of points to get their badge as a B Corp.
Have you done any research on the trend of this new distinction? Are there more companies coming on board with this? This looks like a trend that’s going to continue to grow to the point where in a few years potentially there will be more companies forming themselves or reforming themselves as benefit organizations.
This goes back to what we discussed at the beginning with Millennials and how Millennials want to be working at the B Corps and benefit corporations of the world. From a recruiting standpoint, it gives you a competitive advantage because you’re not greenwashing your hirees with this cool purpose-driven company. You have actual data and examples and best practices to show how you’re living and breathing this message. I don’t know all of the facts off the top of my head like how it’s accelerating. I know there are studies of how purpose-driven companies outperform non-purpose driven companies like in Good to Great with Jim Collins. That’s a lot of his work. He uses a different language behind this but, correct me if I’m wrong, I thought his whole hypothesis and premise of this book was brands with purpose outperform brands that don’t have a purpose.
I think there was some reference in Start with Why, Simon Sinek’s book, where similar research was used and coming to a similar conclusion. This is different when you’re talking about a legal entity or as you say, you can’t snow people. People that have grown up with the internet are more sensitized to and have a better nose for sniffing out the BS when it comes to that. I feel strongly that that’s the case. They grew up being marketed to in such an overt way and such a deceptive way in so many instances that they heightened more their sensitivity for detecting something that’s not aligned and not congruent, all that stuff and they are more hip to it. If the charter of an organization is that this is what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, you can’t just deviate because the owners want to take more money in their genes at the end of the day where the investors want a higher return. That will change the trajectory in so many ways of the corporate sector.
There’s a great conference called Sustainable Brands, where they bring together a lot of the thought leaders in this space. They have a pretty big movement at the corporate level to get these best practices and policies in place. The thing with the smaller business to change their legal certification is not that big of a hassle. If you’re a publicly traded company, if you’re JetBlue or you’re Coca-Cola, whoever it is, that’s a massive undertaking. I don’t know the practicality of it happening at that level, but for the smaller business, it’s a feasible thing to shift.
I’m going to do some research on this. For folks that have not heard of how this would be incorporated in either a small or large company, I think this is worth looking into. Etsy, at least at the moment, is the only public company that we know that formed in this fashion and then went public. The public knows they’re buying shares that are mostly Wall Street and that’s mostly fund managers and the like, that this is an enterprise that won’t put profit first. It’s not that they’re not a for-profit company, but they won’t put profit ahead of the charter whatever that charter is. It’s a do good. It’s a provide a benefit charter. It’s not a let’s do anything that’s required and it’s not an end justify the means charter, which is in many ways what we see in the corporate arena for so many years.
Etsy may have taken away their benefit corporation status a handful of years later after going public. I haven’t followed their case study. I remembered someone telling me that it was a possibility. I don’t know if they followed through on it. I think they had a change in senior leadership. For my case study model perspective, it would be interesting. Let’s say they did get away from their benefit corporation status. What was happening when they initially went public? Did their stock rise or decrease? What was the reaction and then learning if they shifted way, why did they shift?
How did the marketplace meet them and how did they do in terms of attracting and keeping talent as well? There are all these different factors in terms of the hypothesis that if you’re running a benefit company that is a fully aligned enterprise, people who are attracted to that and who believe what you believe, as Simon Sinek would say, “People don’t buy your product. They buy why you produced that product.” If people believe what you believe and are attracted and want to support that, they’ll work and the engagement at work will be great. People will stay longer. The longevity piece will be there and presumably, the company would be able to have everything on its end, at least from that, internally to succeed.
Then the question is again how does the market meet them as well? That’s a whole other conversation. I want to shift gears in this conversation which I enjoyed so much. This has been great. Rituals are important to me and I believe that in many ways, the quality of our lives are equal to the quality of the things that we do consciously, which I’m using the word ritual for that. What rituals do you have that you could share with us or at least maybe one of the most important ones that keep you in good head space or heart space during the day?
I’m not perfect at these. Even this morning, I fell off with my rituals. The vast majority of the days, this is what I’m doing. I’m meditating, I do Wim Hof breath work and exercise in the morning. Those are my three go-tos that I aim to be incorporating in my day. I would say at the very least, I’m meditating and exercising. Maybe for whatever reason, if I slack off in meditation, then I make it up halfway through the day. Exercising has been a huge component, sweating as frequently as possible.
The Wim Hof breathing is amazing. Do you get yourself in good cold water as well?
It sometimes can shift because when I’m out exercising, let’s say I do hot yoga and I shower right after class. I don’t have an opportunity to do my Wim Hof then I head into the shower and food transparency does get thrown off. I do like my cold showers. I’m supposed to head to his event in LA and like you mentioned, the fires that are happening. It’s in Santa Monica and I see them coming that way. I don’t know if I’m going to be heading or not. I have no idea what’s going on with those crazy fires. I bought this ticket the second I saw his email saying he’s going to be in LA. I instantaneously went on and bought it.
When people are reading this and perhaps even watching it on YouTube, that will have passed. There’s always something going on that we can put our prayers toward and send out love and everything else that would make it possible for people to be resilient in situations like that. We started with resilience and there’s never a day that I don’t feel that resilience isn’t something we can cultivate and also wish for other people. I appreciate so much your time, Andrew, and I enjoyed this conversation. Thank you for being on the show. For folks that have also enjoyed and have a comment about it, you can go to AdamMarkel.com/podcasts and leave a comment there. You can leave a review on iTunes and of course, I love your feedback.
It doesn’t always have to be positive. I’m not asking for the proverbial you suck or anything like that. If you’ve got feedback and it’s constructive and it’s helpful, we love it. We’d love to hear it and whatever that looks like. I try not to make any judgments about it. Wherever you stand on these things is perfect for you. Thank you for that ahead of time. The Start My PIVOT community on Facebook is growing. We’d love to invite you to come and join that. You can find it at Start My PIVOT community on Facebook or go to PivotFB.com and that will take you to the front door there and at StartMyPivot.com as well. You can get ahold of our incredible kickstart guide.
Our team put together this beautiful kickstart guide with six questions to find out where you might be at the moment in the process of pivoting. It seems like we’re always pivoting and sometimes we’re doing that by design or be more conscious of the fact that some changes are required at the moment. Sometimes we’re pivoting because something just happened and we weren’t planning it. We weren’t thinking about it but the universe had a different plan and it catches us off guard. This is a great support guide in that arena and you can get that at StartMyPivot.com as well. In closing, gratitude has been the most beneficial thing to me for the last years. I can’t go a single day without feeling that gratitude is the reason why I enjoy my life. More and more, I believe in the richness of simple practices that allow you to be in a state of gratitude.
As far as rituals go, I don’t think there’s anything that’s more impactful than how it is that you start the day. How I start the day is the equivalent of the most fertile time for our minds. As soil goes, it’s great to take that seed and plant that in fertile soil. As you wake up, I am sending out this intention both for myself and for everybody else that we all get to wake up. As we’re taking that first waking breath where we are conscious of the fact that we are alive and given another day, there are people in that same moment who are taking their last breath of life. That moment is not ordinary. It’s no typical moment at all and something that you can be grateful for regardless of the challenges that may be facing you that day.
It may be a great sunny day. It may be perfect for so many reasons and it may be very imperfect. In that moment, there’s something to appreciate and be grateful for. Our three-part simple waking ritual is to wake up, to begin with. I hope everybody agrees to that. We’ll all wake up. Secondly, that you’ll feel gratitude at that moment, for that moment and anything else that might feel good to be grateful for. Lastly, that if you’re willing to do this, to declare out loud from your bed or when you stand up, to put language to this feeling. Our words are, “I love my life, I love my life, I love my life.” It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve and to be with you. Andrew, thanks so much for being a guest on the show.
Thank you as well.
We’ll see you all soon. Ciao for now.
- No Typical Moments
- The Power of Now
- A New Earth
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- The Greatest Salesman in the World
- Way of the Peaceful Warrior
- Climate Change Conference
- Sounds True Publishing
- Good to Great
- Start with Why
- Sustainable Brands
About Andrew Gottlieb
Andrew Gottlieb is the CEO and Founder of No Typical Moments. No Typical Moments is an online customer acquisition company that aligns with impactful companies and brands who are championing new ways to advance humanity and leave the world a better place. His agency has worked with brands such as Eckhart Tolle, Lisa Nichols, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts and Ken Blanchard.