What is the most important thing in life?

Most people probably would not rate money at the top of the list. When faced with this type of question, most people instead point to things like family, helping others or love. So, why does it often seem that most businesses are simply in it to make a profit?

While the notion of giving back or encouraging consumers to abstain from unnecessary purchases might seem counterproductive, there are a number of businesses that have made this very business model successful.

1.TOMS Shoes – This popular brand of shoes started out on a simple premise; for each pair of shoes that is purchased from them, the company donates a pair to a person who is in need. TOMS has since expanded its give-back efforts by using some of its profits to help improve access to safe water, sight care and safe birth practices in underdeveloped areas.

2.Patagonia – Not only does this maker of climbing gear and clothing fund environmental grants with its own profits, it also encourages its customers to buy less. Instead of tossing out worn or damaged gear and clothing, Patagonia offers repair services to take the weight off its customers’ wallets as well as the environment.


3.Starbucks – The gourmet coffee company caught a lot of flak for what some called an ill-planned campaign to engage consumers in an open conversation on race, but the company continues to press forward and is clicking on all cylinders. Also, disheartened by the overwhelming cost of a secondary education, the CEO partnered with Arizona State University to offer all of its employees the opportunity to attend school free of cost.

TOMS, Patagonia and Starbucks all demonstrate one very important idea — there is no cold, hard line between business and personal life, because a business is bound to touch the personal lives of its customers in one form or another.

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