People over profit may sound like a new concept for some solopreneurs but it really isn’t. Familiar phrases like “the customer is always right” or “take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers” are rooted in this same concept.
However people over profit takes it a step further and applies it to everyone in the company from owners to customers to contractors to employees. The savviest, most long-standing and profitable companies in the world put ALL of these people over profit.
At first blush that may sound like a tall order but here to guide us on the how to and implementation of people over profit is Dale Partridge. Dale is the author of a book with that same title: People Over Profit. We’ll dive into all of that and more on the 254th episode of The Solopreneur Hour.
More About People Over Profit
Dale Partridge is young, especially for someone who has experienced and lived through so much. At 18, he had a full scholarship to play baseball for Cal State Fullerton which is one of the premiere colleges for baseball in the US.
The summer before he was to begin as a student at Cal State however, he broke a bone in his elbow and within a few days he knew his playing days were done. But rather than let a dashed dream slow him down, he took the experience and grew from it. He wanted to know why this had happened and if he could’ve done something differently to prevent it.
With that in mind he started a fitness company called Fit Image. He grew that business for a few years until he realized he was simply a therapist for other people and he was miserable in that role!
He took his money from the sale of that company, invested in the stock market, got out with some profits and reinvested in a new company: a rock climbing gym. He got outside backing as well and again, built that company into a thriving enterprise. But within a few years he was fired (rightly so he admits now) and started over, yet again.
You’ll also hear:
- How did they fire people at Sevenly and what can it teach you about life?
- What was so hard about the book writing process for him?
- Why was he such a bad leader at the age of 21?
- Are there bad companies or just bad leaders?
- And, of course, what his childhood smelled like.
He dabbled in a few other ventures over the next year or so, and then started a branding agency. He loved it! He was a designer at heart and had a real eye for it. As with every other company he started this one grew as well. And one day while chatting with his business partner they had an idea for a new side gig, a company that would later be called Sevenly.
Sevenly took off like a rocket! The concept was simple: partner with a different charity every week and give $7 (hence the name) of every item sold to that charity. They would sell shirts, hats, etc. The first week they sold over 800 items, and gave nearly $7k to a charity. They realized this business model, if it continued to work, could do double the revenue of the branding agency.
So they killed the agency, took whichever employees with them that wanted to go and grew Sevenly. Within its first 2.5 years it grew to 50 employees, nearly $10 million in revenue and in its first 3.5 years gave around $4.2 million to charities. In short, the company was growing faster than he could keep up with.
That intense level of growth in such a short period of time actually became an incredible challenge for him and his wife. They both began to suffer from insomnia, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. He knew it was time for him to leave, and so he did in October of 2013.
Rather than retiring and fading away, Dale wanted to write about the idea and the concept that would become his book People Over Profit. He was very interested in why and how companies like North Face, Whole Foods, and REI could retain employees with high satisfaction rates, provide great customer experiences and still make a profit.
He wanted to explore the unifying principles they shared and tell others in his book. He found they shared some simple fundamentals: love, truth, transparency, and authenticity.
On today’s episode he goes into more detail on how those fundamentals can positively impact any business in any industry as well as the actual process of writing this book and what his Start Up Camp is all about. He also gives you a great deal on his book here. He’s including his $300 coaching kit when you buy a book at this link!
Please listen in for the full scoop and then join me in thanking him for being here! Big thanks to you as well and we’ll see you next time on The Solopreneur Hour.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: What can you start doing today to put people over profits? How do you see that philosophy impacting your business and businesses around the world?
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Selected Links From This Episode:
Dale Partridge’s personal site
The Start Up Camp web site
People Over Profit, Dale Partridge’s book and complimentary $300 coaching kit
Dale Partridge on the Twitter
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