Many successful people get scared.
Scared of speaking out and losing business. Scared of saying what is on their mind and having people over react and drop from doing business with them.
I know many business people that do that. And I agree that sometimes it is not appropriate.
One businessman recently had a family member talk bad about Arnold Schwarzenegger being a Nazi. Strange because he isn’t. Many people I know think that it was inappropriate.
It can be hard for people to share an opinion. I think the key is how it is done.
Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was not one of these people. She spoke up for what she believed in.
She joined the crowd of environmentalists, anti-globalists and anarchists in the front lines of the protest at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle in 1999, for instance, and she was perhaps more beloved by those whose causes she supported than by her more buttoned-up business peers.
Of course, her protesting helped her business as most of the people that frequent her stores are also protesting the WTO. But, it was still very bold of her and I wish more people would speak up when appropriate.
I visited our local The Body Shop yesterday and found out that she died last week. I felt a little stunned. She was so young, only 64. Then I though that her passing would hurt The Body Shop. It does happen. A founder dies and then business tanks because the business doesn’t have a recognizable spokesperson.
I did some research and found out that the company was not managed by her or her husband for many years and was sold last year to a company that could manage it well. This is good news. The Body Shop should live on very successfully and be a testament to Anita and her ideals. She believed in natural products many years before it was fashionable and created a successful way for such products to exist by building a business around them. And she stuck to that throughout the years. She didn’t sell out and carry non-natural products. She even protested against groups that she thought were harmful to natural products.
Thank you Anita for believing in what you thought was right. I love your store and your products. It is an oasis. Thank you.
Her business book she wrote – Business As Unusual: My Entrepreneurial Journey, Profits With Principles. I plan to read it soon.