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Start Something That Matters

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  9,493 ratings  ·  839 reviews
Love your work, work for what you love, and change the world—all at the same time.
 
What matters most to you? Should you focus on earning a living, pursuing your passions, or devoting yourself to the causes that inspire you? The surprising truth is that you don’t have to choose—and that you’ll find more success if you don’t. That’s the breakthrough message of TOMS’ One
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Hardcover, 189 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,493 ratings  ·  839 reviews


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Kurt
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: absolutely anyone, especially anyone nursing a quiet dream to make the world a better place
Recommended to Kurt by: Amazon Vine
This quick little book is a guide for socially conscious entrepreneurship for the Twitter generation, and there is no piece of that description that appeals to me as a reader. The Amazon Vine program offered me a free copy, though, and I decided to accept it because (1) I’m a big fan of The Amazing Race, on which Mycoskie appeared, and (2) my dad loves the TOMS shoes movement.

Personally, I haven’t been enthusiastic about the TOMS idea. I don’t really care for the aesthetics of the sh
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Lea
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I won this as part of a GoodReads FirstReads giveaway -- thanks!

Before reading this book ( written by Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes), I was completely unfamiliar with the author's company. I'd seen TOMS shoes once or twice, but I really didn't "get it" -- I'm not a shoes girl, and they didn't look like anything all that special to me. Well, after reading this book, I'm buying TOMS for the whole family, LOL. I love the concept behind TOMS -- for every pair of shoes purchased, the compa
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Sharon
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book will be on my gift-giving list this Christmas, and it should be on yours. Easy and fast to read with many profound thoughts and ideas. It's partly the story of TOMS, but also the story of many other similar companies, briefly, including some sage advice for anyone who wishes to start a company with an integrated charity component. More than all that, there are pearls of wisdom in it for living well for every reader.

In these challenging economic times, the message is clear. Help someon
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Mukesh Emes
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is really a good book. I really enjoyed reading it. In this book Blake Mycoskie reveals some inspirational stories of TOMS shoes and other companies. I really liked the story of Subway. “Jared Fogiez” who wanted to reduce his weight and he started taking Subway sandwich diet. Once he lost 100 pounds and it became a big news in all media. Subway presented Jared's story in a perfect way and the result was amazing, their sales shot up 20%. Overall, sales more than tripled to $11.5 billion in 2 ...more
Laura Fingal-Surma
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
I have no idea how this book has an average of 4.11 stars. I picked it up because someone interesting mentioned it during a Q & A session. Most books that I bother to finish get at least 3 stars, but I don't think this really stacks up against the other books I've given 3 stars, so I guess it's 2. I didn't hate it, and I wouldn't say you definitely shouldn't read it. I just didn't get much out of it compared to other books. This book most definitely will not stand the test of time.
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Elisabeth Ensor
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow this book is so inspiring!!! I also had my son read it for homeschool and he is liking it to- this book is so fun because we watched Blake and his sister in the Amazing Race tv show! I have been working on a little side business and I think I would like to model it like the one-to-one giving! Still working on ideas but super inspired :)
Malin Friess
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is Blake Mycokie's story former Amazing Race Contestant and current CEO (or has he calls himself chief Shoe Giver of ) TOMS. Toms is a business that is one for one...you by a pair of his soft simple canvas shoes made in Argentina...he will give one pair to a child in the developing world. TOMS have become style of choice for the social justice minded...making a statement with style and generosity all at the same time.

Blake seem like a great guy and offer lots of great advice....

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Tatiana
Mar 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Redundant and self-promotional. Would recommend just Goolging TOMS shoes and reading either a one-page article or wikipedia page instead of this book.
Lisa Lucas
Won on goodreads giveaway. Review coming soon. Won on 8/29, have not received copy as of 9/29
Lisa
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good. Much better than I expected it to be, if I'm honest. Everyone who is in charge of a classroom, group, department, organization, business, or program should read this book. Anyone who hopes to one day be in charge of one of those things should read this book. One of the best 'business' books I've ever read...I'm quite impressed.

Completely along the lines of "Right Livelihood" -- an idea I strongly value.
Andrea
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot from this book that I wasn't expecting. For example, I had not heard the TOM's story before. I must have been living under a rock, because I thought they were just shoes and a fad. I also learned a little about the Method company's story and how they started in an apartment in San Francisco. Blake Mycoskie offers a lot of advice on how to run a successful that is profitable, but also on how to make a positive impact and give back to society. I definitely enjoyed this read!
Ashwin
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's tips are so simple and obvious, children could develop them. This book's purpose is nothing more than to be propaganda for Mycoskie's friends' companies.
Isaac Thomas
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall this is a pretty inspiring book. It is also a great starting point for someone without a business background who wants to start a new business. I am a business college graduate, so some of it seemed redundant to me. However, the book overall was great, and I plan to read it with my high school business students this year.

My main gripe is that there have been several studies since this book came out that have found that TOMS’ model of giving shoes to impoverished kids probably does more
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Audrey
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Listened to it. Read by the author/creator of Toms. I appreciated his insights and stories on starting his business and brand. Relatable and simple.
Patricia
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kym McNabney
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to be honest, I'd never heard of TOMS shoes until Blake Mycoskie spoke at my church, WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH. I was instantly intrigued by his story, as well as admired his morals. I've been serving, mainly in the prison and Jail ministers, since 2004. I know firsthand what it means for God to place in your heart a passion that blesses you as well as others.

After the service they were selling TOMS shoes, along with Blake's book out in the lobby. I was tempted, but low on funds and
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Tim
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Blake Mycoskie’s brief book covers his struggles in launching one of his companies: Tom orrow’s S hoes (TOMS). This work is not an autobiography. It is somewhat a company profile, almost an entrepreneurial self-help guide, and mostly an elaboration of his mission statement.

Based on a marketing One-for-One (1-4-1) notion, Mycoskie caught the charitable consumerism wave with his version of the Argentinean shoeware called alpargata, which seems to be a cross between a sneaker and a deck shoe and is sometimes
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Santhosh
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Navya Bharathi
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's a really great inspiring book.
I love the idea of TOMS, for each pair of shoe they sell, they are giving one pair of shoe to a barefoot child. Blake told us many stories that are similar to TOMS, how other companies start and doing charity activities.
I like the way he defines the success, its not just a money or status, at the end you are going to help someone who are in need. He will tell us the Power of the stories, how people were really connected to the stories + scientifically p
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Melissa I
I'm not rating this or reviewing again!! It's actually one of 'many' I'm seeing in 'all' my books, which I've read and now all ratings and reviews are gone????!!!!! So upset about this and just seeing it now......how in the world are we supposed to go back years and remember what we originally rated every book and even which ones we read and didn't read depending on the impact the book had or didn't have on us. This was a 2011 read. If I hadn't just seen it on somebody else's update I never woul ...more
Hannah
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I went into reading this book with a set of qualms about Tom’s and and their social responsibility (or lack there of).

Nonetheless, I found the first couple chapters very interesting. Clearly they have done something right in getting a give back product off the ground so quickly. He stresses the importance of a simple concept and story. This makes sense to me and is clearly a great way to get people on board with your mission.

However, in the process of making a difference is just com
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Kayla
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I happened upon this book this morning. After feeling disappointed by Peter Buffett's book on finding fulfillment, I picked this one up without any expectations of liking it. Two hours later, I had finished it and was very glad I had read it. Written by the creator of TOMS, this book described how he started the company, the challenges he faced and how they were overcome, and gave advice to those who wanted to, as the title suggests, start something that matters. It wasn't overly optimistic and ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book does a great job of not only encouraging you to make changes and put your dreams into action, but it gives a useful breakdown of tips and resources to actually get you started. Written by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, this book works to harness the energy and ideas of the reader to channel them into a feasible business plan. I particularly liked the side notes and personalized true stories to corroborate the guidance of each chapter. While these tips will not hold true for every ...more
Kitty
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs
Recommended to Kitty by: Sherri
There are books that are educational about running a business, and there are books that her inspirational. On the spectrum, this is more inspirational than educational, but every entrepreneur needs a little pick me up now, rather than get bogged down with the percentage of entrepreneurial entities that fail.
The story of TOMS and the many other businesses highlighted in this book were wonderfully inspirational while still giving tips about running a company with the TOMS philosophy and busi
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Donna
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved the basic message of this book. The author is the guy responsible for TOMs. He told his entrepreneurial story, and the stories of others in a positive manner with a strong emphasis on 'giving back'. This book left me with warm fuzzies. It made sense to me. He also promotes having a story to perpetuate a business and to create a buzz that gets people talking about you and your company, buying from you, and telling all their friends about you. Some might say that his business model is a gi ...more
Sunitha
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quick and easy read. The unique idea of making profit for the sake of giving more intrigued me. The author seems to give some brash advice at times. It seems like the publishers also have not done their fact checking right. Towards the end of the book, the author quotes Chanakya referring to him as a Chinese philosopher. However, Chanakya was a famous Indian philosopher. Makes me wonder what else they got wrong in the book. I would still recommend it as a motivating book even if one is not int ...more
Amanda Paulin
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really great, easy read with a wonderful study guide online. Inspiring.
Melanie  Hilliard
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Mycoskie, no doubt, has built something that matters. The TOMS brand is compelling and I own more than my fair share of TOMS in a variety of colors. That being said, I was far more interested in how he got his start rather than the pithy advice he offers fellow entrepreneurs. I think the elephant in the room that doesn't get discussed is white privilege. I absolutely get that he's trying to do something different from a capitalist perspective and I respect that. Yes, he's doing stuff frugally li ...more
Jordan Brown
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Inspiring read written by the TOMS founder. The author shares his story and business principles for starting a for-profit company with a giving model.

I'd recommend this book to those who want to pursue a career/lifestyle with an emphasis on mission and social impact. It's a great reminder to step back, look at the big picture and remind yourself of the "why" behind what you're doing.

Memorable Quotes p. 55 (alleviating the fear all people face when starting a new business):

"No matte
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Noah Hendel
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple, quick read. Lots of lessons to be told about entrepreneurship and marketing with a story. Really enjoyed this book and Blake Mycoskie’s insight.
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Blake Mycoskie is the founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes.Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One, a business model to help a person in need with every product purchased. A simple idea has grown into a global movement: TOMS Shoes has provided over 35 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, and TOMS Eyewear has restored ...more
“One day, when I own a house, I'll keep a library full of books. Books are different from other possessions-they're more like friends.” 18 likes
“When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. It is a key not only to starting a business but also to clarifying your own personal identity and choices.” 8 likes
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