Yvon Chouinard started Patagonia on a fluke.
He never intended to be a businessman.
He was a climber.
It was his passion for climbing that compelled him to start making climbing gear for his friends, which then turned into apparel, which then turned into the multi-million dollar business of Patagonia.
As an avid climber and outdoor enthusiast myself, I have worn and loved my Patagonia gear over the years.
In 2018, my admiration for Patagonia went to the next level, when they swapped their old mission for a completely new one.
"We're in business to save our home planet."
They still sell outdoor gear and equipment, but how they produce it, why they produce it, and what they do with the profits has completely shifted.
They are working for a 'just cause' in the words of Simon Sinek.
According to Sinek, a just cause must be:
Patagonia is a business that has put their purpose above their profits, and the profits feed directly into the purpose.
It's a symbiotic relationship.
Now, the founder, and his family have given away their $3 billion dollar company to a non-profit to help save the planet.
They are also happy to pay the more than $17 million in taxes.
When you have a passion that fuels your purpose and business, the profits become secondary to the just cause.
Do you have a Just Cause that propels you forward and underlies all your decisions?
Here’s an article about the decision:
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
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I am Theresa Destrebecq.