Monday, April 24, 2017

Buy a shirt. Start a conversation. Change the world.

I’ve been teasing for a while now that today I would announce one of the odder things I’ve done. I’m happy to deliver on that promise by introducing you to Limit Your Greed (formally LYG, LLC), a new company that my business partner, Bill Catchings and I are starting. You can visit its site here.

As friends and long-time readers know, Bill and I are the founders and co-owners of Principled Technologies, Inc. PT is the leading fact-based marketing and learning services provider, but it is also — and always has been — a social experiment.  Bill and I started PT in part to see if it was possible to build a business that follows very different principles from traditional businesses and yet still does well and makes a profit.

With PT now in its 15th year, we’re happy to report that the experiment is a success. You can run a business very differently and still do well.

Now, we want to take that lesson to a broader audience—in fact, to everyone—and try to change the world. We want to do so by persuading business owners and executives to choose to do something both simple and radical: to take less so that others can have more. To limit their greed.

Our goal is not new government legislation; instead, we’re hoping to help start a movement in which folks choose to build different businesses and help make the world better for a lot of people.

One way in which we hope to do that is by selling a book, Limit Your Greed, which we’re still working on but should finish soon.

Another is today’s announcement.

As the site says, “Philosophically, LYG is a movement. Practically, it’s a clothing company.”

The idea is simple: Buy shirts that contain challenging and conversation-worthy slogans. The first is “Limit your greed.” Another is “Nobody wins unless everyone wins.” Each shirt comes with talking points. When someone asks what your shirt means, you have a chance to show them a better way for businesses large and small to behave.

I don’t want to repeat all of the material on the site, so let me instead point you to its Practice page for answers to the questions about how to make this happen.

Of course, you could just buy the shirts because they’re cool—and they are. They’re made in North Carolina, where we’re based, from cotton grown here, and they’re soft and lovely to the touch. The designs are nifty, both visually appealing and conversation-worthy.

You could also buy the shirts in the hopes LYG makes a profit, because if it does, half of all profits will go to charity.

What we most hope, though, is that you will buy the shirts—Get ‘em all! Collect the whole set!—and help us change the world.

I have to warn you that you can’t buy the shirts quite yet. That’s intentional. Bill and I will be wearing one of these shirts each day at TED, which we’re attending this week. To help make sure no one felt we were flogging products—a TED no-no we take seriously—we didn’t want them available for sale yet.

So no, we’re not wearing the shirts at TED to sell them. We’re wearing them to do what we hope you will join us in doing: start conversations, and change the world.

I promised odd, and I think that me going into the movement and clothing business is odd enough to make that promise real.

Odd or not, though, I hope you join us in this movement. Together, we can make the world better.


Cynthia Hyde said...

Can't wait to buy and wear them!

Mark P said...

Good luck it sounds like a great idea.
There certainly should be less opposition if it's not compulsory.

Be interesting if you can get any be businesses interested. I suspect family businesses might go for it rather than stock holder owned ones.

In the UK we have one successful company, the John Lewis Partnership, where the company is as the name suggests a partnership, and the workers get a share of the profits.

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words and the support. I hope folks buy the shirts and, more importantly, start the conversations. I believe a lot of businesses could adopt some of the principles and so improve the world. Here's hoping we can make that happen!

old aggie said...

Agree with Cynthia. :-)
Will there be a way for people in other cities/towns to buy quantities of these shirts, to sell at their local events? Here in the Cleveland area, I'm thinking of the "Cleveland Flea" - a monthly event where the LYG shirts would assuredly fly off the racks. Tons of younger folks (and a few of us oldies) in the NEO live by these principles already. I'm not thinking of the shirts as money-makers - more as message-promoters. Your team might have something like this in mind already for NC; if so, I hope there'll be a way for it to happen other places too.
LYG will make a difference, Mark - count on it.

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words. Once the shirts are for sale, we will absolutely work out volume discounts. Just let me know. We want to spread the word and change the world!

Rosanne said...

Awesome! I will pass the information along to others, with the hope of many orders for LYG.

Mark said...

Thanks for the support and the kind words.


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