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Blake Mycoskie

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Blake Mycoskie is an American philanthropist, entrepreneur, and author who founded the shoe-giving company, TOMS. Born and raised in Arlington, Texas, Mycoskie attended Southern Methodist University on a partial tennis scholarship in 1995 and double majored in philosophy and business. After being forced to leave the university due to an Achilles tendon injury, Mycoskie founded his first business, EZ Laundry. He sold the dry cleaning company to his business partner in 1999. Mycoskie then moved to Nashville and found Mycoskie Media, a billboard company that focused on marketing country music. After just 9 months, the company was bought by Clear Channel.

In 2001 Mycoskie and his sister, Paige, competed in the second season of the popular reality TV show, The Amazing Race. Later that year Mycoskie moved to Los Angeles, soon founding the cable network Reality Central with Larry Namer.

While vacationing in Argentina in 2006, Mycoskie met an American woman who was volunteering and providing shoes for children in need. Mycoskie spent the remainder of his vacation traveling around visiting local villages. It was during this trip that he witnessed the various pockets of poverty and saw a need for shoes, as many of the villagers were suffering from going shoeless. Upon returning to the United States Mycoskie founded Shoes for a Better Tomorrow, a for-profit business that provided new shoes to disadvantaged children. It was here that Mycoskie created the “One for One” business model: his company would provide one new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. In 2006, Shoes for a Better Tomorrow was shortened to TOMS. By 2013, Mycoskie had donated more than 10,000.000 pairs of shoes to people in need. Over the years the company expanded to include eyeglasses, providing sight-saving treatments and prescription glasses to those in need for every pair sold.

Mycoskie has been named one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40, People’s “Heroes Among Us”, and America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneur, to name a few. He also authored a book, “Start Something That Matters”, and travels around as a keynote speaker to various events, including SXSW.

Sources used to write this entrepreneur’s profile include the entrepreneur’s person LinkedIn account, the TOMS website, a November 2015 interview with Inc. Magazine, a September 2011 profile with Entrepreneur, and quotes compiled in September 2015 on Brandon Gaille: Marketing Expert and Blogmaster.

Companies and Investments

TOMS (Founder and Chief Shoe Giver), EZ Laundry (Founder), Mycoskie Media (Founder), Reality Central (Co-Founder)

Lessons Learned

Have faith in your customers and provide them with products they will feel good about supporting.

Take action and follow your gut whenever possible.

If you see an opportunity, take it.

Build upon whatever your skills are and look for others who can help fill in the gaps.

Never underestimate the value of entrepreneurship.

Giving is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself. If you start doing it now, you will be able to reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

All you have to do is believe and have enough wits about you to take action in order to make your dreams come true.

Inspiring Quotes

Blake Mycoskie's Quotes

The most important things are actually easiest to obtain: great friends, good food, and a decent bottle of wine

Blake Mycoskie

The most important step of all is the first step. Start something

Blake Mycoskie

Start giving now so you can enjoy the benefits throughout your life

Blake Mycoskie

The thing that distinguishes the ultimate successes from the ultimate failure is this: What do you do with them?

Blake Mycoskie

It was a simple concept: Sell a pair of shoes today, give a pair of shoes tomorrow. Something about the idea felt so right, even though I had no experience, or even connections, in the shoe business.

Blake Mycoskie

Influential Books

Blake Mycoskie - Start Something That Matters