By Lenora Rand, SmallGood Co-founder
When I was five years old I wanted, more than anything, to be a cowgirl. (Except, of course, with all the cowboy rights and privileges — a feminist even back then.)
I had the boots (red), the cowboy hat (brown), the six-shooter (toy) and most of all I had an active fantasy life.
One afternoon, playing by myself in the backyard, while being chased by some local desperados, I ended up tied up in the branches of a tree about four feet off the ground. The desperados were imaginary.
The rope and the knots were real.
But no worries, I was brave and true and tough and I could get myself out of this mess. Except, I actually couldn’t. The knots —who tied those knots? — were too tight and I was stuck.
The bad guys, it seemed, had won. At least until about a half hour later, when my older brother got home from school, saw my dilemma, untied the ropes and let me go. Thanks again, Dave. (That's him, holding me in his lap.) One day, not that long ago, my friend Mylene (who shared a similar cowgirl fantasy as evidenced by this photo - check out those stylish sunglasses!) and I were talking about why we wanted to start a new ad agency together. Both of us had been working in advertising, in the big agency world, for a long time, over 25 years each.
And we’d seen a lot, learned a lot. Some of it wonderful, some of it not so much.
Because when big agencies work with big companies, sometimes important things get lost along the way. Things like heart and soul and passion, risk and challenge, and idealism. Not to mention being able to get things done, quickly and efficiently and, you know, pleasantly.
Mylene and I realized at that moment; we wanted something different.
We realized, in our heart of hearts, what we want is to help the good guys/gals win.
Because sometimes we look around, and it seems like the bad guys are way ahead and too many of the good ones are stuck, tied up in trees. And they’re gonna stay there unless enough of us say “enough is enough.”
So that’s what we decided to do — take our big agency experience and help small businesses, medium-sized businesses, non-profits, solopreneurs, social entrepreneurs, mompreneurs — younameitpreneurs — all kinds of people with good ideas, or products or services — and help them make the world better in some small (or huge) way.
Help them sort through all their product offerings and benefits, to discover their one true reason for doing what they do, their meaning in the world and for the world.
Help them discover and articulate their why, as Simon Sinek so eloquently talks about in his famous Ted Talk. Help them build their business and share what they have to offer with people who need and want it most.
Help them all make a positive impact in the world and grow their good.
And yes, even help them make more money — because guess what? Turns out doing good has been proven to be good for your bottom line, too.
So we dove in.
Named ourselves SmallGood (makes sense, right?) started taking on some clients we believed in, and we haven’t looked back.
I have to say, it’s been a wild ride so far, working with some wonderful charities, foundations, start-ups and growing businesses, all while doing the “building a plane while flying it” dance. But it’s making both of us happy. It’s making those five-year-old cowgirl/cowpersons, who still live inside us, very happy too.
We know it’s kind of a crazy idea, to start an agency with the mission of trying to help create more positive impact in the world. But honestly, it seems kind of crazy to do anything with the hope of bringing more good into the world.
So, if you’re one of the crazy ones out there doing it, we applaud you. We salute you. We’re 100% for you. And hey, we’d love to work with you.
Because it seems like the world needs more good right now, more than ever. And as Steve Jobs once said, “… the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
That’s what we’re counting on.