“Rule number one, make a great product. Rule number two, never break rule one – never use a good cause to sell a bad product.” – Daniel Flynn
Daniel was only nineteen years old when he co-founded Thankyou, an Australian based business selling consumer goods and giving 100% of the profits to aid clean water and sanitation efforts. Eight years in and they’ve grown to 46 products and raised over $5 million dollars – playing a big part in helping the 900 million people who don’t have access to clean water.
This week on Xero Gravity we sit down with Daniel to hear the story of Thankyou – their humble beginnings, and how youthful naivety and not taking no for an answer played a big part in their success. His transparency about the challenges and failures that come with starting (and operating) a business, is not only refreshing but something other entrepreneurs need to hear.
Daniel was headed down a career path of property management when he saw that every day thousands of children were dying from waterborne illness. He couldn’t make sense of why 900 million people didn’t have access to clean water worldwide nor could he ignore them. It was then that the idea for Thankyou was born.
Today, Thankyou is thriving and helping millions of people in the process. From the outside, Daniel’s entrepreneurial story looks perfect. A young business owner that’s going up against – and outselling – big name brands and doing it for a good cause. And often, in business that’s the story that’s told. But for Daniel, it’s important to share not only his successes but also the challenges and failures that come with starting a business.
“I think this journey’s probably lonelier than I thought. I think the illusion is that you’re connected with a lot of people. There’s so much happening. There’s all this excitement, but I think actually the process can be quite lonely, particularly when things aren’t working and when you’re failing and leading a team of people,” says Daniel.
In fact, his authentic dedication to showing other entrepreneurs the realities of starting a business is seen in a book called ‘Chapter One.’ A tell-all about Thankyou’s beginnings and how they’ve built a recognizable brand and powerful consumer movement – and it includes the bad with the good.
“I think we’ve got to let those walls down and be real with people so that others don’t crash and burn on the journey as well. Usually, you get the highlight reel and one failure, but we had 50 failures and then two, three wins. And that’s how it really is” says Daniel.
Tune in for more on Xero Gravity episode 73 and hear why Daniel chose to make Thankyou a business and not a non-profit and the unique marketing approach that got them noticed by two of the biggest retailers in Australia.
Small Business Resources:
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
If you enjoyed this episode, join us again next week when we chat with Kelly Slessor, the mobile marketer behind BanterMob. She stops in to share her knowledge on all things apps – from personalization to optimization. You won’t want to miss it! Be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.
What would you like to hear?
Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!
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