Anita Roddick Quotes
To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.
If you think youíre too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.
To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
A woman in advancing old age is unstoppable by any earthly force. I love it.
For me, campaigning is about putting forward solutions, not just opposing destructive practices or human rights abuses.
For myself, I needed to earn money, to look after the kids while my husband was traveling for two years across South America.
If you can shape your business life or your working life, you can just look at it as another extension Ė you just fulfill all your values as a human being in the work place. If you are an activist, you bring the activism of your life into your business, or if you love creative art, you can bring that in.
Itís not really work for me because I have no idea what work is anymore. It is so much a part of my life.
I hadnít a clue.
Itís about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. Now 30 years on The Body Shop is a multi local business with over 2.045 stores serving over 77 million customers in 51 different markets in 25 different languages and across 12 time zones. And I havenít a clue how we got here!
We made a list of all the things we didnít want to be. We did not want to be these captains of industry. That didnít make our blood sing. I didnít want to be a cosmetic diva wearing high heels and make-up, prancing around at the celebrity functions. We were rooted in family and community.
Not a vacation like going into a hotel and La de da. I spent a month in Nicaragua working alongside the sesame farmers and that was a joy. And I spent some time with the Black Farmerís Cooperative in Alabama and Mississippi trailing from one farm to the other.
I told my kids that they would not inherit one penny. The money that we make from the company goes into The Body Shop Foundation, which isnít one of those awful tax shelters like some in America. It just functions to take the money and give it away.
There is no scientific answer for success. You can't define it. You've simply got to live it and do it.
It gave me a lot of confidence in gut feelings Ė taught me to trust my instincts above everything else, and stood me in very good stead when I came to open my first shop.
I was a natural outsider, and I was drawn to other outsiders and rebels. James Dean was my schoolgirl idol. I also had a strong sense of moral outrage, which was awakened when I found a book about the Holocaust at the age of ten.
I traveled enormously during the 1960's, when you measured everything by where you traveled and what you did as travelers.
If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.
A two-for-one sale no other cosmetic company could ever hope to match: buy a bottle of Ďnaturalí lotion and get social justice for free.
Over the past decadesÖwhile many businesses have pursued what I call Ďbusiness as usualí, I have been part of a different, smaller business movement, one that tried to put idealism back on the agenda.
If I canít do something for the public good, what the hell am I doing?
I hate the beauty business. It is a monster industry selling unattainable dreams. It lies. It cheats. It exploits women.
I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in.
Itís about service, serving the weak and the frail, bringing the concepts of social justice into business. But actually putting them into practice is the key. They canít be just rhetoric any more.
All through history, there have always been movements where business was not just about the accumulation of proceeds but also for the public good. I am still looking for the modern equivalent of those Quakers who ran successful businesses, made money because they offered honest products and treated their people decently. This business creed, sadly, seems long forgotten.
I think that more companies are now realizing its corporate reputation is at stake and what they fear mostly is consumer revolt.
If prices are not that good at the moment thatís because the bloody business is not very well run. It has nothing to do with the social agenda. We save a huge amount of money by not advertising and by not going around in Lear jets, or having obscene compensation packages like many others do.
I often get asked to talk about entrepreneurship Ė even by hallowed institutions like Harvard and Stanford Ė but Iím not all convinced it is a subject you can teach.
How do you teach obsession, because more often than not itís obsessions that drives an entrepreneurís vision? Why would you march to a different drumbeat if you are instinctively part of the crowd?
If I had learned more about business ahead of time, I would have been shaped into believing that it was only about finances and quality management. There is a sort of terrorism that comes with the operations and the science of making money, but by not knowing any of that, I had an amazing freedom.
In the business school model, entrepreneurs are most at home with a balance sheet, a cashflow forecast and a business plan. They dream of profit forecasts and the ay they can take the company public. You certainly must be able to wield these weapons. But these are just part of the toolbox of re-imagining the world. They are not the basic defining characteristic of entrepreneurship.
Potential entrepreneurs are outsiders. They are people who imagine things as they might be, not as they are, and have the drive to change the world around them. Those are skills that business schools do not teach.
They will not teach you the most crucial thing of all: how to be an entrepreneur. They might also sap what entrepreneurial flair you have as they force you into the template called an MBA pass.
I started The Body Shop in 1976 simply to create a livelihood for myself and my two daughters, while my husband, Gordon, was trekking across the Americas. I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordonís advice to take sales of £300 a week. Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that's exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.
I wake up every morning thinkingÖthis is my last day. And I jam everything into it. Thereís no time for mediocrity. This is no damned dress rehearsal.
We were most creative when our back was against the wall.
I think that sort of good housekeeping of frugality, which would certainly be considered eccentric nowadays, was part of the idiosyncratic nature that set us apart. Nobody was stupid enough to offer five sizes of one product; it simply didnít make sense. We turned it around into a survivorís option: customers pick up the size they want and come back every week for a refill. Recycling had nothing to do with being environmentally conscious at that point.
I made no claim to prescience, to any intuition about the rise of the green movement. At the forefront of my mind at the time there was really only one thought Ė survival.
My goal was livelihood. We donít use that word often enough. If I could give one piece of advice to anyone itís donít obsess with this notion that you have to turn everything you do into a business, because that ends up being a small version of a large company. But if you can create an honourable livelihood, where you take your skills and use them and you earn a living from it, it gives you a sense of freedom and allows you to balance your life the way you want.
It wasnít only economic necessity that inspired the birth of The Body Shop. My early travels had given me a wealth of experience.
Iíve always said that travel is the best university; getting from one place to another means more than physical movement. It also entails change, challenge, new ideas and inspirationsÖ.I had this idea of making little products like shampoo and so forth using ingredients I had found when I traveled.
You change your values when you change your behaviour. When youíve lived six months with a group that is rubbing their bodies with cocoa butter, and those bodies are magnificent, or you wash your hair with mud, and it works, you go on to break all sorts of conventions, from personal ethics to body care. Then, if youíre me, you develop this stunning love for anthropology.
Because I have the interest of living with indigenous groups of people and pre-industrial groups, I learned so much. For example, when your shampoo is gone, you end up mashing up stuff to put in your hair. You put on mayonnaise, eggs, anything to clean and scrub. It is real experiences that change your values.
The frugality that my mother exercised during the war years made me question retail conventions. Why waste a container when you can refill it? And why buy more of something than you can use? We behaved as she did in the Second World War, we reused everything, we refilled everything and we recycled all we could. The foundation of The Body Shop's environmental activism was born out of ideas like these.
It is a critical job of any entrepreneur to maximize creativity, and to build the kind of atmosphere around you that encourages people to have ideas. That means open structures, so that accepted thinking can be challenged.
Successful entrepreneurs may hate hierarchies and structures and try to destroy them. They may garner the disapproval of MBAs for their creativity and wildness. But they have antennae in their heads. When they walk down the street anywhere in the world, they have their antennae out, evaluating how what they see can relate back to what they are doing. It might be packaging, a word, a poem, even something in a completely different business.
You always have to remember that what is most important in a company Ė or anything else Ė is unquantifiable in figures.
Measure your success according to fun and creativity.
Whatever you do, be different Ė that was the advice my mother gave me, and I canít think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If youíre different, you will stand out.
It is true that there is a fine line between entrepreneurship and insanity. Crazy people see and feel things that others donít. But you have to believe that everything is possible. If you believe it, those around you will believe it too.