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Anita Roddick Articles
The Socially Conscious Cosmetician: Anita Roddick is Born
“There is no scientific answer for success,” says Anita Roddick. “You can't define it. You've simply got to live it and do it.” In creating the wildly successful Body Shop chain of cosmetic stores, Roddick created her own definition of success. She went against the norm in choosing to operate her business in an ecologically sustainable manner, and not only achieved success, but also redefined the possibilities of what it means to be in business.
Changing ‘Business as Usual’: The Body Shop Becomes a Success
For the first three years of their marriage, Roddick and her husband were content running their restaurant and eight-room hotel. She dealt with the customers while he took care of the behind-the-scenes management. However, after three years, the pair found themselves overworked and separated from their children. They decided to sell their restaurant and embark on their own pursuits.
Lesson #1: Profits Can Go Hand in Hand with the Public Good
“Over the past decades…while many businesses have pursued what I call ‘business as usual’, I have been part of a different, smaller business movement, one that tried to put idealism back on the agenda,” says Roddick. “If I can’t do something for the public good, what the hell am I doing?”
Lesson #2: Make Creativity the Centre of Your Company
“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,” says Roddick. “That means open structures, so that accepted thinking can be challenged.”
Lesson #3: Draw From Your Own Personal Experiences
“It wasn’t only economic necessity that inspired the birth of The Body Shop,” says Roddick. “My early travels had given me a wealth of experience.”
Lesson #4: Infuse Your Company with a Survival Mentality
“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,” recalls Roddick. “I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordon’s 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.”
Lesson # 5: Entrepreneurship Cannot Be Taught
“I often get asked to talk about entrepreneurship – even by hallowed institutions like Harvard and Stanford – but I’m not all convinced it is a subject you can teach,” says Roddick. “How do you teach obsession, because more often than not it’s obsessions that drives an entrepreneur’s vision? Why would you march to a different drumbeat if you are instinctively part of the crowd?”
Changing the World One Shampoo at a Time: How The Body Shop Became a Success
“If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just,” says Roddick – a phrase that could very well be her company motto. She has taken her $6,500 loan and turned it into a successful multi-million dollar corporation that continues to not only make popular cosmetic products but also push the boundaries of corporate social responsibility. She may no longer be the driving force behind the company, but her influence on the business world is undisputed. How did she do it?
Anita Roddick Quotes
Anita Roddick Quotes
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