Finding out why shoes can really ‘Matter’

Many stories can be written about the people that have been helped through TOMS, a company that donates a pair of shoes to the needy when someone purchases a pair for themselves. Blake Mycoskie, founder, provides insight into the world of social entrepreneurship with his book “Start Something that Matters”— a collection of inspiring tales that illustrate the technique behind building a successful business for the betterment of the world.

In his book, Mycoskie explores how life requires sacrifice in a lot of ways. This is no different for Seton Hall students with the school’s focus on responsibility, scholarship and service. For some, sacrifice may simply mean skipping a party to study for a test. For others, sacrifice can mean studying a subject that guarantees higher pay rather than job satisfaction.

With the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, and over 14 million Americans searching for whatever work they can get, the word sacrifice is on everyone’s lips. Mycoskie, on the other hand, claims that it doesn’t have to be. In “Start Something that Matters,” Mycoskie shows that you do not have to sacrifice what you love in order to make a living.

Using examples of innovative organizations like charity: water, method, FEED projects and TerraCycle, Mycoskie presents the philosophy that anyone can build a successful business using only a good story and a big idea. With anecdotes from his own experiences littered throughout, “Start Something that Matters” is as entertaining as it is insightful.

Mycoskie offers advice on facing the fears that come with following a dream and offers words of encouragement throughout, but the most powerful message that he sends is one that is sure to resonate with the Seton Hall community: the idea that giving is good business.

If the inspiring stories that Mycoskie offers are not enough to spur students into imagining their own big ideas, they are at least enough to encourage students to become more involved and buying the book is enough to get started— for each copy purchased, a book will be donated to a child in need through the program First Book.

With its humorous anecdotes and straightforward approach to the business side of humanitarianism, “Start Something that Matters” is recommended for all those interested in being a part of something bigger. As easy as Mycoskie makes it, how could one resist?

Andrea Aguirre can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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