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Old 08-20-2006   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
Neat book: "Let my people go surfing"

I just read a neat book by the owner of the Patagonia clothing company. The book is called "Let my people go surfing: the education of a reluctant businessman", by Yvon Chouinard.

The owner has a great story that I think would appeal to many kayakers. Check out the introduction:

I've been a businessman for almost fifty years. It's as difficult to say those words as it is for someone to admit being an alcoholic or a lawyer. I've never respected the profession. It's business that has to take the majority of the blame for being the enemy of nature, for destroying native cultures, for taking from the poor and giving to the rich, and for poisoning the earth with the effluent from its factories.

Yet business can produce food, cure disease, control population, employ people, and generally enrich our lives. And it can do these good things and make a profit without loosing its soul. That's what this book is about.

The typical young Republican's dream of making more money than his parents or of starting a business, growing it as fast as possible, taking it public, and retiring to the golf courses of Leisure World has never appealed to me. My values are a result of living a life close to nature and being passionately involved in doing what some people call risky sports.

My company, Patagonia, exists to put into action those recommendations that all the doomsday books on the health of our home planet say we must do immediately to avoid destruction of nature and collapse of our civilization.
This author was the one who started the "1% for the planet" movement.

It is inspirational how Patagonia is able to be an effective business while being fun to work for and a leader in protecting the environment. While I initially thought this guy was a bit extreme, he's just doing basic common sense things as a result of doing his homework.

As a businessman myself, I love his comparison of the profession to alcoholics and lawyers! No argument there.

cstork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2006   #2
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
Yea, good book.

It reminds me to make sure you have passion in what you do and make sure the passion is broad based to keep your soul healthy and do some good. Easier said than done. It's especially easier if you are the owner of a profitable large company in a great market niche. Clearly, you can't quite follow Yvon's approach as a worker in a larger company. But, it's still useful to keep in mind.
basil is offline   Reply With Quote

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