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Better Business Founder

Author: Leekei Tang

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Purpose-driven creative businesses can Do Well while Doing Good.
Better Business Founder is an exploration of the journeys of Founders that are developing their business to become the catalyst for the change they want to see in the world.
Learn more at betterbusinessfounder.com
46 Episodes
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ON the beauty of Lisbon in Portugal (2:35) ON Isa's vision for the ideal world for her children (3:53)ON  Isa's realization of the emergence and emergency of her life calling  (5:06)ON  Isa leaving her job as a journalist in the health sector (9:38)ON  definition of Communication with Empathy (12:42)ON  work environment: the benefit of Communication with Empathy (18:51)ON  why Empathy must be paired with Assertiveness (boundaries) (21:58)ON  the power of saying NO (boundaries) (25:28)ON  communication with empathy for workers in the health sector  (34:33)ON  Isa stepping out of her comfort zone for her business  (37:13)ON  how Isa defines success for her  (41:09)===========CONNECT WITH Isa AlvesIG @is.g.alvesFB  @isagalvesisa.alves(at)gmail.com===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:The Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
ON How A Small Fashion Business can effectively create change and even lead change. (3:28)  ON How Can A Small Fashion Business Be Seen And Heard in a Noisy World and Why Seth Thinks it's Great News to be Copied (5:46)  ON The Purpose of Words: To CONNECT (8:41)  ON Idiosyncrasy (10:58)  ON Empathy (12:14)  ON  The Smallest Viable Audience (12:47)  ON Authenticity (13:37)  ON Why Running A Business Is  A Creative Endeavour (14:21)  ON Tools For Modern Business Owners That Want to Make A Difference (16:33)  ON How Seth Chooses Which Projects to Work On (18:54)  ON Showing Up and 8000 blog posts in the time capsule for future generations (20:26)  ===========CONNECT WITH Seth GodinSeth's Blog: https://seths.blog/Seth's Podcast AKIMBO  https://www.akimbo.link/===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Rana Plaza Disasterblog post: Tools For Modern CitizensThinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts by Annie DukeAKIMBO Season 9 - Episode 20, the question asked at 17:17===========Check out Seth's on Wikipedia===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
ON Capetown and Daniela's father moving to South Africa (3:13)ON  how Daniela "stumbled" upon slippers and how she perfected shoemaking skills during the pandemic (6:03)ON Daniela's childhood in the wilderness of South Africa and how it shaped her quest for a simple lifestyle and sustainable living (12:07)ON finding the name of the brand WALK THE TALK AFRICA (17:25)ON creativity in South Africa (20:14)ON getting the shoes made in South Africa (22:47)ON Daniela's previous career and why she decided to launch WALK THE TALK AFRICA (26:33)ON selling and finding resellers for WALK THE TALK AFRICA (31:53)ON life slowing down during lockdown and how Daniela used this time for her business (36:12)ON measure of success for WALK THE TALK AFRICA 1) job creation and Daniela plan to take part of the business online  (39:37)ON measure of success for WALK THE TALK AFRICA 2) daring to dream, stepping out of your comfort zone (44:14)ON measure of success for WALK THE TALK AFRICA 3) money in the bank and Daniela's "business plan" (45:47)ON how to connect with Daniela's and WALK THE TALK AFRICA (47:31)===========CONNECT WITH Daniela / Walk The Talk Africahttps://walkthetalkafrica.comIG @walkthetalkafrica===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Cape Town“(Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.) The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. (It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.)” (Steve Jobs)===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
ON Liz' Vision for the World:  where people feel comfortable enough to be who they are and still have the opportunity to succeed in areas that they want. (3:08)  ON The the mission of Ability People (TAP): to create meaningful employment for people with disabilities, by removing as many unnecessary barriers as possible (5:03)  ON Hiring people with disabilities and opportunities for businesses and companies (12:23)  ON The employment challenge for people with disabilities (16:49)  ON Liz personal journey with her disability (23:49)  ON  Liz fighting for herself and her elite swimming career (28:14)  ON Transition from swimming to launching her business (34:34)  ON Lessons learned (38:09)  ON Definition of success for TAP (41:08)  ON PODIUM by TAP a revolutionary marketplace that connects freelancers and businesses (45:25)  ===========CONNECT WITH Liz JohnsonThe Ability People TAP: https://www.theabilitypeople.com/===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Hidden Figures ===========Check out Liz' swimming achievements on Wikipedia===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
Definition of success can change over time:(2:33) David Nebinski(4:02) Bai ZahmriSuccess is beyond Founders' personal goals, it's more about connection, about adding value to the lives of others, inspiring others to do things differently:(5:03) Shivani Patel(5:59) Nan & Carl(8:20) Pola  Stępień(8:40) Bai Zahmri(9:10) Ihita ShandilyaOn  privilege, freedom, and exploration of new possibility:(10:04) Mati Ventrillon(10:46) Pola  Stępień(11:44) Josie MackenzieOn the sustainability components in the business created:(16:07) Ihita Shandilya(16:50) Bai Zahmri(10:03) Josie MackenzieOn being lean, on growing, and being close to the core of what the brand stands for:(20:39) Jennifer Myers Chua(22:51) Mati Ventrillon===========CONNECT WITH DAVID NEBINSKIDavid is the host of Portfolio Career Podcast: https://www.portfoliocareerpodcast.com/===========CONNECT WITH BAI ZAHMRIBai is the Founder of Nazkids https://www.mynazkids.com/===========CONNECT SHIVANI PATELShivani is the Founder of Arture https://myarture.com/===========CONNECT WITH NAN & CARLNan & Carl are the Founders of  Seeker x Retriever https://www.seekerxretriever.com/===========CONNECT WITH POLA STEPIENPola is the Founder of  MODAPOLKA https://modapolka.com/===========CONNECT WITH IHITA SHANDILYAIhita is the Founder of  MithilaSMITA https://www.mithilasmita.com/===========CONNECT WITH MATI VENTRILLONMati is the Founder of  Mati Ventrillon  https://www.mativentrillon.co.uk/===========CONNECT WITH JOSIE MACKENZIEJosie is the Founder of  AMMA Sri Lanka https://www.ammasrilanka.com/===========CONNECT WITH JENNIFER MYERS CHUAAt HIP MOMMIES: https://hipmommies.ca/Buy products that are useful, well-made, thoughtfully designed that are responsibly from suppliers that are good people, supporting good causes, and that are doing business ethically Jennifer's podcast: COST OF GOODS SOLD===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
===========CONNECT WITH JENNIFER MYERS CHUAAt HIP MOMMIES: https://hipmommies.ca/Buy products that are useful, well-made, thoughtfully designed that are responsibly from suppliers that are good people, supporting good causes, and that are doing business ethically Jennifer's podcast: COST OF GOODS SOLD===========BRANDS MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:EZPZGATHREWOBBEL===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic 
===========CONNECT WITH David NebinskiWeb: https://www.portfoliocareerpodcast.com/===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:The Podcasting Workshop===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
===========The Manifesto for Quiet DisruptorsHave you noticed? We’re shifting from one era to the next.From the modern, industrial age where there were linear and predictable answers, to a complex, interconnected and volatile world. Where what we do affects who others become and impacts our whole environment, without us fully realising it.We need different voices. People with fresh things to say who don’t need to shout.Not just super-heroes with confident gestures. Nor the loud, always-on culture, with quick answers that offer attractive sticking plasters, yet fail to see what comes next or why we are doing it anyway.But the thoughtful and creative change-makers who look from the edge and craft their responses, who want to make a difference, differently. Not just for today.Because more of the same won’t do.So now is our time to shift the conversation by becoming the change we want to see. Owning our voice, finding the others and having the courage to speak softly about things that matter.Because only people make change. And change emerges with those who have the courage to be different:who think before they speak;who ask questions we’d sometimes rather not face;who create solutions we hadn’t expected;who see more from the edge, than the centre, and make connections that surprise us;who are driven to make a difference, but want to do it differently, with grace;who get their energy from calm reflection, beautiful ideas, and taking the long view;who exercise kindness, generosity and stubborn courage in pursuing a different way of looking, being and doing that can turn our world upside down – for the better.It’s time for the new change-makers. The quiet disruptors with the courage to speak softly about things that matter.Sue HeatheringtonThe WatersideNovember 2020===========CONNECT WITH Sue Heatherington / Quiet DisruptorsWeb: https://quietdisruptors.com/Daily poetry: https://sueheatherington.com/twitter @SueWaterside===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:University of East AngliaSusan CainSimon SinekPatagonia "DON'T BUY THIS JACKET"Josie Mackenzie / AMMA Sri Lanka🎤 🎧 episode with Josie Mackenzie ===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
===========CONNECT WITH Shivani Patel / ARTUREWeb: https://myarture.com/Instagram: @arturedesign===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:National Institute of Fashion TechnologyCHENNAI: city in South of India where ARTURE is locatedINDIEGOGO: crowdfunding platform===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic 
===========CONNECT WITH Josie Mackenzie / AMMA Sri LankaWeb: https://www.ammasrilanka.com/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amma_srilanka/  ===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Central St MartinsKANDY: the second city of Sri LankaOfficial languages in Sri Lanka: Tamil and SinhalaNuwara Eliya, where AMMA is located in Sri LankaColombo, the capital city of Sri LankaGood Market TRAID UKFIBERSHED===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
ON Malaysia, its lush forests and Bai’s future vision for the world  (2:43)  ON the reason why Bai created Nazkids, a social business that provides jobs for women and particularly mothers in Jitra, Kedah (4:30)  ON providing training as the hiring process of the makers (8:27)  ON how Bai created a new category in baby clothing by developing Malay traditional outfits for babies’ Aqiqah and how it landed in the hands of celebrities and royal families (10:02)  ON the power of the pictures to launch the brand (12:11)  ON why it is so important to build the brand first (13:44)ON Bai leaving a corporate career to start her own company (15:02)  ON losing most of her savings and bootstrapping (17:10) ON the philosophy behind training programs, why Nazkids focuses on training even if the women do not end up working with the business (20:23)  ON the longer vision: to provide business training so the women can start their own business (22:41)ON Bai’s definition of success: how many people Bai can bring to achieve greater things in life (24:50)ON why Bai decided to register her company on Dec 12, 2012 (26:40)  ON challenges and learnings from running a social business (27:53)ON where you can find Nazkids and the new products launching since the start of the pandemic (beyond masks!!!) (29:33)  ===========CONNECT WITH Bai / NazKidsWeb : www.mynazkids.comInstagram : https://www.instagram.com/nazkids/  Shopee in Malaysia :- http://shopee.com.my/starzgate23 (or search for Nazkids)Shopee in Singapore :- https://shopee.sg/starzgate23 (or search for Nazkids)Lazada in Malaysia :- https://www.lazada.com.my/shop/nazkids (or search for Nazkids)===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Jitra KedahRainforest in MalaysiaAqiqah or AkikahKuala Lumpur===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
ON Madhubani Paintings also known as Mithila Paintings, an Ancient Art Form practiced by Women  (2:59)  ON Ihita’s late Grandmother using this form of Art as a tool to bring a change in this part of the world (4:24)ON learnings from spending childhood at Grandmother’s NGO (4:53)ON the realization of the challenges of being women and continuing the work of her Grandmother (5:55)ON looking for more sustainable sources of revenue (8:18)ON the idea of evolving from an NGO to a Social Enterprise in order to help the system support the artisans in a way that they support our existence on this planet (9:07)  ON adding value and meaning to corporate gifting (10:25)  ON using artisans work onto fashion items (12:16)  ON the challenges of switching from NGO model to a social business model & change of mindset (15:19)  ON a hybrid model to support the vision (19:03) ON MITHILAsmita international expansion (21:00)  ON Ihita definition of success: creating a system that holds the vision of creating sustainable livelihood for artisans and their creativity (22:45)  ON Ihita’s vision of the world for her children: knowledge and appreciation of traditional art forms as the expression of timeless beauty and emotion (24:29)  ON MITHILAsmita near future development: international expansion  (26:48) ===========CONNECT WITH Ihita ShandilyaMITHILAsmita: https://www.mithilasmita.com/Connect on WhatsApp: +91 9901187800 BUY from MITHILAsmita: ArtnHer https://www.artnher.com/===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Madhubani is a town municipality and headquarter of Madhubani district. Madhubani is situated in the Indian state of Bihar.Mithila PaintingsACUMEN fellowship UN Women Empowerment Principles award===========Host: Leekei TangContact: hello (at) betterbusinessfounder.comMusic credits: Ukulele Fun by Liosound Music / Wooden Xylophone by Floraphonic
How can we build a creative business that delivers value to people and to the planet? What does it EVEN mean to be or to become BETTER for a fashion business? I’ve been exploring and experimenting with these issues for almost 20 years now. And today we are facing some really really big challenges but it also means that we have amazing opportunities ahead of us to build a BETTER BUSINESS in the fashion industry. And I believe that there are many different ways we can achieve that. Hi everyone, Welcome to Better Business Founder I’m your host, Leekei Tang, On this podcast, we will explore what it means and what we can do to make our BUSINESS even BETTER, because Better doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone. Some episodes of this podcast will be conversations with mission-driven founders in creative industries, just like you, that are sharing their journey of building their own Better Business. Sometimes it will be conversations with people that are teaching us a concept or a new idea. And sometimes, I’ll be just talking to you. And Together we will learn and grow, so we can challenge the status quo with intention, and ignite change, right now. Because guess what? Your Business is the CATALYST to Create the Change You want to see in the world Better Business Founder is the podcast for purpose-driven business founders that are seeking to build a Better business, on their own terms. You can subscribe now wherever you normally find your podcasts and invite some friends that would benefit from these conversations. Take care and talk to you very soon
ON Scott’s Vision of the World (5:50)  ON Why Scott transitioned from a music career to creating Creative on Purpose (6:13)  ON Trusting ourselves when starting something new (8:37)  ON Scott’s definition of Creativity (12:22)  ON Integrity (15:03)  ON Introduction to Stoic Philosophy (17:18)  ON The Gift of Adversity (21:52)  ON Coddiwomple [to head confidently to an unknown destination] (26:04)  ON Values and Virtues (28:41)  ON Taking Action (30:47)  ON Being Part of a Community to Step into Possibility (34:15)  ON The Intention when Writing Onward (37:31)  ===========CONNECT WITH Scott PerryCREATIVE ON PURPOSE: https://www.creativeonpurpose.com/BUY ONWARD, When Certainty Ends, Possibility Begins===========MENTIONED IN THE CONVERSATION:Seth Godin and Akimbo: https://akimbo.com/ Some Stoic Philosophers & Historical Figures influenced by Stocism:Zeno of Citium: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_of_Citium Seneca: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_the_YoungerEpictetus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EpictetusMarcus Aurelius: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_AureliusFounding Fathers of the United States: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_StatesNelson Mandela: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela===========Host: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes
Host: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes
ON Nan's  (2:54)  ON Carl's (3:24)  ON who Seeker x Retriever is for (3:58)  ON Seeker x Retriever brand philosophy (4:54)  ON finding the weaving community in Chaeson Lampang Province (6:20)  ON the first encounter with the weavers (8:27)  ON the meaning of Seeker x Retriever (11:06)  ON working with the tailor (12:46)  ON working with the weavers (15:05)ON why they also offer made-to-order (17:01)ON  human collaboration as a core value of Seeker x Retriever (18:56)  ON waiting in today’s fast-paced world (22:03)  ON explaining the brand philosophy to sell to customers (23:10)  ON scaling up or down? (27:03)  ON the definition of success (29:06)  ON not working with too many stockists and on finding your tribe  (32:11)  ON the joys of working as a married couple (33:27)  ON not having experience in fashion is an advantage in the current fashion system (35:15) ===========CONNECT WITH Nan and CarlSEEKER x RETRIEVER: https://www.seekerxretriever.com/ IG / FB===========WHERE ARE THE ARTISANS THAT MAKE THE CLOTHES:CHAE SON NATIONAL PARK (LAMPANG) in THAILANDBAGRU VILLAGE RAJASTHAN in INDIA ===========Host: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes
Growing up in Poland (2:05)Pessimism on the current environmental outlooks (3:43)  Why launching a fashion brand is Pola’s way of taking action and of spreading her message (4:54)  The Narciso collection, made with vintage fabrics dated back from the 90s (7:22)  Łódź and its textile industry history (10:00)  The urban Nomad collection,made with Polish denim dated back from the 80s (11:44)  Fashion Design as a branch of Product Design (13:48)  How Pola launched her first collection (15:15)  Why Pola sells her collection directly to clients (17:37)  Łódź Design Festival (18:22)  “I want to focus on the ergonomics. My clothes, most of all wearable and comfortable and made with sophisticated tailoring techniques” (19:25)  “My goal is to improve the quality of life with my brand” (21:52)  How Pola defines success (22:29)  Learnings from failures (24:28)  Trade-offs to be made and moral dilemmas (25:32)  The joys of running her brand (28:11)  ===========CONNECT WITH Pola StępieńMODAPOLKA: https://modapolka.com/en/shop/IG / FB===========MENTIONED  IN THIS EPISODEPolish former industrial city of ŁódźThe Film The Promised Land (1975) by  Andrzej WajdaŁódź Design Festival===========Host: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes
Julia’s cross-country education and experiences (1:59)  How Julia’s brand is connected to her personal vision (2:43)  How Julia Skargeth brand started in Asia (4:30)  How launching a Kickstarter campaign led Julia to ... take over a factory in Indonesia (10:00) A crisis is a chance to grow and to get better (12:36)Why Julia relocated production in Europe and restarting the brand (13:28)On transparency as part of the brand storytelling (18:00)Julia’s creative process on the fringe of the traditional fashion calendar (24:02)Brand’s further developments (27:12)What brings joy to Julia from her business (28:51)===========TO CONNECT WITH JULIAJulia Skergeth website: https://www.juliaskergeth.com/en/welcome/On Instagram: skergeth_official===========Host: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes  
The Creative’s Workshop and tankespjärn (2:56)  That pivotal moment when Helena discovered the concept of tankespjärn (10:40)  Doing gentle with an edge (16:00)How does this serve me? (24:17)Who is tankespjärn for? ( 27:19)  How Helena uses tankespjärn in her work? (29:27)Tankespjärn applied to the development of a business (34:23)  The benefits of a tankespjärn review of the business as it is constantly evolving  (37:50) To find out more about Helena and tankespjärn (43:14)  There is no Truth [time capsule question] (46:39)  My recent tankespjärn moment (50:25)CONNECT WITH HELENA ROTHRead Helena's Blog: https://helenaroth.com/Listen to Podcast: Tankespjarn with Helena Roth Join the tankespjärn Community on PatreonIG / FB===========MENTIONED  IN THIS EPISODEThe Creative's Workshop, an Akimbo workshop by Seth Godin Buddhas by the Roadside, a series of conversations with HelenaPrior guests that are living example of a tankespjärn life (according to Helena):Mati Ventrillon, LISTEN to her storyKate Field, LISTEN  to her story===========Host: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes
The MV collection stemmed from a dream of bringing machines to Fair Isle to trigger the development of other businesses in the island (3:43)  The cost breakdown of a hand-knitted jumper (7:10)The MV collection was inspired by museum pieces and how the “Hooded Jumper” was born (9:33)The colorwork and innovation in the “Crew Neck Jumper” (12:40)  The MV collection is a celebration of the very early Fair Isle knitting design, yet industrially manufactured (15:16)Challenges with the 2018 MV collection (17:42)Learnings from the MV collection (19:25)It's very difficult to put your passions and your beliefs into words, creating a business or a brand. How to transmit the message?  (21:47)  Why the mainstream fashion system doesn’t work for Mati (22:45)  Why is it more important for Mati to produce pieces that are made to last (25:55)The new design ideas need to be a celebration of the island and of its traditions, it has to be more profound than a simple change of color (a computer can do it!) (26:50)Mati thinks that we are entering a period where like-minded individuals and communities are more important. Connecting with people will probably be the answer to grow the business (27:45)  Advice for building a meaningful brand: make sure that you know perfectly what is it that you're standing for? And then to grow from there and to keep that connection as you grow and as you diversify (31:07)Book coming out in September “KNITTING FROM FAIR ISLE” (33:34)  ===================CONNECT WITH MATI VENTRILLON       https://www.mativentrillon.co.uk/===================Pre-order Mati's book "KNITTING FROM FAIR ISLE" by Mati VentrillonHost: Leekei TangContact: podcast (at) themindfulfounder.comMusic credits: Mister Sunny Face by Wayne Jones / Blue Skies by Silent Partner / Happy Ukulele by Scott Holmes
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