I'm ready to level up!

Regenerative Leadership with Brianne West

May 08, 2022

 

Learn all about Regenerative Leadership with Brianne West. In todays episode I chat to Environmentalist and Social Entrepreneur - Brianne West. Brianne is the founder and CEO of Ethique – a regenerative beauty brand founded in Aotearoa New Zealand and now sold in over 22 countries, in more than 8000 stores. 
 
 
Brianne is passionate about protecting and restoring our environment and she believes that business should benefit everyone involved, from suppliers, to the team - not just shareholders. Brianne was named a ‘ Top 100 Global Thinker’ by Foreign Policy magazine in 2016, the 2019 NZ EY 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year' and the One Young World's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. 
 
 
Brianne is an absolute powerhouse. Not only is she the CEO of a Global brand, she also mentors young entrepreneurs. Brianne is passionate about purpose-driven business and it shows.
 
 
My Top take aways from our conversation were:
 
  • You've got to develop grit by overcoming challenges. Face challenges head on, seek out the resources you need to get through tough times and watch yourself grow. 
  • Everything has an impact. Make sure your impact is a good one, not a bad one.  This applies to so many areas in our lives. Think about your choices and the impact they will have.
  • Purpose-led brands engender more loyalty, because customers feel really good about supporting them. The stats and data prove this point. Take some think time today and really ponder what your purpose might be and how you could use that to help others. 
  • Culture starts at the top. Deep caring for your team creates deep connection. Look after your staff and truly show them that you care. What can you do to improve/enhance your companies culture?

 

Full Transcript 

SPEAKERS 

Brianne West, James Laughlin 

 

James Laughlin 00:00 

Welcome to lead on purpose. I'm James Laughlin, former seven-time world champion musician, and now an executive coach to global leaders and high performers. In every episode, I bring you an inspiring leader or expert to help you lead your life and business on purpose. Thanks for taking the time to connect today on investing in yourself. Enjoy the show. 

 

James Laughlin 00:39 

Ethique is a female-founded ethical beauty brand that wants to stop millions of plastic bottles from ending up in landfills. Self-taught green entrepreneur Brianne West, launched Zero Waste Personal Care Brand, to challenge the clean beauty industry to live up to its name. I'm so excited to welcome Brianne onto the show, we talk all about regenerating our planet through business. And her whole mission is to you know, give up the bottle and go solid by putting a bar in every shower. It's absolutely amazing her mission, what she's doing for the planet, her vision, it's inspiring, and it's an incredibly successful company. So really looking forward to it, I know you will sit back and enjoy the show. 

 

James Laughlin 01:37 

Brianne, a massive Welcome to The Lead on Purpose Podcast. 

 

Brianne West 01:41 

Thank you for having me. 

 

James Laughlin 01:43 

It's so great to connect. As I mentioned, before we hit record, I've been following your journey for yourself and it takes a number of years, your products sit in our house, and we use them. They're amazing. And I'm sure many listeners are going, oh, I have that product. So, I want to talk a little bit about it. Because your mission is rather mind-blowing and awe-inspiring a lot of big brand products out there don't ever share theirs why. Your why I feel like drives everything that you do and it's behind all of your verbiage, all of your marketing. But also, personally, when I see you speak and you share yourself on social media, you're really congruent with that. So, the one thing that really stuck out here was plastic-free palm oil, but also regenerating our planet through business. So, that in itself is "regenerating our planet through business". I had to write that down and think about that, what does that mean to you to really regenerate our planet through business? 

 

Brianne West 02:36 

It's a good story. I'll start from the beginning, I suppose. So back when I was in the kitchen, I wanted to create a business that had a purpose greater than making money, right? I've had a couple of businesses prior, and I sold them because I got bored. And unfortunately, it's a messy character flaw of mine, and I have to be constantly entertained, constantly trying to work through challenges, or do get bored. And without a purpose business to me is not as exciting. So, I wanted to read about the world of plastic bottles and the cosmetics industry was a low barrier because I'm a scientist so I can formulate my own products. And in terms of actually entering the market, whilst it's very full and far too competitive. The idea of creating a plastic-free line was doable. So that's why the cosmetics company to rid the world of plastic bottles. But as we've grown, it's become apparent to me that it's so much more than that I always wanted to take to operate as ethically and as fairly and kindly and as humanly possible. So, it goes beyond the products. It's you know, palm oil-free so difficult cannot overestimate that I understand why the cosmetics companies don't do it. I encourage them to. But it's hard it is commitment, plastic-free, cruelty-free, all of the things that I really think I'd be a minimum for companies producing a product right now. But I think the difference with the take is how we operate and that's sort of where the regenerative comes in. To me, it is very simple. It's giving back more than we take. This is not something most businesses do, and they will typically as people and as businesses, underestimate the damage we do just every day just by living and breathing, right? And it's unavoidable. And that's not something to feel guilty about unless you're a business. Deforesting and then claiming things like planting a tree for every order as if that undoes all the goods so to me a regenerative business is one that looks a lot deeper than the marketable stuff. So greenwashing is everywhere. I guess to go back to my planting a tree analogy, you will see companies who are using well to use cosmetics, for example, they have products full of palm oil, which is definitively linked to deforestation, human trafficking, and horrendous human rights violations. And then they plant a tree at the end of every order. That's not a regenerative anything that is not even sustainable, to be frank, but that is what their sustainability story is regenerative businesses and a take is one of them will go all the way back and say right not using that ingredient because it's linked to deforestation so we will find an alternative and an alternative that's not linked to deforestation. So regenerative business is a lot harder. It's a lot deeper. It's a lot this marketable often, which is why another one of the reasons it's not done. And that is what I want Ethique to lead the way in, I suppose, and encourage other businesses to do go beyond just the greenwashing nonsense you see everywhere. 

 

James Laughlin 05:23 

Powerful. And, you know, I feel like a lot of business owners and people starting out, or people starting to look at how can we be more regenerative, it's like, I don't, I'm not sure we can even make a profit doing that. So, let's just take some boxes. And let's just say that we're doing this when actually we know in the end, we're really neglecting things. So, you're a prime example of running a company that makes a profit that is doing great things for the world. So, what would your message be to that person who's like, ah, that's all too hard, and I would never make a profit? What's your message to them? 

 

Brianne West 05:54 

Total nonsense. And, and it's not just anecdotal evidence, because when someone says, oh, but that doesn't happen to me, that's not helpful comparison. Yes, Ethique is profitable and has been for four or five years. We're nine years old, 10 years old this year, so nine years old at the moment. And we make decisions like direct trade, coconut oil, for example, is 16 times the market value, commodity price. So, we can still be profitable beyond that. But there's also a lot of research that bears this idea out that social enterprises or businesses with a purpose are not only more profitable, but they also go further faster for longer and engender a lot more customer loyalty because of that purpose. You know, customers resonate with what they see within that organization, and are much more likely to choose those products regardless of perhaps they're a little bit more expensive, perhaps they're not, but they are more likely to be to see themselves within that company is why people wear brands, right? Designer brands are not for rich people, they are for your bog-standard normal person, for lack of a better term, who wants to look like they're wealthy. That is what a brand is for what you wear, what you buy, tells a story about yourself, and shows other people what you want them to know about yourself. The same is true of purposely brands, people who want to be associated with doing something good. And that is my purpose, the brands engender more loyalty because people feel better about their purchasing decisions. 

 

James Laughlin 07:14 

That makes so much sense. So, when you look at some of the companies say Apple and Tesla, people often will buy into those brands because of the story. And whether that story is good or bad they buy into the story. So, for you and with being purpose-led, you know, a lot of companies will spend hundreds of 1000s of dollars in finding out well, what's our purpose? Or what can we make our purpose, right? What was your story? Or what was yours like? Where did you discover that purpose? Did you spend hundreds or 1000s of dollars with a company to figure out your company's purpose? Or are you like, no, I know what this is about? 

 

Brianne West 07:46 

No, it takes purpose is my purpose in life. And I have been with it since I was a weird kid saving wombs out of puddles, I have always been very stubborn about I want to save the environment. And it sounds grandiose because it's kind of a job for more than one person. But I want to do everything that I possibly can to protect the planet that we live on. In particular, because the animals on it, and the people on it are incredible and amazing and deserve a place to live. I don't think, I think a big part of it is I am going to sound really lying, but I'm just genuinely awestruck by the incredible amazingness of our planet and the chemistry behind things. Okay, the anatomy of an atom is deep and boring, but it's not. It's incredible. And atoms are simply what makeup everything. That to me is amazing. And the more I learn about the underpinning physics and chemistry of us of our planet, and our world, and therefore the biology that leads to, I just think it's amazing. And the more people who know that, the more people who will want to protect it. So, to me, my purpose is to show people not only it's possible to run a business that has a purpose that genuinely has an impact, but it's still profitable. But also, to show people just how amazing the world is. Because when people love something, they want to protect it. And no, I certainly didn't need $100,000+ to tell me that we spent $100,000 on branding, but um, but never on purpose, because it's always been absolutely the core of the company from day one because it's my core. It's my personality. It's me, my purpose, I suppose.  

 

James Laughlin 09:29 

Brilliant, I love it. And yeah, again, for those people who are listening, if you're listening to this right now, please get on Instagram, and go and follow it take and check out Brianne's journey because you'll hear and see that same message and that purpose really coming through strong consistently. I love it I really inspiring and if we rewind the clock, so you're a scientist, right? So, my question is, how does a scientist start a company and then make that company a global brand and help to change the direction of where we're taking things as humans. Where did it begin? Where did that like that desire to go, oh, I need to take what I know, as a scientist, and I can create something that will have an impact? 

 

Brianne West 10:10 

I never thought it could grow as big as it did. I wanted it to, but I used to feel silly when I would say, oh, you know, I want to want to save the world from a million plastic bottles. That was the initial goal, we overshot that by a factor of 10. But even that, when I started, the company was unbelievably insurmountable. And the way I did it was simply by surrounding myself with people who were clever, and better at doing things than I am. I am very, I'm never the smartest person in the room. I have the most amazing team. I have had incredible mentors, and even just supporters and shareholders and backers and investors throughout take this entire journey. And it is down to the meditators where it is. There are I was thinking about the other day, actually, I just liked the term self-made because of that, because it is not, it is not down to me. When I started the company, I was in a flat in Christchurch, and that IRA, and it was I had no idea what I was doing. My previous two businesses, taught me a little bit basically what not to do in terms of you know, don't ignore the tax department. Definitely a no, no. But they had certainly not prepared me for how you build an export-heavy business. It's not it was never in my wheelhouse. And I simply brought that experience into the company by hiring people who had done it before. My COO in particular is a massively experienced international businessman. And without him, Ethique would never be where it is. And that's true of every member of the team. So yeah, if there are many things I would change, looking back on my journey. And if anything, I would speed up hiring people, but I would never ever change the people who were involved with the company because they've had the most incredible impact. 

 

James Laughlin 11:52 

Amazing, and when it comes to hiring, so if there's a person listening to this right now going, we need to expand but I'm reluctant to hire and they're listening to you go on, I would have sped that up. Why would you have sped it up on what would you've done differently? 

 

Brianne West 12:08 

I would have thought bigger, actually, because I had this thing in my head, I suppose that I had to hire people who were right for the company now, at that point. So, we were still a startup we had four people in, we're manufacturing like 100 barrels a day. So, I hired people for that stage, I didn't hire people for the next stage where I wanted the company to be, which is really stupid. But that's where my thinking was because I didn't think we could afford people who were more experienced and more professional if you want to use that term. So had I lifted my sights and my demands, I guess of the next hire earlier, then it probably would have grown faster. But of course, that does come with an inflated paycheck. So, it's hard because you've got to balance the responsibilities of being responsible for someone's income. And you should never diminish that that's incredibly important. But you also want the company to grow. So, you have to be very, you have to be certain you can pay their salary, you have to be certain you can look after them. And we've always paid a living wage. So, you have to be certain you look after them, well, we're not just the bare minimum. But then you push yourself and go and find someone who actually exceeds all your expectations. Because there are people out there who want to be involved. And particularly going back to the purpose lead point, there are people who want to be involved with a purpose a company, who would perhaps have certainly at the beginning more favorable terms to work with you. So, they might, you know, they might be on-site and over $200,000 salary and a corporate, they might be willing to drop it to come and work with you with the provisor that eventually they'll work their way back up there. But the fact that they feel good because they're working in a purpose IT organization makes all the difference. So, hire for the position you want the company to be in, in a year or two years, because then they will help you build the company to that point. 

 

James Laughlin 13:56 

Yeah. And if you were to go back and talk to Brianne, then who was thinking about now and say, hey, stretch it out, like let's think the next 24 months, what would what's the one question you would ask her to ponder? 

 

Brianne West 14:09 

I think the mistake I continually made back then was thinking too small, which is bizarre. So, I guess I would say, what do you think about 24 months and then double it? The example I always use is we moved into our brand-new factory in 2016-2015. And it was supposed to last us for five years we've actually just moved out. But it was supposed to last our manufacturing. We outgrew it in six months. And that's why we now manufacture in Auckland. It's hard to prepare for that level of growth and it's hard to get your mindset around it. But I mean, if there was ever going to ask a question it would be what is it? Okay, now think bigger. 

 

James Laughlin 14:49 

Amazing. So, what was the greatest challenge for you? Like obviously we deal with the fear of failure we deal with the fear of letting others down that we're employing and maybe clients as well. And investors, what was the biggest challenge for you as that growth started to become more exponential? 

 

Brianne West 15:07 

The business was scaling manufacturing. For me, I've actually never had a feeling of fear of failure, I don't really care. And I don't know why, because I deeply care what people think about me. So, it's an odd contrarian personality, Quirk. My fear was always that I was never the right person to be in this position, massive impostor syndrome, massive lack of faith in my own abilities to even make simple decisions. At the same time, I'm also really stubborn and stuck on this is the way we will go. And that is why teachers retain so many of its values or all of its values because I've been dogmatic about it. So, for me, it's been growing confidence myself, which comes with experience, there was no way of fostering that, right. And understanding that I do have a value in being here. And therefore, speaking up in conversations where I think either it's going in the wrong direction, or my opinion needs to be heard, or whatever. So, there has been a work in progress, and apparently not good at it yet. But it's a work in progress.  

 

James Laughlin 16:12 

Love it! So cool. And in terms of, for the CEO that's listening, or the aspiring CEO. What are areas where you go, you know what, that's not my strength and I hire people who can absolutely dominant in that area. 

 

Brianne West 16:28 

Broadly, anything particularly detail-oriented. Now, when I was studying science, I was in the lab, and I thought, why don't like this because it is particularly paperwork, and you have to be very specific about what you're doing. That's great. It's not me. I hate finance. Money is obviously quite important, and I love giving it away. But I'm not big on the management of it. So, we have a finance team ops team who do that, logistics operations, all those sorts of things that require a high level of, of detail and thinking, I guess, almost like all the branches that the things that could happen, that's not me, I am creative, big picture. I love talking to people love explaining the story, and love creating new ways that Ethique can do good. And also formulating the products, those that's where the sort of the science comes in. That's my area of expertise. But yeah, details, operations, logistics, not interested. 

 

James Laughlin 17:27 

I love it. And with that, like being started by yourself, right, it was just you who started right? So, was that a learned experience? Like, oh, I'm struggling with this that I need to hire for this? 

 

Brianne West 17:40 

Yes. Remember how I talked about the IRD? The tax department? I didn't I know, I said, I learned that, but I kind of ignored them. And that well, not really. But yes, it was because I would have to spend more time doing stuff I hated. And it would take me longer because I hated it, I'd procrastinate. And it would take me off the stuff that would actually make the company more valuable. So, one of the first roles I hired was an operations manager who took away the general admin side of things. And she made a big difference to my ability to go away and do stuff. But it was three years of heartache to the point where we could handle that salary. So, I had to learn and look grudgingly, I can do that stuff if I want to, but it's not actually helpful for the business or me. I will just do a bad job of it. And it took a while for me to learn that that doesn't mean I'm bad at my job. Because it feels as a CEO, you should be able to do everything you should know everything. And that's been a big struggle actually as the company is growing as they no longer know everything intimately that's going on. And that's hard. But it doesn't mean that I'm bad at my job. So, I keep telling myself, that it's impossible to know everything that goes on and it's impossible to be good at everything within a business. And if you were, it probably just means you're not particularly good at everything you are. Okay. So that's, that's tricky. That's also a work in progress. 

 

James Laughlin 19:02 

Yeah, I think leadership in general, right? And no matter who I'm chatting to, it's never like, hey, I arrived at this point in my leadership journey, as I got to the destination, every single leader, whether they're running countries, companies, government organizations, they're like, Hey, we're on a journey. Like we're figuring things out as we go. I get it. So how do you lead? Like if I was to chat a couple of years, staff members? Were like, hey, how does Brianne lead you guys one of the conversations like what is the autonomy like, what's your style of leadership? 

 

Brianne West 19:32 

I like people to be able to stand on their own two feet. So, My door's always open, people will come and talk to me whenever they like. But if someone comes up and asks me a question, I will ask them another question to help them figure out the answer themselves. And I don't do that to be annoying, but I believe that one of the most important things you can develop is self-reliance. Grit is a little bit like the entrepreneurial stuff you need right to keep on going as perseverance and the ability to problem-solve yourself. And look, I'm not horrible about it, if people are genuinely stuck, of course, I will help, I will put everything down and help you find the solution without an issue. But I have found that through that, it's only a few months when people are coming to me with a problem, but then they're like, but we fixed it. And we just want to let you know that you are awesome. I'm very big on people being able to go and do the best for the company that they believe so, you know, decision-makers have their own autonomy, and flexibility, I am very caring, it is overly so at times. And I do make friends with my team. And that can be difficult for holding people accountable. Which is why I am probably too soft. But that is also something I'm working on. So, a lot of those are there. But that is actually your point. Leadership is a journey. There is no perfect leader out there. And I just tend to be too, too soft. And the other way around, which I'd rather than say that. 

 

James Laughlin 20:57 

And I'm sure your staff would too. You're the affiliative style of leadership where you really get to know your staff, and you really become their friend, and you want to engage in what's going on in their life. There are so many benefits, but the number one, and it's the data shows that the number one challenge is when you've got to have a tough conversation. That's even harder to do because you got that connection with them, right? 

 

Brianne West 21:17 

Yeah, yeah, that's not pleasant. But that's why I again, surround myself with people who are any word I think of sounds horrible, tougher, colder, firmer, just better at that. And I learn from the way they do it. And they still do them in an empathetic way. But to me, it's remembering that holding people accountable is not a personal attack or a personal insult, you can have a very pleasant conversation and get the same outcome. We're not a company that ever shouts at people, no one in this organization is and I have to remember that. Confrontation doesn't have to be terrifying. Doesn't even have to be mildly scary. 

 

James Laughlin 21:50 

If I screw up like I'm working for you, and I make a big failure, something happens. What's the process? What's the conversation you and I would have? 

 

Brianne West 22:00 

I would figure out why. I don't know if it goes back to science training. But I've always been very passionate about understanding the underlying causes of something. Because then you can have A preview to happening again, and people can understand what they did wrong in the first place. So, I wouldn't, there would be no shouting. I don't even believe in blaming people. If someone comes up and owns up to a problem, that's great. That's all they already feel guilty enough, right? They already feel terrible. There is absolutely no benefit at all, and being punitive. So, figure out together figure out how it happened, and figure out what we would do in the future to prevent it from happening. I mean, I would expect them to go and fix it. But they would not be fixing it on their own. 

 

Brianne West 22:44 

And the wider company would not be made aware. And so, I've seen some companies, like publicly shamed employees, and I just think, what on earth are you doing? That would never happen. 

 

James Laughlin 22:56 

Isn't that great, though, to have examples like that, that you can look to and go Oh, thanks for kind of explaining to me that I don't want to be. This is an international politics, something I don't know a lot about, but I see some big leaders. And I'm like, Oh, cool. That's how I would not like to talk to someone. 

 

Brianne West 23:12 

Yeah, yeah, that's very true. Yeah. And we have a great woman prime minister, obviously. And she has some great aspects of leadership that I like. 

 

James Laughlin 23:23 

And that's it. And I think when we look at any leader, I'm sure if I were to step into a taken and chat that everyone does a 360. Let's say, there'll be some of your leadership styles that they love. And then that will be like, hey, that's a real strength, but also that's your greatest weakness. Yeah, that's yes. It's nice to be able to kind of sit back and reflect on okay, what is my style? And where does it serve me? And where does it not? 

 

Brianne West 23:44 

People do ask me for more feedback. I don't give enough. I give lots of positive feedback. I don't give enough on the other side. So that is, again, another work in progress I find uncomfortable. 

 

James Laughlin 24:00 

What do you find uncomfortable about that? Not negative feedback, but the feedback that pretends to their performance. 

 

Brianne West 24:07 

For me, it's making sure that people are aware it's not personal. So, it's not about them as a person is about their skills. And I'm still separating in my brain when I say our, I didn't love that, such and such they wrote all and this is why I'm not attacking the person. I'm not talking about the person. I'm talking about the work that they've done, which is separate from them. And it's just a breakdown in my brain because to me, I think it's because Ethique is me, right? So, anything that happens bad to the company feels like it's happening to me, and that's ridiculous and unhealthy I'd imagine. Way of looking at things. But I suppose I mean, assume people feel the same about the work they do. And that's not necessarily true at all, but it's a much healthier work-life split. And that's why it feels uncomfortable because I want them to understand I'm not in any way criticizing them as a person but in fact, simply saying this could be better if we did it like this. Yeah. 

 

James Laughlin 25:01 

Great! And the culture so often out companies that are growing exponentially, there's something unique about their culture. So, I look at a company like zero, right? So, I, in no way endorsed or Ambassador by zero, but I use zero and it makes life easy for me. So, I've kind of watched on the side their company culture dislike, it's quite interesting and intriguing. Google's the same. What makes a Ethique's culture unique? 

 

Brianne West 25:26 

I think it's because we're all here for the same purpose. We are here to genuinely make everybody has different parts of the brand, or the reason it was not everybody agrees is or is as passionate about all the values as some others are, and that's fine. But we're all here generally because we want to make the world a better place. And I think that helps because you have a common purpose to start with. 

 

Brianne West 25:48 

As being culture starts at the top, as a leadership team, we are different versions of what I've just talked about. So, we're all kind of care about our people. Some of us are firmer than others about the way we hold them accountable. And I think that deep caring means that our team knows that at any point in time, for any reason at all, they can come to us and we will try and help them solve the problem, personal 

 

Brianne West 26:15 

or professional. And then there's the fact that we're all perhaps a little bit off the wall as well. So, we do lots of quirky things in the office, we do lots of fun stuff, and I have a particularly dark sense of humor. So, we're on some other team. It's a meshing of all those different senses of humor that I think to create quite a quirky, off the workplace because you have to because in a company that's growing as fast at times, it's chaos, and it doesn't like I couldn't hire enough people to make it perfectly seamless all the time. So, there is a level of chaos at times, say a product launch, for example, it's stressful the first couple of days before and after. And there's not a lot we can do to prevent that we can do a lot to make people feel better while they're in it. You know, and some people love the chaos. And sometimes it's not for those people when you monitor that you see if you can look after them. And the next time perhaps you give them a different role within that. So, they don't feel so much stress the next time. That's a very wiggly way of answering that question. 

 

James Laughlin 27:16 

It's a great way! Oh, I love it. And let's talk about like the pressure of so you were doing 100 buyers a day back in the day when you started. For people listening, how many are you doing a day now? 

 

Brianne West 27:27 

150,000 

 

James Laughlin 27:32 

From 100 buyer folks to 150,000 today, so that's a buyer every nine or 10 seconds? 

 

Brianne West 27:39 

Yep. That's about how many we sell globally to, we're just even. 

 

James Laughlin 27:45 

Amazing. And so, like when you're growing like that, obviously manufacturing is a big thing. Distribution is a big thing. Who was instrumental in being a mentor or an advisor or was there a group like NZTE? Like, who helped you to really go global? 

 

Brianne West 28:06 

The majority of that credit would go to my COO, the experience as a person I was talking to, but again, it would have been a massive team effort because we wouldn't have achieved anything without the team. But externally, yes, we relied on the entity to help us vet new markets, particularly markets we were completely unfamiliar with, like Japan, for example, which is now one of our biggest. We oddly enough PR companies, so we have a PR company in every major market, but they give you a real insight into consumers and media. And obviously, that's something we rely on quite a lot. So having that insight that you wouldn't pick up unless you live there, was a big thing. And it's actually not somewhere you see, businesses recommended as getting that expertise is through PR companies is the insight into the consumer landscape. Actually, they've been phenomenally useful. We could never afford focus groups and you know, we could never afford that sort of research for a long, long time. And that information, we got people off the ground from those PR companies or digital marketing companies or whatever that was huge. 

 

James Laughlin 29:12 

Golden, and do you feel like let's take Japan for example. The angle at which people connect with your product is different than how the Kiwi market connects? 

 

Brianne West 29:22 

Yeah, every market is different. And there are so many messages to take it's almost helpful that they are because we get to test each message see what resonates with that market and really go hard on that. For example, water-saving and saving in Japan is a big deal. On one side the plastic side. Efficacy and importance of how good it is you here is number one in every market because people don't buy a product just because of the environment apart from probably two or 3% That's not what we're here for. We're here to go mainstream. But in Australia, one of the biggest messages beyond plastic-free is palm oil-free because they are so close to Indonesia and Malaysia and they are aware of the damage it's wreaking on their rainforests. So yes, you have to tailor your marketing message. But I've always been a believer in doing it and trying it rather than relying on focus groups. So yes, I get that advice from PR companies. But I'm also bullheaded enough that I will go and try other messages anyway. And what I have found is often conventional wisdom, isn't that wise. So, whenever you're going into a new market, my advice would always be to throw as much stuff at the wall and see what sticks. And then hammer that home. But also, still, educate your consumers on that other stuff that you do. That there maybe you don't care about too much because eventually, almost everything becomes a consumer concern. 

 

 

James Laughlin 30:42 

Absolutely. And when you were started off as sorbet was the initial name of the company, right? And the branding was different than it is now. It's evolved a lot. Yes. So good to see. So, when you were bootstrapping then how are you building your customer base one person at a time? Like, was there a tipping point where it went from? Oh, this is really Christchurch local to oh, my God. This is going insanely global 

 

Brianne West 31:11 

Yeah, I think we've got the biggest tipping point I've ever heard of many startups' stories too, and I think is the most famously told story. We grew for the first couple of years by word of mouth. I didn't have any money. I built our own website. And unfortunately, it's still back on like the way back is way back machine. It's just atrocious. But yeah, it's a cute little background. But that didn't engender because too many in a way of consumers. It was all word of mouth. And we had a couple of retailers who took a punt on us, which was very sweet. But we never- we were growing slowly and gently and manageably until I was in Hawaii for a Women's Leadership Conference. And I made a Forbes reporter, the Forbes reporter whose name I will remember for the rest of my life. MeiMei Fox, thank you very much MeiMei. She wrote a piece for us on forbes.com and being a kiwi entrepreneur, I knew a Forbes obviously, it was very exciting. And I thought wow, the world will go off. This is going to be very exciting. Nothing happened. Nobody read it was in sort of an obscure section in forbes.com. So, nobody saw it. But a reporter from the Huffington Post did see it. And she wrote a follow-up article on us and everybody and their dog, I think, saw that. It was crazy. That was the tipping point where we became, we went from a small company selling, I don't know, maybe 50 bars a day to a company selling 5000-50000 bars a day. And it all happened in a space of a few days. I woke up one morning, this article had gone life, we had 1000s of orders and emails that cancel 98% of them. I was making 100,000 At that point, you know, my mom was making them Lisa. She was our production manager for a long time. It just wasn't a starter. But it took us a long time to gear up to deal with its demand. But the demand hung around. And a lot of that I think was due to the brand's story, the passion that people had for that purpose. And they waited for us when we get up which was pretty cool. But we were we went viral around the world. We were even in Slovakia and the media. 

 

James Laughlin 33:14 

And I think a couple of big celebrities got on board as well as Britney Spears and- 

 

Brianne West 33:18 

Ashton Kutcher, I think everyone gets excited about Ashton, and like I know he was arguably at that point more famous more in the media I should say. But Britney Spears was my I grew up listening to Britney's songs like was that my dream? Yeah, my dream celebrity I about died when? Because my mom takes me shakes me at seven o'clock in the morning. Interesting. Britney Spears assured you on Facebook? I said no, she has none. Of course, she hasn't there'll be a clone account or a fake or something. And she didn't notice this little blue verify tick and I yeah, I don't remember which annoys me because I must have been so excited though just blurted out my memory. But I was so excited. And the team was beside themselves. It was amazing. Very cool. I mean, Ashton made a video, which is also cool. Yeah. Britney Spears. 

 

James Laughlin 34:05 

No, I'm with you on that. It's so good. Like, I don't know, it's just it. It must be the most amazing feeling to know I created this product for a purpose. And now the world is embracing it. It's no longer just a thing going 50 bars a day. It's 150,000 

 

Brianne West 34:24 

You don't think about it that often. I think the time you think about it the most is when you see it on foreign countries' ship shelves. Because it happens around you it feels almost slow, right? You see all this growth is exciting, but it feels slow because you've worked so hard to achieve it. But when you have a tour in New York and you wander into a target or whatever, and you see it on shelves, and it's really that was made in our lab, you know, that packaging we agonized over the color, little tiny things that consumers have no idea go into it. Yeah, that's where it really sinks in. It is very cool. It is also weird. I won't deny it is weird. Yeah. 

 

James Laughlin 35:08 

It's what you've created is special because so I go into my local countdown supermarket here in New Zealand. And I get to the aisle where all the toiletries are needed to get shampoo and okay, well, I don't want the bottle. So, I go and I look and Ethique stands out the colors like they're Pinkalicious, right? Throughout, for example, the color is delicious itself. It's like, beautiful. So, I can see that you guys have agonized over the small details, but that I have a second to decide. And there are two or three options there and one of them might be slightly cheaper. So, I know that there are cheaper products out there than Ethique. But Ethique stands out. That's like, oh, let me see that. Oh, that looks cool. I want to hold that. It's like an Apple product. I'm a bit like Apple edge on the Apple side of things. But when you open an Apple product, it's like it's fun to open the box, it's they're going to get experience, it's fun to hold the packaging. Ethique is the same for me. It's like it feels good. There's a quality to it. And then the story is very obvious, right from the branding on your package. I can buy into your story right away. And I think a lot of people in the supermarket when they're selling a product struggle to tell the story. And you know, your buyers like the size for those that are listening. Sorry, guys. five centimeters. Yeah, totally, you can do that. And that's a skill set and a talent that you've obviously developed to do that. It's amazing.  

 

Brianne West 36:31 

That's really good feedback. Because it is hard to do that on shelves You did, right. And I didn't actually think we got our brand off, across, you know, on shelves like that. So that's, that's really good to know. Thank you! 

 

James Laughlin 36:42 

Oh, it stands out. And you'll you're going to find that, let's fast forward five years, seven years, other brands are going to start to like, use the same coloring and the same fonts. And you're really leading the way in terms of that engagement with the customer. So, hats off. 

 

Brianne West 36:57 

Thank you. Yeah, we're going to have to wait five years ahead of you. 

 

James Laughlin 37:01 

That's a compliment, right? When people start copying you. 

 

Brianne West 37:04 

I don't I'm delighted that all of the CPG firms are the big ones, you know, Graney, L'Oréal blah, blah, blah. I'm delighted they're really shampoo bars. I just really wish they would have picked up our values with it. You know, but we have had out now copies of our brand. We've had someone rip off our entire website. And there was a line where I think that's not flattering anymore. I'm just mad. 

 

James Laughlin 37:23 

Yeah, that's plagiarism. Exactly. Okay. That's interesting about the values because often I'll chat to CEOs and leaders that hey, what do you believe about business? And it's a really interesting question. So, I get two answers, generally, one, that all businesses exist to make a profit. Okay. And the other key answer I get is a business should exist to serve society. Two polar opposite things. So, I'm going to pose that question Brianne, what do you believe about business? 

 

Brianne West 37:54 

I think you can probably guess; I believe business is the fastest way to create genuine positive change across social and environmental problems. And I believe that every time I say that there is someone in the audience who will roll their eyes and say your first line, which is actually no businesses are simply obligated to make a profit for the shareholders. I think that's nonsense. It is the 1970s to 2005 thinking. Businesses when business was, you know, trade way back when was there to benefit both parties. Now? It's a one-way transaction. And if it is worse than a one-way transaction, because usually the people who've made your product and the stuff that it was made out of had been treated like rubbish. Now, I think business the way it's currently done is awful. Buy and large, it is getting better. There's definitely a trend for businesses to have to start doing better because consumers are demanding more but yeah, my belief is This is that one of the best solutions we have because it can move faster. It has greater resources; it has a greater impact. Whereas governments look personally, I think you'll be waiting forever if you get waiting for them to do anything particularly useful. And nonprofits. The work they do is fabulous. But they are beholden to grants. And that is hard because it makes sense. Unfortunately, beholden to people with resource business has resource already. 

 

James Laughlin 39:16 

Absolutely. And in terms of where you're taking it, I want to get granular for a second for those people who don't roll their eyes and listen up. So hey, you got to drive a profit and you know, giving your money away. It doesn't work like that. Let's talk about what you have done and what you have donated. Let's talk about some dollars if you're willing to share that stuff. 

 

Brianne West 39:35 

Yeah, well, we've donated to 2 million so far, and we're looking to do five in the next five years. Which is pretty cool. 

 

James Laughlin 39:42 

Amazing. 

 

Brianne West 39:45 

I don't like saying that. If you feel good should be done in the dark. Do you know but also in saying that as a business? It's also a marketing opportunity. But we do good because You want to do good. And then we talk about it as a marketing report. So, when I, when I talked about yesterday, given 2 million away, that's fair. It's very exciting. And I love that. And I feel really good about that. We only added it up last year. So, we didn't realize in total, how much we've done. Yeah, it feels funny talking about that what I love talking about, you know, you've saved 216 acres of rainforest with rainforest trust, or saved 80 million plastic bottles, you know, those are the sorts of ways of quantifying that I think are really cool.  

 

James Laughlin 40:31 

And I think well, New Zealanders, so I'm not a New Zealander. But I can, I can definitely say that I've been here long enough. I think that New Zealanders are generally very humble, do not like to brag, and often look down upon people who do brag. But there's a downside to that. So, in this case, when you're doing such good work, and you say, hey, guys, we run a business, we have a ton of fun doing it, we do good for the planet. Oh yeah. And also, we're able to donate a substantial amount of money, it actually sets a precedent for other companies and other owners to go, they can do that I need to reach out to Brianne and figure out how she did that we could do that, too. So, let's say 10 people are listening to this, that run a company, they take this model, and they all raise 2 million over the next five years. So, there's 20 million, right? 10 million, 20 million 30 million, that's going to be added up. And to me, that's why this conversation is important, that we talk about, you're able to run the business at a profit and doing it and have a purpose behind what you do.  

 

Brianne West 41:30 

That is a good is a really interesting way of thinking about it, actually. And it does change the mindset. Because you're right, I do want to inspire other businesses to do the same thing. And it's not pointless and awkward feeling bragging, which you're right does fundamentally feel awkward to me because of the culture I grew up in. But you're right if it encourages other people and other businesses to do the same thing. Well, yeah, we should talk about more. I mean, when we told our American PR company, that figure, and it was only a couple of months ago, again, as I said, why have you not told us this before? Fair point. 

 

James Laughlin 42:03 

That's important. And we're going to next so I'm going to ask you this with this filter in mind. So, you had this advice for Brianne a few years ago, oh hey a think bigger. So right now, if we're looking at things right now, where things are going to be in 24 months, what's your big epic goal that you're moving towards? 

 

Brianne West 42:23 

So, we have a goal, we want to save half a billion plastic bottles by 2030, I'd love to save 250 million in the next 24 months. Amazing. So, half of that goal. Look, when I say big hairy, that's on the edge of not possible. But hey, I thought that was about 1 million. So, I do um, with that, obviously, as a subsequent matter growth, I want to teach to be the trusted, let's put a number on it billion-dollar brands that people believe is in it for the right reasons. For example, when you think about Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company, you feel that they yes, they are absolutely in it to make money. But absolutely, they're going to make the best choices for the planet. I believe that wholeheartedly. I don't believe that of many other businesses if any. I want people to feel like they're about to take. And so that comes with more brand awareness, but also doing more good. So, with that growth, obviously, we will be able to donate much more, if we hit that of 250 million plastic bottles in the next 24 months. Well, I mean, that's a lot. It's a lot more than 5 million donated. It's, I also want to implement more policies that work more directly. So, I talked about our supply chain a lot. And without question, the biggest way business could have the most impact on people. And therefore, the planet will be to tidy up supply chains. Because if you pay people more than enough that they actually will need to live on that they are far more inclined to go and solve their own social-environmental problems and you don't need to be all white savior about it and go and try and fix them in negligently break something more, right. So, if we, as a business go out there and work more directly for every single ingredient we source because we do it for ingredients that we can do right now. But if we go out and find and work with cooperatives to produce ingredients that they perhaps don't know how to produce for the global cosmetic market, then that's going to make a huge change. And the one I'm talking about in particular is palm oil. And the reason if we had a global boycott of palm oil, we don't use it was certified palm oil-free. But that's not actually the solution. The only reason we've done that is because palm oil, as it stands now, I don't believe there was a genuinely certain sustainable vision of it. I want to go and create one, you know, work with and almost by back farmers and cooperatives who have been effectively trapped by massive corporations into this awful cycle that destroys people and the planet and provides them the funding that they need to create a cooperative structure that benefits them and the planet by providing sustainable palm oil. If you switched off palm oil immediately it will be devastating for the planet because palm oil is incredibly efficient as an oil. And we use a lot more than you might even imagine. So those are the sorts of things really big picture thinking how you would change, you know, they're, they're daunting. And I don't say too many people, most people look at me like, I'm insane. But people have always seen me as insane. 

 

James Laughlin 45:22 

What I love is, you even said the word about five minutes ago, you said impossible, it seems impossible. But I think the people that do make the difference that needs to be made, live in the land of the impossible, they've lived in the land of possibility is that it will grow. And we'll make some more money. And we'll make a little bit of impact. But when you live in the land of the impossible, you're willing to do things that otherwise you wouldn't even consider doing. And so, I love that you're saying we need to replace that we need to find a substitute globally for palm oil. That's next-level thinking. And interestingly enough, I would say, for those business owners out there, the number one chokehold on any business is the leader psychology. And when a leader, the CEO, or whoever it might be driving the company, whenever they have a scarcity mindset, limited mindset, like let's just make money for our stakeholders, things, they stay here, they sort of stagnant. So, you have this possibilitarian mindset, we're like, let's see what's impossible, and let's just make it possible. 

 

Brianne West 46:25 

Yeah, that's a really nice summation. I know it annoys people. There is a barrier there, because some people like oh, you're just so idealistic, you're not practical. And I know that annoys people. But I've also never ever found some I can't bring around to my way of thinking have given enough time. And I get it because you are taught through your entire life that most things are impossible, it's impossible to change systems but happens all the time. Change occurs all the time, every day, all day, it's totally possible to change things. If you don't like them. It's just hard. And that scares people. So, you do need to get those eye-rolls. 

 

James Laughlin 46:59 

The sign that you're on the right track, I think when people are rolling their heads or their eyes, it's a sign that you're doing something that really matters. And that really gets under people's skin. And you know, keep doing that if you're not getting those responses now and then maybe you're not dreaming big enough, right? 

 

Brianne West 47:13 

That's probably very true. 

 

James Laughlin 47:16 

Like, can we rewind a second, you mentioned Hawaii, and you were at our Women's Leadership Summit or Conference? So, let's talk about that for a moment. Because that led to meeting the reporter from Forbes, which led to the Huffington Post, and then the tipping point. So, a lot of leaders, male and female, try to be stoic, try to go on their own, and I've got this. But the fact that you flew yourself to Hawaii, you wanted to be at this leadership conference, you wanted to develop your thinking, to me, that's amazing. We need more of that. So how important is ongoing personal leadership development for you? 

 

Brianne West 47:53 

Massively, I think it's a person who wasn't quite self-aware. And it's certainly true people at times because you might be having a reaction, the other side of your brain is like, this is an unnecessary emotional reaction. But that doesn't necessarily stop their feelings or thoughts make feelings. So, you've got to, what I like to do is try and isolate why I'm feeling a certain way. And I will use this as an example. Years ago, if we had a challenge to manufacturing, and we were going to be a couple of days late, or we couldn't source this for a few days, or just minor challenges that come up all the time, now I would use to be used to get really panicked about it and stressed and think, Well, this is the company. Now, I don't feel that way at all, I will entirely skip an emotional reaction about a challenge unless it's enormous. And just get straight to solving it. And that's as a result of trying to understand why I panicked in the first place. And it's, uh, you know, entrepreneurs have got to develop grit. And unfortunately, it does come with experience and overcoming challenges because then you back yourself and being able to do so. But I would never, ever have been, have gotten to the position I am now. If I hadn't really worked hard on resolving that within myself. I'm naturally a more emotional person. And I consider that a strength. I didn't five years ago. And who knows what I'll be like in five years, because I'm committed to always doing better, leading better. I have many, many weaknesses. I have areas within the business, I'd like to know more about finance, I don't love that I should know more about for example. And I think the key to a good leader is someone who is never ever, ever closed off to learning anything, even if it's completely tangential. And you have no idea how it could be useful. With the exception of algebra. I don't want to learn any more maths. 

 

 

James Laughlin 49:46 

but yeah, I'm done with that myself. Now I'm done. Bye. I was to jump into your calendar right now. Your day-to-day calendar. Where would I see reading learning growing at that time? Is it scheduled? 

 

Brianne West 49:59 

No, I don't like scheduling my wonderful EA rounds on my calendar just so I don't forget things. But I, anytime, probably after, so I have horses. And any time after I feed them, that's the time. And so, I know this is going to sound terrible but I do a lot of learning on TikTok. 

 

James Laughlin 50:18 

I love it tell me how you do that. 

 

Brianne West 50:20 

The algorithm obviously understands now what I want to know. But it teaches me a lot of things. I mean, there's marketing education on there, there is a lot of anti-racism education, which the algorithm is showing me nonstop and is fascinating and is totally challenging my worldview in a way that is sometimes uncomfortable, if I'm honest, I am learning so much more about aspects of our society on TikTok, which is, you know, an entertainment platform than I ever imagined. Probably because when you know, I read a lot, but they are science-based, or the nature-based, or animal-based. So, they're a very rigid area of learning. So TikTok is forcing me to, look outside and as a result, I didn't go and learn outside TikTok and read more books on that subject. But yeah, I am a bit of a night owl. Honestly morning people are like aliens, I don't understand them at all. I am not useful till 10 o'clock in the morning. So, any time after I put the horses away eight o'clock onwards, as we, you know, do some study. I'm currently doing a few University papers, which I have an exam for on Wednesday, they haven't even started studying for yet. Yeah, so we're going to do that this evening. 

 

James Laughlin 51:32 

This is amazing. Thank you for actually getting into that granularly for us, because there we've got a seal of an exponentially growing company who's doing some university papers, this is gold, like, we all need to hear this. Because I do feel like when people get to the C suite, often as a destination arrived, and just go stagnant. And often we can see that and we look around a lot of CEOs, and often they are male, often they are white. And often they are 45 to 60. You know, and that's, that's, yeah, that's a generalization, but it's also true. So, we need to change that we need more diversity and inclusion in that C suite and that leadership so people like yourself, and Brianne are an inspiration, and you truly walk the walk. 

 

Brianne West 52:18 

Thank you, I don't ever it is a very good point, you say, you've hit C suite, you've made it you have to do anything else. I don't know if I'll ever feel like that. I don't feel like I'll ever have learned enough to fulfill the role I'm in if that makes any sense at all. And I want to go into so many other things. I want to learn as much as humanly possible only here for a short period of time in the world. Is this the most amazing place? You know, we should suck it all up and learn and understand and explore 

 

 

James Laughlin 52:48 

When you say that it makes me think that mastery is about having a beginner's mindset, and never losing the beginner's mindset, like the curiosity, the desire to grow, and always go on what's next? What more can I learn? So, your mastery is not the destination? It's the keeping that real humility. 

 

Brianne West 53:06 

Yeah, yeah. Because then you never know what you're going to find out what you're going to learn and what you're going to love. 

 

James Laughlin 53:11 

So cool. And for the person that's listening right now, that had a shower this morning, and they got their big dove are whatever brand they use, and they pump the big plastic bottle and they put that stuff through their hair. Why should they consider getting a shampoo bar or a body bar or a makeup bar from Ethique? 

 

Brianne West 53:28 

Simple, because it's exactly like what you're expecting from that bottle of products but without the environmental impact. And you shouldn't underestimate the amount of environmental impact the bottled product has. And the social impact to where those ingredients come from where the little plastic bottle ends up only 7 to 9% Depending on where you are in the world of all plastic is either recycled 7 to 9. And people assume because it's recyclable, it will get recycled. Statistically, it simply won't. So that bottle will stay will outlive you will outlive your children, your children's children will go often that ends up in developing nations because that's where we send our rubbish. And they certainly can't deal with it. And that's why it ends up in our oceans. It is so easy. And I think it's very important that the blame is not put on the consumer, the brands are responsible for the damage they do. And they should be held to account that the only one that could hold them to account is the consumer. So, the more we demand better from our brands, the more we boycott brands that we don't like their choices, and the more they will have to change. Think if you're using a liquid product and you're worried that it won't work which is the number one reason people don't want to switch and I get that because changes you know are oftentimes scary. Understand that it will work the reviews will say that the global success says that and you can buy it with so much of a clear conscience. Everything has an impact we are trying to ensure that our impact is a good one, not a bad one. 

 

James Laughlin 54:56 

Amazing and I'll be upfront and be honest with you. I've used Liquid shampoo and body wash for years. I'm from a working-class town in Ireland that's what we do we use what we want to use it. So again, in New Zealand, and eventually came across Ethique. And I don't know what that's not going to work, it's dry, it's a dry bar. That's not like I need something to go straight in my hair, right? And then that's it. Okay, I'll try it. First time I tried it. I was like these lathers up better than the stuff that comes from the bottle. So, I guess it was once I tried it, I was like, Okay, this works. And it's, it's a great product. So yeah, I urge people out there that are resistant to it, because they have this thing they've used for the last 10 years, to give it a try and feel good about giving it a try. And know that if you embrace it, it will make a difference. And that kind of scares me a little bit. When you said, look, all those plastic bottles get sent to developing countries. So, one there, they've got an acute problem, they're dealing with it right now, then we won't really as Western countries be thinking about that problem until it becomes global. And there's going to be a point, obviously, a tipping point where they can no longer take on all of our rubbish, and all of our bottles. So, at what point then it goes into the ocean. And then we extrapolate that over and say 100 years, or 200 years, potentially that has the difference between our Earth thriving or dying. 

 

Brianne West 56:18 

Yeah, and I think your hypothetical scenario is too long-term because it's already having a massive impact on our oceans. I mean, some countries have already seen China being the famous example saying, no, we're not taking your rubbish anymore, and absolutely feel it. So, it's frustrating to me, because I don't see why this problem isn't easily solved. Simply incentivize companies to use recycled plastic and put a tax on virgin plastic, and all of that tax goes straight into the bill to build recycling infrastructure in those countries. Granted, I'm not a policy person. I don't understand how that sort of thing works. But it just seemed like a simple solution. I'm sure it isn't. But it certainly seems. 

 

James Laughlin 57:01 

Yeah, I agree. Yes, actually, I was interviewing an amazing guy called Kip Evans about a year ago. And Kip is a National Geographic photographer. And he works with Dr. Sylvia Earle. And he. So, you obviously have heard of Dr. Sylvia? 

 

Brianne West 57:17 

Yes, I have worked with her here. We're, yeah. That's a cool, amazing woman. Yeah, 

 

James Laughlin 57:22 

You two are both amazing women. That's cool that you're collaborating. I love that. So, he put together this amazing documentary called, if it was mission blue, on Netflix, that was his big baby, so to speak. And he just shared with me about what's going on plastic-wise. And it is scary to think. And it comes from our bathroom. And it comes from the little bottles that we bottle of water we buy and chuck them in. So, what you're doing is essential work. Like we need this for our planet. And I want to salute you, and you do it with a smile. You do it with humor, like when people take a moment and jump on and check your Instagram and it's great, you, you're running a business and having fun whilst doing it. 

 

Brianne West 58:03 

Whereas I said, you're only here for a short time, you can have an impact, and you can still have fun doing it. It is I see a lot of my generation and the next generation who are apathetic and miserable about the state of things, because particularly right now, it seems like everything is bad. But there is no point in not having hope. Because you just got to make yourself in a fast data situation. And it can feel overwhelming. But when you rather go down fighting. 

 

James Laughlin 58:30 

I'm with you, 100%. I've got one question. I always like to ask everyone to wrap up and ask this to everyone. So, if you had a family member who was five, five years old, five or six years old, and they said, hey, Brianne, how do I lead a life on purpose? How can I lead my life on purpose? What would you say to them? 

 

Brianne West 58:55 

I would find out. Number one, you got to find out what resonates with them. You know what, what makes you get up in the morning, it doesn't have to be a grandiose I want to save the world. It can be anything it can be I want to make healthcare cheaper; I want to have greater access to whatever, whatever it is that makes your heart sing that you want to go and do. And then I figured out a way to implement it in every facet of your life and to make it your career ambition to work on that. And obviously, there are a lot of very paths to get to whatever it is you want. But number one is finding out what it is. And that sounds really stupid. So many people don't know. The majority of people don't know they everybody has something that they want to fix, everybody. I've met hundreds of people whose well, I mean, people said, I don't have any big purpose. I don't. I don't want to solve any problems. But I think it's because they are thinking too big. They think that those purposes have to be I want to save the orangutan whatever it doesn't have to be like that at all it can be very small, seemingly small. But whatever it is, it makes your heart sing, I need to get up in the morning and fix this problem. You've got to identify it first. And that's a lot harder than you imagine. And by learning lots of things, reading lots of books spending time on TikTok, apparently, by doing those sorts of things, you're going to have access to more information. And therefore, something eventually will hit the nail on the head when you were like, that's it, I want to do that. I want to go and help get us to Mars, whatever it is. So, the more you learn, and the more things you try, the more likely you are to find it. 

 

James Laughlin 1:00:28 

Superb advice and I'll tell you something, I have resisted TikTok, and I read books, I listened to podcasts, and I love learning. I'm going to sign up for TikTok today and just check it out for learning purposes. 

 

Brianne West 1:00:41 

You're going to have to give it some time. But the algorithm is smart. It's brilliant. And like it's better than most social platforms. It's when it understands what you want to look at. It's fabulous to just know the people are in an echo chamber. And that's how extremists I am born I get it. That's also a bad aspect. But for me, it is showing me more and more of the stuff that I want to learn and engage in. Caution is required, but you need to get a bit of time. 

 

James Laughlin 1:01:07 

And hey, I'll sneak one last one and two, if someone wanted to join your movement, the Ethique movement wanted to work for you wanted to be a part of it wanted to contribute? How would they go about doing that? 

 

Brianne West 1:01:22 

Well, I mean, we're free of the hiring, it seems. So, keep an eye out. And that's not always in Ontario, New Zealand. And also, we've also got offices in the USA in the UK. Follow us on social media, because we're always requesting trailers and teasers. So, if you want to try our products, you know, that's still helping us that might feel the material. And the other thing, of course, is every time you purchase a product that is more environmentally friendly, you are making a difference, it feels small, and it feels inconsequential. But everything you do makes a difference.  

 

James Laughlin 1:01:52 

Amazing. Well, I just want to wish you all the best. And what I'm going to do in the show notes, is I'll make sure you put in all your social media channels on the website so people can go and check it out. And if people are saying somebody listen from South Africa or South America, can they order internationally? 

 

Brianne West 1:02:05 

Depends on the country, South Africa, no, not at this point, but give it time. But there are looking countries that we're not in, we have inspired a movement of companies who are doing something similar. So, they may well be something local to you. And just one caveat, they may have the soluble format, which has made sure they've got the values underneath. Some of the bigger brands have not  

 

James Laughlin 

Good to know, look out for the detail.  

 

Brianne West 1:02:27 

Yeah, but yeah, we ship to America, Canada, the UK, parts of Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Asia. 

 

James Laughlin 1:02:34 

Now keep up the amazing work and I cannot wait in 24 months to invite you back on and we'll check in with that big massive Hairy Audacious Goal. 

 

Brianne West 1:02:43 

Fingers crossed you can but try. 

 

James Laughlin 1:02:47 

You can do it I know it! Now, thank you so much, Brianne. 

 

Brianne West 1:02:49 

Thank you so much for having me. It was a great chat. 

 

James Laughlin 1:03:11 

Thanks for tuning in today and investing in your own personal leadership. Please hit that subscribe button. And I'd love it if you'd leave me a rating and review. I've got some amazing guests lined up for you in the coming weeks. And leaders. It's that time to get out there and to lead your life on purpose.