Purpose Podcast 031 — Ryan Buchanan (eROI): Asking why drives us toward what we need rather than what we want

In the HBR article by Clayton Christensen How will you measure your life? (paywall) he asks, “How can I ensure that my relationship with my family proves to be en enduring source of happiness?” I talk about this question and the article to kick off this episode of the podcast.


Ryan Buchanan shared with me eROI’s purpose: Asking why drives us toward what we need rather than what we want.  Listen to the episode to find out why Ryan and the eROI team ask Why so much and what I think of that question.

Ryan tells us: “Growth for growth’s sake is not a real purpose.”

Ryan’s advice to entrepreneurs:

You’ve got to start somewhere. The beginning of next week, I encourage you to adopt some of the Rockefeller Habits, adopt the daily standup and in your first hour-long weekly meeting, discuss your values and your purpose. Start this Monday.


Purpose Podcast 030 — Duncan Berry (Fishpeople Seafood): Nourish, Respect & Sustain

Before today’s interview I talk about Blueprint of We, a collaborative framework and document that I’m looking forward to trying. The idea if agreeing together how we’ll handle conflict, before we’re in the middle of a conflict, is very compelling.
Duncan-Berry-Purpose-Podcast-QuoteDuncan Berry, CEO and Co-Founder of Fishpeople shared with us about his love for fish, Oregon coastal communities, and making an impact.  He described their purpose (paraphrased) as being a company that successfully balances our bottom line with heath and growth of the communities on which we depend and long-term, smart use of our natural capital.

His parting advice to entrepreneurs is to make sure that solving a problem for your customers is intimately linked with you accomplishing your purpose. De-link them and you’ll be less successful. Link them and you’ll have a powerful engine for change.

Fish People Shared Purpose Statement

  • NOURISH our customers with delicious & healthy food from the sea.
  • RESPECT our fellow supply chain members & pay them well.
  • SUSTAIN wild fish species & habitats.

Contact info

Purpose Podcast 029 — Sharon Soliday (The Hello Foundation): To Build Bridges


Sharon Soliday’s purpose (her “Why”) as owner of The Hello Foundation is to build bridges. What does that mean? She and her team of speech language pathologists help people communicate, and “hello” is the foundation of communication. She serves a wide range of clients including kids with autism, law enforcement personnel seeking to minimize accents so as to be better understood on the radio, people recovering from stroke, etc. Every bit of new communication skill acquired by a client is a bridge that allows connection for the rest of that person’s life, including opening up other avenues leading to new bridges.

Contact Sharon:

Contact Ted:

Purpose Podcast 028 — Franklin Jones (B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery): To Make Our Communities More Livable


When you think of an urban core, what do you think of? Traffic? Congestion? Noise? With Franklin Jones’ vision for B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, it doesn’t have to be that way. (See also my earlier episode featuring Rob Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.)  B-Line uses these amazing human-powered (electric assist) tricycles to make the “last-mile delivery” for their customers such as Portland Roasting Coffee, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Office Depot.  Instead of these companies needing to use huge gas-guzzling trucks that end up empty (and thus just taking up space) most of the time, these companies drop shop to B-Line’s warehouse where their goods are re-packed into these vehicles:


  • Benefits to this model:
  • Less congestion because the vehicles are smaller and can often use bike infrastructure instead of car/truck infrastructure.
  • Less pollution because these are emissions vehicles.  They also use far less energy than an electric-powered truck would.
  • Stronger community because these riders are interacting with the public.  You can talk to them as they do their work (if you’re walking or on a bike).
  • Lower delivery costs because now smaller deliveries can be make economically.

In addition, they also pick up food that would normally go to waste from Whole Foods (using unused tricycle capacity that would normally go to waste on the way back to the warehouse) and deliver it to organizations serving hungry people.

Win, win, win!

How does your business model make an impact?

Contact info:

Purpose Podcast 027 — Sabrina Parsons (MommyCEO): To Be The Best Person That I Can Be


I start this episode talking about how I hate the term work-life balance. Is your work not part of your life? Just because people think of work as being 40 hours per week (or 60, 70 or 80 for entrepreneurs), does not mean it has to be that way. You can create your life. I give some examples.  Then I introduced my guest this week, Sabrina Parsons.

Sabrina Parsons is the CEO of Palo Alto Software, based in Eugene, Oregon.  Palo Alto Software is focused on helping entrepreneurs and small business succeed.  The business mission is to provide high quality low cost tools to small businesses.

Sabrina blogs at Forbes.com and MommyCEO.org and is the President of the Princeton Entrepreneurs Network.  She balances her business life with her husband and 3 sons.

During our conversation she talked about one role of the CEO as Kool-Aid dispenser (develop and share a vision in such a way that people buy into where the company is going).

She mentioned a couple of articles she’s written:

Do you have to pretend you’re sick because your child is sick?  At Palo Alto Software, no one has to pretend anything.

We focus not on hours or minutes in the office, but instead on productivity.  That means we need to spend more time and energy defining, “What does success look like?”

When I asked Sabrina about purpose, she first answered: “My ultimate purpose is always going to be to be the best person that I can be.”  Then she went further to say it is to be a successful person and be a person who lives by her moral values.  This means that when she’s a mom, she’s 100% present and working to be the best mom possible and when she’s taking on something at work, she won’t do it unless she can give 100% to it. 

Contact Sabrina

Contact Ted

After the interview I related how systems can help reduce the hourly requirement.  Mastering the Rockefeller Habits is a book by Verne Harnish that lays out such a system.  I can help you implement or customize your practices to dramatically reduce the day to day requirements on your executives, helping you maximize the impact you’re making per unit of effort.

Purpose Podcast 026 — Dr. Mollie Marti: God help me encourage love, aliveness and service in others.

Mollie-Marti-Purpose-Podcast-QuoteDr. Mollie Marti told me “I’m here to help the children,” when I asked her about her purpose.  She then elaborated by sharing a daily prayer from her mentor, Judge Rosen: “God help me make a contribution to a just and peaceful world.”  Inspired by that prayer, Dr. Mollie crafted her own daily prayer: “God help me encourage love, aliveness and service in others.”  As we talked further, she told me her purpose is to “help adults find their own way to thrive and serve others.”

Dr. Mollie runs the Community Resiliency Project which was born of a community that lost 3 teenagers to suicide in a short time.  I asked her how a community can become more resilient and she shared the framework they use, called THRIVE.

  • T Trusted adults
  • H High expectations
  • R Resiliency building
  • I Involvement
  • V Vision
  • E Enrichment

A couple of other quotes from our interview that struck me:

  • “As you strengthen others, your strengthen yourself.”
  • “You matter.  We need you!”  This refers to a campaign they run with their young people.
  • “Your value lies not in status or title but in the roots of your character and depth of your compassion.”
  • “Allow the way to your great work to be guided by your service to others.”

In our interview, Dr. Molli referred to her annual theme.  Read more at her blog.

Dr. Mollie’s links:

My links:


Purpose Podcast 025 — Rob Jordan: Betterment of Others & Betterment of Ourselves

Rob-Jordan-Purpose-Podcast-QuoteThis last week I read an amazing article that speaks directly to being who you are. My wife and I choose the name Sarvata when we married because it means wholeness or integrity. That’s what this podcast is all about. It’s about asking yourself who you are and then it’s organizing your life so you can be that.

This article starts by asking a trivial question: how did Toast become the latest artisinal food craze in San Francisco?

Turns out the roots can be traced to the Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club owned by Giulietta Carrelli.  Listen to my take on that story and then go read the original article.  Amazing.

Rob Jordan: Betterment of Others & Betterment of Ourselves

Rob Jordan, founder and CEO of Idealist Consulting, told us about his purpose, the betterment of others and betterment of ourselves.  I invited him on the show because he was one of the first 50 Certified B Corps in the world.  This certification recognizes Idealist Consulting’s commitment to the triple bottom line (people, planet and profits).

Idealist Consulting serves non-profits to help them improve efficiency around fundraising, outreach, etc.  Cloud services provides like Salesforce.com gift the software (with the accompanying tax write-off) and the non-profit pays Idealist Consulting to get everything set up and customized for them.  Win, win, win.

Check out Idealist Consulting’s Ethics and Maxims from their website (IdealistConsulting.com).

A Bit About My Work

After the interview I talked a bit about the work that I do, helping entrepreneurs and executive teams decide on their purpose, who they’re serving and what they’re selling, all important pieces of a business model.  To schedule a 20-minute phone call with me to get to know each other and see if we ought to talk further, please visit: http://PurposePodcast.com/phone

My consulting website is: TedSarvata.com