Apr 11, 2020

Being An Actionist

Excerpt from Do the KIND Thing

A lot of people have great ideas but don’t act on them. For me, the definition of an entrepreneur is someone who can combine innovation and ingenuity with the ability to execute that new idea. Some people think that the central dichotomy in life is whether you’re positive or negative about the issues that interest or concern you. There’s a lot of attention paid to this question of whether it’s better to have an optimistic or pessimistic lens. I think the better question to ask is whether you are going to do something about it or just let life pass you by.

Are you an actionist? Action, no less than creativity, is essential for an entrepreneur. While others may ask whether the glass is half full or half empty, an entrepreneur just fills up the glass.

Determination is fundamental. Entrepreneurship is hard work, and most people who start a venture understand that they will be working around the clock and doing anything that needs doing. Being an entrepreneur is also about figuring out what needs to be done, what problems need to be solved, and then finding solutions. In many ways, attitude is destiny. If you determine that you’re going to do something and have a positive attitude, you can find fulfillment in the pursuit itself. Trying is half the win already. If you don’t try, you’ve lost from the outset.

One thing that my dad taught me is that change is not a spectator sport. You have to actively participate in shaping the world you want to live in. This sense of responsibility has influenced all of my business ventures. The same is true with the blocking and tackling of sales. There were retail accounts that took me years to get, but I would not relent; I would not stop until those outlets were carrying KIND bars. There are still goals today that I won’t give up on.

Entrepreneurship          Leadership

More from Daniel

5 tried-and-true tools for entrepreneurs dealing with crisis

In times of crisis and uncertainty, entrepreneurs are more likely to look outside of themselves for answers. Desperation makes the idea of a playbook—a quick-fix rule sheet outlining what worked for someone else in the marketplace—even more appealing. But we need to resist the temptation to check our creativity at the door. In this environment of high disruption, when all the rules have suddenly changed, it is more important than ever to ditch the playbook and focus on the toolkit instead.

There are three reasons to toss out the playbook. First, anything that has already been disclosed lacks an essential element of surprise. In sports, a play is successful when it is so novel—so innovative and unexpected—that no one sees it coming. By this logic, following someone else’s playbook inherently lacks ingenuity.

read more

KIND’s Decision to #StopHateforProfit

We’ve decided today that KIND – in the United States and across the 32 countries where we now operate – will vote with our advertising dollars in favor of truth, fairness, civility, and kindness. Most immediately, KIND is joining the Stop Hate for Profit initiative started by Color of Change, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL, whose Board I serve on), and others. We will pause our Facebook and Instagram advertising across all product lines starting July 1st through the close of the month.

read more

As seen in Fast Company: Kind Snacks founder opens up about company culture in the age of COVID-19 and beyond

Our team has been working from home for over two months, and I’ve been stunned to observe how well the model is working. I’d like to attribute its success to Kind’s uniquely entrepreneurial culture, and I do believe this is playing a role in sustaining high levels of productivity, teamwork, and ingenuity. And other company leaders assure me we are not alone. They tell me that, generally speaking, their teams are working hard and nothing has fallen apart. Many of us are questioning whether an office culture is necessary…

read more