Many years ago, I was reading an article about how wealthy elites were giving away a portion of their profits to people in need. I thought that was a great idea! The one thing I noticed about their philosophy was that they had agreed to give away half of their wealth. Of course, it is their money, and they have a right to do with it what they will. But I thought to myself, how cool would it be if there was a business that began, as Stephen Covey puts it, “with the end in mind?” Instead of giving away profits from your business, couldn’t you start a business to give away profits? The purpose of the business then would not be to gain, but to give.
I turned to my wife and said, “Baby, if we could start a simple business and give a portion of the profits away on the very first day, we could help a tremendous number of people.” I added, “It’s not that we wouldn’t make any money for ourselves; in fact we would do really well financially. But the main goal would be to give away a significant portion of the profits to the people who are in need even before we had millions to give away.”
What if there was a business model in which we could involve customers in the process of helping others within their own community? What if we were employing a business model that already existed and didn’t need to be created? The business would be simple, effective, and engage people where they are. We would just need to rework a current business idea.
I said to my wife, “A simple coffee shop could be the answer! One where we could be generous with every cup of Joe and give with every cup.” My wife’s eyes lit up, and a smile came across her face. As I kept repeating to myself, “We could be generous with every cup of joe,” my mind exploded with clarity. It’s like the idea had been brewing inside of me for years: “It could be called Generous Joes - Giving with Every Cup.” This is how Generous Joes came to be…