A few weeks ago I asked my co-workers to think of something that inspires them outside of TOMS, and to share it with the team, and I was very specific that it could have nothing to do with their �TOMS experience�. The reason for this is simple. No matter how inspiring your work is, how many people you help, or how great the people you work with are, you need outside sources of inspiration to keep you creative, positive, and energetic each day.
For me, I shared my favorite poem, IF by Rudyard Kipling, which always motivates me to live a life of adventure, honesty, and integrity�Believe it or not, I actually made everyone read it aloud like you do the pledge of allegiance in grade school, which in hindsight was quite cheesy.
However, Rudyard Kipling does not hold a candle to what I read this morning when catching up on some emails and myspace messages. We have been on the tour for 4 days now and have met a lot of amazing people, but I had no idea what this tour was really all about until I read the following myspace messages (names deleted for privacy of authors)
I am xxxxxxx, and i met you the other day at Nordstrom xxxxxxxx. I just want to tell you that I think what you're doing for the kids is absolutely amazing...when I left work that day, I told every single person that I saw about your mission with the shoe company. It's not everyday that I get to meet people that are making an impact on the world the way you are...you are a truly blessed person, and I admire your passion for the life of others. I want to wish you a good luck on your shoe tour, and it was a pleasure meeting and getting to talk to you for a little bit. Its people like you that inspires others such as myself to achieve anything that you put your heart into. God bless and hope to see or hear from you in the future!!!!!
I sell your shoes at Nordstrom. I'm sure you get like 8 million messages a day, but I just wanted to tell you that I think it's amazing what you're doing. I feel blessed to be able to sell your shoes, and take part in what you're doing. I'm truly inspired. Thank you.
Now I know these messages are addressed to me, but really they are speaking to TOMS and to everyone who works so hard every day to make TOMS a reality, which now are the very authors of these messages and many of their co-workers. These people are the future of TOMS, and their passion for what we are doing and willingness to help spread the word is not only inspiring, but deserves recognition, so I have decided to give them an official title, and that is �Ambassador of Sole�. I would even print them a business card with their name and title on it if I knew who they were. Actually, if you are reading this and want to be an �Ambassador of Sole�, email my intern Zak at Zak@TOMSshoes.com and we will print you some �Ambassador of Sole� business cards and send them to you. While it will not take the place of your real business card, It could be a fun thing to give to your friends and family, and anyone you meet when wearing your TOMS out and about.
Ok, it�s 7 am and I have to go for a run before our first event here in San Diego. Have a great day.