How To Build a Purpose-Driven Brand With Tamara Loehr

John Corcoran 11:28

I’m assuming this is one of the sequences Okay, and I’m assuming this is what led you to found Concertina then, which was ethical offshoring. Talk a bit about how you see that, how you how you make an offshoring process that you define as ethical. What does that mean exactly?

Tamara Loehr 11:53

Well, if you’ve ever taken a field trip to the Philippines, it’s very much boys going there in business. And you know, not to say it’s just boys, but there’s, it’s, there’s prostitution, there’s bars, there’s all sorts of things that are really unethical. So when I did my first field trip, I really hated the fact that they, looked at it as them and us, they looked at it as them as cheap labor. A lot of them take advantage of them. They make them work longer hours. They certainly don’t treat them the same way as they did their onshore staff. And for me, it’s humanity. I don’t care where you are in the world. You show up as a kind inclusive leader. And what’s good for my onshore is good for my offshore. So we the hybrid workforce is here to stay. But how do we treat everyone inclusively? So what’s interesting is in the BPO environment, in the Philippines, or in Africa, or wherever you go, they have up to a three times churn rate on their staff. So they’re, they’re moving all the time, because they don’t feel valued. They know they’re a commodity, they don’t trust them, they are recording their screens, they’re making their time stamping them. And when you go there and meet the people, they’re extremely talented, they are all grown up on American English and to our schooling systems and universities. So, and they’re really trustworthy. I’ve never had a problem in 15 years in the Philippines compared to what I have onshore, yet, we treat them like they’re untrustworthy, that they’re not capable. And we give them all these low-level tasks and and treat them differently. So for me, if you the way we treat them, and then we provide medical, not just for them, but for their whole family, we give them flexibility around their working hours, so they can be there for their kids. And because of that we’re getting the top 1% of talent. So now I’ve got CFOs with with huge experience, you know, and we’ve got CFOs. We’ve got high-level, full-stack marketers, we’ve got strategists, customer service managers, you can get that next level, whereas most people are just looking at offshoring further low-level tasks, and to be honest, AI is probably going to wipe all that out anyway. So if you treat people well, they stay longer, embed them into your culture, we call it pods, how do we come in create a pod that is a mix of on and offshore, you’re working collaboratively, and you’re integrated as one towards a common goal.

John Corcoran 14:28

So it’s interesting the evolution of your different businesses because we have a digital agency, which is kind of a classic business model. We got offshoring, which is providing labor. So another classic business model. And then let’s talk about Beusail Academy, and kind of how that evolves. I know you’re really passionate about helping women to succeed in business and how did you figure out what the business model would be behind that again, you could run into the same challenges as you did and you’re First business, which is how to scale me. Exactly. Well,

Tamara Loehr 15:04

it’s interesting because it’s not just women, it’s women and enlightened men. So what happened during that one was, again, organic. I think people try too hard. Sometimes we should be listening and showing up. And usually, opportunities come that way, as opposed to knocking down doors or trying to, you know, come up with an idea and push it on people. But during COVID, a lot of people knew that I had this learning management system with these SOPs. And they knew that I had talent in the Philippines in the digital marketing space. And then lead gen space, when COVID hit all the traditional businesses, which a lot of YPO businesses, they’re bigger, but they’re actually a lot less tech-savvy, newer businesses have to be a lot more agile. But these ones are usually around a long time they have market share, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re more sophisticated. So a lot of them are coming to me and saying, Look, I do 60 mils and retail, and it’s off, like I need to switch to digital now. Because I’ve got no revenue. And, and I literally had almost 200 messages within a month of people coming in saying from EDR on YPL is going Can I have access to your IP? Can you help me?

John Corcoran 16:18

While the world is shutting down? While we’re all cleaning our groceries? You have all these people that are saying I need your time? Well, exactly. Okay, your IP.

Tamara Loehr 16:30

At the time, I had a fund at 20 More fund and I was focused on my investments. And I thought, well, I can’t use this as a distraction. But I really want to help my fellow peers. I mean, I put a lot of my success to working hard and having the right network. And so I ran my mentor and I said, Look, this is what’s going on. And he said to me, you can help them, give them access to your IP, give them access to all your SOPs, and put them in a group based on what what they’re in so b2b, they will go on a group direct to consumer, they will go on to a group, and then meet with them every week and do a form a special interest forum, like what we have in EO and YPO. Because we all learn from experience, share, they all get access to me and my business partner, Natalie, I’m the visionary. She’s the integrator. So it’s one thing to give them the vision, they also need help with the execution.

Maxim massive problem, usually with mentoring, they give you the idea, they fail on the execution. So we met with them every week, we gave them access. And our only fair exchange was that we would only help businesses if they were willing to stand for profit and purpose. That was my fair exchange. And that was, you know, at the start of COVID. And this year, we’ve got just over $6 billion of combined revenue in the current program. And all of that revenue is committed to profit and purpose in exchange for us helping them with growth advisory and with access to offshore teams, and our SOPs. So when you think about the girl from Weipa, in Australia, and to think that those businesses are now all have giving embedded, they’re all all giving back and trying to do more good than they do bad as businesses and they stand for business for good. That could be probably 10 billion next year, 20, the year after that. So to me, is that legacy, part of how do we show up? How do I help you with what I my zone of genius is, how do I give that to you in order for the greater good. And, you know, I think there’s stages I’ve been in business 25 years, so you go from survival to thriving to pay back. And then you get into this legacy space. So for me, it’s gratifying. Plus, I get to learn I get to look under the hoods have all sorts of businesses, which also helps me remain relevant. And we’ve got people in the program that are from five mil all the way up to a billion. And what’s interesting is when they’re in the same room, always the same concerns, always lead gen Predictable Revenue. You know, there’s a lot of things, commonalities that we’re talking about, that we all learn collectively from each other.

John Corcoran 19:17

I love how there’s, you could see the kernels of what you’re passionate about back when you were doing the school fundraisers and what you do now is kind of an extension of that same original interest that you had. I’m curious. How do you define a company that has purpose, purpose and profit? Like Another way of asking this is, are there ever companies that come to you and they say, Oh, we care about purpose, and they want to join your community? And you’re like, do you really I’m not really sure. You know, how do you define like, okay, they want to give point oh, 1% of all their profits to charity work. Well, that’s not enough.

Tamara Loehr 19:55

Well, that’s, that’s what I call arrogant um, in philanthropy, and you know, I’ll be blunt about it. But if you say that a percentage of profit I will give, that’s basically saying, as long as I’m doing extremely well, then you can do well. But that doesn’t really serve people and planet because it’s usually in the hard times that we need more activity around the philanthropic. So I don’t believe in a percentage of profits, I believe that it should be embedded into the heart of the company. So simply put, the soul is actually an ancient Gaelic word, the name of our company is an ancient Gaelic word. And it means ethical moral of good intent whilst honoring the Earth and its people. So Paul Polman, who I adore. He’s the CEO of Unilever. He’s now got imagine and wrote the book Net Positive, he says, it’s doing more good, then how do we do? How do we get not only to zero but go beyond that, and, and do all good in the world. So really, just check in on yourself is your business doing more good, and they can both coexist profitable businesses, I can be purpose driven, in fact, B Corp certified companies and growing at a much faster rate, and a more profitable than ones that aren’t. So you know, it’s not a matter of sacrificing profits. It’s about embedding it in what you do and showing up and you’ll attract the best talent. As far as I’m concerned, you will be a dinosaur if you don’t, if you don’t align to profit and purpose, because it’s really about the money. People want to get out of bed every day for a purpose. And as a leader, if you lead with that, you’ll attract people like that, and they’re the best types of people. That’s the best culture

John Corcoran 21:46

related idea is this idea of between scarcity versus abundance. I know where you fall on that. But let’s talk a little bit about that idea, and, and how that’s important to companies having a greater purpose.

Tamara Loehr 22:03

Yeah, look, I think it’s really, really interesting. You have to go back. And you have to start with why. So we needed to redefine the why. And everybody knows Simon Sinek. But I’ve actually got a process in my LMS, again, read the book, there was no system, I created what’s called a compass exercise for you to be able to define what your y is in a very simple way. So you needed to find your why. And then what I call it is short term and long term impacts. So sustainability and impact is not a destination, it’s a journey. And we take small steps every day. And there’s instant things inside our learning management system that are around purpose that you can plug and play into your business and be have impact embedded from day one. So it could be as simple as every time somebody leaves us a review that creates 10 impacts. And I really believe that we shouldn’t be picking the causes and the projects, we should be leaving it up to the consumer or the client to pick that. So we’re aligned with a company called Buy1Give1. And what’s great is they have over 500 certified charities that are aligned to the United Nations sustainability goals, you can plug that into your business in under an hour and for less than $500 and start instantly making impacts from as little as one cent. 

John Corcoran 23:18

How does that work, then does it like the consumer is going to check out from your website, it’s going to go and buy something from you. Or let’s say you have an agency or a service business, and they’re about to sign the agreement that contract and part of it says, we’re going to put a portion of the revenues into a cause pick one, which one do you want? Is that our

Tamara Loehr 23:39

Exactly. And you can track that on your website, if you go to our website, At the bottom, you’ll see an impact section. And you’ll be able to see all the impacts that our clients have selected. And so what we do is it’s if you look at the customer value journey, which is an eight step process, there’s a section there, which is called well, so after we’ve made the initial connection with David, we’ve decided, yes, we’re going to, we’re going to give this a go. And they’re going to engage your services, you might send a bill for $1,000. And that might be 10 impacts that it creates. And then we invite them to select causes that are dear to their heart. So you know for some people if they know someone who has someone who’s got breast breast cancer they can give to that if they’re really animal lovers. They can save an orangutan, they can do all whatever resonates with them. The most important thing is, is when you say to people, why don’t you do this exercise with your family, because it’s a great thing to sit down and with your kids, you will have one impact or two impacts each. This is just showing up and saying it’s a very inexpensive exercise to do but we can measure our impact. And then separately to that we have community so we offer all our team time once they’ve met their KPIs. We don’t time Track were all about performance and outcomes. Once they’ve met their KPIs, then we say to them, you can use office hours or work hours to go and do something that’s important to you to volunteer time. So that’s another thing that we do. And then the other thing is a relief fund. So because we most of our team is in the Philippines, we have a relief fund. And we set aside funds every single month on behalf of our team. So we do $50 a month per team member that goes into a relief fund so that whenever there’s a natural disaster, or death in the family, whatever is going on in their life, we don’t want them to feel helpless, there’s a fund available, they can tap into that and we don’t govern it. It’s governed by our management team who decide how to allocate those funds. So think of ways that you can show up for your people for your clients, and planet. And you will quickly start seeing that little things can create amazing impact. Now they’re short-term long term is more like we’re mentoring a company that sells suits. They’ve got 40 stores. And I’m talking to them about how do we more be more sustainable in our manufacturing processes. Now that’s gonna take time. That’s about solar on the manufacturing plants, clean water, sustainable fabrics, zero fashion, those sorts of things take longer to implement. So that’s part of that journey. But we can start now by showing up and doing small things each day.

John Corcoran 26:30

I love that. That’s, that’s so cool. I want to we’re running a little short on time. And when asked about a couple of additional things before we wrap up, you attended and graduated from the Entrepreneurial Masters Programme at MIT in Boston when you were a member of EO, I did my first year this year is amazing program. I’d love to know kind of the impact that that program had on you and any other programs that you’ve had where you’ve put yourself into a situation where you’re surrounded by you know, a high level of peers that that kind of help you to elevate your game.

Tamara Loehr 27:05

Always be the little fish, in fact, I like to be the Guppy so evolving. 

John Corcoran 27:12

Always be the Guppy I like that. I’m the GFI.

Tamara Loehr 27:17

So yeah, I love when when you know when you constantly have a well EO as you know, thirst for learning that’s so important and remaining relevant. So I just they inspire me. These people don’t intimidate me. They inspire me. I unlike that annoying child who you know, ask a million questions because I learned so much through the network and peer learning. So yeah, I mean, EMP was tremendous. I, I learned so much made some lifelong friends there. And of course, got my mentor Jeff Hoffman, he was one of the speakers and I was I was blessed enough for him to mentor me. And, you know, now that I’m in YPO, I’m in Titans, which is even more intimidating again, the people that we were learning about in EMP like Vern Harnish and and Mark Moses and all those people are in Titans. So now I’m again a little Guppy, there’s not many women, all but to. So, you know, I’m out of my comfort zone again. But that’s what I love. I want to learn from these people. I really do believe that in at that level. There’s so much abundance, there’s so much giving, there’s so much shared knowledge. And more importantly, they all do believe in business as a force for good. They’re at that legacy part, which I really love. So wherever you are in your journey, find people that are just at that next step, go learn from them, hang around them grow into that space and like rings of a tree. When you start filling that space, you draw another ring make it 30% Bigger outside of your comfort zone. Step into it as a guppy fill that space. So when people say, you know, look at you, you know where you’re at now, I always say Hang on, I’ve been drawing circles for 25 years. Just keep keep drawing circles and keep tapping into mentorship and peer learning. 

John Corcoran 29:13

That’s great. Two more questions. You put out a book, Balance Is BS: How to Have a Work-Life Blend. What do you mean by that?

Tamara Loehr 29:20

Well, balance doesn’t work. If you think about it, fundamentally, it means that you’ve got family and business here and if you spend too much time on business, you have to go oh, okay, take that put it over to family. So you’re constantly playing this juggling game. And the issue with that is there’s no self which is the most important thing. So you would know from EO self business family of the three important things. So I didn’t want to compromise when I had children. I didn’t want to say okay, now I’ve got to put business on the backburner and focus more on family. Instead, I make sure that I know what to say no to it’s more important that you say no to then yes So unless it’s a hell yes, I don’t do it, and I blend everything. So when I was president of ego, I was one of the first that said, let’s bring children to our chapter retreat, because I didn’t want to go away without my kids. And I blend friendships, my business partner is my best friend. So I have no problem with that. Because as long as you are in check with your values, and you’re showing up authentically, there’s no reason to separate the two. So I pick people that are values aligned. And then we figure out how to work together long term. And because of that, it never feels like work. I’m always having fun. I’m always inspired by the beautiful people around me. And we always have kids in the background coming with us on planes. Last time I went, it was school holidays. And my daughter said, Are you going away on the school holidays? And I said, I am? Do you want to do Disneyland? Let’s do that. So we just blended it. And they came along for the trip. So that’s sort of what I believe is the model. So we don’t, especially for women, we don’t compromise. And we don’t have guilt. I just don’t want to play that game.

John Corcoran 31:09

All right, I lied, I have one additional question that I’m going to add based on that answer that you gave just there. You mentioned, you have two daughters, I have one daughter, she’s four and a half Maya, what should we be doing to raise our daughters in this world, especially if we want them to explore whether entrepreneurship is right for them?

Tamara Loehr 31:30

Well, wave simply guides, we’re good to make them safe. And to guide them, we’re not here to be their best friend, we need to move into that elder role. And and really let them become who they’re meant to be everyone’s born with see potentiality everyone’s born with a purpose for why they’re here on this planet, our job is to make sure that they can step into that and not become an adult, there’s so much adulthood stuff that makes it squashes dreams, they don’t think is big, my job is to show them what’s possible. And to give them exposure without freaking them out around worldly issues around things that are important, and show them that there’s an opportunity for us to collectively come together and fix this, it’s we can’t rely on the one Steve Jobs, or the one Bill Gates or the one we need as a business community, we do 9 trillion and YPO. Alone, if we were all committed to solving the world’s problems, we could fix this. So by showing them and guiding them, that’s my role, and then they will take their own path that I believe it’s already set. But you know, my my thought is, it was so funny that at a young age, they thought that every father was stay at home dad, and that every mother worked. And they thought that giving was embedded in everything. And when I said no, this, this could be made in China, these shoes by children who don’t get to go to school, you know, like little things, their perception on the world is different because of the people that they’re hanging around. So again, that’s the importance of blending. Bring them to these events. You know, I don’t say sorry, for being late or having background noise. I asked for permission. I say I have two daughters. And you’re an amazing role model. Can we blend on the boat this weekend and bring our kids? Yeah,

John Corcoran 33:15

yeah, I love that. I think the majority of our team is actually moms. And so and we had a team meeting this morning where one of our team members her son was in the background and and it was I put a huge smile on my face. I just love seeing kids in the Zoom windows. You know, it’s like, so great. And it makes me proud as they get

Tamara Loehr 33:36

older. They listening. Yeah. Natalie is my business partner. Her daughter is older. She’s 19. And what was interesting is she studied she decided to do business. And she comes home and says, I’m smarter than the teacher. Like I know more about business than the out of touch teacher, the lecturer. And it’s because she Every time she’s going to school, she’s hearing our conversations, our deals, our decision making all those sorts of things, which I think is great for them to be exposed to.

John Corcoran 34:09

Yeah. All right, last question. My gratitude question. I’m a big fan of expressing gratitude, especially to those who’ve helped you along the way, especially peers and contemporaries. So, you know, a lot of times people mentioned their family, which is fine, or they mentioned their team, which is fine, but I especially love to hear, you know, acknowledgement of peers, contemporaries, mentors who helped us through the rough times, and we just want to, you know, acknowledge for being there for us.

Tamara Loehr 34:38

Look, I think, when, when you get targeted, and as you get bigger, there’s things that do happen. You decide that you want to retreat, especially as a woman you do and in those times where I went, look, I’ve got enough to retire. I think that’s enough. And, you know, I stand by my values and sometimes they those values come up against people who are, you know, the vulture capitalists of the world, because there are old school thinking. And there are people that are still doing business with brown paper bags. And the bigger you get, the more you see if that. So I thought maybe I don’t want to be a big, big business, maybe this isn’t my environment that I want to be in. And every time that has happened, and I’ve decided I’ve thought about quitting, it has been an enlightened man or a mentor, who will have said, I’m not going to let you. And they have been at me every day until I showed up again. Because basically, they said, Get over yourself, you’re here for a purpose. No one wants to hear about these things from a middle aged white man, I’m sorry, it’s you get out there, share the message, show them that it can be done differently. And we have your back when these things happen when people decide that they don’t want to be transparent when they decide that they don’t want to do the right thing by their employees and your natural target. They’ve always had my back. And now I’ve got a business partner, Natalie, who’s my best friend, and she always has my back. And if you don’t have those champions in the background, you could easily quit, and I probably would have three or four times by now. So you know, whenever you see anyone who’s successful. Besides you know, Grant Cardone, He only talks in AI. Anybody who’s done really, really well in life. Never says I, they always say we, and you know this, as my husband says, he says, I’m the First Lady. He makes sure everything’s done. And he’s my biggest champion so that I can go and step into my zone of genius and the purpose for why I was put on this planet. So people are fine. 

John Corcoran 36:48

No, it’s not easy. And I want to thank you for what you do. And I can’t wait until my daughter Maya can join your community when she’s older if she wants to do it if if she’s into it. Well, I want to thank you for your time here too. Where can people go to connect with you and learn more about what you do?

Tamara Loehr 37:06

I’ve got heaps of resources on my website, for anything. What’s mine is yours. So please reach out to me on LinkedIn. I offer a one hour to any person who is looking to become more profit and purpose driven. That is my give back. I do three of those a week. So reach out. There’s nothing worse than sitting there and listening and going she probably won’t take a call. Please reach out. You’d be surprised busy people have a lot of time.

John Corcoran 37:35

That’s awesome. All right. Thank you so much.

Tamara Loehr 37:36

Thank you.

Outro 37:40

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