Everyone searches for inspiration. From artists to entrepreneurs, even the greatest business owners are all looking for the best ways to build something that matters, improve what they have, ideas that will bring them profit, and break through in the industry they are in. Be successful. Find happiness. But, as Mike Mannina, Co-founder, and CEO of Thrive Worx, shares throughout this edition of the KEC Series, the motivations and places where people search for these things are not always the right ones. That is why, he decided that, instead of talking about how his business works and succeeds, he'll focus on why hoping it will be helpful in the search for inspiration. He shares a little on how to find your passion and use it, not only for personal success but to make it impactful in the constant battle of making the world a better place.
He begins this journey by expressing the relevance of voluntary cooperation. Regardless of whether it is applied to for-profit or non-profit organizations, the will of people to take action and find solutions to problems that cause them frustration, is the first step to create businesses that can help society flourish. He explains that social enterprise is not a contradiction to Austrian economics, saying that it is in the essence of the free market to seed some profitability to make society better.
"Business is about choosing to do what society needs and get rewarded for it and we have the freedom to choose on why we do it." - Mike Mannina
It is all about choosing how to express the values in different institutions to achieve good, and find the specific solutions to its specific problems. The first step to be able to find the right path on this matter is to find why you want to do this in the first place, and place your motivations in the right places. Mike shares that, in his experience, he has seen that many people have wealth as a priority, which is an important factor, but they struggle to satisfy themselves when they also make it their source of happiness. Life is meant to be a joy, and wealth is meant to serve a purpose, but when it is taken beyond what is needed and becomes a core driver, it becomes unpleasant and harmful.
“The moment we can free ourselves to be fully bound to wealth, we become free to voluntarily cooperate to make society better.” - Mike Mannina
In his unconventional journey, Mike discovered his passion to help others when he realized that life was bigger than how he perceived it. He spent some time in an orphanage in Peru, which led him to evaluate complicated situations with new eyes. Later in life, he faced a decision, to accept a higher paying job, or finally follow his passions and purpose, and chose to decline the offer and move back to his hometown and joined Thrive Farmers, a coffee company on a mission to build a thriving world by joining non-profit and for-profit within their company.
By focusing on bringing transparency to the supply chain and building a system where 59% of the economic value stays in the production countries, they achieved to bring higher prices to their farmers in their 12 source countries and produce exceptional products to customers. What this means is that they have direct contact with their suppliers and make sure that they receive what is worth for their products and labor, solving multiple issues generated by a traditional supply chain.
With their system working and supporting farmers to increase their household and family income a 50%, they now focus on their next project, a non-profit that is tied to their supply chain, that searches to empower, equip, and educate community leaders of any age to lead their own projects to help their communities because there is no one better to identify the problems in their towns. Every single action taken by the company along with their system and strategies has proven that it is possible to generate profit while causing an impact in the lives of many people. In the end, it is just a matter of finding personal purpose, and focusing all that passion into something that will be impactful for society and your very own happiness.
Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.
Universidad Francisco Marroquín