#86: Creating An Honest Business From The Ground Up

Over the last few weeks on this podcast, we’ve been doing some intensive tactical trainings.

We’ve talked about adding upsells to your sales promotions, adding bonuses, when to add them. We’ve talked about the mindset of list building, and then we’ve gotten really specific about what you need to do to build your list.

Today I want to step back a little bit and look at the big picture and look at our team and how we’re running our business and setting things up. I thought there was no one better to do that than my new friend, Dale Partridge.

You probably already know Dale, either from Sevenly (the company he founded that became one of the fastest growing social-good startups in history), or from his many keynote speeches and feature interviews on the topic of doing business with integrity, or maybe from his recent book People Over Profits.

Dale is a creative leader whose mission is to influence an industry to rethink the models of how we do business today. And I invited him on the show today to help you (and me) learn about how to set a solid foundation for our long-term success.


One thing Dale’s book really dials into is the importance of recognizing the pivotal moments in our businesses when small decisions could have major impact.

Dale went into business for himself at 18 years old…which means that even though he’s still a young man, he’s old in entrepreneur years. Within that time, he says, his whole mindset around business shifted from making major profits to making a major difference in people’s lives.

“In the search for purpose and meaning I wanted to create a company that was more than just putting money at the bottom line. It wasn’t until I really shifted my thinking from how to make a million dollars to how to help a million people that really pushed me into business.”

This is the core of Dale’s “people over profits” message . . . and what I really want to stress in today’s episode is that it’s never too early in your business to think about how you’re prioritizing people against your profits.

When you’re in the early years of building our business, you’re all too aware that every interaction in every business relationship matters. You’re hyper-focused on bringing real, personal value to your customers with your unique talent and expertise, because you know that it’s the key to your success.

But Dale points out that greed, dishonesty and customer contempt are not relegated to big corporations . . . that’s just when they get caught in a big way. It’s super important, he says, to set the foundation of your business integrity in these early years, while you’re small, and learn how to self-correct in those moments when it’s easy to make small compromises.

“I don’t want to be the most successful person that nobody respects or that nobody trusts. And I don’t want to create the biggest company that has great products but people don’t really connect with it.”

Dale has done some impressive research on the most successful companies (and the ones who fell the hardest) of the past century. According to his research, the companies (and leaders) who really stood the test of time have seven core beliefs in common:

  • People matter.
  • Truth wins.
  • Transparency frees.
  • Authenticity attracts.
  • Quality speaks.
  • Generosity returns.
  • Courage sustains.


Listen to the full episode to hear Dale explain more about how these principles show up in online business practice, and how we can train ourselves to build businesses that uphold them.

“Whatever your dream is, make sure you crush on it because it’s not about you, it’s about them.”

In the end, Dale says, our businesses’ potential for growth is dependent on the integrity we build into our relationships with clients, vendors and colleagues. It can take real courage to honor a long-term relationship over short-term convenience. But that kind of courage is what creates a brand that really stands the test of time.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Dale Partridge
Start Up Camp
Scott Harrison
Charity Water
People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything
Pat Flynn
John Lee Dumas
Dale Partridge on Twitter
Dale Partridge on Instagram