It’s All About the Love: Why Dan Price is My Kind of CEO

Have you heard about Dan Price yet? He’s the CEO of Seattle’s Gravity Payments, a company that streamlines credit card payments for other companies. He’s a multi-millionaire. And he just slashed his own salary to $70,000 in order to make $70,000 the “minimum wage” of ALL 120 of his employees.

I love this guy! Not only does he look like the baby that Jesus and Brad Pitt would have if they could have a baby (which I’m pretty sure Jesus could make happen if He wanted to), Dan Price has has figured out a way to make capitalism palatable to people like Bernie Sanders and, well, me: pay every member of your company enough to let them live comfortably.

Let me break that down.

Enough to live COMFORTABLY. Dan Price studied enough economists’s work to determine $70,000 as the minimum annual salary required to live a working life, without being consumed by issues of rent-payments or oh-no-the-car-just-broke-down crises.

Pay EVERY member of your company. Office Manager? Yes. Janitor? Yes. Parking lot attendant? Yes. Security Gua–look, what is it about “every member” that you don’t get?

INC. Magazine put him on its November cover: “Is This The Best Boss in America?”  with this tag line:

Dan Price decided to pay all 120 employees at least $70,000. Grown men cried. Profits soared. Then things got really crazy.

I first saw Dan Price interviewed by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, but Comedy Central’s not ready to part with that clip for free. So here’s Mr. Price making his announcement to his staff on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, back in April

And here he is, explaining further at the Aspen Ideas Festival:

Could this CEO-with-a-heart idea catch on? Has it already? I know what Donald Trump would say, but what do you think? Does anyone know of any other companies already going this route? I want to hear more. 

 

“Make Perfume, Not War”: Heavenly-Scented Social Reponsibility

How can you resist a tagline like that? As soon as I learned of The 7 Virtues Perfume Company, I knew I had to promote it. And I don’t even wear perfume!

I could dive right in and tell you about this inspiring Canadian company. But why don’t I let the 7 Virtues folks say it themselves? This is straight from their website:

Vision

Leave a better footprint on this planet than we found.

Values

  • We value the dignity and empowerment of others through jobs.
  • Jobs give others dignity and empowerment. We believe as a social enterprise we can use our buying power to support farmers and their families in nations rebuilding.
  • We do this by purchasing natural essential oils. We wish to ignite a cavalry of business to come and buy from suppliers in nations rebuilding.
  • When farmers can buy books and shoes for their children in a safe environment we will help reverse issues of poverty and war.
  • We believe in fragrances that are good for your skin. They are vegan, phthalate free, and paraben free. Good for the world. Good for your skin.

The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. is a Canadian company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We believe we must flex our buying power to empower families in countries
that are rebuilding. Our made in Canada fragrance collection is created with essential oils from nations that are rebuilding including Haiti, Afghanistan and
the Middle East.

"Alphonsine is able to support her family harvesting patchouli in Rwanda" says the caption from this 7 Virtues photo

“Alphonsine is able to support her family harvesting patchouli in Rwanda” says the caption from this 7 Virtues photo

“Meeting our farmers in Rwanda and being welcomed into homes they built with their income from harvesting patchouli showed us the direct benefits of harnessing our buying power in the beauty industry for positive change. I could hear the birds singing loudly in the fields, a sign that the farm is organic, which makes our work even more impactful for our customers.”

Barb Stegemann, Founder, The 7 Virtues

I’ve read through the website and read several news stories about this company, and I can’t find a single thing to feel cynical about. If you do the same, and manage to find something to feel cynical about, do me the favor of keeping it to yourself, won’t you? Me, I plan to enjoy the knowledge that one small portion of an industry I normally snort at–cosmetics–is finding a way to make life better in some of our planet’s neediest places. And I’m ordering a couple of blend boxes (including “Noble Rose of Afghanistan” and Vetiver of Haiti”) for gifts.

This 7 Virtues photo's caption reads, "Female Afghan farmer at harvest time"

This 7 Virtues photo’s caption reads, “Female Afghan farmer at harvest time”

 

Perfume for Peace, rather than for more money in the pocket of Chanel, Inc? Makes scents to me. (Sorry–couldn’t resist.) Read about 7 Virtues and tell me what you think, ok?