By: Lisa D. Foster - Changemakers Books, $20.95
Description: An inspiring account of the transformative power of purpose-driven entrepreneurship, Bag Lady is a masterful case study in how to start up a company and use the tools of business to promote a better world.
Verdict: A billion plastic bags a day. Thatís how many bags Americans were throwing away in 2005 when Lisa D. Foster first switched to reusable bags. The impacts of all those bags on our environment and our taxes kept her up at night.
It was wrong. Morally wrong. She believed that if American shoppers knew what she knew, they would switch to reusable bags too. So, she did what any good English teacher would do. She took the facts about bags and turned them into a story.
Over the next 12 years, that story transformed Lisa into the Bag Lady, an eco-entrepreneur on a mission to save the world one reusable bag at a time. Because she was driven by purpose, she did a lot of things right.
She sold a quarter of a million reusable bags her first year, 2 million her second year, and 8 million her third year. Each reusable bag had the potential to replace a thousand single-use bags, collectively eliminating billions of plastic bags.
Lisa also did a lot of things wrong. One out of ten startups fail, and odds are worse for people like her with no business experience or training. In the end, she built a thriving company, disrupted the plastic bag industry and changed the way America shops. It was a wild ride.
Here in Bag Lady: How I Started a Business for a Greener World and Changed the Way America Shops, it is very clear that something as simple as a passionate desire to do good can drive small or even large miracles; as Lisa Foster herself discovered when she had one of those life changing moment at a supermarket in Melbourne, almost twenty years ago.
As the aforementioned English teacher with a Ph. D, she had no idea about business at all, but her inert passion to simply see something was horribly wrong within the world she lived and then the self-propelled push to get up and do something about it re: introduce reusable bags into the American markets and the world thereafter, has made this Bag Lady one of the most talked about, and thanked people on the planet!
At its heart a compelling, irresistible, personal exploration and wholly revealing look at a woman who knew enough was enough, the book is also - in and unto itself - a valuable read of practical tools and tips that will help any business leader launch and run a business that is fully committed to making the world a better place.
About the Author - Lisa D. Foster, Ph. D., ACC is a business coach, speaker and author whose mission is to help managers become better leaders by using emotional intelligence to create the conditions for high performance. In 2005, she founded 1 Bag at a Time, Inc., a first-to-market reusable grocery bag company. She lives in Chilmark, MA.
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