Stella McCartney And $200 Million A Year In ‘Faux’ Motivation.

It’s like a joke these days. Scratch that. It is a joke.

The one where a bunch of actors are getting ready to film a scene in a low budget horror film, and the guy playing the dead body on the floor stops to ask the director:

“So, what’s my motivation?”


But ‘what’s my motivation” is actually a really good question.

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself when you’re running a business.

What is your motivation?

Your drive, your spark, your purpose?

What’s the business behind your business?

It’s something you need to know.

Because what motivates you is your secret perpetual motion device.

… Or the big carrot in front of you. And the bigger whip behind you driving you.

AND … motivation isn’t money or freedom or independence.

Those are results. Amazing, drool-worthy results.

Motivation is the thing that gets you to do the stuff you don’t want to do – like cold-calling, prospecting, or bookkeeping. Uggg!

Motivation is one of the most powerful forces on the planet.

It’s something that’s important to you.

Something that lives inside your business, whether your customers know it or not.

And if you’re drawing a blank about the motivation of your business, let’s take a look at one of my fav fancy lady examples: STELLA MCCARTNEY.

McCartney’s a fashion designer at the high end who cares about luxury, beauty, and everything that makes an accessory feel lush & desirable.

She’s also a vegetarian. And that’s her motivation – NOT high-fashion.

Her commitment to sustainability has lead her to create the first – and only – luxury brand that’s cruelty free.

To the tune of $200 million in global revenues. Without leather, fur, feathers, or processes that make a high-impact on the environment.

It wasn’t easy.

McCartney’s the first to admit that designing without leather was, and remains a challenge.

And even now, with a more environmentally aware audience, the industry has been slow to produce non-leather materials for the luxury market.

“Clearly leather is a great material.” she said in an interview with BOF, “It wears well. It moves. You can wash it. It’s real. One of the hardest things is to design something that is desirable and then to take that design and make it in a way that is not conventional. We’re sourcing our own material, developing our own material — we’re not using PVC.”

She also admits that her deeply held values made it harder for her to scale her business.

Brands like Gucci and Bottega Veneta make up to 80% of their profits on their leather goods.

So not only does McCartney design and manufacture gorgeous cruelty free accessories, she needs to educate her market as to the value of the materials that she uses, and the quality of her products.

Not exactly the easy route to success – but in my amazing opinion :) the only way to go.

Stella McCartney’s been in business for 15 years, holding true to her motivation …

… even when her parent company threatened to dump her.

… even when industry insiders said it was impossible to create luxury vegan products.

Sustainability is at the core of McCartney’s business. Embedded. It’s in every stitch, every fabric, every design.

A customer doesn’t even have to know or care about McCartney’s values when they admire or purchase her work.

But sustainability & cruelty free is the motivation behind her business.

It’s what makes her creative, and what drives her to create.

It’s the mystery she’s solving, the puzzle she’s cracking, it’s what keeps her designing.

McCartney’s motivation is the power behind her business.

The money, freedom and independence are the byproducts. Amazing, drool-worthy byproducts.

So, back to you. What’s your driving motivation?


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