Blake MycoskieSome people call him Tom, but his name is actually Blake Mycoskie. It’s easy to see how there might be some confusion since his shoe company is named TOMS Shoes, which Blake says stands for “shoes for tomorrow.”

Blake, who carries the self-title of “Chief Shoe Giver” at TOMS, has taken his personal mission in life and turned it into a company cause.

When you buy a pair of TOMS Shoes, the company will give a pair to child in need.

Read how Blake describes the TOMS cause:

Inspired by a traditional Argentine shoe and challenged by the continent’s poverty and health issues, I created TOMS with a singular mission. To make life more comfortable. TOMS accomplishes this through its unique shoe and my commitment to match every pair purchased with a donated pair to a child in need… no complicated formulas, it’s simple… you buy a pair of TOMS and I give a pair to a child on you behalf.

Here is some footage from the TOMS first shoe drop in October 06:

It’s hard to see an inspirational story like Blake’s and not ask yourself these questions:

Do I matter? What am I doing in this world to make a difference? What’s my purpose?

Chairman and CEO of, Chan SuhA few months ago Co-founder, current Chairman and CEO of, Chan Suh and I shared some email correspondence discussing the very topic of company purpose and vision. Chan is full of insights and knowledge from his own experiences and has a brilliant knack expressing himself in terms in which everyone can see the same vision. It was an honor to hear his opinions on the subject.

At the end of his email Chan left me with this quote by George Bernard Shaw, which summed up a lot of our discussion, and I think it applies here:

This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; The being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it onto future generations. – George Bernard Shaw