Simon Griffiths from Who Gives A Crap teaches us how to fail, so that we can succeed

Simon Griffiths from Who Gives A Crap teaches us how to fail, so that we can succeed

“As a society, it’s so important we reach out to people who have failed.”

BY Abby Ballard, 4 min READ

In partnership with our Movers and Breakers event partner, UV-IQ.

Welcome to our series wrapping up some of the best takeaways from our annual Movers and Breakers conference in Broome. We heard from some of the world’s foremost thought and industry leaders, who inspired us to be more curious and challenge ourselves in what is possible. Here’s some of the most important lessons from Simon Griffiths, who is the co-founder and CEO of Who Gives a Crap. The company is a profit-for-purpose toilet paper company that gives 50% of it’s profits to build toilets in the developing world. He is also a motivational speaker, teaching entrepreneurs how to fail in order to succeed.  


#1. Failure is instrumental to success

Having witnessed the rise and fall of his first venture, Melbourne bar Shebeen, Simon Griffiths understands the importance of learning how to fail so that you can ultimately succeed.

“The moment of failure teaches us what did work and what didn’t work, so we can put it back together and implement the lessons back into our next venture,” Simon explained.

“If we’re going to accelerate the pace we can innovate, we need to change the perception around failure as a good thing.”

#2. Support the people around you when they fail

Ever seen someone close their start-up? Go for a promotion at work and get knocked back? Acknowledge the failure. Send them a message. Give them a hug. Whatever is right for them, but don’t treat the failure as an indictment on their self-worth, otherwise, they’ll be less likely to try again.

“When you fail, it can be incredibly lonely. As a society, it’s so important we reach out to people who have failed, let them know they did a good job for giving it a go, and that they will get back up.”


#3. Doing good is good for business

When your entire business is built around doing good in the world, you’d hope this would be true.

For Simon, doing good has sustained customer loyalty and also seen the best marketing engagement. Their ‘doing good’ posts, about the donations made or impact being seen, outperform absolutely any other post on social media.

Their message is shared and so is their business.


#4. Build trust in your customer base

“When you do good as a business, you are held to a higher standard than businesses who are going out to purely make money.”

These were the frank words of Simon, who has been subject to media pile-ons, defamatory headlines, and comments all over social media about their pay packet.

What’s the easiest way Simon gets around this?

Publishing absolutely everything about the company online.

They outline where are their profits go, here, and donation statements, here.


#5. What can you do?

This is the final thing Simon wants you to consider.

What can you do to make an impact? Can you introduce, or adapt a product to have some sort of social impact?

How much money are you spending each day and where? How can you scale up your current impact?

Is your fear of failure holding you back to make this impact?


Thinking of joining us for Movers and Breakers 2020? You should! We’re heading to the Barossa Valley!

Read next: Adam Jacobs on innovation, success, and the future of your work


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