Poo as Good Business
Talk about nothing wasted. Behold the founding story, which reads more like a creation myth, of Poo~Pourri. A 40-year old woman from Jonesboro, Arkansas declares her second bankruptcy. Conventional “rules” of success did not work for her life. To heal she renounces the world of commerce and takes two-year spiritual quest, experimenting with alternative healing methods that included the lost art of tapping and Shamanic training in Peru.
While in Peru she made peace with her entrepreneurial instincts. A shaman explained that the objective of a healthy life was to move energy around. “Money is a form of energy,” he said, adding, “Business moves more energy than any other force.”
This insight fed an intuition that had been long dormant inside her, “business can be the perfect vehicle for making a positive, lasting impact on the world,” which is the very root of the movement known as Conscious Capitalism.
The idea for Poo~Pourri came from the bathroom, or rather a dinner party conversation with her brother-in-law speculating if odor could be trapped. Batiz experimented, began putting a few drops of pure essential oils in the toilet before he went to the bathroom. Seeing that this method was effective, she knew another opportunity was at hand. This was 2007. The Poo~Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray was born.
Since then, the company has become a pop culture sensation and a start-up benchmark of success, clocking in more than 275 million video views and selling more than 40 million bottles without ever taking outside capital. The products are sold in more than 10,000 independent retailers and nationwide retailers including Target, CVS, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon.com.
There have been offers to sell, but Batiz enjoys growing the business and maintaining a strong culture that does good in the world. “We ensure that every touch point has a positive impact on the world. We make a natural, non-toxic product,” she says, “treat our vendors with respect, and expect that if and when people leave the company they have not only advanced in their career but have grown as a person.”
The brand was the first to use humor to discuss a sticky topic. “No one would talk about it,” Batiz says, “but it really is the great equalizer because everyone poops. Therefore, we had to be funny and pretty to break the taboo around poo.”
One other remarkable aspect of this unconventional success story is the role of intuition. Batiz adds that our conscious brain is only 2% of our total brain function. She pairs gut feel with logic. First, she looks for four signs of resonance: chill bumps, increased energy, idea recirculation, and synchronicity. Once these four signs are present around a new concept or initiative, she will then model out, test, and validate with logic. This method fits in percectly with Suzy Batiz’s definition of Conscious Capitalism in practice, “doing business where I can lay my head down at night.”
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Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN and the author of Going Electric. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.
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