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Daniel Lubetzky

The KIND Founder's 10 Tenets of Entrepreneurship

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
15+ min read

KIND Healthy Snacks has sold more than one billion snack bars -- that's billion with a "B." The New York City-based company was founded in 2004 by CEO Daniel Lubetzky and today has about 300 full-time employees. The social-mission component of the company has inspired more than one million acts of kindness.

Lubetzky hasn’t always had such impressive milestones to illustrate his success, however.

In 1994, an ever-eager, idealistically minded Lubetzky founded PeaceWorks Inc., a company that aspires to get war-torn Middle Eastern countries to cooperate in business as a first step towards breaking down cultural hatred. The early days of PeaceWorks were filled with some pretty egregious blunders, which Lubetzky now shares with a good natured laugh.

Related: Unlikely Lessons From Building a Multi-Million Dollar Social Business

In the past two decades, Lubetzky has learned a lot about what it means to run a business that is both profitable and gives back to the community. In March, he published a book, Do the KIND Thing (Ballantine), detailing his journey. And earlier this fall, he was a keynote speaker at the Entrepreneur 360 conference.

In both his book and the keynote, Lubetzky breaks down his journey into 10 lessons of entrepreneurship. Here’s a summary:

1. The AND philosophy: Find a way to do what everyone thinks is impossible.

2. Purpose: You need more than money to get you through the journey.

3. Grit: Find the determination to push through the tough times.

4. Truth and discipline: Stay true to your brand.

5. Simplicity: Be clear with your customers.

6. Originality: Know clearly what niche you are filling in the market.

7. Transparency: Create a culture where everyone feels comfortable giving honest feedback.

8. Empathy: Listen to and work to understand the opinion of anyone you are negotiating with.

9. Trust: Hire people who are better than you and let them run segments of your business.

10. Ownership: There are no employees, only team members.

To hear Lubetzky talk more about each one of these tenets with humor and vulnerable honesty, curl up and enjoy the video of his keynote, embedded above. It’s longer than our typical videos, so grab some popcorn or a KIND bar!

Related: 5 Business Lessons from KIND Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky

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