Success

success photoSuccess is commonly defined by the money or power you have accumulated.

For me, I used to seek external acknowledgement to validate my “success.” As this success grew, so did the manipulation of my actions to optimize my success – because it felt good, almost intoxicating. Until I realized I was headed in a direction I didn’t like, that wasn’t me.

So I changed.

Today I define success as being able to live in peace (as best I can) within my own skin. The way Brad Black was meant to live, in a world where every single person is inherently different – and a challenge is around every corner.

 

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Being Transparent

Being TransparentLaying all the cards on the table and being open is the right thing to do – although sometimes difficult. One of our company’s foundational beliefs is to be transparent about what’s in our products and how we’re making them.

Our team gets questions about some of the ingredients we use. Sometimes the answer isn’t what people want to hear – especially given the mountains of misinformation and expectations floating around. However, we owe honest information so informed decisions can be made.

I’d like to encourage everyone to be inquisitive about what you’re consuming, how it’s made, and what happens to it when you’re done with it. This isn’t the easy path. But difficult questions catalyze engaged conversations and responsible businesses will participate.

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Aloha

I’m on vacation in Hawaii with my daughter, Lucy. Two native Hawaiians (their links below) were gracious enough to teach us the deeper meaning of the word ‘Aloha’. We must all live by this.

 

Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain – it is my pain. When there is joy – it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect. This is Hawaiian – this is Aloha.

quote from: THE DEEPER MEANING OF ALOHA by Curby Rule

 

Aloha brothers and sisters.

 

http://donetourshawaii.com/

http://www.aliikulalavender.com/

 

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Time Flies

Brad Black FamilyMy great grandmother, Margaret Shilliday, died in 1965, when she was 95 – I was 3. I have one memory of her in a rocking chair, was told to be quiet despite that she was hard of hearing. She was 3 when her great grandfather, William Reed, died, also at the age of 95 – he born in Delaware in 1778.

Our 3 lifetimes, 235 years – we have covered most of the Independence of the United States.

As I look back at my 2013, I want to complain about my hardships, however realize that I’ve had a pretty easy time at it. I don’t struggle with the basic necessities of life, as my ancestors did. They have given this to me, to us.

Today, I believe that the “game” of life isn’t about staying alive (certainly here in the USA). What matters is how life is “played.” So, here’s a wish to you to be on top of your “game” in 2014 – to a meaningful year, one that respects who you are, your history and all of us.

Peace.

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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See. Want. Need.

thanksgiving I’ve been thinking how Thanksgiving has changed these past few years. What used to be a time of reflection and appreciation has become muddled with folks camping outside of big box stores to have the chance at scoring cheap electronics and buy-one-sweater-get-four-free deals.

Our goal is to offer products that are made responsibly. Many of you buy them. We hope that you choose responsibly when making a purchase, any purchase. Because it’s not sustainable to continue on with the newest, cheapest, as many as I can get is best purchasing mentality.

Our friends at Patagonia have recently launched a new Responsible Economy initiative. I think these words are worth reading as we head into Thanksgiving weekend.

Thank you.

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Stock Pot

Back in 1996 when Susan and I founded EO, we made our products in a 10 gallon stock pot. One batch, then two batches a day were manageable. As demand grew, so did our stock pot – to 82 gallons. And once again, one batch a day, then two…

EO Products KettlesToday, these pots are long gone. And while our kettles are small compared to the big companies, we make all our products in them. I don’t mix the batches anymore. Now we have a talented team of folks who look over our family recipe. They meticulously measure, mix, smell and test to make sure our products are exactly the way we want them.

We like to make what we sell. It gives us first-hand experience, knowledge and responsibility for what we do. It ensures that our products aren’t made with unknown ingredients by anonymous workers, instead they’re made by Eddy, Carmela, Edgar, Rosa, and other members of our team. These people have become our family, who share our passion for products and life.

We always strive to do better. Cleaner, greener, less expensive, organic, efficacious, non-GMO, local, etc… It’s an ongoing and living process, and one that we’re happy to be a part of.

-Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Responsible Products

We think of all the products we make, formulate them, choose the ingredients and suppliers, make samples, test and test again. We experiment with old and new ingredients, manufacturing procedures and equipment. Challenge what we know, and what we don’t. We have intention of doing our best and are engaged in the process – transparency demands this. We are very much what we sell.

We have a great opportunity to create change in the products we make because we do all of our manufacturing. We’re so involved with our products that driving new methods, ideas, ingredients, and functions is second nature to us. Take, for example, making our bottles with recycled plastic, called PCR (we were one of the first companies to do this); non-GMO certified products (we were the first certified body care company); and organic product and facility (we have one of the first).

Most companies have someone else make the product for them. To me, these companies don’t sell a product, they sell marketing.

-Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Talk About It

Brad and Rosa at EO Halloween Party 2013

Often times the hardest conversations are the most important - conversations that are personal, vulnerable – and traditionally not “male.”

Men are supposed to be strong (to protect the tribe from the saber tooth tiger). Showing any sign of weakness will not further the race (big picture). This has been a strategy for 200,000 years.

Saber tooth tigers are extinct.

And, we’ve become our own worst enemy.

Today, we live in a world still defined and managed by this male survivalist thinking – and it needs to change. In my opinion, having that “hard conversation” is the best way to avert the next great extinction.

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Don’t Be Lonely

We are our own worst enemy – or at least I am mine. Loneliness is a tell tale sign.

Don't Be Lonely

What do you think about when you’re lonely, how do you feel? Whatever it is, it tends not to be a good feeling.

I’ve done a lot of work to try to rid myself of the sharp pains of loneliness. And while loneliness is still a regular occurrence, it tends not to last as long. I have worked on making myself aware of the loneliness feelings and to counteract them – to pull myself forward into a more positive space.

This new space is one of creativity, permission and fun. Awareness is the first step; doing something about it is second – kind of like feeling hungry, then eating – and we all know that there can be a lot of pleasure in that.

-By Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

Photo credit: Willow McDonough

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Giving

Giving is good. It’s the other side of receiving. Both are necessary.

Our mission at EO is to give back 1% of gross sales. This is a lot of product. Most of our recipients are local and long-term. In my experience, face-to-face relationships optimize success.

Some requests come to us stating: “To Whom it May Concern” and “Dear Gentlemen”– these get tossed immediately.

Giving is very personal and can be emotional. It’s not a transaction. They are intentional. It’s an acknowledgement of the importance of relationship and community – we’re in this together.

 

Blog by Brad

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