PDF Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc.

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But Erickson claims that what really told him - at the last minute - not to sell was his gut. In the past, he had relied on his intuition and so he decided that he should follow his gut instinct again. Given that Erickson is an outdoor sports fanatic whose company was effectively created while he was riding his bike on a typically gruelling expedition, this change of heart could be just one of those follies where in true frontier fashion the little guy battles on against the odds, to little effect.

But in fact, the company seems to have made a name for itself by being different. Yes, there are other energy bars out there, but the Clif Bar - named after Erickson's father - and the various other related products that have launched are associated with a company that stands for something. Erickson has been inspired by his background in cycling, climbing and other outdoor pursuits to commit the company to environmental and social sustainability - in other words, to make a difference.

This has, of course, required continuing to think differently. But that is an ability that is supposedly a stock-in-trade for entrepreneurs.

And so far, Erickson and his colleagues seem to have been able to counter the big boys with their greater resources by being innovative. For example, when the record- breaking Tour de France rider Lance Armstrong - despite being a member of the cycling team sponsored by Clif Bar - opted to take sponsorship from a rival energy bar company unless Clif matched the offer, Erickson did not give in to the temptation to match it. Instead, he thought a way around it and came up with a sponsorship award for the riders who support the stars like Armstrong. Another boost for the little guy, you might say.

Some might find the book a little emotional and zealous for their tastes. After all, Clif Bar is based in Berkeley, California. But entrepreneurs who are set upon using business to make a difference, rather than just a fortune, will find much to inspire them. As Erickson points out, taking the step he took required a "leap of faith". Not least because the immediate effect was that he had to buy out his business partner, and so produce the opposite effect on his back balance that had earlier been planned. But he and his wife hope they have created a place where at the end of the year "employees feel good about coming to work, passionate about the work they do, and have been able to lead balanced lives".

The fact that other companies are taking such an approach suggests that there might just be more to being an entrepreneur to building up a business and then selling it so that they can enjoy a few years of leisure after a similar period of hard graft. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Minds free for 1 month. Independent Minds Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Minds.

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Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business - The Story of Clif Bar, Inc.

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Raising the Bar : Integrity and Passion in Life and Business

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''Raising The Bar,'' The Story of Clif Bar & Co., Released in Paperback | Business Wire

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