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John Mackey (Whole Foods Co-Founder): Finding Love and Meaning in Your Work

How to find love and meaning in work, no matter what you do

Last week on SFS Live we spoke with Zoro the Drummer. If you haven’t heard Zoro speak, he’s a truly inspiring personality. Check out the replay of our conversation where we discussed his upbringing, his special relationship with his mother, his journey from poverty to becoming a world-famous drummer, and what it means to create a vision for your life.

Check out Zoro’s website if you’d like to learn more about him, pick up a copy of his book, or have him come inspire people at your company.

This week - today, actually - we’re talking with the Co-Founder and former CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey.

John was born in Houston and had an early interest in philosophy and religion, which later evolved into a passion for healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. He dropped out of college in the late 1970s to join a vegetarian co-op, after which he and his then-girlfriend scraped together $45,000 to open a small natural foods store called SaferWay. Two years later, SaferWay merged with another local natural grocer to create Whole Foods Market, which opened its first location in 1980.

John grew Whole Foods from a single store in Austin to 500+ across the country, and along the way he championed a business philosophy called conscious capitalism: a way of doing business that creates value for all stakeholders: customers, employees, investors, communities, and the environment.

Today, in addition to championing conscious capitalism and healthy eating, John is a big proponent of “love” in the workplace. No, we’re not talking about interoffice romances. We’re talking about the love of one’s work, of the company’s mission, and of the life that you’re living as a result of the work you do.

Our main takeaway from our conversation with Zoro was that without having a concrete vision for your life, it’s easy to drift wherever the prevailing wind takes you. But it’s not enough to just have vision — you need to execute it. And it’s much easier to consistently execute on that vision when you love the mission and the process.

Join our conversation with John on SFS Live today at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET. It’s free to join for all SFS subscribers and you’ll have the opportunity to chat with and ask questions of John, live on the virtual stage.

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