#881 – Daniel Flynn On Thankyou’s No Small Plan/
- October 13, 2020
Daniel Flynn is the co-founder of Thankyou, a social enterprise that exists to help create a world that is free from extreme poverty.
Thankyou has raised over $17 million to its partners around the world to end extreme poverty, and has recently launched a new campaign, No Small Plan.
Through No Small Plan, Thankyou has sent out a partnership invitation to two of the world’s biggest companies – P&G and Unilever, asking if they will partner in making and distributing Thankyou products around the world.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show, we discuss:
- Thankyou’s No Small Plan
- Learnings about the social enterprise model
- Risk management, learning and what if it doesn’t work
- Remote working
- Disruption and planning
- Vision, buy-in and leadership
- Charitable donations
- The Thankyou supply chain and COVID-19
- Social enterprises and hiring amazing people
Daniel on Instagram: @danielflynn88
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Daily Talk Show is an Australian talk show and daily podcast by Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen. Tommy and Josh chat about life, creativity, business, and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and gronks! If you watch the show or listen to the podcast, you’re part of the Gronk Squad.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY.
Josh Janssen: [00:00:00] It's the daily talk show episode 881.
Tommy Jackett: [00:00:08] And today we've got a special guests. The cofounder of thank you, Daniel Flynn.
Daniel Flynn: [00:00:12] Welcome to the show, man. Hey, thank you so much. I feel to be number 891. That's incredible.
Josh Janssen: [00:00:19] I mean, we've, we've been following everything that you've been doing for ages. You came back from New Zealand.
How long did you spend in New Zealand?
Daniel Flynn: [00:00:28] There for about a year and a half. So it's really, yeah, it was, it was a well needed break slash launch and rethink of the whole, thank you, man.
Josh Janssen: [00:00:36] Yeah, Tommy and I always talk about, uh, living abroad, what it's going to do for us. It's, you know, if we were to live somewhere else would change our life and, you know, be better humans.
What's the reality of actually moving. What sort of perspective did you gain?
Daniel Flynn: [00:00:51] Well, look, I think your hypothesis is it's real. Like we did. Did we become better humans? Maybe we definitely rethought things. I think there's something about when you physically. I don't know about you guys, but like when I fly, if I get in a plane, which is a distant memory now, but yeah, you're, you just have a different perspective moving country or city, you just, you get out of what was comfortable and then you start to re reanalyze, you know, and I think for myself and my co founder, Justin is my wife.
Like we had a real rethink of us as individuals, as leaders, as a family, the whole company, and yeah. Yeah. You know what? The fruit was really good. Um, And it was, it was good to, it's good to enjoy some time over in New Zealand.
Tommy Jackett: [00:01:31] Well, as much as, I mean, they're ideas that you're having a friend of mine, he's a motivational guy and a motivational speaker, and he, he says, it's not a geographical problem.
It's a you problem. And so I don't listen to that. I like to think that traveling does
Daniel Flynn: [00:01:45] bring something out of me,
Tommy Jackett: [00:01:46] but just on the idea thing, That is a concept I'll move overseas and things will be different. You guys have had a pretty large scale idea of life that you're currently in the middle of,
Daniel Flynn: [00:02:00] um,
Tommy Jackett: [00:02:00] run us through what, what idea you've had and where you're up to to date.
Daniel Flynn: [00:02:06] Yeah. Cool. Well look, and a lot of this came from New Zealand. We looked at what are we good at? What are we not good at? And we've really found
Tommy Jackett: [00:02:12] that he doesn't know anything. He does not know anything.
Daniel Flynn: [00:02:15] I'll send you this after it. Um, so, so look, wait a bold idea. It's called no small plan and essentially it's a call out to the world.
To say, Hey, could you help get thank you. This social enterprise model to the world, we've invited two groups of people. One of those groups just happens to be the biggest product companies on the planet. Uh, so PNG Unilever, we sent them literally, I, by one later invitation, it's a giant crate by a 24 foot truck at their head officers say, Hey, this is an invitation to change them.
We're inviting them to help make and distribute. Thank you products, uh, globally. We've also invited nine of their nearest competitors. Uh, we just need one, one partner to help. And then we've called out to consumers to say, Hey, would you use your voice in this moment? Uh, posts forwards. I mean, I, you tag P and G tag Unilever.
The hashtag is thank you to the world. And it's this whole idea of us as consumers using our voice big business, using what they have. Well, global manufacturing capabilities and together taking a social idea to global scale, and we hope, uh, taking us humanity one giant step closer to the end of extreme.
You guys are a
Josh Janssen: [00:03:28] later in social enterprises. What have you learned about the social enterprise model? Since, since you began the journey?
Daniel Flynn: [00:03:37] Yeah, look, I think it's, we've learned that , uh, you know, the world needs it COVID has shown us even more. So that fact, you know, right now charity donations are down. So, you know, honestly, charities are a tailspin people aren't giving a and in the sector wherein focused on extreme poverty, it's gone from bad to worse.
So there are 250 million people on the brink of famine. And if you think about that reality plus charities who. They're there to kind of help, help solve that they're down on donations. Um, at the same time, thank you as up. I mean, we're upward of all time high in sales because we saw a hand sanitizer and hand wash and consumers are still consuming.
Um, we just released some numbers on that, that we've just given a further $10 million to our impact partners from a few months sales, literally during the pandemic and that to us as like, Hey. At a time when the world's in a tough spot, here's a model that works. Um, and it's not easy. I'll be honest. I mean, go into New Zealand.
We sat back and we went flip it. We've gone for over a decade now. And we're nearly at burnout, Justin. Um, she ended up having three months off. Doctors said to her, you know, your house is not in a good spot. You need to have a break or your body will stop. And she had a break and her body stopped. So she had three months in bed and then like a nine month recovery journey.
I was pretty close. You know, I ended up having a few months off and we just went there and what's what's going on. And we realized that. Social enterprise is a cool concept, but in our case, we're head to head with the biggest companies on the planet and it is tough. And so whilst the model's important and needed, you know, it is a really tough battle out there against some pretty big machines.
And so we, we got to work rethinking, uh, how we'll get to market, not changing the mission, but kind of flipping the game on its head. And there enters no small plan.
Tommy Jackett: [00:05:31] Ha ha you know, don't get into a flat spot, especially when it translates in your, your body's health. How do you, how did you guys pick yourself back up and actually say this is worth continuing doing what we're doing?
Daniel Flynn: [00:05:45] Yeah, I mean, I think there was some pretty deep soul searching, you know, I think there was. You know, it, anyone who's started anything or work to make an idea. A reality knows it is not easy. I mean, it just, it always, you think it will, how could it be? And then you basically live out how hard it could be.
And we did, and we got smashed. Like, we're pretty open about it. We, we, the bigger we got it's like the harder we got hit, um, which in part is almost flattery, you know, I bumped into a. Kind of a CEO of a very big competitor and I made kind of a joke. I was like, so it's getting a bit harder to launch these days.
And he's like, yeah, well, you know, when thank you first started. No one probably took it too seriously. But now, you know, it works and people back it and the industry probably handles it different. And in one sense, it was a compliment. In other sense, it was hard. It's hard to live through that. You know, w we launched into the baby category a couple of years ago in Australia.
You think nappies or diapers, depending what part of the world you're listening from? You think that's a fun category. I mean, it is, it's all out war and it really was. And we went up against some pretty big business. And how do you rethink while we saw the results, what worked? We saw what didn't and then we analyze what didn't work.
And we asked the question, is there another way? And yeah, there, there are other ways. And so I think, I mean, for just saying we are moved by two things. One is the mission. The purpose and that's deep and it drives us. So that helps. And then also vision, like being able to see a future that's that could work.
And I think once we had a bit of rest, we really went back to why did we start this? And then we had this vision of, there is a way we could pull it off. And we met industry experts and we told them the plan, here's what we're going to do. And they're like, don't never work. Thank you. You are asking the biggest companies on the planet to basically make a new box, a new one, a box of partnership that they don't currently do.
Um, and that was true, you know, big companies that we're approaching, usually acquire brands. Thank you. Copy owned. Uh, it would take away from the entire model we have of all for our impact, but I think when you lead by a mission and purpose and you've got a vision. W I don't know were kind of the people that can't unsee that.
And so we just go, we'll go all in. And that's, that's what we're doing currently.
Josh Janssen: [00:08:15] When did you come up with the idea of no small plan and did it take much to build the confidence to have a nother crack?
Daniel Flynn: [00:08:25] Yeah, look it, it did. Um, the plan has been worked and reworked for at least two and a half years. Um, you know, that in fact it was planned to launch next year and then covert happened.
And at first we thought delay the plan and then we saw extreme poverty go from bad to worse and sales go from good to great. So we're like, bring the plan forward. Like we just, this, the world needs it now, but, but for the last two and a half years, we've been looking at, um, What wasn't working, what was working.
We discovered that as a brand, we were able to over-index and get results at literally a market leading. But the easiest way I could put it is it's like we could launch ideas and get buy into those ideas. Like few other brands could, but sustaining those ideas against some of the biggest machines out there, that's where we would continue to kind of hit a ceiling.
And so we thought, well, imagine if. We did what were kind of best in class at, and we partnered with a global manufacturer. Who's really good at what they do together, actually together. There's no model like that currently in the market. And then we started to play that forward and things, this, this can change everything.
So a couple of years ago we were like, We're there. And then we spent time shopping around getting advice, trying to, to think through how do we approach this? How would we do it? Um, privately, publicly all of the things in between. And then we built a plan and spent time refining it. And to be honest, we wouldn't like another year, but we, you know, COVID changed the world in a bad way and maybe in a good way.
And we just decided to go all in now. Uh,
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:05] you've got an Epic promo video describing what mission you guys are on. I mean, it's, it's quite warm in my house and I was shivering. I was fat.
Daniel Flynn: [00:10:16] It was, it
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:16] was awesome. At the end. You, you, the, you said this awesome line. You say, uh, you, you're probably asking what if it doesn't work and then you ask
Daniel Flynn: [00:10:26] the question back.
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:28] What if it does? I just love that because it's every thing in this world has started with the concept in your mind. I mean, is that a question though, that you asked yourself?
Daniel Flynn: [00:10:38] What if it doesn't work at the
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:39] start and how, how, how have you. Translated it
Daniel Flynn: [00:10:44] to get the
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:45] action and moving forward that you
Daniel Flynn: [00:10:47] have
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:48] got at
Daniel Flynn: [00:10:48] moment.
Yeah. Look, it's a really, it's a powerful question. What if it does work? It's also a frustrating question for some people. Cause you know, you're the kid that's like, Oh that
Tommy Jackett: [00:10:58] they asked a different question question mate.
Daniel Flynn: [00:11:02] Yeah. And like, I think at thank you, we will think through an idea and play out. The, what if it doesn't work as in, how do you remove risk and how do we think of that?
So, so you can't. Like Niveah team beginner's mindset is part of the secret. And the other part is learning and just being like relentless on learning. Uh, and by learning, I mean, like we've entered a new type of business partnership model, and this is what we're proposing. It's licensing it's brand licensing.
Um, for those who are familiar with brand licensing, we've discovered that we've basically, we're creating a new category. We're just going to call it the thank you license, which is like brand licensing. But a little outside of that box, but the only reason we can even create that, what we would propose as a bit of a new box is because we learned about the other one.
We learned how it would work for us and how it wouldn't we thought through is this possible? How do we remove risk for partners? And then we started to create it. Now, this is not a complete story. We'll find out in a few weeks if it worked or not. Um, but part of the optimism and the, the focus on how could this work.
That's the thank you approach. I mean, you know, the world doesn't change until someone imagines a different and then goes all in on that. Um, and that has been, what's built. Thank you so far. And to be honest, it's the only way forward because we don't want people like, Oh, um, is there another, thank you out there that you're just trying to replicate that there isn't.
And I don't mean that in a proud way, there just, isn't so many organizations we borrow from, I love how they're doing this, love, how they're doing that, but we just don't see what we see now mind in the market yet. And so that means we think we're going to have to take some pretty creative approaches and continue to ask that question, but what if it does work?
And then the followup is like, how could we, how could we make it work? And, you know, a good brainstorm. I think begins with infinite possibility, not, you know, wow. If it doesn't work, risk, reputation, money, wasted, time, investment, like that is that leads to the most uninspiring brainstorm session you'll ever have.
Josh Janssen: [00:13:14] There's, um, there's a bunch of people in Melbourne where obviously in a lockdown at the moment, but there'll be starting hopefully soon to transition into your new version of normal, where they're going into their office. Again, having been, you know, hermits at home, I guess you've had a version of this being remote in New Zealand, away from your team.
What were some of the coping mechanisms or tools that you use when coming back into the workplace to make sure that, uh, the team was comfortable and you were comfortable and that you were sort of optimized?
Daniel Flynn: [00:13:49] Yeah, like I think that, um, there's two things that are really important. One is faith. So when you get away, you create space, space to think space for ideas, space to discover, and that is.
So critical. So I think coming back in one of the challenges with the office and the kind of this idea of the hustle and like, let's go, go go is you can become very much reaction based or busy based. And you're kind of addicted to this drug of like, if I'm just always busy and I get back to every email in time, then surely this thing, or like drop that's actually not the case.
You can answer every single email that ever comes to you. You turn up to every meeting and completely fail. In all of your actual KPIs, like your real success. And so I think space is critical. So when you come back in, it's like, well, how do I keep this space that I got when I was away? When I was working from home, that's part one, but the second part, which almost contradicts it, but it's, again, it's a balance is like proximity.
So being in New Zealand was great because we've got space, but we also got disconnected. And unity, uh, particularly as a team unity, there's a very, very, very powerful thing like this unity or like two visions. Uh, I think a good example right now without getting too political might be America, Brad, two very different views on how the country should be and run and you know, and that that's human nature.
But what we're all kind of witnessing is this sort of like so divided that you can't even have a conversation. No one can move forward. And it's, it's kind of like a horror show that we're all watching. In on, and hopefully it is a good resolve. So, but, um, I think when that happens in a business and a startup it's death, you're paralyzed, you can't move.
And so there's something about when you, when you're together and we've actually found this as a team. We're not in the office right now. We've been remote since March. But we're meeting more regularly than ever on zoom three times a week, we feel more unified, more connected unity. Isn't like same thinking.
It's actually diverse thinking, but you're together in that diverse thinking. And so I think sometimes when he creates space, yeah, you can actually put at risk that incredible, like feeling of unity you get as a, particularly a smaller startup. Um, and so I think when people come back to them, the new normal, if you can get the balance between space.
But also, um, that feeling of, Hey, we're United in this vision mission, that's when you have a really like a well thought through it, a powerful team.
Tommy Jackett: [00:16:27] How has your relationship been with, uh, you know, what may happen in the future and where you are now and how do you sort of, I mean, COVID for everybody has been that version of, I was planning something, but that's out the window.
So, yeah. How do you reconcile the sort of
Daniel Flynn: [00:16:43] future
Tommy Jackett: [00:16:43] and, and where you want to
Daniel Flynn: [00:16:44] get to? Yeah, I mean, I, I, I think that this disruption that the world's just had and is still going through is. I mean, we're seeing a very dark side of it, extreme poverty. There is a dark side in mental health. There is a dark side in the economic flow and effects on the health flown effects from this pandemic.
And it is the more you look into that. It is dark and it is heavy, but I think there is also light and there is a hope. And it's the hope that we all just discovered you can meet on zoom. Small small realization, but I have never in my life, if you said you'd be doing some kind of global campaign call out thing from your house in a suburb in Melbourne, I would say no, you know, I, I have way too much status points with too many airlines and I'll be flying around every minute and I'll be like, but none of the world just changed.
And then we discovered that, you know, You can do things differently. Um, and, and we're all going to have to, and I think that for me is the big realization is we're going to have to do things different. Um, partnership, I think is a big part of the future. In part, because not everyone can travel freely, but then I think also does the world need heaps of replicated businesses or replicated charities or replicated ideas?
No, I think the world needs every single one of us to figure out what are we uniquely good at and have? What have we got to bring? And how do we work with others? Who've got something to bring to and through partnership, solve the economic crisis and the health crisis and all of the flow and effects the mental health crisis.
Um, from. Yeah, from this, this disruption.
Josh Janssen: [00:18:33] What about a internal buy in from your team when you have these big crazy ideas? I can imagine that,
Daniel Flynn: [00:18:42] uh, there's a bit of selling in that
Josh Janssen: [00:18:43] you have to do. Do you have any tips or thoughts on the best way of approaching that?
Daniel Flynn: [00:18:49] Yeah, I mean, I think this is where proximity is really critical.
You know, now I've fallen apart on this before kind of flying in with a big idea and it's like, And I can feel it and I'm like, Oh, hang on a second. I really think it's critical for any point leaders or visionaries to like, yes, you have to be 30,000 feet as you think through your idea. But I think you've also got to be on the frontline and connected to that, that real finger on the pulse with where the day to day is that.
And if you do that, then I think a team member would have buy in because you're not just some kind of you haven't got some Lufti future thought, you found a way to connect it to today's problems. And, and then someone who's like more focused on today can almost join. You're tomorrow thinking. So that's part of it.
I think the other part too is just don't share everything at once. If you've got a big idea, um, you know, like bring it in bit by bit, you know, I often get asked, you know, Oh, if you've got what's your 10 year plan, I'm not sure if you guys are planning to ask what's our next five, 10 years. But my answer is like, look, we got some big dreams and hopes, but we're really focused on today.
Like I've of got this like cut and paste answer, which is basically me. Not saying, yeah, we've got so many ideas and I'm going to freak you out because I'm just going to share them all. And then you're going to be like, nah, this is not,
Josh Janssen: [00:20:16] it's fine that you did that. Like,
Daniel Flynn: [00:20:19] I guess if you look at, um,
Josh Janssen: [00:20:20] uh, you know, thank you was founded on water bottles and obviously that you've had a big change in regards to approaching that.
How, how do you. How do you reconcile? Cause I even feel it's like, things are constantly changing. Like COVID especially means that as you said, you might be saying, well, we're doing it next year. And then all of a sudden you're saying actually I think it makes sense to be moving this forward. Um, how do you reconcile and sort of communicate your change in mind?
Daniel Flynn: [00:20:57] Yeah, I mean, I think so, so big visions, incredibly compelling, cause it's big. And I think people buy into like, I love a big lofty dream, but then I think being able to show the incremental like steps to get there is critical. Often I've fell apart on that. Justine's been better at others in our team. And we've got a great team now to kind of balance that, but I think people need to see the incremental steps.
Uh, I, so, you know, what sort of next Bay, if a pivot comes and our normal is pivoting. The true North doesn't change. So the big plan and where we're heading and why we're going there, that doesn't change, but how we get there and the steps we take does, and I think how it's about over-communication. So when something comes in, um, you, you have to dig down to your true North and then the change you're about to make.
How does that better serve the true North? And I think there's a strong link between the two. I think people will be like. Yeah, it's kind of crazy to move our launch forward at a time when the whole world is so disrupted and who knows how it's all gonna work, but actually I can see the logic behind it and I can say it's important and I can say it's better.
Therefore I made, and I think once someone's in, you know, Yeah. The feelings.
Tommy Jackett: [00:22:13] Yeah. The feelings you had when you set out to start, thank you. Versus the feeling and this idea that you're currently in. Is there any similarities
Daniel Flynn: [00:22:24] there? Uh, yeah, there, there isn't a sense of scale. You know, I think when we first started out, we were 19 years old, 21 years old.
We had these huge global dreams from day one. If you met us, we're like, this is global product for global consumers can make a global impact, give us like 12 months, the single year everywhere. And then life kind of just. Got us, you know, and when I say life reality, true reality of starting anything, it was slower.
It wasn't, it was, I mean, to be honest, all important lessons that we wouldn't go back and skip, they were critical that led to who we are today and how we even think and operate today. But I think the similarity is back to 2008, 12 years ago, was that kind of bright idea ambition of. Let's go. The difference now is after 12 years of learning a lot of things through failure and through pain of, I think it's better positioned us so that yes, this is a call out.
And yes, we are asking two of the biggest companies of which we only need one of them, but you might have also seen the video. We sent the same invitation to nine of the nearest competitors, because at the end of the day, we're not naive to kind of hope that someone has a Goodwill moment. And joins the movement.
We hope that exists, but also, you know, it's about competition and the power of it. And we need one, one of 11, I'm sorry, which has been a few weeks of very interesting zoom calls. It's early morning, late at night, and it's kind of working now. We don't have a result, not yet, but I think we've learned, we've learned yeah.
About big vision and ideas, but then also, how do you apply them in ways that will actually equal an outcome? You know, impact or dollars or growth or whatever it is you're aiming for. So
Josh Janssen: [00:24:13] when you're going into one of these zoom meetings, what's the first one. What are you expecting? What's uh what's what does success look like on meeting number one?
Daniel Flynn: [00:24:25] Uh, look, I think success is. The partner that we're meeting or potential partner that we're meeting, seeing what we see. Um, I have no doubt at what they may be thinking. Um, watching the campaign go down and thinking, man, who are these kids? And they're just trying to bully us and the public. And I can think of all the things that they're thinking.
Wow. At least a few of them. But the hope is that they walk away seeing what this truly is. And it's a, it's a really unique moment in history and they see the logic behind why we've done it the way we've done it. And I hope they can actually see it's the only way it could work at a time like this. And then I hope they walk away genuinely, you know, considering what this partnership could be, uh, and not, not too caught up on maybe the campaign that has been.
Tommy Jackett: [00:25:16] You mentioned charitable donations down
Daniel Flynn: [00:25:19] of current
Tommy Jackett: [00:25:19] times. I feel like it seems, that seems bizarre. I mean, I'm not in the world
Daniel Flynn: [00:25:24] in
Tommy Jackett: [00:25:24] that space. Like you are really consuming all those numbers. I think about the em, empathetic and sort of, um, you know, the causes people are getting behind and visually you're seeing through social media in my mind, it would seem to go the other way.
What is, do you know the reasons as to why people aren't going to getting behind these charities? Like they may have used to.
Daniel Flynn: [00:25:45] Uh, I mean, I think anytime uncertainty's introduced to humans, we all freeze up, um, and, and some for longer than others. So I think the economic kind of flow and effect from the pandemic to Australia to the U S UK everywhere.
I think that is people starting to wonder. What does the future look like? When's this all going to go back to normal? I think a younger generation just woke up to the fact that you should probably have six months to a year's money in the bank. You know, not that's something that happens. parents' generation, like it's a nonnegotiable, whereas the younger generations like that credit.
Yeah. You know, and now people are gonna wake up to. The world can stop without any notice for, for quite a long time. And, and I think so that we're going to see a change in consumer behavior. Certainly a giving and giving is often the first thing to stop when economic uncertainty kicks in. And obviously our lens is through extreme poverty.
But, you know, there are charities like Oxfam's very well known globally. They've pulled out of 18 countries. Um, dropped, I think 1400 staff charities are pulling out of countries. They can't fund them. Um, where the data's basically saying that. Upwards of a hundred million people will go back into extreme poverty, uh, off the back of the economic crisis, a bill and Melinda Gates just released a study.
That's real. So it's not a prediction, but to date 37 million people have gone back in, um, to what's. No one is less than a dollar 90 a day. So it's like, and governments are pulling out funding from aid and development and putting it into, so like a pandemic or covert response, which meant it's short term responsible, but it's leaving the world's poor.
Some are saying one, others are saying two decades, we're going to, we're about to go back two decades and all of the work we collectively did. So like in a thank you context, we sit here going, man, the world is not in a great spot. Everyone knows that, but I I'll be honest. It was plugging my power in, cause my computer's not in a great spot, but like, this is not in our newsfeed.
You know, I'm not turning on the news. I'm not getting a lot about. What's happening in developing nations. I'm getting a lot about what's happening here in Melbourne.
Tommy Jackett: [00:28:05] D Dan straight, Dan Andrews actually botched the, uh, the whole
Daniel Flynn: [00:28:08] quarantine. That's what totally. It's all the news that a Trump tweet, you know, like it's sort of everything.
Josh Janssen: [00:28:16] How, how have you changed as a person due to the pandemic?
Daniel Flynn: [00:28:24] I feel like the change started, you know, if we go back to New Zealand and then even before, just before the pandemic at thank you. We went through our own little crisis. Uh, we had a whole bunch of supply chain issues and, you know, a customer put in, uh, a claim for a huge amount of money that they said, we owed them and we're like, we don't know then that, and then we checked, we did.
With an accounting error. Wasn't huge, but we missed it and it added up over time. And so in, in February, we were in our own mini crisis and I think straight away for Jesse and I, we went straight down to values, right straight back to like, why are we here? Why are we doing this? And we were looking down the barrel of, thank you.
By far, worst financial year ever. We were looking off the edge of a cliff. That was scary. Um, but what I love about vision, a mission and a United team is you'll do whatever it takes to get it done. And so you got
jumped. Keep it helps now. I thought, you know, I'll keep it first. Yeah. So I'm like, we're going to need that to even stay afloat. But then our team worked with suppliers and customers. We ended up. Literally making what? 12 years profit in a few months. And we didn't, we didn't register for . How does
Josh Janssen: [00:29:38] the supply I worked for that?
Cause I was thinking about that, like the huge increase. Do you just turn on a tap? Like, because you've got the supply chain around hand sanitizer and all that sort of thing. Do you get first dibs from a factory perspective where you're like, okay guys. Yeah, just triple our water. How does that work?
Daniel Flynn: [00:29:56] Um, we would love to have thought it would work like that.
And so when sales went up, we, we said to our suppliers, we need more product and we couldn't get it. In fact, supply chain fell apart locally and globally. In many parts, there was a, I think in March, we were at 50% of our normal sales production. So we were in dire straights, and obviously everyone's needing sanitizer.
We couldn't make it. Um, But I will put credit down to a team that. W one of our values we're talking about is solutions focused. And we found new suppliers in new countries and new supply channels. And we moved mountains and processes. That would be six months. We pushed them out in a couple of days. We found ways.
And if, if it honestly could have been a movie. Over that month, like stuff that happened and it was, it was nuts, but we got through it and, uh,
good. Nuts. Cashews. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like a good macadamia. Yeah. Yeah. But I think so what I mean by nuts is like we sold more product and made it and distributed it. At a time when local and global supply chains were falling apart, but through finding good partners through very unconventional ways, through taking some risk, we took risks.
We took some pretty significant risks. We felt they were measured. Some people would be like, that's big risk, but it was, but then also the biggest profit to impact we've ever made. And yeah. I
Tommy Jackett: [00:31:38] mean, they're, they're probably the people that are asking what if it doesn't work. Um, in terms of that you living and breathing and experience you're in the trenches of seeing your profits,
Daniel Flynn: [00:31:51] you know, grows so rapidly.
Tommy Jackett: [00:31:54] what are the learnings from that? Because from the ads, I don't think I even can fathom that as a, as a business and as a person to see what unique perspective on the situation has that given you.
Daniel Flynn: [00:32:08] Yeah, I think, I think with great, um, with great upside that comes in even greater responsibility. Um, I think that we sat back going, this is incredible.
At the same time, I watched friends, businesses falling off cliffs and other great organizations that were like, man, that's what do you mean Virgin? Australia's going into like what? Like, like we saw these establishments just collapsing and changing. Meanwhile, we are going through. The best growth ever. Um, and I mean, it's not just us.
The sanitizer thing was like a gold rush. I think we said in the video, it was like, and we saw the best and worst of humanity in that gold rush. Um, you know, special mentioned to some people we won't mention, but like, it's just like people when, when money is on the table, people go all in. Um, but then there's some good too.
And we saw a lot of that. I think. The thank you context is we sat back going. This is incredible. And look. We could have gone. Let's just keep the balance sheet strong. We'll give a bit, let's ride out this pandemic on the other side of it, you know, we'll get bold then. But I think for us every single day as the dollars went up, uh, and the world's falling apart, we felt this sense of responsibility that we need to go all in.
Um, and that's what no small plane is. So. My perspective. And I think just the Hanes, we just felt a sense of responsibility that when you have somebody that works at a time, the rod needs it, you know, Wait, wait, let's not block it. Let's not block it going further.
Josh Janssen: [00:33:45] Are you talking about some of the challenges of social enterprises around, thank you.
Having to create a phenomenal product to stand out
Daniel Flynn: [00:33:52] because of sort of
Josh Janssen: [00:33:53] the brand perception of something that's, you know, social enterprise, uh, how do you create a social enterprise that retains really amazing people, obviously there's the, the side of it, which is you're doing good. But w what's your perspective on things like salaries within the social enterprise sector and how can we encourage the best people to come and work at companies like thank you.
Daniel Flynn: [00:34:21] Big topic, important one, because I think that to make, to make social enterprise work, I, I genuinely think we almost have to remove social for a moment. Think enterprise. And just go, right? So thank you. You know, there's two rules on our website rule one, make great product rule to never break rule one. And we have an asterix on Roadster that says, never use a good cause to sell an average product.
Now we've got these rules from a grant book call, do purpose. Why brands with purpose matter? I think anyway, do purposes, the title, but these rules like to make good product uniquely people. And do they have good retention and in eco culture and all of the things. And I think one of the great challenges with social charity in particular, but then anything social is we think will because of the cause.
You know, people should do it for less money. Um, in fact, if they need to get paid well, they're in it for the wrong reasons. Some of this stuff's sort of, when you filter it through, some people really screwed it up for everyone by stealing money by absolute charity rots. And that's sucks. So when you filter it through that, the logics there, but when you filter it through, how do we live in a world in 2020, where we're all happy to pay someone at Instagram or Facebook, a developer.
You know, a very, very, very handsome salary to make the app addictive. So that way more addicted. How are we comfortable with that? And then we're not comfortable to pay that same amount as someone who might be, we're trying to solve the complexities of extreme poverty or a social issue. So as a society where like, we're okay with that, we're not okay with this.
And like we face this every day. I had an interesting exchange with a, uh, Netherlands journalist, um, Who was having a good rip into us. And I just thought, ah, this is so ironic because this is from a publication that publishes the top hundred rich list and the cars, the boats, the houses, and they are front page.
We get sort of the back page. These are they really in it for the right reasons, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like classic, but this is how we are as a society. And it has to change.
Josh Janssen: [00:36:33] Do you think, is there ways and where does Australia fit, do you think in regards to dealing with this.
Daniel Flynn: [00:36:41] Look, I think that, uh, Australia is doing well in social enterprise.
We have some really strong examples here. I used to think we were 10 years behind the UK head of social enterprise in the UK is like, you guys are not 10 years behind. It's amazing. So I think we're doing well. I think that we just need to keep pushing the boundaries and pushing the boundaries of social enterprise.
Um, and I think we'll continue to do that. Thank you. Because we are really interested in really good talent, making really good products and campaigns to make a bigger social impact. And yes, we'll never be the highest paid at thing compared to corporate, but we don't want to be too far off it. Um, you know, and there are some measures in that.
Uh, we, we base off the kind of the 25th percentile, which is the lowest, but yeah, I don't know how I feel about that long term. You know, I kind of wonder is that really the model it's certainly today. But I think we should keep pushing it, um, because you know, good people make good products and that's what we need a
Josh Janssen: [00:37:37] man in our small plan, timing,
Tommy Jackett: [00:37:40] the timing of all of this.
I mean, you mentioned that it was next year that you're thinking about it and I mean, do you, are you the type to look and go, wow, this is serendipitous. This is all meant to be.
Daniel Flynn: [00:37:52] Hmm. I am like, I am, I think, you know, Jesse and I personally, like faith has played a big part of our story. And we do think that we are doing this for something bigger than us and more important than, and the timing of this, uh, it does, it does feel like that.
It feels like maybe this has meant to be, I mean, there are some days wake up and were like, was this even meant to be, Oh wait, you're meant to be doing this.
Tommy Jackett: [00:38:15] Do you wrestle
Daniel Flynn: [00:38:16] when you're a wrestler?
Tommy Jackett: [00:38:17] When you're in, um, New Zealand, you know, suffering a bit of pain internally. Do you think that too, are you thinking this was meant to be, this is a part of the journey that we have to go.
Daniel Flynn: [00:38:30] Yeah. Um, at reflection is. Is that, you know, like this whole concept of the wilderness and kind of, you look at the greatest stories ever written leaders, you know, of, of all, do you think of, you know, not the, we're trying to compare it all, but you know, Mandela is locked up in prison. Like you look at these sort of histories of people and, um, you know, it's, it's inspiring when you hear the story.
Cause you're like, man, you went on a, on a lung down before that up. Mean like as a mother, Teresa. Yeah. Yeah. But cool. Look at mother trees as like whole life story. It's like pretty, it's Epic, but it's, there's a lot of that before. There's that? And I think the Valley is not often talked about, it's not heroed enough.
We all talk about the mountaintop moments and look at them. They did this or won that or achieved that, but most great stories are here. And so I think for Jesse and I, we ended up going. Oh, wait here. And that helped us because we're like, we're not what we're definitely not there, but we're here. Let's just, let's go on that journey and be okay with that
Josh Janssen: [00:39:31] or about, um, founders or CEOs and how.
It can be lonely in those roles. Have you felt lonely through the process?
Daniel Flynn: [00:39:40] Ah, yeah, like, yes. Um, I definitely am grateful for co founder, um, and not just founder. I think of founders and, you know, credit to them. It's a debt that may be even lonely, a journey than when I walked having co-founders Justine, Jared, Jared finish up about two years ago.
Um, and walked with him for 10 years in this. That was really helpful because you're encouraging each other. The amount of times I've quit or, Oh, Justin's quit. But then we wasn't on the same day. So we kind of got each other back. Like it, it wasn't on paper does email exchanges, but you know, nobody needs to know about that.
Tommy Jackett: [00:40:22] think with emailing your wife,
Daniel Flynn: [00:40:25] to be honest, Well, you know, sometimes you gotta put it somewhere. It's got to be a paper trail for the lawyers. So I think we, we here, I'll just say we don't do it alone. That would be my message to everyone because I think it is a lonely, but we have to reach out and you have to get help and get support because point leading anything, it is, it is the loneliest job in the world.
Josh Janssen: [00:40:51] Yeah, it's a, it's so exciting what you're doing. And can I also say you've got some of the best hair in the business as well? I think following your journey, your hair journey, and, uh, I think the, uh, the curls are great. Uh, yeah, I think that you're really wrapping it massive.
Daniel Flynn: [00:41:08] I can't give away the secrets, but I can tell you one thing. To any kid out there who thinks at the age of 17 or 16, I'll start straightening my hair. And no one needs to know about my curls. Like if you, if that's you stop, don't try and hide it. Cause it's 29. When it all came out, my son had curly hair.
This is chapter two.
Josh Janssen: [00:41:29] You're you're giving us chapter two. It's going to be
Daniel Flynn: [00:41:32] so just be you, you know?
Josh Janssen: [00:41:37] Awesome. Well, yeah, good luck. And so for, for people that want to support. Uh, no small plan, obviously you're in the, um, the sort of final stages in some regards in having the meetings, but is there other ways that people can, uh, help out.
Daniel Flynn: [00:41:53] You look, I'd say over the next couple of, um, if people haven't seen the video, watch it, share it. Um, the more awareness, the better, because when the product has a partner, I mean, we're going to need to roll it out. And so that's where, you know, thank you works off people and people telling people. So I would say right now that's a big call to action.
Um, we are four weeks out, three weeks out from an announcing who's in, uh, we have booked. One of the largest digital billboards in the world. It's very in times square, New York city, uh, it's not small. I think it's the size of an American football field. Um, and the founder loves our story and he's like, I mean, so we've got a discounted rate, but we're sitting in there hope it's not empty, you know, it's like, that's awkward.
Um, so look. Uh, follow the journey, get the popcorn out. Um, and either way it's going to be a case study. I think the good thing about thank you. Someone's like, but what if this fails? I'm like how, how we work at thank you. Is it can't fail. And, and that's, as in, even if everything didn't go to our plan, we're going to learn from it pivot and then it'll work and we'll find a way to make it work.
And so, you know, come on the journey with us.
Tommy Jackett: [00:43:02] It's so exciting.
Josh Janssen: [00:43:04] Congratulations. It's really awesome.
Daniel Flynn: [00:43:07] I'm just saying thank you for the interview. I'm just, I've got black shirts.
Josh Janssen: [00:43:14] a daily talk show. Make sure you check out no small plan at thank you. His website. Otherwise we'll see tomorrow. Everyone have a good one.
Daniel Flynn: [00:43:21] See you