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*A Book Review*

Body and Soul

by Anita Roddick

by Michael C. Gray

April 29, 1998

Leadership.
Values.
Passion.
Honesty.

Body and Soul is the story of Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, a "boutique" for natural women's cosmetics that became a publicly-traded international phenomenon.

From one shop in Brighton, England, and less than $7,000 of borrowed money in 1976, it is estimated by 2001 there will be over 1,000 Body Shops in 38 countries.

The Body Shop is an extension of Roddick's passionate concern for our world, for the community of woman kind, for the employees of The Body Shop, and for the communities within which The Body Shop is located. That type of passion evokes passionate support, in return, from her customers and her employees.

Anita Roddick and her husband, Gordon, started out as hippies. Anita always had a passionate love of trading. Gordon is the "steadying hand" who manages the finances of their business.

Anita took an interest in finding natural herbs and lotions from rustic locations, such as Native American tribes in the Brazilian rainforest, and bringing them to the market. The storefront was also used to promote the political concerns of the Roddicks, such as to stop the burning of the rainforests. The product displays included the history of the formulas. Customers could refill their distinctive "ugly" bottles with the products to reduce landfills. Educational centers were also set up about the causes for which the company was campaigning.

Anita loves to travel to developing nations and live with the people, so she intimately understands and experiences their challenges. Then she sets up trading relationships with them to provide the supplies to make local beauty aids they teach her about or to manufacture them.

Anita reminds me of a bumblebee. Physicists will tell you it's impossible for the bumblebee to fly! Its body is too big. Its wings are ridiculously small. But the bumblebee flies all over the place!

Although I may not totally agree with her ideology, Anita Roddick is the type of person who is so totally immersed in life that I would like my daughters and granddaughters to become more like her.

Here is Anita's 20 second crash course in Customer Care:

  • SMILE, DAMMIT, SMILE!
  • Never treat customers as enemies, approach them as potential friends.
  • Think of customers as guests, make them laugh.
  • Acknowledge their presence within 30 seconds: smile, make eye contact, say hello.
  • Talk to them within the first 3 minutes.
  • Offer product advice where appropriate.
  • Smile. Always thank customers and invite them back . . .
  • TREAT CUSTOMERS AS YOU'D LIKE TO BE TREATED!

Read Body and Soul! Give a copy to your mother, your daughter, your wife, your granddaughter, a female friend who could use a good role model.

And, like Anita, bring your passion, your values, and honesty to your business.

Buy it on Amazon: Body And Soul.

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Should you go out and buy Anita Roddick's book, Body and Soul? Click here to find out.


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Michael Gray, CPA
2190 Stokes St., Suite 102
San Jose, California 95128
(408) 918-3162
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email: info@profitadvisors.com
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