*All photos by Maxine Bulloch of the Good Work Society

I first heard of this growing collective through Pieter Schouppe of Plant a Flag after discovering him through this excellent LinkedIn article.

Brought to life by Maxine Bulloch and Joel Harrison, this monthly experience has a mandate to help service providers learn how to connect with B Corps and non-profits in a way that feels authentic and prosperous.

If you’re not familiar with BCorps, here’s a snippet from the about page: “Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”

There’s a rigorous process for approval and some companies take years to clarify their business and ensure they’re following the ideals required for certification.

I’ve been to three GWS events so far and I’m impressed with the focused intention that guides the evenings. It’s an eclectic and fascinating group with cinematographers, marketers, graphic designers, photographers, writers, NGO’s, community builders, etc. It’s encouraging seeing how many people are doing the “good work” to build a more sustainable and community-centric world.

In March, we heard from Phillip Manzano, head of marketing and communications at Keela, a B Corp that creates financially accessible and robust back end systems for non-profits. Their tagline: Raise more money, do more good. I can definitely get behind that! He was joined by  Mara Mennicken of the Good Chocolatier. She’s crafting delicious, ethically sourced chocolates and providing employment for people on the Autism spectrum in Vancouver.

Most recently, we gathered at Realize Strategies and discussed our way through two of the most pressing concerns facing small businesses: money and working in our business, rather than on it. Splitting into two groups, we had the opportunity to engage in fresh discussions around our concerns and learn from each other what’s working and what definitely isn’t.

Under the guidance of Maggie Miland, facilitator extraordinaire, I was able to identify a short-sighted habit that’s been keeping me in an earning rut. In short, working on small projects outside my area of interest. Rather than feeling expansive, the scope creep and general feeling of discontent were unpleasant time sinks that took me away from focusing on where I want to be.

I consider these to be learning opportunities and it’s interesting to note whenever I ignore my gut or take something on because it feels like I “should”, the outcome doesn’t feel rewarding. It’s a common mistake for folks early in their business life so I’m in good company.

We talked about starting with clarity right from the beginning of business relationships and being firm about pricing. This one has been tricky for me, In the past, I’ve made the mistake of negotiating lower prices and it doesn’t work. Letting go of the need to be perceived as nice is key for me. Kindness though? That is a quality I care deeply about. It means setting clear boundaries and establishing milestones from the outset. I’m moving towards a fixed pricing system for writing/editing services as I get more clarity and I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges.

In tandem with this, I’m embracing more community building with an intention to support non-profits and B Corps, I’ve been working on a contract with the Gathering Place to coordinate BC Access Awareness Day and a series of events in late May and early June that explore the complexities of living with disabilities.

After working with the team at Good Pitch, I’ve realized that bringing people together has been simmering in the background of every career I’ve embraced throughout my life. In Calgary, I hosted and curated a wealth of events in my community of Inglewood, the delight and joy those experiences created still resonates. I’m working on ways to merge this enduring passion for community building with my love of story.

In the meantime, my understanding is the Good Work Society will be moving towards a membership model and I applaud Maxine and Joel for creating a space for ethical entrepreneurs to learn and be in community. Maybe see you at the next one?

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5 thoughts on “The Good Work Society

  1. Hi! I’m a young professional and entrepreneur new to the city of Vancouver. I met with Pieter by other friends intro and definitely identify myself with him! I’m passionate about startups/businesses and I would love to be part of this monthly gathering. Looking forward to meet you!

  2. HI Valerie. Great to hear from you! Yes, Pieter is fantastic. I’ll connect you via email to Maxine Bulloch, one of the co-leads. Looking forward to meeting you.

  3. Hello,
    I came to Vancouver a little more then 2 years ago and started a business. I heart about B corps the first time through Laure Depuy, who If I am not misstaken attenter 2 of your meetings. I know Mara as with my business i am a partner of Dudoc(the world of Walas)
    Pieter Jan i met september last Year. I would love to be a part of your monthly meeting.

  4. Thanks for reaching out. I’m going to connect you via email with Maxine, one of the group’s co-founders.

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