What do you do when you hear these staggering statistics?
- 1.4 billion people in our world live in extreme poverty.
- 22,000 children die every day of starvation.
- While Australians spend $600 million annually on bottled water, 900 million people around the world, do not have access to safe drinking water.
Do you gloss over the numbers and put it in the ‘too-hard-basket’ because it is simply too overwhelming to think about? Yep, so do we.
What does Justine Flynn do when she hears these statistics? She recognises that in order to see change she has to do something about it. It takes sacrifice. It takes commitment. And it takes an unwavering ambition.
Justine Flynn is a game changer.
In 2008 Justine and her husband Daniel Flynn discovered the World Water Crisis. And so they founded Thankyou Water, a bottled water company that would exist for the sole purpose of funding safe water projects in developing nations.
Today Thankyou Water has evolved into Thankyou, a movement overseeing three different brands – Thankyou Water, Thankyou Food and Thankyou Body care.
Now through Thankyou, Justine empowers the everyday Australian to change the world through a simple purchase.
You can see Justine in action at BOLDtalks Woman and as a warm up we spent 5 minutes chatting with her about her game-changing moments, her naked ambitions and what drives her to make a real difference.
To step up and say, “I am going to make a difference” and then actually do it is remarkable. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was 14 I saw firsthand in Indonesia the devastating impact that a lack of safe drinking water can have on a community. I realised how fortunate and blessed I am to have an education, to live in Australia and to have access to safe drinking water, something we often take for granted. My desire to help others goes deep into my belief system. It’s my calling. No matter how tough it can get with Thankyou (and there have definitely been tough times), we persist. I believe in the difference we can make and I have witnessed the impact. Justine shares more of her journey in the Thankyou Body Care Impact clip.
What excites you most about Thankyou at the moment?
I am excited to be around passionate people. I work with a team that is bound together by passion and we sell our products to consumers who are equally as passionate. It is this passion that will make a real difference. Since the inception of Thankyou, we have funded safe water access for 107,903 people, funded hygiene and sanitation programs for 112,532 people and funded over 3.8 million days of food aid for people in need. And much of the growth has happened in the last year. It is only the beginning for us and I am so excited about the impact we will have in years to come.
Would you call yourself a risk taker?
For sure! We launched a social media marketing campaign in 2013 to urge Coles and Woolworths to stock our products. With hashtags that went viral, public pledges, online videos and helicopters with banners promoting Thankyou, we took a BOLD RISK. It could have been the biggest marketing flop of all time. People didn’t believe we could pull it off. But here we are today with our products stocked in both supermarkets.
Do you have a career secret you are willing to share?
Not accepting the status quo and feeling pressured to do things the way they have always been done. So many people say to us ‘But this is the way it is done. This is how you are supposed to do business.’ Our core values are integrity and honesty and this is part of everything we do. This is how we play the game. We refuse to compromise on this. Daniel and I often ask ourselves how we would live our lives if we had no fear. And then we go out and live it. We see people who don’t want to step out of their comfort zones. We need to break out of that in order to make a difference.
What is your NAKED AMBITION for Thankyou? (Definition: a raw, brave and wild next goal)
Thankyou has funded 1.8 million in projects in the last six years. In 2015 alone, our NAKED AMBITION is to fund 2 million in projects (deep breath). It is an ambitious goal but we are all working together on this and we can make it happen!
How important is it for you to follow your passions?
So important otherwise what is the point in being here? We all have a passion and purpose and this is what we are here to do. It is something that makes each of us unique. Life is so short and we should be doing what we love. As the saying goes: Once we find that passion we will never work another day in our lives.