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Humble, hungry, and smart: Entrepreneurship is a test of resilience

During a studio 1:1 chat at Mount Mary University, David Simnick talked about SoapBox, his path as an entrepreneur, and advice for future entrepreneurs.

When David Simnick meets with people who want to become entrepreneurs, he shares his failures, in hopes that his stories serve as realistic, practical perspectives to launch careers.

Simnick is the CEO and co-founder of SoapBox, a company whose mission is to empower consumers with the chance the change the world through every day, quality purchases. With every purchase of a soap bar – in a store or online – SoapBox donates another soap bar to a person in need. In fact, 66% of their soap bar donations are given in the United States to homeless shelters and food pantries.

He thinks that a successful entrepreneurial spirit can boil down to three traits: being humble, hungry, and smart. Of course, it’s always a bumpy road to success.

He started his company in 2010 with a friend in his college apartment kitchen by making soap over the stovetop. “Everyone thought I was starting a fight club or compared me to Walter White.” David is referencing Brad Pitt’s cover-up of a soap salesman in the iconic movie Fight Club and the chemistry expert main character in the TV show Breaking Bad. It took a lot of convincing, demoing at stores, and analyzing price points to get real business partners. There were times when he had nothing in his savings accounts.

Then – a humble moment: Simnick and his team use focus groups before each product launch. During one focus group, they heard people describe a major flaw in their marketing – the design of their product box. Egos set aside, SoapBox scraped their original design and based the new one on their customer’s feedback.

Now SoapBox has a nationwide presence in some of the largest retailers, such as: WholeFoods, Target, Walmart, Stop & Shop, Amazon, and others.

Here are a few of Simnick’s thoughts:

On entrepreneurial spirit: Simnick believes “If you’re in it for the money, you’ll never survive.” It’s clear that Simnick is passionately driven by his mission to help others with small actions, and that’s to what he attributes his success.

On intrapreneurial spirit: Not everyone has to start a brand new company to create change. Intrapreneurs are people already within an organization who want to make a lasting impact or transform their world.

On maintaining a social cause in a mission: “Stay away from guilt.” Simnick calls this the “Sarah McLachlan Effect.” If you overwhelm your customer with guilt in your messaging, they may support your cause faster, but they won’t come back for a repeat experience of that emotion.

For more information about David Simnick and SoapBoxSoap and their mission to change the world through simple purchases, visit: