Interviews with purpose-driven business leaders who have dedicated their work to helping others and are making a positive impact in the world.
TELL US, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Tim Frick. I founded Mightybytes, a Chicago-based digital agency and Certified B Corp, in 1998. Mightybytes helps mission-driven organizations—conscious companies, social enterprises, nonprofits, and so on—solve problems, amplify their impact, and meet business and marketing goals.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
Mightybytes was started in 1998 to help mission-driven organizations find success through digital channels. In the 1990s, as the internet exploded, many nonprofits, social enterprises, and mission-focused startups—organizations dedicated to creating a better future for us all—were being left behind due to lack of technical acumen, resources, capacity, and so on. I wanted to help these organizations succeed. We have evolved our process and services many times since launching the company, but the same general mission applies to this day.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Mightybytes is committed to using the power of business for good. As a Certified B Corp, we’re proud to meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. This impacts every business decision we make.
As a digital agency, we’re also interested in making the internet a safer, more sustainable, and inclusive place for everyone. We follow responsible digital practices and incorporate sustainability principles into everything we do, including the digital products and services we create for clients.
When clients hire us, not only do they support a better way to conduct business, they can also be assured that their project is executed with the highest levels of accountability, transparency, and responsibility as well. We value trust, collaboration, and continuous learning in all our relationships. For impact-focused clients, this ensures that the projects they hire us for are executed more efficiently and reach desired outcomes faster.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
In addition to being a Certified B Corp, Mightybytes is also an Illinois Public Benefit Corporation, which means we produce an annual benefit report that outlines the impact we create each year in the following categories:
- Corporate Governance: how we incorporate ethical business practices into running the company
- Community: how we benefit communities, in our case through long-term education initiatives
- Environment: how we incorporate conservation and environmental sustainability practices into all our projects, policies, and practices
- Workers: how we support our team to provide rewarding work, growth opportunities, and well-balanced lives
- Customers: who we choose to do business with, in our case fellow mission-driven enterprises and nonprofit organizations
This framework allows us to benchmark progress in each of these areas from year to year. For example, last year:
- 100% of our hosted websites were powered by renewable energy as was our energy use overall. We also offset the emissions from 100% of company travel.
- 95+% of our clients were aligned with our B Corp mission.
- We produced a research report on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and webinar content about digital accessibility.
- The compensation ratio of lowest-to-highest paid employee was 1.25 and everyone, including freelancers and part-timers, earned a living wage. We also improved employee benefits and our entire team engaged in professional development projects throughout the year.
We also landed a spot in B Lab’s annual Best for the World lists every year since 2017. These lists recognize the top 10% of all companies using the B Impact Assessment to measure their impact.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?
Honestly, the problems we face in society today are enough motivation to create positive social and environmental change in everything we do. Because we focus on collaborating with mission-aligned clients, they often become our biggest source of inspiration as well. Many of our clients fight for the marginalized and work to preserve the planet and its people every day. Likewise, we’re also inspired by our fellow B Corps who strive to reimagine and rebuild an economy that works for everyone. That work is systemic, urgent, and critical.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
First, I’d like to see the majority of companies operate like B Corps rather than a small fraction of the global business community. We won’t see an economy that works for everyone if only a few are on board. By operating—and thriving—with these standards, we can serve as a beacon of hope for others to consider doing the same. Eventually, the numbers will be on our side.
In addition to an economy that works for everyone, I’d also like to see an internet that works for everyone. Most websites are bloated, broken, inaccessible, and problematic in so many other ways. They undermine the business goals of organizations that built them and they alienate the people intended to use them. Plus, the internet’s environmental impact is massive. These are fixable problems. Following digital accessibility and sustainable web design principles will solve many of them.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?
We’re a small business. The amount of impact we can create is directly proportional to the amount of business we do. Resource constraints are always an issue for companies like ours.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORK YOU’RE DOING?
Support your local B Corps in any way you can. We have a thriving B Corp community in Illinois. You can find B Corps near you in the B Corp directory. Partner with them, support them, become their customers.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE OR WORDS OF INSPIRATION TO SHARE?
I like this quote from Thomas Merton: “If we attempt to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening our own self-understanding, our own freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, we will not have anything to give to others. We will communicate nothing but the contagion of our own obsessions, our aggressiveness, our ego-centered ambitions.”
Devoting a life to serving people and the planet is both rewarding and exhausting. Many days it can feel like you aren’t making progress or solving enough problems, which can be incredibly frustrating. This can lead to a scarcity mindset, which is dangerous. It’s important to step back every now and again, take a deep breath, and focus. Ask yourself, is my health okay? Am I eating right? Am I getting enough sleep? If you’re not caring for yourself, you won’t have the energy or resources to solve the long-term, wicked problems I’ve mentioned in this interview.
That said, it’s important to understand the difference between self-care and selfishness. There’s so much of the latter these days. Make sure your efforts are always grounded in reality with strong doses of altruism and empathy.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
The best way to support any B Corp is to join their communities, share their ideas, and most importantly, become their customers. B Corps make a profit like any other company. It’s what we do with that profit that differentiates us from the rest. Support your local B Corps!
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations helps purpose-driven companies become known for their work and a leading voice for their cause. We believe those who are working to make a difference in the world deserve to be known, supported, sought-after, and celebrated. If you would like to be featured in INSPIRED IMPACT™, reach out to email@example.com.