Collaborate and Build Partnerships: Purpose-driven businesses often thrive through collaboration. One notable example is our partnership with MW3.biz International Business Ltd, which focused on youth mentorship in media production. By combining our resources and expertise, we amplified our impact and created opportunities to reach a broader audience. Building partnerships with organizations that share your values can be a catalyst for growth.
In today’s competitive business landscape, the race for profits often takes center stage. However, there are some leaders who also prioritize a mission-driven purpose. They use their business to make a positive social impact and recognize that success isn’t only about making money. In this interview series, we are talking with some of these distinct leaders and I had the pleasure of interviewing the media and music producer Will Lisil.
Will Lisil, a visionary music and media producer, harnessed his creativity and entrepreneurship during the pandemic, co-founding PopHits.Co alongside his family. This innovative platform empowers young and emerging artists with budget-friendly worldwide music distribution and promotion services. Additionally, he pioneered GetFund.io, a supportive platform that offers financial aid to a diverse range of grassroots and independent creatives, from singers and bloggers to influencers, gamers, dancers, and painters. Through his dedication to providing top-notch promotion and distribution services, combined with cooperative funding opportunities, Will Lisil has curated the ultimate toolkit for aspiring creatives to independently thrive in the vibrant realms of music, digital creation and art.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us your “Origin Story”? Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I’m truly grateful for the chance to open up about my journey. My hope is that by sharing it, I can inspire and empower others to turn their visions into reality.
Growing up in the Brazilian favelas with very limited resources and a challenging childhood, I developed a deep desire to transform my reality. I didn’t have the privilege of formal education or becoming an expert in any particular field. Instead, I relied on intuition and a series of trial-and-error attempts to carve my path, manifesting purpose.
Instead of delving into the details of my difficult childhood during this interview, I recommend those who are interested in gaining insight into that aspect of my life to refer to articles published by The Mirror or Yorkshire Post, which are readily available searching by my name.
Developing my life from the Brazilian favelas to become a businessman in the United Kingdom within just 20 years wasn’t easy, and many would say it was improbable given my lack of resources. However, that’s precisely what makes this journey a manifestation of intuition and determination, which I have the pleasure to share and motivate others to follow their own vision.
My mission has always been to infuse every commercial endeavor I undertake with a strong focus on impacting society positively through technology, bridging the gap between commerce and social change. It’s this drive to make a difference that has guided me to where I am today.
I’ve had quite a journey, working in a variety of jobs, most of which had nothing to do with music or media production. But what truly propelled me towards my dream was the early development of a vision, holding onto it in my mind, and staying committed to that path until I manifested it. Some might have called me a stubborn dreamer, but I didn’t mind; I was just determined to transmute my reality like an alchemist, with obstinacy, and passionately focused on pursuing my passion.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
Absolutely, one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had since I began leading our organization in 2019 is the incredible people I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with. Despite not having visited Brazil for over 20 years, the power of the internet during the pandemic allowed me to connect with industry giants from that country. For instance, I had the honor of working on a musical project with Carlos Maia, a producer from one of Brazil’s largest TV channels, SBT. This collaboration opened doors to another exciting project alongside Marcos Maynard, former Sony Music director for Latin America, and Rick Martin’s producer.
Jumping ahead to 2021, our small business journeyed all the way from the English countryside to Times Square in New York thanks to a campaign focused on raising awareness about Child Sexual Slavery. It was truly unexpected and garnered some fantastic press coverage for us!
In 2023, our most recent partnership was with the incredibly talented Brazilian Tech developer, Moacir Braga from DevisTacks in Brazil. Together, we joined forces to create the cooperative funding platform GetFund.io. Moacir’s expertise brought cutting-edge technology and a robust infrastructure to our project, something I could only dream of having in my endeavors. These collaborations have been not only professionally rewarding but also a testament to the boundless possibilities that technology, vision and determination can unlock in today’s interconnected world.
We often learn the most from our mistakes. Can you share one that you made that turned out to be one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?
Certainly, I’ve had my fair share of learning experiences, and one of the most valuable lessons came early in my journey. Initially, I mistakenly believed that I could handle everything on my own. However, after a series of attempts and failures, I came to a profound realization: building something as enduring as a legacy required cooperation. I wasn’t just building a single project; I was crafting a legacy in the form of a chain of tools to support underrepresented young creatives like myself.
With this newfound perspective, I opened my mind and heart to potential partners who, in surprisingly unexpected ways, became integral to our success. It’s this collaborative strength that fueled our growth, allowing a small business from the countryside of England to reach clients in over 55 countries. Together, we’ve proven that the old adage holds true: “Together we are stronger.” This lesson has been instrumental in our journey towards making a lasting impact in the world of creativity and innovation.
As a successful leader, it’s clear that you uphold strong core values. I’m curious what are the most important principles you firmly stand by and refuse to compromise on. Can you share a few of them and explain why they hold such significance for you in your work and life?
Well, let’s go deeper on my essence then. Core values are the foundation of everything I do, both in my work and life. A few of the principles I firmly stand by and refuse to compromise on include integrity, authenticity, and inclusivity.
Firstly, integrity is paramount because it forms the basis of trust and credibility. It means always doing what is right, even when it’s challenging, and being honest and transparent in all interactions. Without integrity, it’s impossible to build meaningful relationships or succeed in the long term. Professionally, our TrustPilot reviews collection is the social proof of our commitment with these values, which make us prouder day after day.
Authenticity is equally crucial because it’s a reflection of staying true to oneself. Authenticity fosters genuine connections with others and allows for creativity and innovation to flourish. It’s a reminder that embracing our unique qualities and perspectives can lead to the most impactful work. I personally love to go where others say it’s impossible.
Inclusivity is a core value I hold dear because it speaks to the importance of diversity and empathy. As a bisexual man, I understand what it’s like to be judged based on a single, minor aspect of my life, even though it doesn’t define me personally or professionally. So a huge part of my mission is ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, has an equal opportunity to participate in our socio constructive projects and thrive. It is not just a moral imperative but also a source of strength. Inclusion sparks creativity, fosters different viewpoints, and leads to more well-rounded solutions.
These principles guide my decisions and actions, both professionally and personally, because they not only align with my values but also contribute to a more just and sustainable world. They are the compass that keeps me on the path towards meaningful impact and fulfillment in my work and life.
What inspired you to start a purpose-driven business rather than a traditional for-profit enterprise? Can you share a personal story or experience that led you to prioritize social impact in your business?
The inspiration to start a purpose-driven business like GetFund.io Cooperative Funding, as opposed to a traditional for-profit enterprise, came from a deeply personal experience. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer in a community outreach program that supported underprivileged youth from different backgrounds, some experiencing mental health disabilities and even learning difficulties. During my time there, I witnessed the transformative power of providing opportunities and resources to those in need.
One particular moment that left a profound impact on me was when a young apprentice, who had been struggling with his professional career development, finally grasped a difficult concept with the help and encouragement of our program. His face lit up with newfound confidence and enthusiasm for learning, and it became evident that with the right support, he had the potential to break free from the cycle of limited opportunities.
This experience made me realize that businesses could be a force for positive change, not just profit-making entities. It became clear to me that I wanted to create a business that prioritized social impact alongside financial success. I firmly believe that by doing so, we can not only make a difference in the lives of individuals but also contribute to building a more equitable and compassionate society. This personal story remains at the core of my dedication to running a purpose-driven business, where our success is measured not only by our profits but by the positive impact we create in the lives of others.
At GetFund.io Cooperative Funding, we identify the problem, create innovative tools, teach how to use them, and empower creatives to develop their careers independently. The feeling of creating and cultivating something with your own ideas, through your own hands, is what awakens the superpowers inside us. We are creatives; we visualize and manifest our dreams.
Can you help articulate a few of the benefits of leading a purpose-driven business rather than a standard “plain vanilla” business?
From my perspective, leading a purpose-driven business presents a range of notable advantages when compared to conventional enterprises. First and foremost, it enables a profound and positive societal impact, underscoring a commitment to a higher mission that transcends mere financial gains.
In the realm of human resources, a purpose-driven business cultivates a workforce characterized by heightened dedication and engagement. Employees find deeper motivation when their efforts contribute directly to meaningful social or environmental causes.
Furthermore, such businesses tend to forge enduring and loyal customer relationships. In an era where consumers increasingly seek alignment with their values, a purpose-driven business stands out as an attractive choice, fostering customer loyalty and bolstering brand reputation. Our platform, GetFund.io, serves as a perfect example of this, where creatives come together to support one another, contributing and receiving small financial injections for their career development. This collective involvement in a meaningful purpose is a rare and powerful endeavor in today’s world.
Finally, the nature of a purpose-driven business often invites collaboration and partnerships with like-minded entities, creating opportunities for mutually reinforcing efforts and broader reach.
Essentially, leading a purpose-driven business not only facilitates the betterment of society but also offers numerous pragmatic advantages, including heightened employee engagement, enhanced customer loyalty, and collaborative prospects that extend beyond the conventional business model.
How has your company’s mission or purpose affected its overall success? Can you explain the methods or metrics you use to evaluate the impact of this purpose-driven strategy on your organization?
Our mission at GetFund.io has played a pivotal role in our overall success. Our purpose-driven strategy centers around supporting grassroots and independent creatives across various domains, providing them with the financial means and resources they need to thrive in their artistic careers. We evaluate the impact of this strategy
through several key metrics.
Firstly, we measure success by the number of artists and creators who have benefited from our cooperative funding platform. This metric reflects our ability to reach and assist a wide range of talented individuals, regardless of their background or genre. We take pride in the diverse group of artists we support.
Secondly, we closely monitor the growth and engagement of our community. The sense of belonging and collaboration within our platform is vital. We look at the number of collaborations between artists and the active participation in mentorship programs as indicators of our community’s health and vibrancy.
Additionally, we assess the financial impact on creatives’ and artists’ careers. We track the increase in their income, the expansion of their fan base, and the success of their projects after receiving support from GetFund.io. This data underscores the effectiveness of our purpose-driven approach in fostering sustainable careers.
Lastly, we pay attention to feedback and testimonials from the creatives we’ve assisted, which are publicly available on our TrustPilot page. Their success stories and positive experiences serve as qualitative evidence of our mission’s impact. When we hear how GetFund.io or PopHits.Co has enabled them to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals, it reinforces our commitment to our purpose-driven strategy.
In summary, our mission to empower grassroots and independent creatives has been integral to our success at GetFund.io. We evaluate this impact through metrics related to artists outreach, community growth, financial outcomes, and qualitative feedback, all of which validate the effectiveness of our purpose-driven approach in transforming creatives’ careers.
Can you share a pivotal moment when you realized that leading your purpose-driven company was actually making a significant impact? Can you share a specific example or story that deeply resonated with you personally?
One pivotal moment that deeply resonated with me and affirmed the significant impact of leading our purpose-driven company occurred during a conversation with one of our supported creatives.
I vividly remember a group of young musicians who had struggled for years to break into the industry. They had immense talent but lacked the financial resources and connections needed to propel their career forward. We had provided them with funding through our platform GetFund.io Cooperative Funding, as a test before launching, and a few months later, they reached out to share their progress.
These artists excitedly explained that our support had enabled them to record their debut single and produce a high-quality music video. What struck me most was when they said, “Your belief in our talent when no one else did changed everything for us.” They went on to describe how this support not only boosted their confidence but also opened doors to collaborations and opportunities they had only dreamt of.
Hearing these words, I realized the profound impact our purpose-driven company was making in transforming individual lives and careers. It wasn’t just about financial assistance; it was about providing hope, belief, and a genuine chance for talented individuals to pursue their passions, independently.
This moment served as a powerful reminder of why we do what we do at our cooperative funding system. It reinforced the importance of our mission and the positive change we bring to creatives’ lives. It’s these personal stories of transformation and success that continue to motivate me and the entire team to lead our purpose-driven organization with unwavering dedication. GetFund.io is the manifestation of our life’s purpose, and this is immeasurable.
Have you ever faced a situation where your commitment to your purpose and creating a positive social impact clashed with the profitability in your business? Have you ever been challenged by anyone on your team or have to make a tough decision that had a significant impact on finances? If so, how did you address and reconcile this conflict?
Yes, there was a situation where our commitment to our purpose and creating a positive social impact came into conflict with profitability in our business. It was a challenging moment, but it also highlighted the importance of staying true to our mission while making tough decisions.
At one point, we had an opportunity to partner with a larger corporation that would have brought in substantial revenue but involved working with a company that didn’t align with our values and sustainability goals. Unfair publicity campaigns were involved and I saw it as something abusive to our members’ careers, the creatives. Some members of our team were in favor of the partnership, emphasizing the financial benefits it would bring.
However, I firmly believed that compromising our core values and mission for short-term financial gain would ultimately undermine our long-term success and social impact, which include protecting creatives from exploitation. We had built our brand around our commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices, and deviating from that path would have been a disservice to our customers and the community we served.
To address this conflict, I initiated open and transparent discussions with my team. We had candid conversations about our values and the potential consequences of the partnership. We considered alternative strategies that could help us achieve profitability while remaining true to our mission.
Ultimately, we decided not to proceed with the partnership, even though it meant forgoing significant revenue. It was a tough decision, but it reinforced our dedication to our purpose and our commitment to creating a positive social impact. Over time, our customers and contributors appreciated our unwavering commitment to our mission, and this authenticity actually strengthened our brand and reputation.
In hindsight, it was a challenging situation, but it reaffirmed that staying true to our purpose was the right choice for our business in the long run. It taught us that profitability and social impact can coexist, and sometimes, making the right ethical choice can lead to even greater success.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs who wish to start a purpose-driven business? What are your “5 Things You Need To Know In Order To Create A Highly Successful Purpose-Driven Business.”
For budding entrepreneurs looking to create a highly successful purpose-driven business, it’s crucial to leverage technology, prioritize scalability and automation, build meaningful partnerships, embrace adaptability, and engage with your community authentically. These principles, combined with a steadfast commitment to your mission, can lead to a thriving business that makes a positive impact on society.
1. Leverage Technology and Artificial Intelligence:
In today’s digital age, harnessing technology can be a game-changer for purpose-driven businesses. Take our last project GetFund.io Cooperative Funding as an example. We created a platform that utilizes technology to facilitate cooperation and empower users to contribute to society while earning. The system brings like-minded users together, creates funding rounds, splits them into small groups, and makes a cash draw available for the winner of each round. This can be withdrawn directly to the member’s bank account, regardless of their country of residence. This not only aligns with our mission but also demonstrates the potential for technology to drive positive social impact and provide tools for an independent career development.
2. Prioritize Scalability and Automation: Scalability and automation are essential for reaching a wider audience and making a lasting impact. In the case of PopHits.Co, our first project, we developed a budget-friendly worldwide music distribution platform that enables the distribution of tracks at a cost of less than 0.5 US dollar per year. This scalability and affordability open doors for emerging artists, aligning with our purpose to support grassroots talent. Reducing costs through automated systems is a crucial factor for businesses built with limited resources.
3. Collaborate and Build Partnerships: Purpose-driven businesses often thrive through collaboration. One notable example is our partnership with MW3.biz International Business Ltd, which focused on youth mentorship in media production. By combining our resources and expertise, we amplified our impact and created opportunities to reach a broader audience. Building partnerships with organizations that share your values can be a catalyst for growth.
4. Embrace Adaptability: The business landscape is dynamic, and adaptability is crucial. I remember a time when market trends shifted away from our initial product line. In 2020 during the pandemic, we lost all contracts for live performances due to the lockdowns restrictions. Instead of resisting change, we embraced it and pivoted to a new product category that aligned with our mission, still supporting independent artists but now everything was made remotely, online through our platform PopHits.Co. This willingness to adapt not only revitalized our brand but also reinforced our commitment to our purpose.
5. Engage Your Community: Your purpose-driven business should be deeply connected to your community. Engaging with customers and supporters authentically is key. We used social media and community events to connect with our customers and understand their needs. This engagement not only strengthened brand loyalty but also inspired new ideas and initiatives that addressed our community’s real aspirations. Keeping that flame of transformation alive requires active engagement and listening to your community.
I’m interested in how you instill a strong sense of connection with your team. How do you nurture a culture where everyone feels connected to your mission? Could you share an example or story that showcases how your purpose has positively influenced or motivated people on your team to contribute?
Fostering a deep sense of connection within our team and cultivating a mission-driven culture are central to our leadership philosophy. Recently, we faced a significant industry challenge: pursue a lucrative yet misaligned project or stay true to our mission. This meant forgoing short-term profits in favor of developing GetFund.io, a platform that redirects revenue to its members.
In a heartwarming team discussion, I was thrilled to see that every member enthusiastically decided to stick to our values and turn down the tempting but off-track project in favor of GetFund.io. This choice really showcased our team’s strong dedication to our common goal, which is to support the growth of independent creatives by channeling our revenue directly into their career development.
This experience reinforced the importance of staying connected to our mission. We regularly revisit our mission and core values, involving every team member in discussions about alignment. Additionally, we encourage team members to infuse their personal passions into our work, like one member’s initiative to support small businesses, further strengthening our team’s cohesion.
In conclusion, nurturing a sense of connection and a purpose-driven culture involves consistently reinforcing our mission, fostering open dialogue, and celebrating our shared values. This example illustrates that when everyone believes in our mission, it becomes a guiding force, leading to a more motivated and impactful team.
Imagine we’re sitting down together two years from now, looking back at your company’s last 24 months. What specific accomplishments would have to happen for you to be happy with your progress?
Looking ahead two years from now, I would be delighted with our progress if we’ve achieved our primary goal in the first 12 months, which is to significantly scale the positive impact of our startup project, GetFund.io. Instead of providing a substantial financial injection to just one member, our strategy involves dividing the funding round into numerous smaller prizes and distributing them among participants in each round. This approach enables us to support up to 25 creators simultaneously, with each receiving a cash prize of $1,000 US dollars along with mentoring to guide them in effectively utilizing the funds to advance their independent professional careers as businesses.
In the span of 24 months, our aim is to extend this support to over 500 thousand creators. This would translate to a million US dollars invested directly into the careers of underrepresented and grassroots creators, spanning various fields such as singers, musicians, influencers, bloggers, dancers, gamers, and young professionals striving to establish their careers online. Achieving this level of impact and financial support would be a testament to the success of our mission to empower and uplift talented individuals, and it would drive us forward with renewed dedication to our purpose.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
If I had the opportunity to inspire a movement that could bring immense good to a vast number of people, I would focus on “Tech for All.” This movement would center on ensuring equitable access to technology and digital literacy worldwide, including normalizing the leverage of artificial intelligence by children.
My bold and innovative idea within this movement would be the creation of a global digital infrastructure fund. This fund would pool resources from governments, tech giants, and philanthropic organizations to build and maintain high-speed internet connectivity in underserved regions, both in developed and developing countries. Additionally, it would provide access to affordable devices and offer comprehensive digital literacy programs. Providing individuals with the tools and teaching them how to develop on their own is the cornerstone of self-improvement
I’d be absolutely thrilled to have Elon Musk join us on this project. I truly think he became the incredible entrepreneur he is today because of his visionary spirit as a kid, and there’s something about that part of his journey that I can really relate to.
The impact of this movement would be transformative. It would bridge the digital divide, enabling millions of people, especially those in remote or disadvantaged communities, to access education, healthcare, job opportunities, and vital information. It would empower individuals to participate in the digital economy, fostering entrepreneurship, employability, self-learning skills, and economic growth in regions that were previously marginalized.
By breaking down barriers to technology, the “Tech for All” movement would unlock the potential of countless individuals, fostering innovation and collaboration on a global scale. It would be a testament to the idea that access to technology is not a privilege but a fundamental human right, and it would bring about positive change for the most significant number of people worldwide.
How can our readers further follow your work or your company online?
For readers who are interested in following the development of our projects, please visit our websites GetFund.io for trying our cooperative funding system, where we are offering exclusive priority access, and PopHits.Co for worldwide music distribution. The same website address is used as the handle on all social media platforms, @PopHits.Co, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), and Spotify.
This was great. Thanks for taking time for us to learn more about you and your business. We wish you continued success!
I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to share my journey and insights about our business. It’s been a fantastic conversation, and I truly appreciate your interest. Your well-wishes mean a lot to me and the entire team. We’re committed to our mission, and with the support of individuals like you, I’m confident that we’ll continue to grow and make a positive impact. Here’s to continued success and innovation, and I look forward to sharing more exciting updates in the future! Thank you again.
About the Interviewer: Chad Silverstein is an accomplished entrepreneur and visionary leader. He started his first company, Choice Recovery, Inc., while attending Ohio State University and grew it to become an industry outlier before selling the business after 25 successful years. With the launch of his second venture, [re]start, a career development platform, Chad aimed to help people find meaningful career opportunities. Under his leadership, his team was recognized as a “Top Workplace” award winner for over a decade, twice being ranked the #1 small and medium-sized business to work for in Central Ohio. Chad sold [re]start in 2023, enabling him to focus on building an online community of high-performing leaders and continuing to make a positive impact in people’s lives.