#284: Stoneyfield’s Brilliant Strategy

Stoneyfield Farm produces organic yogurt and dairy products in the U.S.

About 12 years ago, they were criticized when they started selling their products in Walmart stores.

Many of Stoneyfield’s most loyal consumers were alarmed, even disgusted, by the move. They claimed Stoneyfield was selling out to the big, corporate bad guys.

Stoneyfield’s founder and CEO, Gary Hirshberg, responded brilliantly to the criticism when he described the strategy behind the move—and amplified Stoneyfield’s commitment to its long-held principles.

In today’s podcast episode, I describe Hirshberg’s reasoning behind his decision to partner with Walmart—and what it can teach us about our own business decisions.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Hirshberg’s reason for putting Stoneyfield products into Walmart stores had nothing to do with profits, market share, or stock price. It was all about the company’s Big Why. Its raison d’être.

He explained that while he wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of Walmart, it IS the country’s largest grocer. And if Stoneyfield Farms could move a ton of product through Walmart, that would be a ton more organic food consumed.

Which would mean less demand for conventional products, fewer pesticides and a healthier environment.

All of which is very much in keeping with Stoneyfield’s Big Why.

What’s Your Big Why?

What does this story have to do with you and your business?

Many of you probably started freelancing without a clear vision of your Big Why. You may think it’s about freedom, flexibility, higher income, shorter workweeks and/or greater variety. But that’s not it.

Your Big Why is the core reason you do what you do. And it’s the strategies, tactics, game plans, habits, and processes you deploy to make it happen.

Unfortunately, most of us only think about the last link in that chain. So we end up making decisions about our business that don’t serve us because they’re not tied to (or derived from) our Big Why.

Spend some time thinking about your Big Why. Let these ideas marinate for a while.

When you do, you’ll have better clarity about your purpose—and all your critical decisions will become easier.


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1. Grab a free copy of my book.

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3. Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll get back to you with more details.