Bonus Episode: Door to Door Canvassing, the Fair Trade Movement & Social Entrepreneurs

On this episode of Rhodes to Success, I interview the National Coordinator for Fair Trade Campaigns at Fair Trade USA, Billy Linstead Goldsmith.  During this podcast, you will learn about canvasing and communication skills that go into door-to-door sales and fundraising, as well as Fair Trade USA and entrepreneurship in developing countries. If you’ve ever wondered what Fair Trade is all about, how it works and how you can get involved as a small business owner or entrepreneur, then you absolutely must listen to this podcast.


Main Questions Asked:

–       What kind of fear did you have to get over to work door-to-door?

–       How do you think having a high level autonomy helps us professionally and personally?

–       Talk about what is happening in developing countries that we should know about.

–       Are there products, other than coffee, that can be Fair Trade?

–       What is the entrepreneurial spirit like in these Fair Trade areas?

–       Do you sense there is more of an entrepreneurial spirit in these countries and less of a sense of entitlement [like in the USA]?

–       Are larger corporations starting to understand The Fair Trade movement and becoming more accepting of those products?

–       How do people know if a product is Fair Trade?


Key Lessons Learned:


Going Door-to-Door

–       Everyone has an innate fear of rejection.

–       When it comes to door-to-door interaction, the worst thing someone can do is say no.

–       If you are starting out, you have to be able to look someone in the face for what you want and not be afraid of someone saying no.

–       When it comes to sales, you have to take the tools you are presented with and find your own voice.

–       There is a difference between following a script and a structure

–       Sample structure: Introduction, icebreaker, what you are asking for, close with an ask.

–       Entrepreneurship is all about an ability to make a quick rapport with whomever they are talking to.

–       As an entrepreneur, it’s important to invest in our businesses, ourselves and our world.


Fair Trade

–       Small business and social entrepreneurs can do things to impact the larger market (and have done with regards to Fair Trade).

–       Fair Trade provides an opportunity for consumers to examine value and be able to buy products they know are making a difference in communities developing countries.

–       Farmers, workers, and artisans are empowered to build their own businesses and work together to take more control over their business and future.

–       Fair Trade is about putting the needed tools in business owners’ hands so they can grow their businesses and stop labor exploitation in their community.

–       Fair Trade certification started with coffee. This is the most widely available and most well-known Fair Trade product.

–       Other Fair Trade products include tea, chocolate, beans, grains, body care products, packaged foods and clothing.

–       Every ingredient that can be Fair Trade certified in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is.

–       Fair Trade products are certified and you can check the label on the Fair Trade website.

–       The majority of companies in the USA that sell Fair Trade products are small local businesses started by social entrepreneurs.


Fair Trade Entrepreneurs

–       The universal element is that the entrepreneurs work incredibly hard and are driven.

–       There is a real understanding of the strength of community and collaboration and the tireless drive to succeed.

–       By participating in Fair Trade, this has allowed many families to send their children to high school (often the first generation to be able to do so).

–       The harder you work, the less entitled your kids feel.

–       When kids see adults working really hard to improve their station (whatever that is), there is less of a feeling of entitlement and more of an understanding of what it takes to build a business and be successful.

–       When you see your parents laboring hard, it instills an understanding of what it takes to be successful and a sense of wanting to give back.

–       Many of the next generation (who are now in their twenties) are working in cooperatives and areas to improve the capacity of the business, sales, supply chain management, new understanding of agriculture techniques and training farmers.


Social Entrepreneur Challenge

–       If you give a $25 donation and forward your donation receipt to you will get a custom made one sheet for free (usually $147)

–       Challenge ends December 5th 2014

–       Donations made have the opportunity to be matched


Subscribe to the show in iTunes or Stitcher Radio!


The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at


Links to Resources Mentioned

Interview Connections

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade Campaigns (labels)

Pencils of Promise

Clean Water Action


Social Entrepreneurs Challenge

Help My Website Sell   


Click to Tweet   

What does @FairTradeUSA have to do with entrepreneurs? A lot! @JessRhodesESS speaks w/ Billy Linstead Goldsmith


How door-to-door fundraising people do it? @JessRhodesESS chats canvassing w/ Billy Linstead Goldsmith @FairTradeUSA

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