The success of entrepreneurs and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates has taught John Jacobs, the co-founder of apparel company Life is Good, one crucial lesson: Entrepreneurs don't have to choose between making money and doing good.
In fact, the less good you do, the less likely your success will last.
"Not only does [doing good] deepen the loyalty with customers when there's real meaning behind your product ... but for yourself it's a lot more motivating," said Jacobs.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, who also worked at Microsoft, have created one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates hundreds of millions to causes like global health and education.
Jacobs called the couple "unbelievably inspiring" and discussed one idea from Melinda Gates that particularly influences his thinking: "When you come to a point in your life when you see difficult things, don't look in the other direction; move toward it," Jacobs said, citing Melinda. "That's the moment when you can affect change."
"If you're just trying to make a buck or sell a few products, you might just bail when you hit those harder points," he added.
Jacobs was referring to a now-famous commencement speech that Bill and Melinda Gates gave to Stanford University graduates in 2014.