• John Lim

MF 048 : How Ben Gruitt was Inspired by his Wife and Daughters to Discover a Passion for Sustainabil



Ben Gruitt is a manager of sustainability and special projects at the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and founder of the blog, tosustainus.com.  Learn how Ben went from a high paying, yet unfulfilling position in sales to find a career that was inspired by a desire to provide a better environment and future for his daughters.  Through Ben’s story, you will discover that success isn’t simply measured by hitting sales quotas or winning a company’s “president’s club,” but living your life with purpose, passion and compassion.

Successes at a glance:

  1. Completed his Masters in Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

  2. Created the blog tosustainus.com.

  3. Ben has always been a high performer throughout his career, however Ben measures his true success with the love he has for his family; devoting his career to sustainability to create a better future for his two daughters.

How Ben gets inspired to conquer the day:

  1. For Ben, the most important thing is getting up early, each morning at 5 am, and starting his day with a run.  Ben equates early morning exercise with having a “cup of coffee” but without the jitteriness.

Setback or failure that led to pivot and shift:

  1. Ben had worked in pharma sales and one year, he and his team had a very high performing year that made them eligible for the company’s president’s club.  Ben saw an opportunity to increase the focus of his team by creating a motivational and benchmark tool, using preliminary sales numbers.  Ben invested 30+ hours in creating a tool that not only helped his team win the president’s club that year but could potentially benefit the entire company.  However, when Ben tried to pitch the innovation to his superiors, he received a lackluster response.  Ben realized at that moment, that he needed to move to an organization that wasn’t simply about his job description or title; to a place where innovation, ideas and contribution would be recognized.

Knowledge Bursts:

  1. Resource or cultural experience that inspired Ben to move forward:

  2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (paperback) | Kindle edition

  3. Start your journey with a free audio book!

  4. How Ben stays organized and manages his time:

  5. After his morning run, Ben spends 10-15 minutes managing his daily and weekly tasks; keeping in mind that it becomes less static as priorities and demands on his time increase.

  6. Favorite app/website/resource:

  7. Wunderlist: manage tasks with menus, task lists and deadlines.

Ben’s Advice for you to Move Forward:

  1. Being brutally honest with yourself about what you want and where you want to be.  Ask yourself the hard questions, especially if you’re not satisfied with what you’re doing.  Sit down and write out answers to the why questions.  Ask yourself those hard questions until you strip everything down to the core of what gets you excited and keep chasing after it.

Connect with Ben:

  1. tosustainus.com

  2. Twitter

  3. LinkedIn

#BenGruitt #JohnsHopkinsCareyBusinessSchool #sustainability #tosustainuscom #cornrefinersassociation

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