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Being a B Corp Sucks, And I Love It

March is B Corp month, when we celebrate our accomplishments and show the world how we move forward, together. Visceral has been a B Corp since April 2016. We’re proud of that. Fewer than 2,000 B Corps existed when we joined, and today there are over 8,000.

We’ve witnessed the movement grow, and that is a cause for celebration. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention how difficult it is.

It Feels Like It’s Getting Harder

To be a B Corp is to be informed.

Being informed often means my news feed is filled with stories about how much worse things are getting.

While Visceral agonized over raising our prices last year to combat massive increases in things like health insurance, other companies raised their prices even though they’re already reporting record profits; even as average Americans carry substantial debt.

As we prioritized the needs of our team and shared our profits, companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Starbucks all fought against workers wanting to unionize.

Week after week, I watch John Oliver skewer yet another massive company that’s prioritizing profit and shareholder value over things like consumer safety. It feels like we have reached the enshitification of American capitalism.

Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to be the only ones to do this all the time.

To be a B Corp in 2024 is to be angry.

And There’s So Much Work To Do

To be a B Corp is to be dedicated.

The B Corp certification process is difficult (as it should be). Running a business sustainably and ethically takes immense effort.

B Corps must closely monitor and mitigate our environmental impact, even as the world’s largest companies blatantly disregard their own in the name of profit. All while our planet inches ever closer to ecological disaster.

B Corps must prove how our offerings positively impact buyers while big banks commit literal fraud and steal from their customers.

B Corps do everything in our power to take care of our teams, something we’re extraordinarily proud of. But the cost for one month of healthcare premiums for eight team members (and their families) is more than the fine Amazon pays when someone gets killed in their warehouse due to the company’s negligence.

I could go on, but it’s 11PM as I write this. I’ve been working, or thinking about work, pretty much the entire day. Holding ourselves to a higher standard is often grueling and more difficult than we’d like.

To be a B Corp in 2024 is to be tired.

But the People I’ve Met…

To be a B Corp is to be connected.

Visceral became a B Corp because we were simply trying to be a better company. We’ve written about what that process meant to us, and why we think B Corps matter at all. The reason why we’ve stayed a B Corp these past eight years is because of the people we’ve met along the way.

I met some of the greatest people at B Corp events over the years, many of whom are now our business partners. Visceral now has a B Corp lawyer, a B Corp accountant, a B Corp insurance broker, and a B Corp who helps us track and offset our carbon emissions.

Every time I connect with another B Corp member, there’s instant camaraderie and infectious optimism. It’s impossible not to feel uplifted when surrounded by people so uncompromising in their belief that we can build a better future.

All the hardship I mentioned above is true. Being a B Corp is frustrating and it is exhausting. But more importantly, it is worth doing.

To be a B Corp in 2024 is to be inspired.

Forever Moving Forward

B Corps are far from perfect. We’ve even had to hold the movement itself accountable to our shared goals and ideals. Iteration and improvement are nonstop processes.

At its core, the B Corp movement is simply about trying to be better. Never giving in to the status quo. And always, always keeping our eyes on the goal that business, all business, can be a force for good and for change.

To be a B Corp in 2024 is to lead.

The future is this way.

Come join us.