Pelotonia CEO Doug Ulman Shares Ideas on Conscious Business Growth

purpose focused growth
Haley Boehning interviews Pelotonia CEO Doug Ulman during the first Conscious Business event by Storyforge. Photo by Anne Evans.

This morning, Pelotonia CEO and President Doug Ulman was the featured guest speaker for the first Conscious Business event, a new series offered by Storyforge, A Purpose Agency. The event promised ideas for business owners and leaders to grow their companies under the lens of using purpose focused growth as the path to profit, and it delivered an inspiring morning.

Storyforge is the result of a partnership between Haley Boehning and Barry Chandler, two brilliant minds in the world of company branding. In 2014 they came together to help other businesses realize growth and success by “discovering their singular purpose, forging their story, and aligning their positioning, people, products and profits with it.”

Chandler shared at the event that they realized as customers were evolving and changing, businesses were not evolving to keep up. After studying why, they found that the businesses with the most success had a very clear purpose that ran the depth of the company.

To introduce Ulman, Boehning asked the audience what Pelotonia stood for and it took no time at all to hear many voices saying “End Cancer.” Ulman shared that was a result of the excellent branding Pelotonia enjoys.

When developing your own brand, Ulman advised, “you want something so emotional that it drives people to discuss it.”

To explain that theory he shared that during his time as CEO of Livestrong, the company worked with an agency to develop new branding for an initiative they were working on. The agency came back after focus group meetings with people who had cancer, but the ideas were not hitting the mark. When they went back to the focus groups and the ‘live strong’ phrase emerged, they felt that they ‘had it’ because there was a 50/50 split on liking it. That may not seem like a home run score in the naming department, but because it brought out such strong emotions in people, it definitely became one.

Ulman also discussed that having a clear mission and purpose will also help your organization realize when it’s the right time to take on new partnerships, and fully develop new ideas into purpose focused growth. As a business owner, you most likely hear lots of ideas and pitches for collaborations. Having a clearly defined path for you and your employees will make it easier to know what turns an idea into a great fit that will propel you forward, instead of a distraction.

The Conscious Business Series by Storyforge continues next month, talking with Improving Enterprises on how to grow a micro-business to an amazing place to work that earns accolades. The event is free. To learn more, visit