Hi, my name is Michelle, and I’m a bookaholic.

I absolutely love to read and learn from other people

Early in my Transaction Coordinator Business, I read Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz and again recently. This is the story of how Starbucks Coffee became the Starbucks we know and love today. Some people don’t know that it wasn’t always a place to go, hang out, maybe do some business and get a fancy cup of coffee. Starbucks was originally a coffee roaster that sold beans and coffee makers in their retail stores which started in Seattle, Washington, near the famous Pikes Place Market. 

Howard Schultz, the former CEO, became captivated by what Starbucks could be – not by what it was in the ’80s when he joined the company. He envisioned a far different company than what he saw – he thought he could expand nationwide by combining the Italian artistry of espresso-making as well as offering fresh-roasted coffee beans.  Howard believed, passionately about creating another place where people would feel comfortable, friendly gathering spots away from home and work. It was exactly what he’d seen while visiting Italy that shaped the current Starbucks experience we see today. While his ideas weren’t met with open arms and immediately embraced, he persevered and turned his passion into profits. According to Wikipedia, today he’s worth a staggering 3.3 billion dollars.

Howard tells us how he came from extremely humble beginnings to become the CEO of a very fast growing and progressive companies in America. He reminds us that it’s what we are passionate about and focus our energy on that pays off.

Here are a few things that I took away that I think you’ll find helpful:

  • Naysayers never built a great enterprise, and nobody ever accomplished anything believing the naysayers. Following the road less traveled has its advantages- less traffic!  Believing in your dream, following your passion leads to unbelievable results.
  • The best way to build a brand is one person at a time. Starbucks does not do much advertising. What they do is take care of their employees believing that the best way to make customers happy is to have happy employees. Their secret is the personal attachment of their partners (that’s what they call employees) feel and the connection they make with the customers. It’s that experience keeps us going back not the price.
  • Luck is the residue of design. Good luck comes to those who plan for it. Focus on what you want, keep your eyes open to opportunities and act when they show themselves.  
  • Do something different. Starbucks doesn’t do things the same way as every other coffee shop in town, they are different. Venti, Grande and Barista are Italian words that we are now familiar with thanks to Starbucks.
  • If no mentor finds you, seek one out. It can be lonely being a small business owner. Few people share your frustrations and anxieties or understand why you work as hard as you do. Seeking out a seasoned veteran who can provide you advice, guidance, and support.
  • When the cards are stacked against you, the market is slow, and money isn’t flowing the way you’d like it or need it to remember if you’re following your passion, the profits will come. 

Every time I walk into a Starbucks, I am reminded of the story of how it became what it is today, how one person’s vision has impacted the world, just by pouring his heart into it. While your dream business or life may not be as grand as the one Howard Schultz envisioned, you can still take the lessons he shared and apply them to create exactly what you wish for.

“Starbucks is everywhere, I found this one in 2012 while traveling in Ubud, Bali”
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