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A Cupful of Espresso Motivation

We're 37 and 32 years old respectively and it's right about now that we've noticed a lot of friends second guessing their direction in life.

They're asking themselves if they really want to be doing what they're doing for the rest of their lives.

A few are reaching the magical 40 mark and that seems to be having a pretty big affect on them.

Earlier this week we interviewed a real estate investor and developer that's worth tens of millions of dollars.

It took him 23 years to build his empire.  He did it one day at a time and he loved every moment of it.

Did he have doubts, yes.  Did you push forward, absolutely.

Recently we've been reading, A Cupful of Motivation, Howard Schultz.

It's the story of how Starbucks started.  Howard came from the projects with nothing to his name.  He built up an amazing career for himself in New York but decided to leave his corporate gig after only a few years to join Starbucks in Seattle.

At the time Starbucks wasn't the same place you know today ... they focused on selling coffee beans, not actually single espressos and lattes.

He had a vision and decided to leave Starbucks to follow his dream.

The story twists and turns and we won't ruin how they all come back together but we wanted to share this particular passage of when Howard decided, yet again, to leave what he was doing to continue following his passion.

It's definitely a strong cupful of espresso motivation...check this out:

"Gradually, in talking over my ideas with Scott and Sheri, I realized what I had to do.  This is my moment, I thought.  If I don't seize the opportunity, if I don't step out of my comfort zone and risk it all, if I let too much time tick on, my moment will pass.  I knew that if I didn't take advantage of this opportunity, I would replay it in my mind for my whole life, wondering: What if?  Why didn't I?  This was my shot.  Event if it didn't work out, I still had to try it.

I made up my mind to leave Starbucks and start my own company.  My idea was to open stores that would serve coffee by the cup and espresso drinks, concentrating on high-traffic downtown locations.   I wanted to re-create the romance and artistry and community I had seen in Italy.

It took several months of planning, but I finally made the move.  Knowing how frustrated I had become, Jerry and Gordon supported the idea.  They let me stay on in my job and at my office until I was ready to move, in late 1985.

IN some respects, leaving to start my own company took a lot of courage.  Just as I made up my mine, we found out that Sheri was pregnant.  Without my salary, we would have to live on her income until I could get the new company up and running.  She was willing to go back to work soon after the baby was born in January, but I hated the fact that, because of my decision, she had no choice.

But at some level, I felt I'd been preparing for this step my entire life.  Ironically, it ran counter to the values my parents had taught me.  From my dad, I learned that quitting a job causes instability and disruption in the family.  My mother's constant refrain was: "You have a good job.  Why quit?"

But I saw the move as consistent with my life's dream, my earlier desires to do something for myself and for my family, to achieve something unique, to be in control of my own destiny.  The insecurity, the desire for respect, the burning need to rise far above the circumstances of my parents' struggles all come together in that defining moment."

Until next time...

Your Life.  Your Terms.

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0 comments on “A Cupful of Espresso Motivation”

  1. Tom,

    Minus the pregnancy and the coffee as the business/investment vehicle, this snippet from Howard resonates with my own personal desires. And I KNOW that it is similar to thousands of other people who have an idea/belief and want to create something out of it.

    But ACTION is the key. Big time. Everybody is going to have something to say, but one must hold themselves true to their desires, take a risk, and execute.

    Thanks for sharing.

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