Some people seem to be born lucky….or so people say. It seems to me that luck is really just reward for making the right decisions and taking the right risks. We don’t always know what the right risks to take are, but I guarantee that if you don’t take them, you won’t be lucky.

As I write this, someone won a huge powerball lottery. I didn’t win…I didn’t even watch the drawing, because I didn’t buy a lottery ticket. I had a zero chance of winning. (Which is slightly lower than the real odds for those who did buy tickets.) I am not a proponent of the lottery system, but it does make a point. Only those who take a risk and buy a ticket have a chance of being lucky.

There are many other risks we can take though.

  • Write a book (Maybe no one will read it?)
  • Start a business (It might go bankrupt.)
  • Ask someone out (She might say “No.”)
  • Try to market that invention (What if nobody buys it?)

The list goes on…and if we listen to the little voice in our head that tells us “It won’t work, don’t even try”, then we won’t do it…and we will never be “lucky”. OR we can ignore that depressing voice and give it a go! We can follow that dream, take that risk and do something that could lead to our making our own luck.

How far will you go to make your dreams come true?

 

Coffee is big business. In the specialty coffee arena, from mom and pop shops to Starbucks there is a ton of money being made. One thing I have noticed is that the larger the corporation gets, (especially once they go public and have shareholders to answer to), the tighter they get with the labor budget.

Oddly, to me, this seems counterproductive.  I am not really talking about Barista wages here, that is another issue completely. I am referring to the amount of labor hours that the company will let the manager schedule per week. This post is more of an open letter to large coffee chains with ideas to consider.

Most of you started out loving coffee and wanting to share it with the world.

You had plenty of staff on hand for each shift to give great customer service.

THEN

You went public and had to shave costs to increase earnings for shareholders….

What happens long term if, instead of looking for the short term profit, you look for long term customer satisfaction and return to the idea of having more staff on the floor for each shift. Having one more full time employee could possibly cut your profit by $50,000. For most successful coffee shops, this is less than 20% of the profit and for some it is less than 5%.

What are the benefits?

  • Your employees are less stressed. (This means that more will get done, with less griping and complaining about being overworked.)
  • Your managers have more time to focus on the customer.
  • You have time in the day to keep a very clean store.
  • There is now an ability to add things like tastings or other special “events” in the day to delight customers.

I believe that when these things are added in, the profit margin will grow, not shrink.

I am sure this can be applied to other industries who have a customer service based product and try to save money on labor to satisfy the shareholders. What could you do to change things in your company?

 

Who are those Millennials that people keep referring to? One can define them by birth date, those born after 1977 -1980  depending on your source up through about 1995 or so who come of age in the first decade of the year 2000. Beyond that, who are they. We expect them to be tech savvy, but let me assure you that while this generation has never really known the thrill of a library card catalog or having to use a paper dictionary or encyclopedia to find out about something, they, just like their predecessors of gen X and boomers, only know what they are familiar with. This means that if they can’t do it on their phone, it might not be their forte. Before I jump into too many generalizations though, it is important to note that as a group, they are quite fragmented. One might say, “Oh, Millennials are early adopters, they love new technology and gadgets.” That is true of some of them, but only about 26% of them…which means if you are targeting the other 74% in your marketing, you targeted wrongly.

So, my wise words when it comes to dealing with Millennials is that they want what we all want. Community, a sense of belonging and feeling like they are doing something good in the world. Give them a chance, listen to them, show them you care and you might just gain a loyal partner for life.

 

Happiness isn’t found in things. Sure that new car gives you a boost of energy…but the car gets older each day. That perfect new house eventually needs a new roof. Stuff breaks. Stuff gets old. We can just get used to stuff. Any happiness that comes from stuff is temporary at best.

As a Christian, ultimately, I believe that true joy comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ, but that isn’t the point of this post. Happiness can be found in the lives of other people who aren’t Christians. (And to be fair, I know some miserable Christians.) So what do those people who are really happy with life have in common?

Here are my observations:

  • They put time into friendships/relationships. They will take the time to grab a cup of coffee with someone.
  • They serve a purpose beyond themselves. They work for a cause that is bigger than they are.
  • They love seeing other people succeed.
  • Their happiness doesn’t seem to be bound at all by their finances. I have met some very happy people who live in a one room house.

Where do you find happiness?

 

This year, one of my goals is to start a new business venture of some kind. I have a few ideas. I started a successful one last year, but it isn’t scale-able to be able to just do that for a living. So as I search for new businesses to start/or partner with I hope to also inspire you to start something new. What will it be? It might not be a business.

  • Maybe it is a new fitness plan.
  • Maybe to give dating another try.
  • Going to church again.
  • Starting college.
  • Starting college again.
  • Climbing a mountain.
  • Reading a great book.
  • Making a new friend.
  • Calling people you care about.
  • ??

There are so many things you could start this year. Pick one that will fulfill you and get started!

 
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