A secret you may not know: I knew very little, if not anything at all, about coffee when I began this massive undertaking of opening my own cafe, I had no idea what I was doing when I began and in most respects, still do not.
This process is not about the coffee, it never has been about the coffee, this process is strictly about creation. Early in the process I was going to give up, my lager vision about the roadblocks I was going to face and the massive amount of time needed to be put towards this goal began to scare me, then I also realized I had very little knowledge about what I was trying to do to begin with. These two combinations of negative thoughts nearly pushed me to the edge and left me wondering if I should even apply for the county wide small business start-up challenge to begin with.
As I was driving home one night, I put myself in the shoes of some of the most world renown entrepreneurs, I wondered if they had known what they were doing or if they just winged it too. I was going back and forth with myself on the qualities that make up an entrepreneur and how they solve massive problems while creating incredible things over dedicated and extensive periods of time. A thought finally hit me, like a light bulb flickering on in my head, a realization was reached that it wasn’t at all about being passionate in regards to the end objective which made a good entrepreneur, it was the passion during the creation of the objective, which made a good entrepreneur. It was as though a weight had been lifted off my chest. I have spent many years and failed at many things in an attempt to find my passion, but nothing ever seemed to truly resonate, I’ve always liked certain things but there was always a threshold that when reached, I needed to do “more”. I recognized in that moment, it was never about where I was heading that made me happy, it was about the journey, the process.
Once I gave my self permission to fail during my creation of the coffee shop, once I realized I enjoyed the challenges of the process and wasn’t afraid of them, that is when things became fun, it is when my creativity really began to take off. It was after this prolific realization that I was OK with coffee not being my passion, I realized I didn’t need to even drink it to create it, I didn’t need to love it with all my soul to create it, my passion is in creation itself, the art of enjoying the process of “making” and “doing” rather than actually enjoying reaching the goal itself. I began to look back on the times in my life where this would hold true so I could test my theoretical realization and see if it was in-fact correct as to who I am. When I trained relentlessly to play college football, it wasn’t finishing my first camp or playing my first game which I look back on as my most rewarding moment(s), what I remember fondly most of all is getting up at 4 a.m. when no one else would, it was doing it against the shadow of doubt from people around me, it was a disgusting, relentless, tiring effort to create something difficult from nothing but my own hands. This process did not make me the best football player, I still had a lot to learn and overcome once arriving at my objective, however, it made me the most dedicated and it made me stand out as unique, and because I was unique I was afforded opportunity that being “average” would have never afforded me.
The passion involved in the process opened doors for me that simply going through the motions, in an attempt to cross the finish line, would have never afforded me. I didn’t want to cross the finish line, I wanted to shatter it, blaze across it profoundly and with qualities others weren't bringing to the table. When I envisioned my goal, I never envisioned me just standing in my shoulder pads, I envisioned so much more, I envisioned leading the team, I envisioned carrying the flag out, I envisioned being unique and in turn it made my passion for the creation of my goal absolutely unrivaled in every aspect. Likewise, for my goal of creating a cafe, I do not envision just working as a barista for the rest of my life nor do I only imagine this single cafe operating on a monotonous day to day schedule. I envision investing my workforce, creating more opportunity, involving my community, being known for our unrivaled service and offerings, I envision multiple locations and being able to do good every where I go. By keeping my big vision while hearing the doubts and negative outlooks of the people around me, I have been able to yet again cast myself into a disgusting, habitual, relentless and tenacious work ethic which is opening doors for me along my journey each and every day. I do not know a lot about coffee, but I know I love creating things, and I love making opportunities out of seemingly “nothingness”.
I love the opportunity to create opportunity by taking marginal steps everyday, steps which anyone is capable of taking but many won’t because they are paralyzed by asking themselves if what they seek to accomplish is what they want to do forever. Creating something does not mean you are bound to it forever, I do not want to work in one shop or cafe forever, I do not want to work in the coffee business forever, in fact my biggest goal is law school, looking far ahead; all I want to do is prove to myself I can create anything I want simply by enjoying the process. Through bringing dedication to my daily process (despite not knowing a lot about the coffee business) I will be able to offer better coffee, and despite not knowing anything quite yet about owning a cafe, I will be the best owner ever. Our success is not derived from knowing every aspect about everything we are looking to accomplish, our success is derived through unrivaled passion to be better than the standard and willing to learn how. Are there not astronauts who know more about space and rocket science than Elon Musk? are there not computer scientists who know more about computers than Bill Gates? these individuals are more than capable of creating these same empires for themselves, they have the knowledge and expertise, and yet they work for the company which was founded by a guy who took up work in a messy suburban garage. We deduce our potential opportunities and shut doors based off of what we will need to “be” in the moment the objective we want to undertake is complete, but fail to realize that it simply takes an absolute unrivaled passion to find out “how” along the journey, in order to actually complete the objective. Not undertaking a goal or opportunity because we are not the product our future selves right now, is like telling the caterpillar that he cannot be a butterfly, because he isn’t knowledgeable on being a butterfly right now. An extensive mutation process must be undertaken and patience must be had by both the caterpillar and observer in order to understand the scope of the transformation. In the most ironic sense, we often deny ourselves future opportunities and goals based off of the fact that we do not fit that future mold at this very moment, and totally forget that where we are now did not at all fit the mold of who we were years ago.
As ever changing beings, we can morph in any direction we want, reality is an ever changing metamorphism that is constantly cyclic in death and re-birth. Our willingness to allow our past and present limitations, beliefs and ideals to die as we learn, grow and become more, will allow us to take on bigger challenges which our old selves could have never seen us completing. The more we wait in hesitancy within the void of complacency, excuses and nervousness towards our truest self, the longer we will remain stagnant in our growth and continue to do the same things day after day until the end of our lives when we are forced to look back at the opportunities we pushed away from ourselves in an unwarranted and pointless fashion. The opportunities you take or leave, lead you to the same dirt which we all return to. Steve Jobs once said “those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world, do”. Jobs never said that those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world must first know “how” before they do, he simply said that they who are crazy enough, do. We are not taught to be world changers, there is no guide on how to make a real impact or change the course of mankind, there can be no 3 step process in finding out, but those who are willing to find out, who believe they can find out, always end up changing the world without realizing it. Most often, until someone externally lets them know that they changed the course of humanity, they do not realize they did. Bill Gates set out to create a home computer and software, he did not set out to change the course of history, and when he set out on his journey he had to learn all the applicable knowledge that came with his goal. Gates did not deny himself his goal because he didn’t know every aspect about computing heading into it, instead he simply learned each aspect as it arose and gently, yet ferociously, built an empire which will allow his name to live on for 10,000 years. Those who have changed the world have things in common if you’re willing to look at their stories and backgrounds, despite coming from vastly different places and social statuses.
The people who make the biggest impact, who do things other people dream of or look up to, complete the process with such an unrivaled passion that they sometimes seem other-worldly, they are immensely creative in their day to day hustle and take on individual challenges with incredible focus and a lack of care as to who has an opinion on it. In today’s world of social media and instant life comparisons, it is easy to feel trapped in stagnation, unable to escape the self-limiting beliefs which others are placing upon you at any given moment, but eventually you will be forced, in tired fashion, to make a choice as to whether you will continue to define your self based off of the limited consciousness of those holding you back, or whether you will raise your awareness and begin to allow yourself to be reborn into a world where anything is possible and your mind is free. The secret in finding out what you love is not always about finding your passion and what you want to do for the rest of your life, success is not reduced to one definable objective for many of us. The secret to finding out what you love is sometimes having the awareness to realize that completing and creating goals with passion, is a passion in and of itself, one to be revered and cultivated, one where there is no place for fear of the unknown, but rather a willingness to face it directly. Now go back and read that Roosevelt quote again.