Entrepreneurs I Want to Meet: Jim Koch

Good Monday morning to you. We are in our last week of August days, and with the beginning of September, I’m hoping that the heat here in Dallas comes down. But the summer heat will help me as I start this week’s theme of entrepreneurs I want to meet. The first person on this list brings us a great product we get to drink over our hot summers here on the lake – and plenty of other times, for that matter.

Jim Koch was a name I first heard many years ago. In the late 1980s, I lived in the Boston area. I remember the beginnings of the beer that Jim was selling back then – Samuel Adams Beer. While I’m not a big beer person, when I do want a cold beer, I want it to be good. But today’s post is not about beer; it’s about a man who made beer his passion.

I have watched short films and commercials over the years and can tell you that Jim was a man who had a lot of passion for what he did. To give you a little background, Jim came from five generations of beer making. In fact, his father had been driven out of business by the huge beer companies that engaged in mass production and marketing. When Jim decided to try his hand at the family business, his father told him he was crazy because the world of beer making had changed so drastically. Jim didn’t care. He had such a strong passion for good beer that he quit his successful job as a business consultant and began the Boston Beer Company.

One thing that distinguishes Jim Koch from many other businessmen is that his passion for his product is so strong he wanted to be part of every step of the production and marketing process. When the time came to market his product, he went from bar to bar himself offering samples of his beer. He worked long and hard to make his product and then to sell it. As his business grew, he continued to go those places that sold his beer to make sure it still tasted fresh, and to make sure they were not selling any expired product. He believed that this level of hands-on involvement would distinguish him from the huge beer companies whose top management was very far removed from the beer-making process and from their customers.

When you see his commercials on TV, you always see him explaining the quality of his product – you didn’t see glitzy productions that cost millions of dollars and were full of beautiful women holding bottles of his beer. Instead you saw things like him smelling the hops, tasting the batches of beer that were made. I have heard that he still tastes every batch. This is a man whose life shows his passion.

Why do I want to meet Jim? I would like to spend a day with Jim just to see what this man does with his day and how he manages to run a multi-million dollar company so effectively while remaining so intimately involved in each step of making his product. Of course, he has had to delegate aspects of his operation; yet he is still part of each step of the process of making beer, which is the part that is most important to him.

I respect his knowledge of the beer itself and would love to be with him and have a beer tasting. Maybe work doing a few odd jobs to really see the process that he goes through, from making of the beer to him going into places that serve his famous brews. I would love to be able to eat a meal with him and have Jim pick out the beer to go with the food we eat so I could better understand the pairings of a beer and food, to hear it from a man who was an expert in the field of making beer.

I would like to sit and hear the story of how he faced the tough times making a quality product and holding firm on a good price to make his business and himself a success. He is a man who learned passion for a family tradition and made it happen.

Jim Koch and Sam Adams beer are an American tradition. Jim is a man who lives the life he dreamed of, I’m sure. I know he loves what he does, and those he shares life with. He’s the definition of a RockStar in his world.

Are you ready to find your passion and work to this level of success? I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach and my specialty is helping you achieve your dreams, live your passion. Contact me for more information and, if you are in the Tulsa area, I will be there Tuesday and Wednesday, August 30th and 31st so you can have an opportunity to meet with me in person.

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