Entrepreneurs I Want to Meet: Howard Shultz

Good Tuesday morning to you. Hope you have planned a good week this week. I know I did.  I am writing today’s blog from one of my favorite places to work: a Starbucks store. When I travel, it is the one place I make sure to map out along the way. I use it for office space when meeting people in other towns. It’s also a good place to hang out because I’m able to use the internet when I need it. But most importantly I have to have good coffee or good shots of espresso to drink while I work.

Yesterday we talked about Jim Koch and how he has a passion for beer. As I get older, I’ve learned in life to enjoy the best. Jim is one of those guys who gives you the best in the beer world. While I don’t drink that much beer these days I enjoy a good one when I do have one. The same is true for my espresso. I love to find a good mom and pop espresso bar, or coffee shop, to try out and I usually try to meet the owner. When you meet the owner of a business you meet the person who puts your interest as a customer first. When traveling, you get to see some of those small shops and sometimes, though not always, you can get a good espresso. But you can always count on a Starbucks for consistency of a quality drink.

Howard Shultz got his first love for the espresso shops when he visited a small one in Italy. He was working for Starbucks at the time, and he was on a buying trip to Milan when he first stepped into the tiny shops that he eventually modeled his company after. When he came back to Seattle, he tried to take this new passion he found in the espresso bars in Milan and put it into the stores at Starbucks. However, the owners of the shop were not as thrilled with the idea of taking their stores the direction Howard envisioned them. They didn’t share his vision.

So Howard left to start his own coffee shop, to build the idea here in America he first viewed in Milan. He called it “Il Giornale.” It was two years later that the owners of Starbucks decided to sell out of their business. Howard jumped in and bought them out then combined both his coffee shops with the old Starbucks to create what became the Starbucks that we all know today.

Well, here is what I like about Howard: he took his concept and made those who worked with him — from the barista serving coffee and making the drinks to the Vice President all became what he calls partners. He gave them stock options so they can become part owners in the company. He worked to provide health insurance for them and allows them to save towards retirement with a 401k program. He put a system in place to get those who work for Starbucks learn to love what they do. This is where I got the idea of loving what you do. So each time I go into a Starbucks I’m actually being served by someone who loves what they do, and who may be a part-owner in the company.

So why do I want to meet Howard? I spent four and half years working for starbucks before I started my life coaching business. I have a love for coffee, and a passion for loving what I do. I said above that what I like about mom and pop shops is you get to meet the owner because they are usually very focused on the customer and they have a passion for the business. I would like to spend a day with Howard Shultz for the same reasons. I’d love to enjoy a coffee tasting or two with him and to see more about his understanding of giving back to this world. Everything he does is with others in mind, from his plan to provide a better world for those who work for him to making sure the coffee farmers who supply his product get fair prices for quality coffee beans.

I have been reading his book Onward, and understand he is donating the proceeds from it to charity. He is an example of entrepreneurs who are in business for the love of the product they make, to the using of the money from his ventures to give back to build a better world. I want to spend a day with him to hear the struggle he went through to keep his beliefs.

Howard Shultz is a true RockStar in his world. He lives the life he wants to provide a better world for others. He loves what he is doing and he loves those he works with. That makes him a RockStar I want to meet.

Are you ready to make the move toward becoming a RockStar in your world? Now is the perfect time to do it and it’s my passion to help people learn to live their ideal life.

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