"I'd encourage everyone to dream big, lay your foundations well, absorb information like a sponge, and not be afraid to defy conventional wisdom. Just because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean you shouldn't try." -- Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It
I've reviewed several business books here on the blog. They have all been great and I've gleaned much information from within the pages of these reads. Recently, I read a book that has completely changed the way that I see my business and how I relate to customers: Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz. That guy that "created" Starbucks.
I opened the first page of this book more as a Starbucks fan than anything. I thought it would be fun to learn about how Starbucks came to be and how Howard created this extrodinary THING called Starbucks. But after the first chapter, I found myself underlining every other line. There was SO much information that I could glean, SO much information that I could apply directly to my business.
The book is a history of Starbucks up until 1997 or so. And it does read like a memoir of sorts of Starbucks and Schultz. But beyond just history Schultz infuses this book with antedotes and thoughts about what he believes helped Starbucks grow into what it is. Schultz shares with his readers what he believes are the cornerstones of small successfull businesses and entrepeneroers. I was hooked on his every word.
If you are a small business owner, a brand creator or just starting out I highly recommend getting this book and spending a week looking at the life of Starbucks. Are there principals that you can apply to your business, your work ethic, your brand? I guarantee there are. This is one book that I cannot recommend highly enough.
Here are just some of my favorite and thought provoking quotes that I underlined through out the book!
"Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you can bring with you - whether they're employees, customers, shareholders, or readers - the more gratifying the victory." -- I think that many photographers are really good at this idea. We love sharing with each other, teaching and learning from each other. We love being on this journey together. But can we go further? Can we apply this even more broadly to our businesses and relationship with our peers? What would our businesses and relationships look like if we did?
"First every company must stand for something. Starbucks stood for not only good coffee, but specifically for dark-roasted flavor profile that the founders were passionate about. That's what differntiated it and made it authentic." -- I want an authentic and relevant business. I want a business that stands for something, that means something, that adds value. This quote jumped off the page, grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me around. My business MUST stand for something but not just anything. Something that is authentic to who I am. How can my business add to the world and just not myself?
"It's one thing to dream, but when the moment is right you've got to be willing to leave what's familiar and go out to find your own sound." -- This is exactly what happened when I left my newspaper job and something I recently shared.
"Whatever your culture, your values, your guiding principles, you have to take steps to inoculate them in the organization early in its life so that they can guide every decision, every hire, every strategic objective you set. Whever you are the CEO or a lower level employee, the single most important thing you can do at work each day is coummunicate your values to others." -- I could, no NEED to do this better. My convictions and guiding principles need to play a bigger role in all aspects of my business. Do you?
"We had a mission, to educate customers everywhere about fine coffee. We had a vision, to create an atmosphere in our stores that drew people in and gave them a sense of wonder and romance in the midst of their harried lives. We had an idealisitc dream, that our company could be far more than the paradigm definded by corporate America in the past." -- What is your mission? What is your vision? What is your dream? Answer these questions specifically. You'll draw a clear picture of why you are in business, of what you want your business to look like and WHO your business is for.
There are SO many other quotes that I could pull from this book but I'll stop there and encourage you to go out and purchase a copy for yourself. Find yourself lost in the dream and the story of Starbucks. Find the points that you can take away and begin to implement them in to your business now. Who knew that a story about coffee beans could so radically change the way that I and many others think about their business. Mhmm coffee...
One lucky reader will win a copy of Pour Your Heart Into It. Just leave a comment below with your favorite Starbucks drink! The winner will be announced tomorrow! Good luck and happy reading!