Everyone Always Tellin' You How to Live Your Life…
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” -- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The other day I talked to a friend of mine who had a lot of reasons why it was dumb of me to try and start a coffee business. A few of his highlights:
- The coffee’s generic!
- It’s way overpriced!
- Why would anyone buy from you?
I simply listened to his “advice” and didn’t bother offering a rebuttal. If I had, here’s what I would’ve said:
The Coffee’s Generic!
Most coffee is sourced from the same regions and farmers across the globe. Coffee farmers have been doing what they do for many years, and they’re very good at it - especially in the climates that they do it in. This hardly means it’s generic. It just means if you want a flavorful bean grown in the high altitudes of an Ethiopian climate...you’re probably going to have to go to Ethiopia to get ‘em.
It’s Way Overpriced!
My partner and I felt it best to source our coffee from around the globe, but we made the choice to always roast it locally. We don’t use dropshippers. We don’t use some mega-company to get the lowest price. We want our coffee to arrive as fresh as possible. And we believe the best way to do that is to use local roasters that we can drive to and physically work with. Plus, we love supporting local.
Is it more expensive than the $6 bag of coffee you grab from Costco or your local grocery store? Yes. But when you choose our coffee, it’s the quality and freshness that you pay for, and we’re on par with other companies with similar business models, so we’re not too worried about that. We understand our coffee isn’t for everyone. If you enjoy cheap coffee, go for it. But that’s not what you’re going to get from us. And who are we to tell you otherwise?
Why Would Anyone Buy from You?
This one’s an easy one. People buy from us because they like our brand. Our brand is what makes us unique, and it’s what makes the thousands of other coffee companies unique too. Our personalities shine through our business, and yes, even though much of the coffee comes from the same regions, nobody sells coffee like we do.
Besides the brand, there’s plenty of uniqueness that comes with our signature blends. They’re specially designed, tested, and produced by us.
And last, everyone needs coffee. Might as well get it from someone you like and trust.
So that’s what I never told him. There really was no point in saying all that because he probably wouldn’t have listened anyways. Like the quote in the beginning says, people are quick to tell others how to live their lives, but they rarely reflect and act on their own.
My buddy was hardly qualified to give advice on running a coffee shop or even a business in general. So I just shrugged it off and went on with my day.
How often do you find yourself talking to someone who:
- Tells you the best diet and foods to eat, even though they’re clearly not a shining star of health
- Offers parenting advice when they don’t have kids or aren’t the best parents themselves
- Tries to be a backseat driver, no matter how many tickets they’ve gotten or accidents they’ve been involved in.
People are going to do what they’re going to do. All I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to give advice, at least make sure you’re qualified to give it. And second, think twice before you even offer it. If it’s solicited, absolutely go for it. If it’s not, don’t assume the other person wants your advice.
Maybe they’re just fine doing things their own way.
- Give one less piece of advice today. Instead, either put the advice that you were going to give into action, or come up with something else positive to do instead. Some ideas:
- Do a workout
- Go for a walk
- Drink some water
- Read a book
- Save money instead of spending
- Say something nice to someone else
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