today i was blessed with the opportunity to hear starbuck's CEO howard schultz speak. i'm currently reading his first book pour your heart into it and squealed when a mentee told me he was speaking at GWU this week. i went on a mission to get tickets and showed up today with bells on (plus sparkly legwarmers and hot pink rain boots = tres professional). i was star struck, took lots of notes, and snapped this photo of him as the talk began. i love humble beginnings fueld with lots of passion meets an ongoing effort to create a customer experience AND do-good (fair trade coffee beans, giving back to communities, health insurance for employees, etc). i purchased his latest book onward: how starbucks fought for its life without losing its soul on kindle. below are highlights and takeaways from his talk:
- ensure an ongoing connection to values + guiding principles
- love your business with every ounce of your soul (amen!)
- ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams
- dream big, then dream even bigger
- get a strong education
- surround yourself with people smarter than you
- share your success with others
- raise more equity than you think you need and sooner than you think you need it
- business is about each client interaction
- early days were not really the "glory" days (ah, i remember our church days)
- to grow, you must get your hands dirty and connect with biz roots
- when asked what type of coffee shop he would open today, he said he wouldn't - too much coffee. would focus on a health and wellness store (yay tranquil space!)
- build intimate emotional connections with clients
- build relationships + create a sense of community
- 2 trends he's observing: less discretionary spending + more social media
- must push for relevant innovation + preserve core purpose (ongoing at tranquil space!)
- never embrace mediocrity for profit
- go green: it's important to have employees happy to work for a company they believe in
- when asked a question about work/life balance, he said it was a very personal decision to be discussed with one's partner. must have alone time to recharge and time outside of the storm (when in crisis such as the economic downturn on 2008). needs support from family and friends. can't do well unless healthy at home.
- rethink traditional marketing + PR
- ensure authentic, truthful, mindful communication with the world in non-marketing ways
to say the least, i was inspired and can't wait to finish his first book and dive into his second. i have professional crushes on so many: zappos, lululemon, starbucks, apple, patagonia, martha stewart, danny meyer (nyc restauranteur). so many crushes, so little time.
how can you apply some of these ideas to your life and work?
moi: will continue to ponder, innovate, and seek ongoing authenticity to
ensure everything i do is crafted with oodles of love.