It’s Day Two of #MyMarchMadness, and I am thinking about the humble, lean days the original owners of Starbucks Coffee Company must have experienced when they opened their first roasting and retail bean location in Seattle 44 years ago. It was another 16 years before Howard Schultz, a former employee, bought the chain and built it to what we see worldwide today. It took someone who had worked in the stores and performed all of the necessary functions to see what was possible and to put a growth plan in action. It took a risk-taker and a visionary.
I can relate to the fears the founders must have had. I experience my own limitations. Thus, I respect the visionaries and the risk-takers who build business empires, despite the occasional hateful comment and protests that focus on a few errors amidst millions of actions completed perfectly well.
Today, I am celebrating the value you have brought to my life.
Thank you for:
1. Having 13 locations between my apartment in New York City and Central Park. I make fun of this as excess and overexposure, but you must be doing something right. These stores are mostly profitable. I’m also grateful for the ease in purchasing my soy cappuccino when I’m out and need a burst of caffeine to keep me going.
2. Carrying the Evolution Fresh juices. When I’m traveling, it’s often difficult for me to find “fast food” that meets my special dietary needs, but I can almost always find a Starbucks store with a nutrient-rich green juice. It was especially nice today because I am fighting a cold and want to fight it organically with antioxidants, fluids and rest–after I finally get home around 10 PM.
3. Making an attempt to be socially conscious. It’s more difficult than it seems. I try to be aware, to donate, to raise awareness, and to contribute to efforts that make the world a little better, but I don’t always know who to work with. At least I am still relatively anonymous and only deal with a few people attacking my choices on social media or in person. I admire your ability to keep going, growing and changing to meet the needs of your market and the world. Most of the critics don’t do as good of a job.
In short, you make a difference, even when you doubt you do. I hope you will put your focus on making an even bigger difference.
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Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills, especially in business and employment disputes. Her holistic, integrative approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, litigant, and trial attorney. She is a 2001 graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo Law School trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is also creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition).