Big Wheel Keep on Turnin'

on Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The reality of losing the Meeting Grounds in Sartell is really starting to set in this week. Tuesdays were the days that they would call and place their order and I would roast it. Yet here I sit not roasting coffee for them… or for anyone else.

I seem to do better when someone else is running the show. In the music world it's George or Jeff, they book the gigs and organize the shows, I show up, do my part, collect my pay and go and wait for the next phone call. I am horrible at pimping myself.

The world of business is weighing heavily on my shoulders these days. I know I have a great product, I know that people who drink my coffee for the first time are surprised that coffee can taste so good, but I don't know how to get out there and "sell, sell, sell!"

Today I found out that I am in a bidding war with Bernick's Pepsi to do a fund raiser for Cathedral High School. I have to outbid someone who can bury me in their deep, deep pockets. They're offering shit at bargain basement prices, I am offering far superior gourmet coffee at the lowest price I can afford, but I'm afraid that won't be enough. When organizations are ruled by committee, this is the result. I wish they'd consider who really needs the business in their calculations.

But then on the other hand I got a call from the coffee shop in Apollo High School and they are sending a new convert over to buy a pound or two from me. Maybe I should have opened a specialty coffee retail shop, I seem to do pretty okay business with walk-in customers.

I am reminding myself these days, as my mood darkens, that I am on the Wheel of Life and that sometimes you're on top of the wheel and sometimes you're crushed beneath it. I feel like I'm either there or headed there soon. But the Wheel keeps on turning and Xmas is a-comin', hopefully things will get better by then.


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2 comments:

Lauren said...

When I arrived in Fort Collins, I started out looking to get a job as a receptionist, one that I would earn at least $10.00/hr so that I could comfortably make ends meet.

One of Ryan's friends (who's making $8.50 an hour working night shifts at a call center) informed me that this just wasn't going to happen, that she'd been trying to get a job like that for years and there just weren't enough opportunities like that in town.

3 weeks later, I started a reception job at $10.50/hr with benefits, a raise in three months, and fairly pleasant working conditions.

The difference between her and me in terms of our qualifications wasn't much. Sure, I have a degree, but she has some college and a lot more related work experience. And we're both good, smart, hard-working employees. So how did I find a job so easily?

Simple: I sent out 6 applications a day.

Woody Allen said, "Success is 90% showing up," and he was right. It's easy to think there must be some magical trick, some in, some secret skill, but all there really is to it is casting lots, and lots, and lots, and LOTS of nets.

Take it from someone who IS good at self-promotion. This is why huge sucess can so often find even the most utter morons: they're too dumb to know when to quit, so eventually they just get lucky. Meanwhile smart, honest and humble people like you get left behind.

Even if you're confident enough that you've got the goods - and it looks like you are, you KNOW that's some damn, damn fine coffee you're roasting - you'll start to question other things: do people really WANT good coffee? Do I just make a bad impression? Do I have really bad karma?

As silly as stuff like that is, it gets in our heads and makes it harder and harder for us to keep casting our nets out because every dissapointment seems to prove to us even further that we'll never catch a break.

But there's gold in them thar hills, Muggsy. All you have to do is make sure your pan hits every single inch of river. And if you ever want some help brainstorming on that front, PLEASE don't hesitate to call me. I'd love to help.

Miki said...

Sorry, I can´t resist when I see the beautiful picture with the coffee cup and I must ask: Can´t you share it with us in
Cafe Crem
? You are welcome to exhibit it there and to write coffee cup stories if you like, you must have a lot interesting stuff to tell!