I have recently spent many morning of my week at Cafe Bean and whilst luxuriously working on my laptop and studying for my international law exams (the joys) I have observed the bustling of activities around me in this cute, underground cafe. I can also tell you why your business will succeed (and how easy it can be) or why it will fail simply by people watching.
The owner of this lovely place is a twenty something South African who after travelling the world and living in London, has settled in Australia and launched his dream of opening a cafe.
There are 2 things you should know about him.
1 – he is likely the friendliest and most accommodating barrister and owner you will ever meet. In your entire life.
2 – in the past 9 weeks he has had 2 days off.
Why is this important?
Well he cares. Like actually cares about his customers. He asks how their day is going. He remembers what they mentioned they were busy with the last time they came in for a coffee. You can walk in and say ‘the usual’ after your first order. He chats about everything and anything you’d like to talk about. He gets smiles out of the grumpiest office worker at 7 in the morning and he brightens the day with a carefully crafted cup of coffee and a glistening smiling sunshine.
He also regularly checks that your coffee tasted great, that it was consistent with all your previous experiences there and that the temperature was perfect for you.
And he’ll go even further. I’m a tea drinker myself and one day mentioned that I’d love a fruity tea (my favorite). To my utter delight and surprise he ordered in a delicious fruity tea that I now sip at least 2 pots of on a near daily basis. In our crazy world where cheap prices and fast consumerism have fueled our lives, it doesn’t take much to please and surprise your customers. Do it at every opportunity you have infused with quality and kindness.
On top of this he hustles like a mad man. When he first opened his cafe he worked numerous other gigs in bars at night to keep the income flowing in. These days he works about 12-14 hours a day on his cafe business and then spends his weekends bringing his coffee stall up to the markets for the enjoyment of day dreaming wanderers. I don’t know how he gets up every morning not only awake but with the biggest smile on his face. It’s an utter feat of persistence and determination. He has big dreams. He will make this business work.
So this is why you’ll fail. If you’re not exciting your customers, or you’re not willing to give them quality, to delight them and in turn to get them talking about your business, your business isn’t going to do so well. It won’t be valuable to people, it won’t make anywhere near the money you desire and it will be just another mediocre taking out there that doesn’t infuse your own life with joy and profitability. Secondly, you’re competing against a guy who will do everything in his power to work his butt off and make it come together. That’s who you’re up against. You’ve got to be putting in the same hustle.
So why will you win? Because 95% of people out there won’t do this. We’re inherently lazy and staying in our cushy lives (however miserable we are) is easier than making changes, jumping far outside our comfort zone and leaping into a world where our dreams exist but a journey of hard work lies before them. Getting a successful, happy, quality business up requires determination, persistence and hard work. But if you love what you’re doing, and you’re creating a life based around what you want, it is oh so worth it.
And if ever you happen to stumble upon Gavin at Bean, ask him how he can do all this and he’ll tell you something like this…
I’m working for myself every day. It’s harder than I ever imagined but it’s not for anyone else. People energize me. I can feel this buzz and I’m doing this for me. It’s my dream.
So don’t give up. Dream hard. For most of us it’s a long tough road to get there but you can get there. Put the hours in (effectively), focus, zone in on your core business, spend your time where it’s most needed (where your skills lie and you’re enjoying your work), outsource the rest and get busy.
Because one day you’ll look back and realize you made it. And although the story is in the journey that lies behind and before us, it’s a pretty good day to realize you’ve achieved something you didn’t think was possible. That vision you have in your mind right now. You can have it.
Top photo – Courtesy of Bean on Facebook