"I Might Suck At Being A Business Owner"

I Might Suck At Being A Business Owner. 


I happen to be someone who owns a business, and I don't pretend to know what I'm doing. The decisions I make don't always add up or seem to be profitable—I don't always follow the advice of business experts. It might genius of me or maybe I'm a fool.

I own a coffee shop in Redmond, OR called Proust Coffee. We value quality over quantity and a focused coffee menu over variety—we make traditional espresso drinks—a macchiato at our coffee shop won't be what you get at Starbucks. We handcraft all our syrups from the actual spices because we want the syrups to compliment the espresso not over power it—they won't be overly sweet; you will taste the actual flavor of the spice not sugar. We pride ourselves in the quality of our product and in our customer service. 

Here is my business philosophy in a nutshell—I will choose people over profit every time. 

Here is an example of how this works: 

We closed our coffee shop for two days—Christmas Eve and Christmas. As a newish small business we don't have the cash reserves to cover two days of loss of revenue, so a decision like this can weigh on a business owner. It wasn’t the easiest decision to make, but I believe money isn't more important than people and in this case our employees.

Our employees work hard and are the backbone of our coffee shop. They work hard and invest in the success of our coffee shop. They are the reason we’re able to provide our customers with fantastic coffee, delicious Liege Waffles, and excellent customer service. We felt it was important to give our employees two days off to help them rest and spend quality time with their families. 

I had several people tell me don't worry about the lost revenue, "God will cover you." I get what people were telling me, but this didn't influence my decision. What influenced my decision to close shop for two days was making people a priority over profit. Even if God doesn't cover the loss of revenue for being closed for two days, I still believe it was the right decision to make. 

I am a person of faith, but this doesn't always guarantee things will work out for my earthly benefit. What it means is that despite the possibility things might not work out for my earthly benefit I will still put others first before my own needs. It's hard to do, but faith isn't an easy thing to live by.

I like how the author of Hebrews explains faith—it's a book found towards the middle back of the New Testament,

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.
— Hebrews 11:1 MSG

Faith doesn't always make sense or add up—if it did then it wouldn't be faith.

What will happen will happen... Our value as a business isn't found in the revenue we have, but it's found in how we treat people. Did we put a smile on their faces and make their day better by treating them with kindness and giving them a great cup of coffee? Sure I need to make money so I can keep making coffee, pay my employees, and pay my bills. Money isn't the ultimate objective—the ultimate objective is if I made someone's life better by treating them with kindness and love.

Everything I have is a gift from God and it's His to use in whatever way He deems necessary—that is worth more than all the money in the world.

 

Keep Creating,
Joe