Company Name: Starbucks
Industry: Coffee Shop
Date Founded: 1971
Location: States Starbucks Headquarters 2401 Utah S. Seattle, WA 98134
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
The Starbucks Story
Persistence and passion go hand in hand. In order to live your passion, you need to persist regardless of what life throws at you. Starbucks is the perfect example of how great things can be achieved if you put your all into it.
Howard Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks. Today, he boasts of around thousands of coffee shops not only in the United States, but in the entire world. But it wasn’t that easy, growing up in Brooklyn on July 19, 1953 – he experienced what it means to live with just enough. However, at a young age of 7, Schultz saw an experience he would never forget when his father was injured during work, and with no medical insurance left them with some financial difficulties.
I saw my father losing his sense of dignity and self-respect. I am sure that this was caused mostly by the fact that he has been treated as an ordinary working man.
What made a striking remark to Schultz about his first Starbucks experience was that it wasn’t just a cup of coffee – the store actually thought people the art of making a coffee.
The First Starbucks Cafe in Seattle, WA
Howard Schultz with some of his coffee “partners”
Because of this, Schultz was determined to become a part of something big and relentlessly tried to get his way into the Starbucks group. He wanted to make something significant, but there was a cost. He was hired as a marketing director for Starbucks, but he would be getting less than half of what he originally gets. Normally, it could have swayed other people not to continue, but seeing the bigger picture he agreed and moved into Seattle in 1982.
Schultz was then assigned to visit an international warehouse in Milan to get recipes for lattes and espresso cups. However, what he got from his trip was more than recipes, but a grand idea that revolutionized the way people see coffee shops. He saw that espresso bars in Milan serve customers and know them by name and that it was more than just people buying a coffee cup, but it’s a place where people socialize. Carrying this idea forward, he presented it to the board and was in high hopes that it will become the next big thing.
Another hard road came into Schultz’ life when the CEO of Starbucks came to reject his offer. The company believed that it was not the right road to be in, and this made Schultz come to a decision of leaving Starbucks and to journey into accomplishing the dream that he has in mind
“Only those who go by unexplored roads, creating new industries and new products, can build a strong, long-lasting company and inspire others to achieve great results.” – Howard Schultz
Schultz was determined to build his business with his grand vision in mind. Sadly, not a lot of people see what he saw and out of 242 people he pitched his idea to, 217 of them actually said no. Imagine being rejected by that many people? Would you reconsider? But he still continued on and founded his own coffee company Il Giornale. He spent his time developing his idea and building a network of coffee shops that will make into reality what he saw in Italy.
In 1987, Starbucks decided to sell their company as they did not believe that they can handle the growth that it has been receiving. The owners were men that were not ready to grow bigger or so they thought, and wanted to be off this business. As soon as Schultz heard about this, he decided to buy it for $3.8 million and continued what he started with Starbucks.
“Coffee is the product, but it’s not the business we’re in,” – Howard Schultz
Starbucks slowly began rising to the top and because of its marketing strategy, it became one of the most successful businesses known today. Schultz marketed the coffee as an experience – he gave the customers the principle of self service, wherein they can choose the size of their cup, the type of milk they put in, and even the type of drink. Because of this, customers felt that they are unique. But not only that, Starbucks employees were also required to remember the name of their regular customers and the way they like their drink, making not only a business transaction but a personal connection to their customers.
Another great thing that Schultz has done to maintain the company’s success is how well he takes care of his employees. He calls them partners and due to the memory he had of his late father, he makes sure that every employee has medical insurance and are able to buy shares in the company as well. This led him into building his empire, not caring about competition,but only focusing on delivering what’s best for his customers and employees.
As of June 2016 – there are 24,464 Starbucks stores operating in the entire world. This is indeed a success story.
Passion is truly worth investing in. You should never give up finding what you love and accomplish the goal you have in mind. Rejections, worries and true to life struggles may come to halt you but you should never give up in persisting and finding your way into success.
Resources: Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Starbucks Website
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