What’s Important to You?

As I said in my last post, all this planning to relaunch my coffee roasting business has me asking a lot of questions. I think that is a healthy thing to do. If you want to succeed then you can’t enter into something blind. Some people will never understand why I would do this. I have a good paying job. I have been with the same company since I was 17 years old…and I think that is part of the problem; its been too long. I will be giving up a lot of free time and putting a lot of effort and money into getting this ship off the shore. I will also be giving up the chance to buy one of these this spring:

ducati-shot-5Some choices are harder to make than others! The new Ducati Hyperstrada could be in my garage if I chose to buy it. Instead, I choose to create another opportunity to serve you with the finest coffee I can source. One of my old coffee brokers told me I would never be able to get away from the business. She said once you get in, its for life. I believe her. To stand beside a roaster and charge it with green beans, hear the tumbling, feel the flame and watch as the beans transform from green to yellow, to tan to brown to a wonderful, socially binding drink known as coffee is, a sensory delight and a great reward. I can hardly wait to hear the sound of a scoop pushing through a burlap bag of green beans again. To be in control of my destiny, to be pursuing my dream, to be creating something that would not exist if I did not put my shoulder and my soul to it; those are the things that are important to me…and to be able to play a little Zeppelin, Dylan or Stones while I work doesn’t hurt either!

In 2005, both my brother an sister were diagnosed with terminal cancer. My brother lasted only a few months, weeks really. My sister fought for nearly 2 years. It was a life changing experience. We had no more than put her to rest than my remaining sister told me of the news that her husband of many years, my brother-in-law, was diagnosed with terminal cancer as well. He, too, fought the fight, but it is an unfair war and one he could not win. Life changing moments of time.

Why would I give up a job that pays enough money that I would never have to want for anything. Why would I give up security. At nearly 53, why would I give up on a company this close to retirement? Because life changes with one phone call. I’ve been on the receiving end of those calls. Because I’m 52 and my song is almost sung and I don’t particularly care for the tune I’ve been carrying so far. Because my current work environment is stealing my soul and my health. Because when I graduated from Bible College, my agnostic brother, said, “Be true to yourself.” Because on the outside I am responsible, always “do the right thing” Jamie, but on the inside, the real me is dying to burst out…the passionate, romantic that says, “You only get one chance, take it!” Because I hate polo shirts and Khaki pants. I love blue jeans and Johnson Motors T-shirts! When I launched B-town Beans I was asked by the buyer of a large grocery chain why I wanted to start a coffee business. I looked at him and said, “We all have a song to sing; its my turn at the mike.”

I’m sure none of this rambling makes any sense to most of you; its probably as foreign as speaking in tongues. But it all comes down to what is important. Security? Success? Money? Cars, homes, boats? It’s been years since I earned a Theology degree, but one thing I still remember is that all of those things will end up in a pile of rust. What matters is the person. And the amazing thing is that we all have the choice to determine who and what we will be…we just have to have the courage to follow through.

Later,

Shep

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3 thoughts on “What’s Important to You?

  1. Shep,
    Your degree serves you well, this is one of the most powerful sermons I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. Although it took me 20 minutes to finish reading because your imagery forced me to brew a fresh pot coffee.

    I wish you much success.

  2. Thank you for the kind words. I’ve travelled a lot of miles since my days behind the pulpit, but fortunately, truth endures the trip.

  3. This is deep. I feel you.

    I’ve been pondering on my life path on and off for quite some time now. There’s security and comfort zone on one side, and common sense says stay here, but then there’s passion and joy lurking in the unknown on the other side, and something inside says, hell, go for your happiness and see what happens.

    Thanks for sharing!

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