For many of us living in the US, Starbucks is a household name. Whether or not you are a coffee drinker, there is no doubt that you have stepped into Starbucks a time or two, either to purchase pastry or their multiple lattes or to meet up with friends, study, relax or use free wifi. I've done them all. Starbucks isn't just any old coffee shop, it's a culture. And not only does it have its own vibe, it also has its own language.
What most of us may not know is that Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks is not only a NYC kid, he grew up in the Bayview projects in Canarsie Brooklyn. His parents were poor, not just poor, they were very poor. (For those who may not be accustomed to American culture, the projects is government subsidized housing which is unfortunately stigmatized as poor and crime filled). My question is, how does someone with such a past and from such a beginning have such a great accomplishment? In one of my previous post I talked about the fact that your past should not define you. One of the keys to Schultz 's success, is the fact that he was determined from an early age to break that cycle of poverty in his family. In his book Pour Your Heart Into It. How Starbucks Built a Company one Cup at a Time, Schultz writes " my story is one of perseverance and drive. I willed it to happen. I took my life in my hands, learned from anyone I could, grabbed what opportunity I could, and molded my success step by step".
Howard Schultz wasn't exceptional as a kid, nor is he more gifted or talented as an adult. But his success like the success of so many others is one of 1. Dream, 2. Drive 3. Determination and 4. Dedication. Nothing at all is beyond our grasp if we incorporate the four D's in our lives. In addition to this, one has to be coachable. Being open to learning new things, stepping out of our comfort zone and actively looking for opportunities to grow. Accomplishing our dreams, especially very big dreams are no walk in the park. It takes a lot of work, very hard work. And it's often times a long, lengthy, frustrating process.
I encourage each person reading to dream big, don't settle, and don't assume that your time has passed, regardless of your age or current situation. Never limit or doubt yourself. Redirect your thinking to one of win win. Sky is always the limit, but only through the 4 D's will you get to that place of greatness.