Z Beans Origin Stories Part 29 - 10 A Day
It's important to set short term goals - goals that bring you one step closer to your larger ones. Often times, our larger goals are to vast - to some, impossible. But, no one feels our passion - our desire - our grit. Yet, the masses pessimism wears on us. Without our short term goals, we never make it.
With Z Beans, our work has been a constant compilation of short term goals. I've done my best to stack productive days on top of productive days - with productivity measured by the number of people who have tried or heard about Z Beans.
The very first goal I ever set with the business was when that my father actually set for me. I had the 4,000 pounds of coffee sitting in a storage unit close to Mercer University's Campus, and I had a refurbished work bench that my father and I worked on together. At this time, I had the work bench in my apartment. I had a very small coffee grinder, the decorative bags from Ecuador, and brown, kraft bags which I would put the coffee in.
I would call different coffee roasters all across the southeast United States, trying to sell the green coffee beans but to no avail. My father and I were talking about it one night when he says, try this - try and sell 10 bags of roasted coffee a day.
I'll admit. I didn't think much would come of the 10 bags a day - other than the fact that I'd be able to recoup some of the cost that I have from purchasing the beans. However, the 10 bags a day goal laid a foundation from which all my other goals could grow.
I began finding ways to get Z Beans in front of more individuals. I started selling at The Mulberry Market at Tatnall Square Park, and I started finding retailers that'd potentially be interested in selling Z Beans. The first retailer that ever gave Z Beans the chance was Scott Mitchell's Travis Jean Emporium.
While the 10 a day goal helped me generate some revenue, the goal had far bigger unforeseen implications. I started meeting new individuals all throughout Macon and Middle Georgia - I gained more and more confidence when speaking to others - and most importantly, I became comfortable with hearing the word 'No'.
I write this short blog post because, as I've reflected on all the steps that have been taken to get Z Beans where it is today, I've realized the importance of small goals. It's not the direct result of accomplishing our small goals that is most important - rather it's the by-products that we don't even see.
Whether the by-product is meeting new people, learning, gaining confidence, or something else, these by-products lay the foundation from which you and your business will grow.
For me, becoming comfortable with hearing the word 'no' was extremely important. While I was cut from the baseball team at Mercer, I had never in my life heard the word no. As I've wrote a lot about, I am very fortunate to have such an amazing family who has always been there for me. I've always been a decent athlete, and school has always came relatively easy to me. So, there haven't been many things that I have not been able to do. Thus, I was never exposed to the word 'no'.
However, the 10 a day goal forced me to find ways to sell my product. While doing so (and still to this day), I had many people who simply were not interested, others who didn't like my coffee, and some who didn't like the mission behind the business.
These experiences taught me how to handle rejection. The more and more I encountered the rejections, the easier it was for me to look at it from a glass half full perspective: every no brings me closer to my next yes.
One last piece of wisdom to ponder:
It's hard to climb a mountain that is smooth.