We are only a few weeks away from having our own roaster roasting away in the basement, as this is an important step for our long-term goal of sustainability. But, I will forever be grateful for all that Phoenix has done for us. They not only showed us how a coffee company should be built but how life should be lived. For that, we are grateful...
From our talks about "When Helping Hurts," I refined Z Beans international vocation, centering it around each and every farmer. I began thinking of ways to improve their way of life, rather than their crops. I began thinking about their own personal sustainability, deciding to forego typical buyer/seller contracts and allowing relationships to lead Z Beans' international sustainability. Most importantly, I began focusing on learning the culture, rather than the language. With the language, you can speak. With the culture, you can listen.
I sit in my brown chair at my desk for my final blog here in the MIC, and I shed a tear. I have given this place all I possibly could over the past year and a half, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked here. I will always be the biggest supporter of the MIC, as it allowed me to turn my vocation into a reality. I know the MIC will continue building more young entrepreneurs, and I hope those young entrepreneurs can look back on this place the same way that I can.
It hurt losing The Next Big Idea. I thought about it for many days and nights. Could I have done something differently? Now, thinking back on it, if I'd have won the competition, Z Beans would not be where it is today. Momentary satisfaction may have prevented me from taking a leap of faith - from giving me the fire to prove Z Beans is more than 'just coffee.'
Carter and I are both grateful for the opportunities afforded to us in 2018. We have both learned a great deal about business and ourselves. However, we are excited to move on to 2019. A new year brings a clean slate - a set of new opportunities and a set of new obstacles.