I have been thinking a lot about growth and speed of growth and how to grow and how to push myself to uncomfortable places in business in order to make a difference, bring in more revenue and help my family live the life we want to live out here in the "sticks".
A friend sent me the following quote and I feel grateful for it, because is speaks to how I think about business, especially in an age where expansion and exit strategy seem to be the norm.
"If a tree suddenly grows very fast the rings of the tree will be unstable, and the tree will be weak." -Akio Toyoda President of Toyota Motor Corporation.
We have been getting some small time, but important press here and there and this is wonderful. But what we love most about it is the response from people, and the word of mouth movement of our little company. We had the biggest week this week, and it felt great to check the email inbox and keep seeing orders pop up! For me, in a very very real way it means sustainability for my family, at least eventually if sales grow. But the other thing I thought about was, well, at what point do we really aggressively push for growth? What would it look like?
I am not in this to grow rapidly. Maybe I am foolish to say I am not in it to grow at all. I am in it, to have the business pay its bills and be able to continue to buy great coffees, bring in a modest salary that afford me paying the mortgage, my kids day care, health care and groceries. Seriously this is all we want. I want to be able to roast the coffees I like to roast and taste, and pay the bills and share good quality stuff with customers. I want to forge relationships based on a mutual understanding of making a living doing a craft that is often overlooked, or undervalued but that is so meaningful in so many peoples lives every single day.
On the other end are the producers, my brothers and sisters in arms. Growth for me would be crucial in regards to being able to buy more green and potentially really contribute to the different communities that make buying coffee possible.
Those are the drivers. Sustainability on both ends, and the possibility of having an old school craft support communities locally and at the farm level. I don't think it is too much to ask. I am not interested in the million dollar build outs or the huge investments or the ties to investors and their boards. I'd rather focus on steady, soft but deliberate growth and stay true to who we are.
End Rant. Thanks for reading.