Reinventing Yourself All Over Again – A Lesson From Starbucks:

Published March 28th, 2008 in Blog, Strategies and Hints

I love Starbucks coffee. Years of living in Seattle cultivated a love for great coffee. Not just the coffee, but the whole experience of coffee. And yes I am (BARELY) old enough to remember the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market. We used to trek down there on the weekends to buy fish at the now famous FISH! place, buy wonderful fruit and flowers, and coffee. It was a wonderful tradition. 

On March 19th, Starbucks was featured in the money section of USA Today*. Starbucks has experimented, explored, and experienced tremendous growth. They’ve taken some risks and they’ve learned some lessons. CEO Howard Schultz outlined a new strategy for Starbucks, which includes a “back-to-the-future” approach refocusing on the core business while driving for innovation. As I read the article I couldn’t help but think there are valuable take aways for all of us. We can all learn a lesson or two from Starbucks okay actually six, and here they are:

Return to your core. You dilute your personal brand when you try to be all things to all people. Make sure you are focusing on what drives the most value.

  1. Remember who you are! There a lot of talent out there and a lot of competition. What makes you special, unique, and marketable?
  2. Practice innovation. How can you improve a process, a product, or make it easier for people to do business with you?
  3. Pay attention to the social network. Build your community and make networking a real priority.
  4. Find ways to give back. Vest yourself in the causes you care about.
  5. Control your growth. It really is possibly to grow too quickly in your career. Master the step you are on before reaching for the next.

Heres to a really good cup of coffee and to your success. You were absolutely designed for it! 

* USA TODAY article by Brian Horovitz.