FIVE LESSONS FROM A COFFEE SHOP
I am exactly where I should be, surrounded by amazing people and getting to make coffees every day (my latte art is still sorely lacking, but I'm working on it, guys). It's crazy how much God cares about us and our lives, and how He orchestrates even the smallest things. He gave me this job at the perfect time, and I've been growing and learning so much because of it. Not all of these are necessarily new lessons, but a little reinforcement from time to time is never a bad thing.
Everyone has a story.
The world does not and should not revolve around me. In the coffee shop atmosphere, people tend to linger and chat, so I've had the opportunity to have rich conversations with many of my customers. And what I'm realizing more than ever is everyone has something to say. I shouldn't be so wrapped up in myself that I don't take the time to be quiet and listen to what I could learn from them. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal." What I am striving to do is value everyone who walks through the door as extraordinary humans who have stories and passions and quirks and abilities, to listen and invest during those precious few minutes I have with them.
Autograph your work with excellence.
People notice when a job is done well, and they sure as heck notice when it's done sloppily. I was raised with a strong work ethic and a perfectionist for a dad (praise the Lord for both), so this one has always rung true with me. I was taught to be the first to arrive and the last to leave; to follow through to the final, smallest detail. Cutting corners was never an option. How I do my job at the shop reflects on me, on my boss, and on the Lord. I feel like Christians have a reputation for being shoddy workers, and that needs to change. We should be known as a people who excel, because that is the nature of our God. Work autographed with excellence glorifies our Creator!
A good cup of coffee is a game changer.
People come in and I can feel the tired radiating off of them. But once I hand them a steaming cup of life juice (er, I mean coffee), their whole mood changes. The eyes brighten, the shoulders lift, a smile appears. They walk out the door with a much lighter step. And I often think, what if I handed them a bad cup? What if I was too lazy to pull the shots correctly or didn't take the time to steam the milk properly? It would ruin the whole cup, the whole taste, the whole coffee experience, and my customers wouldn't leave as satisfied or revived. Perish the thought! A good cup of coffee is truly a magical thing. Can I get an amen?
People will always remember how you make them feel.
They may not remember what you say or what you do. Maybe they won't even remember how the coffee tastes (the horror!). But they will always remember how you make them feel. This is true in life, not just business, and it goes back to not treating people as mere mortals. Making people feel important and valued shouldn't just be part of my job description so they keep coming back for more coffee; it should be my intention, my heart. God has called me to love, and I want to make others feel loved. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Be silly. Be honest. Be kind." That is what people will remember. I want to make them laugh, I want to make their day better, I want to leave them with kindness.
A day of rest is a gift.
Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest. God knew what He was talking about! As someone who has been self-employed or a freelancer most of my working life, I have never appreciated the weekend more than I do now! After a few days in a row of waking up extra early and being at the shop, I am more than ready for that glorious restful Sunday to roll around. Don't skip over this day. Rest. Revive. Gear up for the week to come. Be still. Spend time with people you love. Worship. Your soul needs it.
What about you? What have you guys been up to? What have you been learning?
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