5.24.2016

FIVE LESSONS FROM A COFFEE SHOP

Payton Marie Photography
Today I'm diverting from my photo-laden Israel posts so we could all just sit down and have a chat, which I feel we haven't done in far too long. (Actually, I haven't posted at all in far too long. My bad.) Something I haven't officially announced on this space is that for the past three months, I've been working at a local coffee shop! Pretty much a long-time dream come true, and it's been such an enriching experience. Not only do I get to make coffees all day, but I've been able to work behind-the-scenes on the business side of things, working on design, branding, and social media. Every day on the job brings new jobs and challenges and projects, and I am loving every bit.

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.
Payton Marie Photography
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.

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What about you? What have you guys been up to? What have you been learning?
Payton Marie Photography
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8 comments:

  1. These photos are gorgeous, and so are your thoughts! Thanks for sharing xo.

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  2. I must admit, I am one of those strange beings with an aversion to coffee, however, I love the way you talk of coffee shops. Also, those pictures!! How do you find the time to take them at work? Gorgeous!!

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    1. I am also in charge of managing the shop's social media! So I have to take a few photos from time to time. :)

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  3. I love the thought you put into this. Your points are very insightful, and similar to what I've come to in my own job, although I work in an office on a computer. :) Love both your photos and writing!

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  4. Loving these photos! And it's so nice to see one of your posts! <3 <3

    Sophia xx
    A Lantern In Her Hand
    The Inkpot Girl

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  5. Beautiful photos! This job sounds absolutely perfect for you and I'm glad you're enjoying it. I especially appreciated the last two points you made. I didn't really appreciate rest until I started working full-time. And it's so true that people are more inclined to remember how we make them feel--happy, important, safe, etc--than what we say and do. :)

    Dani xoxo
    a vapor in the wind

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  6. I loved reading this Petie, especially since I am seriously considering working at a coffee shop once I'm done with school! :) There was always something appealing about them (especially little, quirky cafe type places) - just the warmth, the surroundings, the smell, the smiles... everything.
    Loved this post! :)

    ~Miss Meg

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  7. This really spoke to me today Petie. I love that C.S. Lewis quote about how we treat and think about our fellow humans. I definitely find it too easy to just truck on through the list of things I need to get done without giving too much thought to the people around me daily or the people I meet in passing. You have challenged me to think about how the way I treat other people and how it makes them feel. Even the littlest words and actions can have a big impact one way or another! That Emerson quote is great too. Your five points are so full of truth and wisdom, and each one challenges me greatly. Also, this makes me reeeeeeally miss coffee haha! It's not super easy to get off the farm and down to a coffee shop to imbibe the magical brew ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your heart :)

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