Entrepreneurs I Want to Meet: Howard Schultz

I am writing today’s blog from one of my favorite places to work: a Starbucks store. When I travel, it is the one place I make sure to map out along the way. I use it for office space when meeting people in other towns. It’s also a good place to hang out because I’m able to use the internet when I need it. But most importantly I have to have good coffee or good shots of espresso to drink while I work.

Yesterday we talked about Jim Koch and how he has a passion for beer. As I get older, I’ve learned in life to enjoy the best. Jim is one of those guys who gives you the best in the beer world. While I don’t drink that much beer these days I enjoy a good one when I do have one. The same is true for my espresso. I love to find a good mom and pop espresso bar, or coffee shop, to try out and I usually try to meet the owner. When you meet the owner of a business you meet the person who puts your interest as a customer first. When traveling, you get to see some of those small shops and sometimes, though not always, you can get a good espresso. But you can always count on a Starbucks for consistency of a quality drink.

Howard Schultz got his first love for the espresso shops when he visited a small one in Italy. He was working for Starbucks at the time, and he was on a buying trip to Milan when he first stepped into the tiny shops that he eventually modeled his company after. When he came back to Seattle, he tried to take this new passion he found in the espresso bars in Milan and put it into the stores at Starbucks. However, the owners of the shop were not as thrilled with the idea of taking their stores the direction Howard envisioned them. They didn’t share his vision.

So Howard left to start his own coffee shop, to build the idea here in America he first viewed in Milan. He called it “Il Giornale.” It was two years later that the owners of Starbucks decided to sell out of their business. Howard jumped in and bought them out then combined both his coffee shops with the old Starbucks to create what became the Starbucks that we all know today.

Well, here is what I like about Howard: he took his concept and made those who worked with him — from the barista serving coffee and making the drinks to the Vice President all became what he calls partners. He gave them stock options so they can become part owners in the company. He worked to provide health insurance for them and allows them to save towards retirement with a 401k program. He put a system in place to get those who work for Starbucks learn to love what they do. This is where I got the idea of loving what you do. So each time I go into a Starbucks I’m actually being served by someone who loves what they do, and who may be a part-owner in the company.

So why do I want to meet Howard? I spent four and half years working for Starbucks before I started my life coaching business. I have a love for coffee, and a passion for loving what I do. I said above that what I like about mom and pop shops is you get to meet the owner because they are usually very focused on the customer and they have a passion for the business. I would like to spend a day with Howard Schultz for the same reasons. I’d love to enjoy a coffee tasting or two with him and to see more about his understanding of giving back to this world. Everything he does is with others in mind, from his plan to provide a better world for those who work for him to making sure the coffee farmers who supply his product get fair prices for quality coffee beans.

I have been reading his book Onward, and understand he is donating the proceeds from it to charity. He is an example of entrepreneurs who are in business for the love of the product they make, to the using of the money from his ventures to give back to build a better world. I want to spend a day with him to hear the struggle he went through to keep his beliefs.

Howard Schultz is a true RockStar in his world. He lives the life he wants to provide a better world for others. He loves what he is doing and he loves those he works with. That makes him a RockStar I want to meet.

Are you ready to make the move toward becoming a RockStar in your world? Now is the perfect time to do it and it’s my passion to help people learn to live their ideal life.

Why Do Businesses Fail?

Do you ever wonder why some people seem to succeed at a business while others seem to fade away and one day their business is no more? Recently I went to an old coffee shop that I used to love to visit. It was always quiet in there. When I went in they were able to make my favorite drink and I had no waiting in line to get it, unlike Starbucks where I always had to wait for my drink. So I go to visit this great little coffee shop and guess what? It’s not there anymore.

Now, why is that?

They were the best kept secret in coffee shops. Maybe that was the problem. They were so secret that no one knew they were there.

We all love quick service, great attention, no waiting. Well did you stop to think that if no one is there that business won’t be around long? A big reason businesses fail is no one knows about them. And why does no one know about them? Because they haven’t been properly promoted. You need to always be promoting your business.

I love what Gene Simmons said: “If you don’t promote your business, you’ll end up promoting someone else’s business, as in ‘Can I super-size that for you?’” No matter what you are doing in life, you need to promote yourself. Always, always promote.

When you become a good promoter of what you undertake, you will end up becoming the Rockstar at what you do. That is a fact. And the reverse is also true: if you stop promoting, it is hard to get started again and make up that lost ground. I work all the time with people who have a dream, but never learned how to promote themselves to get what they want.

Another reason businesses fail is they either don’t know how to or don’t want to take on all the challenges that pop up all the time. Have you found in your business that you are solving a current challenge, knowing that there is probably another one on the way? Too many businesses want to get to that point where they can just sit back and take it easy – have no more problems. I’m sorry, but if that is your idea of being in business close your doors now and get a job working for someone else.

Other than Rocker Life Coach, my partner and I have another business that we started first, and it helped to launch my life coaching business. We have a real estate and investment company. We own some rental condos, and always look at small businesses that we can invest in to grow our money for retirement someday. But before that day comes, we will continue to have challenges – keeping the properties rented, finding good tenants, making needed repairs. These are things that go on and on in this business and, as properties get older, the challenges seem to come more frequently.

Before we started the rental businesses, I was told about all these problems from those people who I said earlier should get a job instead of working for themselves because they didn’t like dealing with challenge after challenge. That is because they were all looking for that easy road and they figured I was, too. Their idea of having a business was sitting back and relaxing – no problems. Well it takes work to have a successful business. It will always be a challenge to keep our business making a profit but this is part of what we love about it.

So in your business, what is the challenge you are facing now? Do you have a defined strategy to get through this challenge? What are you doing in your life to prepare for the next challenge? I use this line in my personal life all the time: “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” You need to start preparing yourself for those things that you can’t completely plan for; be ready to face challenges you hadn’t imagined because if you don’t, no one else will. A big part of facing challenges successfully is knowing they are part of doing business, part of life, and meeting them head-on with determination.

So I hope you see it takes work for you to make any business successful. If you want to turn your life around and start pursuing that dream but know you need some coaching from someone who’s been there and has first-hand experience, then it’s time to hire the Rocker Life Coach to help you make it happen.


We have a great week of blogs planned next week so check out the posts on Hope and Change. These are devoted to how to change your life and have hope in a better tomorrow.

Until then, I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. Live the life you always wanted, Love everything you do.  Become the Rockstar in your world.


Creative Juices

Last night one of my last tweets was about how I was having writer’s block. Today I had a meeting in the Plano area, so I decided to stop by the Starbucks near where I started my last automotive business. Early this week I had a post of ideas to promote your business. One of them was to give away something of value, like buying people’s Starbucks drinks for an hour. Several of the ideas I’ve had, including that one, started there in that Starbucks.
Nine years ago I was just wondering what to do next with my life and I met up with a builder friend of mine just for a friendly chat. He inspired me to start the car detail business I had until 2004. At that time, I would also meet my brother, Nate, here for coffee each morning. Nate and I regulars and we started talking to two other brothers who were often there as well, starting their day.
That period it was a start to a creative me I never thought I would see. The younger of those brothers, Rich, you have heard me reference before. Rich would ask me things to get me thinking like I never thought before: business ideas, personal growth ideas, life-changing ideas for me. So I sat there this morning thinking again, how to make my business grow and how to help you, my readers, make your business or dream grow.
Becoming a creative thinker in life is not something you just fall into. You must work at it. Just like getting your body into shape takes exercise, you must also exercise your mind to make it grow and become creative.
I’m going to go through the process I use. See if it helps you. Maybe you will even get to the point I’m at now faster than I did. I hope so, as that is why I write these posts each day. That is why I’m in the business of coaching people – to help them get to where they want faster.
I’m going to lay out the framework and use the next few blogs to elaborate further.
1. I started that new phase in my life, my new business, by cleaning out everything that held me back.

2. I turned my car into my new home/office – meaning I was on the road almost all the time, selling my business.

3. I went into reading mode, reading about every area I wanted to grow in. I also looked for every event that included a training opportunity for me to learn.

4. I hired coaches and professionals who were good at helping me bring my talents out.

(Did you notice each of these are things I DID? You Got to take action to get what you want)

I chose to start with cleaning out, and ended with getting the help to take the next steps. It was a growth process, but that is how I went from a guy with a dream to actually reaching that dream. Helping people achieve their dreams is my passion and purpose in life. No, I’m not the guru who makes millions pumping up people to believe in the wind. I get down where you are and help you pull out a dream and make it reality.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Get ready to be a RockStar in your world.


Five Ways to Promote Your Business Now

profit-from-mistakesI talk a lot about personal growth. Today I want to put out a post about how to grow your business. Maybe you are self-employed, just starting a small company. I could say all kinds of things about what’s important to you about your business, but the thing that is on most small business owners’ minds is “Where here can I promote my business to get more customers or clients?”
This is always the one thing that every small business person is working towards. Or maybe you’re self-employed and thinking “How can I grow my business to make it bigger?” It’s all about growth. Each of us has got something that we do to make a living and each of us usually wants to grow that business.
I speak and write a lot about how to develop an Ideal life. To get to “ideal” we have to work along the way, including promoting ourselves. So today I’m going to give you five ideas to promote yourself, your business, your charity, whatever you’re working on that needs to grow to keep the flow of money coming in.

1. Use social media. I’m not a coach who works with people in developing an online presence but I can give you some ideas on how to use social media to make your business grow. For example, you can use the tools that work with Twitter to post a special about your business or promotion and have it worded in a way that is different each time. You can set it to post about every 20 minutes. Do this three times a week.
On your Facebook page, there is a product for those who follow you on all forms of the social media. Put a code into it that they then bring to you in your store or business that gives them a special deal.
There are tons of ways to promote using the social media. If your company wants to develop a social media program to promote itself, check out my friend J.R. Atkins of Something Different Companies to help you develop a plan.

2. Print up tee shirts to give away. I did this to promote a company I had back east. I worked a lot with people in radio and would give them away at promotional events. You don’t just give them to your friends and family. Yes, they should always get one, but also give them away at events. People love to get things for free. Print them with something eye-catching so people will want to wear them. They will wear them places that you never even thought about getting your name in.

3. Give away free services. I go to several networking events that have raffles and giveaways. If you go to networking events or club meetings, always be willing to give away a free service to people attending there. Don’t fall into the problem that I did, just giving a one-time deal. I used to give away a free session. No one would ever call about that because they were worried that session would be one hour of me giving them a sales pitch. So I now give away three free months of coaching. They now get a foundation for starting life over with a few months of free service. I also treat them like a paying client, so they are not just given leftovers for free. And when they actually get something from it, they can’t wait to tell friends.

4. Be charitable. When working at Starbucks, we once had a local bank come over and buy everyone who came into our store a free drink and a pastry for an entire day. It was a good idea, and word got out. The bank did nothing but buy things for people who were looking for a free drink. I remember people telling how they drove 10 miles to get a free drink and were upset because they had to wait 30 minutes for that drink.
Well I thought about this concept and here is a sure fire way to get people to know who you are and get your message out. Arrange with your local Starbucks to purchase everyone’s drinks for a one-hour period of time. Sit in the Café, while the people behind the counter have a gift card to pay for everyone’s drink. Then when the customer asks who paid for the drink, they point to you and say “That person bought your drink for you today.” In an hour time frame not many people will be driving across town to take advantage of you, and you’re more likely to get the people who are regulars at that business to meet you.

5. Put a sign on your car. This is a method that works for construction workers and many others. They use a magnetic sign on the door of their car. Well, have your own printed sign that sticks to your car panel. Make sure your website, and a phone number are visible so that anyone driving by you can read and remember. Make it eye catching. Something that makes them want to remember you and your business and want to call.
But if you do this, remember that you drive by the world in your car. I would not cut people off or block traffic with your car while you’re advertising yourself. It could give people an idea where you are if you make them mad and it isn’t good advertising when it makes people angry. These signs can be really cheap, around $100.
Check with your auto insurance company to make sure your vehicle will not be considered a commercial vehicle when you do this. You would not want to have an accident and then find out you’re not covered because you were using your vehicle for business.
There you go: five ideas to quickly promote your company or small business and get some people checking you out. I hope these ideas make you think of many more. I hope your business becomes a success.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Get ready to be a RockStar in your world.

Rock Star Weekend Update

This week I had some great blogs. So let’s put it all in a nutshell. Reality in reinventing yourself with Dude Rules. That is the best I could do to make a funny line out of my titles.

Did you find a way to look through your life, making sure you know when to rebuild, and when to start over? That is the idea behind finding a new you. We are always growing. As I look back at my life it was one year ago that I started Rocker Life Coach. This week I went to visit the various Starbucks that I had worked at over the past five years before starting this venture. I realized that life sure has changed for me. I work a lot more, it seems for less pay. I totally look forward to the things I have to do to making this business a life-changing business. It was great because at each of the places that I visited this week, I was able to meet up with people I knew as well as make new friends I had never met before.

I choose to stand out from who I was five years ago. I make my own rules and set my standards high. This is what has made me a Rockstar at what I do. I will continue to walk in a path of reinventing myself, becoming a better person. Yes, I will set goals to better myself, and tweak them if necessary. I will find new ways to be a stand-up guy. My rules will change as life changes, my goals will change as life changes. If life gives me harder times, I choose not to hide behind addictions, or chase midlife crises.

I hope all the past words help you. If you have set some new goals over the past week, or you have made your own set of rules to make you a Rockstar, a stand out kind of person. Write me this week and let me know.

Coming up this week is “A Beautiful Mind” which will talk about how you are in control of your mind. It may take some work to realize your potential, but you have a great thing on top of your shoulders, and with it you can create your own miracles in life.

Delayed Gratification. If you put off rewarding yourself until you have more than earned it. Then you can be a stronger person, and be of better wealth.

Happily ever after. The truth about self-help businesses. Some great people have let you see their story to help you grow. However, there will be more challenges ahead. Learn to make your own life happy, not expect things on that path to happiness. Life truly is a joyful time if we remember that after the fairytale was over they had other challenges on other days.

Well hope you are having a good weekend. I’m going riding on my Harley if the rains hold up and the temps stay this warm.

See you next week.

Americas Rockstar Coach I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Get ready to be a RockStar in your world.



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