Written By: Cosme Lozano
Today I want to go over a specific individual. What he has done so far is nothing short of remarkable. He has built an empire here in the US, as well as across the globe. There is a good chance that you indirectly interact with this man on a near daily basis.
Before I tell you who the mystery man is, let’s look at his humble beginning!
Like all good American origin stories, this one begins in New York. Brooklyn, New York to be exact. Our mystery person was not born into a lavish lifestyle, or born into an already existing business family. They started all the way at the bottom, like you or me. Him and his family were not the richest, and they had to live in a housing estates. Trying to find a way out of this life and to make better for his family and himself, he accepted a football scholarship at Northern Michigan University. College would fly by and it would eventually see him graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication. Like any kid straight out of college, our mystery man got to work trying to find a job. One would stick and it would open the door to his future success.
Out of college and now working for Hammarplast, our mystery man was on his way to success. For those who do not know, Hammarplast was a company that sold European coffee makers to people in the United States. Being the star that he was, he quickly rose through the ranks until he became the director of sales for them at the start of the 80s. In this position, he was able to see more information on who they were selling inventory to. While browsing, he noticed that a small coffee shop in Seattle was buying more and more coffee makers. Amazed by what he saw, he flew over to Seattle to see what was going on for himself. The small coffee shop really resonated with him, and a year later he would meet with their founders and take a job at their company as their new director of retail operations and marketing.
Now it’s at this point in the story where you may start to figure out who the individual is..
Our mystery man’s life would change forever after he went on a trip to Milan, Italy. Seeing the beautiful culture and appreciation for coffee over there, it inspired him. He noticed how many coffee bars were over there and he wanted to try applying that back over in the states. He soon brought the idea back with him, and was able to start applying it into stores. Seeing the success it had, he wanted to expand and grow. The original founders did not see eye to eye though. Naturally, this resulted in him leaving the company. He then set out to start his own coffee business. He collected the funding necessary and opened his doors. From what he had learned in his past, he applied and developed it further with his own stores. Within two years, he was able to go back and purchase the company he had left.
I am sure most of you are aware of who I am talking about by now, but for those who still don’t, I am of course talking about Howard Schultz; former CEO and chairman of Starbucks. Howard Schultz humble beginnings remind all of us that we can truly accomplish anything. Schultz was not born into a super rich family, and he didn’t come from the greatest neighborhood. What his story does tell us though, is that with dedication, time, and a commitment to hard work, we can truly accomplish anything. Furthermore, he shows that we should not be afraid to bet on ourselves if we truly believe in our idea and what we want to do. Howard Schultz did the same, and because of that he ended up with a company that is worth 112.50 billion dollars today. Even though he is not Starbucks CEO anymore, Howard did pretty alright for himself. He is now worth 5.2 billion dollars.
Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams or opportunities! They are waiting for you, not the other way around!
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Biography: Howard Schultz