Schultz on Lucky Misses


“Life is a series of near misses. But a lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future.”

– Howard Schultz (1953 – )

American entrepreneur, chairman of Starbucks

One thing that’s helpful to me when I catch myself shying away from taking a risk…

I remember that I’m not so important that a mistake or failure will likely have any lengthy impact or be that difficult to overcome with a little extra effort and time. (If you happen to be a head of state, a Supreme Court Justice, or a military general, maybe you need to be a little more careful.)

Schultz on Impact


“If you want to achieve widespread impact and lasting value, be bold.

–Howard Schultz (1953 – )

American entrepreneur, chairman of Starbucks

Starbucks opened its first store in Seattle, WA in 1971. Schultz joined the company 11 years later as its director of retail operations and marketing.

It was a trip to Italy in 1983 that inspired the coffeehouse culture that Starbucks now has. Schultz convinced the founders to try the concept in 1984 and it did well.

In 1985, he founded his own company, Il Giornale, and used Starbucks coffee beans for his espresso beverages. Two years later he purchased the assets of Starbucks and changed the name of Il Giornale to Starbucks Corporation.

Today the company does more than $10 billion dollars in sales and has more than 15,000 stores around the world.

“Look around, leaves are brown

And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.”

– Paul Simon


Howard Schultz on Audacity

“Who wants a dream that’s

–Howard Schultz (1953 – )
American businessperson
Chairman of Starbucks

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Sales inspiration…

What if…

John and Abigail Adams had been more concerned with themselves and work/life balance than creating a democracy (if you’ve not seen the HBO miniseries on Adams – great stuff)?

What if… Abraham Lincoln (born on 2/12) had quit trying after having a business go under and losing his first local legislative race (and then 3 congressional races and 2 senatorial races)?

What if… Martin Luther King didn’t have a dream and played it safe (and didn’t travel over 6 million miles giving more than 2500 speeches). What if he thought he was too young to have an impact (he did everything he did in a life of only 39 years)?

What if… Gandhi, Teresa, Roosevelt, Ford, Disney, Walton, Gates, Winfrey, Jobs, Stewart, and Ash hadn’t stepped up and worked hard. (What if the thousands of people who supported them hadn’t?) What if your police, military, firefighters didn’t?

What if… No one pushed it, risked it, and pushed it again (and again)?

Be obligated to your world (your customers, your people). Be SalesTough.

(30 salesdays remain in the year. Get your 2011 printable SalesDays.)