Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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this failure as an opportunity to improve the company's approach to doing business. "I reinvigorated our training program around making the new customer onboarding process as proactive and thorough as possible," he says. "Self-awareness of your own areas of shame and insecurity as well as your own strengths will help you understand why you fail and also how to move on from it." Taking on Too Much Talor Browne's story is similar, how failure snuck up not because of one mistake, but rather "death by a thousand cuts." In 2017, Talor and a business partner opened a doughnut-and-coffee-roasting operation in Oslo, Norway, and they "were completely gobsmacked that it beat every single one of our estimates tenfold." She continues, "There is just no way that we could have predicted it would be that busy." For Talor, it was long days and nights, and the mounting stress of seven-days-a-week, that ultimately led to a breaking point. In her own eyes, there were several red fl ags about how the company was structured in the fi rst place. "I would take greater action sooner when witnessing the fi rst signs of a toxic work environment. I also would have hired a greater number of more experienced staff," she refl ects. "Lastly, I would fi nd a way to live a more balanced work life. No person is capable of working the amount I was without negative consequences." Sometimes, failure is a blessing in dis- guise. "The conclusion of my business was reported all over the media when it hap- pened, which was bizarre and humiliating," she says, "but it led to a lot of offers from people and companies who saw the value in what I was able to build. It was necessary for me to learn these lessons the hard way so that I could use it as my draft and build something even more incredible." What about moving on? Whereas for Summit and Oatly, pushing through failure was the best option, Talor cautions about moving too fast. "I've walked away from this traumatic experience suffering from some pretty extreme PTSD and so I do some pretty intense therapy to maintain a good quality of life. For me it is necessary to deal with this internally before I can go on to live a fulfi lled career and life. There are a lot of people that will get pleasure in watching you fail. You need to come to terms with that, especially if you aim high. But success tastes even sweeter when you manage to get up, dust yourself off, and keep on crushing it." Learning from Failure Like Talor, Ever Meister believes that overcoming doubt is an imperative part of facing failure. "Doubt is a huge obstacle for me," Ever says. "I am convinced that no matter what I say or do, someone is going to point out where I've made a mistake or gone wrong. The interesting thing is fl ipping that experience on its head and realizing that being wrong is not a failure, but a learning oppor- tunity. It's OK to be wrong as long as you don't get stuck fi ghting for your wrong ideas to the death!" A few years ago, Ever decided to write a book, and got so far as to partner with a literary agent and develop a full proposal. Ultimately, however, the idea was met with a lot of rejection. "It came down to the same message," she says. "'No one wants to read a book about coffee.' I felt so disheartened and sad, and then James Hoffmann's brilliant World Atlas of Coffee came out and I felt crushed even though I was so happy for him." So how did Ever, who has since published a coffee book (New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History), transition from rejected to reju- venated? "It's hard for me to feel like I'm ready to move on to the next 89 www.baristamagazine.com

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