In my last blog post, I challenged my readers to think about their priorities, their passions, and their dreams. I also told them my own which I will restate:
“My priorities would be things that are most important to me, which would have to be my faith, my family, and my girlfriend; to be honest, a “career” to me is simply a way to allow a possible future family to exist…unless I find something I love. My passions would be things that are at the root of my being, and/or things I get excited about, and they are helping people, building peace & community, and seeking to grow, spiritually.”
The thing is though, I can think of a career I would love. Several actually. But there is one that hit me this past year that I can’t shake. So what is that dream, you ask? I’ll get there. But right now I want to lay out what led me to that dream. Don’t worry, its just the next two paragraphs.
As I said before, I’m a Christian family man, and less focused on having a career where I make 6 figures but am rarely home. As I have started to think more about getting married in the future, I realized how ridiculous a 9-5 (or more hours) job is. You work most of your day because you (in my case) want to provide for your family, but your working takes a lot of time away from them. There HAS to be a better way than that. And with all that time working, that leads little time for ministry and faith growth unless I can do that at the workplace.
My passion is to help people. I am a people person. And I can’t do that effectively by working a 9-5 at a company I am not passionate about. I desire to be in the front of being able to help, and not the guy working for the guy, who works for the guy, that does more of the relational business things. I am a youth pastor; I have been able to tell teenage boys an argument against sex before marriage that even made them say I had a point, so based on that event alone, I have some experience.
So where do my priorities and my passions intersect?
What if I could work with my wife in the future? What if my kids could grow up around us as well in that environment? What if I could help people, daily, and give them a place to come? What if I could help tie families, friends, and even whole communities closer together? What if I could help people deepen their relationship with the Lord? But for all of that to happen, I would probably have to be “the boss”, or at the very least have a lot of leeway as a manager..
So this is my idea:
I dream to own a coffee house. I like coffee, maybe even love it, but its not my “passion”. However, through a coffee house, I could do my true passions, and give time to true priorities. I also enjoy making things that people appreciate.
But the dream does not stop there. The dream continues to include a coffee shop that operates as a community “hub”; a place people gather. How often do you really feel comfortable to stay at a starbucks? Its too cold, too industrial…at least the ones I have been to. What if you went to a coffee house that thrived with events like trivia night, open mic night, local bands, local artists work displayed..the typical great indie coffee shop stuff. But there is more…
What if that coffee shop hosted a book club that read books that are popular that year? Like in the past year, The Hobbit, perhaps? What if that same coffee shop also had a bible study? These two clubs would meet on separate nights, but most likely, some members would come on other nights during the week. A book club member, and a bible study member could come to the coffee shop on the same night to have a nice caramel Macchiato, and walk out with a new friend, who may have slightly different interests. Community.
If the book club person is a Christian, the two Christians may have a nice talk on theology and/or Christian living, and possibly how the book the one guy is reading connects to the book the other guy is reading, and both could join the other club as well. If the book club person is not a Christian, then the Bible study person has an opportunity of sharing they are part of a bible study, that bible study that would equip the person speaking on how to talk to people, share the gospel, and share the love of Christ. At the end of the day, the non-Christian may have a Christian friend who is one of the few Christians they know, and/or of the few loving Christians they know. Community.
I could then talk to people about their lives, provide advice, or simply listen. We would also have Christian support for us from the Bible study, as well as kind support from satisfied customers.
That’s the dream. To be an asset to a community. To blend Christian and secular culture, while retaining a common ground on being a family-friendly place to go. A place not just open on weekend nights, or only geared towards youth (which those places have their place), but a place where all are welcome. And a place that gives out free bibles to all who want and need one, as well as free soup to families or individuals in need…That’s what i want.
So how does that “dream” become a reality?
I have to practice my barista skills for sure…but there is more than that. There is practical stuff like budgeting, strategic planning, market analysis, etc..
And guess who is doing a strategic plan for the company he is interning for? Yep. Experience. I also drafted an estimated start-up capital needed spreadsheet, including an estimated 3 month advance in rent, as well as started brewing coffee and tea to sell in mason jars last year, making a website: http://www.baumanbrewers.webs.com. I had/have a successful little business selling to college kids. Marketing and a good product will do that.
When is it (the big dream) going to happen? I am shooting for 10 years or less from when I am 22 (next February, 2014). I want to be young enough so that I can be with the business to see it grow, and financially suited enough to take the risk, or to find potential investors.
That’s my dream. And its a real dream. A dream that CAN happen. A dream that I am working towards, even now. What is your dream? What are you doing to work towards it?