Hello and good day!
There are certain big moments in life.
You know they are big while you are living through them. You know they will change everything.
I can count roughly half a dozen of these moments in my life.
Standing at the altar, hearing my bride's entrance music coming through the loudspeaker. Just a young man up there, all alone, with emotion running through every part of me, realizing that after this, I will never be alone again.
And then she walks through the door, and comes down the aisle, with the music playing, and everybody stands up to watch her, and she is coming to stand with me, because I'm the one she chose.
Or holding your first born in your arms that first time. They are so little, and you have no idea what you are doing, and you want with all your heart to be the best you can be for this little person.
The first time I tasted our 68% dark chocolate was a paradigm shift.
We had no experience in the chocolate business. We'd been buying and processing cacao for a couple of years and our company hadn't made any sales.
Nobody knew us. We had no track record and no reputation. All we had was a story about rare cacao, my brother living in the jungle, and this one product, our dark chocolate. And yet, I knew. I could see it. I tasted the chocolate, and I knew what had to come.
We had to go forward and persist. The chocolate compelled us to. The moment told me that.
Yesterday, I had the wonderful privilege of living through what I consider to be a life changing moment. I realize that what I am about to say sounds pretty silly.
My life changing moment came yesterday when I tasted our strawberry soft serve ice cream.
Wedding day. Birth of first child. Launching of family business. The day I tasted ice cream. This is my Mount Rushmore of life moments.
Here is what made yesterday so special to me.
We know how to make really good soft serve ice cream., And that means we can make any flavor we want going forward. The options are limitless. We found a recipe that seemed interesting. We modified it and chipped away at it for several weeks.
And now it is delicious.
I took samples to a bunch of different people in the shopping center where we have our shop. I didn't say anything. I just handed over the cup and the spoon and watched them while they tasted.
Every single person swooned. I swooned too.
Our production team figured it out. We know how to make the base so that it is creamy and not too sweet. It is our own recipe, not just an off the shelf mix.
Any flavor we can think of can now be layered on top because the base is versatile. We'll just need more machines, which we are in the process of ordering.
Given that our chocolatier Javier has an amazing imagination, I know that very interesting and exciting times lay ahead for us. It was a joy to see the kitchen team so proud. They knew what they had achieved, and they obviously felt great about it.
These special moments in life are mysterious. You can't predict how and when they are coming or how they will make you feel.
Kind of like falling in love.
You don't know when it's coming, it just sort of happens one day, and then it is upon you from that moment forward. In the past, I would have jumped into this new development full throttle. That is my nature. I am a full throttle person.
When I met my wife, I dropped out of college and moved down to Peru to be with her.We were married less than a year after meeting. together we returned an i finished college.
When our team comes up with new products, my instinct is to go all in as fast as possible and start pumping them out. I get so excited, and I want everybody to know about what we've been able to make.
However, it has dawned on me over the last couple of years that almost everything worth doing takes 3 - 5 years to fully develop. That is something of a bitter pill to swallow, but it doesn't make sense to argue with the laws of the universe.
To know the real outcome of a new project usually takes three to five years. That's the real world for business owners who want to launch new products. Trying to go faster than that will usually lead to heartbreak.
Your sales expectations won't be as robust as you hoped, because the word of mouth hasn't had time to percolate. Or you might ramp up your marketing, in which case the operation will overheat because your high-volume infrastructure doesn't exist yet.
This reminds me of the famous story about the two lions, one young and one old. They are up on top of a tall hill, looking down at a field full of cattle. The young lion instinctively says, "let's run down there and eat a cow!". The old lion looks over with great patience and wisdom and says, "no, let's walk down and eat them all."
I can feel myself becoming an old lion. It comes from being a business owner for going on two decades. I am finally figuring out how things work.
For us, walking down and eating them all means that we will attempt to make as many people happy as possible. That is our reward.
A lot of people think that the purpose of business is to make money. That puts the cart before the horse. The purpose of business is to add value, which is a fancy way of saying that the purpose of business is to improve people's lives.
If you do that successfully, on a large enough scale, money is the byproduct, the sawdust that remains after you've done a competent job working your craft.
That is how we see it anyhow.
And we like to keep our money stockpiled so that when we come across an amazing opportunity, we can go for it without having to ask for anybody's permission. We fund it on our own and we make it happen.
Slowly and surely, we are going to develop this new line of products that will make a ton of people happy.Three years from now, we'll check the results.
If you are in the Seattle or Issaquah area, we'll be launching the soft serve in our shop today, Friday June 2, around 3pm in the afternoon. The first part of the day, we'll be doing installation and rehearsing and nailing down our logistics.
If you would have told me while I was studying for a master's degree in accounting that someday my main work activity for an entire day would be getting an ice cream machine installed.... I'd have thought that things ended up turning out much better than I expected.
Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
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