5 Tips on How To Get Ready for Your Next Decade In Coffee

If you’re anything like me, it’s been another year where it’s felt like it’s you’re steadily making your way into March and out of no-where, you look up only to realize that it’s already OCTOBER!! Add to that the realization that it’s only a couple of months to the end of this decade and it’s got me feeling like I need to speak to the controller of this sim and ask them to chill the fuck out with this “time-speeding-up” thing!

Despite time going way to fast for any of us to keep up, with a new decade comes wonderful potential for setting (or resetting) intentions and goals and creating a refreshed outlook on what you, whether you’re a business owner or a professional in the hospitality industry, set your sights on achieving!

Image by Shane Van Laar from our ‘Assertiveness Training in the Hospitality Industry’ workshop in Sydney Australia, Sept 2019

Image by Shane Van Laar from our ‘Assertiveness Training in the Hospitality Industry’ workshop in Sydney Australia, Sept 2019

Here are five tips I use with consulting clients and in my own businesses and career as a CEO for how to approach planning for the next decade.

  1. Know What You Want to Build Wealth In: If you’re a regular listener of The MAP IT FORWARD Podcast, you’ll have heard me talk about regularly about Life Currencies before. Life Currencies are things in your life that you can grow or deplete that make you feel wealthy. I have defined the most valuable Life Currency for my personal life, my career, and my businesses as ‘peace of mind’ and I actively work to build wealth in this currency and the other 6 Life Currencies that we focus on growing in Elixir Specialty Coffee and MAP IT FORWARD with every decision I make. In my business, we build wealth in these Life Currencies by understanding the resources available to us (great customers, employees that are aligned with our vision, money, relationships, our network, suppliers we can count on etc) to build our wealth in ‘peace of mind’ as well as the hindrances (toxic people, engaging in industry gossip, bad credit, unreliable suppliers, misaligned customers, lack of focus, drama etc) that could easily drain our wealth in ‘peace of mind’. Having identified our Life Currencies and having a clear understanding of why we want to build wealth in these areas, we’re able to move forward with greater intention and confidence in constructing a plan to achieve what we define as “wealth”. To kick off this process for yourself, either as a business owner or a career professional, ask yourself “What’s missing from or lacking in my life now that would make me feel wealthy?”. When you ask this question, listen for the immediate intuitive answers as well as the ones that come from giving yourself time to ponder this very important question.

  2. Spend Time Feeling What it’s Like to Be Wealthy: As professionals and business owners in the coffee industry, many of us, due to a lack of industry structure, are used to doing things on the fly and figuring it out as we go. More often than not people are mostly underpaid and under-appreciated in our industry, both as professionals and as business owners. In order to be motivated enough to inspire the hard work required to build wealth in your Life Currencies, you need to appreciate how AWESOME it will feel when you have amassed your wealth, as well as how it will benefit everyone around you. Spend time really feeling how different your life will be when you’ve achieved the wealth you’re going to map a path to over the next 10 years. I do this by visualization during “pondering time” most days. I ask myself “What does “wealthy” look and feel like for me in 2030?”. Allow your daydreaming to take over here and go with it. Don’t put any limitations on where your mind takes you and tell those “limiting” thoughts to chill!

  3. Write It Down: Writing how your intentions is a powerful and important tool for achieving success. Not only does it help you organize your thoughts, but it also takes them out of your brain and clears room for new ideas and solutions to current challenges to take shape. Write down what your Life Currencies are, as well as what life looks like (in great detail) when you’ve achieved the wealth you want to build over the next 10 years. You can do this either in journal format, using graphics or a combination of both. Choose whatever is most meaningful to you. Whichever method you choose, it needs to be done in a way that’s something you can refer to and build upon. Don’t hide it the pages of a book you’ll never read again. Once you have it written down, display it somewhere that is easily accessible to you, e.g. your office or bedroom wall. This way you’ll keep thinking about it when you see it, you be inspired to add to it, and it will trigger the visualizations of success to remind you of what the wealth you’re seeking feels like in your professional, business and personal life. At this stage, it’s still a work in progress that you’re going to build on with the next step.

  4. Write Down The Concrete Goals and How You’ll Keep Track Of Your Progress: It’s one thing to say “I want a business wealthy in ‘peace of mind’” but it’s another thing to have concrete goals and measurable key performance indicators (KPI’s) that track your progress in achieving that ‘peace of mind’. If you’ve taken the ‘Barista and Beyond’ or “Cafe Owners’ online webinar, you’ll have a first-hand solid understanding of how to set these KPI’s and goals based on the examples in the charts I’ve given you from both Elixir Specialty Coffee and my own personal life. Ensure that your concrete goals are aligned with the 3 phases of your career map as outlined in the next step.

  5. Start Planning The 3 Phases of Your Map: At MAP IT FORWARD, we talk a lot about 10-Year Maps. If you’ve taken any of our workshops or online webinar’s ‘Barista and Beyond’ or “Cafe Owners’, you’ll already have access to our business and career maps and understand the philosophy behind the three phases of how a 10-year map is constructed. Having defined your Life Currencies, the concrete goals you’ll be working towards building your wealth (whatever wealth means to you #justareminder), as well as how you’re going to keep track of your progress with KPI’s, now it’s time to put it all into a Map. Here are the basics of how I teach people and businesses to construct a business and/or career map through MAP IT FORWARD:

    • The Puppy Years - Year 1 and 2: These are the years dedicated to learning the fundamentals of the new skills you’ll need to acquire to achieve your longterm goals. Having invested the time and energy in understanding what the end of your map looks and feels like (2030), you’ll know the skills you’ll need to learn and cultivate to facilitate you getting there. The puppy years are the years to invest your time and resources into getting skilled in those learning fundamentals. This will become a solid foundation for your Map to rest on as it unfolds over 10-years.

    • The mid-career years - Years 3, 4 & 5: These years are all about skill development. Taking everything you’ve learned in the puppy years and testing out how you’ll apply them in different ways, either in your career or your business. Use these years to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. If you’re a professional, which employers do you want to align with and who don’t you want to be aligned with? What communities do you want to align with and who will be toxic for you? What equipment and types of coffee do you want to work with. Which workplace systems and flows align best with the kind of professional you want to develop into, and which don’t. If you’re a business owner, which businesses and employees best facilitate and support the new skills you’ve developed during the puppy years and who are not a great fit? Which suppliers align with your new understandings of the supply chain? Which technologies support the business growth you’re going for and what technologies are outdated and holding you back?

    • The Pro Years - Years 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10: This is the phase where you’ll take the learning and testing from the first half of your Map and turn that shit into magic! If you’ve done things right, you’ll have built and tested an amazing foundation to power through The Pro Years of your Map. These are the years focused on leadership, management, and achieving. You’ll spend these years working hard and smart, and start ticking off the goals you set in the plan you wrote down. These are the 5 years you should see concrete, long-lasting wealth starting to amass in your defined Life Currencies.

Dr. Jamie Berry from our ‘Assertiveness Training in the Hospitality Industry’ workshop in Sydney Australia, Sept 2019. Image by Shane Van Laar

Dr. Jamie Berry from our ‘Assertiveness Training in the Hospitality Industry’ workshop in Sydney Australia, Sept 2019. Image by Shane Van Laar

Our industry is filled with people working isolated from each other, working hard to figuring out how to build a business or careers on their own while feeling that they’re the only ones that haven’t got it figured out. I assure you, from the many people I talk to, and the many clients I’ve worked with, very VERY few people have it figured out. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Having gone through the process I outlined above for my own career and businesses over the last few months, I’ve identified that one of the key learning focuses for my puppy years starting in 2020 will be learning how to build and develop an engaged online network in the challenging (and distracting) times of our current social media landscape.

After looking around and considering what platforms I will and won’t be focusing on, I’ve decided to create what is best described as mastermind group for people wanting to share ideas, learn from each other, and seek guidance from the community about ways to problem solve challenges they’re facing in building their careers and businesses in the coffee industry globally.

My initial thoughts were to do this on WhatsApp but after much research found the platform rather limiting for what I’d like to achieve. Of all the alternatives I’ve decided, thanks to the lead taken by my mate Matt Perger, that this group will take place on Telegram (I launched the channel today) and can be found at https://t.me/mapitforwardmastermind. It’s totally free, will have wonderful useful new video content each weekday, and I’ll be engaged in the conversations that occur every weekday as well. (Moving into next year, I’ll be working on increasing my personal wealth in ‘peace of mind’ by leaning into rest and taking weekends off as often as possible so I won’t read anything on weekends.)

If you’re inspired by what you’ve read in this blog, come join the Telegram channel and become a part of a community that shares ideas and supports the growth and challenges we all encounter in a respectful and inspiring way! That doesn’t mean we always have to agree. But when we disagree, we’ll challenge each other respectfully. I hope you’ll join me and let’s build the next 10 years together!

Image by Shane Van Laar from our ‘Assertiveness Training in the Hospitality Industry’ workshop in Sydney Australia, Sept 2019

Image by Shane Van Laar from our ‘Assertiveness Training in the Hospitality Industry’ workshop in Sydney Australia, Sept 2019

Lee Safar - Headshot 2.jpg

This article was written by Lee Safar. Lee is the founder of MAP IT FORWARD and the CEO of Elixir Specialty Coffee Inc. An 18-year veteran of the Australian Specialty Coffee industry, Lee is now based in San Diego, California where she runs both businesses and records daily episodes of The MAP IT FORWARD Podcast featuring guests from around the world specializing in all sectors of the coffee value chain. Lee travels the world doing professional business and career development focused workshops and consultations for the global coffee industry.

Lee has a bachelors degree in Science (Genetics) from the University of NSW, an associate diploma in counseling and interpersonal relationships, extensive experience in project management and business analysis in the corporate sector, and was a releasing music artist and record label owner.

If you’d like to work one-on-one building a Map for your business or career contact Lee here or via social media @leesafar on IG or Telegram.