I’ve been fairly critical of coffee snobs, but I think I get what their saying – the ones that aren’t snobs in general. Life’s too short to drink bad coffee. Nothing makes the waking up part of life that should be relaxing a chore more than coffee that screws up your face. I’ve decided I’m willing to pay a little more. The preparatory time for serious work should involve a little pleasure. I see people psychotically rushing off to jobs – angry, violent, nasty, afraid, pent up, scarfing down a crappy Seven-11 danish, risking their lives putting on their makeup as they drive, only to land at jobs where you have to worry all the time what people think of you (even if you don’t admit it), and then repeat the same vehement, raging trip home at evening rush. And I think: screw that – I’m going to drink better coffee, and wake up in calm morning air and feel the sun.
In the same way, I look at the amounts we pay for food, and it’s obscene. I don’t like it. I try to get around it. But the simple fact is this – every moment we spend preparing food is another moment we can’t do paying work. So we said screw it. My family works all the time, and one of the ways we can handle as many clients as we do, and not be completely exhausted all the time, or ruin our health, is that we get high quality food from people that make good stuff and keep almost nothing in the refrigerator. It’s worth it. It’s an obscene amount to spend, but then we do an extraordinary amount of business compared to our peers. They look at us and ask, “how?” Ask a guy that runs big machinery. You want to run the heavy rig, you’ve got to give it fuel. You’d just better make the output worth the price of admission.
Getting fast, high quality, healthy food (which is increasingly available) has been part of the secret sauce for us. Not driving unnecessarily has been a part of it. We pay for the privilege of reducing drive time, and that’s worth it too. One of the biggest struggles self-employed people have is how to keep up with growth without killing yourself or the business. The constant search for ways to streamline, for greater efficiency, is part of it. We use virtual everything, so we don’t even have to touch mail or go to the bank. We’ve reduced life to the essentials. Work, prayer, art, people, and each other. We’re still working on it. Kaizen. We’re constantly improving. And it costs to improve, but it also leaves you with more time to make money and more time to do extraordinary things that a daily grind never allows.