I am very close to being able to sell my coffee. In fact, I could do so with a few mouseclicks and fire up my roaster etc. However, many of my past ventures have started with this sort of fierce bravado-whilst important for the energy of a new business has little to do with the longitudinal staying-power of organization and planning.
I have my long-term goals, and I have a lot of the skills necessary to execute my dreams for Feisty Goat, but I need some more planning and scaffolding to make sure I do this right. I’m building up that business plan and trying to forecast the next few years and it is equally difficult and scary. As an avid reader, I have read about lots of fearless heroes, but I never identified well with these square-jawed (superman in the fifties) style monoliths. I think Green Lantern’s recent reboot (Rebirth by Geoff Johns) spoke to me about how willpower worked: It acknowledged the fear and moved despite it. Frank Herbert’s masterpiece ‘Dune’ similarly notes the role of fear in action:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Fear is instrumental in motion, and perhaps even more importantly, great motion. Happily I am scared shitless thus I take my beans, I roast, I cup, I evaluate, and I repeat. These are easy for me, I roast coffee when I’m scared. I drink coffee when I’m scared. I don’t sit in front of a spreadsheet or do market research. I acknowledge this and see the trend in my past actions and now I am opening up the financial software, now I am forecasting growth, now I am discovering COGS. The fear is there, to quote Frank Miller:
“Something shuffles out of sight, something sucks in the stale air and hisses.”