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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Traveling One

Travel: self-propelled movement

The above definition of the word "Travel" is, by far, one of the most eloquent and beautiful expressions of a word I have ever researched.

Travel defines the way I live my life.

A few months ago, I stopped blogging due to getting too busy for this form of "self-propelled movement" in my life. I write to maintain serenity and balance in my day to day living, in the hopes that  something I might write might touch someone else's life for the better.. at least that's the hope. The reality is that I write for selfish reasons ONLY. I want to, it helps me, and propels my life into growth.

With that being said, I would like to share a small, but inspiring conversation I had a few hours ago with a close friend of mine named Allison, but first, let's step back to almost eight months ago. . .

This past January, as some of you may know, I left my job. Not just any job, at the time I thought it was my "dream job", and really, at the time, it was. Below are the highlights of the last eight months:

January - Lost Job, went on a 24 day coffee tour from California to Washington via Toyota Matrix

January - February - Coffee Tour = 40 shops in 14 days in 3 states and numerous cities; made lots of contacts and friends in the coffee industry, posted on Facebook I needed a job, emailed anyone that would listen to me about being desperate to stay in coffee, emailed 113 resumes, handed out in person 32 resumes = received 6 job offers right away, and 10 others within the following 60 days.

February - Returned to Southern California, met a woman opening a new coffee house concept in my area, took the job as the Director of Coffee for a new start up company called Green Bliss Cafe, in Fullerton, CA.

February - March - Helped in opening Green Bliss, set up the first multi-roaster coffee house in Orange County, CA; got offered a job for a 3rd wave in LA that was opening 3 new locations, 2 in OC and 1 in Malibu - took the job, with the agreement I would be able to consult for Green Bliss at the same time.

March - South West Regional Barista Competition in Santa Cruz, CA - hosted by Verve Coffee Roasters -Had the honor and privilege to judge at the comp, placed 2nd in the SWRBC brewers cup competition, got MAD press = a huge amount of MORE press which = MORE CONSULTING GIGS... life gets super busy. Now I am helping to open 3 shops, and consulting for 3 more on the side, and the gigs keep coming in.

April - SCAA Event; Compete in Brewers Cup - didn't place but had an amazing experience in Portland, life altering experience, Green Bliss has it's grand opening and the coffee is amazing, people love it, I feel accomplished and now focus more on the consulting and opening the new shops I'll be managing + retraining all staff for my new company, Cafecito Organico.

May - Consulting has picked up so much, it's moved from the "hustle" category to "need a DBA" category, so I open up Red Sunshine Coffee, my new consulting and training business; while I am still helping out Green Bliss, Cafecito, and the other 3 clients I had at the time.

June - Opening up new accounts left and right, now opening up 5 locations at the same time between Red Sunshine and Cafecito; at this point I have now opened up a few accounts for some well known roasters, one of which being Verve. - Also traveling back and forth from OC to LA and the surrounding areas hosting BGA Member Driven Events, attending IDP's at SCAA to receive my Lead Instructors certificate and hosting, as well as attending more cuppings than ever in my life, I have officially started my introduction into buying green beans from an importer for a roaster, amazing experience = MORE press and being featured in the "On the Line" section of OC Weekly, which is usually reserved for well known chefs in the county. June was a super fun month.

July - Now all of my Red Sunshine clients are open, functioning well, and serving amazing coffee; my most passionate clients being at Candle Light Bakery in Norwalk, CA. . check them out, they're rad guys that just love coffee - I start having a conversation with Verve about a position they're hiring for in SoCal, sales, totally not my thing.. I say I'll keep my ears open and let folks know. - Conversation continues - I travel to Santa Cruz to meet with Verve about an "opportunity" - which I think is something along the lines of some extra cash for referring some wholesale clients to them in the LA area. . . that was three weeks ago.

And over the last 2 weeks .... - Build out is almost done at the OC location for Cafecito, only another 4 weeks BAM! Opening Day! - Hopefully. - Green Bliss is still crushing it in Fullerton, Candle Light rolled out their new coffee program, I signed another training account for Red Sunshine, and I received an offer letter to be the wholesale account manager for every Verve Coffee Roasters account south of Santa Barbara AND Cafecito's Malibu location opened TODAY! Go visit them, there is no other coffee in Malibu, and they are ROCKIN' that bar!

Today - I am going to help Cafecito open their new OC location, set them up for success and am currently working for Verve managing their SoCal wholesale accounts. . . Life is good, very, very good.

Now, I bet you're wondering, "What does this have to do with Allison?". . .

Allison and I had dinner tonight, and she is leaving her current job, has saved some money and is a bit lost, we began to discuss what she's going to do now, a question all of us young adults ask ourselves in our mid - late 20's when we transition from jobs.. "what do I really want to do?" . . and I told her the break down of my life, not just the past eight months or so, but my whole life..

I told her how I have driven cross country 4 times, my tours on the west and east coast, the people I met, the car rides, the cultures of other states, the beauty of our country, the food I ate, the coffee I enjoyed and most importantly, the liberation, independence, freedom and sheer self awareness and truth that comes from traveling alone across the country. . . remember "self-propelled movement".

When I look back at my life, all of my tipping points and paradigm shifts occurred on or around road trips and traveling; simply, getting in the car anne going way. Whether it was a good, bad, rational, impulsive, fear based or even a stupid decision, it was MINE! Without any of those decisions my life would have been stagnant, without motion. I would never had been married, traveled the east coast, been introduced to excellent coffee, or met all of the phenomenal people in my life. Nothing would ever change or move forward in my life. My world is enriched by the experiences I've had traveling all over the country alone.

Allison will be taking off 3 months of her life to make this journey. I am elated for her and overwhelmed with pride for her courage.

You see, without making that trip in January, none of the events that conspired since would have happened. Getting in the car, making the decision to just go out and enjoy my life, experience the unknown, even if it involved fear, I did it, I walked through it.. which set everything else in motion.

But you see, it was me, my decision, my choice to take the leap of faith, to start propelling my life into movement, which created kinetic energy that has manifested into my life as I know it today and my life is really rad. It's experiences like this that confirm what our parents taught us, "work hard, do your best, hard work pays off, do right and right will follow", etc. .

I'll close with this question; "What are you doing to propel movement in your life?"

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you Alex. I will always remember our summer when you were here more then at home. I loved you as my own. I am happy that you are doing what you like, this makes me happy. You are one amazing Lady and I am happy to know you.
    with love,