Just one, (or OK, maybe two)

October 15, 2011

Last night when I was thinking about breakfast for today, I thought, “There’s just one thing.  I need to make new placemats for tomorrow morning.”  (And so I did.)  It’s such an easy fix to make everything seem brand new and exciting and different–and just right for our guests (and for me, since I was the one planning it).  It was a very, very small fix, but it made a big difference (to me.)

This morning, while I had just a few minutes before breakfast, I popped online to see what might be new there, and an email from Dave was waiting.  I always love reading what he’s written; his writings are always thought-provoking, challenging, insightful, and often, poignant.  In today’s update he lifted a quote out of a book he had just finished (which made me want to read it, too), and since it jumped out at me when I read it in his email, I’ve taken it and printed it below.   He described the book as “very, very good–the account of how a company turned around,” and the passage he quoted is really a theme here at our little B&B.  It’s one that’s actually built in, since we only have 2 rooms and only between 1 and 4 guests at a time, but still, the thoughts are valuable, and they’re life thoughts, and stating the obvious sometimes is a lovely thing to do.

Dave also gave a website link to a coffee company (not Starbucks, although he likes Starbucks) because he knows the people who started the company, and he knows their story.  They support a ministry in Indonesia, as well as fair trade endeavors in that country too.  I’ve had the coffee, and it’s wonderful: www.tandukcoffee.com.   I hadn’t known the story behind the company when I’d ordered it; I’d simply ordered it to find a source of excellent coffee for our guests and because it was a recommendation of Dave’s.  However, now that I know the story, it’s going to be my new source of great coffee.  (I love buying local at Play It Again Sam’s, but this is a different kind of “local,” and after all, the principle here is highlighting the “ONE” thing that we can do, the one person we can connect with, the one that is right in front of us.  So this will be my one coffee thing.

‘We thought all we had to do was show up to be successful,’ I thought to myself.  As I stared at the list of 600 [new stores that we now had to close], a lesson resonated:  Success is not sustainable if it’s defined by how big you become.  Large numbers that once captivated me – 40,000 stores! – are not what matter.  The ony number that matters is ‘one.’  One cup.  One customer.  One partner.  One experience at a time.  We had to get back to what mattered most.  (From Onward:  How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul, Howard Schultz with Joanne Gordon.)     

One placemat.  (Or two).   One bag of Tanduk coffee.  It might not seem like much.  But it is.

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Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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