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  • Darci Daniels

Asking For What You Want

Just a lady and her Starbucks. And my gigantic face (if you're looking at it on a computer). Sorry.

Are you happy? No, like truly happy. Fulfilled, joyful, peaceful, living a life of meaning and purpose? Or do you find yourself living a life where you feel stuck? Or like you’ve settled? Or where things aren’t even that bad, you just feel… dissatisfied?

It doesn’t matter what you got your degree in (or if you got a degree at all), where you came from, or even where you’re headed right now. What matters is what your passion and purpose is in life, and if you bother asking for what you want.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, got his degree in Communications (hey Howard, me too!) – but not in business. Somewhere along the line he discovered his passion not only for coffee, but for bringing people together in communion over a cup of coffee. And his purpose, to run a company with full benefits for even part-time employees, and to make the employees partners in the company they worked for; this is something his father did not have when he was unceremoniously fired from his job after being injured at work. Howard wanted to make a new style of company that actually cared about its employees. (And now he’s running for President, which no one I know is excited about, but that’s another story.)

Although we may think of Starbucks as an overnight success, it was far from it. Howard worked for Starbucks as an employee when it was still just a little coffee and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and it was his idea to turn it into a coffee bar – but his bosses didn’t go for it. He knew he was on to something though, so he left Starbucks and tried to start his own company. Here’s the important part: he was turned down over 200 times by investors before getting enough cash to open the first shop of Il Giornale. Il Giornale wasn’t a hugely successful shop, but here’s where fate steps in. The Starbucks founder, his former boss, came to him and said he wanted to sell Starbucks, and he’d sell it to Howard. He gave him a great deal, but Howard didn’t have any money after putting everything into Il Giornale. Luckily, that practice of asking investors over 200 times to invest in his vision paid off – he was able to raise the capital he needed to buy Starbucks in just a few weeks, and with his vision, passion, and purpose, he has turned it into the billion dollar business it is today.

So what does this mean for us, mere mortals who are not looking to build an empire? Well, first, if you don’t know your passion or your purpose, you’re going to have a hard time getting what you want. You kinda need to know what to ask for in order to get it. It’s like a kid at Christmas – if they don’t have any idea what to ask Santa for, then they’re probably not going to get what they want. The Universe works the same way. But as kids, we never put limits on what we asked Santa for! He was magic, and we could ask for whatever we wanted. Of course, we didn’t always get it, but at least we knew what we wanted. So we asked. Life works the same way now… we just all forgot to believe in the magic.

Actress Kerry Washington once told Oprah that she believes God has 3 answers when she asks for something: Yes; Yes - but not right now; or No - because I have something better in store. I love this, because I do think it’s true. Where most people fall short is that we’re afraid to ask. We’re too busy being unhappy with our lives as they are right now. We’re too busy complaining that life hasn’t already given us what we want. We’re too busy living lives of quiet desperation, surviving, but not dreaming. Either we don’t really know what we want (our passion and purpose), or we do but we’re not totally clear on what we want it to look like (vision), or we’re too afraid to ask for it… or we’re working on it, but we’ve been turned down 100 times and it doesn’t seem like it’s meant to be. (Hint: the magic number might be 200.)

I can help you or your business with all 4. So maybe it’s your job, or lack thereof; maybe it’s your relationship, or lack thereof; maybe it’s… well, you tell me. Where are you most dissatisfied in your life, or in your work? Where are you not asking for what you want? I’d love to help – that’s what I do. I’m a Coach. I help people figure out what they want and how to get it. How to lead the life they were meant to live. How to break-through.

So what does this have to do with Starbucks? Nothing, except I love their drinks. Honestly, it’s just a great, true story of what can happen when you have passion, purpose, and vision. It wasn’t just his own life he changed, millions of people have benefited from the Starbucks brand, even the smaller coffee stands that popped up as a counterpoint to the big bad Starbucks chain. It doesn’t matter what your degree is in either, or even if you have one. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, or where you’re starting from now. All you need is to believe – in yourself, in life, and in the magic.

After all, it never hurts to ask.


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