“Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake to find that all was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.”—T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia)
To have a dream is magnificent! To be able to dream is a miraculous privilege. And, while many of us have the ability to dream, few of us will develop the capacity necessary to see that dream through because it takes courage to keep on believing and hold on to a dream. It takes everything.
That hidden fire, fueled by an intense desire will absolutely require you to believe in something that you can’t even see and, sometimes that will take everything you’ve got. Sometimes holding on will require you to dig down deep and give when you’re not sure you–have.
Have you ever wanted something; wanted something with all of your heart and then found yourself in “the difficult place”, that place right in between dreaming a dream and actually having it all come together?
It takes courage to keep on believing and hold on to a dream. It takes everything. It takes courage not to give up, to be patient and to sit alone time after time and let your mind wander to a place that you can only imagine you’ll be. The courage to keep hoping that you will surely see the fruit of your labor is a priceless quality that comes with a cost. Yes, many people will dream a dream but only the courageous will expand themselves and develop the capacity that it takes to see a dream through and believe.
In 1981 Howard Schultz, vice president of a kitchen equipment and house wares company in Manhattan, noticed that there was a small business in Washington state that was ordering a large number of a special type of coffee maker from his company. Curious, he arranged a trip to Washington State and there he discovered Starbucks.
It was there and then that Howard Schultz, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks coffee fell in love with the company and discovered his dream. He fell in love with the ideals of the company and the concepts behind why they did what they did and he wanted to be a part of it but the original founders were not at all interested in hiring Howard Schultz. He was persistent though and a year later they finally told him “yes” and he was hired.
It was after that Howard Schultz realized that he had a vision for Starbucks that the original owners did not share. He tried many times to convince them of what he saw was possible and they kept telling him “no”. So in 1985, after giving it a lot of thought, he left Starbucks, committed to living his dream.
He set out to raise money to open a string of specialty coffee stores in Seattle modeled after the typical Italian espresso bars. In order to start the business and then stay in business he had to spend most of his time and energy raising capital—$1.25 million dollars to be exact. He had to talk to 242 people, 217 of which said “no” with comments like, “Americans are never going to spend a dollar and a half on coffee!” Imagine.
He eventually raised the initial $400,000 that he needed and he opened his first store. Then, something happened. The original owners of Starbucks decided to sell the Seattle stores, the roasting plant and the name Starbucks. It was March of 1987 when Howard Schultz, through a miraculous chain of events, was faced with the opportunity to, in fact, buy Starbucks! It was kind of like AOL buying Time Warner; like the salmon swallowing the whale. Imagine.
Already exhausted, Schultz now needed to raise an additional $4 million dollars and quickly. Upon presenting the idea to his board, it all looked like a certain slam dunk. Until, it nearly all fell apart. Howard Schultz almost lost Starbucks before he ever even had it!
While structuring the deal, he discovered that one of his board members was simultaneously structuring a separate deal which threatened to ensure a disproportionate share for himself and some of his investor friends. This new deal would eventually reduce Howard Schultz from founder and major shareholder to mere employee. Under tremendous pressure, Howard Schultz went to the meeting that could make or break his dream.
It was there and then at that meeting that the investors told him essentially that, “it would be their way or the highway,” and that he would, “never work again in this town,” if he didn’t play along. He walked out of that meeting and cried, literally shed tears in the lobby of the office building. He felt as though his life had just ended because he felt his dream had just died. This was something that he wanted with all of his heart. Later that night he said to his wife, “There is no hope. I don’t know how we are going to raise the money. I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
But it didn’t take him long to figure it out. He dug down deep, to the bottom of his soul. He dug deep to muster up the strength and the courage that he was sure was all used up. And, just like he refused to give up in 1981, he refused to give up this time, too. Within days, and with a lot of blood and sweat and through a lot of tears he raised the $3.8 million dollars that he needed to finally buy Starbucks and then he watched it all come together! And the rest, as they say, is history.
It takes courage to keep on believing and to hold on to a dream. It takes everything. Howard Schultz knew what it was like to be in “the difficult place” because he had been there many times on the way to a place where he imagined he could be. Every time they told him “no”, every time—he refused to let go. He watched it all slip through his fingers, he gave in but he still refused to give up!
And you? The dream you have is in you because you have in you the ability to deliver. Now, what you’ve got to do is, expand your capacity to believe and then hold on! Today take another step toward developing your capacity for greatness because, you have the ability to do great things.
What kind of vision do you have for your own possibility? Are you prepared to see it through? Your hidden fire, fueled by your intense desire will no doubt require you to keep on believing when you can’t see and sometimes that will take everything you’ve got.
Today, realize that sometimes in order to go beyond, you’ve got to finally move beyond! Move beyond what you already know could happen and be willing to hold on to what your eyes have never even seen. Keep your eye on the prize and with laser beam focus refuse to let go.
Today an inspired moment might bring you one step closer but when they tell you “no”; when it looks like it’s all falling apart—will you muster up the courage to keep on believing?
Do not stop; not ever, ever, EVER! Never ever quit and don’t you dare give up!
“It appears to me that people who succeed have an incredible drive to do something. They spend the energy to take a large gamble. In this world, relatively few people are willing to take a large gamble.”—Ron Margolis, the first person to Invest in Howard Schultz’ Starbucks
Today, dream a dream worthy of your time, energy and attention and then, refuse to let it go.