15 Locations, 5 Years

I believe that you should always have goals.  I’m less sure if you should write down goals or tell others about your goals.  Watch this three minute Ted Talk if you adamantly believe in telling your goals to others.  From my experience, I tend to go about 50/50 on achieving my goals whether or not I talk about them.  

I first decided to take the MCAT in 2009.  I told many people.  I carried around MCAT prep books.  I finally sat for the test in April 2015 after I kept my mouth shut, signed up for the test, and took the test.  I found that by keeping this goal to myself, I was able to achieve this goal.  Unfortunately my scores allowed for the other ninety percent of the people that took the test.  Apparently the answer was not “C.” There was this one school in the Caribbean that was still interested but I did not pursue the opportunity.  

In my late twenties, I wrote myself a check for one million dollars.  I promised I would be able to cash that check by the time I was 35.  Even with the most generous valuation of the property I owned, I was well short of one million dollars when I turned 35, much less having a million dollars in my checking account.  Writing this now, I wonder what happened to that check?

When I went to grad school I set three goals for myself: (1) write my thesis on metrics, (2) start a gym, (3) find a good relationship.  I was able to write my thesis on metrics and graduate.  I started a gym and got the experience of owning my own business - with lots of lessons learned.  I found a relationship with a great woman.  We were together for three years until the Army sent me overseas for eight months followed by a year in Korea.  

When I was in command, I set another three goals: (1) every one that starts the rotation finishes the rotation, (2) improve the system of metrics, (3) renegotiate the housing contract for the headquarters element.  I was the first commander in over two years and one of only two out of six commanders that had no one thrown off mission for either gross incompetence or misconduct.  We continuously revised the system of metrics over the rotation to where we were getting closer to determining what effect we where having and why.  We moved past making red circles green.  Five years before I went forward, a housing contract was established in a not so good area, in not so good accommodations.  For five years, everyone complained about the living situation but every year the contract was renewed until I renegotiated.  I did have these goals written down.  I did tell others about these goals.  However I think it was my continuous thinking about these goals and taking action towards these goals that resulted in achieving them.  Meeting these three goals is one of my proudest moments.  

One of my goals for the business is to have 15 locations in five years.  My plan is to spend the first year with one location figuring out systems and processes to make a cafe profitable and replicable.  The second year we will open two additional locations and figure out the systems and process we need to be successful in multiple locations.  This is the year where we need to understand how supply and command and control will work outside of one cafe, in addition to determining what needs to be done for marketing multiple locations.  Year three is when we will begin setting the conditions for expansion and continue to refine the systems and processes for running multiple locations.  Years four and five will be when we get to 15 locations.  It’s one paragraph simple :)  

I'm starting to look for employees.  However, I don’t want to find employees but a core of individuals who will grow the company.  I really want to do something good.  I want to provide honorable employment.  I want to provide more nutritious food options.  I want to expand the business so we become a positive impact.

I want to get started and start working my idea.  Looking forward to moving into the future!