As many of you know, Starbucks is my coffee of choice. I am not endorsing their political views, but just simply saying that I love their coffee.

Hanging on our office wall are probably the two most important pictures we have at Hotel AG. The picture on the left was taken at the original Starbucks store in Seattle in 1971, and the picture on the right was taken at the same store in 2012. The angle of the camera lens is the same in both pictures.

The point of this blog post is that everything is complicated and messy when you start regardless of how great it may become in the future. It is always messy and unorganized in the beginning. Every business, every new idea, every church, etc., is always more complicated and confusing and messy when you start.

The 1971 picture shows a Starbucks store that is very unorganized and very sloppy with trash, empty coffee cups everywhere, unhappy customers at the counter, and a staff that is frazzled and overwhelmed. I simply love the picture.

The 2012 picture shows a Starbucks store that is the opposite of everything in the 1971 picture. It shows a competent staff and happy customers in an environment that is organized, well managed,  clean, and exactly what you would expect from a global coffee company.

The difference between the pictures is time.

The time to figure it out, find your market, have training, quality control, etc, but mostly the time to get traction in whatever you are doing.

It always always always takes longer to get it right and takes much more money that you plan for to get it to a successful point. And this is for every new venture, new job, new company, and new idea.

Proverbs 14:4 says, “where no oxen are, the crib is clean.” It means that it’s easy to keep a barn stall clean and organized when it doesn’t have any animals in it. Just like a new business. If you don’t have anything going and no customers, it is easy to keep all the files straight and desk clean.

What am I saying here? Sometimes things being a mess and unorganized is a good thing if the reason is because you are working to get an idea off the ground and would rather have customers than a clean office.

Therefore, I love the Starbucks pictures because they remind me that at Hotel AG when things get busy and messy, it is a sign that we are doing something and not just talking about it. KT

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