Sometimes life gets tough and we feel like we must put aside our dreams to make things work. Many people have struggled throughout life and still found ways to succeed. You should use their stories as inspiration to lead you to achieve all your own hopes and dreams. Sure, everyone has a different situation in life. It’s what makes us unique and special, but also what fuels us to create whatever world we want to live in. It also ensures that the person who is in control of your dreams is you, so make sure you are doing everything you can to achieve them.
The story behind the man:
Howard Shultz CEO of Starbucks
Howard Shultz was born July 19, 1954, in New York City, New York. Growing up in New York City’s projects, Shultz knew he wanted to get into the business world from a young age. His mother tended to the family full time and his father had multiple blue-collar jobs. His family was poor even though both of his parents worked hard to provide the family what it needed.
Shultz’s father, Fred, was injured on the job when Shultz was seven years old. At that time, Fred had no insurance or worker’s compensation. So, the family had to go without his income for the time of his injury.
At 12 years old, Shultz would get his first job selling papers and go on to work in a local café. Then, at 16 years old, Shultz began to work at a fur store. In this fur store, he would have to stretch leather – a process that was exhausting and would leave him tired daily but helped grow his ambition to be successful in the future. Success would start early for Shultz, starting when he earned a scholarship to Northern Michigan University to play football.
Shultz went on to become the first college graduate in his family. He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in communications. The then began sales training with the Xerox company, where he learned a lot of different, but important sales tactics. These ranged from cold-calling to pitching his own product. A few years later, he would take a job at Hammarplast, a housewares business. Hammarplast was selling coffee makers to Starbucks way more than to some of the more popular coffee shops.
Shultz decided that he was going to go to Seattle to meet the owners of Starbucks. When he first tried the coffee, he fell in love with it and the city. He told himself that he had to be a part of this and decided to leave Hammarplast, taking a big pay cut in the process, to work with Starbucks. It took a year before he convinced owners Gerald Baldwin and Gordon Bowker to hire him as the director of marketing.
Starbucks would change forever when Shultz was at an international housewares show in Milan and saw how the little Italian coffee shops served their customers. There was a relationship between the shop and its customers, as well as several different types of drinks like cappuccinos and café lattes. He thought he should make this the experience at Starbucks, but its owners disagreed. So, Shultz started his own coffee shop “Il Giornale” in 1985.
Il Giornale caught on quickly and was very successful. It did so well that it bought Starbucks in 1987, making Shultz the CEO. He would be dedicated to putting employees first, in gestures like providing great benefits and even paying for portions of college tuition. He also maintained the integrity of his product by shutting down thousands of stores in order to train baristas to make the perfect espresso.
Today there are more than 27,000 Starbucks worldwide. Coming from humble roots, Shultz has proven to be greatly successful. He shows us that with determination and a dream, you can become all that you want to be. He wanted to become a great businessman and not have to worry about money the way his family once had to. With some work and commitment, he accomplished all of that and more. You can check out his book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, which tells his story of starting his life in a working-class Jewish family living in Brooklyn to billion-dollar living in Seattle as CEO of one of the most well-known companies around.