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Starting the Design – Know Thy Self

I started Muertos Coffee because it is very applicable to me here in Az. The art is edgy and building in popularity. It is rooted in tradition and religion, two very strong human binding agents. I wanted my customers to have a strong sense of community, even tradition, when they came into my shop. In a previous blog (Change in the Name?), my friend Ricardo stated that this doesn't work for a larger customer base. So what do we do? How do we go about starting something new?

Step 1: Consider what/who you are.

In the way old days, a person’s name defined who they were. Loki means trickster. Are we surprised that he is a troublemaker? No. Why? Because it’s his name. You have to be true to who/what you are. Success means nothing if it is someone else’s.

So, first take an inventory of who/what you are. Don’t be vague though. Defining yourself as a “coffee lover” isn't good enough. What specifically do you love about coffee?

Here is my example: I love the bloom in a V60. It makes me excited. The aroma. The anticipation of awesome coffee. It seriously gets me excited. It gets me so excited that I want to share that with people. When I have an awesome bloom that fills the room with an awesome aroma, I’m like, “Hey, come here, check this out! Smell it! See the dome!” That is me. That is who I am.

What else am I? I’m religious. I’m a writer. I’m a story teller. I’m classical (meaning I like things that are timeless). I’m an investor in humans. I’m a family man. I’m a hard worker. I’m ethical. I’m moral. I’m only good at one thing at a time. I’m a “play it safe” kind of person.

Now, take all of those and group them together.
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Invest in others
Hard working

Family Oriented
Focus on 1 thing (the Bloom)
Story Telling

Play it safe


What do these groups tell me:

Group 1: I want a shop that has a strong sense of community and tradition. I want meaning behind my coffee, my name, everything.

Group 2: I want a classic style, something that gives a sense of timelessness. I want people now and 20 years from now to connect with my style.

Group 3: I want to develop a shop that cares about its people. A company that invests in its employees and cares about their families will get better buy in. I want to go to sleep at night knowing I did the right thing.

Group 4: I want a shop that is a master of one, not a jack-of-all-trades. I won’t get into crazy foods and all kinds of nonsense. I will pick something (probably individually V60 brewing/serving because of the bloom) and perfect that. Once that is perfected (or as close as possible) then I will look at developing into the next step. Always controlling our growth to ensure we do not lose our selves along the way.

That is a good start. I will continue to build on this in future blogs.

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