I appreciate greatness. From ballet dancers to professional athletes, movie stars to successful business owners, I appreciate those who have become great at what they do. Frequently, I read autobiographies of those who have become great. I watch videos about them. I want to understand what makes them tick. What led them to succeed?
No matter the discipline, the ingredient is always the same: Fall in love with the process.
A week and a half before I was slated to return to The States, I got a call from Ben.
“Shane, the big roaster is making a loud screeching noise… It doesn’t sound good?”
Ben turned it on, and I heard it.
“Ben, it’s the front ball bearing. We need to order a new one.”
“Well, how do I install it when it comes in?”
“I have no idea. But I know the man that will.”
I gave Ben my father’s phone number.
Three days later, Ben sent me a picture– it’s a new front ball bearing. I sent a text back, “Good work, King!” Thirty minutes went by… No response. Five minutes later, I got a call. It’s Ben.
“I was heating up the roaster and it made a loud screeching sound then the drum started spinning counterclockwise.”
“Let the roaster cool down then turn it off and turn it back on. The motor reversed polarity. This should fix it.”
Fifteen minutes later, Ben called.
“It reversed again.”
“This isn’t good, Ben. We may need to purchase a new motor. Something isn’t right.”
I called the manufacturer of the roaster and told them the dilemma. They confirmed that we would need to purchase a new motor from our local Grainger dealer. I called Ben back and let him know the new motor would be in on Monday (it’s Friday).
“Okay, we can pick it up. But how do we install it?”
“Ben, I have no idea. But I know the man that will.”
I called my father.
“Hey, Dad. I think the motor that rotates the drum is messed up on the big roaster. I ordered a new one, and it will be in next week. But I know it’s going to be more complicated than the bearing. Would you be willing to help me install it next weekend when I get home?”
“Of course. I’ll be there next Saturday.”
I arrived at the Atlanta airport on Saturday afternoon and met my father at the roasting facility shortly thereafter.
Like we have for over 24 years now, we dug into the problem at hand together. While Dad admitted to not feeling too comfortable with the electrical wiring process, we figured it out. We installed the motor and replaced the rear ball bearing on the machine as well.
I can talk about how, as a business, we have grown to face problems head-on and have become resilient in the face of adversity, but I’d be lying if I told you that was the lesson I learned from the experience. Instead, that experience led me to reflect on all those times when the sum of the whole was greater than the sum of the individual parts.
For Arturo’s knowledge of agriculture and willingness to share it and build a business… For Ben’s willingness to sacrifice in the name of brotherhood and take on the responsibility of the Z Beans financial sector… For Carter’s willingness to forego other opportunities after graduation to take on the responsibility of operating the coffee shops… For Jessica’s willingness to forego other opportunities after graduation and take on the responsibility of all marketing endeavors… For the willingness of 35 other teammates who have sacrificed in the name of Z Beans, and from the willingness of my father to always have my back even when he knows I may be in over my head…
I’m incredibly grateful.
In every experience, there is a lesson to be learned. But from this one, I’ve witnessed just how much I have to be thankful for. Together, we will forever overcome and achieve. Together, greatness is attainable.
Here’s to climbing even steeper mountains in the future!
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