The promise of Spring is coming
I have noticed something recently; social media seems to have been flooded with shots of crowds and not selfies with puckered up lips looking like a guppy fish. Our country seems like a fired up place right now. People marching in protest. People walking in support. And people jogging just to hang onto those final threads of their New Year’s resolution. Whatever the reason, there is a very strong sense of We right now in our country wherever your political flag is planted.
With all of this energy, I am sure that many probably feel uneasy, chaotic, or that the apocalypse is nigh. But I have to tell you that I love the energy of the people. I will take energy any day over the slumber of complacency.
And energy never comes from a person or individual; it stems from a group. As a fired up person people start to think you have a screw loose, like the guy who started yelling at me out of nowhere on BART when I was riding the train in San Francisco. But the energy of fired-up people is special. It is why we pack ourselves in like sardines to sporting events just to feel great when some stranger is screaming in your ear. Actually, I am usually the dude screaming in someone’s ear.
This type of herd energy makes us feel alive and like we belong to a cause greater than ourselves. Like we are A Part of the group and not Apart from the group. And yes, unfortunately, sometimes this energy gets misconstrued and some jerk throws a brick through a window. But overall, we need this energy to keep us going in life.
So that is my preface to tell you about an incredible trip that I took to Austin to visit and tour with Andy, one of the owners at Farmhouse Delivery. Farmhouse serves the Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio areas and has a very similar business ethos and model that we have here at SKRS.
You may not know this about me, but I am an online stalker. I like to find businesses throughout our region who are doing what we are doing (or close to it) and then see what they are up to. What are their hopes, dreams, worries, and concerns? It is amazing how much you can learn once you realize (and admit) that there is so much more out there to learn. Our pride is our greatest shackle.
So back to my visit. I was expecting to see so many differences between our models, but the more and more I looked at things, all I could see were similarities and opportunities. The staff there felt like I was looking into the eyes of our crew: young faces driven by a passion for food, positivity, and change.
These are not the polished offices where deals are made. Spaces like Farmhouse and SKRS are the gritty places where things get done. The front line of a changing food industry where success is judged by meals served and kitchens touched. These are the places that feel like home for me. And it was amazing to see what they are working on and how we can learn from each other. Collaboration and sharing ideas offer so many paths to making things better, so why is it the exception and not the rule in business?
Too often business gets painted with the brush of a zero sum game; someone can only win if someone else loses. And that secrecy is the only way to protect ourselves from “the competition” (insert horror scream). The truth of the matter is that we are our only competition. The best way that I can spend time is thinking about how we can bring you a better customer experience. The worst way is walking through boring grocery stores to see what the “competition” is doing.
Every year I like to pick a word that becomes my mantra for the year. 2016 was Focus. And it was in leaving Austin with a piece of BBQ brisket stuck in my back molar, when I realized what my word for 2017 would be: Authenticity. I know that the big box stores can bring folks everything in the world except for genuine Authenticity. And so that is the nail that I am going to hammer the heck out of this year; bring you so close to the source of your food in the most genuine and authentic way possible. So grab a bib and get ready for some truth soup. This is going to be a good year!