Those of you in the corporate world or who run your own business are very familiar with this time of year. It’s about budgets and projections and performance to plan. It’s about numbers and financials and meeting bank covenants. Those items might be interesting to financial gurus and CFOs, but what about our customers? What about the beer geeks? They don’t care if we hit plan or make our budget; they care that our beer is above reproach and that our brand remains authentic.
It is extremely easy this time of year to get caught up in the number crunching and analysis. But we need to remember this is not “why” we are in business. It is merely “how” we continue in business. Our “why” is much stronger than that. To understand what I am referring to you need to see Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “Start With Why”, I highly recommend it. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” (Lisa Jordan passed this tidbit on to me a couple of years ago. Big shout out to her for that.)
Simon’s video is a great reminder to keep centered on what’s important. Which is “WHY”. I can easily tell you why Terrapin Beer Company is here. It’s our Mission Statement.
To create unique experiences through the passionate brewing of the finest-quality craft beers…
Believe it or not, that simple statement of 14 words took us almost two weeks to get just right.
We look at it in three parts. Part one is “to create unique experiences”. Obviously we try to create unique beers. But it is more than that. We think of the full beer experience as not only the liquid, but also who you are with, where you are, and your frame of mind all twisted into one. I touched on this a bit in a prior blog post on February 3, 2013 titled “Who am I?” . Check it out. The post gives my personal “WHY” and maybe should have been titled “Why I am in the Beer Business.”
Part two is “…through the passionate brewing…”. We see this as not only applying to our brewers but to everyone that works at Terrapin. Passionate brewing refers to Kate who puts in the extra effort to make sure all our government required paperwork is filled out properly and on time. Passionate brewing means Jeremy and Stacy who make sure all the shipments are correct and match the orders from our distributors. Passionate brewing means all the guys on the bottling line who work late nights to make sure product is ready to go to the consumer. I could go on and on and mention all 90+ Terrapin employees. Each and every one of them is what we mean by passionate brewing.
Part three. “…of the finest-quality craft beers.” Obviously all brewers want to make good beer. But to be truly excellent requires a fanatical commitment to every step of the process. Is Terrapin as good as we want it to be? Nowhere close. We believe we make damn fine beers but we also know they can be much better. And we are committed to it. Incremental improvements in QC/QA are being made every year.
As for the “craft beers” part of the mission statement, that is a whole can of worms that I peeked into on December 18, 2012 with a post entitled “Craft vs Crafty”. My personal hope is that we move beyond that and all work on making better, more flavorful beers. That is my why. What is yours?