I have two nexts, and I’m excited about both of them. There is a “next story” and a “next book review.” Both have a business theme, which is to say both have a people theme. Because from where I sit, business and people are pasta and grating cheese. Can you have one without the other?
The book review: “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul” by Howard Schultz. This is the hardcover you’ve seen for the last two months in every Starbucks location. Look, Mr. Schultz (who was brought back on as CEO a few years ago when the company was at a crossroads) clearly wants to blow his horn a little but that’s OK with me. In my 9-to-5 world I have Starbucks as a customer, and in the rest of my world I have them as a favorite sanctuary for my writing exploits. The guy has been successful, and I think we can all take something good away from successful people who want to talk about it.
The story is going to tell something about my own personal experiences with professional success and failure. I think for a conscientious employee it’s rare that failure is a result of laziness or incompetence. I’ve come to a place in my life where it’s become important to reflect on my successes and failures, and as I contemplate 40 years of working life (I started early) I’ve noticed some common themes – themes that the greatest minds ever, from Confucius to Jesus to Miss Meyers, my 4th-grade teacher, have spoken about. I want to develop this into a story.
When I get a strong idea for a story, I have no idea of whether it’s going to be flash fiction, a short story, a full-length novel, or something in-between. I’ll keep you posted!