We had the good fortune of connecting with Craig Avera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Craig, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Balance, I’ve learned, is a very fluid and relative term. It is an excellent lifestyle goal to strive for under normal circumstances. Entrepreneurship is anything but normal. I have seen plenty of businesses fail, not because the idea was bad, but due to poor execution, lack of resources or adaptability, and the lack of willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed. In order to be great, you cannot have balance. Simple as that. I accepted that fact as soon as the pursuit to create Cali Coffee became a reality, and embraced it. This applies not just to the entrepreneur, but for anyone in any career path or any skill. Think about all the great icons: Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Steve Jobs. All the great ones start with an amazing skill set, and then on top of that, disregard the need or want for a balanced lifestyle, and instead go all in to hone and perfect their craft. That is simply what’s necessary in order to be truly successful. Success is another relative term, but that’s another matter. For me with Cali Coffee, it has been a dream of mine to create and build this company since I was 18 years old. When I finally ended up in a position to make that 14 year old dream become a reality, I surrendered the idea that balance and I would have anything to do with each other for a long time and was perfectly okay with that. When you have wanted something that bad for that long, the fire you have inside you is indescribable to anyone who hasn’t wanted something that badly. It’s also okay to want to reclaim balance at a later point in life, once you’ve “made it” so to speak. I think it’s an important thing to want to reclaim, but you need to be willing to put it on the back burner if you want to achieve true greatness. I am still a long way away from “making it” so 80 hour work weeks are fine by me. You truly have to enjoy the journey, as long and arduous as it may be. If you aren’t willing to embrace that journey or go down that rabbit hole with open arms and an open mind, my honest advice would be to never ever start a company.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Cali Coffee would not be possible without my business partner and co-owner, Rose White. She has dedicated just as much time and effort into making Cali Coffee become successful as I have, and is the most honest, loyal, and heartfelt person I’ve ever known. Cali Coffee would not be the company it is not without her. Our staff is incredible and are the lifeblood of the company. Without them, none of it is possible. Every single staff member is hand selected and chosen because they possess special personality traits that are rare in this world. Their energy is infectious and it’s what makes us who we are. Our family has supported this wild ride since day 1 and are arguably our biggest fans. We couldn’t have built Cali Coffee without their love and support and are forever grateful to them for helping make our dream a reality. Lastly and most importantly, our community of thousands of customers who have embraced Cali Coffee are what it’s all about. We have developed thousands of relationships, and had so many amazing connections with our customers. We are here because of them and they will always be the motivation behind anything we do. We truly love our community more than we can put into words.
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