Starbucks and CEO Howard Schultz (We Are #INDIVISIBLE)

Rewarding Everyday Moments

Before I even share the letter in which Howard Schultz has written to all of America, and before it is posted even more main stream this weekend, you need to understand the simplicity of judging a person like Howard. I have studied many of Starbucks marketing strategies as well as background info on the company and Howard. I have seen a few negative comments about Howard and I’d like to point out two simple details that will eleviate any negativie feelings.

First, Howard spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Taken from the Aspen Ideas Festival website, “For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation’s premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. […] Imagine some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world – all gathered in a single place, ready to teach, speak, lead, question and answer – all interacting with an audience of thoughtful people who have stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought and discussion. The week promises to be thought-provoking, meaningful and fun – true to Aspen tradition.”

Would a multimillionaire who is full of greed, who is evil or a terrible person attend this event, give a presentation and seek improvement in the world using this large of a platform? A platform that is centered on growth, on productivity and on trust.

The second minor detail which I hope no longer stays minor is the effort Howard has put towards employing Americans. Along with establishing the Create Jobs for USA organization, Howard has made America-focused choices such as creating a “new roasting plant in Augusta, Georgia that we could have located in Central America or Asia for 15% to 20% less, but we felt that creating 200 or so jobs domestically was more important.” [source]

Howard You Make A Difference

Before I share with you the letter Howard has written, it’s serendipitous that he has written this letter during a time period that I am doing an Unlocking Potential interview series with people who I know will make a different in their passion. It may also be coincidence that he shared the letter while I am in the final editing stage of my book Start Schooling Dreams (to be released at the beginning of August).

In Howard’s closing, he advocates for innovation and making a difference in the community to promote citizenship over partisanship. This is a major center of why I write. Everything I write is innovation, it’s to make a difference, it’s about unlocking potential in others, promoting people who care, really do care about learning, about coffee, about fashion about anything. These are the people who make the difference, these are the people who are like Howard Schultz, who are willing to stand up, speak out and try to create positive change, no matter how much resistance there is.

*More power to you Howard and even more power to those who have similar worldviews for change, whether it’s employment, civility, and politics or education, art and music.

Without further ado, you can read the full letter Howard Schultz has written to all of America below or click here to open it in a new window.

Creating Change In America

An Open Letter: How Can America Win This Election?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Posted by Howard S., Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer


On Independence Day, our country celebrates the promise of America.

It’s a day to remember that the principles that bind us together vastly outweigh what keeps us apart. The freedom to dream and the opportunity to create a better life – not just for ourselves, but for each other – has always defined our great nation.

I am a product of that American Dream. As a kid who grew up in public housing, went on to get an education at a state university and build a business, I am grateful for what this country has made possible for me. In turn, at Starbucks, we have always tried our best to honor our responsibility to the communities we serve.

And on this Fourth of July, our communities need all of us.

Across the country, millions of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit. We are better than this. America’s history has showed that we have accomplished extraordinary things when we act collectively, with courage, creativity, and generosity of spirit—especially during trying times.

As we celebrate all that is great about our country, let’s come together and amplify our voices.

Let’s tell our government leaders to put partisanship aside and to speak truthfully about the challenges we face. Let’s ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy. And as citizens, let’s all get more involved. Please, don’t be a bystander. Understand that we have a shared responsibility in solving our nation’s problems. We can’t wait for Washington.

At Starbucks, we are trying to live up to our responsibility by increasing our local community service and helping to finance small-business job creation with Create Jobs for USA. Our company is far from perfect, and we know we can do more for America. But we need your help. We need your voice.

Join the national conversation with #INDIVISIBLE. Starting today, I invite you to share your view of America, and how we can all put citizenship over partisanship. On Instagram, post a photo of the America we all need to see. On Twitter, provide a link to an innovative idea. Blog about who’s making a difference in your community; or on YouTube, share how you made your American Dream come true. No matter where you post, if you use the tag #indivisible, Starbucks will do its part to collect and amplify your voices.

To spark the conversation in our stores, your local Starbucks will proudly serve everyone a free tall hot brewed coffee on the Fourth of July.

Together, we can set a new tone in America. We hope you agree that doing so is a powerful way to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

In 2012, America needs to win the election more than either party does. It is time now to join together as Americans. It is time, whatever our differences, for us to strive and succeed as one nation – indivisible.


Stay Positive & #INDIVISIBLE

Garth E. Beyer

The Imagination Generation

Previous generations had it easy didn’t they? Much easier than us anyway.

They didn’t have electronics to take them to a new world. They didn’t have the ability to Google all the things they love, the items they didn’t have or even focus on working hard to get them. They had a simple life. Hard, yes. But simple.

Our generation and any hereafter can Google more and further than our imaginations could previously take us. We Google surreal images, pictures representative of predictive futuristic consumerism. We now Google thinking it will help, yet we do very little or nothing that blogs suggest, that articles advise, that pictures inspire, that the world needs. We waste our time Googling for two reasons.

1. We seek safety, security and the knowledge that “everything is alright”. The same reason, in fact, as why you check Twitter and Facebook 20 times a day to see that everything is okay, nothing serious has happened. We never think that maybe, if something serious were to happen, if our security was breached, if we felt unsafe, that we may just feel it and know? Do we really think Googling, checking News, Twitter feed and Facebook will really be the primary acknowledgment that we are in trouble? No.

(It does good to take a moment to realize that this process is what has put us in trouble)

2. Our imaginations have been released, but not far enough. We search and stretch our minds as far as the web will let us extend them and then we feel like we got there ourselves, accomplished. We feel that since we imagined it, that it is real, attainable and easily reached. The ability to see and understand that which would not be attainable without the web is creating a surge of jobs not filled, inventions not made, and ideas not created. It is as though whatever is on the web is as far as the mind can reach, but this is false.

What you can Google, discover on Twitter, view and share on Facebook can well be used as a bridge to a further discovery. They are not your destinations, they are someone else’s and this means that there is a calling upon you to take what you view and learn to improve it, make it better, and most importantly add your imagination to it.

Or you can simply avoid this roadblock and let your imagination run as wild as possible. Of course, by doing this you will only find out that you can actually go further than what is proposed on the web, what can be dreamt of, created and achieved by another.


Stay Positive & It’s Sort Of A Win-Win

Garth E. Beyer

The One Quality You Need To Be A Successful Expert

Muse + Quality = Success

Doctors, fitness trainers, entrepreneurs, marketers, writers, you name it, they all have a similar problem when they become experts on their muse. The problem is that the more you know, the more exposed you are to the harms, negatives and possible downfalls of the topic. This happens as a result of learning all you can about your muse in combination with that fact that in order to be successful in any work place, you need to know as many failures as possible and how to solve them. I am going to give you a few examples of what happens when these muse workers don’t maintain this one quality they need and see if you can guess what the quality is.

  • A doctor begins seeing a small rash on his arm and diagnosis it as skin cancer.
  • A personal trainer assesses her leg soreness and comes to the conclusion that she has severe shin splints.
  • An entrepreneur knows the expected outcome of a plan so she doesn’t follow through.

The trend with these examples – and you can find the same trend in any expert field – is that they let their knowledge, fears and expectations combine to assume a terrible outcome. A regular person, having little knowledge about playing doctor just thinks they have a rash that will go away in a few days if they take care of it. It does. A person going to the gym for the first time and upon exiting, realizes that their legs are sore. They will shrug, call it a good workout and go ice them without the thought of any terrible condition. It never turns out to be. An entrepreneur upon his first time creating a business, follows through with the plan and the outcome turned out successful, against what other “experts” thought.

The fact is that as you gain knowledge about your muse, you gain power over the outcome and in order to have a positive outcome, you have to maintain a positive attitude. The one quality you need to be a successful expert is to Stay Positive (sound familiar?). You can’t let what you now know, limit yourself. The rules, the outcomes, the results are all based on your attitude.

The more you know, the more you have to fear.

Stay Positive & Become An Expert In That First

Garth E. Beyer

Success Learning Formula

Enter Your Knowledge Base

What I learned about people that make time to read and learn everything about how to be successful in their life and their specific life interest (Marketing, Sales, Writing, Blogging, Spartan Racing, etc.), is that they very quickly have no time to study and practice because they suddenly start living the successful life.

It’s only a short (very short) matter of time after you begin applying what you learn that you become a success and begin doing what you love rather than reading about it. Don’t let the extent of information and lessons there are in your area of interest that you think you need to learn prevent you from starting. You won’t get through all the books. You won’t listen to all the success CD’s. You won’t attend all the seminars. All you need to do is access 1/10 of all the information on your muse in order for you to be happy and successfully living it.

Stay Positive & Fill, Apply, And Begin Living Your Passion Before You Realize It

Garth E. Beyer

So, You Want To Start Blogging

I read a quote the other day after I published a post and it said “the first thing to do to become a blogger is to read other blogs.” I’m sure when you wanted to learn how to blog you have read and been told something similar. Everyone says to read blogs that get a lot of attention and that are in your niche of writing so you can get accustomed to the way your future viewers want to read.


what is problematic is that they  suggest doing it BEFORE writing your own posts.

There are two points to this. The first is that if you want to write a blog on a specific topic of your interest, you better already be reading blogs, books, articles, blurbs, press releases, references, magazines and any other material related to your field of interest.

The second problematic point is that when you follow other people’s blogs, when you interact with the authors of the books, when you connect with the writers of the articles you read, they are going to want to see what you have created. For example, every time you follow a blog or “like” someones post on WordPress, they get notified that you are following them or liked their post. The writer gets a message like this sent to them: ” They thought article title was pretty awesome. You should go see what they’re up to. Maybe you’ll like their blog as much as they liked yours!” You don’t even have to tell the person who wrote the blog you liked to check yours out, it’s done for you, it’s common curtosy, it’s expected to read some material in return. Given, maybe the big blogs that are actually making an income will ignore the suggestion WordPress makes for you, but when you are starting up a blog you better try and connect with everyone possible. More so the blogs that don’t make a lot of income. That’s how you get to become a blog that makes an income.

More to the point, while you better be reading up on the information on your niche that other people are also writing on, it would be beneficial to start writing posts before really connecting with anyone else. Get your information out there, if you are starting a blog, you obviously have something powerful enough to say to everyone.

Don’t waste valuable time searching and following other blogs, seeing how they write and interacting with them. When you sit down at the computer, get to work on creating content that the writers of the blogs and articles you read, will want to read back and provide feedback. Blogging is a two-way street, you can’t expect to grow if you have nothing to show. You can’t expect to improve if you have nothing to present to the specialists you take a fancy to.

Stay Positive & Write First, Talk Later

Garth E. Beyer

The “Let-Someone-Else-Do-It” Attitude

How often have you muttered under the earshot of others that “If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself”?

Unfortunately, you hear that a lot more than “If you want something done right, ask someone who is a professional at it to do it”. Of course though, you, I, we, are all only human and humans take extreme pride in their ego and are ignorant that they cannot do everything to perfection. As a result, help is never asked for.

Now, it’s not so much a matter that other people can’t do something right, but more of a matter that you can do it better. Or can you?

Today I have asked a new good friend Hulbert Lee who wrote the eBook “How To Focus Better” to write a guest post. Without further ado, – Enter Hulbert

The Value of Asking People for Help

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from starting an online business is not being afraid to ask others for help. I think when people first start out, they have a tendency of wanting to do everything themselves. Either they have grown up and have adopted that sense of “do-it-yourself” mentality or they’re simply just afraid to ask.

For me, I’ve always kind of adopted an attitude that I can do anything I want just as good as anyone else out there as long as I put in the time and effort to do it. This is a good mentality to have if you’re trying to build on one skill, but it can also have its downfalls if you’re trying to do too many things at once.

For example, when I started an online business specifically to help people focus better, I was told to create a product, create a website, get people to the website, and then market the product for the people to buy.

So I spent a few months researching and writing an e-book. After that was done, I remember spending months trying to experiment with designing my website or trying to write copy for my sales page. I spent a lot of money on software and books to learn all of this. But in the end, it just caused a lot of stress and wasted time.

It came down to the point where I realized that I was a writer — not a designer, not a copywriter.

So when I let these realizations go, I began to look for people who were experienced in these areas.

I remember when I first hired my designer to design the e-book layout (which was still in black-and-white document text back then) I was blown away by her results. Just the design made what could have been a bland text turn into something colorful and exciting to read.

I know not everyone will have the budget to hire a designer, but if you constantly seek help out there on the vast Web, sometimes you’ll get lucky.

Like when I was looking for someone to write my sales page copy, I remember digging through the forum pages, and surprisingly enough, found someone who was offering to do a free sales copy. I figured he was probably just starting out and trying to earn credibility as a copywriter.

I jumped on the opportunity and emailed him, and within only about 50 minutes, he had sent me a fresh, new copy for my sales page — all for free. Ever since then, my conversion rates have gone up for my business.

So my advice here for people, who want to succeed in the online world of business, is to always continue to ask people for help. There’s a good chance that another person, who is more experienced and talented than you, will be more than willing to help you out and offer you valuable feedback that will drive your business in the right direction and to where you want it to go.

By Hulbert Lee

After reading Hulbert’s post, I was reminded of the one great attribute that I love about the online community. You can ALWAYS find someone to help you if you search hard enough. It never hurts to do a little research to find who are professionals on the topic you need assistance on and ask them for their help.

Personally, I have even emailed Seth Godin whom I talked to before to write me a letter of recommendation. This was, of course, before he released his eBook Stop Stealing Dreams and if you have read it, you know why he did not write me one. This action made me realize why you don’t ask for help – you don’t like to take a risk. You risk getting rejected, you risk getting told your idea is unworthy of someone else’s attention (especially a professionals).

You need to know that this is not how the online community works. For example, Hulbert searched for experts that knew how to write and knew about “focusing” to read and write a testimonial for his eBook. Hulbert told me that 20% of those he asked, read and wrote a testimonial. Well, you know how they say 20% of the people have 80% of the money and success. Those people who fall under Hulberts 20% category know the power of, not only giving, but also how important it is for others to ask for help which is a main reason they choose to read and write a testimonial for him. As a result, the 20% of people are no doubt well on their way to success (whatever success means to them). The other 80% missed the opportunity to give, to connect, to learn the lesson and benefits of asking and giving help. What they, and you need to know is that when asking for help, people will not criticize you, they will help you.

All you have to do is take the risk.


Stay Positive and Use Your Ingenuity To Seek Assistance

Garth E. Beyer

I now call Hulbert a friend and surely he calls me one as well. It is the simple act of asking for help that will propel you to the direction of the success you want.

Why The Most Famous Writers, Thinkers and Artists Were All Hypnagogia Hallucinators, Narcoleptics and Crack Addicts

No, really they just knew how to create legendary ideas in their Hypnopomic, lucid dreaming, state. They were tired but wired to great ideas. (Often thought of being crack addicts and narcoleptic because of their outlandish behaviors, out-worldly ideas and out-of-mind-into-mouth slander of which they eventually became famous for)

I will bet that you have had this sensation as well. Let me explain further,

Have you ever stayed up really late in order to accomplish a task, possibly an essay and quickly dominated it with creativity? or it was just extremely late and you decided you would draw before bed and turned out you were in the body of Van Gogh? Or even more simply, you just stayed up really late and started thinking about random genius ideas? You were likely hallucinating in your hypnagogia state: The other hallucinogenic state that no one knows about – which will still make you famous.

“It’s fun staying up late. It makes your mind all funky. Some things just can’t be perceived unless we’re mentally and physically exhausted”

When you get to that degree of sleepiness, your subconscious begins to elevate as if you were on the verge of sleep. By writing, painting, and creating when you are this tired, you are letting information about preposterous concepts, that are typically blocked by conscious thoughts and distractions, become manifestations. That is why the state is also called the borderland of sleep.

In real time, you are actually contemplating, mulling over and creating a synapses of ideas that, deep down, you truly want to consider, but were previously blocked from consideration by the conscious. In this sense, you are letting your mind to revert back to its original state of limitless possibilities.

Another example to help you connect with this irrational idea (it’s irrational right now because you are most likely not reading this at 1:00 am in the morning. Please read again and participate in the activity at the end of this post at 1:00 am tomorrow)

The Tetris Affect:  I am sure you can remember when you went to sleep and your dreams were consumed with the events that most recently occurred. The Tetris Affect occurs when you go to sleep and begin dreaming of the subject that was of the greatest intensity and focus; both throughout the day and more importantly right before sleep. I had this happen to me the other day when I finally played Basketball outside (Spring has Sprung). It was the highlight of my day and the event that took place near bedtime. The combination of the two lead to the Tetris Affect. Guess what my dreams were of?

I found this resource to be very communicative at describing steps to induce yourself into the lucid state of dreaming, but in more honesty, nothing beats simply staying up late and letting it happen naturally.

There is no greater process than breaking the night time-sleep version of a runners high. No greater feeling then losing your ego, feeling a reverse black hole in your brain, feeling heightened sensitivity and stimulation, feeling an internal detachment from the physical and mental environment turning into a fast paced sin wave of psych and unbounded subjectivity.

Below you will find a free writing session I had after I stayed up past 2:30am writing an essay. What works for me with hypnagogia and may work for you, is that in addition to thinking of genius ideas for the world, our lives and more often then naught, essays – I also end up creating a flow of unorthodox free writing segments which I later refer to as a resource to add quirkiness, randomness and brilliance to my prose and poetry when I am not writing in the sleep state. I hope you enjoy and I would love to read the Hypnagogia stories you write.

If I climbed a tower for every bottle of wine I’ve broken, I’d be 24 Eiffel towers high, i would make the sky seem low making time feel slow, so i wrote this note and this is how it goes .. sunshine is racing to the green terrace my mind is pacing, slanted trees, thoughts slow as a breeze, caught in every intricate corner of my frame, wicked webs holding me in- sane. Causing me to smirk, at my mighty fine work, As i dance on the dust of wishes being whispered and lost, pleading for the arrival of this out worldly superstitious survival, oh. just watch me walk across this river, as the children turn the world upside down on the monkey bars and snicker, this life just a faithful conception of a falsely figured illusion.

soaring to the outskirts of the demands, being made in this world by suffocating gentlemen hand-shaken, the relevance of what lies below makes no sense to them, if any the transcendence to the most fathomable possibilities is slow, yet the camera can take snapshot after snapshot. the blank canvas creeps to such an alternative degree that even if the light above your head flashed you could not see. the depravities of the selfless inner case, can not be transferred unless a whole is cut through the base, the prescribed perception only lies, and some people dance and some people die.

the tsunami castled the overlord under sheets of white, just to caress the current – lover, only for the moon to rise, and wish forever, more pleasant constellations each night, the wash could not have came in closer contact with one another. for you have my heart forever, forever my heart has you, entwined more intricately then the labyrinth of your crystal eyes, the wave covered in a shade of immortality, the deepest sense of passionate disguise, the curtains curtsied in pleasant surprise, and so the story fin’s. end of the nigh.

Stay Positive and Dead On One’s Feet, But Alive In One’s Mind

Garth E. Beyer

I claim the free-writing portion I shared as mine since I have used and will still refer back to it for additional writings. If you wish to use any part of the hypnagogia free-writing, please email me at to obtain confirmation of information sharing. Thank you for your acknowledgment of copyrights.