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I only drink lattes. I both like the taste AND like the hipster feeling that accompanies coffee-drinking.

When I'm broke, it's my instant coffee mix (if you're wondering which one, it's the Nescafe Oh So Creamy White Coffee with milk), but when I'm feeling a little luxurious, I go to the café in my office building.

Anyway, since payday is only a few days away from today, I thought I'd swing by the café and grab a hot macadamia latte to accompany today's writing session.

As I was waiting for my order, I noticed how quick the barista was in making it. And it was good, just as it always has been.

It's not easy to make good lattes. It's not just a "pour water, pour milk" kind of thing. I've tried making my own from scratch and it's hard to CONSISTENTLY get right.

I've lost count of how many times I went to a café / restaurant / the local Starbucks and thought, "The coffee was good last week, but today it sucks. I'm disappointed."

It takes SKILL and EXPERIENCE to be able to do things perfectly -- consistently. Good equipment does help, but NOT all the way.

Back to the barista.

As I was gratefully sipping my latte, I thought about how awesome it is if the barista could use her coffee-making skill to build her own career or business.

  1. CLIENT-ORIENTED CAREER/BUSINESS: A barista for hire

    What if the barista could freelance and provide coffee-making services at events? (I've seen this at weddings)

  2. TEACHING-ORIENTED CAREER/BUSINESS: A barista guru

    What if the barista could train the employees of new cafes and coffeehouses on making good coffee?

    What if the barista could train those employees on the tips and tricks to efficiently make good coffee when there's a loooong line of customers? (Without messing up all the different orders!)

    What if the barista could create an online educational course on making good coffee for caffeine-heads at home? (Basically, people who don't have the fancy equipment)

    What if the barista could teach a specific coffee-related skill, like how to make beautiful foam art?

  3. CONSULTATION-ORIENTED CAREER/BUSINESS: A barista expert

    What if the barista could provide consultation to café owners on what kind of equipment works best and how to structure the processes (from taking the order to preparing the coffee to the presentation)?

It's so exciting to think about the paths that the barista could choose if she decides to leverage her skill.

Leveraging your skill means you get to maximize your money-making potential by utilizing your skill. In short, make money from something you’re good at AND you like doing.

With any new venture, it takes time to really bear fruit. Even if that barista is ready to quit her job tomorrow and start teaching employees of new cafes and coffeehouses, the clients won’t be lining up to hire her right away. That’s a given, right?

But if she leverages her skill AND brands herself AND starts to market herself as THE PROFESSIONAL BARISTA — who’s to say that her dream career or business is out of reach?

Here's a little challenge for you: Think about the people you meet in your life. People who work retail jobs, your relatives, your colleagues, that person you follow on Instagram.

Brainstorm 3 different ways that person can use that ONE skill that he/she has to build his/her own career or business.

I know it sounds like you're just daydreaming on behalf of that person. But it's a great exercise for you in adopting the mindset of CAN DO, WILL DO.

Even if you're doing this for someone else, it’s great to step outside the beaten path.

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