Thursday, July 28, 2011

Too Good to be True and Coffee Beans

6:00 AM and I'm thinking - COFFEE!

Perhaps you woke with the same thought this morning. (I say this every morning!)  I like coffee to the point where I must admit to being a coffee snob.  I have two different espresso makers and I grind my own beans.  I grind different beans for each pot!  I like Costa Rican coffee in one and Cuban coffee in the other.  They do not taste the same if I switch! And every day, I have one of each - at least.

But coffee prices have been climbing beyond what I want to pay so I was looking for a deal.  Since I do nearly all of my shopping online, that's where I began. 
I found a great deal on Costa Rican coffee but it required that I buy FIVE pounds. This deal was equivalent to buy 3 lbs. get 2 lbs. free - I'm IN! The bag was delivered the other day - it was actually pretty funny.  I've never seen a five pound bag of coffee before!

Can you guess what I was thinking at 6AM the next morning? 

In short order, the Gaggia was warmed up and the beans were ground.  But, the morning didn't start out as good as I had planned.  You see, when I ordered this "great deal", I neglected to check the roast.  I "require" French Roast - or even Espresso, but this offer was standard roast only.  I just KNEW this was too good to be true!  My mother always told me, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".  At my age, I'm still listening to my mom - just not very well.

My assumption is that you listened to your mother better than I did.  I'm also assuming that you're familiar with the phrase as was taught to me.  And, I'm acutely aware that to some of you, the Guaranteed Donation Program might seem to trigger said phrase.

With fraud and corruption rampant, it's important that one remain skeptical.  "Buyer beware" is still a valid mantra. And, although I just can't quite get my head around this one "Trust, but verify" still applies in today's world, I guess.

How does a new company with an unusual concept earn the trust necessary to succeed?  Is there something that can be done to quickly garner respect and acceptance?  Is there something that can be said?  Are there charts or graphs or slogans that can reassure?  In short - no.

Years ago (especially since I seem to be in the mood to quote well-worn phrases today) there was a television ad for Smith-Barney featuring John Houseman.  Let's forget for a moment the whole 'financial-markets-in-today's-world' spin that could be invoked and just look at the message. 
"Smith Barney:  They make money the old fashioned way.  They EARN it."
I'm going to replace the company name with "Responsible Referrals". I will replace the words "make money" with the words "builds trust". We are going to go forward with patience, dedication, transparency and hard work.  Bear with us.  Watch this program grow.  Check the Donation and Participating Nonprofit pages to view our success as it happens. 

And then, someday soon, I'm going to replace the word "EARN" with "EARNED".


  1. Love today's blog. You are the greatest man I know. Everyday I think "What can I do today to be more like my Dad?" Most days I can only dream of being like you as it us a hard goal to aspire to. You will earn the trust you always do. I love you!

  2. Good One! And i agree, i simply am not sure anymore what it takes for people to "trust". On our website we have many words, and words are just words and so we struggle with the same issues as you know. As you say there are so many out there committing fraud, corruption and scams that it makes it difficult for those of us like you who are really trying to make a difference. Funny thing is i have even and currently do have on our website the comment....If you have any questions or concerns you may call me at: and then i put our phone number which is all over the site anyway. No body ever calls to ask questions, only to get help. Hmmmmmmmm........

  3. It takes time to build credibility. Hang in there, Mike! Perseverance always pays off. Success is bound to come as you focus on fulfilling your unique calling. Looking forward to seeing that growth as it happens for Responsible Referrals!