What’s the key ingredient to successful business?

Young boy in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas, Mexico

Most of us think that when you are doing everything right you will be successful. The problem is the best companies make mistakes and are not perfect, so how do the rise for the ashes.

Take a moment and see what you can learn from a coffee cooperative in Mexico. See if there is something for you to take away from their story that can make your business brand stronger and more profitable.

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Last month I traveled to Mexico and Guatemala covering Coffee Farmers of the coffee cooperative Just Coffee. You may not realize it but coffee is the number 2 commodity traded in the world, right behind oil.


The problem the farmers were having problems before they formed in 2000 was the price for the coffee. You see the buyers were exploiting the small farmer.  Most of the coffee farmers around the world have a two acre farm.

What had happened in Mexico and much of the world was the exploitation of the farmers was putting them out of business. This is why some of the coffee growers like Edmundo Ballinas Domínguez crossed the US border illegally. He worked on the golf courses here where I live in Atlanta.

As you hear in the video due to the changes the cooperative brought about he is sending his two daughters to nursing school and was able to get healthcare for his family. Prior to the cooperative his daughters would not have gone off to school and he would be in debt to save his family due to lack of healthcare insurance.

Migrant Workers

A migrant worker is someone who pursues work. They are not people that look for entitlements without work.

One thing I have come to realize is that many people around the world are forced to migrate. Due to their race alone many people are forced from their land and many become illegal immigrants.

Fair Wage

What I am realizing more and more is that many people who buy services do not care about the people they are purchasing those services from. They just want the lowest price. People are not treated with honor, dignity and respect.

What I also have discovered is when people are treated fairly then they will work harder and even go that second mile for being treated honorably.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bf6nN_psUA]
Listen to Carmina Sanchez talk about how not just being paid a fair wage, but being flexible so she can be a good mother is what is important to her.

Everyone has a story

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Listen to how Adrián González talks about not just how Just Coffee is blessing him, but he is excited to be apart of something that cares for others.

THE Key Ingredient

Robert McKee, the world’s best-known and most respected screenwriting lecturer, believes that executives can engage listeners on a whole new level if they toss their PowerPoint slides and learn to tell good stories instead.

What is a story? It tells why and how a person’s life has been changed. Here are some key things you must have in a story for it to grasp the audience.

First you need to have a crisis of some sort. Blake Snyder’s book Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need talks about how you need something to overcome in the story. Then you help your subject overcome the crisis.

What makes you like your protagonist is how believable they are. I often see how screenwriters will have a crisis that the actors are to overcome and then they have thrown into the mix a flaw in their character. To overcome their crisis they must also overcome their flaw.

Some of the best storytelling I have read is in the Bible. King David is a great example of a lovable character with many flaws.

What is key to the great Bible stories is GRACE. This is where a character is given a second chance. The importance of this second chance is that they truly don’t deserve it.

What is THE key ingredient to successful business–GRACE.  When you are known as being gracious you know that you are working from being humble and appreciative. You don’t take people for granted.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4QNgR9t7Qo]
Listen to how Joshua Ediger was so moved by the stories of the coffee growers that he is now telling their story. This is what they call word of mouth advertising.