A Letter to Future Inspiring Coffee Truck Owners

Hello Future Coffee Truck Owner,

How have you been? Well, I hope. I hear that you are looking to begin your own truck. However, you are not sure where to begin. You are hoping for a few tips or a bit of advice on how to get started. Well, this letter should help open up the door. A few things I want to discuss: Your mind, your plans and your dreams.

The greatest piece of advice I can give a Future Coffee Truck Owner is to get your mind right. Many times I see people self-defeat. They say to themselves, "I can't because....". There's usually an array of excuse that come after; because I don't have the time, I don't have the money, I don't have the experience...What ever your excuse may be, you have to remember, it is just that: An Excuse. The old saying holds true: If there is a will, then there is a way. For example, before my grand opening, I had no barista experience other than my home french press (which I still argue is the best experience you can have). I had my trailer stolen. The original truck I bought to pull the trailer seized its engine. I literally melted my first generator. Challenge after challenge, hurdle after hurdle I had to overcome each of these obstacles. The only thing that held me together was the belief that I could eventually walk on my own entrepreneur two feet. Fall after fall, crawl after crawl, I kept getting up. So, I say unto you Future Coffee Truck Owner, get your mind right. You can.

The next thing that you can do is plan. I see everyone wanting to start the truck off right away. Perhaps its because they see other truck owners or business owners sprout from nothing that they think they should as well. My truck was 2 years in the making before my grand opening. I scrapped and saved every cent for 2 years before I opened the truck. On weekends I would rip the floors out, put in plumbing, research espresso machines. People ask me about funding and who I got a loan from. I didn't. I worked and saved. And I would advise you do the same. Buy a french press and airpot and hit the markets. If you work it right, you can spend $400 to start a booth. Each weekend you can make anywhere from $400-$1000. Save it! In 10-15 weekends you'll have $4000-$10000. That's enough to start looking for a truck or trailer. Once you get that, start working festivals, events, weddings. Pack that money away and invest into an espresso machine. My point is, you don't have to jump from nothing to full truck and espresso machine in 4 days. It's okay to set a goal to be a year from now and begin working on it. I want a brick and mortar, but I won't get it until Quarter 3 of 2017. That means, by the time I open my brick and mortar, I will be 4 years into the making. Now some people will say, "no that's too long". And they're right, it is long. However, think of this: There is no guarantee you will make money, but if you get a loan, you can guarantee you will have bills. If you can avoid this, I say, avoid it at all cost. Plan you goals one step at a time, have patience and work your ass off.

The last thing I want to discuss is your dreams. You have a vision and don't let anyone tell you different. But visions alone won't get you to where you want to be. You are going to have to work your ass off. You have to feel the burn of a tight deadline, when there is no deadline. You know the feeling of "oh shit, I have to get this done" that you feel the day before you go on a vacation. You need to have that feeling every morning. Now, if you are anything like me, that does not come natural to you. So, this is what I did. I took my big ass goal (which is to be a bijillionaire) and broke it down into chewable pieces. Each week I set my mind to one piece. Every evening I wrote a list of at least 6 things I needed to do the next day (a piece I stole from Chet Holmes) and on that list, at least one of those had to do with the truck. Slowly but surely, I chipped away. Actually, I'm still chipping away (not a bijiillionaire yet!).

And so Future Inspiring Coffee Truck Owner, my tips to you are 1. Don't give up on your dream, it will take time to build yourself. 2. Have a plan to your dream and break it down into weekly goals. 3. Never give up until you reach your goals. I'll be here along the way my friends. Holla if you need me.

Vincent LaVolpa,

Green Joe Coffee Truck