"I decided to travel throughout Asia, Europe, and Central America. I would have never started Slate unless I had traveled. Because the scariest thing I could imagine was quitting my job with a salary and health benefits and a 401(k) to go explore the unknown.
I worked for Peet's Coffee while I was in school, and the week I graduated from the University of Washington with my BA, I was promoted and just kept moving along a track, for years.
Saying goodbye to that security was terrifying, and visiting a number of countries where I did not speak the language just felt like this giant mystery and so scary.
Once I did that and saw this greater world and experienced different cultures, different ways of life and different representations of what happiness looked like, I felt really strong in coming back and starting my own business with my family. Because I had already done the thing that scared me most.
I may try, I may struggle and I may fail, but I had the sense that, 'OK. I can recover.' I gained that confidence and strength and willingness to experience from traveling."
Best Advice I've Received
"Appreciate the contributions of the collective rather than the individual. When I was a manager at someone else's business, I felt this pressure that, if you're the leader, you have to be great at everything. Now, my job is about making sure that everyone else is allowed to be great, and my job is to facilitate everyone else's greatness."
My Advice for Others
"If you want to turn your passion into your career, separate what it is that you really love about something from loving the really nitty gritty, dirty process of creating it. Those are very different things and pay attention because sometimes things are meant to be our passion and not our work, and that can be a beautiful thing.
It's such hard work and so intense to open your own business. It's so much more work than anyone could ever imagine, especially if you're never been self-employed before, or never had to be hungry to go get work. It can be a little shocking. You've got to create everything yourself. There's no other department to delegate things to at the outset. You know going into it that it'll be a lot of hard work, but you don't really understand until you do it.
"It's such a rich community. It's balanced, with a great food and beverage scene, visual arts and dance and music and such a diversity of thought. We're very much connected to our landscape, the hiking and kayaking and snowboarding and the islands. That you can explore the outdoors while getting the unique experiences that come with living in a city is priceless to me."
"There is a beautiful quarterly publication called Drift Magazine and in every issue, they explore specialty coffee culture in a different city, like New York, Tokyo, Havana, and Melbourne. It’s beautifully written and the photography is outstanding."