Sunday, April 6, 2014

          Here's a screenshot from our Dillanos website promoting our new book The Rolling Desk! The final edits are happening now and the book will be available as a hardcover and Kindle on Amazon and hardcover at Barnes and Noble in June!! It's written by My brother Chris and I and gives a glimpse into our exciting culture at Dillanos Coffee Roasters. It is written in the form of a fable. The Company in the book is called Callahan Coffee Roasters and tells stories based on Dillanos' real experiences and the way we do business. I will be posting an excerpt from the book sometime in April. In the archives of this blog starting on back on 1/28/09 there are 5 posts during my real life mobile desk project.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Starbucks Ice Water

I went to Starbucks yesterday in NYC for some ice water and here is my exchange with the barista.
Me: Hi, may I please have a Venti ice water?
Her: We can't give you an ice water
Me: I'll gladly pay for it
Her: I can't sell it to you
Me: I'll Pay full price for the cheapest Venti drink. Latte, mocha, whatever. and you can just put ice and water in the cup
Her: Sir, I can't sell you an ice water even if you pay for a different drink
Me: Ok, I'll get a Venti Iced Americano without the espresso shots
Her: uuuumm (puzzled look on her face) ok
I got my ice water
Lesson: If you are resourceful and persistent enough, you will ALWAYS succeed. R+P=S

Friday, September 28, 2012

I love CEO Bob Parsons 16 rules

Bob Parsons® 16 Rules for Success in Business and Life in General


Get and stay out of your comfort zone.

I believe that not much happens of any significance when we're in our comfort zone. I hear people say, "But I'm concerned about security." My response to that is simple: "Security is for cadavers."


Never give up.

Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.


When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think.

There's an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: "The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."


With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be.

Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of "undefined consequences." My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you."


Focus on what you want to have happen.

Remember that old saying, "As you think, so shall you be."


Take things a day at a time.

No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don't look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.


Always be moving forward.

Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.


Be quick to decide.

Remember what General George S. Patton said: "A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow."


Measure everything of significance.

I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.


Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.

If you want to uncover problems you don't know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven't examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.


Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you're doing.

When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.


Never let anybody push you around.

In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else, provided that what you're doing is legal.


Never expect life to be fair.

Life isn't fair. You make your own breaks. You'll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).


Solve your own problems.

You'll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you'll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: "You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others." There's also an old saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: "A wise man keeps his own counsel."


Don't take yourself too seriously.

Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.


There's always a reason to smile.

Find it. After all, you're really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time!"

"Copyright © 2004 Bob Parsons - All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission."

Friday, May 11, 2012

4 Great Books to Read

I posted a required reading list for entrepreneurs a while back. I included a lot of great classics. I've been traveling a lot and I'm actually relaxing on the Big Island in Hawaii as I write this. I have been reading books like crazy lately so I wanted to post a little about them.

1) Abundance by Peter Diamandis- This book is about future of our planet earth and beyond. It tells of an abundant future. It goes into how we can solve some of the world's issues like poverty, clean drinking water, etc. Peter is the founder and Chairman of the X-prize. This is the organization that offered $10 million dollars the first person (non-goverment) to launch a manned flight into space twice within two weeks. Most recently he's been in the news for co-founding Planetary Resources The asteroid mining company with several high profile investors like the founders of Google and James Cameron. I've known about this project for a while now because Peter's Co-Founder/Co-Chairman Eric Anderson is a friend of mine and my forum mate in the Young Presidents Organization. Overall it's a book that gives you great hope for the next 10 to 20 years and for our future generations.

2) Entreleadership  by Dave Ramsey- If you are a small/medium sized business owner then this is a must read. It's one of those books that is a mix of reassurance that you are doing things right and new ideas that get you pumped up to implement into your business. It is filled with so many gems of wisdom. The book pulls from the knowledge Dave has gained in the business trenches. No theories here. All real meat! Because of this fantastic book I started listening to the Entreleadership Podcast
hosted by Chris LoCurto This podcast is every bit as good as the book. As a matter of fact, the final 2 books I'm going to cover are as a result of the interviews on the podcast. By the way Chris' blog is awesome too, especially this post about someone you might know of .

3)  Great by Choice by Jim Collins- Jim is most famous for his ground breaking best seller Good to Great. A common fixture on the bookshelves of entrepreneurs and business leaders everywhere. In this latest book he uses real life examples of how companies thrive over the long term. It tells you how you can choose to succeed regardless of the economy or any other outside forces. Listening to the 2 part interview on the Entreleadership podcast was actually just as good as the book itself. All of Jim's books are tremendously insightful, well researched, and highly recommended.

4)  The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni- This book was great timing for our company. We had all of the leadership team read it and have acted on some of it's principles. Most of Patrick's books in the past have been in story form. This book however, is in the standard business book style. The focus is on your company's organizational health. He gives great examples illustrating the importance of getting to know your team, having meetings that are both often and effective. He also has an interesting take on being a vulnerable leader and how that vulnerability with your team can make your company more healthy. I am going to read some of his fable style books such as Death by Meeting and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team in the future.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Story of a Bedbug

So my pregnant wife wakes up at 2 in the morning and wipes a bug off her face. She finds the bug, kills it and is convinced, after 3 hours of internet research, that it's a bedbug that we brought back in our luggage from New York 2 weeks ago. She wakes me up to figure this little bugger out. It didn't help that after I posted a picture of it on Facebook to see if anyone knew what it was, my Director of coffee Phil texted me and said "that looks like a bedbug" Thanks Phil. A twitter post yielded little results. Mostly jokes like "it's an alien" and "I don't know but it's bugging me" and "not sure but if it was at my house it would be a dead bug". All cute but I needed an answer. My wife being pregnant AND exhausted, was a little anxious to say the least. After a lot of talk of burning mattresses and even selling our house (remember hormones and exhaustion) I knew I had to do something to diffuse the situation. At work I am constantly hammering my employees about resourcefulness (we even have an annual award for it) so I decided I better be resourceful. Since it was 7 in the morning our time I couldn't drive to a local exterminator and show them the bug to find out what it was. So instead I Googled for a bedbug focused exterminator in New York. (NYC people know their bedbugs AND it was 10 o'clock their time so I knew someone would be open) I got a hold of Green Eco environmental pest control and asked the extremely helpful gentleman if I could email a pic from my iPhone of the creature to identify if it was, in fact, a bedbug. I did, and his response? NO BEDBUG!! No mattress bonfires, no armies of men invading our house in white haz-mat suits. Just a happy wife , and back to sleep. Well, her at least.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Our new Core Values

We just recently revamped our core values. After 20 years in the coffee industry we thought we would upgrade and adjust our values to properly reflect how we do business today. One of our newest accounts (Prince Street Coffee in Lancaster, PA) wanted a copy so I thought I would post them for all to see. I am writing a new book to replace "Brewing a Creative Culture" (still available at with each core value representing a chapter. This book will be kind of a "how we do business at Dillanos Coffee Roasters" kind of book. It will feature lessons, stories and principle's that will help any company, not just those in the coffee business. If you would like a full size copy emailed to you just contact my assistant Melissa at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book summary of Superself. A really old business book

I read this book many years ago and loved it. My Executive VP read it recently and wrote down some nuggets of wisdon

• Learn from the experiences of others, rather than your own. If you live your life as most people do, you will forced to settle for what most people settle for.
• To design and control your future effectively, you must first let go of your past. Dwelling in the past limits and controls your future.
• To get to where you wan to go, first firmly plant your feet on the ground where you are. Complaining about your circumstance will only distract your focus.
• Use the losses and failures of the past as a reason for action, not inaction.
• To win in other peoples ballparks, play by their rules. Whether your way is right or better is irrelevant. Your objective is to win.
• Accept the rules or change ballparks.
• Use near misses as a sign that you’re off course, not a sign that you have failed.
• Use negative feedback to make positive course corrections.
• Develop your blueprint or life plan
o Dreams list – Create them as if there were no limits to your life.
o Goals list - Specific and measurable with expectations. Keep a copy of your top 10 goals where you will see them every day.
o Values list – Determine your top 10 values, align your goals with your values.
o Action plan –Break each goal down into a manageable objectives
o Daily activity list – Transform efficiency into effectiveness with a prioritized activities list.
• Overcome doubt with positive, present tense affirmations.
• Apply the 80/20 rule – 20 percent of the activities you choose to spend time on will produce 80 percent of the results you are after. It’s a waste of time, talent and energy to spend time on anything not in the top 20 percent of your activities.
• Build your effectiveness my learning to maintain focus.
• Earn confidence and trust in others by keeping your agreements.
• Promise only what you can deliver, and deliver what you promise.
• Take control of your time – prioritize, plan in advance, be on time, eliminate interruptions, maintain a positive attitude.
• Leave your car keys in the same place every time you arrive home.
• Change all door locks so that one key fits all.
• Ignore the phone and doorbell when getting ready.
• Fill your gas tank on your time, not on a stress time.
• Add a ten minute window of time for appointments
• Schedule personal time and activities as if they were appointments
• Don’t allow job related problems to interrupt personal time.
• Eliminate mundane maintenance activities – remove all of the activities that do not contribute directly to your dreams and goals.
• If the cost is less than your per-hour value, hire someone else to do the job.
• When in doubt, let someone else do it.
• Screen incoming calls and check your messages no more than twice a day.
• Don’t give your business number to personal acquaintances.
• Determine your peak performance time (hours when your brain is functioning at its maximum and your energy level is high).
• Write all letters and memos in your peak performance period.
• Hire the best people
• Set limits on time spent with a talker.
• Listen carefully so you only have to listen once.
• Use commuting time to increase your knowledge
• Always keep a recorder in your car for capturing ideas and dictating actions.
• Exercise at least once every other day.
• Cut down on the quantity of food, fats and alcohol.
• Drink plenty of water
• Breathe deeply and sit up straight.
• Use short naps to overcome fatigue.
• Eliminate worry by refocusing on the future.
• Constantly confront things you fear. Act even in the face of fear.
• Visualize a positive outcome for every fear-triggering situation you face.
• Eliminate negativity from your life.
• Don’t make value judgments about people or events.
• To reduce stress state preferences instead of expectations or demands.