“If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing…”
Why are you doing it?
Those words of insight should be blindingly obvious. They were delivered by the venerable Dr. Michael Lewis at the CBC earlier this month in conjunction with proper professional education.
I took his meaning to be: If you don’t know why you’re doing what you do, if you can’t answer that question first, then it’s time to rethink what you’re doing. There are too many brewers in America that are not focused on quality and too many that are putting out poor quality beer. And there are plenty of brewers, like many other kinds of businesses, that are too myopic about the big picture.
Yes, it’s important to be passionate about your ventures. Yes, it’s important that you like it.
AND it’s critical that you focus your energy on proper education and therefore quality of progress as a cornerstone and driver of that business. That’s bad for everyone.
Education provides a singular opportunity and atmosphere for the best results, skills development and therefore an elevated end product, whether it’s beer, information, or any other product or service. Education is not replaceable by experience. They should go hand in hand and work together. Though without one, the equation is lopsided and will inevitably be imbalanced.
Like Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing and the 2014 recipient of the Russell Schehrer award, “If you hire someone, makes sure they know what they’re doing.”
With beer schools and programs popping up all over, it’s best to investigate and vet the choices.
Start with: Which programs am I interested in and why? Then do your diligence to carefully examine those you look into. Doing the research on the front end will more than make up the time you put into it very quickly.
If you know why you do what you do, good. If you don’t, it’s time to stop and answer that question. Education is powerful and always a good idea.