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英语生活:在我十几岁的时候

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在我十几岁的时候,我爸爸想尽一切办法劝我不要当酿酒商。他一生都在为当地啤酒厂酿造啤酒,勉强维持生计,就像他的父亲和祖父一样。他不想让我靠近一大桶啤酒。



我照他说的做了。我取得了好成绩,上了哈佛大学,1971又被录取进入了一个研究生课程,允许我同时学习法律和商业。



在我读研究生的第二年,我有点顿悟,除了上学,我什么也没做。我想,我在以后的生活中有压力要做一个职业选择。那也太蠢了!未来比我想的要早得多。



所以,在24岁的时候,我决定退学。显然,我的父母不认为这是个好主意。但我强烈地感觉到你不能等到你65岁了,去做你想做的事。你必须去争取。



我收拾好东西到一辆前往科罗拉多成为讲师拓展、野外教育计划。这份工作对我很合适。大量地登山、攀岩,我住在爬无处不在,从西雅图到墨西哥的火山岩外。



我从不后悔花时间去“发现自我”。我想如果我们能在20多岁的时候休息五年来决定我们以后要做什么,我们都会好得多。否则,我们将做出别人的选择,而不是我们自己的选择。



在户外训练三年半之后,我准备去学校了。我毕业于哈佛大学,在波士顿咨询集团找到了一份高薪工作。智囊团和商业咨询公司。然而,在那里工作了五年之后,我一直被怀疑所困扰。这是我50岁时想做的事吗?



我记得有一段时间,我爸爸一直在打扫阁楼,在一些黄色的纸上偶然发现了一些旧的啤酒配方。“今天的啤酒基本上可以保持头部的水分,”他告诉我。



我同意。如果你不喜欢大规模生产的美国货,其他选择是进口的,通常是陈旧的。我想美国人会为劣质啤酒付大钱。为什么不在美国给美国人做好啤酒呢?



我决定辞去我的工作,成为一名酿酒师。当我告诉爸爸的时候,我希望他能挽着我的胳膊,重温复兴的传统。他说,“吉姆,这是我听到过的最愚蠢的事!”



正如父亲所反对的那样,他最终支持了我:他成为了我的新公司的第一个投资者,在我1984岁的时候,他在波士顿啤酒公司开了40000美元。我付了100000美元的积蓄和提出的另一个100000美元从朋友和亲戚。从我的办公室到酿酒厂就像爬山一样:令人振奋、解放和令人恐惧。我所有的安全网都不见了。



啤酒一经制作,我就遇到了最大的障碍:把它拿到啤酒饮用者手中。经销商们都说了同样的话:“你的啤酒太贵了,从来没人听说过你。”所以我想我必须创造一个新的类别:手工酿造的美国啤酒。我需要一个可以识别和优雅的名字,所以我叫我的啤酒塞缪尔·亚当斯,在啤酒和爱国者帮助煽动波士顿茶党之后。



我意识到,唯一的办法就是直接销售。我往皮包里装啤酒和冰袋,穿上我最好的西装去酒吧。



大多数调酒师起初还以为我是国税局。但我打开公文包,他们就注意了。在我告诉第一个家伙我的故事——我想用我父亲的家庭食谱开始在波士顿的一家小酒厂——他说:“Kid,我喜欢你的故事。但我不认为啤酒会这么好。



六周后,在伟大的美国啤酒节上,山姆·亚当斯·波士顿啤酒赢得了美国啤酒的最高奖。剩下的就是历史了。这不应该是这样做的——到底做了什么?但最后我注定要成为一名酿酒师。



我对所有年轻企业家的建议很简单:生活很长,所以不要急于做出决定。生活不让你计划。



When I was a teenager, my dad did everything he could to dissuade me from becoming a brewer. He'd spent his life brewing beer for local breweries, barely making a living, as had his father and grandfather before him. He didn't want me anywhere near a vat of beer.

So I did as he asked. I got good grades, went to Harvard and in 1971 was accepted into a graduate program there that allowed me to study law and business simultaneously.

In my second year of grad school, I had something of an epiphany I've never done anything but go to school. I thought, and I'm getting pressured to make a career choice for the rest of my life. That's stupid. The future was closing in on me a lot earlier than I wanted.

So, at 24, I decided to drop out. Obviously, my parents didn't think this was a great idea. But I felt strongly that you can't wait till you're 65 to do what you want in life. You have to go for it.

I packed my stuff into a U-Haul and headed to Colorado to become an instructor at Outward Bound, the wilderness-education program. The job was a good fit for me. Heavily into mountaineering and rock climbing, I lived and climbed everywhere, from crags outside Seattle to volcanoes in Mexico.

I never regretted taking time to "find myself". I think we'd all be a lot better off if we could take off five years in our 20s to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Otherwise we're going to be making other people's choices, not our own.

After three and a half years with Outward Bound, I was ready to go hack to school. I finished Harvard and got a highly paid job at the Boston Consulting Group. a think tank and business-consulting firm. Still, after working there five years, I was haunted by doubt. Is this what I want to be doing when I'm 50?

I remembered that some time before, my dad had been cleaning out the attic and came across some old beer recipes on scraps of yellow paper. "Today's beer is basically water that can hold a head," he'd told me.

I agreed. If you didn't like the mass-produced American stuff, the other choices were imports that were often stale. Americans pay good money for inferior beer, I thought. Why not make good beer for Americans right here in America?

I decided to quit my job to become a brewer. When I told Dad, I was hoping he'd put his arm around me and get misty about reviving tradition. Instead he said, "Jim, that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard!"

As much as Dad objected, in the end he supported me: he became my new company's first investor, coughing up $40,000 when I opened the Boston Beer Company in 1984. I plunked down $ 100,000 of my savings and raised another $ 100,000 from friends and relatives. Going from my fancy office to being a brewer was like mountain climbing: exhilarating, liberating and frightening. All my safety nets were gone.

Once the beer was made, I faced my biggest hurdle yet: getting it into beer drinkers' hands. Distributors all said the same thing: "Your beer is too expensive; no one has ever heard of you." So I figured I had to create a new category: the craft-brewed American beer. I needed a name that was recognizable and elegant, so I called my beer Samuel Adams, after the brewer and patriot who helped to instigate the Boston Tea Party.

The only way to get the word out, I realized, was to sell direct. I filled my leather briefcase with beer and cold packs, put on my best power suit and hit the bars.

Most bartenders thought I was from the IRS. But once I opened the briefcase, they paid attention. After I told the first guy my story--how I wanted to start this little brewery in Boston with my dad's family recipe--he said, "Kid, I liked your story. But I didn't think the beer would be this good." What a great moment.

Six weeks later, at the Great American Beer Festival, Sam Adams Boston Lager won the top prize for American beer. The rest is history. It wasn't supposed to work out this way--what ever does? --but in the end I was destined to be a brewer.

My advice to all young entrepreneurs is simple: life is very long, so don't rush to make decisions. Life doesn't let you plan.



 
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