We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Murfitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, how do you think about risk?
The importance of risk taking is something I’ve been tuned into for the better part of my life now & I owe that to a bicycle. I grew up riding BMX (still ride) & learned early on that if you don’t take the risks you’ll never grow or learn new things. In BMX when you take risks you end up on the ground bloody & broken from time to time which is never fun but it teaches you what NOT to do & I believe there’s a massive lesson to be learned there. From a young age of becoming accustomed to taking risks & knowing that they’re either going to pay off or have repercussions as I started to transition into business I realized taking risks on my bike was very synonymous with business except for one major difference; one didn’t lead to broken bones & concussions. There’s also various levels of risk that can be taken, for example I wouldn’t jump on my bike & try a backflip if I haven’t done my homework – that same rule applies to how I approach risk in business. Now that’s not to say taking a “calculated” risk is a safe bet, there’s been plenty of times I thought I’ve done the homework only to realize there was something I hadn’t considered so in some instances you just have to roll the dice! This skillset I learned from a bicycle has segwayed into my life as a business owner & shown me that without risk there’s no reward, as cliche as that may sound & at the end of the day we’re not making life or death decisions. Although there’s money at risk worst case scenario is going out and getting a job.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m a co-founder of Traction Coffee Roasters, we’re currently based in the little mountain town of Lyons, Colorado. One of our main focuses as a coffee brand is that coffee is a catalyst to do rad things – whether that be riding a bicycle, dancing, mountain climbing, etc. We started Traction in October of 2018, very humbly; We didn’t seek any outside investment nor did we apply for a loan. We scrounged up as much of our own cash as we could, purchased a roaster & began working on creating a brand and branding in house. The branding task was no easy feat as neither Shawn (Traction’s co-founder) or I had ever opened Adobe Illustrator but we didn’t have the funds to pay someone – so there I sat for what felt like an eternity watching YouTube videos on how to operate Illustrator…the final product is the Traction branding you see today! Still to this day it’s just Shawn & I making everything happen from roasting to the website & everything in between, we’re a lean and mean team. To me nothing about operating a small business is easy, albeit that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton of fun to be had. Like most things in my life I relate business back to a bicycle, this time a mountain bike; It’s all peaks & valleys. Getting to the peaks seems like it takes FOREVER & is often strenuous, yet the descent from the top back to the valley is fast & fun but never feels quite long enough. In hindsight when I look back at any struggle we’ve had, there’s a lot to smile about, although in the moment it can feel like the most difficult thing ever. One of the most important things I’ve learned yet is that there a going to be A LOT of really tough days with some really great days sprinkled into the mix but what ultimately determines the success is showing up regardless of the day you’re having & making the best of it. One of the major things I’d like people to take away from Traction & into their personal lives is to chase your dreams & don’t let anything stop you from making it happen. That’s the cool thing about life, you can do ANYTHING you want with a little bit of hard work and dedication.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Shawn & I both live in Longmont, where Traction will be inevitably moving in the future. Some f our favorite places for food around town include Cyclhops Bike Cantina, Pistachio Cafe & the Roost. When it comes to drinks, Wibby Brewing Co. is impossible to beat! Just west of Longmont is where you’ll find Lyons, there are some really incredible hiking / mountain bike trails there. Most days you can find myself at Sandstone skatepark followed up by tacos & margaritas at Cyclhops.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I worked at a coffee company for a number of years where I learned a lot about myself & really cut my teeth in marketing & business – that company was owned by Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery. Over the years & even to this day I learn things from him that relate to business to being a better more selfless person. So here’s to you Dale, you da man!
Other: Personal IG: @MikeMurfitt
Drinking coffee / mountain bikes: dane Cronin Espresso falling: Joey Schusler Camp Coffee: Joey Schusler