Kieran MacRae is a Coffee blogger and digital promoter who grew up in the Highlands of Scotland. He pursued and completed a physics degree at Strathclyde University before deciding his future lay in entrepreneurship. He has run a number of blogs across the years before co-founding Above Average Coffee with his fellow Physics Alumni Scott Deans.
Above Average Coffee is an online coffee blog dedicated to helping people make better coffee at home. Kieran and Scott experiment with different brewing methods, learn what there is to learn, and write about the experiences in the form of How-To and Review articles.
Kieran MacRae now co-runs Above Average Coffee from his home in Scotland where he lives with his wife and his dog, spending his days drinking coffee and writing about it online.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
I’ve always wanted to have a job where I can work from home, which before Covid-19 was much more uncommon. A need to have complete responsibility for myself, my time, and my work all pushed me towards starting my own business.
Why coffee as a business?
As I say on the blog, I wanted a food-based hobby to sink my teeth into and nerd out about. While whiskey was too expensive, coffee seemed just right.
It was also a shared interest between myself and Scott. When we would meet up we would often end up talking coffee and we were both building up a small arsenal of coffee brewing gear.
Then when Covid hit, it was the perfect timing. We found ourselves with enough free time to begin so we brewed up some coffee and got to work.
What keeps you motivated?
I recently read an interview with Dwayne Johnson who put it best, the wolf is always at the door and he’s always hungry, all you can do to keep him at bay is to keep working hard.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
There are almost too many to count! But the ones that come to mind are:
Tim Ferriss, his work ethic combined with his attitude of work being a means to an end has always inspired me and stopped me from falling too far into workaholism.
Ryan Holiday, whose work on stoicism has helped to give me perspective when things start getting overwhelming.
And finally, Chris Hadfield, who taught me what can be accomplished when you know the path you want to walk down and are willing to work hard to go down that path.
How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
As someone who’s worked from home for the past 5 years, I can tell you there is nothing more important than having a door to shut once you’ve finished work. For me, that’s my office. Once that office door shuts at night, no more work is allowed to happen.
Equally, if I’m in there I’m working. I’m not doing anything else, that boundary has done wonders for balancing out my life compared to when I had to work at the kitchen table.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Simply the distractions and procrastination that drew me away from ever starting a business, along with the distractions that are constantly pulling me away.
There is no boss above me keeping me in check or who I have to hide from. If I want to spend all day watching TV, I theoretically could. Learning self-discipline was the hardest and most important thing I ever did.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Production over perfection; there are more people than you could count who never really get started because they’re stuck perfecting the first step. Much better to get something made and put out into the world. Besides, only through iteration can you ever get close to perfection.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
I’d love to see Above Average Coffee as a well-known name in the world of coffee, I’d love to have it be the big trusted coffee blog that it deserves to be.
And on a more personal note, I’d love to be able to make latte art that doesn’t look like a blob!
How can you be reached?
Come say hi over at https://aboveaveragecoffee.com we have contact information there for anyone who wants to get in touch.