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PEOPLE

The Power of Rituals with The Porter’s Jared Lawler

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• Jared Lawler, Founder of The Porter, talks to The Mag about the power of rituals.
• Having a ritual can help to set the tone for your day.
• Having a ritual can also lead us to being more productive at work.

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What’s the one thing that motivates you? “The Power Series” offers thought leadership insights from industry experts at Taikoo Place on the “power” of their initiatives in relation to everyday life. In December, we speak to Jared Lawler, Founder of The Porter, about the power of rituals.

My favourite thing to do on a Sunday is to cook. I go down to the wet market, get the fruit and veg, and then cook a big meal. This is my own form of meditation – my weekly ritual. It’s a therapeutic time for myself that recharges and refills me. I love the process of gathering, preparing, and blending ingredients together.

I also read The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday every morning; I’m really influenced by Stoicism. That moment there is probably my core ritual: it gives me a daily perspective, helps me gather my thoughts, set my intentions, and gives me challenges and reflections for the day. It helps me stay centred and grounded.  

“Rituals can be a foundational aspect to build the rest of your day on.”

Living in a dynamic city like Hong Kong, it’s easy to be driven by obligations and to-do lists that can put us into overdrive. We end up neglecting our greater purpose and passions. I, too, get caught up in the uncertainties of life – but I find that if I really allocate that time doing my reading, I’m far more productive and equipped for the day than if I rush on through. It’s like you’re at the running blocks of a race; you’ll miss that start if you’re not ready.

I had a number of high-volume cafés in office buildings in Melbourne before moving to Hong Kong. I asked myself, what am I doing? I’m just selling nice specialty coffee! What is our true value add? A regular customer – a nurse – distilled it down for me. She talked about how our hosts would wave to her from across the street, start her coffee before she gets in the door; we remember her name and her order. The positive ambience really helped set her off on the right foot.

And that’s the core narrative of The Porter – to help “Set the Tone” for our customers’ days. We want to give you those moments to take a deep breath before you get going, to give a sense of welcome as they come into the building. The concept for The Porter birthed from an experience I had when I was running late to an important meeting and needed directions from the building concierge. He haphazardly pointed the way. I thought, this should be a hotel moment, there should be a sense of arrival.

We’re really excited about being at One Island East. As a coffee concierge, we want to connect buildings with tenants through meaningful encounters by uplifting and offering unique experiences through hospitality that also support the community. Like our new TP App, which takes our lifestyle concierge services to the next level. Members can book an umbrella on a rainy day, borrow a charger on the go, arrange dry cleaning and flower deliveries all on one platform. I’ve always enjoyed fuelling the office environment.

Our space here was designed as micro spaces to encourage social collisions; a space that brings people from different levels and industries together – that’s where most innovation comes from. We’re especially looking forward to seeing what kinds of ideas spark at our Experience Bar, which resembles an omakase concept. This is where we will host sonic seasoning experiences, as well as discussions about trending topics with industry experts on sustainability, wellness, better work practices and more.

My biggest fear for my career is being a dictator; my greatest joy is seeing the team grow and develop, contributing to the business and actively putting ideas forward. I’m not about dictating what should be done, but rather, we add to their perspectives and get more feathers on their hats as their careers and skillsets grow with us. My own rituals inspire me to then give them the best guidance and support possible to do so.

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Find inspiration from your Taikoo Place neighbours –
Read more from The Mag’s POWER SERIES.  

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As for our collective ritual: every month, a team member would pass a Japanese daruma doll on to another teammate, so you get the luck of this doll. To us, this ritual goes beyond luck and fortune; sharing something together connects us as a team.

Rituals are personal, spiritual, and nourishing for the soul. Of course, we would love to be a part of people’s daily ritual, but it’s a personal moment: it’s your experience, your coffee. Our team can get geeky and scientific about coffee, but I encourage people to find what works for them. It’s like how my father drinks old roasted coffee and I’m like, what are you drinking? And I’ll make him something that’s floral and flowery and he’s like, what are you drinking? I can’t tell him what he’s drinking doesn’t taste good – and I can’t tell you that your ritual isn’t the right one for you.

There’s something romantic in giving yourself that personal space and time. A ritual can be a foundational aspect to build the rest of your day on; an act of great belief in something that is important to you, that strengthens our connection and relationship with ourselves, or others. And when you find the right one, it will set the right tone for the rest of your day.

How does openness benefit team dynamics? Read about the Power of Transparency with Livi Bank’s Michelle Chan.

Do you work at Taikoo Place and want to be featured in The Power Series? Get in touch.

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