What A Cup Of Coffee Will Buy You
I’ve often heard it said that you are an average of the five people you spend most of your time with.
I don’t believe that “five” is the precise magic number for everyone of us. And “time” could mean a variety of things: that spent physically in the company of another person, and that spent communicating via telephone, emails, text messages, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. But I do agree that our attitude, values, morals, confidence, goals, motivation, productivity, and even income, are heavily influenced by (and often end up being almost identical to) those that we surround ourselves with.
One of my resolutions at the beginning of this year (yes, I still make that silly annual list) was to become aware of who those people are, analyze whether each of these relationships is a positive or negative influence on my life, and adjust accordingly.
Just like your environment, the people you’re around influence how you act. Truth is, your friends don’t want you to change even if they say they do because that makes them uncomfortable. The first time I decided to be a writer, I hung around with all the same people that didn’t understand me. The second time I decided to be a writer, I started hanging around other successful writers. Which one worked?
Give a Latte, Get a Lot(te)
In addition to learning to say NO to people and projects that are holding you back, one of the most valuable things you can do is . . . go have a drink? Yep! You’ve probably heard of David Bach’s Latte Factor. This is my latte factor: a simple cafe beverage (with prices ranging from $1.75 to $4.50) may very well be the best investment you can make in yourself right now.
In the last six months, I have made it a point to seek out and befriend several Portlanders who I feel are making some serious waves in the world. People who may not be doing exactly what I want to be doing with my life, but they are doing what they want to be doing with theirs. Self-starters who aren’t “settling for,” won’t take no for an answer, and are creating the lives they desire, no matter how unusual or risky that might seem to the rest of us. They follow their own rules . . . and inspire the heck out of me!
How have I been able to sit down and chat with such amazing individuals? I’ve invited them each out for coffee!
Fellow traveler Brittany Sims is one of my new favorite peeps in the area- but unfortunately, not for long. She’s soon headed back to Cambodia, where she’ll be building a social enterprise from the ground up, to help bring some much needed change to the women of the country.
You may recall me mentioning Sean Ogle a few weeks ago, as he was launching his incredible online program, Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty. We first met in Bangkok, Thailand this past March and then reconnected once he landed stateside over the summer. Sean has been helpful, generous, and I’m absolutely blown away by the mobile lifestyle he’s created for himself.
The Professor of Riskology, Tyler Tervooren (quoted above) is unstoppable! This guy just keep pumpin’ out loads of killer blog posts, jam-packed with fresh ideas and concepts that every single one of us can benefit from. In our few times hanging out, Tyler has tossed me even more great thoughts and advice for my own specific projects. Check out his free eBook, Take This Job & Shove It, and stay tuned- I’m going to talk him into playing some music together here before too long!
If you were watching NBC about two months back, you might have caught Tammy Strobel giving the Today Show a tour of her home. Tammy and her husband, Logan, have effectively downsized their lives and have proven that it’s possible to get by comfortably with a mere 100 personal items! She’s written a couple of awesome eBooks about how to work for yourself & the benefits of living car-free.
Meeting up with Brittany, Sean, Tyler and Tammy has provided me with piles of great ideas, a renewed motivation to plow ahead with my personal and professional projects, an enlarged team of supporters and some cool new friends. Oh, yeah . . . and a caffeine buzz.
Two powerful action steps for you to take today:
1. Sit down and, down the left side of a sheet of paper, create a column identifying the five, or seven, or three, or ten, people that you associate with the most.
I’ve created a handy-dandy PDF that you can download, print and use for this exercise! Snag it by clicking here.
Then, add a short list of thoughts to the right of each name on the page, quickly writing the first things that come to mind about that person and/or, in general, your relationship with them. There are no right or wrong answers here; anything goes. It’s okay to have a seemingly random, stream-of-consciousness list of ‘stuff.’ The point is to not overthink the exercise, but rather to record your gut feelings and reactions.
Your sheet will start looking something like this:
Now, take a long hard look at the paper in front of you. Again, no right or wrong answers exist, but what do you see? What do these lists tell you about what you’re drawing from your time and interactions with these friends/co-workers/etc.? Now, I fully understand that a relationship has to be a two-way street and what you are bringing to the table is important, as well. But I’ll bet that everyone of us has been (or is) in at least one situation that is purely draining, negative and detrimental to our mental, emotional and even physical health and growth.
It’s not my place to tell you what to do with the insight you gather from that list. But do it. Now.
And, while you’re at it . . .
2. Think of one person (perhaps who you’ve never met) that you respect, consider successful and would love to get some advice and direction from. Someone who’s doing something along the lines of what you wish you were accomplishing. Once you’ve picked a name, DO NOT wait and allow time for excuses to pop up. Immediately get on the phone (or email) and invite him (or her) to meet one morning yet this week. Offer to buy him a coffee, saying that you would love to get his thoughts on your current project, idea or goal. Or, you might ask to simply hear his story- what steps he took to get where he’s at today. What failures has he learned (and grown) from along the way?
Keep your mind wide open during your little coffee date and I guarantee you’ll leave with inspiration that you hadn’t walked in the door with. In our pursuit to grow and succeed, I challenge you to come up with a better investment for those few loose dollar bills in your back pocket.
After you’ve written that list, made that call and had that coffee . . .
drop a comment below and tell me how it went!