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coffee

Coffee and consulting

Whenever I get stuck in a rut with my online writing, I sometimes ask myself:

“Why the hell am I still doing this?”

I was reminded why earlier this week over coffee.

I sat down with an independent creative director who came across some of my writing on LinkedIn and she wanted to hear more about my transition from full-time freelance to joining Slalom Consulting.

She was curious to hear more about my background and why this was my first full-time opportunity.

What started as a review of my first three months at Slalom turned into a full-blown conversation around working for yourself as an independent creative professional in St. Louis.

We covered everything from self-awareness to strategically positioning yourself and everything in-between. We even addressed how St. Louis-based businesses can balance outside opportunities while using the competitive advantages this city has to offer.

This was the kind of conversation that spanned over two and a half hours and two coffeeshops.

It was clear we both walked away feeling energized and ready to get to work on our own priorities.

I couldn’t help but feel validated in becoming a consultant because I realized a significant part of consulting is having these types of conversations, listening to understand, and then asking thoughtful questions that provide objective perspective.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to an individual or team from a multi-million dollar company - listening and asking the right question is valuable in any setting.

Coffee and tea

This morning was like any other.

I woke up and groggily stumbled into the kitchen to make coffee.

However, instead of grinding coffee grounds, I decided to try something different: I chose to make a cup of tea.

It's funny how coffee and tea are essentially the same - grounds or leaves steeped in hot water, but we look at them in very different ways.

We hear famous phrases like, "Coffee is for closers!" or "Never trust anyone who doesn't drink coffee" implying that coffee is meant for those who want to be awake and productive.

On the flip side, tea is seen as a way to relax or a soothing drink when we're sick with a sore throat.

With this in mind, I realized I should probably drink more tea. I'm always constantly thinking about what I need to do next and how I can be more productive. What I should be doing is finding ways to relax and be more present.

Regardless of whether or not I drink more tea or coffee, I think it's safe to say that either one is better than having another beer...


Start a coffee meeting fund

I used to hate coffee.

In fact, in order to drink it during my first internship, I had to cut it with a pack of hot cocoa (I know, adulting on a whole other level).

As I've gotten older, coffee plays a much larger part in my life.

It's not that I'm a coffee snob (my "refined" palate stops at cold brew), I just love using it to meet new people.

If you ask me, grabbing coffee is a perfect, low pressure way to meet up and connect with others. From dating to networking, it takes the pressure off and makes things a little more approachable.

Plus, if things go south, it doesn't take long to finish a cappuccino.

If you haven't already, consider setting up a coffee meeting fund for your or you college grad. 

I guarantee you won't regret the money you spend while learning from others.


Real life is underrated

If you're like me, you spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (and LinkedIn if you're looking for a job).

When used correctly, social media is amazing. It allows us to easily connect with others who share our ideas and interests.

Personally, I try and use it in order to build communities around my work in a way that provides real value for others. This is a great goal to have, but honestly, I still rely on it a little too much, and I'm assuming I'm not the only one.

We've all forgotten that we're humans. We're social creatures that crave face-to-face connection with others and we need it in order to thrive.

Whether you're looking for new opportunities or a new friend, in-person meetups can help spark a conversation that makes a difference and can shake up the monotony that creeps into everyday life.

I always leave these conversations with a fire under my ass which is why I want to try and meet someone in-person at least once a week.

If you're not used to this, start small by setting up a coffee meeting once a month. It's a great, low-pressure way to meet someone new.

Also, who doesn't like coffee?