Three of the most powerful words you can say in your life are “Let’s have coffee”. This is coming from someone who doesn’t even drink coffee! The most significant part of your life and achieving success – and happiness – is relationships. It’s key to invest time to build those relationships – in person – even if it’s just for a cup of coffee. With social media and the digital age, we tend to forget how important real face-to-face connections truly are.
Often the biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs and individuals make in their businesses and careers is not asking enough or not asking repeatedly. You have to ASK to To GET. And keep asking. Make it a habit and part of your routine. Once a month, commit to yourself to schedule coffee with someone you admire or want to connect with. And as a CEO and angel investor, one of my favorite things to do is have coffee and meet new people. People tend to assume executives are too busy or will not respond. This is not the case. In my experience, it is actually the opposite. They want to share their experiences and lessons learned.
Coffee can lead to a new job, a promotion, a partnership, an investment, a new client, a mentorship, or even a lifelong friendship. Building connections can spark new ideas, help you make key decisions and see outcomes, roadblocks and opportunities you may not have otherwise been aware of. Discussions over coffee can put into the universe what you have been wanting and striving for.
Coffee led me to making one of my life long dreams come true! A little over 5 years ago, I mentioned to someone I admire over coffee I wanted to write a book. He encouraged my idea and said, “I know a great literary agent” and connected us. That coffee and the introduction that followed led me to selling my first book, The Execution Factor, to McGraw Hill! Connections are POWERFUL and vocalizing what you want to achieve to others is powerful. Simply articulating what you want to achieve and accomplish to others can have a powerful impact in your life. The universe begins to work in your favor, and you make new connections that can greatly enhance your life.
For me, coffee has led to new partnerships, new acquisitions, new hires, promotions, new ideas, lifelong friendships and the writing of a bestselling book. I’ve even set up couples from connections I’ve made over coffee!
How to ask someone for coffee – the key is to be authentic and genuine. Be sincere in your desire to listen and learn. Do not simply network, your goal should be build connections and relationships. Do not reach out simply to get something immediate in return, as in many cases, you may not, especially after a first meeting. If you do get something from your meeting – great, but understand often it will not come from a first coffee or meeting, but much later. A path leads to a path.
Not sure where to start? Simply make a list of 5 people you admire from different areas of your life and start reaching out. You can write a letter, send an email, or reach out on LinkedIn.
When you reach out to make a connection, ensure you do your research and customize so the person can see your interest and desire is authentic versus being generic. This will also enable you to better use the limited time you have with the person. Be intentional on what you are seeking to learn or know. Asking someone for coffee in a thoughtful and authentic way signals, “I want to learn more about you, I’m interested in sharing ideas, I care about what you say and think, I genuinely value your input.”
Here is an example to inspire you.
I really admire what you have achieved in xxx and would love to connect with you for coffee and learn more about your path to success. I understand how busy you are and can make myself available to suit your schedule. Please let me know what works best.
Reach out to 5 people today; someone whose achievements you admire, an expert in a field, or someone whose career trajectory you want to learn from. Think about your vision for your life and who you can learn from to achieve it.
One cup of coffee could end up changing your life!
Kim Perell is widely recognized executive, entrepreneur, and investor. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help young entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 70 start-ups, 14 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.