Most people that I know, drink coffee. Some of us more than others. Call it a heart starter, wake up brew, or simply that nasty addictive but so aromatic beverage that seems to find a way to switch on my brain functions every morning; so yes, I am a big fan.
No, I don’t own shares in any coffee shop, although the thought has crossed my mind before. But in most of the conferences where I present, you will find me declaring openly, perhaps more accurately imploring the audience, to drink lots more coffee. And there’s a very good reason for that.
Some of the smartest people I have ever met have simply walked into my office, or found me because they had a good friend whose friend said they should speak with me. These are inevitably entrepreneurs, innovators, and global business adventurers who went well outside their comfort zones to grow their businesses away from home soil.
And there is nothing more exciting in business than being surrounded by smart people.
Over the past twenty years, I have learnt more from these entrepreneurs. They have taught me more that I could possibly have gleaned from years of study (although I did that too, and quite willingly). Conversing and swapping ‘war stories’ with smart people is inspiring. They are inevitably highly motivated (perhaps I should say driven), and sometimes a bit crazy. Because of their passion, because it’s what they do.
So I drink coffee with them. A lot of coffee some days. And I learn from them. With luck, the next smart business person that walks into my office will share their experiences and knowhow with me, and I can impart some of the knowledge that I have accumulated from so many smart business people from all around the globe, that found their way to my door over the past twenty-five years or so.
And the good news is... it’s free. So the moral to this story is that most entrepreneurs want to share their stories, their knowledge, and compare ‘war’ wounds. And they usually want to hear mine as well – guess that’s why they found me in the first place.
All over a latte, or two ... well, I drink black coffee, but you get the idea.