In the early days of 2023, I pondered a unique way to celebrate turning 55. Among the ideas of sending 55 notes or making 55 phone calls, I settled on a more individualized touch – 55 cups of coffee. No strict rules applied; these “Cups of Coffee” could be virtual or in person, with anyone from clients and potential clients to referral partners, friends, and family. And, despite the name, coffee was optional; the goal was to foster a deeper connection.

Fast forward, and I’ve shared these moments with 75 individuals, some more than once. You might wonder, why invest time in networking if it doesn’t immediately translate to business? The answer lies in the power of connection.

Through these cups of coffee, I’ve discovered that sharing stories and passions deepens understanding, creating common ground for genuine connection. It’s in these moments that we lay the foundation for potential collaborations, becoming not just colleagues but trusted referral partners, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship.

Moreover, the act of encouragement flourishes in a space of connection. It goes beyond superficial smiles and opens the door to authenticity. In these safe connections, we can express challenges and celebrate victories, providing support during the roughest times.

Now, where do you make these initial connections? In-person opportunities like Chamber of Commerce events and local gatherings offer an energetic exchange that’s hard to replicate virtually. However, online networking groups, introduced to me by a fellow coach and discovered on Eventbrite, also play a vital role. They expand your network, inviting you to new groups and connecting you with like-minded individuals.

But what if you don’t like coffee? Neither do I. “Let’s have coffee” is merely an invitation to connect. Virtual, over the phone, in various settings – the choice is yours. The key is committing to the meeting, scheduling a time that suits both parties.

Having coffee becomes a conduit for problem-solving. As you share difficulties, the burden lightens, and solutions become a collaborative effort. It’s a powerful dynamic that extends beyond the meeting, providing clarity to previously confounding issues.

This practice also broadens your business connections. Understanding the purpose of others’ businesses allows you to connect them with relevant opportunities, sowing the seeds for future transactions. There’s no need for competition – in connecting with fellow professionals, we exchange insights and best practices, enriching our collective knowledge.

For those who shy away from small talk, fear not. You don’t have to carry the conversation alone. Armed with a few basic questions about origin, business beginnings, challenges, ideal clients, and leisure pursuits, you pave the way for natural dialogue. If you seek to enhance your conversational skills, Debra Fine’s “The Fine Art of Small Talk” is a valuable resource.

As we step into 2024, let’s be intentional about connection. My Cups of Coffee journey has been a tapestry of learning – from infinite banking to real estate, and from military life to legal practice. My life is undoubtedly richer for the time invested in these connections, resulting in numerous friendships.

If the idea of having more Cups of Coffee in 2024 resonates with you, reach out, and let’s set up a time. I’d be honored to be one of your first connections! And if we shared a cup in 2023, share this post, tag me, and let’s continue the conversation. Here’s to a year of meaningful connections and a richer life in 2024!

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