I have a confession to make...
I don’t like coffee, and I never have.
Now that I have your attention. No offense to any of the coffee fans out there, but I have never really liked the stuff. I also find coffee shops to be too loud and distracting.
It seems like coffee is everyone’s default for meeting up with people to potentially collaborate. Think about it. How many times have you heard, “We should meet up for coffee!” Or “Wanna grab coffee soon?” I've even been asked by non coffee drinkers.
In the past, I have defaulted to agreeing and working myself up to pay $4-5 for a flavored lemonade at a Starbucks, while the other person sips on whatever special go-to drink they have concocted over the years. Kudos to Starbucks for providing all of those options though.
I have put together a list of 5 ways to connect with others offline that don’t involve coffee. A lot of these sound like dates, but who said non-romantic dating was off limits?
- Meet up at the park for a walk. Get some light exercise, have a conversation, and enjoy the sights. If you both have dogs, bring them!
- Head to the bookstore and exchange recommendations from your favorites. Leave with a new learning opportunity that you two can discuss in the future.
- Attend a free class together. It can be completely unrelated to what you do. I often find career coaching inspirations from very unlikely learning opportunities and random pop culture sources.
- Find somewhere quiet with internet access. Swap personal brands and spend an hour developing content for the other person. At the end, share and provide feedback. Put the content to use if it works for you!
- Do something you both enjoyed as a kid. Maybe you liked to hike trails, attend art galleries, or play catch with a baseball/football/Frisbee. This could bring back old memories and potentially remind you of passions or inspirations you forgot about.
If none of these work for you, I guess coffee is okay too. The goal is to make sure that you are collaborating with others and making those online connections into real life connections.