The CoffeeHouse Test for On-Line Relationships

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In life, relationships are the source for the most enjoyable aspects of ANY experience.

Technology continues to evolve at a breathtaking pace and will not slow.  However, there is comfort in the fact that there is a constant in life in the human connection.

While writing reflections on a year anniversary of Hustle Or Bust, I realized the post was not only too long, but heavily focused on the people that came to mind, and it deserves to be a standalone post.

I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool to meet these people IN THE REAL WORLD TOO!”

So with that said, here an Old School Test to measure the level of “Human Connection” from the Digital World

The Coffee House Test

If I’m traveling to a city, would I look forward to having a cup of coffee/glass of wine with them in the real world?  Would they feel the same?  

If the answer is a 2 way YES, you have a meaningful connection.  If the answer is a 1 way yes, perhaps not as much.  The Coffeehouse test is simple, and may only apply to a relatively small percentage of your on-line connections.

How’s this for a goal?  ACTUALLY ACT on it and meet your on-line connections in the real world!

Whatever your venue of choice (bar, coffee house, etc.), pick one that “stands up” to the importance of meeting a connection in the real world.  Since it’s the “coffeehouse” here’s my recco for those around Beantown.

Caffe Vittoria Boston

Caffe’ Vittoria is the best Old School Coffee House I know, in Boston’s North End section, with the best cappuccino and Tiramisu I’ve had. Classic black and white pictures everywhere, simple stone tables and big shiny espresso machines.  Borderline rude service, because they can.

Incidentally, Boston is home to the best Italian Food “section” in the country, but I digress, so Back to the CoffeeHouse….

Role models are needed in all walks of life.  For the past year+ here are 11 that come to mind.  They certainly pass MY Coffeehouse test!

Tom Peters @tom_peters

  • One of the smartest management thinkers of the past 3 decades.  But what sets Tom apart?  Simple, he engages.  He doesn’t take himself too seriously.  Bring your “A-Game” with Tom….

John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas

  • Host of Entrepreneur On Fire, a top-ranked daily business podcast.  John has accompanied over 100 4am work-outs in 2013, that’s over 100 hours!  If that doesn’t make the cut, what does?  Required listening for anyone in innovation or start-up mode.

Kelli Schmith @marketingveep

  • Kelli is smart, sarcastic and funny.  RARELY will I read her tweets and not find myself laughing, smiling or thinking.  How many people can you say that about?

Vala Afshar @ValaAfshar

  • Prolific writer, on twitter and the blogosphere.  Amazingly consistent on all things leadership, social and marketing.  He’s flat out smart.  And so very generous and polite, a true statesman.  So much so that I’m nervous offending him when my “New Jersey” comes out!

Gary Vaynerchuck @garyvee

  • I like to think that I coined the word “HUSTLE” but Gary would argue this, and win.  I “knew OF” Gary before he was “Garyvee”……before Wine Library (#SDL) was re-branded and exploded from his efforts …. through my NJ liquor store days in high school (’90-’92).  He’s raw, brilliant and ballsy.  He leaves no doubt with his beliefs.

Joe DeGiorgio @JoeDeGiorgio

  • When I think of “Old School,” (and of course that’s a POSITIVE connotation) Joe is the name that comes to mind.  He’s one of the best writers I’ve come across and can’t wait for his posts.  If I didn’t know differently, I’d think Joe and I were distant relatives with connections back to the old country.

Kent Huffman @KentHuffman

Ted Rubin @TedRubin

  • Well known for #RonR, or Return on Relationship.  He’s tons of personality, colorful socks, a NY’r and always interacts.  I first discovered Ted via Kent’s Top CMO list

Ted Coine @tedcoine

  • What first caught my eye is Ted’s follow back policy when I first started on twitter, and one line in particular:
    • “Much more importantly (to me), here’s why I follow everyone back: I’m not more important than my followers.”  
    • Ted’s blog is one of the best in the area of business & leadership

Liz Jostes @lizjostes (Have met ITRW!)

  • Liz was one of my main coaches getting HustleorBust off the ground.  She’s brainy, witty and has an edge, a combination not often found in Memphis.  I’m sure that comment may get me into trouble.

Tom Logue@TomBLogue (Have met ITRW!)

  • He’s brainy, witty and has an edge, a combination not often found in Memphis.  I’m sure that comment will get me into trouble. Sound familiar?  When I have an in depth or controversial stance on a business issue, Tom is the name that often comes to mind and whose opinion I want to know, and why.  ESPECIALLY when his opinion is different than mine.

Thanks to all for making 2013 special, and for bringing back memories of one of my favorite coffeehouses!  And if you haven’t entered your email address (top right corner, subscribe box) please do so we can stay connected!  

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  1. Wow, honored to be with you on so many momentous (and early) occasions. I am up just an hour after you at 5am…We get more stuff done before 9am than the rest of the world does all day!

  2. Mark,

    I don’t think there’s anyone I am connected with that I don’t want to meet. How a meeting would go, well who can say. But my philosophy in life is that everyone has something to teach me. Everyone knows something I don’t know. To grow as a person, I want to absorb from everyone I meet. Thus, I want to meet as many people as I can.
    Just not any stalkers! 😉
    Thankfully, I don’t have any yet.

  3. Thanks for including me Mark. This is right in line with Return on Relationship.

  4. Make it a great weekend my friend 🙂

  5. Exactly my sentiments,although I may be on the more drastic end of the spectrum.There are many people on social media, supposedly “friends” ,that are a step away from people you wouldn’t even say hello to on the street,much less meet them in a coffeehouse! when the social media addicts get on their soap boxes and spout their prejudices and political preferences ad nauseum and trivia, I want to wonder why they aren’ t doing something more useful with their time.I guess it has it’s usefulness, meeting interesting people, finding lost friends. but for me it’s all about human contact, without having to deal with things I don’t agree with. everyone has a right to their beliefs etc, I would rather not read about it though,therefore I choose to use the “old school ” way of meeting and keeping up with people. different strokes for different folks.

    • Great thoughts! Social media has given everyone the opportuntiy to be a “media company,” some use it productively to do good, build relationships, share great thoughts, others simply use it as a soap box of negativity. There’s something soothing about the old school coffee shop (or today’s starbucks) where humans sit and eyeball each other. The funny thing about “TIME” is that it doesn’t discriminate, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. How people burn their hours or embrace them is fascinating……

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