I have crowned myself the queen of everything. No seriously. I even made an enamel pin with my friend Bananna which you can purchase HERE (shameless plug). This means I’m also the queen of meetings. Prior to my travels, I was in 3-5 meetings a week. Most of them were work related and sometimes there would be a few coffee dates. Actually, there were a ton of coffee dates. I fucking HATE coffee dates. Not all of them though. I LOVE grabbing tea with my friends and hearing all about their lives and adventures. But before you get all judgmental and offended, here is why:
Most people that want to have a coffee date with you don’t actually want to have a coffee date WITH you. They want to sit down and get information from you. Or as the famous line says, “pick your brain.” Granted we’ve all been guilty of that. Someone has something that sparkles and we’ve just got to know how they got theirs that damn shiny. Needless to say, I have had life changing coffee dates. Sessions where we talk about life, personal growth, ways to better ourselves and help each other. But those have been few and far between. Or coffee dates where you can just kick it because the person wants absolutely nothing from you but meaningful quality time. I can dig those.
My personal life mantra is “Protect your Magic.” I have this written down on several pieces of paper around my office, and right before a meeting an alarm goes off that reads “Protect your magic.” Your knowledge, ideas, feelings. All of those things add up to the magic that is you. You can’t just give that shit to anyone. The great Rupi Kaur (purchase Milk & Honey because I’ve read it front to back over 20 times and it is my bible) once said…
You are allowed to pick and choose where you invest yourself. So now I turn down coffee date requests left and right. I ask questions and conclude whether or not the request is something I should invoice, consider, or dismiss. Yes, I said invoice, because when you sit down in front of me and tell me all of your business woes, ideas, frustrations and you express your desire to better your brand which ends in a cry for help. That’s billable baby. It’s called life coaching and brand management. People make entire careers out of that. So yes, I will listen to you. I will fix it for you, and you will pay me for it. To many that sounds selfish and rude, but in a world where people pay $45 for a Kylie Jenner lipstick set, and $100 to be part of a bullshit loop giveaway to earn followers (don’t even get me started on that), they can afford to invest in themselves by paying you for your time.
I have coffee dates scheduled over the next couple of months that I’m super excited about. No invoicing, no hidden agendas. Just tea and coffee with incredible humans who leave you feeling like you can walk outside and take over the world (that could also be the caffeine but whatever). I’ve experienced giving people my money for their advice and their time, and I received life altering gems and business relationships that over time you can’t put a price on. Then I got really tired of feeling used and drained after sitting down for hours with people who just want you to tell them the secrets to success. Here is the secret: Work hard, do your research, invest in yourself, and PROTECT YOUR MAGIC.
So no, you can’t “pick my brain” as if you were some sort of savage or vulture. I would, however, love to sit down with you, hear your ideas and your goals and help you accomplish them. Then I’d love to be paid for it. Your magic, my magic is way too valuable, skillfully crafted, and way too hard to maintain for us to just give it away. That’s how you burn out. That’s how I’ve burnt out.
Give yourself freely to few. Give yourself heavily. Give yourself wisely, and when appropriate, charge for your time. It’s everything.
ps here are some friendly reminders for your iPhone (just click the image. Wait for it to open up and save).
**Update** since posting this someone told me about @protectyourmagic and now it is my lifes mission to find one of those on the ground and photograph a #fromwhereistand with it. “Protect Your Magic” is trademarked by @fadiakader