no, I don’t want to have coffee with you.

Jun 22

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.

You’re welcome

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Geraldine says:

    This definitely hit the spot !!! I recently started event styling. I was referred to someone by a friend who wanted to use my services and I agreed to sit down with them and talk about what they wanted and how I can make it happen. Well honey, let’s just say I should always keep my secret ingridients to myself, because they took my detailed proposal, ran with it, and not only did she not call me back but she took all my ideas and did the party herself. I should have charged her for that consultation ! I swear things always come with right timing. Now I’m going to run with this and “Protect My Magic” <3. you are amazing and like I said the first time I met you, inspiring. Know that people want to pick your brain because they truly believe in your magic. Keep up the amazing work you do and follow your dreams. You can change roles as many times as you want to. K bye I talked to much lol 😂

  2. Ursula says:

    “Invoice, consider, or dismiss…” Love it!!! Thank you ! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽
    I hope payment is required before your coffee date. Folks are shady in these “pick your brain” streets! 👀👀👀

  3. Ahtis says:

    Everything you said is 1000% spot on!

  4. Kaloni says:

    This piece resonates with me so much! Wow! Thanks. Beautifully written.

  5. Michele says:

    I want to thank you for this post

  6. Yes Denisse! This was absolute perfection, you hit every point right on the nail ✨. I couldn’t agree more, especially about paying for your time. Too many people out there want to “pick your brain” without giving something of value in return. Knowledge is value, so if I give you mine then I expect the same in return. Thank you for always being honest and REAL! Love you girl! Xoxo 💕

  7. Erica says:

    I know it was no accident that I came across you and this blog. Such a profound message! I had a prospect email me yesterday and ask would I “change my package because she can’t afford the one I have.” Yes. I get those quite often and sometimes, I’m like How Sway? lol. The crazy part is, people know who to try and who not to. So, from a behavioral or psychology perspective maybe they recognize a leniency spirit or kindness in people that they want to manipulate. Wheras in others, they know either to pay or move on.
    Anyway, it may take awhile for me get to the point or craft my image in a way that repels cheapskates (HA). But I am surely going to stand firm in that. I also wrote a similar post on my blog too recently. Hope you can check it out >
    Enjoy your weekend!

    • thugnanny says:

      I’m done. That was brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I found this post through Heygorjess and while I’m not a fashion or beauty blogger, I’ve been blogging for quite some time. This post and the preceding one really touched and enlightened me. While sewing blogs and sewing bloggers are just starting to explode with sponsors, wading through the muck and watching other bloggers grow overnight has been interesting. You made some great points that I’m going to hold on to. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and giving me a little more understanding of what’s actually going on out here.

    • thugnanny says:

      Carolyn, thanks so much for reading. It’s so important to always look beyond the hype and what everyone is doing. When you grow organically and your own way, it is so much more rewarding. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, love. I appreciate you!

  9. Arabelis says:

    I loved your post, a great eye opener not just for bloggers but in general. Many times people find it difficult to let others down, but wasting your time on others that don’t deserve it is far worse.

  10. Alexandra says:

    I completely agree! You speak the truth. Continue to do amazing things!xo

  11. Keisha Cadle says:

    See i actually love this! The fact that you’re so direct, know your worth, and are still willing to meet with people is exactly the kind of coffee date i would love to have. Networking has been such a struggle for me. I feel like people pretend to want to be your friend when they really just want a business arrangement to benefit themselves. On the flip side, as much as i want to make new connection and expand my friend circle, i would gladly pay for a sit down if it means getting some help sorting out my blogger industry issues.
    You are amazing! Thank you for all that you do and share!