The guy kept trying to catch my eye, his pocket square practically screaming for me to look up.
Even though I was clearly sending out the “Please leave me alone to drink my green juice and read my book” vibes, he refused to give in. Finally, I looked over.
“I have that book in my Amazon cart right now!”
“Oh wow, really? Well, I’ve enjoyed it so far.”
(^Listen to this post^)
Though I am fairly good at conversation, I am generally reluctant to join them. I guess it’s the introvert in me. But once I get started, I sink into my curiosity — this is a new life form, with dreams and goals and hopes and experiences I have yet to explore.
Who are you, coffee shop man?
We talked and he quickly recounted his story: David moved from Arizona to Nashville, he closed down a watch company to move, he’s working on a mobile app now, he is thinking of starting a clothing line.
The minutes passed. Five. Then ten. Then 15. People buzzed back and forth throughout the space while we talked, alone our conversation bubble. He wanted to know more. What kind of writing did I do? Why am I reading “Launch” at 4:24 in the afternoon? What are my plans?
Minutes later, another person approached the table. A man with pepper hair, wide glasses, square face. He saw my book too.
“I was at an event where they were giving those away,” he said.
“Wait…not Biz Build?” I asked. “Do you know Angus?”
He did know Angus.
I shook the hand of Chester-who-knows-Angus and connected him to David-from-Arizona. David introduced us both to Conner and Kristin. Soon, our whole table came to life with the high only new relationships offer. The smiles, the laughs, the vulnerability of telling your story. There is a magic here, an electricity. With new friends, you can be anything you want.
We forget it sometimes, but that’s what potential feels like.
Every year for Christmas, I get socks.
Why? Because I am the sock guy. I display my love for socks on my feed and my feet, and socks come to me.
There were probably 65 people in Starbucks that day. I got to meet the serial entrepreneur with ideas and connections. Why? I display my love for growth and ideas in the form of a book; growth and ideas came back to me.
Ironically, most of us avoid standing out in any way. It’s our deep desire to act like we don’t care about anything. Be bland. Don’t make noise. Fit in.
In return we don’t meet the people who want the same things we do. We don’t get the things we want to get. We don’t find the skills we need to find. Of course we don’t. They think we are just another person.
But here’s what I learned lately: You will never grow in the direction you want to go if you don’t act like who you want to be. Every day you wake up, you have another chance to show the world exactly what you expect from it, to tell people who you are.
I suppose the only remaining question is this:
Who are you?
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