If it is a work day, there is a good chance that you are going to find me starting my day in coffee shop around 7:30 AM. Since leaving P&G in 2010, it is a ritual that I’ve developed where each day in Cincinnati begins with a trip to one of favorite baristas. Instead of one shop, I typically rotate between three or independent shops including 1215 Coffee Lab & Coffee Emporium in OTR, Bow Tie Cafe in Mt Adams, and Mammoth Coffee in Newport, KY.
But those trips aren’t about me sitting down over a cup of coffee and leisurely reading the newspaper. Instead, I start every day at the coffee shop with a meeting (or two or three). After all, “business is about motion.” It is about creating planned serendipity where you grow your business opportunities by putting yourself in a place to discover new people and new things. When it comes to motion in my own town, that means the various coffee shops, each of which expose me to a different group. At 1215, it becomes my meeting place for the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Coffee Emporium on the other hand is more for the political crowd of Cincinnati, while Mammoth Cafe is the movers and shakers of Northern Kentucky.
In a coffee shop, it’s easy for someone to stop by and say hello. It doesn’t feel like you are interrupting a business meeting. Instead, it is a chance to introduce people and embrace the serendipity. I can’t even begin to count the number of times where someone has walked into the coffee shop and it was the very person I had just been saying I’d make an introduction to. Or someone walks in that sparks an introduction that I hadn’t even thought of. If I had been doing that same meeting in my office behind closed doors, the spark of an introduction would have never happened. And that right there is the power of motion in business.