The most expensive coffee you’ve had this year?

What's the true cost of this coffee? The answer may surprise you.

What’s the true cost of this coffee? The answer may surprise you.

If you’re like me, you’re constantly on the lookout for tips and tricks to be as productive as possible. We’re eager to find hacks that will help us save time, Apps to automate common tasks — keen to squeeze more out of each minute.

But when was the last time you questioned whether you should be doing that particular task at all? That’s what hit me today, when I was invited by a connection on LinkedIn to meet for coffee.

According to his message, he’s met me a few times already. My reflex is to accept. And normally, I would go ahead and arrange to meet him.

But today, when I received his invitation, my immediate reaction was: “What will this meeting cost me?”

Agreeing to meet him — and with no explicit goal for the meeting — will probably eat up at least an hour and a half. Normally, being sociable and open to the prospect of developing business, I would have accepted his invitation.

But today is different.

Over the past few months, it’s clear I have become more reluctant to accept invitations, and keener to stay at my desk — generating revenue.

This was reinforced by an interview I recently heard with Seth Godin: “I find I have a lot more time since I stopped watching television, and going to meetings.” What an eye-opener that was.

Is it just me, eager to stay put rather than take the opportunity to meet and deepen a recent connection, or are you also jealously guarding your time at your desk?

As a solo practitioner, if I am not generating revenue, nobody else is doing it for me. On days that I have meetings, I rarely get much done in the revenue generation front. And it’s not just the time I spend at the meeting, or the time it takes to travel to and from it.

For me, the biggest cost is the interruption. Getting into the flow of a new project, developing a good idea, outlining a kick-ass seminar or presentation — that is pure gold. To interrupt it to go for a coffee may cost you far more than you anticipate.

So, the next time you’re invited by a business connection to meet for coffee, ask yourself if you’re headed out for the most expensive coffee you’ve had his year.

3 thoughts on “The most expensive coffee you’ve had this year?

  1. Chris

    Very true – if you look at your time as your personal property as you do with the material possessions you own, you are likely to treat it more carefully. I used to really struggle with declining lunch invites (coffee I still do!), but you’re spot on, it’s costing money to be away from your desk way beyond the price of the coffee/meal/whatever.

  2. Naomi

    I worked in corporate business for years and the meetings were the biggest time waster for me. Often my entire day was simply back to back meetings meaning that I never got any work actually done during the day so would be working most of the night to keep projects moving along.

    Today, I work for myself from my home office and I am FAR more productive because I mostly simply ignore the offers and get on. I am much more selfish and unless it is something I want, I just get my head down and get in the grove.

    On the flip side, I have expensed £1000’s flying to the other side of the world for an introduction to a new key contact but then the company I worked for did very well from it in the end as well.

    Just thankful that those days are behind me.

  3. Wyatt

    Learning to say no is probably one of the most important lessons for an entrepreneur, and it can be one of the hardest to learn! Appreciating time for the limited commodity it is can really focus you to make more of it – which is vital for anyone growing a business.

    The irony is that, by declining more of these ‘quick chats over coffee’, (even though we all love a good cup of coffee), not only do you get more done, potential clients actually seem to appreciate you and your business more for turning them down – they begin to understand how much you value your time, and why they should also!


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