This, I believe, is one reason why they’re so successful. We want a place to go outside of our work or home. A place to sit, talk, and enjoy each other’s company – or be left alone. Starbucks made that happen.
How? They displayed lots of chairs, couches and tables. They erected fireplaces and outside patios. They built in locations where people naturally gather – outside of shopping centers, inside of shopping centers, inside of grocery stores, and near hospitals, colleges, and office buildings. And they sell coffee and tea, and in some locations, alcohol. These are the beverages most people drink when we sit, talk, and enjoy each other’s company - or want to be left alone.
I embrace loitering too. Why? First, it’s easier than fighting it! Secondly, it allows me to accomplish several things by removing me from the norm and commotion that is life. In this unique and lively space, I get to write, read, relax, ponder, produce, and people-watch (not in a creepy way; I enjoy the characters that wander this earth!)
Yes, I said ‘produce’. I’m a writer, thinker, team leader, visionary, and content producer, among other things. I don’t make this stuff up. My Enneagram tells me I’m an “enthusiastic visionary” (a busy, fun-loving type: spontaneous and versatile) with a wing of “loyalist” (a committed, security-oriented type: engaging and responsible). Now that I know this about myself, I set myself up for success, by surrounding myself with things that inspire me – people, coffee, WiFi, and a nearby electrical outlet.
This alternative (insert coffee shop of your choice here) space allows me to open my sensors and create. I’ve also met some extraordinary people in these spaces. “A coffee shop is a great meeting place,” said Blaise as if everyone already wasn’t aware of this. It’s also a great place to look up “Enneagram” to find out more about yourself and ask deeper questions to the people you meet.
As we begin this new year, I hope to see you in a cool meeting place “loitering” outside of your home or workspace. I challenge each of us to embrace the things we love, share the things that inspire us, and buy a cup of coffee for a friend. If you see me in one of these spaces, please come up and introduce yourself. And if you mention this article – I’ll buy you a cup of joe.
Yes. I wrote much of this note to you in a coffee shop. More dark-roast, please.
Visit me and say hello!
"freedom at work"