My Starbucks Girl Rejected Me. How About Yours?

Starbucks Girl - Mark Zhang

I’ve been feeling extra badass of late, and finding myself single again, have been looking forward to connecting with the fairer sex.

Sunday Morning, Rain is Falling.

Standing in line at Starbucks, I saw the cutest barista.

Luscious and long dark hair, with an innocent smile that masked passion.

Before I even get to the counter, my heart started beating just a little faster. The butterflies in my tummy tickled with gentle excitement. Sweaty palms too? Check.

Game on.

As she started working on my latte, I shouted across the counter, perhaps too loudly so that half of the room heard:

“HEY!”

She stopped and looked up with concern and curiosity.

With the most serious face I could muster, I said:

“Can you put some extra…LOVE in my latte please?”

At first, her face betrayed her confusion. Then a smile cracked open with dimples the size of crop circles.

She wants me! Foolish optimism kicked in immediately.

We bantered for a bit, and before getting my latte and leaving, I said nonchalantly:

“Why don’t you put your phone number down on a piece of napkin, otherwise I ain’t leaving.”

I was THAT confident.

Her smile turned into Stone Cold Steve Austin and she said cooly:

“I’m not putting ANYTHING down.”

…ouch.

I had no come back. Wasn’t prepared. I was so sure.

And it doesn’t help at all when there were a dozen people watching and snickering at me.

I could feel my face starting to get warm, and so grabbed my drink and walked sheepishly away.

***

As I sat in the corner of Starbucks, looking out the window, relishing the bitterness of my latte, and feeling a little stupid, a sense of satisfaction enveloped me.

I always feel so ALIVE when I confront the uncomfortable.

I always feel so ALIVE when I experience embarrassment.

I always feel so ALIVE when I put myself out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved for the Starbucks Girl to say YES. I was just reminded that many of the great things that have happened in my life…relationships, friendships, business deals, and more, all happened because I jumped on opportunities and/or made choices that could’ve potentially made me look foolish.

***

If we aren’t regularly getting rejected and looking like fools, we’re probably not trying enough things, or not trying hard enough.

I don’t want to sound high and mighty, because I constantly have to remind myself too.

Human tendency defaults to comfort, yet progress is made in discomfort.

***

When is your Starbucks Girl rejecting you?

Dividends of Being Foolishly Optimistic

Foolish Optimism

At the beginning of my life, I was full of optimism. You were too.

Some where between the 5th and 50th failure and rejection, pessimism kicked in. Lowering expectations protected my fragile ego from disappointment.

After the 200th failure and rejection, I said to myself, “fuck it,” and chose to be foolishly optimistic.

When I say “foolish,” I mean expecting the best regardless of the situation.

Yes, she likes you. Yes, you’re getting that dream job. Yes, the deal will close.

Like most things in life, foolish optimism is also a conscious choice.

***

So what are the dividends of being foolishly optimistic?

1 – People will think you’re extremely capable or completely insane

It’s true. People will look at you and think:

What this guy is telling me is completely nuts/insane/impossible/stupid [take your pick]. Yet…he seems confident and normal, and since no normal person would make such a request, he must really have the experience/charisma/leadership/knowledge [again, take your pick] to get the job done.

At this point, self-fulfilling prophecy kicks in. You think you can and therefore, you can.

2 – Your dreams get BIGGER

…and bigger and bigger and bigger. Cliche time!

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. - W. Clement Stone

3 – Positivity radiates out of your every single pore

You can’t be foolishly optimistic without being positive.

And positivity is one of the most seductive qualities a person can have. Seductive in every sense, not just the sexual. It draws people in and inspires them to support your dream.

***

Does being foolishly optimistic always work out?

YES.

I don’t always get what I want, but always end up being further ahead.

I can’t think of a better way to end this post than with a quote from the late Steve Jobs:

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. -Steve Jobs

Entrepreneurship is Like a Party. No Party Invites? No Worries.

Entrepreneurship is like a party.

A lesson most of us learn as teenagers is that when no one is inviting us to parties, we start our own.

Sure, our parties may be terrible at first. Hell, maybe no one even shows up except for our parents.

But, the fact that we tried, puts us in a different league.

The other party people see this.

We’re one of them now. Instant comradery is formed.

After awhile, they might invite us to a party or two, thinking they’ll be invited to our parties in the future.

And they’ll be right. We’ll definitely invite ‘em.

Over time, the parties we throw get better and better. Full of sexy people. Everyone wants in.

The best part? We receive more invites than what we know to do with.

***

My experience with entrepreneurship has been the same. Towards the end of business school, I was flirting with the idea of running my own show. But at this point, all I had done was read books and ponder about the possibilities, and I can sense the disconnect when speaking with established entrepreneurs and business owners. I was frustrated, because I felt like they weren’t giving me the guidance I was looking for. They weren’t inviting me to the “entrepreneurial party.”

The disconnect gap became smaller after I started Slip Stopper, and when a little success came, the gap closed even further to the point of connection. I’m starting to sense the comradery, and will continue to throw “parties” by DOING.

***

Just do it. Add value. We can only relate to those we want to become after getting dirty and beat-up in the trenches.