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100 cups of coffee.

If you’re a coffee lover, that sounds pretty incredible. If you’re not, please don’t stop reading (spoiler alert: It’s not really about the coffee anyway). Allow me to introduce you to a beautiful movement I was recently made aware of during a phone call with a new acquaintance, Kevin Anderson. The way God connected us is a funny story by itself but the more Kevin shared the details around an initiative he was personally involved in, the more I knew I wanted to be involved too. And, being a coffee lover, I knew I’d enjoy the brew too.

The truth is, I’d been praying earnestly during my morning quiet time for God’s direction on how to navigate my first book release in the year of Covid-19 and a speaking career just getting started and all but obliterated by cancellation after cancellation.

So, what about these 100 cups?

Kevin went on to inform me of its founder; his good friend and colleague, Jason Elkins. I’ve since had the pleasure of making acquaintance with Jason. Exhausted by endless unsuccessful sales ploys and techniques he’d been taught throughout his extensive sales experience, Jason realized something vital was missing – authentic relationship. Yes, even in a business setting and as Jason would tell you, especially in a business setting.

He set out to invite 100 people for a cup of coffee, one at a time, and what resulted was nothing short of a miracle. With each cup, he maintained one objective and it was not to ‘seal the deal’. Rather, it was to make a true connection with that individual; get to know them, their business, and their heart. Instead of asking, “What can you do for me,” Jason made it a point to discover who they were, what they were doing and to promote them and their work as he had the opportunity. Before long, the team of individuals he’d gotten to know, network with, and invest in grew.

To the extroverted part of me longing for less social distancing and to my tender heart always longing for ministry, the whole concept sounded wonderful. As an author who loves stories, I imagined behind each cup of Joe lay an unknown narrative waiting to be shared.

After joining Jason’s 6-week session, 100 Cups Academy, offered through the TN Small Business Center, the deal was sealed (no pun intended…okay, maybe a little). His business, 100 Cups Consulting, his heart for others, and his professional expertise is a powerhouse trio that resonates deeply especially in today’s climate.

Proverbs 27:2 “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth…”

This scripture comes to mind immediately as I learn from Jason and embark on my own 100 cups. Whether as a coach, speaker or consultant, Jason strives to praise and build up everyone he comes in contact with. He labors to equip others to cultivate genuine relationship. Through this place of authenticity, a business deal may or may not happen. What is guaranteed, however, is of far greater value. Taking time for and caring enough about others to learn of their work and find out what matters to them is an investment that will reap a return of its own.

As we look at society eroding in front of our eyes, the need is clear. 2020 has been a year of sifting and has involved the exposing of my heart in ways I desperately needed to be laid bare. For most of us this year, the value of and the need for personal relationships is the glaring, blinking light going off in all of our hearts.

Will you join me in seeking out authentic relationships even if it may look different? If you are interested in building your brand, platform and business, perhaps the next step is not actually up but down. Perhaps, to go higher, we must go lower; reaching to help others instead of striving so hard to promote our self and our own interests.

Jason is on to something profound and I am honored that God connected us.

Please be on the lookout for the announcement of my first cup. She is a beautiful woman inside and out and I can’t wait to introduce you to her. P.S. You just might know her daughter so stay tuned!

To find out more about Jason's company, connect here. Follow him on social media for all the new and exciting things he's working on. He'll be happy to hear from you and would be delighted to work with you!

May this beautiful Puritan prayer remind us that to be low is to be high.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou has brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;

Let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty Thy glory in my valley.

Thank you, loyal friends, for all the support you have given me as my book released in October. If you haven't read, What Does God Want You to do Before You Die, I'd be honored to share it with you. Order your copy here.

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