22 Lessons From 22 Coffees
I started my podcast Let’s Grab Coffee a little less than a year ago now with the goal to interview successful people in different industries. I essentially wanted to share my network of awesome people to the community and build a platform that showcases stories of success, failures, lessons, and experiences. I’ve had 22 guests on the show so far, and have learned a ton from these conversations. So, I wanted to break down the micro-pieces of advice and share them with you. Hope you find this valuable:
Episode 1 : Paul Nadeau – Former Hostage/Crisis Negotiator, Keynote Speaker/Author
Never, ever, ever, give up – and no matter how many times you get knocked down, find a way to get back up. Life is not always easy, it does kick us where it hurts and sometimes we do fall on that mat and it is equally our choice to get up or stay down. A challenge is not the end of your story unless you choose it to be. Go for what makes you happy, for what makes you joyful, and if you need to learn how to get there…find the right people that can help you get there. Life has so much abundance, and once you truly believe that it does, it’s amazing how many opportunities open up.
Episode 2 : Julie Blais Comeau – Canada’s Go-To Etiquette Expert / Bilingual Speaker, Spokesperson, Media Partner, Author & Blogger
Invest in yourself. Invest in your capabilities, in your abilities – but before you do that investment, make sure you DECIDE. You are the master of your future, so decide what you want and then invest in yourself, in your education, and your skills.
Episode 3 : Daryo Cummins – Account Executive at Amazon and Creative / Blogger
Once you get into university, try everything your program has to offer at least once – just everything! Any networking events, extra curricular activities, clubs, competitions…just try it once. Try international exchanges, learn new things, meet different people and be open to new experiences. The biggest regrets people have is not enjoying the full university experience – when people go to class, and go home, while making little-to-no friends, and not benefiting from what the faculties have to offer. It’s four years you never get to experience again, so make the most of it.
Episode 4 : Mark Bowden – Keynote Speaker / World Renowned Body Language Expert / TRUTHPLANE / Presentation Training & Communication Coach
Be persistent, and just keep going. Pick a target and just keep on going for that target. Knowing that, other people who picked the same target, will drop off along the way – even though they may be more capable than you, they won’t have the same resilience as you. Never give up on that target. You don’t have to be the smartest, the best looking, you just have to know what the goal is and keep going longer than others. It takes no brain power for someone to say why you can’t do something – with no effort, people can give you a one hour lecture of why it won’t work…anybody can do that. So, when you pick that one goal and make it public, there will be many people along the way who try to pull you down and get in the way – you have to shut out the naysayers and keep a supportive cast around who actually want to see you succeed.
Episode 5 : Randy Thomas – Professional Actor, Author, and Coach
Cut yourself some slack – obviously work really hard at your craft, but don’t beat yourself up every time you face a roadblock. No decision is worst than making a wrong decision, so take time to also breathe through the process and get through it. If you really just ask for it, give yourself time to figure it out, and put in the effort to accomplish your goals, it’ll all pan out.
Episode 6 : Evan Carmichael – Founder at Evan Carmichael Communications Group
Follow your passion. Do something that you love. Especially when you’re graduating, don’t just seek out the highest paying jobs like being an investment banker, doctor, etc… that will kill you unless you have a passion for those things to go forward. Often, if you’re passionate and good at what you’re doing, you create a new job for yourself that didn’t exist. That’s when you let your true genius come out.
Episode 7 : Tyson Rigg – Relationship Manager / Private Investment Counsel / Scotia Wealth Management
Have patience and understand what failure is. Patience is key when you get out into the workforce – success in the way you define it is not going to come fast and easy, or as easy as it was in university. You have to get rid of the idea of entitlement – keep your head in the lane, get done what you need to get done, and ride the waves. And with failure…”to be honest with you, I have not failed as much in my whole life until I started working full time – like mistakes, not passing certain exams, and it hits really hard. Man, it hit me hard because when I graduated university with distinction, I left on a really high note and when I entered the workforce I really had to get used to the idea of failure – it’s part of the process and part of the growth.”
Episode 8 : Jeff Dennis – Entrepreneur in Residence at Fasken Law
Every single company today is a tech company. Not long ago, there was the tech sector (technology, computers, etc..) and it was very specialized in itself. But today, every business is disrupted by technology and will have no choice but to adapt and pivot.
Creativity is a #1 skill – to think creatively, work collaboratively, and have a basic understanding of science, mathematics, and technology is essential. It also never hurts to be a great salesperson – if you can generate revenue, you can always eat. The salespeople rarely starve, and often are the last ones to get laid off.
I tell this to my kids often, and it’s very simple; 90% is just showing up.
Episode 9 : James Beattie – Capital Markets Investment Banking at Gravitas Securities
Be unique, be different, be interesting, and build bridges (in your community, family, and home). Never, never, never give up! When times get tough and situations you face are challenging, always remember to Breathe. Listen. Pause.
Episode 10 : Kimberly Biggs – CEO of Agence Pop Inc. / Social Media Strategist / Speaker
Try to read as much as you can (a good start is one book per month). Also, try to find balance between work and personal life – my rule is to have my phone completely turned off between 5pm and 8pm (that’s time for family/kids). Every morning, try to get in the zone – sit with yourself for just 15 minutes (in silence and really try to reflect deeply on what you want to maximize out of your day). Lastly, have a daily planner (paper-based preferably) and make goals for 20-minute blocks that you can actually check off.
Episode 11 : Chuck Garcia – CEO at Climb Leadership International / Executive Coaching / Motivational Speaking
Confront the fear that will allow you to let go of who you are and become the person you want to be. Continually seek to be better at what you do, and the only way you can do that is if you try and fail – and recognize from this day forward, there is no failure, everything we do is giving us feedback which will determine how to do things better. One last thing and the best piece of advice I ever received came from the Poet Maya Angelou who said “when you meet people, they may forget what you say, and even what you do…but never how you make them feel.”
Episode 12 : Alan Smithson – CEO at MetaVRse and VR/AR Expert
Consistency is better than any one thing. Do something everyday (actually execute) and try to get a little bit better everyday (formally known as Kaizen). Be curious about the things you’re passionate about, read a lot, consume content, and try to output the content that you learn and share it with the world.
Episode 13 : Brian Rashid – International Speaker & CEO
Trust yourself more. You know what you want to do and there’s a reason inside of you. In some cases, we pick our fate, and in some cases our fate picks us and waits for us to act on it. Trust your intuition, your gut…trust yourself more. If it fails, and if you fail…than at least you gave it a shot and honoured what you felt in that moment. Because the worst thing in the world is regret on what you wish you could have done.
Episode 14 : Manu Goswami – Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Start NOW. Have an intrinsic desire to go out there and accomplish the things you want to do. Don’t have any regrets – and starting out now will minimize any regret you’ll have 4, 5, 10 years from now and regret is a brutal feeling for anyone. The last thing you want is to look back and wish you were able to do what you wanted to. Also, make sure you value the relationships around you. It’s very easy to get caught up on LinkedIn when you grow the followers and think you can have coffee with anyone, but there are only a few people who’ll truly wear your jersey and who’ll bleed for you…that’s the name of the game. So make sure every single person you follow and connect with that you’re building a meaningful relationship, not just a superficial or transactional one.
Episode 15 : Darrell Pinto – Research Director at Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA)
In this world, this time, and this age…we have so much politics and issues – people tend to focus on differences, so I would encourage you to do the opposite. See the good in others, be open to different ideologies, and develop the curiosity to learn from the things that you weren’t previously exposed to. It’s only in this space that you can grow and excel.
Episode 16 : Sayem Reza – Digital Marketer & Photographer
If you’re going to do anything in life, stay consistent with it. Deliver on what you promise and put in the 100% hustle with your craft. Have idols in your life and people you can look up to and surround yourself with a supportive cast of friends and family who can help you get to where you want. Lastly, just do it – no excuses.
Episode 17 : Shauna Arnott – Producer & Lead Planner at Haste and Hustle
Work really hard at it, find people who can support you at different levels, and just find the job that you want to do and go and do it! You’re not trees, you’re fluid enough to move around and pivot. You can do anything you set your mind to. You’re the one stopping yourself because of all the fears that are eating you up inside.
Episode 18 : Connor Beaton – Founder at ManTalks
One of things that’s very powerful is to understand what mindfulness truly is. We have a watered down version of what that is in our life, and so many people are struggling because they’ve bought into this version of mindfulness that’s super surface level. It is a process of being mindful of your experiences – moving from your thoughts, into the experience to embody what mindfulness actually is. So, whether it’s through breathing, daily routines, meditations…reflect deeply on the emotions you feel during a particular experience. As Einstein once said “the intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.”
Episode 19 : Mike Smith – Founder of Mike Smith Live, The Harbor, The BAY, and Skate for Change
Look for those moments where you can take a risk, be around somebody who can teach you things, experience things you’ve never experienced, and at some point where you need to step up and actually do it – strive to be the person you want to become. Don’t wish and talk, because that’s fun and exciting but there’s a scary part to actually start doing…and that’s where you need to be to actually get to where you want. Get out there and do, take risks, take chances…and keep pushing!
Episode 20 : Shawn Kanungo – Disruptive Innovation / Strategist / Keynote Speaker
If you’re waking up in the morning, think about how you can get yourself fired today by taking a risk. If you try something like that, in a reasonable way, you’ll notice that nothing bad will happen, you’ll push yourself out of your comfort zone and you might make a massive impact on the things you’re working on.
Episode 21 : Victoria Pelletier – CEO at ValidateIt / Passionate Networker / Speaker
Have confidence in yourself and just go for it. If you don’t ask for it, you’ll never get it. Be comfortable in who you are, the skills you can bring, and the diversity it adds to a team (in a positive way).
Episode 22 : Raphael Wong – Strategic & Growth Initiatives at ThoughtWire & Host at Canvas Series
Write it down. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or comprehensive, but write it down and just start. That’s the recipe to building momentum and getting it going.
I want to thank every single person who has been a part of the Let’s Grab Coffee journey and took the time to share their wealth of experiences, lessons, and advice. A special thanks to Paul Nadeau who came on the show as my first guest, and who gave me the chance/encouragement to follow through with it.
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