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June 27, 2013, 6:00 am

Why Would You Pay Over $3 For a Cup of Coffee?

by: MD    Category: More Financial articles

Why would you pay over $3 for a cup of coffee?

That’s what a buddy once asked me. He proceeded to tell me what a rip off this is and how I already have a coffee maker/Tassimo machine.

The reality is that I do my best writing at coffee shops. I just can’t get into the zone in my room. There’s no sense of urgency and I get easily distracted by everything. So I hit up a coffee shop, grab some coffee, and start writing like an animal. When I’m complete or just tired, I go home.

I know. I get it. Coffee at a coffee shop is a rip off. It’s not cheap and it’s over-priced.

$3 is too much for a cup of coffee. We can all agree on that generally speaking.

So why the hell do I spend this much money on coffee?

Sometimes in life you have to move past the tactical stuff and the boring details to think about deeper stuff. You can’t always just worry about the same minor details.

I do my best to study top-performers and successful friends. I want to see what they do differently.

They usually have one thing in common. They don’t stress over the excruciating minutia. They focus on the next big issue and something higher to tackle. They solve major problems consistently.

One of my friends wasn’t happy with his job. While everyone else at the job complained about the management and bashed each other, creating a toxic environment, he did something different. He took evening courses and earned his degree in a field that guaranteed him work. He found a new job eventually and left his old place of work. He knew that complaining about the same crap would get him absolutely nowhere. Now he makes more money than ever before.

Do you stress about the minor stuff?

We all stress about such minor stuff and it’s never worth it. I get stuck in this trap sometimes. I worry about responding to comments and emails and I forget to tackle higher issues.

Why do we stress about the minor stuff? Because it’s safe and easy.

After I finished reading The 4-Hour Workweek, I posted the following note on my desk:

Are you inventing things to do to avoid doing the important?

Whenever I’m aimlessly surfing the web, I look at this and get myself back into gear.

Are you thinking big enough?

I’m certainly not. I’m not strategic enough at all. I know this. I respond to useless emails and spend hours doing nothing. We’ve already covered this angle.

Today, I just wanted to throw out some random thoughts on strategy and higher-level thinking:

  1. We have to think past today. Spending a few bucks today for a lunch with a successful person might cost you some money. You never know what doors it will open up in the future for you.
  2. Will this matter in a week? That’s what I ask myself now. We can laugh off most of our problems and embarrassments by asking if they will even matter in a week from now. They usually don’t matter in a few minutes.

Back to the friend bashing my idea to go to the coffee shop to drink coffee and use my laptop. He usually just sits around and does nothing. He goes on Facebook and it takes him forever to respond to a basic email. Maybe, hitting up the coffee shop isn’t such a bad idea to get some work done.

Sometimes you have to create systems for yourself.

I’ve come to realize that will-power will only take you so far. You have to create some systems and barriers for yourself to improve your behavior.

For example, if you don’t want to eat junk food, then don’t have any around the house. It’s hard to eat a bag of chips in the middle of the night when you don’t have one.

When I want to get work done, I hit up a coffee shop, drink expensive coffee and get work done. It also doesn’t hurt seeing some attractive young ladies.

When it comes to the gym, I pay extra for my membership because it gives me access to certain classes. I know that I can’t miss a class because someone will text me and make fun of me. And I’m the king of peer pressure, so I certainly don’t want to be called out for missing a class.

So what do you guys think: is it worth spending $3 on a cup of coffee? Are you a strategic thinker?

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