50 Cups of Coffee

Business Tips and News

and Other Things You Should Do

What are we talking about when we say “50 cups of coffee”?

Before we get into it, we want to share a story. Scott Colman, who is the owner and president of ColDesi, is a member of the CEO council which is a local Tampa Bay area group of business owners who get together and they have workshops and speakers all about improving their business. One of the presentations was on sales in the new millennium. Scott was able to record the presentation and share it with our sales and marketing teams, then we got together to talk about it. A lot of the talk focused on being a better you, because that makes you a better salesperson, business owner, etc. While we won’t touch on all of them today, he went over almost 50 things you could do to better your life, and in turn better your sales.

So what was this one time presentation expanded and grew with our team into a weekly meeting. Our most recent assignment was to watch a TED Talk, which was a discussion on how much time you actually have. We found that this talk, among others has really encouraged our team to go out listen, watch, and read things that will make you feel good, improve who you are, and becomes contagious. You become thing mini-guru of things, you know where to go, where to look, and what to share with others. This blog post is about helping get you on that path. Our last blog post was about “Learning to Earn” = learning things that have an impact on your business. Adjusting the way you think about things and your business will have potentially a bigger impact.

50 Cups of Coffee

This idea is that you make a list of 50 people in the world – living – that you would like to sit down and have a coffee with. You’d love to pick their brain, you’d love to meet them and find out more about them. They can be business people, entertainers, politicians, etc. anywhere in the world. When we did this we found out that the Dali Lama was on both Mark Stephenson and Mark Vilas’ lists. Another person on our list is Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa – He’s got a really great job and would be a great connection to have.

Your list should always be changing and growing. If you’ve crossed people off, add more – whether you’ve met them or not. It’s about who do you want to surround yourself with, who do you want to be, who are people who can actually help you change your life, and who are some dream people that you think would be fantastic to sit down with for an hour.

Here’s a few examples of some of the tips we got out of the time management and sales talks.

1. Waking up early

Everybody has very busy lives. But we started waking up an hour earlier and it gives us an opportunity to take a walk. There’s this extra time we have instead of packing everything into the morning, and waking up with only 1/2 an hour to get ready and get out the door. Rather than just spending that hour sleeping, that extra hour helps us feel less rushed and feel better about the day.

2. Don’t say “I/we’ve always done it that way”

Big mistake. We hear this quite often, including from our customers. Someone will contact us because they’re having trouble with their rhinestones and we’ll ask them what they’re doing. When we tell them that’s perhaps not the best way to do things, or that technique works better with the glue on rhinestones that were on the market before, but newer rhinestones need a lower temperature, etc. they’ll come back at us with “That’s our process, that’s how we’ve always done it, I don’t want to have to change it.” It doesn’t matter how you’ve always done it, we’re giving you an opportunity to save money and time by using a lower temperature and pressing for less time, change.

Change yourself if it’s worth it. Change how you do business. Change when you wake up in the morning. Don’t resist the change just for the sake of resisting. Take a look at what you do every day and ask yourself “Why am I doing this, this way?”

3. Prioritize

There’s a woman who did a time study on the busiest women in america – high powered entrepreneurs that run companies and also have children. The study had them keeping track on their day and then the study would analyze it. One of the women in the study said she didn’t have time for anything, she was completely busy, and then on a random Tuesday her water heater broke, and it took 7 hours to get that fixed. The women conducting the study said “If I asked you at the beginning of the week if you had 7 hours to handle a water heater disaster, what would you have said?” And of course the answer is “No, I’m too busy.” The priority of the water heater asserted itself and she found the time.

This is what happens all the time. You won’t have any time to do anything, but you actually have a lot of time to do plenty of things, it’s just a matter of prioritization. So the phrase “I don’t have time” really means that “it’s not a priority”.

If you’d like to listen to the TED Talk on this topic you can go here: Laura Vanderkam: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time.

4. 72 hours

72 hours is the time you have left in a week when you take away your time at work (40 hours) and your time sleeping (8 hours per night). This is the time you have to do other things and that’s actually a lot of time. When you put it in that perspective it can really help you get into your head to start thinking about your business and your life.

Where are you spending those 72 hours? Working back with the previous point about prioritization, if you say you don’t have time to call or reply to texts from your friends, you had 72 hours in a week. What were you doing in that time instead? Getting a high score in a mobile app, or catching up on a TV show.

If you can wake up an extra hour or half hour earlier, without compromising your health, you’ve just gained an extra 3-7 hours per week.

Find what’s right for you

Perhaps waking up earlier won’t work for you. But perhaps you have time in the evening and you can use that hour to spend some quite time reading a book or perhaps doing other tasks that can be done in silence, or require silence and focus time.

Here’s a few of the things we’ve done or books we’ve read to change our mindset, change our lives, and ultimately our business:

  • Tony Robbins – 28 day CD course. We’ve done this several times now and every time get something different out of it.
  • TED Talks – There are talks on everything from self improvement to astrophysics by experts in their fields.
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Meditation – For some people this might mean just sitting in quiet, others may have a focused meditation or prayer. It could be 8 minutes, it could be half an hour.
  • Norman Vincent Peale
  • Napoleon Hill
  • Steven Covey
  • Interviews with / speeches by the Dali Lama
  • What Happy People Know by Cameron Stauth and Dan Baker

When you’re searching for talks, start with YouTube and podcasts, because you can find content that’s easily available. Then go to Google to expand your search.

Make time for things

Divide your daily calendar into three sections – three colors – your career, your relationships, and yourself. Devote a certain amount of your 72 hours to each one of those things. When you’re looking at your calendar and you see a two hour block of time that you don’t know what to do with, or you decide to wake up early, put things in there that will balance out your colors – a twenty minute walk, writing an email of letter to a family member or friend, etc.


If you have a person who is consistently negative and down that you can’t talk with without them attempting to bring everyone around them down, consider reducing the amount of time you spend with that person. It can be a really hard thing to do, but if you hang up the phone angry every time you talk to them, that’s not good for you.

Fill yourself with positive people. And this can extend to customers too, if you can afford to do so, and of course knowing that customer’s value. Do business with customers that are happy to do business with you.

Take 3 things from this blog post, and actually do them in the next week. And then if you found a great source of inspiration post it on the Custom Apparel Startups Facebook group. If you find something that really motivated and inspired you, chances are it will do the same for someone else. And simply posting something positive will have a positive effect on your attitude.

Take the attitude of continuous self-improvement. Find someone you that speaks to you, your life, and business. Then listen to them regularly. “I’m going to watch, listen, practice, or read something that’s going to make me better.”

Have a good business.

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