• Courtney Kirschaum

Show more of THIS and doors fly open.

Incoming message: We’re headed to the Hog's Breath Saloon. Wanna come? Where are you? Me: My "office"... ☕️ Friend: Starbucks? Me: Yes 🙂 I work in them so often my friends call them my "office." If they closed, I swear, I’d have to retire -- Good free wi-fi and a place to plug in = paradise.

They're all the same, right?  Yet, some do stand out. They have... something more.

I've been in hundreds. I remember ...

The view from the Starbuck's front room in Breckenridge is... Wha! The huge back room of the one on Duval street -- a digital nomad's dream. There used to be one in the Forbidden City in Beijing. I'll never forget that.

Starbucks, Forbidden City
Me circa 2003, Forbidden City, Beijing

Usually, I sit at the big “meeting” table, even if small ones are available. 

I don’t hog it.

If I see people scanning for a place to sit, I flash my "I'm friendly!" smile and “You can sit here” sign language. 

Recently, I was in my hometown Starbucks where I always see someone who

a. my brother dated. Check. b. I'm related to. (Crazy second cousin with no "indoor voice.") Check. c. I was in high school with (or their parent) Check, check. I’d just opened my laptop and put my headphones on, when I noticed a guy looking for a seat.

“No way do you live here, handsome,” I thought, as I motioned for him to take one of the empty chairs.

I'm an expert at spotting what locals call "come heres" Khaki’s, checkered shirt, tortoise shell glasses, canvas messenger bag?  No way does this guy live here.

(For the record, I'm a sucker for messenger bags and tortoise shell glasses.) We both worked, talked on the phone, shuffled papers and answered emails. When he got up to leave, my curiosity got the better of me.

I did something I almost never do.

I spoke to him.

Seriously, if he wasn't a college professor (my first guess) he could have been a movie director scoping out locations. 

I had to know.

(For the record, Tom Cruise made a movie right here in my hometown. He even stood on the counter at a local country store and told everyone to, "Calm down.")

So one director, Steven Spielberg, no less, has already been here. #TrueStory #MinorityReport

Turns out, I was wrong about messenger-bag man.

He lives here and he’s not a college professor or a movie director.

He's a priest!!!  Holy Moly!  He wasn’t hiding out or in disguise. He was just being himself, which on that day meant donning a checkered shirt, khakis and messenger bag instead of a clerical collar.

I'll be damned.

That's my kind of priest! Working in Starbucks? How cool is that?

It's cool, because, I can...relate. And that's a Cha-ching! 

What makes people feel connected to us is impossible to know.

You have to show who you are to connect. How “you” are you when it comes to your job or job hunt?

Are you comfortable enough to let your personality show?

While it may seem counter-intuitive, stripping down a bit and showing the real you behind your title, credentials or MBA, opens doors and starts conversations (with unexpected people, like messenger bag-carrying priests!) It's not all about degrees and previous experience.

People hire people they like and trust. Little human elements open big doors. 

And credentials aren't everything. Richard Branson is a high school drop out. 

Sara Blakely didn't get into law school and was selling faxes door to door when she got the idea for Spanx.

Now she's a self-made billionaire (yeah, billion with a "B") CHA-FREAKING-CHING!

Whether you’re a priest or a project manager, it’s okay to show up in ways some people don’t expect and might not even like. 

Oh, I promise you, this will cost you the (wrong) job.

And open doors and get you a seat at the table in the right ones.

Someone will read your profile, resumé or LinkedIn post and they'll relate. That will start the ball rolling. 

You being you. It’s your most valuable and unbeatable qualification. #YouWin

You do you, Courtney

P.S. Who do you admire for being who they are? Is there someone you read or follow on social media or LinkedIn? Hit that reply button and tell me who. I love originals and learning about who's out there.

P.S.S. Know someone who might like these emails? Forward this to them and tell them to click...here.