The podcast Elie’s coffee talks started as a conversation at an airport. You can read the whole story in the About section.
Step by step, it developed towards what it is today:
a podcast about creative entrepreneurs from (mostly) Basel in the best Cafés, over the best Coffee.
The main topics are:
Entrepreneurship | Self-development | Spirituality | Holistic Health | Creativity
because I was spending most of my time in those beautiful places – still will be when they open again post coronavirus, soon! inshallah – to either work or to meet friends, most of them entrepreneurs (that’s why they had time to meet!). I started noticing a common thread: we were always having the best conversations. This is very personal of course, for me, Cafés are the best setting: you are sitting across from one another, focused only on what the person is saying, while being surrounded by a nice deco (love interior design without knowing anything about it) AND you have this rush of caffeine which makes ideas travel quicker in your own brain and also from your brain to the other person’s brain – not a scientific fact of course but that’s how it feels to me – I researched some scientific facts below though (nerd emoticon). Some people have more transcendental experiences in Nature or while walking, I love sitting in Cafés. And as I was spending so much time in those places, talking, I thought: let’s monetize this time! Kidding still not monetized! But that’s how Elie’s coffee talks was born!
Now a few ‘scientific’ words about caffeine:
A recent study threw some light on this effect, showing that caffeine, as a potent psychostimulant, facilities faster information processing—causing brain networks to connect with more speed and efficiency—through a process of “cerebral entropy,” even when the brain isn’t actively engaged. The researchers reported they found that caffeine “increased resting brain activity irregularity or complexity, suggesting an increase of information processing capacity in the resting brain.” So the high octane injection may provide an ongoing boost to brain processing beyond the brief period of immediate effects.
I also listened to the book Caffeine by Michael Pollan that was pretty interesting. He talks about the Science of Caffeine but also the History of Coffee and Tea, where it comes from and how it traveled through the world to end up pretty much everywhere. I recommend it to every Coffee Nerd!
I believe in going back to basics, to local and small businesses and towards a more simple way of living like slow living.
I believe in high quality services and products and genuinely enjoy promoting them.
I also believe in a future of Entrepreneurship. You might argue that not everyone is made to be an Entrepreneur and it’s true BUT I see it this way: if everyone starts to find their purpose and who they truly are, their unique gifts, etc. won’t they want to create their own thing then somehow?
About what follows, I know that Wikipedia doesn’t have the best rep but I compared a few definitions and those are the ones I liked the most, so no it wasn’t laziness!
entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business.
creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a printed literary work, or a painting).
First of all: I love that Wikipedia includes the joke example in its definition of creativity! #standup.
While entrepreneurship is business oriented, creativity, even though modernly defined as valuable or useful, to me, doesn’t need to be either. It doesn’t need a goal, nor a quantitative measurement such as making money. By adding the creative component, my aim was to integrate something that doesn’t need a purpose apart from existing.
As I kept reading the definition, my eye got caught by the Ancient definition: it is commonly argued that the notion of “creativity” originated in Western culture through Christianity, as a matter of divine inspiration. (…) In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, creativity was the sole province of God; humans were not considered to have the ability to create something new except as an expression of God’s work. A concept similar to that of Christianity existed in Greek culture, for instance, Muses were seen as mediating inspiration from the Gods. Romans and Greeks invoked the concept of an external creative “daemon” (Greek) or “genius” (Latin), linked to the sacred or the divine.
I don’t consider myself a religious person but I believe like Steven Pressfield says in his book The War of Art that there is something divine in the creative process. He, for example, always invokes his muse before he starts writing and I think it’s humbling to see it in this way. It also takes the pressure off either failing or succeeding!
I know I know it sounds Esoteric but hey I used to teach Yoga after all!
The kind of question I ask:
What would you do with more time? | What would you do with more money? | What does a typical day looks like? | What did you do before? | What do you see yourself doing in the future? | What is your self-care routine? | What is work for you? | What did you learn on your journey to entrepreneurship?
The first 2 questions I wrote here: the time and money questions, I started asking them because I was interested in the Universal Basic Income and in my own (rebel) way wanted to prove to the older generation (usually against it) that when (young) people have more money and more time they won’t become lazy. Most guests I had on the podcast would use the money to create bigger projects. They would also donate more. And of course enjoy life and travel more but most people would do exactly what they are doing already but bigger, with more impact.
Some questions are more related to my background as a Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Geek. It’s important to know how to take care of yourself as an entrepreneur to not fall into the trap of working 24/7. Stefie says on Podcast #10: make your health a priority cause life gets easier if you are healthy!
Other questions are process-oriented (entrepreneurship) to show people who want to do something else that it IS possible! To show them that people who are just like them, did it, so they can do it too! To show that it all starts with a thought, an idea. To show that when people allow themselves to think they can do it, they actually can end up doing it!
Sometimes we also dive into self-development cause I think it goes very well with Entrepreneurship and I like to use this sentence to illustrate it: working FOR yourself is working ON yourself. I experienced it as a self-employed Yoga Teacher. It was tough, it was a process where you learn about yourself. You start noticing what you are good at and not good at, what you like doing and don’t like. Cause you do everything by yourself at the beginning. You keep learning about new things all the time and maybe even start thinking differently. And just like artists, you are expressing yourself through what you are doing and you get evaluated for it. It puts you in a vulnerable position but it’s a great learning experience (as long as you can stay detached from the whole thing! Easier said than done! I’ll develop in another post that is already in the making!).
It was important for me to write those ‘why‘ because at the beginning of the corona period I thought of dropping the podcast altogether. I was thinking: yes it is cool but what kind of impact is it having really?! Maybe I’d better record meditations or something (which I actually started doing as well) because that will really help people! And also I really didn’t want to do the interviews online (and still won’t do that) because like Anika said: virtual coffee, is like virtual sex, just not the same! (this sentence will go viral soon!)
While this period was (/still is) great to question one’s life choices, sometimes -often – I find myself questioning waaaay too much and realized that I don’t have to SAVE the world, that I’m allowed to do things just because I love the process and find them inspiring for myself and hopefully others! (blogpost about GUILT coming soon!)
I actually rediscovered my aims by listening to a podcast myself: a ‘podcast about life and comedy’ Un café au Lot 7 (funnily around coffee as well) hosted by Louis Dubourg. I was listening to episode 3 with Marina Rollman. Because of the content and form, it was like listening to a friend’s conversation which made it very pleasant to listen to. Plus because I could identify with the guest speaker so much (because of her age, where she is from, her background, etc.) I became super inspired and it made me want to work on something right away. Anything. Anything that would take me closer to what I envision. Which I did as soon as got home and it made me feel so alive and happy! So thanks Marina and Louis!
I hope Elie’s coffee talks will also inspire you to do whatever you feel most drawn to! To express yourself, to create, to start that thing you’ve been wanting to do for a while! Let me know if you have questions, i’d love to help!
And if you consider yourself a creative entrepreneur, please reach out, maybe we can go for coffee and talk!
Sending Love and Health to all!