Sunday Morning Coffee: Let Them Tell That Story Twice

July 8, 2012

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Have you ever been hanging out with a friend who eagerly launched into a story that you’ve heard before? Your gut reaction is to stop them, “Yeah yeah, you told me the other day…”.  And you’re in the right – it can be frustrating to hear a story twice, but maybe just sometimes you should let your friend charge forward.

Sometimes it’s appropriate to stop someone; for instance, maybe they are simply telling you a quick anecdote in order to jog your memory.  If that’s the case, then you should definitely interrupt them when you get it.  In other instances, your friend may just be telling you a story again for the sake of it, and it’s not that important to them so you can put a stop to it.

The key is that you make a thoughtful evaluation before interrupting someone. Take note of how eager your friend is to share their story.  Even if they told you the story once before, it may be a story that they love to re-tell.  We all know that in part, telling a story lets you relive the moment.


Take the split second to guess whether the retell will be more annoying to you than it will be special to your friend.  If you think it will be a good moment for them, then be a good friend and suffer through a good story for the second time.

How many times have you read a book twice? Watched the same movie more than once?  What about a TV show? Or a musical? Stories are told and retold, just go with it, especially if it matters to someone else.

~ Bryan

What did you drink your coffee out of today?

July 3, 2012

Many of our stories or themes here at Rising Pyramid revolve around the concept of coffee.  Sunday Morning Coffee has become one of our most popular features, and it is no surprise to me that when thinking of what to write for this week, coffee came to mind.

What makes coffee (insert “tea” for those anti-cocoa breeds) so great in today’s society is that there is an “art” (zen-like, if you will) of picking out the beans, grinding them, choosing a filter, decided how to prepare it, and finding your own unique way to enjoy the cup of goodness.

I’ll admit that when I’m making my twice daily cup of joe, I have to search for “my” mug.  It has to be the tall one with the special handle.  Why? Read more »

Sunday Morning Coffee: Anticipation

July 1, 2012

In May I wrote about Pressure Gaugers: people who act as support beams before anyone realizes that support is needed.  Today, I’d like reframe the same concept in a different light.  The core principle at play is anticipation –  the concept that one should be continuously aware of what might happen next.

While anticipating someone’s deeper needs is important, it can also go a long way to help people with basic conveniences.

Think about it – in a round-about-way there is real economic ‘value’ that you are providing just by being a good friend.   The difference between nice hotels, restaurants and gyms and their respective lower quality counter parts is that nice costs A LOT more mostly because it includes much better service (and a staff that anticipates client’s needs).

Just by going the extra way for your friends, you’re building a relationship that is based on kindnesses and gifts…gifts that are easy to give and that mean a lot to receive.   I’m talking about really easy stuff here — like passing the remote when you stop watching TV, or thinking to bring a glass of water when you’re coming back from the kitchen because you noticed your friend just sat down to eat but doesn’t have a drink.

The most impressive & meaningful part is if you can truly anticipate and think of your friend’s needs before they do.

Anticipate and address your brother’s needs and wants before they realize what they need or want.


The little things matter more than you think.  Try doing it for one friend for one week.

~ Bryan


Savoring the Bottom of the Peanut Butter Jar

June 29, 2012


Since I was a kid I’ve watched my Mom deftly scrape out every morsel of a peanut butter jar before throwing it out.   She did her best to not waste a thing.

I can’t say what caused my Mom to save so ardently, but the example left a lasting impression on me.  There is value to every last bit.

Social entrepreneurs should take the moral of the bottom of the jar story to heart.  They call it the Bottom of the Pyramid because social entrepreneurs are taking the bold step to scrape at the bottom of the capitalistic money jar.   Metaphor aside, the need to save everything is necessary to run successful social businesses in BoP countries.

Generally, the biggest challenge for social entrepreneurs is meeting a market viable price point without losing money on every transaction.  Therefore, being lean and efficient can be the difference between having the desired impact and falling short.  Read more »

Remember to thank the trailblazers

June 25, 2012

Social entrepreneurs are often trailblazers whether they like it or not. Seeking to fill a void in the business world opens up enough challenges, yet doing so in a market or environment that is not used to it can provide a whole slew of other difficulties.

Organizations like Kiva and SKS microfinance were not necessarily the first of their kind, but grew to such scale and recognition that they ended up being shoved into the spotlight as representatives for their industries.

Public missteps and controversial business decisions can create such a wave of publicity that might seem to dominate the news streams of an otherwise rather quiet / non-controversial community. Read more »

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