What if I invite you for lunch? Would you accept it? Come on! I’m a really nice guy! Ok, jokes aside, today’s blog post is about something I use to call Angry Lunches. They started as a silly idea, but right now they are a great way to get updated and grow.
It all began a while ago. On a specific period of my life, I was really focused on my work. Due to the circumstances, I felt that I wasn’t at my best and I needed to connect and meet new people. Ideally, interesting people who could share more than their professional experiences. Someone that could make me think.
So, I analyzed the structure of my days and realized that there was something I use to do repeatedly. At least, most of the times. Every day, I stop an hour or so and ate. But, there was more:
- Sometimes, when I had meetings close to lunch time, I ended up eating alone;
- I did not like eating alone;
- I would like to meet more interesting people;
- I liked to have lunch while hearing stories, told on a human and personal way.
Summing it all up, I got to Angry Lunch, an invitation for lunch send to someone I do not personally know. On my first attempt, I decided to send the invitation to a person who was my 1st-degree connection, but that I didn’t know personally. Two hours after the e-mail, I got an answer. And guess what? He said yes.
Amazing, but don’t get too excited…
“Yes, yes! Let’s go!”, I thought and then I decided to send the invitation to another person. “It worked again!” In like 15 minutes, I had two meetings scheduled with two people that I considered to be very interesting.
I kept sending e-mails until I realized that I had to slow down. After scheduling two lunches for the same day, I noticed that I had to become more organized and methodic. In addition, there was another thing I had to consider: the budget. Having lunch is nice, but I can’t pay them every day.
So, I started doing this kind of invitations twice a month. Until today, the acceptance rate is over 95%. Sometimes, people even insist on paying… maybe they pity me, I don’t know.
In order to be organized and don’t get lost in details (such as where and when the lunch will happen), I created an invitation template that I usually adjust. Here’s the main message:
Dear [First Name]
We do not know each other personally. We are only a connection [in this social network], and for that reason I can treat you as a friend.
I have been browsing on linkedin, and I have come across your profile.
[Mention the route to the person]
I would like to have the opportunity to talk with you. I think we have quite a few things in common and for what I saw on your profile and background, I think we can share great stories, fresh ideas, and learn together.
So I propose a lunch. I’ll pay!
Suggest me two dates and the deal is closed.
This email may be seem as a bit disruptive, but a “no” from you is already guaranteed. Any questions, I’ll be here.
Angry Lunches are not business lunches
If you receive this e-mail, please accept and be part of our Angry Lunch. But, why did I call it Angry Lunch? Because I simply like to name things.
Usually, I do not have rules in life. In spite of, I created one for those meetings: I will try not to sell anything. I’m there to listen and observe. Learn and share.
To end up the blog post, let me just stress that the most important lesson I took from these experiences is that people are much friendly than they might seem. Even CEOs and Directors of this and that are quite nice people and you don’t have to be afraid of them. And an e-mail is all you need.