Got a question? Here’s the answer…hopefully.

Why do you have coffee with strangers?

I read a quote from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones who said something about the difference between the person you are today and the person you’ll be in five years is in the books you read and the people you meet. I thought about that for a few years and one day it struck me that I should be more deliberate in approaching the people part. So once a week I sit down for coffee with a stranger and listen to their story. 

Where do you meet these people?

Cup 1, was a guy who sat next to me in an Entrepreneurship class I was taking. He only came the first night so I emailed him and asked him to be a part of this new project I was embarking on. He was kind enough to accept the offer. Since then, it’s been largely referrals from one of my recent strangers turned friends.

Aren’t you scared you’ll be abducted, brainwashed or some other horrible thing?


What does your mom think about this?

She’s my biggest fan and my most dedicated reader.

Have you interviewed any total lunatics?

Not yet. There’s still time though.

What’s been the biggest surprise?

That we all have so, so, so much more in common with one another than we have differences. We truly are all in this thing together. Once you really get that, something shifts inside you.

What’s the hardest part of the project?

Writing. I was not a writer when I started this project.  Just a very curious chick with a notebook full of questions. I decided to chronicle the experience as an accountability measure. I really wanted to stick with the project, no matter what and I knew if I had people following the journey, I would feel compelled to keep going.  Some stories practically write themselves, while others take more time and thought. Some I wrap up and exclaim, “Nailed it!” while others I hit “publish” knowing it’s as good as it’s going to get but far from perfect.

How can I suggest someone for the project?

Gee, thanks for thinking of that! Shoot me an email with pertinent details and then make an email introduction. Melissa at MelissaLombard dot com

Will you have coffee with me?

I have not had excellent experiences with those who suggest themselves, so I made a blanket rule going forward to only interview people who have been suggested to me. Weird? Maybe. But it makes me feel better, so there you go.

Why are most of your people in Austin?

Because it’s the coolest city on the planet!

Really, its because I live in Austin. This project is about sitting down with someone, face to face, sharing a cup of coffee and listening to their story. There are plenty of opportunities to connect virtually in this world and not nearly enough old school connecting. I am on a mission to keep the face to face meeting alive. 

I plan to take this project on the road someday, hopefully from the comfort of an Airstream. I will interview people from all walks of life at every stop I make.  But until such time, it’s mostly Austin folks. 


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