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  • Writer's picturebryan hendley

Extraordinary Joes Session 8: What I Learned - Bo Mann, Wake Up Coffee Company

Updated: May 6, 2020

Session 8 of Extraordinary Joes featured Bo Mann, owner of Wake Up Coffee Company. After a series of international mission and exploration trips, Bo decided he wanted to find a way to make an impact, both locally, and globally, that was in line with what he'd learned about the world during his travels. Bo returned home and eventually created Wake Up Coffee Company, which positively impacts people by creating community, through the way it sources its' coffee, and by supporting local artisans from around the world.

Here's a few things I learned from my conversation with Bo Mann:

Take Action

This isn't a new lesson, but a reminder that I need often. In order to make an impact, whether that be an impact on ourselves and our lives, or on the world around us, we have to do more than think about new ideas. This is an area I feel like I've really grown in over the last 10 years or so, and also an area where I feel like I have a lot of room to continue to grow. It's incredibly easy to sit around and bicker, complain, lament, and talk about how we could do things better. We can get caught dreaming, planning, and idea-ing so much that we don't do. There is a school of thought that says ideas are worthless, until they are activated or tested. I don't know that I would go so far as to say useless, but I get the point. If we don't take action, nothing happens.

After witnessing poverty up close for the first time during his travels, Bo felt a strong urge to do something to make an impact. This is not a unique experience. We learn something or see something for the first time or with a fresh set of eyes, and we get this pull inside of us that we have to do something about it. Even more common, is that we then go home and the lesson wears off and we don't actually do anything. Big ups to Bo for continuing to pay attention to the lessons he learned, and utilizing Wake Up to make the positive impact that he dreamed about.

Which leads me to the second reminder:

The Law of Diminishing Intent

The Law of Diminishing Intent basically says, "The further we get away from an idea without taking action, the less likely we are to take action." So we come home from our trip to Africa, like Bo did, and if we fail to keep the ball rolling on our idea, then slowly but surely the tug that we were feeling in our gut starts to fade. It's important to note that this does not encourage that we have to just completely and fully do right away. Meaning, we don't have to just make everything happen right away. This is not advocating that the project or idea fully come to life. It just means that we have to continue to move the project forward in some way, or we risk allowing it to die.

If you have a something that's been tugging at your gut, or something that you feel is really important to you, don't let it die. The further you get away from that feeling, the less and less likely you are to do something with it. See where it leads, give it a chance to live, by giving it a little attention from the get-go.

Bo grew his idea into Wake Up Coffee Company by staying close to his original idea and the new things he learned during his travels.

You Have Something to Offer

I've enjoyed asking people the question, "Do you feel special?"

It seems like it's been both an uncomfortable and thought provoking question for people. Most people don't feel right saying, "Yes, I am special!" It doesn't feel quite right to say that.

But, what I'm settling on, and what I'm learning from talking with people on the podcast, is that we have to believe we have something to offer. We have to believe that we have something valuable to give. This applies to our work, our families, our relationships, and our communities. If we don't believe that we have something to offer, then several things can begin to work against us. First of all, if we don't believe we have anything to offer, then it would be easy to think so lowly of ourselves that we don't do anything, we don't try anything, and we don't engage with anything. Secondly, if that's the case, it's easy to think so lowly of ourselves that we have a negative self-concept and a poor self-efficacy. Finally, if we don't believe and act as if we have something meaningful to offer, then the people around us won't believe it either.

Maybe "special" is a tough place to settle into. But we all have something to offer.

People Matter, Remind Them

I loved hearing this internal mantra from Wake Up Coffee Company. What a great perspective for leaders, mothers, fathers, teacher, and anyone in a position to positively impact other people (which is everyone).

I'm pulling for you,



Thanks for listening to Extraordinary Joes! Check out the episode here:

If you have any Extraordinary Joes you think would be great for the show, feel free to email me at

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