Week 1: Coffee Challenge

The challenge is to live cheap this week – it is the coffee challenge. As I mentioned, this blog is much indebted to Tim Ferriss and Noah Cagan, who were discussing this particular on the Tim Ferriss Show (check it out here, it’s amazing).

What is the coffee challenge? The idea is – you go to a coffee shop and order your drink, AND ask for a 10% discount. Simple! Also known as – Getting out of Your Comfort Zone 101, starting tomorrow for a week by asking for a 10% discount in a different place each day.


I have never asked for a discount in my life and before moving to the UK I used to even feel embarrassed and oh so awkward when returning an item. Once a security tag was not removed from a T-shirt I bought and it was the most morbid thing to go back to get it removed. Which is stupid, and does not make much sense.

Intellectually, we know that asking for help is okay, and we can rationalize that in the grand scheme of things even asking for a discount does not mean much. We often hear – you cannot control the environment and how people react to things, but you can control your own reactions and ultimately your reaction is what matters. However, I think this makes it sound so easy: if something embarrassing happens, just you know, be cool with it and chill. If you are in a great state you’ll answer – YEAH, I can TOTALLY see how this massive coffee stain on my shirt or falling over in the office does not mean anything; but if your day has been horrible, you twisted your ankle, forgot your keys, etc, then it is much harder to react to bad things positively, as in, with perspective.

Now, I am not saying it cannot be done – people who are doing it on a daily, even hourly basis are rocking it, and such behaviour can be conditioned. The coffee challenge is one way to condition it.

Why don’t we ask for discounts? Because we don’t want to seem cheap, poor, stingy. However this week the following questions will be answered: how likely am I to get a discount, how awkward is it to ask, how awkward it is when you do/don’t get a discount. To be able to ask in the first place we must think how minuscule such a request is, how much other people don’t care, this way starting to learn how to care less about things outside your control and how to manage your reactions better.

At least in theory!

Good luck and thank you,

Updates to come:

Monday – a newsletter to briefly update you on the first findings of this challenge and getting out of your comfort zone.

25/05 – the results and another challenge for next week (this post will usually be released on Sundays, but due to exams, next week the post will be published on Monday, and the newsletter will go out on Wednesday).

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