Noah’s Coffee Challenge and Flexing Your Courage Muscle

by Scott - 31 Comments

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Two days ago I found my favorite podcast episode ever <3333

It was an interview with Noah Kagan on Patt Flynn’s Smart Passive Income.

coffee challenge

Amongst all the awesomeness Noah mentioned, he brought up the coffee challenge. If you’re not familiar, it’s an exercise meant to help people get more comfortable with rejection. Basically you go to a coffee shop and ask for 10% for no reason…Oh hay guaranteed rejection!

I love this idea because I think the fear of rejection and failure is the biggest thing that holds people back from getting everything they ever wanted. So 15 minutes after listening to the podcast I decided to give it a whirl!

Some quick notes:

  • The first time I did the coffee challenge was actually Wednesday at Chipotle using my favorite extra meat burrito bowl hack.  I got $2.30 off my meal by asking for a 10% discount! Sadly, my pops called me during recording which I think messed it up.
  • A simple way to have more courage in the face of rejection or failure is to be very specific about what the absolute worst outcome actually looks like is. 99.9% of the time it really isn’t all that bad.
  • The girl behind me in line at the tea shop came up to me after witnessing this to give me a high five. Hubba hubba

I’m going to start writing about how to overcome fear and rejection a lot more because again, I think it’s the number one thing that holds people back from getting the things they wanted. Insert awesome quote:

“Your willingness to look foolish is a small price to pay to get everything you ever wanted”

If anyone reading this decides to flex their courage muscles and do the coffee challenge, let me know in the comments. First person that can prove it by recording it, will get all my online courses and a 1 v 1 skype consulting session for free (can be on whatever you want).

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31 comments, add to the conversation.

      1. Jarrett Herold

        I should have captured this on video, but I went through Dunkin drive through on the road trip out to the Wallenpaupack house and it was pretty hilarious. I was talking through the order menu speaker, when requesting this 10% discount. The woman then asked me to pull around to the first window. The young guy waiting in the car behind me happened to have his window down and listening, only to find the hilarity in my request, which led me to laugh a bit. When I pulled around to the window, the woman controlling the headset had gathered several other workers to the window, asking “So you just want a 10% discount for no reason?” I responded that I was die hard Dunkin fan and it took some convincing to get my Starbucks fiending girlfriend in the front seat to make this sacrifice. In the meantime, the guy behind me was talking across her microphone and was curious if I had gotten the discount and proceeded to ask if he could as well, if I had. Every woman in this Dunkin’ Donuts was loving this situation that we had created and were jokingly berating me with questions like “you think we should give you a discount because you’re good looking” etc.. She concluded that she was unable to give me the discount because her manager was right behind her, but if I came back on Sunday she would be able to.

        I thought it was a successful first attempt and I really want to try again and play the valued customer card a bit more and see what happens. I also would have liked to have responded to the woman, asking to talk to her manager directly (in a positive light obviously), to see if I could convince her myself that I bleed Dunkin’ orange and could use a bit of recognition for trying to “turn” all of my SB patron friends.

        It was definitely a fun challenge and I will enjoy challenging others to step outside their comfort zone a bit too. It gets you thinking though about how to be more direct about what you want/expect around you and to verbalize those things more often.


        1. Scott Britton

          This is so awesome man. What a great story.

          This demonstrates many things, but one thing in particular is that most people are BORED AS HECK in the current existence. As a result they actually welcome more direct/unconventional things that are seemingly scary instead of respond negatively. Another example of this is telling attractive strangers they’re beautiful. More on that another time ; )

          Way to go buddy – love the intentional approach to stretching the comfort zone. Most valuable thing anyone can do in my opinion


  1. Tom Coleman

    You’d be surprised at how much you can save at every retail establishment if you smile and ask for a 20% or 10% discount. It works for me about 80% of the time. I think you just have to have fun with it.


      1. Tom Coleman

        Let people you’re with know what yo’re doing before hand. You’ll get more flack from them than anybody you’re playing with, and it’s play. If you approach it that way you’ll be surprised at who’ll give you a discount. Sometimes you have to buy 2 of an item. It always helps to smile. Remember if you don’t ask you don’t get. .


    1. lifeofmatt

      Damn, literally just got my camera out to walk down to the coffee shop.

      Scott, in the spirit of the challenge: Can I get 90% off your products and a 15 minute coaching call for being second? :). I try never to pass up on the opportunity to get free advice from someone I admire.


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  3. Dan LeMoine

    Scott –

    Great post per usual. I’m a huge proponent of “those who ask, get”…always a good reminder to get outside the comfort zone in all areas of our lives. Keep up the great content bru.

    Check out this Noah Kagan spot (with Tim Ferriss) on CreativeLive rapping about doing the uncomfortable, daily hacks, testing, entrepreneurship, etc.

    Grace & Peace,
    Dan (@danlemoine)
    jarabacoa, dominican republic


  4. David

    I’m a little late getting here, but I read this post and just had to try it out.

    Went to Jimmy Johns last night – headed up to the drive thru and placed my order. Continued up to the window where the worked told me my bill and asked for my card. Before handing him my credit card I asked him if I could have a 10% off discount. The kid was probably 18 or so and asked why I wanted a discount. I said because I love Jimmy Johns and eat here all the time. He laughed and proceeded with ‘I don’t have access to do that but I can go talk to the manager about it’

    Not wanting to hold up the line I smiled and said don’t worry about it. I was pleased with the outcome at this point because I made my ask and had an out of the ordinary conversation with an employee who is probably used to the same old.

    He handed me the bag and said have a great night with a smile.

    I checked the bag and inside was a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie! Boom! Free score!!

    I felt like I had won the lottery.

    Can’t wait to try this everywhere I go … to overcome fear of rejection of course, not for free cookies.


    1. Post Author Scott

      Ha that’s awesome. I recently had someone tell me there strategic advantage in business was asking. If it means free cookies, I’m for making it your strategic advantage in life : )


  5. jean curley

    I regularly call angry, disgruntled sellers who have been on the market where their home did NOT sell. Rejection is an understatement. My challenge is to tame the beast so I can help them help themselves.


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