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An innovator. A trail blazer. “The Godfather.” Okay—maybe that last one was a stretch. Whatever you wish to call Jason Elkins, owner of 100 Cups Consulting, it’s important that you know he was my very first “cup of coffee” and the creator of the 100 Cups of Coffee movement that has been sweeping through our town over the last several years.

A cup of coffee. It seems like a simple enough concept. But when Jason first moved to town many years ago with a young family and was almost immediately laid off from his corporate marketing gig, it became so much more.

A simple cup of coffee became a vehicle to meet new people, build relationships, and to learn more about what they do and what makes them tick. In this digital age, it was a non-threatening way to connect with people on a personal level and avoid selling to someone or being sold to. And it also became a way to connect people with OTHER people.

Fast forward several years, and I’m sitting across from him at a local restaurant, cup of coffee in hand (that he was so gracious to buy me). I found myself speechless when he folded his arms, leaned back, and asked, “What can I do for you?”

Well, I hadn’t really prepared for that question. What was my answer? Send me your e-book and coach me through my own “100 Cups” journey.

Jason’s own journey started around 2010, when he was working for a marketing and web design firm and suddenly learned that his position had been eliminated. It was at that moment that he took a leap of faith and launched “100 Cups of Coffee in 100 Days.” His intention was to meet with someone new each day and build his customer base enough to launch his own social media marketing company. By the time he reached his 40th day, he had already accomplished his goal.

Now in his 10th year of being his own boss, Jason has found empowerment in choosing his customers and who he does business with. He has also begun to explore speaking engagements, has begun writing a book, and has even launched an online course for coaching people through their own 100 Cups of Coffee journey.

The six-week series is entitled “100 Cups Academy” and explores who to target, how to start a conversation (and how to end one if it doesn’t go so well), and even how to come across as more likeable. The next installment of the course starts on Thursday, July 9 and I highly suggest reserving your spot—they will go quickly! Sign up today at https://100cups.coffee/100-cups-academy/.

Originally from Michigan, Jason and his wife, Shelli, enjoy living the laid-back lifestyle in Hendersonville. Recently, they officially became empty nesters, allowing much more time for drinking coffee and seeing live music—a passion that we share.

Thank you for having coffee with me, Jason. And thank you for the inspiration for this project!

Jennifer Perry is a branch manager of a local bank, a mom, wife, and an active member of the community that enjoys networking and giving back whenever possible. Reach her at jennifers100cups@gmail.com.

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