Homie Hookups and other things I'm guilty of
You ever do that thing, where you have a friend that does something cool/makes something cool/has a cool business, a cool project, or something where you’re like, “Oh man…I want that” ?
AND THEN you go, “Oh man, I am so proud of that friend. I want to support them! I’m going to post all of their posts from instagram and talk about how rad they are!”
BUT THEN!! You say, “Well…things cost money…I don’t have alot of money…I’m gonna ask if they’ll just hook me up, cuz we’re friends. And I can say, ‘I’ll rep all of your gear and you can get exposure!’”
…Frick. Me too.
Here’s the thing: We are all guilty of it. I mean, I’d like to think we’re all guilty of it. Mostly because I want to make myself feel a little bit better about being guilty of the thing that plagues literally all business owners and artists, large or small: The Homie Hookup.
I was talking to a friend of mine over the weekend. We started by talking about how I didn’t really know where the blade on my sissy bar came from—I mean I KNEW where it came from. I mean I KIND OF remembered. I mean….Okay, I saw the info for a minute on instagram, had a nerd out moment-which is why I bought the thing-Didn’t think anything of it, and when he asked, I had a flashback of speech class in college, froze up, got scared I didn’t ACTUALLY know, didn’t want to say something stupid, and then had to remind myself…via instagram…and at this point lost all credibility. He is very cool and makes me very nervous.
As most of you know, I love giving stuff away. I mean I carry personal stock of coffee beans that I buy out of pocket specifically to give out to buddies or new businesses just to say, “Hello! Nice to meet you!” or just because friendship is tight. I feel like having a type of “Friendship Offering” is rad, it allows you to have a conversation about the product you’re handing out, and everyone likes free stuff. Mostly everyone likes coffee. It’s fine if you don’t, you can always give coffee that you DON’T like to someone that DOES! I don’t know. Maybe it’s not the most fiscally responsible thing to do, but I love meeting people and I love giving people stuff.
So I say to this friend, “Yo dude! I have coffee for you!”
He responds with, “Don’t give me stuff. Let me pay for it.”
To which I reply, “Nah. That’s dumb.”
Which is my usual response to people when they offer to pay for something that I already offered to give them for free. That’s not why I offered to give it to you. As much as I love the barter system and try to use it as frequently as possible, this was not one of those situations.
He says, “Nick. Look. I am doing well for myself. I am comfortable. And I have friends that are doing their thing, they have side hustles, they work hard to make something. I want to pay for it. I want to pay full price. Because you will always have people that say, ‘oh we’re friends, hook me up!’ and I am not going to be that. Send me the beans. Take my money.”
We ended up having more conversation about how I nerd out over coffee but couldn’t remember where that blade came from, how the process of green coffee is actually super gnarly, and how my friend hadn’t slept in a day and was gonna just go to sleep.
But I could not stop thinking about what he said.
Here’s the thing:
Hooking your friends up because you appreciate them is tight. It’s such a great feeling to be able to give something you made to someone because you know that they will genuinely appreciate it. But there is a fine line between accepting a gift and taking advantage of the “Homie Hookup,” and I have definitely been guilty of crossing that line for something super tight….and because I want it.
I read a line from a fellow small business that said,
”Supporting your friend’s small business does not mean paying for things in exposure.”
And I feel like that can apply to ALOT of different situations:
Tattooists…who are also under the umbrella of artists…there are alot of different types of artists…
Really, the list could be infinite:
Small Business Owners
When I was playing music alot more often than roasting coffee, I always used to make the joke of, “I can’t pay my rent in Instagram followers, man. Sorry.” And my friends and I would laugh and that would be that. But it’s true. Social media exposure can make or break a company, and yeah, having more people represent your product would be RAD. But if you believe in someone’s product, support them the old fashioned way: buy their stuff. Post about it. Tell your other friends. Wear it. Use it. That’s what all of us, as small businesses, live off of. This is an investment.
I’m not necessarily talking about the financial aspect-but the fact that even though you are a friend, you took the money you had to grind a day for, and invested in my company. That’s the homie hookup. That’s what keeps me going. That’s what keeps small businesses trucking.
To all of the buddies that buy stuff, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you.
To all of the buddies that I have exhausted the “Homie Hookup” with, I’m sorry.
To everyone else that has been along for the ride so far, thanks for being here.
I am still learning. We are all trying to figure it out. Stay stoked. Happy Wednesday. —Nick