Hey there fellow Entrepreneurs! This is the Entrepreneur Social Club, and I DO warn everyone that Social is in the heart of our name and attitude. Yes we are super productive and helpful. Yes we have lightbulb moments each Thursday night during our meetings. Yes we provide real, honest constructive feedback, starting with your pitch and business card. Yes we create a ton of real value and new business, plus global connections and new friendships. Yes this is a business social club. However, as previously aforementioned, this IS a SOCIAL CLUB and we will get completely dark alley, sideways now and again. Watching a gorgeous downtown St. Pete sunrise on Friday morning, after a hilarious and SAFE uber ride home across the Howard Frankenstein Bridge, enjoying a morning-cap of apples, cheeses, gourmet organic pickles, super hydrating coconut waters and such is the way to complete a night FULL of tom foolery. Especially when we “promised” ourselves that at Ruby’s Elixir, we’d be “Just One and Done” HaHaHahaaaa!! Just One and Done, really, just one and done…. that’s Hilarious!
After the first 30 minutes or so of drinks (6:00 pm to 6:30 pm), light networking and schmoozing, we sit down at our grande meeting table, with seating for about 50 attendees max. I prefer attendance to be in the mid 30s; ever try to manage 30-50 Cocktailing Entrepreneurs at once?? Then while we are passing our cards around, I explain the club rules, NO Religion, NO politics, NO liars, NO bullies, NO thieves, and NO racists. Plus turn phone ringers off, and only one person talking at a time. Remember the 30-50 drinking Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. Yup! And who can say no to the lovely Bartendress Vanessa?
OK, right after I snap this quick photo, then we give our quick pitch, no more than 20 seconds long. Who you are (Name/Business Name) and how you can help. (what problem/pain point can you/your business solve?) This always ranges from awkward to excellent. If you believe in continuous improvement, as you should to find true success, then you will always be polishing and evolving; everything. Often we’ll put the entire group onto a business to help them here in real time, find and perfect their pitch. Or business name and associated url. It’s these lightbulb moments that are so delightful. Troy’s http://www.properlyequipped.com/ and Julia’s http://5dollarfacials.com for example. Fun, memorable, and effective. Yeah that’s moi, pictured below in the center with blue dress shirt, leading our Entrepreneurial charge. And thanks to our new ESC Hostess Audrey Jennifer who is taking over photography (during events, afterwards we’ve gotta be careful, read on…) and attendance and gathering contact info, plus showing everyone how easy (and beneficial = better personal SEO and online reputation and authority) it is by creating a profile http://entrepreneursocialclub.com/join.
Next, we often do Wants and Needs: This is speed dating mixed with Craig’s List. A quick way for members to connect a want to a need. We remind them to be specific, and not ask for new clients or more money. Duh, we all need that!
Dinner: Red Mesa Cantina located at 128 3rd Street South, Downtown St. Pete. 727-896-8226. Red Mesa now has 3 locations, the original (and best!) is at 4912 4th Street North, and Cantina being the 2nd. The newest is also in DTSP. Tonight we enjoyed excellent (real) Margaritas, which is (high quality like Don Julio) Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice and Agave Syrup (or honey… or if you must Simple Syrup). No salt, no triple sec, no cointreau, no nonsense. Tequila, Lime and Agave. The tacos are fresh and tasty, not OMG amazing but real good. I enjoyed 2 tuna and 1 steak, plus fresh guacamole and corn chips (corn = no gluten).
After Dinner we made our long way over to Ruby’s Elixir, for the best live jazz in town. This is where those of us “swore” that we’d be here “One and Done”. Hahaha! More on this later. Just before dinner, Sara McQueen of BigFishMobile (pictured below, center) said she wanted a good picture for her upcoming Gravitas Magazine article, so Krystle Pinzker (left), superstar bookkeeper of FluentBookkeerping.com, and I joined her. Congrats to Sara!!
Love the smartphone selfie from the guy at the next table who offered to shoot one for us, thanks!
OK back to the meeting.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ” Walt Disney
So How Can the ESC help you? This segment of the ESC meeting, is offered first to our newcomers. We have developed about 100 different segments, from “How are you in your Own Way” to “Book Reviews” to “Chinese Confessions” Success Stories” “Best new ___ of the week” and so on. Tonight we had 6 clumps of newbies who enjoyed real valuable help and advice.
#1 Meghan and Eric Dorman (pictured above). What a cute couple!! MeghanDorman.com nutritional therapist, will meet you in person (hourly consultation) plus 6 week online course $97 to $297. Her stated focus is Lifestyle health and Wellness, Married with Children. We asked her “What is the biggest pain point you are solving?” Moms are exhausted and are not taking care of themselves. Important Question (to Moms) is How do you fit YOU into the priorities of your family? We also asked Meghan “How are you going to determine your $/hour rate?” “That’s work in progress” she answered. After about 10 minutes of digging into her start-up, we were boiling down her ideas into bite size “pitch” chunks:
Teaching the HOW of personal wellness.
Removing the overwhelmingness of being healthy.
And the best quick pitch/blurb I felt was ‘Healthy with Children’; after we cautioned her about focusing solely on the Married part, as there are LOTS of single moms out there.
#2 Mike Roberts. healthcare guidance. Mike’s company FloridasChoiceHealthCare.com, offering Family and Geriatric Care Transition Management, helps people navigate thru the medial labyrinth. We suggested “I’m there when you can’t be” as a way to help better explain what his benefits are. His service is invaluable as, for example, when mom or grandad falls, and you don’t live in that city, and the doctor’s opinion may likely be best for that doctor, you need help and advice from a outside expert. Mike’s company is there to help you navigate through those difficult, confusing decisions.We also suggested Health Concierge, but of course Mike, the serial Entrepreneur already owns something quite similar. Smart guy Mike is. And wild and crazy, always a lot of fun…pictured above, bottom right. PS, Congrats on being a new father Mike!!
Speaking of #3. We welcomed 2 newcomers, Markus and Thomas Neuert, #2 and #3 of the 3 brothers of KYNGO “The App for Right Now” GetKyngo.com. Pictured above is bro #1 (they may have their own ranking system) Andreas Neuert (smiling double fisted, blue/green t-shirt, flanked by bros Markus and Thomas). Welcome!! Seated next to them in the white shirt with glasses is another newish comer, Jeffrey Kaplan foudner of http://www.dogphrendly.com/ and to our right, his left, is Arthur Guelli (blue striped shirt) who may or may not have been with us, enjoying an epic after party. You’d have to ask him. The ESC is 100%, no kiss and tell, Sargent Schultz after 10 pm. Below is Jeffrey Kaplan and the delightful Eileen Brock of Paradise News.
#4 Keevy McAlavy founder of startup Blue Cypress Payroll Services. Bluecyp.com is a local payroll company attempting to compete with the national BIG DOGS, plus regional success stories like my great pals Ted and Lara Plaskon’s Quantum Payroll. We joked that Keevy should not offer “corporate handjobs” where there is no listed pricing, where you get jerked around through layers of VPs and such, before you have a clue what things are going to cost. State that “our pricing is listed online no surprises” and that “we are a LOCAL company, simple and easy to work with, easy onboarding, painless payroll, transparency, etc.” Also we suggested that he can advertise to “Call me (the owner) directly” to make his pitch local, personal and that he’ll work harder and be more responsive vs the Paychex and other Corporate Monsters. Best of luck Keevy, hopefully you’ll make our weekly ESC meeting, as it WILL prove to be MOST benefitial to you.
#5 The Hip Room Dance Studio and Rita Bauer, founder, wanted marketing help. We suggested business card improvement, hers was a good start, but can be much better. Chris Jenkins suggested she (and everyone) follow the Business Cards AAA Accessibility Guidelines (create marketing following these guidelines) for readability and legibility. Someone suggested to connect and cross promotions with people taking music lessons. As we were running out of time, our #6 newbie was NidiaButler.com a licensed massage therapist and energy healer. After spending hours at this desk, her services sound fabulous! Welcome Nidia!
September 1 and 8 are at NOVA 535. September 8 we will be dining in at NOVA 535, trying out a special menu from SpotlightCatering.com.
September 15, 2016 Symphoni Media Grand Opening party, so ESC is OFF SITE . FROM SYMPHONI “Join us at our new headquarters for our brand reveal, ribbon cutting, and new website launch! Relax and enjoy the evening with delicious hors d’oeuvres, adult beverages and entertainment provided by Hot 101.5’s DJ Spindiana Jones. Beer and wine will be on the house thanks to our wonderful sponsors, and premium drinks will be available via cash bar.”
September 22, 2016 Swanky Soiree 7, a charity fundraiser instead of the meeting, so we are hoping everyone will STEP UP and buy tickets and come party in support of Brookwood Florida, who helps abused girls. What a great organization and most worthy cause. Join us!!
SOMETHIGN TO WATCH: Found this smart TED TALK the group should watch. Great TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_how_the_blockchain_is_changing_money_and_business
Ok and now for the after after party, this is all you get, because remember after 10 pm it’s 100% Sargent Schultz, no photos allowed!!
You’d have to have been there to get The Doors reference and joke. When do you become “that guy” who knows the best music from years past that “kids” of today are clueless about.
Hope you enjoyed our ESC adventures, please join us Thursday Nights 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, most always at historic venue NOVA 535 in beautiful Downtown St. Pete. Then dinner, more drinks and the occasional sunrise party. Check HERE for exact locations!!