Hey! It’s Thursday night again, back here in our DTSP venue HQ NOVA 535 for the weekly gathering of the Entrepreneur Social Club (TM). It’s every Thursday night, well except an occasional holiday respite, since 2009. That’s a lot of faces, laughs; oh man, so many laughs. Real long, belly shaking ones that let out the stresses of our working lives. We are the Entrepreneurs, dreamers, business owners, visionaries, mentors, students and start-ups. Those of us who cannot help but to make things better. Smoother, faster, less expensive, more reliable. Or just new. New technologies, new systems, new solutions. That’s us. It certainly isn’t the politician, oh no! In fact club rules EXPRESSLY forbid religion and politics. Because then we all get along, arguing about what’s best, not about what’s just best for me. Entrepreneurs make things better for everyone. Better for all is better for all. Think about that. When things are better, that’s better for EVERYONE. So we take that positive, can do better attitude, for ourselves, our businesses, our customers and for our species, into, through and hopefully well beyond our weekly meetings. This is a time for us to connect, network, regenerate, grow and enjoy. So read on and join us on another ESC adventure!!
No means No! Not ‘Maybe’, nor ‘Sometimes’. It means NO!! Please. PLEASE! This hotel has gotta get it right. Please!! Please hotel peoples, listen here to things hotels gotta get right. That little sign you hang on your door must be very clear. I love the RED for “leave me the F alone!” and GREEN for “yes please come and tidy up my messes.” Excellent hotels get this concept, like those in Japan and the Kimpton chain, for example. Others the maids may be banging on your door just to piss you off. Because we know they are way overpaid (sarcasm alert!) for that (mostly) thankless and difficult job. See I owned, before the great crash, 100 apartments, and let me tell you, I’ve done PLENTY of cleaning. Down to the bone clean. So here’s a big
As I was wrapping up a pre-ESC business meeting, Shaun Rubrecht, who left 15 months ago on a 30 day trip to Thailand, yup you read that correctly, walked back into the club. Wowzers! Shaun, seated below front left in purple dress shirt, caught the “4-Hour Work Week” bug – if you haven’t read it yet, do so. Also read Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestly. It is another great book to frame how we Entrepreneurs think and act. Welcome back brother!! Tonight’s (December 1, 2016) theme is “2016 Accomplishments We Are Most Proud Of”. So let’s jump right into the Entrepreneur Social Club hosted again here at HQ – DTSP historic venue NOVA 535.
Athen’s Surprising Street Art Scene.
So I arrived late into Athens Saturday night, about 11pm, and “Tubered” to my AirBnB apartment. “Tubered” meaning using the Uber app but riding in a taxi. See many cities around the globe caved into the taxi union’s pressure and don’t allow Ubering they only allow “Tubering” with taxi (new word =Tubering). It DOES make the shitty taxi service better, less chance to sit around waiting, getting “lost” and being ripped off. (Props to all our fellow Entrepreneurs for making traveling in the 21st Century SO MUCH EASIER!! AirBnB, Uber, Expedia, Google Flights, etc. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!) Anyhoo, so after skipping dinner, and finally getting an excellent night’s sleep (check out my previous blog’s as to why), I awoke to a spectacularly gorgeous 1st day in Athens. Time to go out sightseeing! I was having some stomach issues, likely from
Lovely Vilnius Strange Little Uzupis.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and was chosen as my post Riga next stop on my Summer 2016 Entrepreneur Social Club travel adventures. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, which, when you plan weddings and complex events for a living (NOVA 535 Unique Event Space) it’s nice to just let things happen as they happen. Minimal planning involved. So I took the 3.5 hour bus ride from Riga, easy peasy, and landed here in lovely Vilnius, on a beautifully sunny day. And Sunny night as this part of the world seems to enjoy looooooong days. Let’s explore!
Just the Fax Ma’am. Fax? Don’t you mean Facts? Er, nope. Read on… Spending a day experiencing the Belarus Consul (and their delightful 1950’s style of customer service, brought to you by Stalin.Inc) to a modern, friendly, tech savvy Latvian Entrepreneur named Dovainis Sinkevičius, owner of a new, really cute cafe, Localt. End to end of the spectrum here ladies and gents. See while traveling through the delightful Latvia and Lithuania, I decided to pop over to neighbor Belarus, into the capital Minsk….but not before a few days here in lovely Vilnius!
Design and Decisions. Good Bad Ugly Beautiful.
What goes into decision making? Does it feel good or bad? Is it beautiful or ugly? Would you do it again? Ultimately, for me, it’s would I do it again? Yes or No. It’s a binary answer to a complex set of questions. Would I go back to a restaurant? Take someone out for date #2? Watch a film again? Buy a 2nd bottle of that same wine? Take a 2nd or last bite??
Lietains Riga Retains it’s Vess.
Day two in Riga, the capital of Latvia, sandwiched between Lithuania to the south and Estonia to the north. As recently as 1991, all formerly controlled by Russia. Lietains, in Latvian, is rainy, and Vess means cool. Today Sunday July 3, 2016 it rained (lija) all day, yet the charm and vess of Riga, Latvia never diminished! Just like while under Russian authority, the sparkle of Riga remained strong, even when soaking wet. Better, brighter and more beautiful days are here for this gem of a city. So after a hearty (and included) breakfast in the swanky cellar of this renovated, historic structure, the Royal Square Hotel, I borrowed an umbrella and headed off for my Lietains Riga adventure!
Off to Casablanca Whoopsie Hello Riga!
Our aloha pos system went down at my main gig, wedding and event venue NOVA 535 (ugg, hard drive crash, quickly fixed by fellow ESC member Justin Petro of Advanced Millennium Computers, he’s fabulous!!). Too bad the NRC team wasn’t as great as Justin, they got 50% right then I left, and well the crazy busy night we have every First Friday was rocky. The POS wasn’t returned to “good to go” condition as planned. Luckily my amazing brother Chris Novilla and big Nick Mazeika were there to lead our team NOVA and our 100s of partying guests to victory, rough night but they got things done! Bravo guys!!
This was followed by our sound system crashing at NOVA, (a HUGE thanks to Chuck Taylor of Production Source, [he’s the Gandalf of the AV world] for saving our arses, THANKS CHUCK!!). Plus my packing and the usual craziness inside the NOVAverse. My original plan of going Tampa Airport to JFK to Casablanca got scrapped yesterday due to bad weather around JFK.
My heart dropped upon seeing this delightful update…
Books I Keep Recommending for the Beginning Entrepreneur.
I’ve noticed a common occurrence recently, I was finding people who wanted to follow their passions yet didn’t know how. See I was spending 5 weeks abroad, from Budapest to Bratislava to Vienna to Prague (where my father’s grandmother hails from) to Split and Dubrovnik with a quick stop in Mostar with superstar tour guide Marko – wow what an adventure that 24 hours was! Then off visiting my delightful pal from back in MBA grad school at the University of South Florida, super stud Olivier, in his hometown, the wild port city of Marseille. Afterwhich I went to hang with my best friend Drew Edwards, who married the beautiful, brilliant, lovely French Helene on the 4th of July 2015 (celebrating his loss of Independence – my words, really – haha) at my gorgeous unique wedding and event venue NOVA 535 here in beautiful sunny downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Congrats to Drew and Helene!! =D