Entrepreneurship, Tips for Success

From Investment Banker to Dream Job as an Entrepreneur – OatMeals NYC

Sam Stephens, owner of one of Manhattan’s newest specialty cafes in Greenwich Village, left a career as an investment banker to follow the dream of owning her very own restaurant. 11 years later, OatMeals was born in New York City.

In this interview, Sam tells her story about how she found the ability to leave her job to follow her passion, how she has gotten some amazing press coverage (including a segment on ABC news, a feature in the Wall Street Journal, and a nice placement on New York Magazine’s Grub Street online — while spending ZERO dollars on publicity or advertising), and offers some tips for folks wanting to follow a similar path.

Topics covered in this interview include:

  • How Sam applied for and received a small business loan
  • How she found her niche in a crowded market
  • How she is learning to manage her first set of employees as an entrepreneur
  • How she has learned a lot about herself by developing a simple business plan

This interview is highly informative, revealing, and inspiring for those of you interested in finding a new career path and following a dream.

Sam also dealt with a bit of negativity while mapping out her plans for the development of OatMeals. However, even with a lot of people in her life telling her that they did not understand the concept of her idea, she knew not to give up.   It took 11 years to get those doors open, but she made it happen with perseverance and good ol fashioned hard work.

“If you have a dream, and you really believe in it, and you do your homework… you can get there.” – Sam Stephens, @OatMealsNY

Listen to the interview, keep it on in the background for the next 15 minutes, and I hope you get something out of it.

If you happen to be in the New York City area, stop by OatMeals and say hi to Sam! For more information about her bakery/café, check out her website and fantastic menu.

(Side note for the side streets: I originally came across OatMeals while working to launch Manhattan Sideways – a start up website helping to promote the side street businesses of Manhattan. If you’re in NYC, try out some of these not-so-traditional spots for a REAL flavor of the city)!

Follow OatMeals on Twitter and Facebook, and if you liked this post, please share it with your amigos.

(Photo credit: Esteban Pedraza, Manhattan Sideways)

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Entrepreneurship, Tips for Success

Work smarter, not harder: advice?

Wouldn’t life be grand if we could help everyone all the time? I wish it were that simple! Sometimes, I get asked a question that I would love to be able to solve, and I don’t know the best answer to give. It’s either something I haven’t experienced myself, something I had never thought about before, or something I just don’t feel like I have the ability to analyze all angles fairly.

So today, dear Split Aces reader, I’m asking YOU to help me give advice to this ambitious woman on a mission to create a life of freedom in business doing what she loves online. After reading the article, “When What You’re Doing Isn’t Working,” I received an email from a woman asking for advice. I asked her if it would be okay for me to anonymously publish her email on the blog to see if others could help her out, and she welcomed the idea.

Help a girl out, and please share your thoughts!

She would definitely appreciate anything you’ve got to offer, and to be honest, so would I. I would love to know what others think about this, as I’m sure that there are so many people out there struggling with the mentality that there are too few hours in the day and too little money in the bank. Continue reading “Work smarter, not harder: advice?”

Entrepreneurship, Life and Happiness, Tips for Success

When what you’re doing isn’t working

A lot of times when you start diving into a new project, business venture, strategy, or idea, you’ll quickly realize that what you’re doing simply is not working. You’re not seeing the results you expected, and you’re disappointed.

You’re not growing your subscriber list, even though you’re doing everything right according to every blogger giving you advice out there.

You’re not seeing an increase in sales, no matter how many promotions and sales tactics you put into place.

You’re not seeing a surge in traffic to your beautiful website even though you’ve been guest blogging on some of the best sites with your exact target audience.

So what are you doing wrong? Why aren’t you seeing results, and what the heck does it take for you to get it right? Continue reading “When what you’re doing isn’t working”

Entrepreneurship, Tips for Success

Don’t be the Texan who knows nothing about football

I have a confession.

What I am about to tell you will put my entire upbringing, as a Texan, to shame. Seriously – by publicly announcing what I’m about to tell you, I may be forced to leave this great state.

I… (gulp)… know nothing about football.

I know.

What kind of Texan knows nothing about football? Think about Varsity Blues, Friday Night Lights and every other football show/movie that takes place here. Texans know and love their football, and I never hopped on that bandwagon until recently. Continue reading “Don’t be the Texan who knows nothing about football”

Life and Happiness

Touch your nose and make a decision

I used to be a believer in the idea that if you didn’t know what to do, then you should do nothing. This mentality stemmed from the fact that you shouldn’t make brash decisions when you don’t have the right answer. And in some ways, this still holds true – making hasty decisions doesn’t generally serve anyone well. However, doing nothing doesn’t really help you either.

If you’re faced with a tough decision, if you’re overwhelmed with an assignment, if you’re going through relationship woes, or whatever your troubles may be, you will have to make decisions…and they won’t be easy ones to make.

I’m now a firm believer in the fact that taking your mind off the subject at hand will in turn help you resolve the issue more quickly than spending hours and hours dwelling over the problem until you come up with some solution. Continue reading “Touch your nose and make a decision”

Entrepreneurship, Life and Happiness, Shark Diving, Tips for Success, Travels

There really ARE plenty of fish in the sea… (and a bit of a sharky adventure)!

Every time that I travel somewhere, I always come back a little bit changed compared to the way I was before I left. Traveling introduces you to new experiences, new people, new perspectives, new foods, and new sleep patterns. Everything about traveling provides the opportunity to open your eyes to something you may have never considered before. Or, maybe it opens your eyes to something that seems to be common knowledge and seems to be obvious, but you’ve just never really thought about it in detail before.

When I went on a quick road trip to Tennessee and back, I learned 10 important lessons about myself and my business. When I first started building up Split Aces Media, I learned 25 important lessons in just four short months of traveling while working.

This latest adventure was no different. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world, and I am so excited that I was able to be a part of it. Continue reading “There really ARE plenty of fish in the sea… (and a bit of a sharky adventure)!”

Entrepreneurship, Life and Happiness, Tips for Success

Procrastinating is dumb. Don’t do it.

My name is Jessie, and I… am a recovering serial procrastinator.

A few weeks ago, I spent one long morning driving from Austin to Houston after spending the week with one of my best girlfriends. I was exhausted when I made it to my home in Houston, so naturally I took a nap. Then, I woke up equally as tired (if not more so). I shook it off, sat at my computer, fiddled around on social media, read the news, G-chatted with some folks, and then realized that two hours had gone by, and I’d still done nothing productive. I knew that I had a lot on my to do list (including writing three lengthy articles), and I knew that if I didn’t get those things checked off that I would only be screwing myself over.

I thought about it… I dwelled on it… I wasted more time as I thought about how I knew I should get my work done, but just didn’t have the energy to make it happen… and then I metaphorically decided to slap myself in the face and just do it. And you know what? I got it done! Afterwards, I felt amazing.
Continue reading “Procrastinating is dumb. Don’t do it.”