Guest post, Networking

A meeting is never just a meeting

A meeting is never just a meeting

This is a guest post from Linn Grubstromm*

A few weeks ago, I was chosen to represent Denmark on a wine-road trip in France. Together with five international bloggers, two coordinators, and a small camera-crew, we spent nine days traveling through the country. The goal was to communicate our findings about French wine to each of our respective countries.

It was a varied group of people. Jens, from Belgium, has a big web shop where he sells Belgium wine. Matt and Irene are respected wine journalists in England and the Netherlands. Sebastian has one of Germany’s biggest travel blogs, and so does Alex in Russia. And then there was me – a medium-size food blogger and radio hostess from Denmark.

Before we started our trip, none of us had met each other. On the 25th of May, I shook hands with a bunch of strangers, crossing my fingers that they would be nice and that the trip would go well. They were nice. They were actually much more than nice. During the trip, I didn’t only learn about wine and France. The other people shared their experiences, and gave me the inspiration and motivation that I’ve been looking for, for such a long time.

They all made a living out of blogging and communicating through their own channels and freelance work. They told me about how they make their economic situation work, how they sell their material to different sites and companies, how they handle people in their close surroundings shaking their heads while telling them that going freelance is a bad idea. Continue reading “A meeting is never just a meeting”

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)

[ca_audio url=”″ width=”500″ height=”27″ css_class=”codeart-google-mp3-player”]

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

Start a business you love – interview with JC Deen from JCD Fitness [Video]

Starting a business can be tricky! Where do you even begin? What if no one wants what you’re selling? What if you can’t make rent next month? What if…what if…what if?

All of these are some serious doubts that many people come across, and if you don’t realize that every single successful entrepreneur has had these doubts at some point or another, and that they’re completely normal, it could end up being the death of your idea.

The truth of the matter is, there is never a good time to toss your life into the air, quit your stable desk job, and work toward creating something amazing of your own. It’s never a “safe” decision – but that’s what makes it great. It’s a lot of stress, worry, anxiety, and freakin’ excitement. Continue reading “Start a business you love – interview with JC Deen from JCD Fitness [Video]”

Entrepreneurship, Life and Happiness, Tips for Success

12 motivational quotes found on Pinterest, you go-getter, you!

Pinterest is an epic wonderland of inspiration, tips, and ideas. More and more, brands are hopping on Pinterest to share their favorite fashions, foods, recipes, restaurants, stores, DIY projects, photography and more.

What do I use it for? I use it to share recipes, fitness tips, and the star of today’s blog, motivational and inspirational words of wisdom from some amazing folks!

Here are 15 of my favorite pins from my “Words to Live By” pinboard. Hopefully you’ll find them to be as butt-kicking as I have, whether you’re needing guidance for your personal relationships, your business plans and goals, or your life in general!

If you like one of these quotes, tweet it to your followers and share on Facebook!

Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist: While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it! Sincerely, The opportunist [Tweet this] Continue reading “12 motivational quotes found on Pinterest, you go-getter, you!”

Entrepreneurship, Life and Happiness, Networking, Tips for Success

The importance of community in business, and how to find yours

It’s human nature to feel the desire to belong to something bigger – something that makes us feel important, useful, and purposeful. As we grow up, that desire never disappears, but it changes and moves in between phases.

When we are kids, we dream to be picked first in gym class. For some reason, we all dread the thought of being picked last in an intense game of Dodgeball (how humiliating, right)?

When we’re teenagers, we desperately hope to be invited to the cool kids’ house parties when their parents go out of town (yes, I’m looking at you – don’t act innocent).

When we’re in college, we hope to be accepted as part of Greek life or any type of academic, charitable, or young professional organizations.

When we begin our careers, all bright-eyed and filled with ambition, we hope to become part of professional communities that will help carry us to the top of the ladders and help shape us into the professionals we always knew we would become.

We are always longing to belong to something, which we know and endlessly hope will lead us toward bettering ourselves and being accepted by our peers, mentors, friends, and family.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur on your way to becoming the next feature story in Forbes Magazine, or if you’re an intern starting from the bottom of the totem pole at a big fancy-pants corporate empire, the importance of community in business is still everywhere. Rich people, poor people, young people, old people, introverts, extroverts, and everyone in between…we all desire to be part of a community. Continue reading “The importance of community in business, and how to find yours”