Jessie Spielvogel

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. Read more

Entrepreneur Holiday Gift Guide Part 3: Memberships and Education

This is the third and final part of the Holiday Gift Guide for 2012! Part one covered great books for entrepreneurs, part two included products and techie goodness, and part three is all about memberships and education. If you don’t want to give a material gift this year for the business owner on your list, try one of these suggestions! Happy holidays :) Read more

Entrepreneur Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: Products and Tech

(Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links from

This is Part 2 of the Entrepreneur Holiday Gift Guide series. Part 1 was a list of epically awesome book recommendations for the entrepreneurs on your shopping list, and Part 2 is all about products and tech gear that any business owner would love to have! After asking a few folks what types of things they’d want for the holidays, these were some of their answers, along with a few suggestions from yours truly. If you’d add anything to this list, please don’t be shy! Share with the class in the comments below. Happy Holidays, and stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon!  Read more

Entrepreneur Holiday Gift Guide Part 1: Books

(Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links from

These books make great gifts for the small business owner on your shopping list this year! A few of the books on this list are personal favorites of mine, and I already wrote about them here. The rest are suggestions from others and come highly recommended by fellow entrepreneurs! These books make great stocking stuffers for the business owners in your life, and all of them were written by folks who started their companies from the ground up. Happy holidays, and happy reading!  Read more

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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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. Read more

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? Read more

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