The 2017 Super Bowl is the best example I can give anyone at the moment of what it is like to be an entrepreneur. On LinkedIn you see an endless series of graphics showing the ups and downs of success, usually a comic, but for those at the helm it is never funny (I included a similar graphic for the hell of it.) What you watched last night was a team and quarterback with a knot in their stomachs for most of the game. In fact, it wasn’t even a game for a long time, it was a blow out. Tom Brady had to be thinking to himself: “Is this really how it is going down right now?” After getting stomped on for most of the game, the tides changed and well, you know the ending. Nearly every entrepreneur knows this feeling. Everyone that has been in the startup game has felt this once, if not 10 times. You’re on the edge of failing, your company is about to go out of business, you’re down to a couple weeks of working capital, you’re hoping that a new funding round closes in time, and that a customer actually pays somewhere close to the NET 120 terms they had to have to become your customer, just so you can make payroll. From FedEx during their startup days to the bakery down the street, most entrepreneurs know this feeling. The game last night should tell you exactly how you need to think about today. That even when you’re getting your ass beat, you should keep grinding and find a way to win. Many small businesses fail because they get sucked into their own self-pity. They keep asking themselves “Why did this happen to me” instead of fighting to see another day. Feeling sorry for yourself may land you a couple of “keep your head up” tweets, but self-pity will never lead you to victory. Perseverance is king in 2017. Bad things will happen even during good times, and even worse things will happen during bad times. Keep grinding, keep hustling, never give up, and don’t become someone’s “told you so.”
From entrepreneurs and startups, to parents’ kids and new grads, I spend a good part of my week answering questions on how to succeed in business and careers. I find myself combating all the bad advice you find on the internet, ranging from poor content marketing articles to people posting videos of themselves on YouTube. There are actually some great people giving out some great advice, but it is drowned out by the endless assault of bad content. Garyvee is one of the people I enjoy listening to. Now, I don’t agree with everything GaryVaynerchuk (Garyvee) says all the time, and I don’t think anyone does, not even his best disciple. But, he is one of the first people I listen to because he was, and is, in the trenches everyday doing ‘it’. The dude writes checks, and I recommend paying attention to the people that do. Every armchair General will tell you what you should do, even though they never have or even know what it is like to actually sit in the hot seat. When decisions affect the coins in your pocket, you make different decisions. When you have employees that count on you for their home payments and their kids’ food, you make different decisions. When cash flow is low from a slow quarter and you’re trying to keep the doors open, you make different decisions. Gary has a track record of success and is managing a 500-700+ employee business going through rapid growth. He has grown his wine business by crazy multiples, wrote books, TEDx and he has the war wounds and the stories to go with it. I listen to people like him because I trust people with scars, over those that are unblemished. Here is the trick: good marketers know that they need to write the things you want to hear, even if that means giving out bad advice. It’s human nature to go search and search until you find someone to agree with you, so you can justify how you feel. What good does that do you? None! Looking for people to agree with you would be the same as if I went searching the net until I find an article that says if I follow their diet program I can eat bacon cheeseburgers and pizza and have the best results ever! Sure, that is what I want to hear, but it’s not what I need to hear. Gary is going to talk about shit you don’t want to hear. He will tell you to do many things you don’t want to do. But in the end, if you want to grow and succeed, you have to do the hard things. Look at the track record of the person giving the advice before you take it, it may end up saving you a lot of trouble.
It was a wonderful night and believe it or not, we had near perfect weather for a February in Michigan! Nearly 150 women strolled through our doors and we were able to raise a good chunk of money for Forgotten Harvest. The night featured wine tasting from Black Stallion Winery of Napa Valley, a pairing menu developed by Big Rock Chop House Executive Chef Gabby Milton (amazing food!) and a keynote speech by Jennifer Kluge which you will find the video below. More event photos will be added on Monday so make sure to check back. Please LIKE and SHARE this post, we want to raise awareness for our October Women & Wine event and plan to have 300 Women attend along with 3 guest speakers covering Women in STEM, Education and Business. Special thanks to: Jennifer Kluge Forgotten Harvest Gabby Milton Randy Stedwell Photography And all the fabulous women of JMJ Phillip and Employment BOOST that made this event happen.
After spending some time at my Chicago office and hot swapping between Uber’s and Taxi’s I had some thoughts that may go against the grain. It’s trendy to jump on the technology bandwagon. I came from the tech world, it was good to me, I love tech and always will. BUT it seems, if it’s tech, its better, even if its not better. When Walmart came to town and ran all the small business owners out of town, there was a period of time when the uproar was pretty loud. Walmart was a job and business killer right? Shame on them! Uber comes into the market and “disrupts” and it killed a lot of jobs that people worked full time, as a craft and replaced it with some full time and some side hustle people. But it was ok to kill some of those full time jobs because, it was tech. Now I use Uber, have had some good rides and met some cool people \ hustlers! It has so many benefits from outskirt area’s to getting different types of vehicles etc. I look forward to the idea of Uber Emergency where if you run out of gas on the freeway, an Uber will roll up with a gas can so you don’t have to wait an hour or two for roadside assistance (for the record, I have not run out of gas before but I have been close!) I also appreciate how Uber creates jobs on the fly, as someone that has always has multiple jobs since a young teenager, on the grind, just trying to survive, I really do appreciate the opportunity that Uber brings to many people. But I Had An Eye Opening Moment Or Two In Chicago The thing that caught me this time was several back to back Uber trips where the driver, to be honest, didn’t know where the fuck they were going. The swerving and stop and go motion, with one hand on the wheel and another holding their phone for the GPS made me car sick and screwed up a good part of my day. I got to the point where I said screw it, just let me out here. This has happened many times in the past, but this was my tipping point. Put your phone on the dash at least? But I don’t think it’s big enough for some people to read, so they hold it. Yeah thats what I want, my drivers face looking down while navigating the busy streets of Chicago. We caught the Bulls vs. Pistons at the United Center and on the way out, we caught a taxi. It was a clear reminder of why I appreciate some of the regular taxi drivers over the side hustle drivers. Very very rarely do I need to explain where I need to go exactly to old school taxi drivers, just an address is all they need. I can screw up and say 340 North and they will catch it and say do you mean 320 North because they know the block and there is no 340. No GPS, no nothing, they just know. The gentleman this evening has been driving taxi’s in the city for over a decade. THIS IS HIS CRAFT I reflected more on that. It may be just driving, but he perfected his craft. He didn’t treat it as a side gig to get a couple extra bucks for a vacation, this fed his family and paid his rent. Not to say Uber drivers don’t do the same, I have just ran into more side hustle drivers than those perfecting a their craft (you know those Uber drivers that are making a life out of it, they will have a bottled water, gum, mints etc. Not all but some, they take it serious.) If you hired an Uber driver for an hour, it would cost you $60 to $100 or more per hour. I wanted to map this out since most people only use the service in micro increments.