Every Day Is An Interview

Every Day Is An Interview.

I was reading a girl named Stephanie Bennis’ blog today since she commented on one of my posts, and her most recent post really resonated with me. The link is above, but it is called “Every Day Is An Interview,” and she talks about how entrepreneurs are constantly having to be pitching to new clients, explain who they are and why you should listen to their crazy ideas, raise money, etc. However, this is what I absolutely love about being an entrepreneur. Embrace it and keep on rocking. Nice post Stephanie!

When In Atlanta

Since Atlanta is such a major hub for airlines, I figured I’d do a post on the best places to go to eat or hang out when you have the lovely layover in Atlanta. People always joke and say that before they can get to heaven, they will first have a layover in Atlanta (haha). Anyways here are a few tricks.

First of all, always take the train instead of walking between terminals. It is always faster, I promise. People oftentimes will just miss the train and decide to walk because the next terminal doesn’t look that far, but I promise you it is. Unless you want some between flight exercise, definitely wait the short 2 min for the next train.

I recommend downloading the app Gate Guru to use at any airport for the best food options. Gate Guru is awesome, and I always find myself using it to find the nearest Starbucks to my gate because there are so many! Choose your concourse and browse your options or search for something specific.

If you have some time, I always suggest eating in concourse E. This used to be the international terminal until the brand new one opened a month or so ago, so they always had a large assortment of food options, many of them being healthy and fresh.

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Support Your Friends in Business

Going back to my past post about the energy of silicon valley, what makes that energy truly work and create a successful atmosphere is the support everyone gives each other. Obviously not everyone is friends with other companies and of course people have competition, but what makes start ups work is the energy behind them from veteran entrepreneurs and friends. I love to write about some of the new apps that I find to be interesting because I truly love making the world a better, more efficient place, and I want to help spread the word about some of the amazing work my friends have done. I know they will do this for me when NameRemind is launched, and that’s what is so great. I believe there is no better marketing than word of mouth through the grapevine of friends, because those are the people you trust. For example, when I was in San Francisco, John Eden, who I mentioned earlier, recommended Okoze Sushi (see my restaurant post). My dad and I decided to try it out and had the best sushi of our lives. Although this is a little different than what I discussed above, word of mouth recommendations are crucial. Therefore, I strongly believe in recommending your friends and showing others their awesome ideas, and later on down the road, they will do the same for you.

My Favorite Gadgets

Here’s a list of my favorite gadgets for summer 2012!

1) Mophie Juice Pack Air ($79)

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The Mophie Juice Pack Air basically doubles your battery life on your phone which I am always finding I need. My phone, especially as it gets older, runs out of battery pretty fast from my heavy usage so this is awesome. It’s sort of expensive, but all phone cases are getting really expensive these days. However, if you have an upgrade, I’d say wait until the iPhone 5 comes out in October so I’d wait to invest in a case until then.

2) Pivot Power Strip

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I love this power strip especially for apple products because the rotating strip helps fit in the boxiest of chargers.

3) Wrapster by Quirky

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This is a great way to store your headphones neatly without them getting tangled. It also doubles as an iPhone stand in the middle.

4) Corkcicle

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My friend got her dad one of these for fathers day. It’s a really cool gadget that cools the wine from the inside out pretty quickly.

5) Stake

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The stake is the ultimate grilling tool that works as a spatula, fork, and tongs all in one making grilling super easy.

Business Travel

Travel is a big part of entrepreneurship and business because oftentimes the value of meeting your customers or partners face to face is priceless, even though flights are very expensive these days. I travel quite a bit and have been traveling this way since I was 14.

Flying
The biggest thing with flying is to choose one airline and try and stick with it. This way, the rewards are more ‘rewarding’ because they will build up faster. My airline of choice is Delta because I live in atlanta and its simply the most convenient with such a large number of flight times to choose from. I also like the SkyMiles program because of becoming a medallion. Once you fly large amounts and start to become a medallion, you will begin getting upgraded, bypassing change fees, and getting free checked bags. The little perks add up to save you money, time, and offer ease and convenience of travel. I am not as familiar with Southwest, but they are slowly infiltrating into atlanta, and their flights are pretty cheap, so I would check them out too. One thing to note about Southwest is in order to keep their fares low they don’t show up on website such as Expedia, so you always have to be sure to check their website. Airtran also has a program called Airtran U for college aged students (18-22) where you can fly standby for a lower fare (usually around $69) so if this is an option for you, it’s definitely something to check out.

Note:
I love gogo inflight Internet on the planes! I have the all-year pass and I get so much work done on the plane because I a focused and have a solid chunk of time on my computer and/or iPad. I just played the inflight lucky seat game and won a free flight pass! Woohoo!

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Hotels
When I was in the Silicon Valley area, I got some awesome deals on hotels that were nice and not that expensive. I would recommend hotels.com because of many things. The customer service is great and they have no cancellation fees or anything. You can always call and get a human on the line. I also love their ipad app, it’s so easy to use (a plus for a techie like me!). I’m pretty sure every 10 nights you get 1 free so that’s pretty cool too.

I will continue to update this post as I think of more travel tips!

It’s All About Personality

Being personable is key to being able to strike up a conversation and is a skill for business or otherwise. The first most important thing is to have a confident handshake and not be afraid to say hello to someone. When you greet them be sure to use their name if you can, smile, and slightly raise your eyebrows. This expression will show your interest in the greeting and that you are awaiting a conversation with them. By smiling and having this outward appearance you are creating an inviting feeling that comforts the person you’re talking to and shows you’re interested in what they have to say. Also, when listening to someone, be sure to keep eye contact and an easy look on your face. If someone seems to be fidgeting or nervous, then change your approach to be a little more soothing, etc. The important skill is being able to read the person you’re communicating with’s body language and disposition.

Follow Up

Now that I am home back in Atlanta I feel like I have such momentum behind me from everything I gathered in Silicon Valley. The key to keep that going is by following up with everyone that I met. Here are some keys to successful follow up from what I’ve gathered:
1) Include your contact information (phone number, email, blog, website, etc.) by creating a signature at the bottom of your email so if the other person is interested, they can learn more about you and keep up with you.
2) Keep your follow up as short as possible while still including key points. Get straight to the point.
3) Thank the person for their time and say it was a pleasure meeting them.
4) Give the other person a hint to remind them who you are- a way to put the name to a face. For example, I’m the girl from atlanta with the name app.
Make sure you get into contact ASAP upon returning home and keep it going to create lasting relationships.