MARVELINGS of a CEO
As the CEO and Founder of REEL, you can imagine how busy the days are with filming, editing, building the entrepreneurial ecosystem on our site and keeping up with our ventures. Rather than try and create a weekly blog post that is too lengthy, I am going to write a few lines every day to give you, our viewers, a glimpse into what my world, both personal and professional, looks like. I’m posting this HERE, but you’ll find these MARVELINGS of a CEO Thank you for following REEL and please get out there and follow your own yellow brick road!
Friday, November 25th: Gratitude. More and more we hear how the power of gratitude, can really bring you everything you desire. Personally, I practice the art of gratitude every day and it truly is amazing how, over time, everything I could desire, comes my way. Thanksgiving is a major gratitude day, here in the United States, probably the key one of the year, just because of the word ‘thanks’. With the advent of social media, from FB to Twitter, the sharing of ‘thanks’ has given us the ability to share the many messages of gratitude, blessings, and love. As I read all the messages on FB and Twitter and thought about my own family and all the ‘gratitude’ around that table, I wondered, why does it have to take a special day to share one’s gratitude? While I personally am in gratitude mode everyday, I don’t always post it for the world to see and again, I wondered why? and then I thought, how many others, do the same? Do we feel that if we share our gratitude openly, people will think us insincere or pompous? Then I thought, here we are at Thanksgiving, a day created to BE grateful and all those shared messages carry SO much power, so much love. Imagine if we treated EVERYDAY like Thanksgiving, all that gratitude could create a society of happy, loving, positive, empowered individuals, and we would all have everything we could ever desire. Just imagine….I can.
May you find all you desire on your yellow brick road and always be in an attitude of gratitude. <3
Saturday, November 12th: Finally, this CEO has time to sit down and write what I’ve been planning on for over a week. I’ve come to the conclusion, that I MAY have overestimated the amount of time I currently can write in Marvelings, and Daily is NOT even a possibility at this juncture (that’s a good thing though), so for the time being, I’m going to re title this page, MARVELINGS OF A CEO.
Today’s MARVELINGS is about finding MONEY. Now we all know the saying about, ‘find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck’. For years I would only pick up coins that were face up. When my now, dearest friend, Soula, came to work with me at Metro Networks, little did I know that I would adopt an entirely new way of looking at those coins on the ground. Soula is a first generation Greek, from Queens NY. She speaks fluent Greek and is about as entrenched in Greek traditions, as if she was born and raised, across the Atlantic. I remember coming to work one day and telling her that I had found some ‘face up’ pennies and that it was going to be such a lucky day! She smiled and said to me, “the Greeks believe that if you are never embarrassed to pick up money, face up or face down, in a puddle, on the dirt, wherever, you will ALWAYS have money in your pocket’. Something in that statement struck a chord, and from there on, I’ve picked up money every where. Clean, dirty, in puddles, in the middle of the street (almost even getting hit a few times), but always with her words in my head, and guess what, I’ve ALWAYS had money in my pocket. So of course, I’ve ‘paid’ that advice forward over the years, to my daughters, my friends, people that I know will also believe and adopt this thought process. Now, I have to share 2 stories of how different, picking up money can be viewed. I recently shared this belief with my mother. I had found 21 cents this particular day, and was telling her how I loved finding money. Her response was, “Oh Lisa, it makes it sound as if you’re homeless”. I laughed and told her what Soula had told me. I don’t think it grabbed her the way it had me, but it was ok, I was quite comfortable in my beliefs. A few weeks ago, I had coffee with my youngest daughter and her good friend, Peter. Now Peter is very open minded and I believe we had, already, the ‘picking up money’ discussion before. Peter is also, first generation Italian, and follows many of his own families traditions. I laughed that I had found some money that morning, and Peter smiled and imparted a very special story. Peter had worked for his father over the summer. They had a client, who happened to live in one of three penthouses, on top of the new Mandarin Hotel. This particular client had made his money in finance, and was beyond wealthy. One day when he and Peter were walking down to the street to inspect one of the products, in the truck, this man stopped and picked up a penny. Peter smiled and said, ‘oh, I see you pick up pennies” and this man put the penny in his pocket and said, “I do, because I remember when I didn’t have any”. Great story, right? I probably pick up a couple hundred dollars a year in coins. Every once in a while, I find the ‘big money’, like a few months ago when I found $7, laying on the ground in the subway. I’ve picked up pennies that look almost unreadable and sometimes I pick up coin and put it in the tip jar at Starbucks or give it back to a homeless person with a cup, but the lesson I learned from Soula, all those years ago, continues to be my good luck charm. So the next time you see a coin, pick it up, stick it in your pocket and know that, that coin, is your belief that you’ll always have all you need. May your journey on your yellow brick road be filled with lots of gold, green and silver.
Thursday, October 27th:
Do you LOVE what you do? Well if the days in your week and weeks in your months are flying by, then you must. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to LOVE what you do, you just have to know that you’ve chosen a yellow brick road that leads to whatever will make you happy. There were many years, before I launched REEL, that I LOVED going to the career that I had chosen. I looked forward to seeing the people I worked with and when I had a boss that I really connected with, all the better. While I am a glass full not empty person, I have to admit that there were some days, and some bosses, that offered challenging moments, but my passion for my job was a stronger force and I found ways to still succeed. Today, as an entrepreneur, I am even more tuned in to people who LOVE their jobs. The server in the restaurant who genuinely wants to give you the best service, the cashier at the supermarket whose smile is so contagious, you have to smile back, the bus driver who’ll stop the bus BEFORE the stop, if they see you walking, the young college entrepreneur who wants to change the world, and just might. People who LOVE what they do give more of themselves, pay more attention to details, get more excited, smile more, offer to help, more, want to contribute more, and LOVE getting up each morning to face a new day. So today, make it a point to notice 3 people who really LOVE what they do? Whether you’re running your own business, or working for someone else, make sure you LOVE what you do and then everyone you come in contact with, will too.
Thursday, October 21st:
Meetings. When you’re first starting a company, it’s important to meet with as many people that are connected to the ecosystem of your business. But, as your business grows and you have your product/content, it’s important to really define WHO it is that is the most important to meet with, and then set your goals on meeting those people. The right people have the power to help you connect with funding, PR, sales, and of course, their chain of connectivity, through our newly found social media; twitter, linkedin, FB, etc. My oldest daughter paid me a huge compliment last night. She said that she never worries about who I need to meet with to move REEL ahead, that I ALWAYS get the meetings I want AND need. I have to admit that getting meetings has, over the years, become one of my fortes. Once you figure out WHO you want to meet with, then you need to find those all important connecting threads. Can you receive an introduction via another connection? Does your product or content offer a real value to the person you want to meet with? Is your approach a ‘sale’ or one of needing ‘advice”? Sometimes the advice card gets your foot in the door, sooner, and in many cases, that’s all you’ll need. Just make sure there is a REAL connection for the target. Richard Branson has made mention that when he first started out he would meet with anyone that had the potential to help him build his business. Now that he runs a multi billion dollar company, he only takes meetings that have a direct effect on his current agenda, he never varies. We’re a year into REEL and juggling all I do, I am starting to understand and apply his reasoning to my own world. I’m not so rigid, yet, but I can see that day in the near future, and of course, I’ll have a team in place, by then, to take some of the meetings that I still now handle. So, for now, I set my ‘meeting’ goals to include some very top notch people that CAN change the success of REEL and each time I achieve that meeting, I’m ONE step closer to achieving my dreams and vision for REEL . Dorothy knew, on her entire trip down the yellow brick road, that she’d have to MEET the WIZARD to make her dreams and those of her friends, come true. How many WIZARDS do YOU! need to meet with? Write them down and make it happen, on YOUR yellow brick road!!
Monday, October 17th:
Ok, so I’m not the best at DAILY, but in all honesty, if I put WEEKLY, then it might turn into MONTHLY! So forgive me, but I’ll stick to DAILY and REEL-ly try to at least write something once a day. Yesterday, I was able to grab a camera from our partners at NUTV and head to a sleepy little village on the South Shore of Massachusetts, called Scituate. Trevor, of Pure Pest Management fame, was participating in a DuAthalon. I had never heard of one (no I don’t live in a bubble), nor had I attended one, but I am a lover of anything that involves exercise and competition, and we REEL-ly needed some footage of Trevor and Brian, doing their favorite personal activities. Upon arriving, I was impressed to learn that this was THE LARGEST DUATHALON in the country! with over 600 participants. Trevor had registered early, and was number 73. They were split into 4 age groups and Trevor was in the under 30 group. I was able to grab some footage of Trevor, pre race and then as his group took off with the ‘horn’. It was a 2 mile run, a 10 mile bike and another 2 mile run. I was in AWE of how quickly the first runners were back and even more in AWE of how quickly they switched from sneakers to helmets and bikes. There were many who had the transition down to a science and went from run to bike in literally 10 seconds or less. Trevor was up there with the best of them. His first run was about a 6 minute mile and he was in the front group with the bike and final run. As it turned out, he finished 7th for his age group…pretty darn good! His co founder and cousin, Brian came to cheer him on and I captured some cool ‘intro’ footage from him. It was only a couple of hours on a beautiful Sunday, but watching this mix of people, some very athletic, some average build, some a bit overweight, but ALL with the determination to complete a competition and feel good about what they accomplished, whether it was 1st place or last, it was the determination, and dedication and doing, that made it all worth while. Kinda reminded me of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. <3 What race are you running on that yellow brick road?
Wednesday, October 12th: Progress.It’s what entrepreneurs do every day, make progress. Some days it’s baby steps, some days it’s by leaps and bounds, but we chisel, every day, all day, to bring our entrepreneurial visions to life. Even in the midst of a frustration or set back, we must find a way to balance and then create progress. For me, progress is a daily habit. I get great satisfaction in crossing off my lists and then adding to them again. I see the ‘adding’ as my ultimate progress. When I add a key shoot, or meeting, or phone call, a next step, I’m making progress. So, be like Dorothy and her companions and every day, make it a habit, to take the steps and make Progress!
Saturday October 8th: My apologies for the gap in my Daily Marvelings. Steve Jobs passing really threw me off. I felt exactly like Ashton Kutcher and couldn’t have said it better, “I’ve never felt so busted up by someone I’ve never met”. I’m taking today off from a very busy and magical week to attend my youngest daughters tennis match with my oldest daughter and her new ‘guy’. Steve Jobs was also right when he said,….”of all the 10,000 things I’ve done, having children has been the best’…..I am grateful every day for my girls and the love, inspiration and support they give me. Take today to enjoy your families…your children…yourself. It’s YOUR yellow brick road to make.
Wednesday, October 5th: I decided to work from home today, which I do at least a couple days a week. Today is a magical, lucky day. Why? because people returned emails, set up meetings, answered their phones and responded to filming schedules and OH, our twitter account, http://www.twitter.com/reelcolventures, went OVER 800 followers! So, do I jump up and down and get excited over all this activity? You bet I do! I probably have 310 days a year where I can make magic happen,if I work at it. Now it’s not work, work, it’s love work, passion work, work that brings luck! Thomas Jefferson said that “99% of luck is hard work”, well I agree, and while ‘hard’ is a relative word, I’m tired at the end of a day. So what about the other 6 days a year? Well there is the occasional ‘off’ day and I don’t work, every weekend, but I start off each day with a ‘thank you” for just getting out of bed and continue to stay positive throughout the day and no matter what, keep making progress, even baby steps. Every step you take on your yellow brick road counts!
Tuesday, October 4th: I got to spend the last two mornings with our ventures, Day2Night Convertible Heels, watching them practice and then pitch their idea to the Mass Challenge Competition judges. They’ll find out on Friday about making it to the semi final round of 26 entrepreneurs, all of whom are vying for the 1+million dollars worth of prize money. Because of a date change, I was able to film Candice and Nadine, yesterday, as they practiced and reviewed and discussed the best way to make their 10 minute pitch, effective. This morning, I went again to film and this time it was the real deal, in a very small room, with 7 judges. If you’ve watched Candice in our episodes, you know how engaging she is, always prepared and quite comfortable with her brand, whether it’s a camera or in front of a group. This morning for her was akin to those days before your wedding, when nothing is going well, but your wedding day goes off without a hitch. Candice and Nadine were on a time clock for an 8:30 start, but there was a delay. Their deck never made it to the pitching director, so Candice had to run to her offices and grab her MAC. (luckily it was a 3 floor difference). Once in the room, she and Nadine struggled to adjust the presentation to the screen, to no avail. The slides would have to stay the way they look when you’re creating a PPT presentation, and then, to top off the stress of technology and time, Candice,broke the heel on her shoe!. Somewhere in that moment, I felt the irony and success about to happen. Even though it was only 8:40 in the morning, there was an air of crankiness in the room, including one judge who was very verbose in his requests. Candice did what all great entrepreneurs do, she took a deep breath and began. It may have been a blessing that she couldn’t move around during her pitch, the space was small, and she may have appeared jittery, so there she stood, in one location, and sailed through the presentation. When it was all said and done and we left the room, Candice broke down in tears, a confirmation of the level of passion she carries with her everyday to build a company and brand from scratch. It made me wonder…how many, already established entrepreneurs, still, occasionally lock their office door and have a good cry? Nadine of course was extremely supportive, as a co founder should be, and I have the footage to prove what a great job Candice really did. Candice and Nadine are a great team, from preparation to presentation, they balance, along their yellow brick road they call Day2Night Convertible Heels.
October 2nd. I’ve come to realize that it’s REEL-ly important as an entrepreneur to take some weekend time to myself. I figure I work 12 hour days during the week and typically jump in on some projects on Sundays. I’ve also learned that in my 12 hour days, I can pump out work of 2 or more people, SO, if you’re building your business, take some time to spend with your kids, family, watch a favorite sport, cook, decorate, go for a run, visit a church sale, clean out your closet, donate to GoodWill, or anything else that balances you with your entrepreneurial side. That’s what I did/am doing this weekend, yep, everything I listed, and Monday will be even MORE fun, than it already is. Stay on your yellow brick road! You’ll have more fun too!!
Friday, September 30th: It’s been an exciting week on the REEL yellow brick road. Today, the shoes/heels from Day2Night are being featured on the Today Show with Bobbie Thomas. Our editor John put together about 26 minutes of great footage for our Episode 2 synopsis. We decided on a ‘synopsis’ because we have SO much great footage, so our REEL Episode 2, next week, will feature, just Day2Night Convertible Heels with Candice and her new co-founder Nadine. Nadine’s Avatar is complete and our new Creative Director, Kelly, is almost finished with the new Twitter background. We’ve submitted our E1/E2 to PBS and have learned that our dear friend and narrator, John, has a direct connect within Oprah’s OWN Network. I attended the Mass Challenge Showcase and the entrepreneurial energy was phenomenal. I met Claudia, who is a cube mate of Candice, and also has a line of shoes, these expand if your feet swell, as in pregnancy or heat waves. Claudia is connected to Start Up America and offered an introduction. I think REEL could be very valuable to the Start Up America/Start Up Massachusetts initiative. In my world it’s only Friday! and I have so much more magic to create today and in the upcoming weekend. Thanks for stopping by and may you be following your own, yellow brick road.