Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Genevieve: Sales > Marketing.

In Business, Marketing, Take action on 03/29/2011 at 12:06 am

I spoke at an event called Entrepreneurs Unplugg’d a few weeks ago alongside power entrepreneurs like the founder of GrubHub, Crowdspring, and ConstantKarma. (I don’t know why I was invited to speak, but thanks Tim andĀ Stella for thinking I could play with the big dogs.) Genevieve Thiers, founder of, also presented her start-up story.

Her presentation, in addition to being so super informative, high energy and fun (and operatic and theatrical), had one major key takeaway for me:

When starting a business . . . when you’re doing the stuff to get rolling . . . sales are key. Sales are more important than marketing. Because without sales, you can’t continue marketing.

Super easy concept. Super difficult for someone like me to keep in mind, since I think the marketing stuff is so fun (and the sales part is not as fun).

I’m so glad to have Genevieve as an example of someone to look up to. Thanks, lady, for inspiring me!

Andrew: In-box Zero.

In Organization, Tech on 03/27/2011 at 4:00 pm

I share an office with Andrew, the cuddly, touchy-feely, entrepreneurial web app developer and project manager, husband and dad of two.

A few months ago when we moved in together, I was complaining that I couldn’t keep up with my e-mails and that I was spending all day responding to them.

His solution? In-box zero.

(Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure Andrew didn’t inventĀ in-box zero, but he’s the first to tell me about it, so he gets credit. :))

1 – Choose three or four times during the day that you’ll check your e-mail.
2 – When you go into your e-mail, close all other distractions.
3 – Take 20 minutes or so to reply quickly to any e-mails you can.
4 – If something is a project or will take longer than a couple of minutes to respond to, add it to your to-do or project management list, or delegate it to someone else. Then file it appropriately.
5 – In-box ZERO. Close your in-box and don’t think about it until the next time you check e-mails.

In-box zero has changed my life. Thank you, Andrew. You are brilliant.

Dan: Everything is a trade off.

In Be logical on 03/27/2011 at 3:16 pm

I’ve known Dan for what feels like years. He’s a hedge fund analyst in Chicago, University of Chicago MBA grad and overall nerd.

We went to lunch a few weeks ago and he was telling me how he and his wife are thinking about moving their family to a bigger house farther away from the city.

Do we get a bigger house, but in a suburb we might not like as much?
Do we get a smaller house so we won’t be house poor and can actually go on vacations?
Do we go to a city that has a weaker school system, but then have to send our kids to private schools?
Do we stay closer to the city so I have a shorter commute, but pay more for the house?

When thinking about making a life-changing decision, it’s good to be rational and realize that everything has its up and downsides, and acknowledge that no matter what, there will always be a trade off.

And the best part? Knowing this before going into making a decision makes making that decision that much easier.

Dan the hedge fund man, thanks for keeping me grounded.

Cathy: Ice It.

In Health on 03/27/2011 at 2:05 pm

Cathy owns Advanced Health of Naperville and saved me last year when I threw out my back. With five treatments and six massages, I was back to normal and had a great rest of the year.

Two days ago, I slept funny and woke up literally unable to move. With one fingertip, I emergency-texted Cathy: “Is there ANY CHANCE I can get an adjustment and massage before Monday? Pinched nerve & I can’t move!”

She called back right away. That’s the kind of gal she is.

Today, while sitting in an otherwise-would-be-closed office with Cathy massaging/adjusting/ultrasound-therapying my back, she said over and over:

“Ice it. Don’t put heat on it. Heat causes inflammation. It makes your nerves tense up more. It might feel better at first, but there’s NOTHING I CAN RECOMMEND MORE than to ICE YOUR BACK. Six, 7, 8, 9 times a day. Ice, ice, ice.”

I’m icing. It’s helping.

Cathy, thank you SO MUCH for seeing me today. You are aMAzing.