Sharing Bathrooms With The Opposite Sex

Finding a roommate in a new city can be tough. Finding a roommate in an old city can be tough, and these days, a finicky young professional crowd is finding itself in more unisex living situations than ever.
Unhappy with living with his parents at home, one of my best friends Ryan “The Big Sub” Feltham cc’d me on an e-mail he sent to some of our female friends, in a sense begging to let him live in their new apartment. Take it for what you will, but the guy knows how to cater to his audience and all in all the letter is not a bad way to win some of your female friends over:
Girls,

It is essential we are on the same page for our new apartment, so lets use this email thread as a forum for fun topics (boys, boyz, and boyzz) and cool things to do on random nights (meet boys, boyz, and boyzz).  I’m super excited for the move in and can’t wait to get settled!

Monday’s…ugh.  We all have em and we just hate em!, but now that we are roomies we can organize fun Monday nights, such as MAN MONDAYZ.  I suggest we spend our Mondays recapping our fabulous weekends and all the boyzz we came across.  WINE MANDATORY bc lezbehonest, we all need to Wine(down) after a hard Monday lol.  This will be great – trust me.

Tuesdays… Girls, in order to get the boys, boyz, and boyzz, we will need to be on a strict workout regime.  We will use this day to work our butts, glutes, and abs.  But dont worry ladies, this will be ofcourse be accompanied by a…SPAAAAAA DAY.  We will treat our pretty little selves and our pretty little limbs, to a MANI PEDI!!!!

Wednesdays…Wednesdays will be our off day/date day.  No need to explain here girls.  Lets show the boyz we know how to get it, and if we don’t have a boy for the night, we indulge into my extensive collection of Rom Com DVD’s/VHS’
Thursdays….Also known as the new Friday.  Lets be real girls, this is our day.  Thursdays is when we get it.  The boyz are hungry and who is going to feed them.  That’s right, US.  The boys have had a hard week and they’re going out for happy hour.  Since our office is sexually and conveniently located in Murray Hill, we have precisely 17 minutes to change, reapply deodorant, and push them boobies back up.  Thursday is the window to the weekend so we need to be on our game.  They make or break our weekend ladies – remember that.
Fridays… We had a hard week.  Big Bird was arrested for diddling kids down the alley, Kelly was spotted kissing Pedro at Bar None on her off day (Wednesday), and Angie still is begging for Flynn to reach out to her.  We meet up at “our spot” and plan the weekend.
Any questions???
Love always,
Ryan, Roommate #4

Entrepreneurship 101: Get Fired From Your Job

Sisters Arzu, Fusun, and Gonca Esendemir co-founded the Flatbread Grill, which is now expecting to open over 300 locations over the next 5 years. Fusun was recently let go of her engineering job before then, and she explains how it could have been a blessing in disguise:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

More videos of Fusun’s journey can be found at Inc.

 

Who Makes The Best Bartenders?

My-NY-Bar

The best bartenders are always nice people; but nice people don’t always make the best bartenders

-Mark Twain, Hartford, CT 1873

Bartending is a tremendous gig to make some cash on the side jawn. In fact, it is a quite noble career path.

There are downsides just as there are with any job. Your paycheck fluctuates like Teri Hatcher’s hotness. Some days you find yourself saying “damn, Teri Hatcher may be my White Buffalo” and other days you find yourself feeling really bad about warming up to her scene in that movie clip on YouTube. You deal with almost exclusively drunk people. And of course, you work in a booze amusement park but can’t get on any of the fun ridesThere are long/odd hours, but that goes for any job. Cleaning up after a Saturday night crowd during March Madness also blows, but I’d rather do that then commute home on the Metro North every flipping day.

If you can get past that, you can be a bartender. It isn’t easy work to get these days because bars only want experienced hands pouring their ales, but if you can find a dive or two that is looking for someone, get on that. Even if you have no experience as a bartender — lie to them and tell them you worked at a bar in college. Then spend the days leading up to your first shift reading about the key to making an acceptable Canadian Club and Coke.

They will be happy to have someone behind the bar who has never had to decide who they want to use their one phone call on.

And you will be happy to work there and collect some cash and some experience behind the bar.

If that doesn’t work, you can bust your ass as a busboy for a few months and still make decent cash before eventually finding a spot working the taps.

The beautiful thing about bartending is your pay will always be a reflection of your performance. If you are a good bartender, people will reward you. If you are a bad one, your jar is going to be left wanting.

What does it take to put on a good performance behind a bar?

The most important trait of a good bartender is kindness. If you are nice to your clients they will reward you by paying you money and what’s just as good is that they will be genuinely thankful to you for seeing them through the night.

All you need to do is listen to a few stories, pour a pint of beer and three fingers of liquor, and be prepared for Ryan the Regular who’s drunk habit this month is putting on a Ben Folds Five album on loop at 2 AM.

You’ll totally dig this band, I’m telling you. If you like rock and piano you will love this band!

This is not to downplay the importance of mixology, but is so much more important to be smily and nice than it is to make a killer Pink Rabbit. There are thousands of mixologists out there today who can work the Friday night crowd in SoHo, but there are very few who can kill the Thursday night shuffle at a dump on Sunrise Highway.

DISCLAIMER: If you are a hot girl bartender, you don’t need to worry about this stuff. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Sorry for wasting your time.

 

7 Ways To Help Spark Creativity When You’re Not Feeling Creative

I consider myself extremely lucky. I get to lead a work life where I constantly get to be creative. In most cases, my creativity is my paycheck. Directly. We come up with products and services, get them built and hopefully – somehow, someway – find some customers. Thanks to those customers my kids get to eat, we have cloths and shelter. All’s good.

With this constant dependency on creativity, it’s burdensome when I run out of ideas. When I get into these slumps I have a list of things that I try in order to get back on track. These are the progressions I go through – like a quarterback going through his options to make a big play downfield.

This list is personal for me, but it may be helpful for others who are stuck in temporary creative hell.

1. Change my physical venue
This is usually my first option. When I come out of the huddle of the quarterback of my creativity, this is my primary receiver. When I sit in the office all day in a creativity rut, I grab my laptop or a pad of paper and head for the hills – the hills can be my local coffeshop or a park or anywhere else. A change of venue tricks brain into thinking differently.

2. Swap my tool set
This one has been huge for me as of late. I used to think it was a personal flaw that I use so many damn tools to get things done.

I wanted to be the guy that has a single discplined way of doing stuff. Structure. There are some folks that are ALL digital and they have everything perfectly organized in tools like Evernote and Onenote.

I wanted to be one of those guys.

But that’s not who I am. I’m scattered. I have short attention spam. I need things to feel new.

I have dozens of notebooks and I download countless apps all the time out of curiosity and boredom. I take notes sometimes or write directly into evernote, onenote, IA Writer, MSFT word – sometimes even into txt files. And you know what? That’s OK. Actively changing up my toolset is a great way to get my creative juices flowing differently.

3. Play with my kids
When I put everything down and just loose myself in outdoor play with kids, I come back stronger than ever. Kids are the most creative beings on earth. Getting back to their way of navigating the world is a great way to clear out all the bullshit adult guck and build up the grows in my brain.

4. Draw Something
This is very similar to my #3. As adults we do so much self editing. It takes us longer to do things and we take less chances because we think of how we’ll look and we overstate actual consequences.

Drawing is a great way for me to get my brain to stop editing. No erasing, no trying to make things look good, just draw and see where it takes you.

5. The treadmill
Excercise is any easy one for most people. Unfortunatrely, I’m not the most natural gym rat. But when I do grab some headphones, fire up some music and hit the treadmill I am so much better for it.

6. Instrumentals
I am a huge hip hop fan. But I find it hard to work and be creative while listening to it. To this day, one of the longest creative and project grinds that I’ve endured was my college thesis. During that time, I leaned heavily on jazz music. There were two songs that I specifically had on repeat that I still go to when I need a shot of creativity - Naima by John Coltrane and Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock.

maiden-voyage

Over the years I have built up a pretty strong digital jazz collection, I have also ventured into music by artists like Bonobo, RJD2 and Tycho. I find that lyrics stunt my thought as I go down the path of listening to the lyrics and wondering what the artist is trying to convey. With instrumentals, it says a mood and my brain just kind of wanders from there. They mood that the music sets is a great paremeter and creativity needs some boundries so it works well for me.

7. Visit my barber
I feel like the most dangerous man in the world when I’m fresh out of the barber’s chair. I went from getting my haircut a couple times a month to a couple times a week because of this. There’s something about just being fresh and clean that clears mind and allows me to get back to my creative grind.

Taking On Giants: A Quick Look At MacDougall Batmakers

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“Is anyone else doing this? If yes, can I do it better?”

That quandary is usually enough to derail a business before it leaves the mind of the would-be-founder.

Louisville Slugger and Rawlings have been the premier name in baseball batmaking for the better part of forever. They have left little, if any room for a competitor.

In fact, if you were telling your friends and family you wanted to start making baseball bats for a living, they’d probably think you to be out of your mind.

But over in Bend, Oregon baseball enthusiast John MacDougall is doing just that.

He is the man behind batmaking start-up called MacDougall Bats that has spent the past five years trying to challenge the common way of thinking.

MacDougall started his company after seeing several bats meet their demise in the batter’s box. Sick of replacing expensive bats, MacDougall began researching batmaking and looking into different types of wood that would last longer.

MacDougall found his answer and began started making bats out of

The results have been successful thus far. MacDougall bats are now being carried in stores in several US Stores as well as stores in Canada, Australia, and England. Their Powerwood Bats are NCAA approved.

MacDougall Batmakers are not just trying to turn into a cute little story, they are instead challenging the old guard of an industry long thought to be conquered.

 

5 Insights on Marketing to Dads

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Momcentric marketing is out there. It’s aggressive, it’s effective and it is in abundance. Marketing to moms targets the do-it-all type who rarely has time for herself and will do anything for her kids.

Then, there’s marketing to Dads.  Dad marketing highlights their inadequacies and mocks their missteps. The hapless, confused father is the go-to character in product marketing. He serves crackers for dinner, cannot change a diaper and tries, pathetically, to cover up these lacking skills prior to mom’s arrival home.

Companies continuously make these mistakes when marketing to fathers, and this Father’s Day (and from this day forward) keep a few things in mind when preparing your marketing strategy to fathers.

[Read more...]

Facebook Fans: Tricking Or Treating You?

We live in a time and place where our relevance and popularity is measured by our number of social media fans or followers.  As a brand owner it looks and feels better to have 500 fans instead of 50.  With that said, have you ever wondered how many of your fans are actually paying attention to your posts?  Is Facebook worth your time, and are your posts hitting the mark?

According to recent benchmark reports from a Facebook analytic tool PageLever, the following was discovered.

  • 1 out of 50 post views get a negative response.
  • Negative responses most likely result in all your page stories being blocked, 60 times more likely than clicking unlike on your page.
  • Post are more often reported as spam instead of the page being unliked.

For every 50 posts you are unsubscribed by 2% of your fans.  This does not mean that your number of fans is decreased, but the number of those fans hiding from you without your knowledge is increased.  If you were to post one thing a day every day for one full year, 15% of your fans would be hiding from you by years end.  Why is this happening, and what can you do to keep your fans engaged?

Do not feel discouraged, a few tweaks in your approach moving forward will make a world of difference.  It’s time to take the blinders off and focus on maximizing fan engagement instead of fan count.  Are we giving our fans relevant brand content, frequency expectations and the things they want to see?

Here are a few tips to keep your fans loyal.

1. Quality over quantity:
Your current fans are just that…your current fans.  Some of them are hiding from you and some are not.  Moving forward it is important to cater to those who are actually paying attention or engaging you.  This will grow the quantity of your qualified fans.

2. Frequency doesn’t always sell:
Your Facebook page is not a traditional form of advertising like radio, TV or print.  Set frequency expectations for your fans.  This can be done by posting once a day at the same time of day.  Think about the time you most often visit your page…post then.

3. Talk the talk:
When you make a post be sure that it reads the way you would say it to someone.  For example, if you own a flower shop you are by no stretch of the imagination a professional copy writer…..post the way YOU talk.  Your fans like you for a reason.

4. Own your brand:
Your fans do not want to hear your political views.  They are not a fan of your page to be entertained, unless your brand is entertaining.  Be sure to keep all of your posts in line with your brand.  Keep your fans up to date with product trends, new products or services, your promotions, events etc.

5. Ask for help:
As a good rule of thumb you should post at least one poll on you page per quarter.  This poll should ask your fans what they want to see more of from you.  Measuring your products or services this way is very beneficial as well.

In closing, be sure to have fun.  While this is a very serious subject we are still talking about Facebook.  Don’t take yourself too serious, stick to the fundamental tips above and treat your fans to a great page.

Video Weekend

If you do anything this weekend, we highly recommend you watch the following videos.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Tim Leberecht teaches us some ways to usefully lose control of your brand.

The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company or brand could tightly control their reputation — online chatter and spin mean that if you’re relevant, there’s a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it — and using it as an impetus to recommit to your values.

3 ways to usefully lose control of your brand

Artist Neil Harbisson can hear color.  No joke…this is worth a watch.

Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color — and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.

I listen to color

I personally cannot get enough of Seth Godin and wish I could meet him someday.  Not just to talk business, but to just chill out with a cup of coffee and some awkward silence while reading a magazine or looking at our iPads.  I feel like the osmosis alone could make me a better person.

Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.

This is broken

w/t Ted.com

Tweetin’ Ain’t Easy

Tweetin’ ain’t easy especially when you are trying to hit a specific audience.  Consider timeline, user interaction, content, placement, structure, etc.  All of these pieces (and probably a lot more) are integral in ensuring that your followers are actually following along with your tweet-ness.  When you start an account you need to determine a few things as well – who is your audience? what is your mission? do you have an agenda? is this for fighting or is this for fun?

Who is your audience?

When you are a business and you are on twitter, you must assume that your audience is working particular schedules whether that be 9-5 or slogging away at the midnight or swing shift.  So that being said, how do you hit the masses without going critical and too overbearing on your followers?  First determine where your audience you are trying to reach is located.  A great way to do this is to go through your list of followers and determine their location.  Many users will actually enter their physical location in their twitter profiles.  Pick your key audience out of your list of followers and make sure you document where they are located.  No worries about those profiles that don’t include their location.  Remember, it’s not that you don’t care where they are located…so don’t go DM’ing them for their location to complete your list.  We can create a buffer for them.  Once you have identified your audience and you get their locations log all of those time zones down and move on.

Time Zone Checklist

Once you have your time zone sheet, think about when your audience is going to be awake on Twitter.  Schedule tweets and content to go out during those times that contain the most bang for the buck.  Here at Morning Donuts, we attempt to throw in some tweets that keep people engaged in the day or in certain events.  Questions, quizzes, thoughts on the day.  It’s all valid because there are other people out there probably feeling or experiencing the same thing.  Because there are different time zones there is nothing wrong with retweeting your already posted tweets.  Some things to consider.  Is the tweet important enough to send out again?  Was there a lot of interest that was engaged by that tweet?  Should you retweet or follow up on that tweet with another one that has related updated content?  There are actually some really good tools that help you engage your audience in this way.  Personally, I haven’t used all of them but have heard glowing reviews about a lot of them.

What is your mission?

Your mission will be whatever you choose!  Surprise!  That wasn’t hard was it?  Grab some mental notes about what kind of content you want to push out on Twitter.  Is it personal, is it for business?  Best bet…don’t mix business with pleasure.  Stick to your range of topics.  Be mindful that when switching from your personal to business twitter profile that you don’t accidentally send something that you wish you could take back.  There are ways to delete the tweets…but sometimes it’s too late.  Be mindful of the bird in mouth disease.  Make a mental list of the topics you want to re-tweet and their effect on the user base.  Do those companies support your overall mission?  Do they have the same values that you have as an individual or a company?  Don’t get me wrong…there is nothing wrong with being snarky or have a joking tone when you are writing your tweets…be yourself!  People aren’t going to respond to daily bland tweets and retweets that they could get from a news agency!

Pick it and Stick it

Once you get all of your data aligned…you’re golden…well close.  There are a lot of other things to consider, but these are just highlighting on some of them.  Don’t worry…tweetin’ ain’t hard either.  But be mindful of your audience and keep pluggin’ away.