Gracias Todos

So this week’s blog is going to be a wee bit different.

Usually I—

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Me. That’s me.

try to look up relevant information for our readers or let you know of any great events that are coming up. But unfortunately, my time has come to an end here at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce. It’s truly bittersweet. I leave for a fantastic opportunity up the street but, I leave nonetheless. I’m going to miss this place like I’ve never missed any other job before. So I wanted this blog to serve as a sort of thank you letter.


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This is how I Lunch N Learn

This job has giving me some amazing opportunities, friendships, skills, and memories. I remember during my interview for this position, I said I wanted to be a part of a team who did work that mattered and loved what they did—I got all of that in spades. I genuinely believe that working for this organization has made me a better employee and human being in general (“LAX Coastal heals damage to your soul!”). Working here has allowed me personal and professional growth. Leadership Academy made me realize I was seriously analytical, which I never realized until it was pointed out to me that I ask 10,000 questions. It also helped me make connections with some amazing leaders in the community and allowed me to get out of my shell a little bit more. Another amazing opportunity I had came from The HomeTown News. The HTN gave me the opportunity to write for their amazing newspaper (guys, I’m in a newspaper!). I also wrote for the LAX Coastal Annual Magazine and Business Guide, and this blog! I’ve hopped on a boat, attended events at fabulous hotels and for a little kid from South Central LA (who still feels like a little kid), this is a big deal. This job taught me to not get jaded and to be thankful for the great things and people around me.


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New York Life is one of the many fantastic LAX Coastal members I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

And then there are those random lessons I’ve learned:

  • Clean Magic Eraser is where it’s at
  • Aloe Blac Pandora station repeats songs far too often
  • Paleo is amazing but so are donuts
  • OXFORD COMMA

The list goes on and on. But what am I going to miss most about this place? The cool chalkboard walls I wrote all over, the awesome coffee machine perhaps? The food delivery services from everywhere! The great speakers and events? Nope.

My team.

I’m going to miss these people like crazy.


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Look at how awesome we are! No, I don’t photograph well.

I would like to give a special thanks to the LAX Coastal team. You guys mean the world to me and it has been a pleasure working with all of you. I don’t think readers understand how much of an all-star group you are. You’re the reason I looked forward to coming into work every day. From those after 5 o’clock talks on hip-hop, or grasshopper moments in the batcave, to the witty comments I wish I had thought of first. I’m going to miss the friendship that grew even stronger than I could’ve ever imagined and fills me with immense joy, learning crazy interpersonal skills, to a woman who is truly making the world a better place with her positive force… Woo—getting a little misty eyed. And don’t get me started on the coworkers. Well you can—


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Best. Coworkers. Ever.

Working as the Community Manager at LAX Coworking has been a blast! The people who have walked through these doors are inspiring in their hustle mentally, because that’s what it is when you start a business from scratch. Parents who are still working a full time job, members who become board members (and have the most adorable kitten in the world), and members who make a difference in the lives of undocumented students (and have a pup with the best puppy belly in the world). Being around these people has made me want to truly take my little writing habit to new heights. Thanks for the reminder that I can actually do something with this love of stringing sentences together.

It’s been sad to see our coworkers leave and now I’m the one leaving (Sweet revenge!)

I hope I leave this place with a bit of a quirky, quiet mark, such as I am. With a laugh that’s a little too loud and wild for no reason. With a bit more Spanglish. With fond memories of misspelling calendar.


I will most definitely come to visit (Truxton’s is not the main reason, I swear). But I leave on a high note, cooler than a polar bear’s toenails, excited for what’s on the horizon, and proud of the contribution I was able to make to this incomparable organization.

Thank you all.

Saldaña, out.

Coworking_Fun 01

 

Any typos were made on purpose.

Let’s Talk About Focus! Wait, I have to answer an e-mail…

The issue of focusing on a task can be a battle we lose before we even begin. And how can it not? With so much time being spent on our phones, perhaps doing not-so-productive things, to all of the meetings we attend where half the time is spent thinking about something else, channeling our focus and maintaining it is a challenge indeed. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, William Treseder wrote about this issue and suggested some tips to help you have and maintain focus. So before we lose you to another notification on your phone or an e-mail alert on the bottom right—here are three of his suggestions. Let’s get started!


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Organize your tasks. It is important to prioritize your tasks and it is equally as important to leave enough time to complete them. This ensures that each task has your full creative and professional focus and it can prevent many tasks, no matter how small, from piling up and becoming overwhelming. Treseder states that “We all love to think we can multitask effectively, but research shows conclusively that we are terrible at it.” And isn’t that the truth?


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Maintain a clean environment. Having a messy work space can hurt you in so many different ways. You have to move the clutter around so you can have space to actually work, you might get frustrated with the psychical evidence that you haven’t used your time wisely, or it can just be plain chaos. All of this can be remedied by just cleaning up as you go. An important point that Treseder makes is that we should carry this practice over to our digital life as well. Discard e-mails that are unnecessary, keep your desktop neat, and file away paperwork when not in use.


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Meetings. Make sure each meeting ends with an “action item” and “action timeline”. For example, I recently had a meeting with a potential coworking sponsor and was extremely pleased with how it went-informative, short and sweet. We exchanged information and I told him my cowork would be in touch for the next steps in sponsorship. Later that same day I told my coworker, about it and she sent him an e-mail. No time wasted!


What are some of your best focus tips? Comment down below!

Business, Boats, and Beers

Don’t think of pink elephants!

 

pink-elephants

So how many did you think of? Where they big? Where they small? Were their trunks moving?

Let’s try again, don’t think about networking events.

 

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What did you picture? People in suits in a fancy hotel or company conference room? Could you hear the constant buzz of light conversation and glasses being filled with ice and wine? Was it a stuffy environment?

The strongest salesmen and businessmen know that every conversation is an opportunity to connect. Yes, your typical, strictly professional business mixers and networking events are made for those kinds of connections, but how often do you network outside of those settings? And more importantly, why should you?

We have come to the conclusion lately, based on personal experience and a select group consensus, that informal networking is our new favorite trend. How many of you have realized that the relationships you build are stronger once you’ve gotten to know your client on a personal level? Do you click more at a business lunch or over drinks? Is it easier to start a conversation with a business card or a mutual hobby? I mean, how many movies have you watched where large business deals are solidified on the golf course, instead of the office? Just like our bi-monthly Binge Networking event—that encourages networking based on conversation topics instead of an elevator pitch, you can check it out this month at our office on August 23— we believe getting to know one another, at least a little, should happen before the business can start. Hence: Informal Networking!

 


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Why is informal networking so great?

Informal networks are not as bureaucratically structured. When you’re speaking with someone at the park or a party, the flow of ideas isn’t limited to your position in a company or the clearance you need from your superiors. We’re not encouraging you to divulge company secrets, but you are able to skip certain authorities and have a more relaxed, honest conversation. The beauty of these kinds of relationships is the connections are able to grow more organically, and can even develop into full-fledged communities who look after each other’s well-being.

 

 “As they connect around shared interests and knowledge, they may build networks that can range in size from fewer than a dozen colleagues and acquaintances to hundreds.”

 


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Similar location can equal similar interests. If you’re at a bowling alley or waiting in line at a restaurant, you don’t have to go looking around for people with similar interests because, chances are, that’s what brought you together. You now have an instant ice-breaker and potential client.

 

 “Personal social networks increase the value of collaboration by reducing the search and coordination costs of connecting parties who have related knowledge and interests.”

 


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Embracing the unknown. We’ve all heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” But it isn’t until you embrace the unknown and network in casual situations where you can meet new people who can help your business get to the next level. Such as this woman stated in her Huffington Post article.

“I’m still astounded by what doors open and friendships emerge when I put myself out there and talk with people. By engaging in casual conversation with others, I learn a lot about people for who they are. In fact, I find organic networking to be a much more efficient way of learning what is mutually beneficial to a relationship than what I learn in a professional setting.”

 


2015 Cruise N Brews. Hosted by LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce and Tony P's Dockside Grill. © www.VenicePaparazzi.com

Looking for your next informal networking event? Look no further! Join us for our 4th Annual Cruise N Brews on August 5, starting at 6pm. We will be touring the picturesque Marina del Rey on our 3-hour yacht trip aboard The Entertainer, a 3-story Hornblower Cruises & Events yacht. Pretzel necklaces, mini beer mugs, Venice Paparazzi photo booth, and a beautiful sunset with friends and, of course, potential clients. Don’t be left on the dock, buy your ticket today!

 

Cruise N Brews is brought to you in partnership by the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, Tony P’s Dockside Grill, LAX Coastal YP’s, Venice Paparazzi, Hornblower Cruises & Events, and LAX Coworking.

Buying Local

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Farmer’s Markets are fun.

This is fact… and like 90% opinion (because some might disagree), but it’s still a fact.

Back at school, I would visit the Ithaca Farmer’s Market next to Seneca Lake. It was always a delightful (and I rarely use that word) adventure. You had to take a bus to the end of the line, get off next to an Aldi, and then walk a few blocks down a hill with no paved road. One thing I remember perfectly is you could always smell the market before you saw it in the distance. That place had everything.

Organic moisturizing lavender chapstick? Check.

Hard apple cider? Check.

Local jewelry? Check.

Live entertainment? Check.

And picture this:

Apple.

Cider.

Donuts.

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You could get yourself a cup of coffee and a donut (or two in my case) on a crisp fall Saturday and be as happy as a kitten with a yarn ball. Lately, a wave of nostalgia has hit me and I’ve been meaning to visit farmer’s markets around the area, and thankfully, I have some great options nearby.

 


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Westchester Farmer’s Market

Sundays, 9a-2p at The Triangle, 6200 W. 87th St., 90045

Wednesdays, 8:30a-1:30p at The Park, 7000 W. Manchester Ave., 90045

Many people may be aware of the Westchester Farmer’s Market at Westchester Park on Manchester Avenue on Wednesdays. But this past Sunday, they added a new location at the Triangle on West 87th Street. Community members now have two different days and locations to choose from! The Westchester Farmer’s Market is a labor of love put together by the community and partners such as Westchester Vitalization and the Westchester Town Center’s BID. On any given Wednesday or Sunday you can find over 50 local farmers, artisans, and ranchers showcasing their items. There is a Kid Corner for the little ones that has different crafts and activities, such as balloon art and face painting. This market is also known for its “Peach Coins.” Available in packs of 10, they are the Westchester Market currency. If you happen to have forgotten your money on your weekly visit, simply use your pre-purchased Peach Coins instead. They don’t expire and you can use them at either location. The net proceeds of the market will be going back into the community for beautification projects, youth programs, and other community efforts.

 

peach coins


pvfm

Playa Vista Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday at the Runway at Playa Vista

12775 W Millennium Dr, 90094

 

Starting in 2009, the Playa Vista Farmer’s Market has been a staple for years. Plus, all of the vendors at this location are Farmer Mark approved—that means the local Agricultural Department agencies make sure that the farmer grows the food, ensuring that only local produce is available. It’s also in a great location near a movie theater, some shopping, and great dining options, and with 3 for $5 dollar deals, what else are you missing? To make it even better, a parking structure is nearby so you can go from farmer’s market to your car without the long trek. Flowers, food, live entertainment, and more.

Signage Farmers Market Playa Vista


 

Shopping at local farmer’s markets is encouraged for many reasons. The nonindustrial, organic, local grown nature of the produce is for sure a major draw, but the food and other items you’ll find there is also affordable and tastes amazing. And since produce is seasonal, you’ll always see something new each time you go. Hopefully I’ll see some of my readers on my next trip!

What’s your favorite farmer’s market purchase?

Signage Farmers Market Playa Vista

What’s a Pokey-man?

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If you’ve been driving down the street, watching the news, or talked to a friend (maybe even our Creative Director…), you’ve probably heard about the recent Pokémon Go craze that’s taken the nation by storm. There seem to be three schools of thought on this recent development:

“No. I’m an adult.”

“This is the best thing ever!”

“What’s a Pokey-man?”

I was talking with one of my Crossfit coaches recently and he said, “It was like all of my childhood dreams came true. I used to play Pokémon on my Gameboy when I was younger but now I can use the camera on my phone and it feels real.”

For those who aren’t familiar with Pokémon, don’t go anywhere; we promise there’s a reason to our madness in this blog. But first we need to give you a tiny bit of background. The answer to the question of “what’s a pokey-man?” is this: there are all kinds of elemental-type critters running around the world and you, as a Pokémon trainer, are trying to catch as many as you can. Gotta catch ‘em all, as it were.

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I was listening to the Woody Show on the radio this morning and they said that back in its heyday, Candy Crush had 20 million players in the U.S within one year. To help put that into perspective, Pokémon Go has 21 million players in less than two weeks. In the United States alone. Even your local chamber has joined in on the fun (because one of the perks of working in a historical landmark is that your office is a PokéStop).

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The LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce PokeStop

 


Now, for some of you, I’m sure you’re asking the question, “What does this have to do with me, professionally?” Well, a major aspect behind Pokémon Go is that, in order to play, you need to utilize your phone’s GPS; translation, you need to get moving around your neighborhood. And you know a good place for people to get moving to? Your business.

No, seriously.

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article focusing on the business aspects of Pokémon Go, suggesting that it’s appealing because it creates a touchpoint.

“Already the fastest-growing mobile game in US history, Pokémon Go’s astonishing popularity highlights how profoundly touchpoints—any interaction between your customer and your offer—define and design user experience. Much of Go’s global appeal comes from an augmented reality sensibility that literally and figuratively transforms real-world environments into digital playgrounds.”

And that seems to be the biggest reason why people love it, because it is, essentially, a reward system encouraging you to explore your community, connect with your neighbors, and visit local businesses.

 


Today’s expectations for business are different than they used to be. Because of the advancements in technology, or just innovative thinking—Snapchat has filters that work with your camera, why not put a Pokémon in it and have someone throw a ball at it?—people are craving instant gratification, like touchpoints.

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An example of an Amazon Dash Button

Amazon’s Dash Buttons are also as a type of touchpoint. A Dash Button is “a Wi-Fi connected device that reorders your favorite product with the press of a button,” so literally, it is a button in your house. No need to go online, no need to place a new order, simply pick your often-used products from the Amazon catalog, program it into your account, and click the button whenever you’re about to run out. Need more coffee? Click. Ordered. Life changed. A literal touchpoint. A few other touchpoint examples are: personalized Facebook ads, Yelp check-in offers, and (back to our regularly scheduled programming) Pokémon Go.

 


So, what’s the point of this and how can you use it to grow your business?

Exposure. L’inizo Pizza Bar in Long Island took advantage of this Pokémon obsession by placing a lure in their location and have seen a 75% increase in their sales put the link here since they joined in on the fun.

Innovation. Crafty entrepreneurs are realizing that Pokémon Go is creating new job opportunities. Whether you’re looking for an Uber-style Pokémon chauffer, or your very own Pokémon Go personal trainer, professionals are out there fulfilling job positions that didn’t even exist two weeks ago.

Marketing. Whether you’re offering special deals to Pokémon Go players or highlighting the rare Pokémon that have been caught at your location, what you market and who you are marketing to can influence your success. The demographic of Pokémon Go players is wide; walking the streets alone shows Pokémon Go players range from families to single players, groups of students to adult professionals, Pokémon trainers cover all ranges of age and ethnicity but all have one game in common. This allows your business to advertise to a large, yet wholly specific, audience in one fell swoop. And, when personalized, touchpoints are often more effective. The previously mentioned HBR article included a short anecdote about the author’s wife receiving shoe sale ads. She ignored the generic “Buy Now!” advertisements, so they personalized their marketing and starting offering her ads for shoes in her size. Well, that’s when the marketing started to work. Consumers are not only after immediacy, they also welcome customization and personalization, which you can use to your advantage by just understanding a little bit more about who your customer is.

 


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How about some of your ideas? What’s your favorite touchpoint? How do you feel utilizing touchpoints could enhance your professional success? And—of course—what’s your favorite Pokémon?

You Are Cordially Invited

Happy First of July and (for our fellow business people) First of the Fiscal Year! We hope that everyone had as strong a year as we did. It’s not easy running a nonprofit but when everyone succeeds, and we get to look back on everyone’s triumphs with a smile, it’s all worth it. Full of wonderful events, new team mates, and great times, we are very proud of all that we accomplished in the 2015-2016 year.

The upcoming year promises even more positive happenings and we are already looking forward to them! We are currently trying to stay wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for our next exciting event. Can you guess what it is?


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If you are an active member of our proud LAX Coastal community, then you know about our annual LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade. Stretching from Westchester Park to Loyola Marymount University, our parade has attractions for the whole family. Starting at 11AM, this event lets everyone celebrate our nation’s birthday with their family, friends, and neighbors. Stop by and hang out with us before you start your own barbecue and head out to see some fireworks!

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Behind the scenes, staff, volunteers, business leaders, and everyone in-between are coming together to put on this production (because with all of the scripts and bands and signs you’d think we’re running a show on Broadway!). Everyone has put an immense amount of effort to make this parade the best yet because, this year, our parade serves a very important function besides saying “Happy Birthday America!”

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Did you know that 2016 marks the 75th Anniversary of Westchester? Yes, our very own small town within a big city is turning 75 years old and we couldn’t be happier; so happy, in fact, that we are planning a year of celebrations, starting with the LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade! Make sure to buy your limited edition parade and anniversary t-shirt on Monday, at 83rd Street the day of the parade or online at westchester75.com, to show your pride.


2015 Cruise N Brews. Hosted by LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce and Tony P's Dockside Grill. © www.VenicePaparazzi.com

Once the parade is over and you’ve had the time of your life, you’d like another event to look forward to—right? We think so! And we also think that summer would not be complete without an evening on the water with your favorite breweries, good company, and your local chamber. The evening of August 5 you’ll find us cruising along Marina del Rey aboard a 3-story Hornblower Yacht for our 4th annual Cruise N Brews! Join us to watch the sunset while toasting delicious beers in miniature cups. Because what else do you need in your life besides beer in mini cups? That’s right. Nothing.


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Well, with all of that talk about summer, we want to hear what’s your favorite part of this season? Comment below or tell us in person on this July 4th! Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

A Little Something For Your Tool Belt

Didn’t we just post this blog two weeks ago? Yes.

BUT, we had to give it a 2.0 version because we have 3 more amazing resources for our readers you simply cannot pass up.


and co

AND CO:

One app and one human is all you need.

Keeping track of your finances is difficult. Keeping track of your business finances is a whole other monstrous animal. But, never fear, AND CO is here! The basis of AND CO is to provide it’s users with an app that tracks your expenses, accepts payments (credit card, ACH, & Pay Pal), draws up invoices for you, and much more. Alongside the app you receive a chief operator (that’s the CO in AND CO) who is available for any questions you may have. AND CO is a community aimed to help freelancers, small business, and even startups. You can even anonymously post about freelance friendly businesses and jobs.  If you sign up today, tell them your friends at LAX Coastal and LAX Coworking sent you!

Note: Currently, AND CO is only running on the iOS system, but an Android beta will be available soon!


influencer

The Influencer Economy Book:

Launch your idea, share it with the world, and thrive in the digital age.

We like to consider Ryan Williams a wonderful resource, as well as friend of LAX Coworking. Ryan is an entrepreneur whose podcast “The Influencer Economy” featured some of the most successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life and around the globe to share their knowledge of how to make an idea reality. In his first book (because we’re sure he’ll write more and we will happily read them!) he gathers all of this invaluable information for you in one convenient paperback (or e-book, if you swing that way).

“I wrote this book from my own perspective as a creative entrepreneur, bootstrapping my ideas and vision without any large budget. I’m imagining you’re in a similar boat—it’s you and maybe a co-founder out there working on your idea, and it’s a lonely slog. I want this book to move your journey along and help you build a community and platform around your idea, even if your idea has yet to launch.” –Ryan Williams

How to make an idea a successful business.

Right there.

On a platter.

Thank you, Ryan!

You can purchase this little gem here.

 

Please don’t forget to check out the previous resources we mentioned below!


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Through our coworking space we’ve had the pleasure of connecting with some amazing people. These people have given us some great resources and we believe that sharing is caring. Vincent Dignan is an entrepreneur, author, and growth hacker extraordinaire who presented a Lunch N Learn in 2015. We are lucky to have kept in touch with him and receive his monthly newsletter. One of them listed relatively unknown resources businesses can use to effectively communicate with others. Check them out! And check Vincent out—don’t let the flashy clothes fool you, this man means business.


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Email hunter: Business and new clientele usually come from friends— people who know people, who know people. But what if you want to establish a new connection or are looking to expand your horizons? E-mail Hunter is literally just that, an e-mail hunting database, it allows you to type in a company name and see all of the publicly listed e-mails that company has. For example, if you were to type in “laxcoastal.com” you can see all of our staff’s e-mails. We’re not suggesting it is the end all for reaching out, what if you need the marketing department and contact HR? But, we think it’s a nice tool to have in your arsenal and is a good starting point.


hey-pressHey Press: Another database galore! Need to do research for a grant proposal? A blog? For fun? Hey Press has complied thousands upon thousands of tech journalists and their work in one great website. Similar to E-mail Hunter, you type in a subject and it searches through its records to bring up anything relevant to your subject. Time saver? Check!


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Crystal Knows: Depending on how you view technology, this resource might be up your alley or a total miss. Claiming they are the “Best improvement to e-mail since spell check”, Crystal Knows gathers information from all public records (Facebook, other kinds of social media, your business page) in order to figure out how to best communicate with you. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. It’s slight eerie because instead of auto-correcting your spelling, you might get a correction that states “Frank doesn’t like sarcasm, be more specific and detail oriented.” Isn’t that fascinating! A few people have written about this and said that it’s accurate. The person you’d like to set up a profile for needs to have some sort of online presence or it’s useless.  The goal of Crystal Knows is to make sure you communicate effectively. And it makes sense. I’ve always been one to think that sarcasm needs its own font but with Crystal Knows, perhaps that ideal will be a thing of the past.


 

Do you have any hacks or apps you can’t seem to live without? Share them with your community!

Business and Bears

Gather ‘round kids, its story time!

I was happily browsing my local bookstore when I found this little gem:

 

pooh blog

 

Some of you might be thinking “Wait, what?” and others might chuckle (my people!). For those of you who don’t know, I have a very soft spot in my heart for Winnie The Pooh and this book blended my childhood and professional life together so naturally, I was intrigued. Unbeknownst to me, Pooh Bear is a mogul and an entrepreneur with such titles as:

Winnie The Pooh on Management

Winnie The Pooh on Problem Solving

Winnie The Pooh on Success

 

But not really. Robert Allen is a marketing consultant and wrote these books in the style of A.A Milne’s stories. I would recommend these books to any new team or for events such as company retreats. Their simplicity serves the functions of being easy to understand and reminding us of some of the fundamentals of business. Here are some tips from the books. Bear with me as I get through these… Get it? Bear? I’m not apologizing for the joke, you all saw it coming!


“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – A.A. Milne

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 Information should be meaningful to the individual who is receiving it. I remember working at a book store in the stocking area and wondering why, why we had so many home décor magazines. Why? There were 40 copies of one magazine and then 20 different kinds of magazines. How many different ways of furniture arrangement did one person need to see? I grumbled about them to my manager and he replied “Do you have a house?”

“No.”

“Then of course it wouldn’t matter to you! Watch, when you get your first house you’ll come back and look at all of this stuff.”

Well, when you have a point, you have a point. Why should people care about your message? Why should people care about your product? It’s vital to never forget that you to remind people why they need you.


“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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Knowing your market is extremely important. We recently had the pleasure of having Rebecca Avery of TV4 Entertainment present on making videos, and she gave us some background on her work. TV4 is niche marketing at its finest. It’s made up of different channels aimed at specific audiences: military, women, racing, motorcycles etc.  Niche marketing is what drives networks like TV4 Entertainment in business. They have channels for military, racing, etc.

Wouldn’t it be easy if our customers found us and we didn’t have to lift a finger? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. A business idea doesn’t do you any good if you don’t put it into practice. Pooh Bear got stuck in a honey tree trying to reach his goal. Don’t be afraid to do the same…minus the stuck part.


“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”– A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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It’s okay to try new things and fail. Put egos and pride aside and think about the bigger picture. Failure is an event not a person.


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Love What You Do

If you have ever visited our beautiful office, you may have seen two framed pieces of art on our walls. They’re thin, tan butcher paper that says “Words To Live By” in the middle. Members of our community would stop by and write little inspirational quotes and when it was all full, our Creative Director Kirby framed them.  These pieces have one of those rare qualities where you think you’ve read it all, but you can always find something new that resonates with you.

One in particular has been standing out lately:

“A diamond is just a lump of coal that did well under pressure.”

FinestarDiamond


Cue the eye rolls! It’s a wee bit on the cheesy side, we know. But there is truth to that sentence. This Wednesday we hosted one of our very own LAX Coworkers Rob DeCou’s send-off party, he is about to take an amazing journey and we are all extremely proud of him. Rob is going to be participating in the 2016 Race Across America (RAAM). Starting in Santa Monica, California and ending in The Empire State Building in New York City, RAAM is 30% longer than the Tour de France and is described as an “ultra-endurance” test because once the clock starts, it only stops when you cross the finish line.

RAAm

Rob gave a wonderful speech to everyone during the party and said that “The reason I do these extreme activities is because, when I do them, I feel alive. I feel like there is something inside of me that was meant to do this. When I’m out on a trail or path I reach points of clarity where I am able to work out problems and reflect, both on my life and on myself. I get to ask, ‘Am I living my best self?’ and find ways to live the life I was meant for, and that’s what brings me back, year after year.”

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       We believe in you Rob! You’re going to do amazing!

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Motivation and passion can be powerful things. I separate the two because I believe there is a difference between what gets you out of bed at 8AM Monday-Friday and 8AM on a Sunday. I come from a background where you are motivated by your responsibilities (bills bills bills) and you do your passion projects on the weekends. This ideology can perhaps be a generational perspective, I remember Dr. Kevin Walsh saying that our parents were most likely happy when they had a stable job, even if they didn’t like it. And it hasn’t been until the recent years of the entrepreneur that people believe that their passion can be their primary job.


Word impossible transformed into possible. Motivation philosophy concept

So, what makes you feel alive? What motivates you? What is your passion? Let us know in the comments section below! Now we are all off to the biggest party of the year: The 2016 LAX Coastal Chamber Installation Gala! Let the good times roll!

Take This Moment To Self-Reflect

Today our blog is short and sweet, as most good things are (like donuts—that our Community Manager Sandra can’t have because she’s trying the Paleo diet for the month of June… No one has been harmed, yet, from her ravenous cravings for sugar but we will have to keep you updated).

In all seriousness folks, have you noticed how hours have disguised themselves as minutes and we are already at the half-way point of 2016? We could have sworn we took down the Christmas decorations yesterday—actually, you can still see some of them on the chalkboard wall. But, we find this the perfect time to do a bit of a reflection exercise. Sandra recently stumbled on an article that made her think about the past six months, and it would be wonderful to get your perspective on the questions it raised as well. Since we have a wonderful comments section on our Coastal Comments blog, see below, feel free to give us your input.

While some of you might find this exercise to be a bit trivial (with so much already going on this year, who has time to stop and smell the flowers? So to speak), we promise that if you pause your busy schedule for just a moment and reflect, you’ll find some positivity that you didn’t realize was there. Let’s give it a try!


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Are you using your time wisely?

Entrepreneurs and the business-minded, this one’s for you! You are the hustlers of our generation and are very much aware that time is a valuable thing that shouldn’t be wasted. But are you? Wasting your time, that is. Procrastination is something many of us don’t leave behind in college; it takes work to set your priorities and make it happen, but sometimes something as simple as keeping an end goal in mind can help out. Surround yourself with a strong network of people who have the same values as you do, and aren’t afraid to hold you accountable when you slip up.


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Are you taking anything for granted?

In terms of business relations, relationships can turn sour when someone feels like they’re giving and giving and getting nothing in return. Are we suggesting you keep a tally? No, but we firmly believe that all types of relationships improve when you focus on giving, not just taking.


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Do you have a healthy perspective on…?

Here’s the interesting thing about this question: each person is going to fill in the blank differently. The point here is that whatever issue is at the forefront of your mind, that is the issue you need to give attention to. Even if you come to the conclusion that, “Hey, it’s not worth it at all,” you still need to address it. Facing a problem head on usually helps bring a sense of peace.


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Are you taking care of yourself?

My coach once told me, “What’s a Lamborghini worth if the tires are flat and it doesn’t have gas?” A lot. (Ba Da Bum…Bad joke, we know, bear with us). If you aren’t taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, you are going to crash. It’s not an “if” question, but “when,” and what if you give out in the middle of your busiest? Take it from the MMA fighters: Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. Simply put, take care of yourself.


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What are you proud of that’s happened in the past 6 months?

During times of struggle, you often forget to look at all of the good you’ve accomplished and find yourself constantly distracted by the bad. We guarantee that if you take a moment to reflect on your last 6 months you will always find something you are proud to call your own. So what’s yours?


We hope this blog has made you think about time, in a good way, and that you will spend more than just right now thinking about these topics. Remind yourself as often as you need to, whether it’s monthly or daily, and we know that you will continue to grow and succeed.

For those of you reading, we also want to propose a challenge: Right now, set three goals you want to accomplish by the end of this year. You have six months.  Ready? Set? Donuts! Whoops, I mean Go!

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