DECA Recap

This post was originally published on April 16th, 2018

Over the past few days (4/10/18 - 4/15/18), Belmont's DECA Chapter has been competing in many entrepreneurial events in Washington, DC in the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference!  

Let's take a recap of the competition! 

We all got to the airport at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, April 10th, only to find out our flight was delayed until 10 PM! We spent lots of time doing homework in the airport cafeteria as well as eating pizza and drinking Starbucks. 

We arrived in DC at around midnight and piled up in our busses to go to the Crystal Marriott Hotel.

Everyone got checked in and settled into the rooms around 1:00 AM to get some sleep before the conference began the next day!

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In the morning, we had a bit of free time to enjoy the city. We explored DC and some of the museums! The cherry blossoms we also blooming, and it was beautiful! 

Cherry Blossoms!

After exploring, we all went to get ready for the opening ceremony. The president of DECA spoke and kicked things off. After the introduction, Johnny Earle, creator of Johnny Cupcakes, gave us his insight. He spoke about the importance of branding, word-of-mouth marketing, and following your passions having fun with what you do. 

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Thursday, April 12, was spent going to lots and lots of orientations. We had orientations for either our Individual Case Studies, Team Case Studies, and the Entrepreneurship Challenge. We also spend some time networking with businesses such as Walgreens, Men's Wearhouse, and Marriott. 

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Friday, April 13th was the day of our competitions! All Belmont DECA students participated in 2 events. Our individual or team events were in the morning, and the entrepreneurship challenge was in the afternoon. Not only this, but there were many seminars on things such as franchising and bootstrapping! 

The Entrepreneur challenge was super fun and fast-paced! All the Belmont teams had amazing business ideas, and even two teams were finalists in the challenge. 

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Saturday, April 14th was when the finalists from all the challenges competed for the win, and Saturday night was the awards ceremony. 

Belmont took many many awards, including the cluster award in #1 in Entrepreneurship as a whole! 

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Katie Coens and Renee Ramirez: First Place in Entrepreneurship (Starting a Business)

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Mollie Montgomery and Becca Wagner: Second Place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing 

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Eric Rall and Julia Keefe: First Place in Business Ethics 

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Ally Misch: First Place in Accounting 

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Cynthia Klauber: Finalist in Marketing 

All finalists and winners of entrepreneurship centered challenges 

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All of Belmont DECA who competed

Congratulations the everyone who competed. You all did such an amazing job. Also, thank you to all the amazing advisors of DECA and the DECA Officers for making it such an amazing and successful trip!

Belmont ETP
Know The Difference: Business Formal vs. Business Casual Dress Codes

This post was originally published on April 9th 2018

Many of us are going to go into careers that require a dress code. Whether it be for certain corporate events, networking, or even just the DECA ICDC trip, we will be required to wear business professional or business casual many times in our life.

But how do you even dress business professional or business casual? 

Here are some infographics of what to wear for either business casual or business professional.

Image from Fashion In https://purduecco.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/dress-to-impress-business-casual-vs-professional/

Image from Fashion In https://purduecco.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/dress-to-impress-business-casual-vs-professional/

found from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

found from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

image from playzoa.com

image from playzoa.com

image from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

image from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

Belmont ETP
Sigma Nu Tau Induction

This post was originally published on April 2nd, 2018

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Sigma Nu Tau is an academic honors society dedicated to Entrepreneurs. 

Sigma Nu Tau's Mission: 
To promote, recognize, and reward academic excellence in entrepreneurship and to encourage and recognize the practice of principled entrepreneurship

“Principled Entrepreneurship is maximizing long-term profitability for the business by creating real value in society while always acting lawfully and with integrity.”

On March 20th, Belmont University's own Sigma Nu Tau chapter held an induction ceremony. 

In order to be inducted, students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must exhibit honor, integrity, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

 

The following Belmont students have been inducted into Sigma Nu Tau: 

 

Megan Albright 

Meredith Bowden

Maria Cerrato 

Lee Craft 

Meredith Edwards

Andrew Gardner 

Kyle Heisey 

Hannah Kersey 

Tanner Landolt  

Rachel Marcum 

Hope Mather 

Rebecca Meigs 

Allie Morris 

Sarah Perry 

Grace Pritchard 

Lauren Ringo

Jordan Sanders 

Austin Sellinger 

Johnathan Stubblefield 

Micki Werner 

Kameron Ziesig 

Congratulate these students for their persistence and excellence within the major of entrepreneurship! 

If you have an interest Sigma Nu Tau you can visit our website at Belmont Sigma Nu Tau or email Dr. Mark Schenkel at mark.schenkel@belmont.edu 



Belmont ETP
Best Co-Working Spaces in Nashville!

This post was originally published on March 26th, 2018

Co-working spaces are a great way to connect with other like-minded people, share ideas, and most importantly get stuff done! 

Here are some of the best places in and around Belmont and Nashville to work on your business, or even just work on homework. 

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1. THE HATCHERY

Located in the Beaman of Belmont University, this co-working space is perfect for any and all of your entrepreneurial needs. The Hatchery gives students who are in the process of working on a business a quiet and collaborative space to work on refining their ideas and achieving their business goals. The Hatchery has lots of desk space, as well as whiteboards for you to jot your ideas on. On the wall lies the logos of Belmont Graduates who have gone off to create amazing businesses such as The Escape Game, Biscuit Love, and No Baked Cookie Dough (to name a few). 

Get to work on your business in the Hatchery! 

Gain access to the Hatchery by applying here: http://www.belmontetp.com/hatchery/ 

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2. BONGO JAVA

Bongo Java is a great student-friendly place to get some work done (as well as have a snack). Work away on your business plan, have interviews, or just simply finish up your entrepreneurship homework. If it's nice out, you can sit on the deck, drink a seasonal latte, and watch students pass by on the sidewalk. A little fresh air always gives me great ideas! You may even find your newest business partner sitting at a table next to you. 

You can check out their website here: http://www.bongojava.com/

3. THE LAWN

On warm Spring days, the lawn is a perfect place to work on accomplishing things. While you work, you can listen to our people strum a guitar or watch them toss a frisbee. Just grab a blanket and some friends and get to work! Like I said, fresh air is a great way to get fresh ideas. Just be aware of the few times a year the lawn is closed for restoration. 

Just look at how beautiful and inspiring it is! 

Also: this is a great place to take Instagram photos. What other college has grass that is this perfect???

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4. FROTHY MONKEY

This is another great, quiet, and spacious place to work on homework and have some coffee. Frothy Monkey has many locations, but their 12s location is an easy walk from campus. The chill atmosphere will inspire you and the caffeine will allow you to work hard on your projects! And if you need a break from working you can grab a yummy pastry. There are lots of outlets so your electronics will not die as well! 

You can check out what they have on their website here:https://frothymonkey.com

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5. WORK BELCOURT

Located on 21st Ave, Work Belcourt provides fully furnished executives suites, conference room access, ultra-fast internet service, free parking, utilities, shared kitchen and coffee bar, and a business class printer!Work Belcourt is located on the second floor above Hopdoddy and next to Double Dogs. To tour the space, you can call Brittany Sears at 615-490-6723.

Flexible monthly memberships starting at $275! 

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6. THE REFINERY

"Join our diverse community of entrepreneurs and innovators, where the coffee & tea are free, the WiFi is fast, and you can park your bike or car, hassle-free. With our productive environment, low-cost, and great networking, your business is guaranteed to grow." 

The Refinery has tons of resources to help your business grow, including and the memberships range from "drop-ins" at $99 a month all the way to full time working space for $400 a month. 

You can try out the Refinery co-working space for free here: http://www.refinerynashville.com/free-trial

Bonus: The refinery also hosts classes that are put on by various organizations in the Nashville community! Learn something new AND work on your business here! 

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7. WE WORK

"WeWork enables you to secure space with all the everyday amenities that spell success—dedicated Community Managers, spacious conference rooms, and impressive private offices—along with modern perks like month-to-month flexibility, passionate Community Managers, and special events. WeWork's locations in Nashville are music to your ears, taking your business to new heights." 

You can check out more about We Work at https://www.wework.com

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8. FORT HOUSTON

Last but certainly not least on our list of great co-working space was created by one of Belmont's Alumni! 

"Facilitators of Human Potential.

Fort Houston is a place for you to facilitate, grow, learn and work. We occupy 10,000 square feet in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood of Nashville, TN, complete with a full-scale wood shop, print shop, metal shop, 3D printers, darkroom, and miscellaneous work and desk space. Here’s how it works: You pay a monthly membership fee, and you get to make things in here. Oh, and taking a class or two can be fun, too, but you don’t have to be a member to do that!

A basic membership includes access to all of our facilities and 20% off services and classes. A premium or team membership allows access to all shops and facilities plus your own personal or team desk. Click here for more membership details!" 

 

See what you can create today using these amazing co-working spaces in and around the Belmont and Nashville community.

As always, stay up to date with all of the Center for Entrepreneurship's events on our website belmontETP.com

Best of luck with all of your business endeavors!  

Belmont ETP
Business Plan Competition Contestants

This post was originally published on March 12th, 2018

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As you may know, one of the Center for Entrepreneurship's biggest events is coming up. Get excited for our 2018 Business Plan Competition, in which students present in a Shark Tank style competition for thousands of dollars in cash prizes. 

Lets take a look at who is competing:

COLLEGE IN COLOR: JORDON WASHINGTON

"College in Color is an online, life-saving lifestyle brand dedicated to creating products and media centered around generating thought and conversations on mental health, stress management, and overall student success. Our vision is to become the defined mental health focused social enterprise for a new generation beginning with the collegiate market, but eventually moving into churches, high schools, and healthcare industries."

College in Color is bringing out the importance of mental health through the healing qualities of coloring and creativity. It encourages one to think about how they feel and know that they are not alone in the struggles they may be dealing with in college. Included in the books are access to many mental health hotlines to assist those who need it, as well as many coloring pages designed by college students to give a much-needed break from student stress.

STYLE 12: AUSTIN SELLINGER AND ANDREW CRANNY

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"Style12 is an app that matches users with freelance hairstylists in their area, allowing people to quickly find twelve-dollar haircuts. After the haircut is performed, users rate each stylist's profile for quality assurance. On top of that, users of the app have no wait times. They simply drive to the stylists’ locations immediately after booking them. The app will also offer a more luxurious service: a “home delivery system.” The hairstylists come to the customers’
locations and cut their hair for a higher cost."

Style12 connects people with the best hairdressers in the area. With this app, there is no need to waste time waiting in line for a hairdresser. Also, Style12 has a rating system for their hairdressers, so you will be able to know that your stylist is going to do a great job instead of randomly being assigned a hairdresser like you would in a regular barber shop. This is basically the Uber of haircuts and is 100% amazing. 

SQUILLUSTRATE: SUZANNA STAPLER

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"Squillustrate is an illustration and branding firm specializing in visual storytelling. It provides clients with an efficient, creative, and personalized experience for making their ideas come to life through design. With a focus on contract design and building out the identities of companies and individuals, the company prioritizes effective communication in both the production and distribution of the end products. Squillustrate started building its brand and
meeting the needs of (now, over 50) clients and projects in the fall of 2016. In five years, the goal is to have earned a reputation as a Nashville-based firm with distinctive flair and most importantly, happy customers. The owner, Suzanna Stapler, founded this business to answer
needs and pursue a creative calling. She plans to use it to benefit others through the satisfaction
of client goals, the realization of personal vocation, and eventually, the support of employees."

Suzanna will bring any of your artistic needs to life! Whether it be story-tellering, dream interpreting, vision building, or pun-making.. depending on what you need. In a very visual world Suzanna's business is a must for any business who wants to capture the attention of their target audience! 

ALATE: EMILY KNAPP AND KARYME MEIXUEIRO CRAVIOTO

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"Our company Alate strives to empower women to feel more safe, confident and give them more freedom to enjoy and explore public space through discrete, fashionable, and easily accessible self defence products. Our product, the PepperPuff, combines pom pom keychains, which are currently a considerably in demand fashion accessory , and pepper spray, one of the most common self defense products among consumers, in order to create a convergence between the self-defense and fashion indutry. "

The PepperPuff is a unique and discrete way for women to protect themselves. With quick and easy access to pepper spray on a key chain, rather than having to dig around in a purse to find pepper spray (which may take away much needed time). "PepperPuff product aims to provide simple, reliable, and affordable form of pepper spray self-protection that does not detract from an outfit, but rather adds to it." 

 

PLACEMAT: RYAN REISDORF

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"PlaceMat, LLC is a local private chef service that provides unforgettable dining experiences in the comfort of your own home or AirBnb. PlaceMat comes to your home to create an authentic brunch or dinner in the place most comfortable for you and your gatherings.
PlaceMat only sources organic and local ingredients which not only helps ensure quality but also
helps form strategic relationships throughout the community."

"At PlaceMat, health starts with food. The PlaceMat vision is that communities, both macro and micro, become stronger and healthier through eating locally-sourced ingredients prepared with care by individuals who understand flavor and nutrition. Together, we can prevent many of the chronic illnesses and diseases that impact our world today through better and more intentional relationships with food. However, none of this matters if eating healthy is not easy
and convenient. At PlaceMat, we make eating healthy easy."

FELICITYANDBLISS: BAILEY JACKSON

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Felicity and Bliss is an amazing little minimalist jewelry store on Etsy. Their products are cute, customizable, and really perfect for any occasion. With almost 10,000 sales on Etsy since their opening in April 2016, Felicity and Bliss continues to grow. 

"Felicity And Bliss is where you can find minimalist jewelry for all occasions. We are a family business consisting of my mother and I based in Nashville, TN... well more like everywhere. Not only do we sell in Nashville, but we also sell in New York, Florida, California,
and even Alaska! We sell in every state. We are actually an online company that tailors our products to fit our customer’s needs and wants with precision. We have been in full operation since April of 2016 and have absolutely blown all of our expectations out of the water. We do everything that we can in order to handcraft the perfect gift for any of our customer’s needs. If you order from Felicity And Bliss, we promise that it will be nothing short of a 5 star experience and you will not be able to wait until you get the opportunity to give our jewelry as a gift again."

TURNING LEAVES: ERNEST WALTER

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"Through farming practices, art exploration, and community engagement we use our short-term housing service to provide a substance free environment that focuses on working towards personal health goals and diversifying skill set."

"We accept residents that need a place to take time to work on
themselves for varying reasons; difficulties with addictions, relocation/release from incarceration, stress management, and even self-discovery. We have an initial conference with everyone we vet, this allows us to walk through their personal health goals and to give us an idea of how we can help make their time with us successful. If substance abuse is a factor, we offer drug testing and accountability checks. Every individual has a unique set of circumstances and a unique set of goals, we aim to help guide our residents through their unique set of circumstances. All this is done alongside garden responsibilities/training and an ongoing encouraged art project of their choice. In addition, a contracted specialist will help us plan our individualized approach to helping each resident. This will be a full time position we will be working to fill.

OCTO MUSIC GROUP: TALLY BEVIS AND DAVID SCHULTZ

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"Octo Music Group LLC is an Event Production company based out of Nashville, TN. Founded by David Schultz and Tally Bevis, OCTO is a self-contained entity that creates, facilitates, and manages every aspect of throwing their underground dance parties and private events for high brow clients. OCTO is setting the new standard for local DIY shows by putting on some of the most extensive local productions that Nashville has ever seen! Wherever the shows take place, OCTO brings the experience to a whole new level. Keeping the shows up to date with new stages, popular entertainment, the best up and coming DJs and Producers, and exciting attractions, OCTO continues to impress its clientele by going above and beyond & holding each and every event to the utmost professional standards."

Octo has already held many successful music events in Nashville, and plans to keep it up! 

WITH THE BAND: SARAH BETH PERRY

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"With the Band is a mobile app designed to bring a whole new level experience to dedicated fans. With the Band was created by Sarah Beth Perry in March of 2017. In order to further enhance the fan experience, With the Band will be creating a community for dedicated fans by using an app. Fans will be able to keep up to date with their favorite artists as well as connect with other fellow fans and discover new artists. With the Band will also provide a
platform for the artist which enables them to become closer with their fans. With the Band will be introducing the new modern version of a fan club. Each artist’s team will also receive analytic
data about the fans who follow the artist’s page, to further target their market. With the Band wants to create a positive atmosphere in the office, in the venues, and online by bonding people
together through music. With the Band is creating in inclusive culture where there are no boundaries. No boundaries between an artist and their fans, and no boundaries on how much content can be in one place. We are eliminating boundaries, so now you can go behind-the-scenes, With the Band."

Who doesn't want to connect with their favorite bands on a more personal level? With the Band gives you this opportunity with a subscription-based business plan. This business launches in September, after the heavy concert season (May to October). Be on the look out to keep up to date With The Band! (also, With the Band won last year's Business Plan Competition! 

 

Come out to the competition to see all of these students present their businesses in front of a panel of judges. There will be an opportunity to speak with the competitors after the event. Come support your favorite and to learn what our amazing student entrepreneurs are up to! 

The competition will be held on March 14, 2018 from 4:00PM - 6:00PM in the 4th Floor Massey Boardroom. 

For any questions or concerns, please email us at belmontetp.edu! 

Belmont ETP
Creatives Chat Recap

This post was originally published on February 5th, 2018

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On Wednesday, January 31st the Center for Entrepreneurship co-hosted a convo with the Office of Career Development to give students the opportunity to learn from some of Nashville's creative entrepreneurs. 

Belmont Alumna Libby Oellerich (2014) moderated the event and interviewed our creative entrepreneurs. She is the Creative Content Manager for Nashville Songwriters Association. She also has her own podcast called "The Local Lady."

Our interviewees (also Belmont Alumni) were:

Megan Beaven, who graduated as a Music Business major in 2015. She is now the proud owner of No Baked Cookie Dough.

Amanda Mazzo, who graduated in 2003 as a Commercial Voice major. She is now the Creative Director and COO of Mazzo Media.

Paul Nelson, a Commercial Cello major who graduated in 2002. He is now a  Session Musician, Educator and Musicpreneur and has worked with artists such as OneRepublic and U2. 

Ryan Schemmel, who majored in Music Business and graduated in 2010. He is the co-founder of Fort Houston. 

In case you missed it, here is what we learned: 

BIGGEST CHALLENGES OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR:

Megan said that one of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is trying to make enough money to match what you would have been making in a more traditional position. She worked in the music industry for a year after she graduated from Belmont and felt like she could either "keep climbing the music industry ladder" or do something for herself. 

She said it was a challenge to risk the income she was making in order to pursue No Baked, but her passion for cookie dough and the desire to get out of the music industry helped her to take the leap of faith. 

For Amanda, the biggest challenge is keeping track of everything. She has to keep very detailed records of everything for her business. She said that when she first started her business she had to "change hats from being a creative to running the details of everyday things."

Paul said that his biggest challenge is "[being] harder on [himself] than a boss would ever be on [him]." He has to keep himself on track and work very hard in order to achieve his goals. 

When he first began as an entrepreneur, Ryan's biggest challenge was money. There is a lot of money that goes into making your own business, and if you don't have sufficient funds, it can be detrimental. He recalls moving back in with his "folks" for a year in order to save up enough cash to start Fort Houston. 

Another big challenge for Ryan was customer service. If any of you have ever worked in retail, you know that dealing with unhappy customers can be quite the challenge. Ryan said that he learned this the hard way! 

EMBRACING THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU:

When he first started out as an entrepreneur, Ryan didn't have the funds for traditional marketing channels, so instead he tapped into the Nashville community. He had friends in local bands play at Fort Houston's events and promoted his business through them.

Amanda said,"If you're not going to be an advocate for your business, no one else is going to do it for you." This means that if you are not going to promote your business, then it simply won't "get out there." You have to put work into making sure people know about your business and who you are, and you can grow from there.

Making contacts or networking can help with this. Amanda suggested the Nashville Junior Chamber and Young Alumni as great organization with which to get involved. 

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Megan also harnessed Nashville's expansive and supportive community. Like Ryan, she did not have the funds for a big advertisement campaign when she first began her business. "The Nashville Community was great for getting the word out! I harnessed Nashville's love for local business." She reached out to lots of Nashville-based social media accounts and asked them to try her cookie dough and post about it. 

She also had to learn the do's and don'ts of setting up pop-up shops. There are a lot of rules and regulations that go into selling on public property, so she had to work with private businesses to set up shops. 

FINDING OUT WHERE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS/GROWING YOUR BUSINESS:

Megan admits that she didn't really know what to expect when she first started No Baked. It was a lot of trying to keep up with orders, and she quickly saw that she couldn't do it all by herself. It goes to show that you don't know the issues until you actually start the business.  Megan used targeted instagram pages that focused on the trends in Nashville and marketed toward Milennials.

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On her marketing strategy, Amanda said, "The most cost effective marketing is definitely social media."

For Paul, it isn't about social media marketing. For him it's all about trying to make money doing what he loves most: music. But, to get his stuff out there, he doesn't just play music. He does it all. He describes it as "going through the open door."

The small businesses that worked with Ryan began collaborating with each other. His business became a great place for businesses to connect. Some businesses have been working with Ryan and his business since day one, and they are extremely loyal. He says, "They watch each other grow as we grow." They have now grown to hosting just over 60 businesses.

SAYING NO:

For Megan, learning to say no was very important.  People often come into her store saying, "I can do this, if you pay this amount." Instead of paying people to do various things for her business, she steps back and tries to see what she could do for No Baked. "If it's something I can do, then I will do it to save the company money."

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"Make the decision to put your all into something. If you really believe in something and put your all into it, it's worth it"

Amanda's advice for saying no is to look at your own goals. If a request aligns with your goals for your business, consider doing it. If a request fails to align with the goals of your business, tell them no. 

When Paul gets a request, he tries to incorporate it into a system he already has. He also tries to align it with what he's trying to do: "Can you put together a brass section? I could but it's not part of what I'm trying to do."

RISK-TAKING:

"Taking the jump is scary but so worth it." Amanda recalls being afraid to make the change from working a steady job to being her own boss. 

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Paul said finding a rental property for his business was extremely difficult. Nashville properties are really expensive, something that needs to be taken into consideration if you are planning to have your business in Nashville.

Ryan said, "The risks of starting something new at the beginning is pretty obvious. Choosing whether or not to continue to take risks is more complicated. Once things kind of level out it is good. Do you want to take the same risks? It's important to level the risks out as they go along." 

LEARNING THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF:

"You all know what your skill sets are. If you do something really well don't stop doing that thing or spread yourself thin. Getting better at allocating duties or saying no. Don't spread yourself too thin." Ryan gave the advice of using your strengths to your full advantage but not to get in over your head. If you can delegate tasks to other people so you can focus on what is most important, do that. 

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Paul said that learning balance was a struggle for him, but a very important skill for the entrepreneur. Paul said, "Getting up by 5AM and getting everything together has been the biggest game changer." Getting up early to get stuff done and have a productive day helped Paul get where he is today. 

Balance was important for Amanda as well. "It's easy to get wrapped up in something that you love. I am not my job. There has to be that separation to still create and have a personal life." Making sure you have a life outside your business and learning to leave your work alone for a few hours will help you to relax and keep your sanity. Balance between home and work life is very important.

Work and home life balance was also a struggle for Megan for a while. "It's hard to turned No Baked off. It's hard to ignore all the notifications." It was also difficult delegating her attention to certain things because she is "playing every single role in the business." But, she is learning new things, and even got to uncover a new passion:  "[I'm] Passionate about marketing, and I found out I love this and I get to do that every day."

EXPANDING & GROWING:

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No Baked just signed a lease for a second store in Louisville, KY. They are also about to start selling franchises to make the brand known nationwide. 

Amanda's company just landed an account in Las Vegas. They are trying to spread their wings a bit more and expand their business. 

Paul is currently working on pushing a record onto a Spotify playlist and is also working with OneRepublic. 

Ryan is looking to grow the experiential art fabrication side of things. His company just set up a nonprofit section for what they do. He is looking to eventually add job training for skill sets to this area of the company. 

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED:

As an entrepreneur, you will learn as you go. Have the courage to make what you love into your career and don't be afraid to make the jump from employee to employer.

Belmont ETP
Productivity Tips for the Busy Entrepreneur

This post was originally published on January 22nd, 2018

Productivity is what gets ideas off the ground and into motion. But with so many distractions, such as social media, YouTube, television and much more, it's easy to procrastinate what we need to get done. 

Here are some tips and tricks to be your most productive self and get that paper written, start on that project, get your business off the ground or just finally mark everything off your to do list. 

1. Focus Keeper App

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This app has you work in 25 minute work-sessions with a 5 minute break in between. It always keeps me on track and focused. After four 25 minute work sessions, you get a 30 minute break! Plus the app is free. Productivity and saving money? It's a win-win! 

2. Don't Strive For Perfection

Sometimes the fear of making mistakes keeps up from even starting something in the first place. Yes, the idea of perfection is great and all, but many times perfection is just plain unachievable. It is better to be good and done than perfect but never finished. 

3. Meditation

You have probably heard this dozens of times, but meditation does help. Meditation does not have to be this big, weird thing that only monks in the mountains do. To practice meditation, just start small. Even 5 minutes a day can show improvements. So, how do you meditate? It's a lot simpler than you may think. Just sit somewhere comfortable. Your couch, your bed or the floor. I usually sit with my legs crossed on the ground or on a cushion with my palms face-up on my knees. Sit like this for 5 minutes and focus on your breathing. Sometimes it helps to count your breaths or even mentally note "breathe in, breathe out." If you catch your mind drifting away from your breath, don't get frustrated, just gently bring your attention back to your breathing. 

The mentality behind meditation, the ability to slow down and give ourselves a mindful break, will help with our productivity when we go back to work. It will help us see more clearly and be more relaxed and less overwhelmed. 

4. Make a to-do list

Just jot down important things that you need or want to accomplish. It's less daunting when the list is on paper rather than running around in your head. Once you have a to-do list made, go through and pick out your priorities. Work on those and do the less important tasks last.

While we're on the subject of to-do lists... 

5. Make your to-do lists shorter

Yes, making a to-do list is very helpful, but we often fill them with so many things that they can become overwhelming. To avoid this, make a to-do list of your most important items, maybe 3-5 things, and work on getting those done. Once you get those done, you can start focusing on the smaller tasks. 

6. Get Small, Quick Tasks Done

Instead of whining over small tasks that won't take you that long, like loading the dishwasher or making a Facebook post for your business, just get it done. Especially if it will take 5 minutes or less. Then it will be done and you won't have to worry about it. Easy-peasy! 

7. Listen to Podcasts! 

This is an easy way to make your commute to and from work, or even a trip to the grocery store productive. Just pop in some headphones, look up a subject in which you're interested and start learning while you are doing chores. This is a great way to increase your knowledge consistently.

8. Organize Your Workspace

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Clutter can be stressful and distracting. Take the time to organize your space so you'll feel better about the environment in which you are working. 

9. Have goals

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Have something that you are working towards, such as an album release or a store opening. Don't just have a big goal, but also lots of smaller goals that are easier to accomplish along the way, such as booking a gig or having a new item to start selling. Not only this, but once you've achieved your goal, celebrate your hard work! Give yourself a much-deserved pat on the back for all the hard work you achieved.

Thanks so much for reading!

Belmont ETP
Emotional Intelligence for Entrepreneurs: What You Missed

This post was originally published on November 16th, 2017

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On Monday, November 13, 2017, speaker Matt Davis came to Belmont to inform students about Emotional Intelligence, or as he likes to call it, "Emotional Fitness." Matt Davis is an entrepreneur himself and founded Grapevine Interactive Technologies.

Emotional Intelligence is defined as "the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include these three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people." (psycologytoday.com).

Davis prefers the term "Emotional Fitness" because instead of thinking that one is simply born with Emotional Intelligence, the term "Emotional Fitness" gives the impression that it is a skill that can be cultivated through practice, which it can be. We can practice "Emotional Fitness" in our day-to-day lives.

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One way to cultivate Emotional Fitness, Davis says, is to "Keep your cranes on campus." What this means is that we should keep growing. When cranes are on a college campus, it means that the campus is growing. Take Belmont for example. We have cranes on campus that are building a new housing unit, therefore our campus is growing. We need to take the "cranes on campus" idea and apply it to our minds. By applying it to our minds, we can continue growing as an individual and expanding our knowledge.

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Another way to practice Emotional Fitness is by asking Why, or as Matt Davis calls it, "The Powerful Why." Whenever we are doing something, we should ask ourselves why. "Why am I doing this?" "What am I shooting for?" Knowing the reasons we are doing what we're doing will help us continue to stay motivated and work towards our goals.

His next advice was to "BYOC" or, Be Your Own Competition. "Competition is a great thing," Matt says, "but it can be detrimental if we start to compare ourselves to others." We should focus on continuously bettering ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others can hurt our motivation to keep reaching toward our goals. "Don't worry about what everybody else is doing, follow your own dreams." If we ignore the doubts of others and focus on achieving our own goals, it will help you achieve Emotional Intelligence. Davis also says to set "small goals to pat yourself on the back." Have little benchmarks everyday to help you recognize that you are going a good job.

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Matt Davis also brought up the example of Matthew McConaughey, a famous American actor whose net work is about $95 million. When asked who his hero was, young Matthew McConaughey responded, "Myself in 10 years." We should keep bettering ourselves and plan for the future. Be your own hero. Be the person and the change you want to see in the world.

Another good way to practice Emotional Fitness is to be happy and optimistic. Easier said that done, I know, but happy and optimistic people are able to see the good in themselves, the world, and others. Optimistic people have hope. "There's a lot of good in the world, but if we're not looking for it, it's tough to see," Davis says "if we start to see the best in ourselves and the world around us, we will start to see what we are looking for."

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Adopting an attitude of gratitude can also help us gain Emotional Fitness. Matt Davis asks us to "Recognize everyday what a gift it is to be here." Keep a gratitude journal. People who keep a gratitude journal are generally more happy than those who do not. Keeping a gratitude journal doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can simply be scribbling 3 things you are grateful for on a piece of paper a few times a week. Try it! You may find yourself to be a happier, more optimistic person. If you do try it, please comment below how it works!

Many times in life, plans fall through. A regular person may give up or feel defeated when this happens, but Emotionally Fit people such as ourselves to not give up when everything doesn't go to plan, instead they learn how to adapt and keep moving forward. Matt Davis gives these moments in life a name: A Curveball. An important part of being emotionally fit is "learning to hit a curveball. No matter what you do, you are going to make plans, and things are not going to go as planned. What you need to do is be able to adjust those plans."

What should you do when life throws a curveball? Matt Davis gives us three steps:

1. Expect it. Always be on the lookout. If you have a plan in place, you can see the curveball coming if it isn't part of the plan.

2. When the curveball comes, do not panic. Stop and take a deep breath.

3. Adjust. To execute the plan you need to adjust the plan accordingly.

So, in short, EXPECT the curveball, BREATHE, and ADJUST accordingly. You got this!

Emotional Intelligence is something we can all practice and cultivate, and by having Emotional Intelligence we can be the positive change the world needs in the workplace and in our day-to-day lives.   

Belmont ETP
Global Entrepreneurship Week

This post was originally published on November 13th, 2017

This week, Belmont will be Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship week with thousands of other Entrepreneurs. To celebrate, we have events scheduled throughout the week (November 13-19th).

Our first event will be a talk about Emotional Intelligence for Entrepreneurs with our speaker, Matt Davis, from Grapevine Interactive Technologies. He will inform the students on how emotional intelligence can help your performance. This talk is designed to give you immediate results and increase your overall happiness and achievement. This event is going to be on Monday, November 13, 2017 in Massey 100 at 10:00AM.

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Our Second event will be our much anticipated Business Pitch Competition! 10 of our Belmont Student Entrepreneurs will be competing n for cash prizes in a Shark Tank style environment. They will be presenting two minute business pitches to a the audience and a panel of judges. There will be first, second, and third place winners. The prizes will include $100 for our third place winner, $200 for our second place winner, and $500 for our first place winner! Come out to support your fellow students and to see what amazing businesses they have created. This event will be held in the Massey Boardroom on Wednesday, November 15th at 10:00AM.

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The third and final event of this week will be a Thanksgiving Popup Shop to celebrate our student run businesses! Sweet Creations Pie Bakery will be there, and they will also have live music! Don't miss it! This will be held on November 18, 2017 from 11:00AM - 3:00PM at the student run stores.

So, what exactly is Global Entrepreneurship Week?

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 "Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities. Millions who had never before considered launching their own ventures soak up advice and inspiration from the likes of Richard Branson, Michael Dell and Muhammad Yunus.

Thousands of brand new startups spring to life through bootcamps like Startup Weekend and competitions like Startup Open. Hundreds of universities strengthen connections that help them commercialize research from their labs. Researchers and policymakers engage in discussions around the world to examine the underlying policies necessary to promote entrepreneurial growth. And serial entrepreneurs share their expertise through activities like EO24, run by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and practical training courses like FastTrac.

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Meanwhile, world leaders and local elected officials alike have embraced the campaign as they look to fuel the economic engine of high-growth startups in their own countries and communities. During 2013 alone, 126 heads of state and ministers from 69 countries supported Global Entrepreneurship Week by speaking at activities during the Week, filming statements of support or otherwise endorsing the national campaigns in their countries. GEW is more than just an awareness campaign. It is a platform for connection and collaboration—engaging all players along the entrepreneurship spectrum in strengthening ecosystems around the world" (GenGlobal.org).

So, basically this week is about bringing the ideas, creativity, and determination from entrepreneurs all around the globe together, and celebrating what they do. What we do. What you do!

 

So please join us this week in the celebration, and happy Global Entrepreneurship Week!

 
 
Belmont ETP
Business Spotlight: No Baked Cookie Dough

This post was originally published on October 26th, 2017

What is one of the best all-time desserts? You got it: Cookie Dough.

This desert is usually eaten straight-out-of-the-tub after being store bought from Kroger, or maybe after failing to complete the last step of making cookies (the baking), and go straight into indulging. 

Well, one bright, entrepreneurial-minded Belmont Alumni took her love of cookie dough to the next level by creating on of our favorite local pop-up dessert stands: No Baked Cookie Dough! 

Megan Beaven: Founder of No Baked Cookie Dough

Megan Beaven: Founder of No Baked Cookie Dough

Unlike regular store-bought cookie dough, which can be hazardous to eat because of the presence of raw eggs and and flour that hasn't been heat-treated, Megan's cookie dough is completely SAFE TO EAT! On top of that it is extremely delicious. Need I say more? 

No Baked Cookie Dough

No Baked Cookie Dough

No Baked Cookie Dough started up in April 2017 as a pop-up shop. They have popped-up in lots of places around Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky, including Belmont's very own student-run business, House Of! 

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In addition to pop-up shops, they just opened a store front location in Nashville! It is located at 117 28th Ave N, and the hours are:

Mon-Thurs 12pm-9pm

fri 12-11pm

sat 11am-11pm

sun 11am-9pm

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Their Flavors include: Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Double Chocolate Chip, Confetti Chip Cookie Dough, M&M® Cookie Dough, and the vegan-friendly flavor of Confetti Sugar Cookie Dough! 

Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 

Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

We're so proud of Megan for creating this amazing business! Support her by checking out No Baked's website, and visiting her store! 

Belmont ETP