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


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


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


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


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." (

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.


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.


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.


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."


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.


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.


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" (

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! 


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
A Look Back at 2016-2017

This post was originally published on May 3rd, 2017



This school year has been an exciting one for us! From our on-campus stores, to our Accelerator students, we have helped, guided, and watched Belmont students start and work on their businesses. In addition to the accomplishments listed below, we held two legal clinics, a customer discovery workshop, three entrepreneur Happy Hours for networking, four Lunch & Learns, and eight convocation events with entrepreneurs!

 Let's review some of the highlights of the past year...

Boulevard Record Shop Opened

Located on Belmont Boulevard, our newest student-run business, Boulevard Record Shop opened on August 26th. The store sells records, vinyl accessories, and hosts shows in the evening. To read more about their grand opening: Belmont News Noble

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Shawn Glinter, Entrepreneur in Residence

This year we brought on a new Entrepreneur in Residence, Shawn Glinter. Shawn is a serial entrepreneur himself and has co-hosted Lunch & Learns, led workshops, and mentored our Accelerator students. Students learned about Shawn and his experience as an entrepreneur at a convocation in August and through numerous one-on-one coaching sessions he's held throughout the year.

Princeton Review Ranked Again

Belmont University's Center for Entrepreneurship was ranked again in the Top 25 Schools for Entrepreneurship by the Princeton Review!


Global Entrepreneurship Week

In November, we celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week with a variety of events. These included a convocations with alumni, Ryan Schemmel of Fort Houston, a panel featuring some of our top student entrepreneurs, and a celebration for Women's Entrepreneurship Day at House Of.

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Craig Dubitsky came to Belmont

In February, we hosted the CEO and Founder of Hello Products, Craig Dubitsky. Craig inspired students with his stories of success as an innovator and entrepreneur in the home products industry. While on campus, Craig spoke in a convocation, lead an Entrepreneurship class, had lunch with students, and toured our Center's co-working spaces and student-run businesses.

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Business Plan Competition

Our Annual Business Plan Competition was a fierce competition of 10 student businesses. The winners walked away with over $6,000 in prizes and are qualified to compete in the Launch TN University Venture Challenge.
With The Band
Bloom Brightly Paper Co.
The Gift Box Drop

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Entrepreneurship Village

The Fifth Annual Entrepreneurship Village took place at the Bell Tower this year and featured 32 student and alumni businesses. Entrepreneurs shared their ideas, talked with customers, and sold products ranging from peanut brittle to coloring books!

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Belmont DECA Wins at ICDC

Our Belmont DECA team competed at the International Career Development Conference. Their accomplishments include winning the Entrepreneurship Challenge and 9 other teams placing in the top 10 in their categories.

House Of Turned One!

House Of, one of our on-campus student run business, celebrated their one year anniversary in April.

House Of is a collaboration with the Nashville Fashion Alliance and sells over 30 local designers including several Belmont alumni!

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Record Store Day @

Boulevard Record Shop

Boulevard Record Shop was an official retailer for Record Store Day this April. Their festivities included Record Store Day exclusives, all-day live music, and a Beatles album give-away.

Belmont ETP
Business Spotlight: Runway Audio

This post was originally published on February 10th, 2017


Runway Audio opened in 2016 by Austin Woodruff and Tyler Traeger. They create custom high-end guitar cables and pedal board set-ups.

Austin Woodruff is a junior music business student from Denver Colorado. Tyler Traegar is a sophomore songwriting major from Denver, Colorado. On the quest for the “perfect” tone for their music, they began Runway audio.



We do boutique and custom instrument leads as well as pedal board set-ups! Basically, we make high-end guitar cables. Our cables are made from the best of the best parts and materials. Also, thanks to our low capacitance actually sound better and allow more tone through then other cables on the market.


The idea came in November 2015 and Runway Audio opened in May 2016.


Austin: I have always had somewhat of an entrepreneurial spirit; I just was never sure what kind of business I wanted to start.

Tyler: Honestly, the thought didn’t even cross my mind till Austin came to me and said he wanted too. He told me his vision for Runway Audio and I thought, yea this makes sense, let’s do it.


Austin: Honestly, I do not think that we could have gotten Runway Audio off the ground (pun intended) without Belmont from the classroom experience and curriculum, all the way to the connections that we were able to make. The faculty is very supportive of student entrepreneurs. Our ability to make connections with other students has also been invaluable.

Tyler: Belmont has helped me in really 3 ways: I’ve learned specific information I needed to know in class, I’ve learned in general life lessons such as you have to go out and work for something if you want it, and I’ve enjoyed the support of the other students and faculty.


Austin: I tried one summer to do a neighborhood car wash, but I couldn’t even drive yet so who would trust me with their cars?

Tyler: Definitely. Young Tyler wanted to open a music school on the moon because clearly practicing your instrument would be much more fun if you could bounce around while doing so.



Austin: I have too many to count.  I really admire the CEO of Creation Music Company, they are a small pedal board and amp company in Oklahoma.  His company has been hit with some serious roadblocks recently and he did not quit doing what needed to be done.  Now, I think his company is better for it. I hope that I could have that kind of vision within a company.

Tyler: Honestly for me it’s the many small business owners I’ve met or heard stories about. I just admire how they care for their customers and fight so directly for their dreams.


Austin: I wish that PayPal had been my idea. It was a product that fulfilled a simple problem and now is on almost every shopping site on the Internet.

Tyler: I heard the guy who invented the credit card reader gets money every time one is swiped so that for sure.


Austin: My advice would be to just do it! This is a great time in your life to take the risk of starting a business. You don’t have a 9-5 job yet, and you income needs are a lot lower than they are going to be in the near future.  What are you waiting for?

Tyler: Just do it, you’ll never have anything if you never start. 



Belmont ETP
2016 Belmont Alumni Gift Guide

This post was originally published on December 2nd, 2016

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Check out these gift ideas created by Belmont entrepreneurs!

2) Gift Card
3) Love/Home Tee
4) Home The Nashville Native Print
5) The Original Bell Jar Table Lamp
6) Dixie Dozen
7) 2 oz. Jar of Raw Wildflower Honey
8) twist stacker  bare slvr stacker tiny dot stacker
9) Mid Century Triangle Shelves
10) Smart Tracker
11) Instrument Cable (current students)

Belmont ETP
Accelerator Student Spotlight: Emily Waddell of the Honest Consumer

This post was originally published on October 24th, 2016

We will be highlighting our student entrepreneurs who are members of the Accelerator program. The Accelerator is for any Belmont undergraduate student who is launching or running a business. This program is for students who are dedicated to learning and growing a business. Membership includes dedicated office space, consistent time with our Entrepreneur in Residence Shawn Glinter, and resources and opportunities to take your business to the next level!


Emily Waddell is a junior Social Entrepreneurship major from Dallas, Texas. Her blog, The Honest Consumer informs readers on the power of their consumer choices.

What does your business do?

The Honest Consumer shares the stories of social enterprises, spreads the word about ethically made goods, and empowers consumers.

How long have you been working on this business?

7 months

Did you always know you wanted to start a business? If not, when did you realize it?

Yes, I've always had an creative, entrepreneurial mindset even from the time I was a kid.

Where do you hope your business will be at the end of the year in The Accelerator?

At the end of the Accelerator I hope to have gained some knowledge on how to successfully grow The Honest Consumers following. I also hope to network through the Accelerator to meet passionate entrepreneurs who can share their success and struggles with me, so I am able to keep their stories in mind throughout my entrepreneurial journey.

Favorite class ever?

Intro to Social Entrepreneurship

Did you have any crazy business ideas as a kid?

I had so many crazy business ideas as a kid. When I was in first grade I made and sold bracelets to my friends and family members in order to save up for my first American Girl doll. Even before my bracelet business, my best friend and I would collect all the pencils around the house and when our parents needed a writing utensil we would sell the pencils back for a quarter each....Maybe not the most ethical of my entrepreneurial ventures, haha. In elementary school I also started "Fuzzy Flipflops" where I added fringe and sparkle to flip flops and sold them to my friends. 

Who is your biggest inspiration in business?

Dale Partridge is one of my business inspirations. I think he did a wonderful job developing Sevenly and now that he has moved away from Sevenly he is always giving good advice to other entrepreneurs trough social media. His book People Over Profit is a must read when developing a new company.

What business or product do you wish had been your idea?

I wish I had the idea to start CAUSEBOX, a subscription box of socially conscious items. I love researching socially conscious brands and would have had so much fun picking out the items to ship in the box. I love the exciting feeling of receiving my CAUSEBOX each quarter and wish I could have helped bring that excitement to others.

Advice for other student entrepreneurs?

Go for it. You don't want to be wondering what could've been if don't take the risk of starting you business. You never know, it just might be a success. Even if it's not a success the first time, you learn so much from the journey that can help you grow your next entrepreneurial venture.

Find The Honest Consumer online:






Belmont ETP