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entrepreneur dinner series | women in tech

entrepreneur dinner series | women in tech

The Entrepreneur Dinner Series is one I dreamed up with a client-turned friend, Danya Cheskis-Gold from Spark Capital. We're both passionate about bringing like-minded people together over a delicious meal, so we created this series as a way to do that for women entrepreneurs. The idea being that as a successful woman in New York City doing what you love, it can be really nice to just sit and enjoy some time with other like-minded women in a similar field or position.

We started with the category 'women in tech' and it went so well that we started doing it quarterly, also in partnership with Cooley LLP (a law firm that works primarily with startups). 

This last dinner was held at Maman, a charming coffee shop and event space in SoHo.

Wine was provided by ClubW, an awesome wine subscription service. They had just released their new rosé collaboration with Yes Way Rosé, Summer Water, and everyone loved it. Check them out and get a free bottle of wine (!) by clicking here.

Click the images below to view the gallery.

more of the good things for 2014

This list contains items 8 through 14 from the complete #14thingsin2014. Get them all here.

(8) make a virtual piggy bank

If you're trying to save money, try this out: Every time you skip an unnecessary expense... if you decide to cook instead of go out to dinner, if you skip that last extra drink, if you go for a run instead of a Soul Cycle class... jot that amount down somewhere. At the end of the month, or some period of time, add up what you saved. Seeing how it adds up will give you the reassurance that you're doing the right thing!

(9) be a better listener

I'm so guilty of this, and I get it - it's hard to focus sometimes on what people are saying when you have a million and one things going on in your head. But don't. Don't be self-important, don't be an asshole - someone is taking the time to speak to you. Listen. You can think about what you're having for dinner in a minute.

(10) take a break from the booze

Take a month off from drinking. I'm doing it right now for the first time, like, ever... and honestly, I feel incredible. It's not as hard as I thought it would be, and I think when I do decide to drink again, I will be more mindful about not overdoing it. I have so much going on right now - I need to be focused... I just don't have the time to be hungover for one second.

(11) read a book

If you live in NYC, there is just no excuse to not have a great book downloaded in iBooks for subway riding. And for everyone else, consider listening to an audiobook on your drive to work if you feel like you don't have time to pick up an actual book. If you're looking for a good book to read, try signing up for goodreads, a book recommendation website that sort of works like Pandora or Spotify. I'm currently reading mostly business-oriented books, and two recent favorites are Get Big Fast and Do More Good, which is written by the guys who started the Yes To Carrots brand (love them), and Breakthrough Branding.

(12) cut the social media

Seriously. I bet you would be surprised to know how much time you waste by mindlessly opening a new tab to Facebook every time you get bored or stuck on whatever you're working on. Give yourself a limit to how many times you can check a day and stick to it. Use this site to limit the time you spend there. My biggest issue is that I get sucked into articles I want to read - even if they are business-related, bookmark them for later so you don't get sidetracked.

(13) eat more greens

If you haven't tried green smoothies, now is the time! My 3-day cleanse is super-popular and pretty much guarantees the loss of a few pounds. If you're not ready to invest in a Vitamix, try a Nutri Bullet for a little over $100. Think of the money you'll save on juices - totally worth it. I'm working on some new recipes for a little eBook situation so make sure you subscribe to the newsletter to stay up on that!

(14) let happiness live inside you

Understand that you are the only one in control of your own happiness. Not material things, a promotion at work, or a relationship...  Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose. Things are going to happen that are out of your control - you can only control how you react. The power to be truly happy lies only within you.

phone a friend

The best kind of friendships are those that pick up right where they left off, no matter how much time has passed. Today, pick up the phone and call a friend you haven't spoken to for a while.

I get that thanks to Facebook, you know how cute their kids looked on their first day of school, how amazing his vacation looked, that she started a new job just last week...

Facebook is a wonderful thing that keeps us connected, but seriously - pick up the phone and call them to tell them how cute the kids looked. Listen to him talk about his wonderful vacation. And don't you want to know about how much she's loving (or hating) their new job?!

Even better: Wait until you're having a bad day. Until you're in a miserable mood that feels like you don't want to talk to anyone. Force yourself to do this. I guarantee you, you will get off the phone feeling 10x better.

Why? Because you just felt a connection with someone you care about. You just heard in their voice that you brightened their day, out of the blue. You caught up. You listened. You laughed.

It's a strange thing, really. It's hard to describe the power of relationships. It's part of the true essence of life. I get that there are bills to pay, bosses that suck, jeans that are too tight... but none of that really matters.

What matters is that there's someone out there who loves us and that we love back. No matter what comes our way in life.

Nurture that love. It's a beautiful thing.

the power of doing nothing

My brain is literally going a mile a minute right now. I should take more of my own advice and stop with the dang to-do lists... but I can't, because if I don't, my head will explode. Which leaves me with one very important thing to add to the list.

Nothing.

This is not a joke. The more crazy-busy you are, the more you need this. (Kind of like meditation for those of us who can't shut out minds off.)

Choose a day and literally block it out in your calendar. Take note: This is not a day for you to catch up on annoying errands and shit you have no desire to do. This is a day where you're only allowed to watch your favorite TV shows (or read a book),  lay in bed, and order room service. That's what I call takeout when you live in New York City and can order anything you want with the click of a button via Seamless. Depending on where you live, this could mean Chinese food or pizza. And that's good, too.

I realize it might sound absurd, but you must try it. Give yourself ONE DAY to just relax, recharge... to just be. It's kind of like a vacation, only it doesn't cost any money... And there's no, "I need a vacation from my vacation" situation. This is a real vacation.

A real vacation, from real-life.

Do it and enjoy!

rethink your spending habits

Money is a funny thing. We all have different quirks about money, many of them instilled upon us by the way our families spent and valued it - likely from a very young age. We all think that the way we view money is the right way, of course. It's either ridiculous to spend $4 (probably now more like $6) on a latte every morning, or it's perfectly normal. And chances are, you don't spend much time trying to convince yourself otherwise.

I know I have some pretty bad shopping habits... online shopping in particular. I was blessed with a wonderful grandmother who spoiled me rotten. And to this day, when I want something, I have a hard time telling myself no.

My family was not a traveling family. My family spent money on things like cars and country clubs. As a child, traveling meant riding in the car with Granny to Cincinnati or our summer house in Highlands, North Carolina each year. We sang along to our favorite Natalie Cole album in her Mercedes station-wagon (Route 66 was my song of choice) and stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch (chicken and dumplings for me, vegetable plate for her). Good times.

Yesterday I said that I love to travel, but for some reason I haven't done enough of it. I think I've figured out that reason - and it's the way I value and spend money.

This might sounds incredibly stupid to some of you - and if so, you're ahead of the game. Bear with me.

The $400 I spent on my last pair of sunglasses... That $400 also purchases my plane ticket to Guatemala this winter.

I like my YSL aviators, sure... but they are disposable. Here today, gone tomorrow. They could be sat on, stolen, thrown out the window in a moment's notice. And who cares, really? I guess I thought I cared, at one point...

But now what I'm thinking about is a plane ticket. A trip. The chance to immerse myself into a new culture. To see beautiful, amazing things and learn from interesting people.

Now, those sunglasses feel ridiculous.

I understand that it takes more than just a plane ticket to travel. And maybe, travel isn't what you're after. As someone launching a new business, I am even moreso moved by this new thought process. I'm learning quickly that there are smarter ways to spend the dollars that I earn.

Dig deep into your bank statements. Look at how you're spending. Think about what it is you want - what really matters to you? Maybe cutting that daily latte can help you get the new MacBook you've been dreaming about. Or maybe, that latte adds enough joy to your days to make it worth the money. The point is, you've thought it through, and you're spending your money the way you truly want to spend it - and not just because it's the way you've been spending it for years.

As the wise man says... "Now double your money and make a stack!"

:)