How Creativity Can Help You Become A Happier and More Productive Entrepreneur

Monica Kang, creativity

Monica Kang is the founder and CEO of InnovatorsBox®, a company that offers creative educational workshops, services, and products for professionals to learn why creativity is critical, how to integrate and hone it in work and life. Before starting the company, she had a steady job specializing in nuclear nonproliferation with a decent paycheck. Life was good on surface but deep down she felt unfulfilled. Connecting the dots, she found that it was creativity that brought her the most satisfaction in life, and InnovatorsBox® was born.

In this interview, Monica talks about her inspiration and personal transformation. She walks us through her journey of starting a business as a solo founder, and shares insights on what makes work life more fulfilling. She also offers a lot of useful tips on the early stage of startup life, and how to become more creative as an entrepreneur.

“Creativity is your mind’s gym. You are not going to the gym just to lose weight, but it is also for your long-term health. You do not do creative exercises just to tackle a problem, but also for your wellness and the potential possibilities. The more you do it regularly as part of your routine, the better you will be.”

– Monica Kang

 


InnovatorsBox®

Location:

1348 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

TwitterFacebook, Instagram, linkedIn

Email: INFO@INNOVATORSBOX.COM


Reference

Gallup StrengthsFinder

Soundwise: A Mobile Marketplace for Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Master the Startup Pivot

Lou Aronson, Startup pivot

Lou Aronson is the cofounder and CEO of Discourse Analytics. Lou has an interesting career path. He was originally a lawyer and at one point had his own law firm, before he completely changed career and started a company in the data analysis industry.

Despite having a group of early users joining their platform and great media coverage, the revenue model of his company didn’t work initially. On this interview, he talks about his dramatic career transition, and how he pivoted his company, which started as a political polling application and social media platform, into running predictive analysis for financial service, education, and healthcare industries.

“Your product is never going to be what you originally thought it was. It’s all about having enough runway (financially) so that you can stay alive while figuring out what it’s going to be.”

– Lou Aronson

 


Follow Lou on

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook

Email: Lou@discourseanalytics.com

Discourse Analytics


Reference

The Hard Thing about Hard Things

Soundwise: A Mobile Marketplace for Audio Courses in Business and Personal Development

How to Run A Successful Food Business while Keeping Your Sanity

Episode 11

Today on the show, I interview Kirk Francis, who is the Captain of Captain Cookie and the Milkman, a mobile bakery and dessert shop in Washington DC. By popular votes, they have the best ice cream sandwiches in town, and Kirk has an inspiring entrepreneurial story to tell. In this interview, he talks about why he picked making cookie as a business, the extreme extent he went to get initial customers, how he bootstrapped the business from nothing, and how to find the perfect locations for your food trucks. Kirk not only have great stories to share, he is also the hardest working man in cookie business. And you’ll know that’s not an exaggeration after you listen to this episode.

“Don’t be swept away by the romance of starting your own business. Although it’s very sweet sometimes, it’s mostly a whole lot of work that goes unappreciated and unacknowledged. But if you’re willing to work very hard, put your customers first, and treat your employees and partners with respect, you might start to make it. There’s really no magic formula.”

– Kirk Francis

 


Captain Cookie and the Milkman

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp

Flagship Location:

2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC

General Information

(202) 556-3396

captaincookiedc@gmail.com

Store & Delivery

(202) 795-9184

2000Penn@captaincookiedc.com

Events & Catering

(202) 681-5423

events@captaincookiedc.com


Reference

Foodtruck Fiesta

How to Get Traction as A Two-Sided Marketplace

how to get traction as a market place, ric fleisher

Ric Fleisher is the Chief Operating Officer of UpsideDoor, a real estate platform that helps you sell your house without paying high commissions. Previously he cofounded Urgent.ly, a company that runs a mobile road-side assistance marketplace. Ric has more than 25 years of experience in business development, sales and technology and has been involved with numerous start-ups.

In this interview, Ric talks about how to assemble a founding team for a startup, how to get traction as a two-sided marketplace, how to evaluate your business ideas, and how to get early stage funding. I want you to especially pay attention to what Ric says about focus. His company, Urgent.ly initially tried to offer lots of different kinds of on-demand services. It wasn’t until they narrowed it down to one category that they started getting traction.

“We were trying to do too much at the beginning. It was the focus that helped us get traction.”

– Ric Fleisher

 

 


Follow Ric on

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook


Reference

UpsideDoor

hello@upsidedoor.com | (703) 982-7696

Urgent.ly

iTunes | Google Play

From Drum Teacher to Successful Music Studio Owner

Episode 9

My wonderful guest on the show today, Miles Ryan, started his business by teaching drum lessons in his living room with a make-shift website. He is now the proud owner of 7DrumCity, an amazing music studio in central DC and is inspiring people to live a creative and balanced life every day.

Miles will talk about how to find your niche by experimenting with ideas, the importance of execution, what it’s like to live a minimalist lifestyle and how that’s helped him to uncover what’s really important in life.

Just do it. That in itself sets you apart. If you wait till you’re a master, you’ll be dead.

– Miles Ryan

 


7DrumCity

FacebookTwitter

1506 North Capitol Street NW
Washington, DC 20002

Hours: Mon – Fri: 1pm – 10:00pm | Sat – Sun: 10am – 8pm

Reference

Weebly
DC Space Finder
Four Hour Work Week
E-Myth Revisited 
Art of the Start
Traction
Decisive
Vagabonding

How to Build A Successful Business Offering A Creative Experience

how to build a business offering a creative experience

Today on the show I interview Michael Clements, who is the founder and CEO of ArtJamz, an art studio in DC that makes a viable business out of inspiring people to be artistic. In this interview, Michael talks about how he bootstrapped the business with very little capital, how he created media buzz for ArtJamz and grew the business from nothing, and how to organize and sell tickets for your events when you have no sponsors and no customers.

It’s better to be in high-traffic locations and pay more rent than to pay cheaper rent at a place that’s out of the way. A lot of the nebulous marketing questions become obsolete when you’re in a really good location.”

– Michael Clements

 


ArtJamz

Locations:

Dupont Studio

1728 Conneticut Ave NWWashington, DC 20009

(202) 629-3780 | 

Our arty split level 2,000 sq ft studio is located in the heart of bustling and historic Dupont Circle in the Nation’s Capital just minutes north of the metro. Dining and art gallery options abound, so make a night of it! Tour studio.

Mon: Closed

Tues: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Wed: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Thurs: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Fri: 6:30PM – 11:00PM

Sat: 12:30PM – 11:00PM

Sun: 12:30PM – 8:00PM

Brookland Studio

716 Monroe Street NE, Studio 24Washington, DC 20017

(202) 558-9859 | 

Located in The Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market in up and coming Brookland NE, this 800 sq ft public art studio is surrounded by 26 other artist studios and plenty of dining options. Lots to explore! Located steps away from Brookland/CUA Metro Station.  Tour studio.

Mon: Closed

Tues: Closed

Wed: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Thurs: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Fri: 6:30PM – 11:00PM

Sat: 12:30PM – 11:00PM

Sun: 12:30PM – 8:00PM

ArtJamz Underground Studio

2105-B Crystal Plaza Arcade, Shops at 2100 Crystal DriveArlington, VA 22202

571-312-1285 | 

1,000 sq ft studio in Arlington, Virginia represents the newest version of our retail concept. Located in the heart of Crystal City’s vibrant Gallery Underground entertainment area with numerous dining options nearby. Conveniently metro accessible via Yellow and Blue line, Crystal City Station. Tour studio.

Hours:

Mon: Closed

Tues: Closed

Wed: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Thurs: 6:30PM – 10:00PM

Fri: 6:30PM – 11:00PM

Sat: 12:30PM – 11:00PM

Sun: Closed


Reference

SceneSquid

Washington DC Economic Partnership

How to Crush Large Competitors by Building A Strong Community

Biker Barre

Jane Brodsky and Katie Geffken are the lady bosses of Biker Barre, the first-ever indoor cycling and Barre studio in Washington DC. Since opening in 2012, Biker Barre has won various awards, rave reviews, and is very much loved by its local community.

Jane and Katie left their traditional corporate careers to pursue an entrepreneurial dream in fitness. In today’s interview, they talk about co-founder relationship, competing with large national fitness chains, and their secrets for attracting and retaining customers. They especially emphasize the importance of building a community around the business. This is a very thought provoking episode no matter whether you’re in the fitness industry or not.

We don’t want to be in the coolest neighborhood. We want to be in a neighborhood where people moved there to have a sense of community.

– Katie Geffken

 


Biker Barre

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Barracks Row

738 7th St. SE

Washington, DC 20003

(202) 733-1009


Reference

Classpass

From Home Kitchen to Whole Foods: How to Turn A Passion in Organic Food into A Growing Business

Gouter, V Orban, Raw Organic

Today on the show, I interview V Orban, who is the founder and CEO of Gouter, a DC company that produces made-to-order, raw organic tonics using alkaline water. V started the company with $3000, after being sick and discovering alkaline water, which saved her life. Today, V’s tonics are sold in major organic grocery chains in the area, including Whole Foods, home-delivered to individual households, and are helping people to live a healthier lifestyle every day. In the interview, V talks about the humble beginning of her company, how she marketed her tonics to yoga studios and grocery stores, and the importance of loving what you do.

“I had no idea if this was going to work. But the thing is when you love what you do so much, you don’t even think about if you’ll make the rent.”

– V Orban

 


GOÛTER RAW ORGANIC TONICS

twitter, facebook, instagram

How to Turn $5000 into A Profitable Urban Farm

urban farm

Mary Ackley is the founder and chief veggie officer of Little Wild Things City Farm, an urban farm in Washington DC that uses biologically intensive agriculture principles to sustainably achieve high yields from very small growing space in the city. In this interview, Mary talks about how she started the farm with just $5000 investment and got her investment back within just a few months. Mary also talks about the importance of taking action and trying new things, and how she grew an audience for her farm on social media.  This is an eye-opening episode for me. I’m especially touched by the authentic passion Mary has for organic farming and for her business, which is charming and contagious, and has helped to build the brand for Little Wild Things.

“I’m the type of person who’s into doing things, instead of thinking about doing things.”

– Mary Ackley


Little Wild Things City Farm

GROWING LOCATIONS:

INDOOR: 1648 N. Capitol St. NW (co-located with The Pub and The People), Washington, DC 20002

OUTDOOR: 2131 Lincoln Rd. NE, Washington DC, 20002

Phone Contact: (313) 784-0498

Email: info@littlewildthingsfarm.com

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


References

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

How 9/11 Made Josh Konowe A Serial Entrepreneur

Episode 4 large

Our distinguished guest today is Josh Konowe, who is currently the Chief Product Officer at Canvas, a mobile app company in Reston, VA. Josh is a serial entrepreneur and has successfully started and sold multiple companies, among other achievements. And Josh decided to quit his job and become an entrepreneur after being in the NYC on Sept 11, 2001 and seeing the World Trade Center crumble before his eyes. You’ll hear the story from himself in this interview. And I feel Josh is an excellent example that some face time with death can teach you how to live.

In the interview, Josh shares his experience of running three technology companies, from idea generation, to fundraising, to acquisition. He also shares his criteria for selecting business ideas, and his advices for new entrepreneurs.

Listening to others is a great quality for an entrepreneur. Take time to explore why you may be wrong.

– Josh Konowe

 


Canvas

Uppidy

Josh Konowe is on Twitter at @jkonowe