Thursday, September 27, 2007

Leave the gun, take the cannoli

Sometimes, when I see soldiers on TV, kissing their crosses before loading their machine guns and hopping into a tank en route to Baghdad, I think to myself, what would Jesus do?

Jesus would turn the other cheek and march home, while trying to convince other soldiers to do the same. If he were leader, he would tell soldiers in Iraq to take their machine guns, place them on the ground and start walking home, asking for forgiveness on their way. (Actually, he would probably be a Cadet)

So, when I see a leader claiming to be Christian and preaching Pro-Life in their country, while leading attacks in other countries, I don't know what to think.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus loves everyone, whether it be an aborted infant or an irate muslim. And he loves us all the same. And it's not our job to judge. It's only our job to recognize that he exists and that he loves us all equally.

But seguing from my faith, I look at others in different religions. They all believe in one God, and they are so humble in recognizing that their existence is not their own doing, but from a power much higher. To credit this greater being, they live a certain way, defend certain rites, claim certain land, and their passion grows for this higher being. How can I discredit other religions, when the main purpose is similar? We all have unexplained faith of eternal love that gives us eternal life. And the biggest disapointment is that only one of us is right. And we all think we're right. But, we are all people living our humble lives, and there's no "I told you so" in the end. The only thing we can do is continue to respect each other, and perhaps not mix religion with politics.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If you're ready (come go with me)

So, recently I've had a massive increase in the number of blog visits, and I'm so thankful that you guys are interested in my entrepreneurial pursuits, no matter how engaging or aloof my involvement is. So, just when I get a humble audience, I have some wonderful news about the Margarita project. I went to Philly on Sunday to meet my business partner for the first time EVER. Restaurant week (discounted specials at expensive restaurants) started Sunday, so we went to Patou, and had an in depth conversation about our progress and next steps. I had spent the greater part of the weekend working on the contract, which I was incredibly shy bringing up. It was a complex estimate of what I thought I truly deserved.

The direct flight strategy really only brings in US tourists, so if we end up working in a direct charter flight with the windsurfing school, then I am responsible for all of the US tourists that stay at the resort. However, I'm not the one giving the lessons, or cleaning the bed sheets, or working, so my suggestion was to get 10% of all the US tourist-driven profit.

I am so glad that I'm shy, because I started the payment conversation with, "Listen, I'm a horrible businesswoman. Honestly, I would be happiest if I just did all of the Marketing and Strategy work and if you paid me what you think I deserve."

Addy responded that he wants me to get 50% of the company, and he really wants me to continue with my marketing work as a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). I would be heading all US affairs, while he takes care of the Margarita stuff.

And I'm thrilled. This makes me an official entrepreneur. Next on the list of to do's is to:
- Start leaking out the word of mouth that L&L tours is the only windsurfing/kiteboarding resort that can get you a direct flight to Margarita

- Start developing the advertising campaign

- Gather our connections with airlines that are interested in offering charters

- Print the brochure in Spanish, because Addy's connections are in Chile

Also, at one point, Addy and I were discussing how great it was that everything had kind of fallen into place. This strategic move could be the next biggest thing for Margarita traveling. Windsurfing enthusiasts agree that Margarita is a premier place for adventure travel. And after finding out one fact after another, it just felt right to start putting together promotional materials and for the school to take this direction.

But throughout all of this, I definitely hit some curbs, which were people who didn't believe that I had thought of all of my strategic and marketing obstacles in place. I was actually approached by some non-successful businessman, who kept asking me questions, and continued with "I think like this, because I have my MBA."

If you want to be an entrepreneur, and you see an opportunity or an unfulfilled niche, definitely think of everything, but don't let someone who has a better degree or a higher company role tell you what to do, unless they can give you constructive case study examples.

In other news, my friend got a gig volunteering for Advertising Week, which is this week in New York. It's funny, because no one at Medicus (and probably FCB) knows about advertising week, because we're working our tails off while all these events are taking place. I went to an event after work at BB Kings, and heard some amazing music, before going to the Gotham Comedy place and seeing Lewis Black standing beside me before going on stage. Shilpa and I were tired and I wanted to go to the morning event before work, so we cut out early. It was late and cabs didn't roll through 23rd street as easily, but as soon as I knew it, Shilpa had hailed the limo parked outside the club, and we were taking a limo home. After a brief conversation with the generous driver, we had realized that the curt man who took this limo was Lewis Black. We had stolen Lewis Black's limo.

The next morning, Shilpa and I headed to the Time/Life Building confirming that we had in fact stolen a limo. We helped set up events for the morning and this woman I met, ended up being the vice president of ARF and was holding a panel about word of mouth marketing. This was perfect, because I really need this advice when I take on marketing for windsurfing. I had to leave the panel early for work, but Diane is going to email me the presentation.

Now, you've heard about my extraciricular involvement in advertising. I am active in applying marketing and strategy to my non-working life. I am an active participant in Advertising Week. I just wish that I could add this extra stuff to my review for work. I've mentioned that my review is coming up, and I'm trying to put together a list of improvements I've accomplished since I was hired.

You may be wondering why I'm obssessing over my review. Well, I must admit that my review at FCB was not a positive one. I was told that I was:

- Robotic and lacking character in my personality and writing
- Two-dimensional: it seemed as though my job was just a job to my coworkers and I lacked life
- I had no work ethic

The truth was I was being managed by a micromanager, who was my only connection to the boss boss, who stopped liking me. When I came to Medicus, I was allowed to be myself, my creative, hard working self. I don't want that to change.

I am in a good place with relationships, friendships and my career. My review could put one of those in jeopardy...