Octopus Bacon and Boats you Just Cannot Flip
Tonight is a spectacularly gorgeous “winter” evening, another near perfect Thursday here in sunny St. Pete, Florida. I’m gearing up for our weekly Entrepreneur Social Club, HQed at my historic wedding and event venue NOVA 535, which happens to be turning 9 years old today! Happy Birthday to Team NOVA!! So much love, passion, tears, hard work, sweat and real $$ equity went into building NOVA 535 out of the ‘ashes’ of a doggie day care and out of about 80 years of bad design decisions. I purchased 535 in the fall of 2005 and we opened February 8, 2009. Wow how time flies! And how tonight we discover and enjoy Octopus Bacon and Boats you Just Cannot Flip!
After I captured a few shots from up top in NOVA’s world-class VIP lounge, we dug into tonight’s meeting. I never know where each meeting will lead us, it’s dependent on who shows up, their mood, the interaction between Entrepreneurs and the topics that sprout up. Below (left next to our pal and Harvard Journalist Keith Long) is newcomer Ralph Brown, president of DreamBoatsGlobal.com who proclaims that his boats won’t sink nor flip. Pretty important as neither are how you want your boat to end up. He boasts 5 Guinness Book World records via his rugged Intruder-21 craft. WOW, most impressive! Welcome Ralph! Our advice was for Ralph to polish his pitch, especially as he is seeking an investor to grow his company. Octopus Bacon and Boats you Just Cannot Flip is tonight’s blog’s title. You’ll have to wait a bit for the octopus bacon… so delicious!
Keith Long – My world is flat. I help you professionalize your content and get you published. Welcome back Keith!
Checking in (close-up below) tonight is Jason Kiger, the other 50% of Community Cafe at 2444 Central Avenue. Go check out Jason and girlfriend / partner Mandy Key’s super cute, healthy and delicious Cafe for lunch, dinner or a late night snack. Mmmm!
Welcoming back Gina Tracy of Imagine Root LLC design company, the rose between our fav “thorns” Daniel 4U-Fitness Nyiri and Nick “I’m You When You Can’t be‘ Mazeika. Don’t know who is luckier, the gents or Gina?
Another newcomer is “Travel For Less” Barbara Kirk, chatting up our pal, powerhouse ex-commodities broker turned author and speaker, TonyLaPorta.com. Welcome! Barbara Kirk is a travel consultant for Royal Seas Cruise Line, she found us via Paradise News. Check out her grandcelebrationlive.com. Her promotions company for the cruise lines works to keep the ships as full as possible. Bon voyage!
Another newcomer tonight is Mr. Big Data Mitchel Hidalgo, next to the always delightful Kathi Harris of Hat-A-Tude. He found the ESC via Facebook. He looks at and extracts data for many different purposes – to better know the customer, protect against fraud / default, etc. He looks at data all day and writes in Python, R, Hive and SAS; he’s here tonight to learn. Mitchel you should definitely talk with Chris Jenkins. Mitchel wants to have his own company – thinking a consulting company – but unsure at this point. He deals with lots of businesses, mortgages, credit cards, etc. as his clients, and all of us, are always looking to reduce risk. Pattern Recognition and Forecasting. Cool book by William Gibson.
Oddly I didn’t get a great photo of the two dapper gents, Cody Bratton and Joseph Johns (pictured below far left). They found the ESC via our pal Keith Long. They are two guys who started a valet company 8 years ago and is now successful in 3 cities, congrats! Then they created, 3 years ago, Divine on Demand. An app you download that offers valet on demand. They took series A $$, sold a %, and now are also moving into offering washing / detailing your car while it is parked. Plus they will drive you home!! Divineservices.com focus on the On Demand and Traditional Valet – they work with hotels, venues like NOVA, etc. Excellent work gents! Welcome to the ESC! Comments (paraphrased) from Cody and Joseph: “Hire for personality train for the Skill. Expose yourself to different experiences and skills then you can use the passion to fuel yourself towards anywhere you want to go!”
Below center is Cynthia and Frank Goldsmith, (white blouse and glasses, Frank in plaid) they found the ESC via Meetup. They started their business 2 years ago, by creating functional hair growth products, which sell on Amazon. NourishBeaute.com. They’ve become quite the experts with Amazon, so if you’re looking for help with Amazon, ask them. Welcome Frank and Cynthia!!
Michael Robison (yup no ‘N”, above front left, black hair and black polo shirt) found us tonight via Google. Mike just graduated pre-med, and enjoys solving problems plus loves playing golf. Michael check out my pal’s Bob VanSweden Golf Center. We suggest reading the book Becoming a Key Person of Influence. Center bottom in black shirt and grey jacket is Brian O’Donnell Mr. Buy Me A Car USA. Brian adds (to our newcomers searching for… whatever) “Do I have the desire to do this? If yes, Do I have the fortitude to follow through? “Do what you love and the $ will follow.” READ the Books “Unique Ability” also “What Color is Your Parachute?” Surround yourself with smarter / more competent people, and like minded positive, yet critically thinking folks. My high-school pal Ray Hinst III (bottom right in blue / black checkerboard long sleeves) his family owns the historic Haslam’s Book Store at 2025 Central Avenue, DTSP. Great seeing you again RAY!!
Also here to tonight is Carmen Manfredi who sells Insurance, he found us via the SP Chamber. Also David Schmueck of InvestInPinellas.com is back. David’s focus is on getting investors into great properties. He asks, “Assisted Living, what’s the skinny?” We dig into this for a bit…
TONIGHT WE SUGGESTED a few more BOOKS TO READ: Fooled by Randomness and Black Swan by NASSIM TALIB.
RANDOM NOTE = SADLY the CIRCUS failed by not adapting to a changing market, unlike the thriving Cirque du Soleil.
DINNER tonight was at The Mill DTSP located at 200 Central Avenue Downtown St. Pete, Florida 727-317-3930. Check out the food porn videos below…we had SUCH A BLAST!!
Take a second to SUBSCRIBE to our ESC YouTube Page, we’ll be shooting more videos as we continue our journey into 2017.
This charcuterie board was insane. I tried to shoot this and pay attention to the myriad of mouth watering details; difficult under normal circumstances. Factor in that this is dinnertime ESC, plus after wandering in “the long way home” with my pal Jzon Livingston. Yup. So watch this video and be amazed…then tell the folks at The Mill that the Entrepreneur Social Club sent you in.
My POV 5-Star dining experience here at one of St. Pete’s finest restaurants, The Mill. Tonight I ordered tuna steak, with some insane risotto and of course plenty of vino tinto.
And the final shot for the night was a group photo, but so many photos shot in low lighting are grainy so I’m working on shooting short videos. People are always funny when expecting a flash photo and, well, that doesn’t happen. The real gold was watching the waiter “moonwalk / robot walk” backwards out of the frame. Bravo to the excellent training the Mill DTSP staff receives and displays. Bravo to Chef Jason Griffin and Chef Ted Dorsey, another 5 Star experience!!
PS: You can take it up one more notch guys, add some DIMMABLE lighting in the rear room…maybe even 2 chandeliers.
See ya’ll this Thursday!