9 Reasons You Need More Than One Video With @JenTravelsLife

Every now and then I take my own good advice and do something really smart, like create a video that says explains what I have been saying since the dawn of man…

You need videos- with an “s”.


Well, I’m glad you asked- because Mom recently convinced me to create a video of what I was explaining to her on the phone.  She’s so smart.  So, here are 9 reasons you, and every business, needs more than one video.

  1. VARIETYwhy you need videos #social video

PS:  This video is dedicated to Mom for taking me to gymnastics when I was younger.

#Event: Entrepreneurs Unplugged; How Do Startups Disrupt Old School Industries

entrepreneurs unplugged event in chicago jenchicago

As an entrepreneur myself, I understand the value of being able to learn from others in an event setting.  Join me and dozens of Chicago-based business owners as we learn from a panel of dynamic speakers and then discuss that information with your entrepreneurial peers.

Bring business cards and your favorite note-taking system to join this ever-growing group of successful business people aimed at making Chicago a better place to live, network and “do business”

Use code “JenChicago” for  25% of TICKETS.

From Entrepreneurs Unplugged:

Startups are by nature disruptive, but how do you build a successful company that totally breaks the rules in a given industry? How can you have both exponential growth and keep the same disruptive edge? This Entrepreneurs Unpluggd features 3 founders who are either blazing new trails in rusty industries or who have successfully built a company that caused a paradigm shift.


Howard Tullman - Chairman of Tribec Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, and Managing Partner of G2T3V, LLC
Mark Lawrence - CEO and Co-Founder of SpotHero
Aleksandra Efimova – President, Russian Pointe, Inc.

These three founders will talk about how they dealt with resistance to new ideas from customers, businesses, and investors. As usual at Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, you’ll hear the inside story with candid details about how these founders came up with their ideas, how they built initial products, and how they truly disrupted a market.

6:00 – 6:30: Networking

6:30 – 8:00: Speaker presentations

8:00 – 9:00: Networking


Howard Tullman

Chairman of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, and Managing Partner of G2T3V, LLC

Howard’s entrepreneurial career spans four decades and a broad range of industries. He has started 12 companies, including Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, CCC Information Services, Original Research II, Tunes.com, the Rolling Stone Network, Imagination Pilots and Experiencia. In addition, he has been hired to manage and has served as CEO in several large-scale and highly-successful turnarounds including COIN Management Systems (Atlanta), Xceed, Inc. (NYC) and Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois.

Mark Lawerence

CEO and Co-Founder of SpotHero

Mark Lawerence, CEO and Co-Founder of SpotHero was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early, having started his first business in second grade. Through his career, he quickly realized his passion for innovation, both in technology and in everyday living. This drive ultimately led Mark to the Chicago parking industry, where he found an entire industry ripe for innovation. Prior to his professional experience, Mark graduated with BS in Finance from Bradley University.

Aleksandra Efimova

President, Russian Pointe, Inc.

Aleksandra Efimova is a Russian-American entrepreneur and leader in the arts, business, and Russian-American communities in Chicago. As president of Aleksandra Enterprises, Ms. Efimova is dedicated to spreading access to and enjoyment of the arts, and to forging cross-cultural bridges, particularly in the education, arts, and business sectors.


Got questions?  Wanna say “howdy”?  Tweet me @JenTravelsLife 

Let’s connect on Linkedin.

@CRAVEChicago #ChatEvent includes Speakers, E-book and Board Members

Hey Chicago Entrepreneurs and Business Savvy Professionals!
Join us for our monthly #CRAVEChat!  We will have a fabulous panel of speakers, quality networking, BIG announcements and the launch of our 2013 e-book!  Don’t miss it!  I’m serious.

**Men and non-entrepreneurs welcome.

@CRAVEChicago August Chat: Planning and Standing Out
Peter J. Brandstaetter & Associates| A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
303 E Wacker Suite 2750 Chicago, IL 60601

Meet my hand-picked @CRAVEChicago Board!@cravechicago board jen knoedl

Sneak Peek of MY CRAVE Chicago photo shoot!  We launch the 2013 e-book at this event!


jen knoedl jenchicago crave chicago photo shoot amy boyle




We are always looking for well-matched event sponsors.  Is that you?  Someone you know?


Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 10.05.00 PM

@CRAVEChicago May Chat: Notes, Links & Video

The topic was “Making Money Online”.  It was the May topic for all CRAVE cities and we rallied up some really smart ladies to be on the panel.  Since CRAVE is for female entrepreneurs and the spirit of the Edelman story embodies those same traits, it was a perfect fit in their perfectly comfortable conference area.  (Thank you, Ann.  And Blagica for the intro to Ann!)

So there we were- engaged in hot topics ranging from training, to shopping carts… to balance- and back again.  We laughed about both our similarities and differences as some of us scribbled down notes.  Of course Angela Garbot took beautiful pictures of our gathering- thank you Angie.

Note-taking has never been my strongest skill, so we need a volunteer for that next time.  But here they are none-the-less, in no particular order.

  • Lynda.com - learn to do anything (almost)
  • Social Media Examiner
  • Research different ways to leverage Twitter lists
  • Follow the Press on social networks, build a relationship and then pitch your idea
  • Get help as soon as you can
  • Envelope Money Budget System
  • GWEN
  • Getting celebrities and influencers to help spread the word  (see video)
  • Partnerships & barter-ships

Did you take notes at the event?  Please share them in the comments below or in the CRAVE members group page on Facebook (members only).


Theresa Carter, Founder | The Local Tourist  @TheLocalTourist


Theresa Carter has managed to turn telling people where to go into a job. As the founder and publisher of The Local Tourist she’s made a living out of finding and recommending the best places to go and things to do. After moving to Chicago in 2001 she turned her degree in Journalism and her passion for exploring her new home into a neighborhood-oriented website that would help people get the most out of the Windy City. This website has grown into a community with thousands of registered members, a vibrant social media following, and a “TLTeam” of contributors in the know about Chicago.

She is sharing her lessons learned turning her hobby into a career with BloggingForLoveAndProfit.com. She is also Answer.com’s Chicago Expert, the host of Chef’s Table and AlphaBeer events, an Emmy Award winner, and an all-around rock star.

Alexa Plew, Eventbrite’s Chicago Marketing Manager Eventbrite.com |@BriteChicago  @AlexaPlew

Alexa has been with Eventbrite since the summer of 2012, Alexa is charged with growing a legion of stellar event organizers and building consumer awareness across the city of Chicago. She is continuously inspired by the power of live events and loves working with social enterprises. Her personal interests include entrepreneurship education, live music, and anything to do with the great sate of Michigan.

Blagica Stefanovski Bottigliero, Founder | Zlato Digital  | @ZlatoDigital


Bottigliero’s career spans all aspects of digital media. Prior to launching Zlato Digital, she was the global director of social media for Motorola Mobility, where her work was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business for being one of the Top 10 Chicago companies ‘doing social media right’.

Her career began in the early years of online interactive marketing, at Giant Step, Orbitz and Edelman Digital. Blagica also consulted for Wynn Las Vegas, Quicken Loans, Kraft, Quaker, Chevrolet, Maytag, True Value and the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Team.  Blagica’s hands on experience with new media led her to receiving an Emmy for her work with NBC5 Chicago.

Blagica is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business and spent time studying French in Lyon.  She lives in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood with her husband and their two young children.


EVENT: @CRAVEChicago May Chat for Entrepreneurs at @EdelmanChi

One of the things that I enjoy most is learning.  I really enjoy new shoes too.  Alas, to have more shoes I need money, so learning about making more money online is the next logical step.  If you too would like to learn some different approaches to making money online – you should join us for this month’s @CRAVEChicago chat.  I’ll be moderating along with a hand-picked stellar panel at the renowned, Edelman in downtown Chicago.

money hundred

When it comes to e-commerce, blogs and service based businesses, making money online CAN be a click away. We’re going over hot topics you need to know to set up your business online.
  • Paypal, shopping carts, web ads
  • Mobile apps and online services
  • Online return policies, shipping costs and PayPal orders
  • Protecting your reputation as an online store
  • Passive income – Make money while you sleep
  • Safeguard your online shop (have one? creating one?)
What do you MOST want to hear about?  Tweet @CRAVEChicago!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013  7-10pm
Edelman Chicago
200 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60602

Check out the other speakers, get more info and register: http://cravechatmay.eventbrite.com/

PS:  Are you a female entrepreneur?  Email me for a code to come to the event as my first-time guest.

Share An Experience Or Activity… It’s The New “Networking” #Event

It is said that people want to business with people they now, like and trust.  I know that’s true for me.

But sometimes it’s hard to know who you like when you meet them at a regular networking event.

“Hi, I’m Jen, what do you do… Hi, I’m Jen, what do you do…” and we all share our 2 minute elevator speech.

I just don’t learn that way.  I never have.  Probably has something to do with my short attention span and my unnatural sleep cycle.  Though I’m constantly working on my listening skills, my preference is to meet people through some sort of activity and be naturally drawn to people over casual conversation and experience.

So that’s what this is.  It’s a social event that I have planned as a community manager for CRAVE Chicago.  CRAVE is a membership for female entrepreneurs and we have multiple networking and learning opportunities.  This is the first purely social event we have hosted in a long while and we are opening the event to men and women that may or may not be entrepreneurs but certainly know how to bowl like one.

The venue secured for us by my friend Monika of Connect-Inspire-Grow is amazing with all sorts of games like pool, bowling and putt-putt!  It promises to be a night of laid-back fun and new friendships.

Hope to see you there~

Why I CRAVE Friendships With Other Female Entrepreneurs

I have a great life.  It’s not always easy, or perfect or as directable as I would like it, but it’s pretty fantastic.  One of the best things about my life is being my own boss.  Sure, sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes people don’t pay me when they say they will.  And sometimes I wonder if I would have started had I known how exhausting the journey could be.

But then I remember that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m loving every minute of it of this crazy roller-coaster.  My work and play is one great big blur, and that suits me just fine most days.

I say “most days” because working by myself means that things can get a little lonely.  Sometimes I don’t have anyone to talk to, ask opinions or advice to or laugh with about the ironies of all this freedom from the typical 9-to-5.

That’s where Crave Chicago steps in…

Crave Chicago has long been a resource for entrepreneurial women to come together to learn, share and grow from one another.  Panels, events, workshops are designed and created to empower women-owned businesses.  So when Saya Hillman of Mac and Cheese Productions asked me to join her in being a Crave Partner for Chicago- I jumped at the chance.

So now, I get paid to do what I would pay to do.  Some people have all the luck, eh?

logo-crave-chicago-pinkIf you haven’t heard of Crave, you can check out the community on Facebook or email me to join us for a complimentary Chat or Wake-Up.  You really have to experience the community to understand what it’s all about.

If you are a female entrepreneur and you want to learn more about our membership program- hurry!  We are working on the latest edition of the Crave Chicago book and the deadline for membership photo shoots is Feb 28.

Come on out and join us.  You know you CRAVE better relationships too.

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