So although all 30 people in my dorm are sick, it appears I have escaped the disease (for now at least…) Thus, with my friends spending a lot of their time bedridden, they had no time to distract me and left me with a week that I would be able to focus on Star TP – my favorite. Part of what I spoke about in my acceptance speech at the Growth Conference was being able to balance college life and running a business and how I actually do it. And I always tell people the same thing – this is what I love to do. No matter what it is, when you find something that you absolutely love doing, you have no issue doing it every moment of every day. Whether I am designing an ad, taking a meeting, or taking pictures with Barbara Corcoran, I love every moment of what I do (especially with the knowledge that I am not confined to my bed like my friends!).
As is necessary with any week, this week I had two majors focuses. First I wanted to focus on customer success. Obviously every company defines this differently, but at Star Toilet Paper we think of customer success as being able to maintain not just relationships with our clients, but ensure their ads are working and making sure those relationships are strong. How do we do this? Well first of all, we make sure that we send them rolls with their advertisements on them, partly because it is really freakin’ cool to have a roll of toilet paper with your advertisement and partly because it is essential for our customers to see where their money is going! They always enjoy the rolls, and we are also sure to include a business card, some Star TP stickers to display on their storefront, and most importantly, a handwritten note about the relationship we have with the customer.
Sidebar to customer relationships – handwritten notes are amazing. And it is something that every single person should do, whether it is in their business life or personal life. Taking the time to spend 5 minutes to write a note rather than just an email really can make the difference in maintaining a relationship. People may tell me, “well think about all the things you could have done with that time!” My response would be two-fold. First of all, I sent out 6 packages the other day, all of which contained personalized handwritten notes. If each one took me 5 minutes, that is just 30 minutes that it took me to maintain 6 different business relationships. That is definitely 30 minutes I would spend over and over again writing handwritten notes. You know how I know that this works (besides the people who have told me)? I wrote Barbara Corcoran a handwritten note to say thank you for the Growth Conference and, despite the influx of mail she must get, she gladly responded and we have maintained that connection. Now THAT is awesome.
My second focus of the week was marketing and networking. One of my goals this semester is to build a network here in Durham and the Triangle. There are some really amazing people here and some amazing companies that I wanted to be sure I get involved. Part of the reason I love doing this is because I get to meet such cool people. My first event will be on February 6 and is called Startup and Play. It was introduced to me by Anthony Pompliano, who I met last semester and has been an incredible connection and person to me as a whole. He told me I should get involved and it would be a cool way to meet people. With his recommendation, I was of course going to do it.
As I get more and more information about it, it seems like it is going to be so fun. I had a call with one of the organizers, Aaron Gerry, to discuss what I would be doing as my showcase. I think it is going to be a sort of science fair for businesses and those who are interested will just walk around and visit where they want to. However, each business will be getting a time to “showcase” their product, whatever it may be. They encourage us to be creative with it, so what did Aaron suggest? We have a mummy contest to see who can rap people in Star TP the fastest! Now I am not sure how much TP that would take nor if we will actually do that, but it just goes to show you the creativity that will be present at the event – really looking forward to it!
Yesterday I had a phone call with Moe Abdou, of 33voices. I went into it thinking it would be cool, since it was a phone interview and I love doing them, but not thinking much more of it. However, from the moment we started talking, it was different. Before we even started recording, we had a 20 minute conversation about the company, about what I like to do, and just about life. He was genuinely interested in both what I had to say and myself as a whole. We had a great interview that should be up in a few days, but it will be pretty cool to be next to the likes of a few famous people like Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Erika Napoletano (who was a speaker at the Growth Conference. And he is somebody who knows a ton of people and, as I was stating above, connections are everything. With a guy as amazing as Moe I can definitely see it turning into a great relationship.
The week ended with a pretty cool bang as I was featured in the USA Today College section as an inspiring entrepreneur. It was then shared by Duke University (who I have received amazing support from) on their Facebook page with over 100,000 likes. Click here to check it out.
As always, after a great week, let me know about your week! Comment below, like us on Facebook and write on our wall, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, Don’t Rush, Look Before You Flush!