I recently attended JP Morgan’s “Harlem Innovation Lab Launch” with Google at their Chase Bank location on 125th street and Lenox Ave. What was once a typical bank branch has been partially transformed into an open creative space perfect for fireside chats and events. The location will now serve as the Harlem center for Google’s Digital Coaches program.
Google’s Digital Coaches program brings digital coaches and workshops to ‘communities that are underrepresented on the web as well as in Google’s customer base’. These workshops will focus on digital skills development for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Google Digital Coach for Harlem is Sandra Garcia Lowery. Lowery is a marketing and brand strategist whose resume includes companies like Clear Channel Outdoor, Time Warner Cable, CNNmoney.com and People Magazine to name a few. She is also a small business owner. Her company ‘Encounter’ is a full-service marketing and PR agency serving a variety of clients. Along with spearheading workshops at the branch, she will also be providing 1:1 coaching to small business owners.
For the night, Lowery served as the moderator for a fireside chat with The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee and Lauren Maillian, founder of LMB Group which is a strategic marketing and brand advisory company. There were many gems dropped that night but here are 3 major takeaways I got from the chat:
Live in permanent beta
Coined by Reid Hoffman (venture capitalist and LinkedIn co-founder) living in “permanent beta” is to always be improving your product/services by adapting and evolving to what's new. It’s working out the bugs (cause trust, there will be bugs) and never seeing a project as “finished” because there’s always something to improve on.
Marketing yourself doesn’t have to break your pockets
“Before The Breakfast Club and Sirius XM, I was in marketing,” said Angela Yee, one of the most well-known radio personalities in hip hop & pop culture. “Marketing has helped me a lot with everything that I’ve been doing. With very little money I’ve always been good with getting myself and my businesses out there. Networking consistently and marketing has helped get me to where I am because that’s what can set people apart from one another. When I worked at Sirius and I started doing radio, we didn’t have a budget for anything. I was always figuring out creative ways to do events and things of that nature. That really helped put me on the radar.”
Lauren Maillian says every entrepreneur should know three things… their mission, vision and values. Once you know those things you are on your way to creating a bomb elevator pitch! Questions to ask yourself:
1.) What is you/your business mission?
2.) What is the vision of your business and how what are you doing to achieve that vision?
3.) Lastly, what are your business values? What are the basic beliefs of your business? Are you working towards a cause?
The next talk at the Google X Chase “Harlem Innovative Lab” will be happening Tues. July 30th. Sandra Lowery will be speaking with restaurateurs Karl Franz (Solomon & Kuff, 67 Orange, Society Coffee) and Brian Washington-Palmer (co-owner of Ruby’s Vintage Kitchen), along with Henri Pierre-Jaques (Managing partner at Harlem Capital Partners) on overcoming ‘the trouble 2s’ in business. Feel free to RSVP here: bit.ly/HarlemCoach. See you in Harlem ✌🏾.