nyc

Google x Chase Partners To Service Harlem’s Small Businesses

Google Digital Coaches Harlem

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.

Source:  @sandy_garlow
Event sponsors included Angela Yee’s new subscription based juice company  Drink Fresh Juice  &  Melba’s .

Event sponsors included Angela Yee’s new subscription based juice company Drink Fresh Juice & Melba’s.

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.”

Google Digital Coaches Harlem

Elevator pitch

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?

Source: The Adam Report

Source: The Adam Report

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 ✌🏾.

Get Croissant! The App That's Changing The Coworking Game.

Photo Cred:  GetCroissant.com

Photo Cred: GetCroissant.com

If you know anything about me I’m a HUGE fan of coworking, at least when it’s done right! There are many entrepreneurs and freelancers who worship their home offices but as a NYC freelancer who has roommates my work-from-home experience isn’t really that great. It usually starts off smooth. I whip up a quick breakfast, grab a cup of joe, take out my Mac and get to work! But slowly me sitting on my bed turns to me laying on my bed or maybe it’s one of the times my TV mysteriously turns on (well maybe not so mysteriously) and I’m caught up watching a Live episode of The Breakfast Club… Let’s just say for me being able to work outside of the house allows me to be WAY more productive. So I was excited a couple months back when Nisha, one of the awesome co-founders of Croissant, reached out to me about trying a month of their services in exchange for my honest opinion on the app. But before we get into my thoughts on it, let me tell you what Croissant is.

Croissant is an app that gives you access to various coworking places in your city. Based in New York, Croissant has coworking places in NYC, Boston, Washington DC and has recently expanded to San Francisco.

Getting started!

After receiving my credentials from Nisha I downloaded the app, entered my email and password and bam! That was it. All 30 of their NYC locations were at my fingertips. I loved that there were a couple locations right in my neighborhood of Harlem that I could walk to as well as numerous ones downtown which would be great for a whole day of coworking or for popping in between running to meetings.

I kicked off my membership by going to a familiar place: TEEM.

Photo Credit:  TeemCW.com

Photo Credit: TeemCW.com

Photo Credit:  TeemCW.com

Photo Credit: TeemCW.com

I’ve been to Teem before, it’s right in my neighborhood and it’s always a good spot to get some work done. It’s a simple space featuring coworking desk and privates offices. I got assigned a desk where there was an outlet available. No need to fight over outlets like at the cafe, Yay! They also had coffee, water and snacks available and I was welcome to store my lunch in the communal fridge. TEEM is a solid coworking space for when you just need to get stuff done! My boyfriend would love TEEM. You see he doesn’t believe in luxury coworking. He’s more of the “I come here to work not play” type of entrepreneur and hey, I get it. But me on the other hand, I am ALL about the amenities. I love when coworking spots offer more than the standard desk and coffee. Like Primary for example.

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Primary thus far is one of my favorite coworking places available through the app. Centered around wellness, primary offers mid day yoga and meditation classes that of course I had to try. Now I’m far from a Yogi but I’ve done some yoga before so I figured I’ll opt to try a yoga class.

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

After the session it was clear that I could definitely brush up on my yoga skills but I enjoyed myself. The instructor was encouraging and patient, and I left feeling refreshed and ready to get back into the real reason I was there… to cowork! The co-working room was nice as well. The whole space had a very zen vibe to it which helped me push through the mountain of work I had that day.

My overall thoughts…

Honestly, I'm hooked on Croissant. So much that after using the app for a month, I was able to come aboard the Croissant team as their Brand Ambassador. (Yay me!) What I like about Croissant the most is the flexibility it gives me as a freelancer. Some days I just need a desk, some coffee or tea and some peace and quiet to get my work done which they have ton of spaces for. But other days I want to feel the energy of other creatives around me, interact with them, take a yoga class or maybe enjoy some complimentary wine from the “booze cart” that Grind Park offers weekly. Croissant allows me to cowork around the city based on my mood and that is something that traditional coworking memberships fall short off. I would recommend Croissant for any freelancer, entrepreneur and/or creative but especially those who are constantly “on the go” and like to try experiences. You can find out more about what Croissant has to offer on their website GetCroissant.com.