Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trying Out Twitter ( update #1)

Trying Out Twitter ( update #1)
By: Jake Kilroy | November 26, 2008 9:33 AM

About a month ago, I started a website ( of fake book covers with fake excerpts. It's half-inane hobby and half-business project. I'm learning about online marketing strategies, how to drive traffic, how to make revenue from ads and overall, how to make it succeed. Plus, it's more fun than shooting womp rats in my T-16 back home. I first wrote about it here.

Anyway, my agent/guide, Kim Orr, recently told me that Twitter had replaced blogs. Or so Wired Magazine had told her.

So I looked into Twitter.
"Twitter," for those who still think the word is slang or slur, is the microblogging community and social phenomenon that is essentially the constant status updates as a website and social networking tool. Twitter is "a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time," according to...Twitter

In basic terms, is a network of constant updates of what you and your "friends" are doing and it works really well for those with iPhones.

Thinking that there may be some good opportunity to build "readership," I started a Twitter account.

My username is "FakeBookCovers."

However, I have since been scratching my head, attempting to use Twitter in my favor as a businessman, not just a person with too much free time.

To learn how I could use the "insta-tool" for networking, I read more than a few blogs and articles on how Twitter can help a business. What I ultimately gathered was that Twitter, at least for right now, can best be used as a networking tool for a business within itself, as the website works flawlessly as a constantly updated network for friends.

"Your co-workers can use it for travel updates. If you're running late, if you have an urgent message, a piece of news. Really anything that you might need to communicate," read this article by Tris Hussey of "Because Twitter is a distributed communication system, you can send a tweet from your cell phone via SMS and your followers get it (via the web, IM or SMS as per their choice)."

The core reasons I found to use Twitter for business were if you're in the business of constant updates or would like strengthen customer relations and/or present a more approachable and down-to-earth CEO. But you have to play your cards right for these ones. I mean, it's not difficult, but it can become tedious.

The latter may be the easiest way to really utilize Twitter: by being yourself. A personable entrepreneur or CEO can be the face of the company instead of the product.

CEOs remain a faceless entity unless mentioned or proven otherwise. I think, as a kid, I imagined all CEOs to live in fantastical mysterious lairs, like James Bond villains.

I mean, sure, then you talk to an entrepreneur and the story can become spectacular. It can turn into something like, "Well, I was just a mother working at an insurance company and one morning, I realized that I had left my kid on the roof with the house on fire and that's when I thought, you know, I should invent a robot."

The thing is, no matter how much an entrepreneur talks good percentages and numbers, I'll usually quietly prefer the entrepreneur who listens to Bruce Springsteen and knows what the open road feels like.

I don't like the idea of a stuffy businessman, one that doesn't understand his or her own customers, one that seems distant. I don't want a suit running a small business. I want the everyman who saw a market, sought a product and worked his hands dry to the bone.

I like to see a picture or a funny anecdote on the "About Us" page of a company website. I want something that doesn't seem robotic and flat. You don't have to impress me. You just have to let me know that there are actual people behind a company, not a nameless brand.

So, Twitter can offer a better (or maybe clearer) perception of an entrepreneur, or at least a more human one. Even something like "PatCEO just saw the newest Watchmen trailer and thinks it looks glorious, even though Billy Crudup's voice doesn't sound like what Dr. Manhattan should" at least lets me know that the entrepreneur has an interest and opinion outside of his or her own business.

Sure, it's something small, it's something senseless, it's something about nothing (then again, so was Seinfeld) but just that bit of information has me finding the entrepreneur to be more of a person.

If not working for the benefit of the entrepreneur, the method of constant updates works well for the entrepreneur's customers, if a company offers something interactive.

In this article, Brian P. Watson of CIO Insight, observes the possibilities of good updates, writing, "Twitterlike services to instantly notify customers of a hacker attack or data loss where sensitive information could have been revealed, and so on."

However, it should be acknowledged that Twitter only really works exceptionally well with a business that's already relatively established. It'll strengthen customer relations with the company. And though it works well for those already interested, Twitter can contribute to word-of-mouth, which can be a marketing tool if others are posting tweets (Twitter posts) about your company.

If you want/can, Twitter can be like a one-sentence company newsletter that's sent out frequently without a regularly frequency.

As for and me, Twitter will work well for those already interested in my website. When I post a new book cover and excerpt, I can just post the update and it will go directly to those following FakeBookCovers on Twitter.

And since it's not a full social networking site like MySpace or Facebook, Twitter only really works if you actually have something to offer (whether its updates or personality). It won't keep itself as a casual, informal, fun, makeshift website, like MySpace and Facebook.

So, if you've got something, let everyone know. On Twitter.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finally, an Entrepreneur Who Can Help My Nightlife...

Finally, an Entrepreneur Who Can Help My Nightlife...
By: Jake Kilroy | November 17, 2008 1:22 PM

When I turned 21, I also turned into a stereotype.

I was at the local bars every Thursday night, and my friends and I became elder statesmen of late nights, philanthropists that believed in lost causes and connoisseurs of bad decisions.

But, out of our element some evenings, we'd show up to dead bars, listen to terrible bands and drink at places that didn't wash their pitchers. We'd get pushed around by unruly bouncers, stared at by awkward biker burnouts and wait in line with clubbers that thought anywhere was a dance floor. We just had off nights sometimes.

And it might've been because we didn't have Randy Rantz to help us.

Rantz is the founder and CEO of, a Chicago-based website that gives real-time ratings of nearly 15,000 bars. After years in real estate investing, Rantz finally took his weekend priorities and made them his workweek.

"A couple years ago, my friends and I would text each other bar ratings every weekend to help decide which bars to visit," Rantz recalls. "This gave me the idea to create a website where thousands of members could share bar ratings every night without even knowing each other. That's why I started I created an extensive business plan, gathered some investors and formed a company."

It was just launched last month, after some months as a beta and over two years of research and development. "Our goal for 2008 is to build up the membership, which is free. We will start selling ad space on the site in January 2009," says Rantz, who is "37 years old, which means [he has] had plenty of years to become an experienced bar hopper."

But it won't just be Chicago soon.

"After gaining success in Chicago land, we will focus on the college towns throughout Illinois. We plan on expanding to Wisconsin and the rest of the Midwest shortly after. Eventually, we want to have nationwide coverage," Rantz says.

I'm writing about Randy Rantz and for two reasons:

1) To let you know that he's probably going to make a lot of money because college students will spend money they don't have on stuff they don't need. Especially booze. College students are the poor man's consumer, but they're also the best marketing team you can have. College students set trends, even if they don't make sense to the average entrepreneur or person (see "fixed-gear bikes").

2) I'm going to be in Chicago later this week, so I wanted to test Randy Rantz and his website. I came up with three hypothetical situations for the Chicago entrepreneur...

Hypothetical Situation #1:
Some guy just dropped $10 into the jukebox so he can hear The Eagles' entire Greatest Hits collection. The Eagles are overrated and I want to hear The Clash. Can I use to find a legit jukebox in the city of Chicago?
RR: Whereas does have a feature that accounts for how good the entertainment at a bar is that evening, it doesn't account for The Clash-playing jukeboxes. But we are planning on adding different features to the website that might help in this situation.

Hypothetical Situation #2:
I'll be in Chicago with my friends Nicky and Lindsay. Let's say that Nicky orders a mixed drink but the bartender doesn't recognize the name and Lindsay orders a brand of beer that the bar doesn't have. Can help my two friends locate a bar that has what they want?
RR: does not have a feature that can help with this scenario yet, but we are currently planning on adding different features to the website that may help in the future.

Hypothetical Situation #3:
Let's say I'm at a bad house party in Chicago when I'd rather be playing pool and drinking whiskey with a wildly attractive brunette who loves Casablanca as much as she digs Tom Robbins novels. How can help me achieve my ultimate goal?
RR: Log onto and check out a few places that your ideal lady would be located at. What's the average age at these places? Are there more women than men? The bar rating will tell you all of these things. Then grab your Tom Robbins autographed gear and your white dinner coat and go get her!

Friday, November 14, 2008


By: Jake Kilroy | November 14, 2008 10:16 AM

In 2006, Alison Boris (with black hair) and Kathi Chandler (with red hair) were just two L.A. women who shared two passions: fashion and theatre. In 2007, the two friends launched AllyKatStyle, a fashion line that markets from "single and feisty" to "the modern mommy." Taking a break between being boutique owners, real estate developers and mothers, the two had time to answer some...IMPORTANT QUESTIONS!

NAME: Kathi "Kat" Chandler & Alison "Ally" Boris
AGE: 31 (KC) & 37 (AB)
COMPANY: AllyKatStyle ("Sass-essories" for Kittens to Cougars)
FOUNDED: Los Angeles, 2007
KC: That's like picking your favorite child. Here are my top three for today: "NARC" by Interpol; "Rich Girls" by The Virgins; "Straight Outta Compton" by NWA.
AB: "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" with George Michael and Elton John. And no joke, Alfonso Ribierio does an amazing rendition that I love too.


1. What are some overlooked fashion accessories?
AB: Black Gloria Vanderbilt jeans from the late '70s and '80s. With the competitive designer jean market out there today, I think one of the original icons should be brought back. Her jeans were the first time consumers looked a jeans as special or dressy.
KC: The keyboard necktie. Fashionable AND educational. How many fashion pieces can you say that about?

2. What's the best way to spend a rainy Saturday?
KC: Being from San Francisco, I love inclement weather. Any good rainy Saturday starts with a big breakfast of bacon, bacon, eggs and bacon. And lots of black Peet's coffee. I balance the day with an independent or foreign film, a nap and more coffee.
AB: I have two baby girls under 3, so this favorite way hasn't been done for some time. Napping, maybe cozy clothes and a Law & Order marathon and more napping.

3. What's your favorite movie trilogy?
KC: The Rocky trilogy. There were six of them, so it's twice as good as other trilogies.
AB: It hasn't been made yet. With a little embarrassment, I would say if Legally Blonde made a third, that would make the perfect trilogy for me. The first two were guilty pleasures for me. A film about a woman being empowered, outrageous fashion and Washington, I'm in.

4. What's the weirdest or wildest thing to happen to you on vacation?
AB: I was in Paris visiting the Notre Dame on Christmas Eve in the late '90s and I decided to light a candle to ask above for guidance with my life. And then my coat caught fire. Not sure if that was supposed to be a sign or just bad luck.

5. What's the silliest clothing item you still own?
AB: Oh my God, I have a teal green pair of Ostrich Cowboy boots. I guess you can take the girl out of Jersey, but not the Jersey out of the girl. At least they weren't white.
KC: OK, it's not mine. It's my fiancé's. He has a Luchador mask and it gets pulled out when we want to make with the silly.

The 27 Word Question
Did you see M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening some months ago? I thought it was the worst movie I've ever seen. What's your opinion of the film in 27 words exactly (no more, no less)?
AB: Night cast me in The Sixth Sense, in Philadelphia. I plead the fifth. I look forward to working with him soon (please). Can anyone say "kissing up?"
KC: Didn't see it, but Ally worked with him, putting me one degree away. I want to meet Kevin Bacon someday, so I'm sure The Happening was amazing.

You mean Mark Wahlberg?
KC: I definitely have what can be considered a "random" sense of humor. The Kevin Bacon reference is just the idea that everyone is six degrees from Kevin Bacon and now that I am one degree from M. Night, I am even closer.

The Beatles Question
Who was your favorite Beatle?
AB: Paul McCartney. He is timeless and still marketable after 40 some years.
KC: Sammy Davis Jr. He was the Candy Man. He'd mix my mixtape with love and make the world taste good.

Wait, Sammy Davis Jr.? Do you mean that you choose him over any of the Beatles or were there secret Beatles that I was unaware of?
KC: Just random. You are right. I don't care for the Beatles one way or another, but I didn't think that answer would be very entertaining, so I made up who my favorite Beatle would be.


1. What keeps the balance of being good business partners and good friends? And, if you two have such different interests and strengths, how do you compromise?
KC: Ally and I have different areas where we excel, and we respect and appreciate that about each other. She's very creative with lots of ideas and has a strong intuitive marketing bone. We deal with problems by collaborating on a "Perfect World" solution and a "Plan B." For both, we do our best to get on the same page. You don't have to agree, but you have to try and understand where your partner is coming from. This is imperative for partnerships.
AB: Communication. We are fantastic partners. A true yin and yang. The Ally Kats even use a career coach, Barbara Deutsch. She helps use get past blocks, deal with difficult decisions and keeps us communicating currently. She helps us keep on the same page and allow our individual voices and strengths to help our collaborated vision. I also believe that you must acknowledge your partner's talents, ideas and strengths. For me in business, there is no Ally Style without the Kat Style. Plus, we are great friends with a lot history that makes us who we are today.

2. What advice do you have entrepreneurs looking to start up their own fashion company?
AB: Do what you know and love. Keep your vision clear. If not, it is easy to get side-tracked by others' opinions and lose your vision. Your vision has to be supported by your passion. So again, stick to what you know and love. One other important thing: Remember your seed money is that...seeds for your crop. Don't panic about it. You will recoup it someday. Let it hang in the back of your mind the first year, not haunt you.

3. How do you adapt to trends and competitors?
KC: Quickly. Ally and I are able and willing to adjust taste and price. We want the women who buy from us to be happy. If that means carrying purple bags even though we don't gravitate toward it, or keeping a design in stock even though we have had it for six months, we will. It's important to listen to the public, not just the runway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Industry Has Gone to the Dogs...and Cats

This Industry Has Gone to the Dogs...and Cats
By: Jake Kilroy | November 12, 2008 1:15 PM

I can no longer lie and say that I understand the pet industry. I can't. It's too hard.

There are so many things in life that I can't quite comprehend: yogurt as a trend, paying over $100 for dirty jeans, how Amy Winehouse is still alive, why Peter Cook cheated on Christie Brinkley and now...the pet industry altogether.

They've finally made a board game for cats.

Last month, Darf Inc. released Catfeats, along with three other pet products. Darf founder Denise Rothman wondered if cats were considered lazy because "we don't focus on them enough" and thought that there might be others out there looking to improve their cat's behavior. So she made Catfeats, a board game for cats and their owners.

And for good reason: to make cats more obedient and fun.

Good. Because for years, I haven't really understood cats. They lie around, they cost you money, they leave whenever they want and you still have to beg for their love. It's like dating someone who thinks she's better than you. Now, if they started playing Risk and Scrabble, I could see the value in having a cat hanging out in my living room, maybe asking me about my day.

However, I suppose that Catfeats will have to do...for now.

And, apparently, Rothman has heard the whole "cats are lazy" speech before. "My husband said, 'You can't do that with cats,'" recalls Rothman, who found online videos of cat tricks to prove to her husband that she could. Rothman's 18-year-old cat can shake hands, so there may actually be some hope for cats with this board game.

How to play Catfeats: You roll a paw print dice, pick a matching paw print card, get your cat to do the activity, enter your score and the first player to score 30 wins. Any combination of 1-4 people and 1-4 cats can play.

Rothman, 56, founded the company in 2006 while working as a marketing and design manager at a high tech company. She spent 2006 and early 2007 developing her ideas. She quit her job and used her stock options to start Darf, and in September 2007, she released Funagle and Do You Mind?, two board games for owners to play with their dogs.

"I sent out a press release [for Funagle] and ended up with over 100 articles written, TV features and radio shows about the game. That drove a lot of buyers to our website," recalls Rothman. "I also sent out direct mail pieces to target retaillers."

Rothman then went bigger. "We went to the Nationa Pet Trade Show this October and made connections with some manufacturer's representatives," says Rothman. "We have a distributor in Belgium and are in the process of establishing one in Australia."

Now, even though most of Darf's products are dog-oriented, it's the cat board game that gets me. Dogs just seem to be better about manners. And cats...not so much, in my experience. When I was a teenager, I was trying to hold my cousin's cat, but it scratched my face and jumped out a window. The family dog licked my wounds, nursing me back to health. So, I admit there may be a bias here.

But the point remains: a fun way to make cats more obedient seems like an industry in itself.

Rothman says that she can train her cats to be obedient, as she and her board game uses the theory of Pavlov's Dog (association of rewards for behavior). "[I] previously was taught to jerk dogs around with the leash and then say 'good dog' when the dog did the task right," says Rothman. "But, in my new classes, we were taught to gesture, name a trick and use treats to get the dogs to perform the tasks. In other words, we set the dog up for doing something right and rewarded them."

In fact, Rothman has already trained her two cats, Paisley and Oprah, to be more obedient just using turkey jerky and tuna oil. If cats can be trained to be obedient through games, then there has to be other entrepreneurial opportunities involving cats that may have been overlooked.

Dogs may have been hogging the pet industry and Darf may have something here.

And, if you haven't heard of Darf's board games, then you maybe haven't been shopping at places like Bark, Bath & Beyond, Pet Fancy, Wag This Way and Pettysburg.

OK, yes, I made that last one up. Pettysburg doesn't exist...yet.

But maybe it's time for me to reconsider the pet industry.

Sixty-three percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.1 million homes, according to the American Pet Products Association. And, according to the APPA's National Pet Owners Survey, Americans will spend an estimated total of $43.4 billion on their pets.

For more information on Darf, go to Meanwhile, other ideas of how to break into the pet industry can be found here.

Rothman expects big sales for Darf at Christmas, around the time that I'll start seeing dogs in Santa costumes and begin rethinking this whole damn industry all over again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inane Hobby Finds Online Home

Inane Hobby Finds Online Home
By: Jake Kilroy | November 10, 2008 10:54 AM

Two or three weeks ago, I started my own website called Fake Book Covers. It's based on an oddball hobby, but I'm going to try to figure out the web industry.

Let me explain.

Recently, I discovered Photoshop on my computer at work. I was immediately addicted and began making fake book covers out of any pictures I could find on my desktop. My co-worker Cheryl saw what I was doing and thought it was funny. So I made her one. Soon, I was making fake book covers for other co-workers and sending them around the office. I posted a few for laughs on a social networking site.

Friends saw them and started asking for theirs. So I made a blog of the fake book covers, at the suggestion of my co-worker, Kim.

Over the next few days, I was receiving texts and e-mails from friends. They loved the silly and inane fake book covers and said they would watch for new ones with anticipation.

Days later, I paid $10 and turned the blog into, where I now write fake excerpts and book sleeves for the fake book covers.

And then it hit me.

I could turn Fake Book Covers into a business opportunity, and I could document the progress here in The Daily Dose.

So I have a website now, and I'll be writing about what strategies I've tried to drive traffic, what marketing has or hasn't worked, which web tools have helped me. I'll document my progress or stagnation periodically here in my blog. Hopefully, you and I together (as reader and writer) can figure out the very secrets of developing a growing website.

Yes, a website within a blog...truly kooky. I suppose it'll be kind of like when Jerry and George wrote their sitcom "Jerry" within the actual series "Seinfeld."

Also, I made Cheryl my publicist and Kim my agent.

Step 1: Tell Entrepreneur readers about website and inclusion in upcoming blogs. Check.
Step 2: Figure out Step 2.

Not quite there yet, I guess.

Don't worry, I'll keep you updated.

Friday, November 7, 2008


By: Jake Kilroy | November 7, 2008 9:40 AM

I always wonder what entrepreneurs are really like when they're not talking business. So, I decided to start asking questions that they may prefer to answer (as well as fancy business questions, too). The questions also let them seem a little more real and approachable.

This week, Monica Burnett! are... IMPORTANT QUESTIONS!

The Beatles Question
Who is your favorite Beatle and why?
Ringo, because in the '70s, he visited Disneyland while my dad was working there. And I quote (British accent) "See that man over there? His Disneyland jacket is more important than he is."

NAME: Monica Burnett
AGE: 22
COMPANY: Monica Burnett Hats (fabulous handmade hats and headbands)
FOUNDED: Rough version 2002, legit version 2005
BASED: Tustin, Calif.
FAVORITE SONG OF ALL-TIME: "Brandy" - Looking Glass


1. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?
Yes! Max Fischer and Doug Funny. You know, the usual.

2. What's the worst snack you've made into a meal?
Microwave-mallows. Instructions: put some marshmallows in the microwave, watch them puff up, eat.

3. What's the dumbest hobby you've ever had?
When I was 2 or 3, I collected those shiny silver gum wrappers that I found on the ground. It was stupid because children should not treasure garbage, but then again, I still like shiny things.

4. You have to make the perfect mixtape. What's the opening song, the one to kick off the mixtape?
"The Final Countdown" by Europe.

5. What's your favorite movie trilogy? And why?
The Santa Clause. It's magical.

The 27-Word Question
I don't understand what happened to our economy some weeks ago. Could you please explain it to me in exactly 27 words (no more, no less)?
Banks lent money, people couldn't pay them back, then neither had money. Banks couldn't lend any more, businesses couldn't meet costs. Business failed, stock market failed, we failed.

The Beatles Question
Who is your favorite Beatle and why?
Ringo, because in the '70s, he visited Disneyland while my dad was working there. And I quote (British accent) "See that man over there? His Disneyland jacket is more important than he is."


1. How does a young entrepreneur go from an idea to a product to a website? What are the steps?
Be crafty, doodle around with ideas and put things together. When your friends and family start saying, "Ooh, make me one!", you have a winner! Once you have your products, you need a venue in which to sell. This venue is most often a website. If you are starting out with a website, you will need some seed money to cover web designers and hosting and shopping cart costs. Lacking seed money? I have also seen many startups use MySpace, Livejournal, Flickr or Facebook as their selling venues. Any place you can post some pictures with a description and price, you are good to go!

2. You accessories have been featured on two Nickelodeon shows ("iCarly" and "Zoey 101"). How does an entrepreneur get in touch with television companies?
Networking! Because I have a "crafty" product, I attend craft shows where you set up a table and display all of your products for the shoppers to peruse. Living in Southern California, I do most of my craft shows in Los Angeles, where the wardrobe stylists flock.

3. What's the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur in her early 20s?
To an on-looker, I would have to say not having any days off. Twenty-somethings are supposed to be out mingling and boozing and having jolly good times, right? Well, being a workaholic, my idea of a good time is updating my website, designing new products or networking online.

4. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in their early 20s?
If you are not a workaholic, learn to be one. There is no such thing as down time. When the orders are filled and the shop is updated, it's time for online networking! Make sure you have MySpace, Facebook, etc. Grab hold of any and all "social networking" utilities and make them yours.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Melting Your Ears Off (Approaching The Press - Coming On Strong)

Melting Your Ears Off (Approaching The Press - Coming On Strong)
By: Jake Kilroy | November 5, 2008 11:52 AM

Being a PR rep seems terrifying. Pitching ideas is hard. Pitching people is harder. However, I know what kind of PR rep makes an entrepreneurial client look bad.

A couple of weeks ago, while a meeting with me, the research editor here at Entrepreneur, James Park, had a bad phone conversation. The PR rep on the other end was pitching her entrepreneur.

"Hi, who is this?" said the high-pitched, fast-paced woman on the other end.

"This is James."

"Are you the editorial assistant?"

"Oh, no. I'm actually the-"

"Ok, well, let me just tell you about my client. He just started his company from the ground up and he's doing something totally new. Like Phillip K. Dick new. Anyway, my client sold his last company for a couple million, so he could focus on this cool new idea that's going to make your hair catch fire from sheer insanity. My client-"

"I'm sorry to cut you off, but I'm in somewhat of a meeting right now. You can send me an e-mail that I'd be more than happy to look over. I just can't talk right now. Let me give you my e-mail and-"

"Sure, but let me just tell you about my client's company, because you're going to want to write about it. I know you are. You're not going to want to wait for that e-mail. His idea is so edgy, it'll cut you! Is your face ready for this? Because I'm about to shove dynamite in your ears with what my client is doing. Your face is going to melt like that guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Get ready, because-"

"Again, I'm really sorry, but I have to go. If you send me that e-mail, I can look it over and forward it onto the Pitches Department."

"OK, OK, real quick though. He's starting a company so innovative that they haven't even invented the adjective to describe it. Marlifilentious? Is that a word? Ok, seriously-"

"I'm sorry, I have to go."

Here's my small piece of advice: Have you ever signed up for a gym membership? Ok, don't be that guy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Mix Tape Theory (Approaching The Press - Being Subtle)

The Mix Tape Theory (Approaching The Press - Being Subtle)
By: Jake Kilroy | November 3, 2008 9:15 AM

I was out drinking recently.

"What? Dashingly suave bloggers go out drinking?" some mild-mannered female mumbled to herself after reading the first line.

Yes, of course us bloggers do. Not always together though. Sometimes, I party with celebrities and models who want to party with bloggers.

While gobbling nachos and making absent-minded observations about the sports teams I didn't care about on the television ("That tall guy has a really funny last name"), I met Monica Burnett, a 22-year-old entrepreneur. I wasn't aware that Burnett was an entrepreneur until the evening was nearly over, and I only found out because I pointed to the tattoo on her neck.

She had a tattoo of a heart-shaped apple just below her right ear. It turns out that the design is also the logo for her company. As a business blogger, I was naturally curious.

"Oh, what do you do?"

"I make hats."

Keep in mind that this is a noisy bar-restaurant.

"You make cats?" I yelled back at her.

It should also be noted that I'm not the greatest at first impressions, especially in loud drinking establishments. One time, it almost got me in a fight. But that's for another time. This is my blog. This isn't my party. So I can't lie if I want to.

Burnett asked what I did and I told her about my gig at Entrepreneur. We talked about anything either of us knew about the business world. She was so charming that I asked for her business card.

She didn't ask me to put her startup company in Entrepreneur. And it made me want to write about her. She undersold herself and I bought in (I'll be writing about her and her company, Monica Burnett Hats, later this week).

It goes without saying that you have to push borders and jump barriers to try and get yourself known (Wall Street vs. Sunset Blvd.). It's never impossible, but it is most certainly challenging, frustrating and exhausting. Being an entrepreneur is like being the actor and the agent. In the beginning, it's your work as well as your job to get the word out.

However, sometimes, the most subtle approach will linger.

Let's call it the Mix Tape Theory.

I know this is business and not music, but hear me out. I just made the theory up, but I think I'm going to reference it from now on. Hopefully, it'll catch on.

Consider my Mix Tape Theory: How many times does an A&R guy have to hear "Listen to my band, listen to my band, listen to my band" before one polite kid hands him a mix tape and asks him nicely to listen to it in the car on the drive home from work?

Show the work, ask for a chance and see what comes of it.

I'm not saying it will always work. There's no absolute way to get known and make money. If there were, I would've already done it a long time ago and, instead of writing this blog, I'd be riding dolphins through the private lagoon located next to my mansion built out of dreams and cookies while my name was sprinkled throughout history books.

Anyway, the point is that I understand that meet-and-greets are difficult to pull off, e-mail approaches are terrifying and making a name for yourself, your brand or your company is downright overwhelming.

But, if you ever get the chance, be subtle enough to see if your "mix tape" sees Side B.