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Hello there! This is the 3rd in my three-part series on EntreLeadership. I think I have been able to rave about the EntreLeadership experience because it was so rich and multi-faceted. In part 1, I deal with the service culture of Dave Ramsey and his team, in part 2 I share some of the practical tips for running your business that I learnt, and here, I will be sharing some of the places and things we got to experience as part of the course. It is one of those courses where you come away having learnt in every way- auditory, visually, and kinesthetically. This part is about the extra-curricular activities we had, so enjoy the photos below:

It was in Nashville after all, so our first dinner was at the Sound Kitchen a recording studio in Cool Springs. Ethan (in picture) gave us lessons while a recording artist and writer who is also an ophthalmologist, sang a few songs to us!
It was in Nashville after all, so our first dinner was at the Sound Kitchen a recording studio in Cool Springs. Ethan (in picture) gave us lessons while a recording artist and writer who is also an ophthalmologist, sang a few songs to us!

 

Ethan, taking questions from us. We were asking who had recorded at the Sound Kitchen and were very pleasantly surprised to hear that people like Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift & Bruce Springsteen among very many others had. How cool!
Ethan, taking questions from us. We were asking who had recorded at the Sound Kitchen and were very pleasantly surprised to hear that people like Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift & Bruce Springsteen among very many others had. How cool!

 

Dolly with more Dolly's! Ira Blonder, the owner of the studio, came and asked me to guess which of the other Dolly's were male, I think I pointed out 2. It turns out every other person in that photo but Dolly Parton, is a man. LOL!
Dolly with more Dolly’s! Ira Blonder, the owner of the studio, came and asked me to guess which of the other Dolly’s were male, I think I pointed out 2. It turns out every other person in that photo but Dolly Parton, is a man. LOL!

 

Of course we got serenaded!
Of course we got serenaded!

 

Doc, Ira, the most gorgeous guy at the conference (the dark and handsome one) and I
Doc, Ira (to my left), the most gorgeous guy at the conference (the dark and handsome one) and I (BTW, I was wearing very high heels! Look how high up they all still look!)

 

Autographs on the guitar at Sound Kitchen
Autographs on the guitar at Sound Kitchen, where “country music lives”

 

On another day after class, we went to Mangia! I loved it! Both for the lesson and for the food. Mangia which means food in Italian, was started by Nick Pellegrino. I will share a little about that because it is a great lesson for budding entrepreneurs. When you ask most people what’s stopping them from starting their business, they say “lack of funding”, well, Nick had the same problem. He had an idea, he wanted to create an experience around food that was just like his native Italy. He wanted all the food to be freshly made from scratch and then served in a light-hearted environment where everyone talked to one another, danced, ate, danced and ate some more. But he did not have money to rent a place and buy the restaurant quality crockery and tableware that he would need. He went to a friend who had a meat and vegetable restaurant that ran during the day but which was closed on Friday and Saturday nights. He asked if he could use the place on Friday nights (initially to experiment) and his friend agreed. He then started to scour the city for auctions and events where they sold crockery and tableware for restaurants that were folding up. Anyway, he found some old table cloths that were stained and negotiated to get them for a small amount of money since he was going to have to have them dry-cleaned and found plates, cutlery and other implements in similar sales. I think he mentioned that through this method, he acquired all his initial implements for between $300 to $500.

He told his friends and his friend’s friends about it and on the first Friday of Mangia’s opening, they got a full house. People had so much fun, they started to ask when the next one will be. They had to move from having it only on Fridays, to Friday and Saturday’s. The use of the venue became a partnership between him and the owner, and now, it has become so successful, that if you want to eat at Mangia, you have to book 3 months in advance because they have a waiting list that long! Yes! I loved this story because like I shared here, what you need to start a business is not necessarily money, it’s a STRATEGY. Nick had an idea, he looked for an opportunity (the closing time of the meat and veg place), sought another opportunity (closing down auctions) and married that with expertise (his ability to create the delicious meals and necessary ambiance) and his network. The rest as they say, is history!

Nick sharing his story with us
Nick sharing his story with us. I saw a really nice blog post on Mangia by another blogger, read it at http://spinachtiger.com/mangia-nashville/

 

The menu at Mangia. You did not get to order off the menu, it was not either or, it was ALL of that food!
The menu at Mangia. You did not get to order off the menu, it was not either or, it was ALL of that food!

 

Food at Mangia! (Photo courtesy Mangia)
Food at Mangia!

 

On another occassion, we were treated to dinner and a surprise at The Factory
On another occasion, we had a lovely dinner at an old Nashville factory, now converted into a rustic shopping mall with lovely event spaces, called, you guessed it!- The Factory

 

Surprise, surprise! We had a lovely dinner at an old Nashville factory, now converted into a rustic shopping mall with lovely event spaces. And guess who was there to serenade us with beautiful country music and a nice on-gong banter- Wynn Warble, Casey Beathard and Philbilly! These guys write and sing great country music and have written quite a bit of top 10 country music songs over time… for a girl who grew up loving Donne Williams, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, I was in heaven...
Surprise, surprise! Guess who was there to serenade us with beautiful country music and a nice on-gong banter- Wynn Warble, Casey Beathard and Philbilly! These guys write and sing great country music and have written quite a bit of top 10 country music songs over time… for a girl who grew up loving Donne Williams, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, I was in heaven…

 

Course participants from the Paul Mitchell company sitting on this huge rocking chair at the Factory. Come to think of it, I saw a lot of rocking chairs in Nashville but forgot to ask why. There were even a few at the Nashville airport.
Course participants from the Paul Mitchell company sitting on this huge rocking chair at the Factory. Come to think of it, I saw a lot of rocking chairs in Nashville but forgot to ask why. There were even a few at the Nashville airport.

 

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For a course that exposed us to really great experiences, our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame was a major major hit! We had the final dinner to close EntreLeadership there.
For a course that exposed us to really great experiences, our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame was a major major hit! We had the final dinner to close EntreLeadership there.

 

Dinner under the open skies and the "Never Quit" sign! And Winston Churchill looking encouragingly at us.
Dinner under the open skies and the “Never Quit” sign! And Winston Churchill looking encouragingly at us.

 

"Never, never, never, never give up"- Winston Churchill. We all got this painting of Winston Churchill to take home as reminders to keep trying, keep putting in our very best even when times get tough. This painting also hangs in Dave's office.
“Never, never, never, never give up”- Winston Churchill. We all got this painting of Winston Churchill to take home as reminders to keep trying, keep putting in our very best even when times get tough. This painting also hangs in Dave’s office.

 

There's always food at EntreLeadership, hence the nickname by alumni- Entreeatership
There’s always food at EntreLeadership, hence the nickname by alumni- Entreeatership

 

I'll do a separate post dedicated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, but thought to show you a room donated by Taylor Swift… I am not quite sure what goes on here, the door was closed, but looks like children go to learn music in there (my conclusion from the post-its and decor)
I’ll do a separate post dedicated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, but thought to show you an education centre donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame by Taylor Swift.

 

Taylor's blinged out guitar and her baby picture
Taylor’s blinged out guitar

 

We had beautiful desserts in this room at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
We had beautiful desserts in this room at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 

As we finished deserts and headed down, I captured this shot… a few short minutes ago, we were having dinner here
As we finished deserts and headed down, I captured this shot… a few short minutes ago, we were having dinner here

 

One last nostalgic photo as we left. It was a week that went by so quickly. It was very intense, by day 3, we were exhausted, had learnt so much, seen so much to change, so thee discussion started to shift to teaching us how to manage the change. In the one week of EntreLeadership, we had made close friend, created strong bonds and been coached on the future of our businesses…
One last nostalgic photo as we left. It was a week that went by so quickly.

 

A lot of us had a tear or two as we left the Country Music Hall of Fame and came to the official end of our EntreLeadership Master Series experience. It was tough and grueling, long hours of a lot of serious information. By day 3, we were exhausted, had learnt so much, realized how much work we had to do on our selves and our businesses, so the discussion started to shift to teaching us how to manage change. In the one week of EntreLeadership, we had made close friends, created strong bonds, got mentored by coaches on Dave’s team and mapped out strategies for growing ourselves, our businesses and our profits.

It was an absolute blessing to be able to attend this and I am also very blessed to have this medium to share my experiences with you. Re-living EntreLeadership was great and I hope the lessons have helped you in some way. Continue to be amazing.

 

 

 

 

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