Four Years of Denver For Me!

My first Colorado Rockies baseball game in September 2011
My first Colorado Rockies baseball game in September 2011

I forget the exact date I moved to Denver in 2011, but I’m celebrating my four years here in Denver this whole week.

Yay! Four years of Denver for me!

I feel like my life so far has gone through 4-year cycles: yes, I went through four years of high school and four years of college. But then I spent *nearly* four years in San Francisco: I moved to San Francisco on June 15, 2007, and almost made it to my fourth anniversary in San Francisco, if it hadn’t been for my meltdown in late January of 2011, which caused for me to move out of San Francisco on January 30th, 2011.

And now, four years in Denver.

Four years in Denver has made me quite quirky!
Four years in Denver has made me quite quirky!

What next?

Well, I don’t currently plan on leaving Denver anytime soon. There was a brief period of time where I fancied moving to New York City, but that feeling has subsided (well, at least for now).

The past four years in Denver have certainly been an adventure, and I believe the next four years will be even more adventurous.



Just a brief summary of what all has happened to me in Denver since 2011:

  • Started and stopped my MBA studies
  • Started three companies: closed down two and going strong with the third one!
  • Ended an abusive relationship
  • Began a nurturing, more fulfilling relationship
  • Spoke at three Ignite Denver shows
  • Rescued three cats (#crazycatlady)
  • Became more extroverted through networking, Leads Group 7, and social media
  • Met some of the most wonderful people in the world
  • And so much more…
You're awesome, Colorado.
You’re awesome, Colorado.

Here’s to the next four years….!

End of July Musings: Busy Busy Helene

I've been doing some video as well...stay tuned for more updates.
I’ve been doing some video as well…stay tuned for more updates.

Well, just like that, July is at its end. When I wrote my previous post, I did not quite fathom how busy I would become this month…and also how much change was going to occur.

In short, this is all that has happened in July:

  • I gave two big presentations: one at Leads Group 7 and one at SheSays Denver. Both went REALLY well.
  • I changed my business name & am working on rebranding and a new website (more on that soon!)
  • I am also changing my service offerings rather drastically (and more on that as well…)

I know, I know, it’s not far to just post a summary of what’s happened, but there are some things I still need to work on before the official launch of the new business.

In the meantime, you can subscribe to my mailing list to stay-in-the-know on the forthcoming launch. 

See you in August!

Taking a step back & a step forward

Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!
Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!

Last month, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my business, Hashtag Hustler, and what direction I want to take it. I also spent some time thinking about what exactly I want out of my life–do I want to go back and work for someone else? Do I want to actually succeed as an entrepreneur?

The first half of June, I spent running around getting stuff done for a couple organizations I’m a part of here in Denver: I gave my third Ignite Denver talk on June 11, talking about the lessons I learned from working at a hot dog stand in San Francisco. Hopefully the video will be up shortly so I can share it with you all!

Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.
Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.

After that, though, I spent the rest of the month with my love, Ryan, and went to New York City for vacation. It was Ryan’s first time to visit the Big Apple, so we visited many tourist attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Chinatown, and so forth. We went to see Les Miserables on Broadway and walked the Brooklyn Bridge as well. All in all, it was a great respite from life in Denver, and gave me space to really think about what I want out of my career and business.

Unfortunately, after we got back from New York City, I got sick with a terrible stomach virus. I’m feeling better now, but that sickness forced me to take off several more days and think about what direction I want the rest of the year to go in. On Monday, I received a rejection letter from a job I really wanted, and that was when I knew I had my answer: it’s time to go full-force with Hashtag Hustler.

It’s not that I haven’t been going at it with Hashtag Hustler since the official launch at the start of the year: it’s that I have been getting rejections from prospects the past several months, and I want to fix that. So I’ve hired a business coach to work with me over these next six months to revitalize the business.

Since the beginning of June, I’ve been hearing others talk about how we as professionals need to seek out other professionals to help us in our careers and lives. Why would a real estate agent act as his or her own expert in financial management if he or she doesn’t even have the background in that field? Why do so many businesses insist on doing their own marketing when that is NOT their speciality?

If you don’t invest in your own career or your life, you will receive that energy back from your clients or your friends. I realized this when I kept receiving rejection after rejection: I haven’t invested in my own business since my first business! Why would others want to hire me as their social media coach/manager if I don’t myself seek out a coach for my business?

So, onward I go. I have high hopes for this new adventure.


Speaking of adventures…

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you may know that I spoke at the inaugural Denver Startup Week in 2012. I would love to speak at this year’s Denver Startup Week about social media, but I need your help: please click on over to vote for my two sessions before Friday, July 10th. Much appreciated!

What Businesses Do Wrong On Social Media (& What To Do Instead)

Make Your Event Social Media Sparkle!

Pick up the phone!

When was the last time you made a phone call to your loved ones?
When was the last time you made a phone call to your loved ones?

This post has been incubating in my mind the past month: lately I’ve found myself seeking to reconnect with some friends I had lost touch with over the past year. Messages via text or social media can only go so far: I’ve decided to pick up the phone and call these friends to catch up on how their lives are. I met up with a few of them last month and I thought to myself, Gee, why don’t I do this more often?

In this day and age of technology, we feel like we’re so much better connected yet it also pushes us further apart. This cultural shift has been around for the past several years, but of course, people are also noticing the effects technology has on the whole human experience (as you can see in the video above). We think that it’s just *so* easy to just text someone, email someone, send them a tweet or post on their Facebook profile these days.

Have we forgotten how to pick up the phone and call that friend? That loved one? Just hearing a human voice…then we start connecting again. We realize how much we miss out on when we reconnect: I know that with most of my friends, they’re not avid social media users. Heck, some of my family members aren’t even ON social media. So what can I do to be more connected with them?

Just pick up the phone and call.

Building Confidence in Networking (Again)

The start of #HashtagHustler in August 2013, at SXSW V2V
The start of #HashtagHustler in August 2013, at SXSW V2V

Starting this month, I’m getting back into the networking game.

I realized last weekend (while planning out networking events to attend for this month and June), that in general, I hadn’t been as social the past couple of years. I had written about this in a previous blog post thinking that I had actually just burnt myself out in mid-2013 from committing to too many events.

I realize now that that was only part of the story.

In mid-2013, I closed down my first business, TAOpivot. During that summer, I was in flux about what my purpose in my life, my career was. Although I hit up the first annual SXSW V2V anyway, I realized that I no longer had much to talk about in terms of what I did for work. I was embarrassed.

And even though I started my second business (Ms. Kwong’s Baked Goods) shortly thereafter, I still didn’t feel like this was in alignment with what I wanted my career to look like. Don’t get me wrong: I loved baking, but it didn’t feel right for me in terms of a long-lasting career.

Therefore, I avoided social or networking events in the Denver area. I was uninterested in doing a 30-second pitch on what my business was about, because I knew I didn’t have the passion for it. So instead of fumbling along with the facade, I just opted out of attending many events. Hence, my absence in the Denver business and startup communities.

Since Hashtag Hustler has been officially established at the beginning of 2015 (I say that HH actually began in mid-2013 as well, but I didn’t have the full-fledged business concept fleshed out until this year), I have felt more encouraged to attend more events in town, to spread the word about my new, better-aligned business. Because I haven’t been so active in the business community the past two years, of course people don’t quite know me nor HH yet.

Luckily, my confidence is building back up from rock-bottom: I am ready to show Denver (and the world!) that Helene and Hashtag Hustler are ready to get back into the groove and build up business relationships again.