Interviews / People

What’s in Your Bag: Colleen

1. Sunglasses 2. Keys. 3. Rume Pouch 4. Metro Card 5. Lipglosses 6. Entrepreneur Magazine Growth Conference Booklet

What’s your biggest accomplishment? I’m happy that I ticked a few things off my bucket list, like writing a book, skydiving and running a marathon. (Still on the list: Starting my own business!) But actually, I’d say my biggest accomplishment is feeling comfortable in my own skin. It’s a terrific upside of aging: Knowing what you want, what you don’t want, and having the confidence to speak up when it comes to either.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since starting your career? You need to accept change, constantly. When I started in journalism, newspapers were laid out with light tables and wax machines. Now, everything is digital. You must be open to learning new things, while retaining the best practices of yesterday. That can be a tricky proposition.

What’s the worst pitch you have ever heard? It’s all in the approach. The worst pitches are when someone emails me and says, “How do I get you to write about my company?” That’s not a pitch. You need to tell us why we should care about your company. Explain what you’re doing that’s innovative or imaginative. Tell us about the lessons you’ve learned, which might be helpful to other business owners. And tell us about the challenges you’re facing…especially if other business owners are dealing with the same problems. That’s something we can build a story around, and shed some national light on the issue.

How does someone get on the radar of Entrepreneur Magazine for a feature on the site or in the magazine? See the last question! And additionally, I’d add that it’s a good idea to attend events and conferences. Reporters often go to them to find sources. Even in the digital age, it’s always nice (and memorable) to meet someone in person.

Colleen's Louis Vuitton Neverfull

Colleen’s Louis Vuitton Neverfull

Where do you receive your inspiration? Funny you ask…we’re actually running a series on Entrepreneur.com, where we ask entrepreneurs this same question. (See http://www.entrepreneur.com/inspiration.) I personally find my inspiration near the water… growing up, I spent my summers on the St. Lawrence River in Upstate New York, and now – since I live in Manhattan — I take a walk along the Hudson River, especially on the Christopher Street pier, whenever I need a pick-me-up. There is nothing like reconnecting to nature, especially when you live in a concrete jungle. The river is beautiful, soothing and powerful, all at the same time.

If you weren’t Special Projects Director, what would you do? What’s your dream job? I’d be writing a curry cookbook! One of my passions is making curry, particularly Thai curry, which is layered and complex and sophisticated – the French cooking of Asia. I actually have a curry blog, CrackingCurry.com, but it’s a non-paid hobby.

Do you feel your life is balanced between work  life + personal life? Yes. Two years ago, I quit another job (an editor position at The Wall Street Journal) in part because I didn’t have enough work/life balance. My work life is far more sane and rewarding now…which makes me a much happier person.


What is your most indispensable gadget:My iPhone 5 – I can take beautiful photos of the curries I make with its camera.

What’s your favorite app? iTransNYC, which shows a convenient map of the NYC subway system, plus the times of trains. It works even when you’re underground, which I can’t figure out.

What’s your favorite account to follow on Twitter: Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn).She knows everything.

What’s your favorite item in your closet: A long-sleeved scoop-necked black shirt that is my favorite knock-about-the-house weekend shirt. I can’t find a replacement for it, which is troubling, because it now has holes!

I met Colleen earlier this year at Entrepreneur Growth Conference, and we immediately bonded over being bag twins. I was carrying my Louis Vuitton Neverfull too. It was a pleasure meeting Colleen, and getting to chat with her. If you have a chance to attend an Entrepreneur event, make sure you do so.


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