200+ Entrepreneurs Broadcasting Louder at Spark and Hustle NYC

Yesterday I woke at 5:45 am, pretty early for me, to attend the first city stop of the nationwide tour, Spark and Hustle, with celebrity, Tory Johnson.

Arriving at Columbia University, for the first time and wow, gorgeous area and buildings, the line was forming to get in.

I greeted many of the women entrepreneurs I know from Savor the Success, and our full day conference of listening to super successful business owners on the stage being interviewed and mingling to meet other businesses owners had begun.

Amazing women and men took the stage, told us their stories and gave us tips for achieving our dreams. They were: Tory Johnson, New York Times Bestselling Author, founder of Women for Hire, Spark and Hustle, and contributor to Good Morning America; Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley; Michael Alter, president and CEO of SurePayroll; Sarah Caplan, co-founder of FootzyRolls; Mica May, founder of May Books; Noha Waibsnaider, founder of Peeled Snacks; Shawndra Cox, founder of Out of Proportion Studios-OOPS; Wendi Caplan-Carroll, Sr. Regional Director of Constant Contact; Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo; Nicole Feliciano, founder and editor of MomTrends; Lyss Stern, founder of Divalysscious Moms; Risa Goldberg, co-founder of Big City Moms; Laura Geller, makeup artist and QVC queen; Liz Lange, maternity retail pioneer, LizLange.com and Shopafrolic.com; Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter; Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author, The Happiness Project; and Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and Shark Tank Star.

Here’s some of what I learned:

1- Listening to your clients and how they use your products will help you find new audiences.
2- You want strong competition to help open the market and if you focus on creating the best product out there, you will win a spot.
3- Always remember: You Stand for Your Brand!
4- We need to demand and deliver the “WOW!”
5- 36% trust marketing but 81% trust comments and reviews!
6- Surround yourself with positive people.
7- When you are comfortable in your own skin, you will always do and be your best.
8- Remind yourself to enjoy failures. (The people who have had the most successes are the ones who have had the most failures.)
9- Choose the bigger life.
10- You have the right to be here.

Bonus: Let’s have some FUN!

With 200+ women (mostly) in the room, I’m thinking about all those missions and businesses and although I only met a fraction of them, it makes me smile thinking about all of them succeeding.

If you can make it to one of the events across the country, I highly recommend you attend. It was a blast! or should I say a big “Spark!”

Creatives Preparing for Court: Being Ready When You’re Facing the Judge

Be prepared! I cannot stress this enough.

creatives preparing for court

  • Save every correspondence, whether via email or regular mail.
  • Build a timeline of the project or issue from the 1st email or correspondence to the last.
  • Make sure that you have all originally designed or photographed documents saved and printed out or original pieces, so you’ll be able to bring along, and always make sure to save files on two drives, not just one computer.
  • Keep all receipts of expenses.
  • You will go to mediation first and this is where documents get revealed. Both sides if not able to settle, will wait to present to the judge, but beware, the other side now has time to think and prepare their “changed” strategy?
  • Be sure that your estimate or contract was clearly written, outlines what work was to be done, the timeline for production and is signed by the client.
  • If you need to consult with a lawyer to know your rights and for advice, it’s worth the expense. If you cannot afford to consult with a lawyer, the court can provide one, or there are lots of organizations that provide counsel for creatives. *(links at bottom)

The judge may not understand your exact industry, but he/she does understand documentation, your work timeline, signed contracts and should be fair if you have the information to support and back up your claim.

They have also entered the 21st century, and won’t let you use your cell phone or computer in the courtroom while you’re waiting, but if you need it to help your case, bring it!  Video cameras, laptops, and emails or images on your smart phone are all accepted as evidence.

The judge is interested in you answering his or her questions easily, so don’t over talk and start explaining this and that. They have so many cases to hear and won’t care about your storytelling. If they ask a question, answer yes or no, not blah blah blah. However, be genuinely yourself. If the judge does asks you to explain, tell your side but state the facts.

You also have the right to cross examine the witnesses of the opposing side, so think of questions that may support your case. Also be prepared that the witness may say something totally unfounded and you may need to think quickly of how you can ask the right questions or show proof that proves that not to be so. Remember they also have this right and bring questions to you.

And of course, You’re are sworn in, so please tell the truth!

Legal Counsel resources for creatives:

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Citizen Media Law Project

National Directory – Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts