Spark & Hustle: Small Business Inspiration

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Women entrepreneurs need loads of Spark & Hustle--that's what business guru Tory Johnson teaches at her wildly popular conference series. Last week, thanks to Lifetime Moms, I was able to attend the NYC leg of the conference and share my business wisdom on the Marketing Mojo Panel.

Do you see opportunities or obstacles when you are faced with a challenge? Tory Johnson is all about the opportunities. The author (she's got a new one coming out, more on that below) educates women on a wide range of job-related issues as the Good Morning America workplace contributor and as a business and career coach. She's also the Founder of Women For Hire--the first and only company devoted to providing recruitment services for women. Women For Hire offers signature career expos, inspiring speeches and seminars, a popular career-focused magazine and customized marketing programs.

Tory packed her conference with inspiring speakers and tangible lessons. She was so generous with her time and energy, and she even agreed to give me this exclusive interview:

NF: What's your favorite city to visit? TJ: Chicago is always energizing -- I rarely pass up an opportunity to visit, which I do for work several times a year. Hard to beat London -- I got to show my kids the city this past summer and it was such a memorable and awe-inspiring experience for them to love it like I do. And I have a soft spot for Atlanta because we have a big following there and I'm always energized by our Atlanta events.

How do you unwind? Long showers, swimming in our pool in the country, antiquing, playing Scrabble, mani/pedi with massage, shopping with my daughter.

What is your favorite gadget? Most definitely my Blackberry. I have an iphone too, which I use for calls, camera and apps. But when it comes to email, nothing beats a BlackBerry.

Do you have a favorite designer? It changes a few times a year, but I am always loyal to designers with amazing basics -- DKNY, JCrew, Elie Tahari. Love Banana Republic too. For bags, it's Louis Vuitton or Gucci.

Signature color or accessory? My signature -- if I have one -- is a left wrist that's wrapped with my favorite jewelry. That includes an orange enamel Hermes bracelet, a Tiffany diamond bangle that my husband gave me for my 40th birthday, a stainless steel Cartier watch that I bought myself after being fired (a pity present) 19 years ago that I have worn every single day since then, and assorted tennis bracelets that mark various milestones. I wear the same things on this wrist every day -- like a security blanket!

Most exciting small business you've seen this year? I'm a great fan of May Books -- customized notebooks that you can order online. Super stylish, completely personalized, the hippest paper you can carry...and the founder Mica is a rockstar who I adore and promote any chance I get. The people behind the business have a huge impact on what I think about the product or service.

Why do women make such good entrepreneurs? When we set our minds to it, we can make anything happen -- we're gutsy, determined, confident, resourceful..we have the hustle!

She's fashionable, fabulous and definitely a mom to watch. I learned a lot from Tory and was so impressed with the women brimming with ideas and energy at the event.

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When Lyss Stern (Founder of Divalyssicious Moms --www.divamoms.com) and I were on stage our goal was to share inexpensive marketing ideas that could spark opportunities for small businesses, two of my tips were:

#1 Save every email and create a database for your own press releases and promotions.
#2 Celebrate the successes of your competitors. As a blogger I believe that when one of us succeeds in landing a deal or scoring a book, show or tour we're all winners.

lifetime contest

Thanks Tory! And I'd encourage any of you to spend a day at one of her conferences getting inspired. Plus right now you can enter to win more than $10,000 in prizes! Click onto Spark & Hustle and register here. One lucky conference attendee will win a prize package valued at $10,000. One winner will be awarded at each event! The prize package includes $1,000 from Lifetime Moms + a range of professional products and services to advance your business and some great swag for personal pampering.

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Buy the book Spark & Hustleon Amazon.com

Momtrends is sponsored by Lifetime Moms.

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