Spark & Hustle Speaker Takeaways 2012

These were the AWESOME speakers of Spark & Hustle Tampa (Descriptions pulled from the Spark & Hustle Tampa website. See all about Spark & Hustle HERE)

BRANDING

 
Danny Nardo, co-founder of Nardo’s Natural

The story begins a few years ago when the four Nardo’s brothers
discovered the health benefits of coconut oil for the skin. The brothers
were inspired to formulate a responsible skin care line with
ingredients derived from nature. A few months later, Nardo’s Natural
developed their first moisturizer in their kitchen. The family business
has since introduced a variety of organic products and continues to
grow everyday.

  • Almost threw in the towel when…: “I was offered a job with a
    marketing firm. It was the early stages of our skin care line and I
    juggled the concept between a secured paycheck and a gamble on our
    business start-up.”
  • Daring decision:  “Swim with 15-foot Great White Sharks. Ironic that
    I swam with ‘Sharks’ on ABC’s Shark Tank, but yes, I also swam with
    Great White’s during my travels in South Africa. “

@nardosnatural

ENGAGEMENT MARKETING

Pamela Starr, Reg. Dev. Dir. Constant Contact

Pamela is a business expert with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and new business development.  Prior to joining Constant Contact,
she owned a marketing service that helped professionals secure more
clients and build their repeat and referral business.  Today, she uses
her marketing and business development acumen to help small businesses
in Central Florida maximize the power of relationship marketing.

  • “When the going gets tough, I double down.”
  • Daring decision: “Quitting a corporate job and starting my own business.”
  • Little known fact: “I used to be a ballet dancer.”

@constantcontact

MUSCLE MARKETING

 
Joy Gendusa, founder of PostcardMania

Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm, PostcardMania.
Joy began PostcardMania in 1998, with nothing but a phone and a
computer, never taking a dime of investment capital. Joy originally
started PostcardMania as a full-service postcard marketing company
helping clients create turn-key marketing campaigns with graphic design,
printing, mailing list acquisition and mailing services. Since then,
PostcardMania has expanded to offer its clients more services including
website and landing page design and development, email marketing and
full marketing evaluations — all while continuing to educate clients
with free marketing advice.

  • Ever threw in the towel?: “I have ridiculous junk yard dog skills.
    Once I get my teeth into something that’s it. Have I been discouraged?
    Of course, but I really know the value of persistence.
”
  • Little known fact: “I’m a grandma and love it.”

@postcardmania

 
Mollee Bauer, founder of Pregnancy.org
*This speaker was selected by LifetimeMoms.com
  • Ever throw in the towel?: “While I might have come close to throwing
    in the towel on an occasion or two, my mission and passion for what I
    do always brought me back into focus. Like most women, I’ve faced lots
    of interesting challenges. One challenge that was draining emotionally
    was when the online advertising display revenues started to decline in
    2008. The drop in monthly revenue left the business hurting and resulted
    in my having to lay off my staff. However, with perseverance, some
    elbow grease and a positive attitude, I was determined to fix the
    situation. With the help of key friends and business colleagues,
    Pregnancy.org is here today and my staff is back in place.”

@pregnancyorg

HOW TO BE A LOCAL HERO

 
Laurie Baggett, founder of LB&Smith

Laurie is the founder and owner of LB&Smith, a small
business/practice development firm. She first received national
attention for her “It” Factor Job Club as part of the Good Morning
America Job Club Initiative. Forever a Texan at Heart, Laurie channels
her passion and energy into being a catalyst for both businesses and
individuals looking to reach their potential, and beyond. “It’s not
bragging, if it’s true,” is the Lone Star State axiom Laurie proudly
applies to the personal, highly specific work she does both discovering
and promoting the best talent around.
@LaurieBaggett

SALES AND SCALE

 
Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton, founders of Go for No!

Founded by professional trainers Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz, Courage Crafters
is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations overcome
self-imposed limitations and achieve breakthrough performance. They are
the creators of the highly sought after book and program, Go for No!®

  • “When the going gets tough, we…: “Pout and then dig in our heels and get really focused on the mission.”
  • Daring decision:  “Quit our corporate jobs with basically no safety net or concrete plan.”

@GoforNo

 
Wendy Krepak, creator of the Card Cubby

Tired of losing cards and money, Wendy Krepak created the Card Cubby
out of her need to organize all her gift, loyalty and frequent
buyer cards. Card Cubby was introduced at the Atlanta Gift Show in 2009
and went on to be highlighted by People Magazine, The Today Show and Good Morning America
to name a few. In 2011 sales topped $1 million and the company
continues to grow with new additions to its line of “Save in Style”
products. Card Cubby is currently sold in approximately 1,400 stores in
the U.S and Canada, online and on QVC.

  • Little known fact: “I am not a college graduate.”

@cardcubby

OVERCOMING FEARS AND BUILDING CONFIDENCE

 
Jenn Lee, www.coachjennlee.com

National speaker, small business advisor, media correspondent and life coach, Jenn Lee
isn’t letting anyone or anything stop her from helping Americans shift
their thinking, boldly move forward and bring sanity back into their
everyday lives! Right to the point with a good dose of humor, Jenn’s
authentically honest approach and down to earth tips quickly landed her a
regular spot on Orlando’s FOX Morning show, BLOG talk radio shows and
as an on-line contributor for Working Mother Media.

  • Ever almost throw in the towel?: “Four months after I launched my
    business, my dream job presented itself and was there for the taking. I
    had a difficult choice to make: my business was brand new and I wasn’t
    making a lot of money. I had a choice—to take the easy road and big
    paycheck, or reconfirm my commitment to myself and continue on with my
    business and my dream. I turned down the job offer and have never looked
    back or thought about throwing in the towel since.”
  • Little known fact: “I escaped a two-year physically abusive
    relationship and went into hiding for several months for my safety. I
    credit this part of my life as the ultimate training ground for helping
    others to see the value of their lives and to stop allowing their past
    to dictate their future. “

@coachjennlee

MIND FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS

 
Lindsay Phillips, founder of Lindsay Phillips LLC

Lindsay Phillips is the energetic inspiration and founding force behind SwitchFlops.
Her footwear concept evolved from a high school art project—amazed by
the response, Lindsay began designing functional flops with colorful
straps, each adorned by a unique button. Her idea evolved when she
realized that by using hook-and-loop fasteners she could create one shoe
with many straps–unlimited choices with minimal effort. This simple,
yet brilliant innovation was the birth of SwitchFlops.

  • Almost threw in the towel when…: “We got our first shipment of
    straps for the shoes and all of the buttons were loose. My mom and I had
    to individually re-sew all the adornments on to make them saleable. As
    an entrepreneur you have to learn from your mistakes, laugh, and move
    forward with a smile.”

@switchflops

Words Are Amazing Things

I was reading the Road to Domestication blog that a former editor of mine writes and one of her posts struck me in a way that can only be described as completely overwhelming. I became a blubbering mess within seconds of reading something she wrote because it hit home so hard I couldn’t breathe.

The funny thing is, and I told the author this, that I know in the back of my mind her blog exists but I often forget it’s there but somehow seem to stumble upon it when I need it the most and her words are so full of emotion and passion, but they are just words.

Words are amazing things. They can incite laughter, they can cause anger and they can cause a fully functional person to go into a complete fit of emotion.

Words can take a sane person and make them so angry they can become physically ill and have a stroke. This happened to someone very close to me. After a hurricane scare in Tampa her boss said some very mean words to her causing her to physically react and have a stroke on the office floor and end up in the emergency room and have a subsequent hospital stay for a few days.

Words can take a sad person and make them laugh so hard they can’t see through the tears. My husband knows exactly how to do this to me. I can be depressed as hell and he will say something to me that might not even be funny to anyone else and get me laughing to the point of being unable to breathe and have my face turn redder than a tomato.

Words can take a happy person who is having the best day ever and hurt them so badly to the core that they don’t know if they will ever recover.

The words, “She’s dying,” “He doesn’t love you anymore,” “I want a divorce,” “She’s cheating on him,” “I broke the vase your mother bought you,” “Will you marry me?”, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”, “A funny thing happened,” and on and on we go…they are all just words. Jumble them in different ways and the effect they have on people changes drastically. Sometimes two people can hear the exact same words and both react completely opposite from each other.

One of my English teachers in high school always said, “When the heart kicks in, the head shuts down.” Its amazing how often words can make our heads shut down.

Words are amazing things. They should be chosen carefully and used wisely.

Writing and my A.D.D.

Reposting from The Crooked Table

I wrote this a loooooooong time ago…but it still applies.

I’ve been stuck in a rut of A.D.D. with my writing lately. Nothing I have been meaning to do has actually been done. I’ll sit down to write and next thing I know I’m checking my email or watching Law & Order. Sure, I’m being entertained, but I’m accomplishing NOTHING.

Ugh, how can I get done what I need to do?

I found this link on procrastination and I thought you all would appreciate it:

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/procrastination.html

The piece on procrastination is really long and it’s more based on writing assignments than on personal writing goals, but I think it has a lot of helpful information.

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.—Mary Heaton Vorse

Officially Working From Home

Today is the first day that I officially am a full time freelancer. This is a scary transition for me as I will no longer go into an office and clock in or out. I’m on my own and left to fend for myself. Basically the only times I will go out is when I’m interviewing a subject for a story, taking pictures for a client or have errands to run.

Although I already confessed this is a scary transition for me, at the same time I am thrilled and excited at the possibilities that are ahead. I’ll concentrate a lot more on all the blogs I started and post all links to new blog posts in this blog. This is going to be like a home base for all of the work I am doing.

Everytime I have written something, been published and/or just want to share stuff about my freelance life with you…it will all be here. This blog will now be my digital diary and an open book of my life. I’ll be happy to answer questions, take story ideas and see where this new chapter in my career leads!!!

I have become Addicted to Saving!

Have you heard of Addicted to Saving? It is the latest craze in Tampa and if you are not visiting this page you are losing money!

The website is http://www.addictedtosaving.com/

The coolest part about the website? She is doing a giveaway right now for Universal Studios tickets.

You want in on this? visit here: http://www.addictedtosaving.com/2010/03/04/universal-studios-orlando-ticket-giveaway/

DO IT NOW!!!

 

The Law of Attraction

I have become quite obsessed with the Law of Attraction. A little more than a year ago I purchased the book The Secret. I bought it as I buy many books hoping I’ll find the time to read them. I finally sat down and read the darn thing and the book made me excited. So excited that I practically fell asleep in it.

Unfortunately, the next day I woke up and forgot all I had just read. The dread of having to get up for work and go into a place I didn’t really want to be made me sad and instead of being strong and thinking about working at the place of my dreams, I focused on how awful my current situation was.

Needless to say, my situation got worse. Then, my husband got laid off and dreams and hopes went out the window.

A few months ago I picked The Secret back up. I was ready to try this again. I even bought the Chicken Soup for the Soul-Living Your Dreams at a thrift store and began making visualization cards.

So far my miracles have finally started coming. Today my husband got hired. I don’t work at that awful place I did a year ago and things are looking up. Everyday a new miracle comes into my life. So, I want to blog about miracles, gratitude, getting what you wish for and so much more.

Today I begin my acceptance of all of my miracles. I’m receiving them as I type this. I can feel the winds changing and all of my dreams coming true. Let’s go on the journey together. What do you wish for?

Full Disclosure Policy for Famous Ashley Grant

So…Apparently as I’m reading people’s blogs I am finding that there is a rule about Full Disclosure. In order to make sure I am not harassed at a later date after I become hugely famous online for being such an amazing blogger-let’s get the Full Disclosure out of the way!

The Following FTC Disclosure holds true for all of my blogs and websites including but not limited to:

The Famous Ashley Grant and Famous Ashley Grant 2.0

Living the Secret

First, My Amazon Associates Disclosure:

Famous Ashley Grant is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you.

And now, for the rest of my disclosure – The Full Monty

This blog and the other blogs I’m working on are not primarily financially driven, but I hope that they lead me to becoming a millionaire. How’s that for honesty? I began blogging in 2008 for several reasons- to have a place to write how I feel, to show people where to find my articles and links to photographs I have taken, to voice reactions and opinions (goes back to how I feel), to teach people things and hopefully learn things too and to establish a little more credibility for myself as a journalist.

That said, beginning December 1, 2009, the FTC requires bloggers to provide disclosures whenever there could be hidden interests or unspoken biases related to recommendations.

First, the obvious: I am a content creator. Essentially I will write and/or take pictures for anyone that will pay me and if they don’t pay me I get some form of compensation whether it be in advertising and promotion, food, products or services.

Second, the less obvious: Per the FTC rules, if I interview someone and they grab the bill for lunch, I would need to specify this. Ditto if I use an Amazon link that gets me 8 cents instead of an Amazon link that gets me 0 cents. If someone gives me a comfy t-shirt with a logo and I wear it in a photo, same deal.

Disclaimers all over the place.

This would be tedious for me and a continual eye sore for readers. But rules is rules.

To cover my ass and preserve your reading experience, please assume that, for every recommendation, link, and product I use, the following all hold true:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post including the images was copied from the blog of Tim Ferriss and changes were made to the post where necessary. Per his statement on his blog this post was used with permission “Please feel free to use the text and images on this page with proper attribution. There is no reason why each blogger should have to reinvent the wheel.”

Please check out Tim Ferriss and his book The 4-Hour Workweek!