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How Determined & Daring are YOU?

Nothing beats being in the company of daring, determined women with common interests and goals.

I saw it in Atlanta last summer, when 200 women joined me and bonded with each other. Might sound corny, but we really got to know one another. In addition to learning from phenomenal experts, the real value for many attendees came from sharing ideas with other attendees — from early morning til the wee hours.

I’m reminded of this when reviewing some of past and future daily Daring Doer profiles on our website, which have gotten a great reception from readers. They’re impressive gals with great minds and creative, out–of–the–box ideas. And they’ll be a part of the ongoing chatfest that plays such a large role at all Spark & Hustle weekends.

One of our upcoming Daring Doers is Amanda West, who in 2008 launched Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food Restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. Amanda’s serves meals “that are easy on your schedule, wallet, and conscience.”

During her opening week, she accepted donations for the local food bank — instead of payment for the meals — and raised money for the community while building her customer base. Smart idea, right? By playing to her socially–conscious customer base as a way to attract customers, Amanda not only did well businesswise – but she did some good, too.

My friend Shannon Wilburn, who runs Just Between Friends, a successful franchise company that sells gently–worn baby clothes at gigantic events around the country, will be joining us at all of our conferences this season. In her Daring Doer profile, she wrote that at some point, “I realized that a smart business owner surrounds herself with smart people who are great at what they do and make you great in the process. I now know that my greatest strength is that I have great people surrounding me.”

Might seem obvious, but think about it: are the people around you smart and great at what they do – or not?

Kristina Hahn Atelier, a Los Angeles architect who designs beautiful properties, wrote something that intrigued me. “Starting out I used to be a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the enemy of the entrepreneur. Perfectionists get nothing done.” I know what she means: In trying to be too perfect, too meticulous, we often sabotage ourselves by remaining in obsessive planning mode, instead of doing mode.

If the thought of sharing time with women who think like Amanda, Shannon and Kristina excites you, then wait until you meet our speakers. They are not simply great talkers. They have actually created successful small businesses from scratch. They know what entrepreneurship is all about and the key ingredients for success. They walk the walk.

If you’re someone who wants to get into small business — you have a spark of an idea but are unsure what the next steps are – these women have been in your shoes. If you are currently in business — but can’t seem to take it to the next level — their nuts-and-bolts, no–nonsense tips and advice will help you do it.

They are all accessible after their sessions and unlike some other small business conferences — where you pay a registration fee then find you have to fork over MORE MONEY to really benefit – you won’t have to buy a single thing from any speaker during any of our three–day conferences to benefit 100%.

Tell us YOUR daring and determined thoughts—what kind of tips and tricks have led to your best successes?

And check out the phenomenal scholarship program for Spark & Hustle too. Perhaps we’ll have the chance to dish with you into the wee hours at an upcoming conference as you’re determined to make 2011 YOUR year.

A Friend in Business: Interview with Shannon Wilburn of Just Between Friends |

Experience an inspiring chit-chat with Shannon Wilburn, the driving force behind Just Between Friends, with exclusive access from Learn about her voyage in the kids’ consignment business, her business strategies, and the secret to her professional success. This exclusive feature is presented only by Was the video informative? Share your favorite part in the comments. Don’t miss out on likes, shares, and subscribe to our channel for more unique content from


  1. Sandra Cemulini

    Like many women (close to 50) who face the difficult task of looking for work, I felt that there were not many options out there for me. I would apply for mediocre jobs feeling that I didn’t really qualify for anything better. Then one day as I read an article about an agency that rented Villas in Tuscany, I wrote them a letter pointing out how I could be an asset to their company (I speak Italian and had lived many years in Florence); they called me, we spoke, I went for an interview and was hired on the spot! I worked for the season as a concierge taking care of the guests who arrived at the villas and dealt with the homeowners. I made some great connections with people who loved Italy and all things Italian. Some of the clients would contact me after returning home requesting to procure them a special wine, ceramic dish, a gold pendant that was seen while in Italy, and send it to them in the States. I was getting so many requests that i decided to turn this into my business. I partnered with a woman who had years of experience in the luxury retail sector and who knew the best Florentine artisans. From there our business grew slowly, we were appreciative of all orders, even small ones, which we carefully processed, always including a Thank You note, and asking customers to pass on our cards to friends who may be interested in our shopping service.
    We love what we do, and the tips I have for women looking to start out are:
    -Offer your expertise to businesses in similar fields
    -Talk to people and LISTEN
    -Offer knowledgeable information pertaining to your product or service
    -Enjoy what you do, enthusiasm is contagious

  2. I wanted to leave a comment letting Sandra know how inspiring her note was, it is true that we can do whatever we want, we just have to get out of our own way. 🙂

    So happy to hear that things worked out better than you thought.

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