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“Insulting” chat with a friend

This is one of my busiest weeks of the year. I’m leaving today for Chicago for a Women For Hire Career Expo there on Wednesday, followed by another (my fifth!) conference Thursday through Saturday in the Windy City. From there, I’ll return home for less than 24 hours before heading to Dallas and Atlanta for two Women For Hire events.

Nine out of 10 nights away from home not only requires skillful packing, but a whole lot of planning to tend to the needs of my family too. Slightly frazzled would be a polite way of describing my mood.

Given that, it’s entirely possible that I was easily insulted by a conversation yesterday with a friend. In other words, my reaction probably had more to do with me being a bit “frantic” than her being rude. Still, I decided to share this because it caused me to uncover the “secret” behind all I am doing here.

This is what happened:

My pal was clicking through pages on Women For Hire and watching the testimonial videos, all of which had been recorded by participants at our conferences and by clients I work with privately or in small groups. After several minutes, she asked, “So, if these women are for real, what’s your secret?”

Now, it wasn’t so much the question as it was the sarcasm behind it: IF these women are for real? IF?! (Thanks, “friend.”)

First, never before had I realized how some others may perceive the success stories coming out of Women For Hire. Were they real? Yes, of course they’re real! And no, they are not coached or scripted.

When I watch at the videos, as well as the dozens of others that we don’t post, I admit I’m amazed. Humbled may be an even better word. Even as they credit my vision for their big wins and breakthroughs, I know the truth.

The truth is I’ve never doubted the authenticity of these testimonials for two reasons: One, I know these women and I know the hustle they’re putting into their work each and every day. And two, the women coming to our conferences are different.

Different because they arrive better equipped to succeed than anyone else who stayed home or vowed to be part of our journey. They’re not different because it was easy for them to show up. (Showing up is, after all, still more than half the battle! No economic condition will ever change that.)

Plenty had to arrange child or elder care or barter a friend’s frequent flyer miles to make the trip or share a room with someone they hadn’t yet met to make the conference “doable” for them. Some even received partial scholarships to supplement their own investment in the conference.

No matter what the hurdles or hardships, before the conference even began, they made the decision that:

1) Something had to change in their business; and
2) They would be the person responsible for making that change; and
3) Spark & Hustle would be part of their solution for creating the business and life they want!

So, the women attending conferences are no “ordinary” women expecting ordinary results. They arrive decided, hopeful, confident, expectant, and ready to take action.

That’s why our testimonials make sense.

That’s the secret behind their success. It’s THEM. It’s what they bring and the decisions they make BEFORE we ever meet. Once they arrive, of course, we deliver what we promise: Real Solutions. Apply – Now Strategies. Support. Accountability. Community. Realistic Encouragement. We deliver the (exactly) HOW to their already strong decision to succeed.

Still, there will be far more women who will not make the decision to attend. They will also know that something has to change, but they won’t take an active role in changing it. They will not reach out to others who can help them along the way. They’ll keep “thinking about” attending and “thinking about” changing until it’s too late.

And, their “stories” will be much different – much more in line with that “4 out of 5 businesses fail” mentality. Not because they didn’t meet me or attend my events, but simply because they remain stuck in waiting, indecision and inaction.

So, are the testimonials real? You bet they are. Real decision. Real sweat. Real hustle. And, of course, real results!

If you’re ready to join us in Chicago, Boston, Orlando or Atlanta, let’s make it happen now. Let’s figure out how to bust the barriers standing in your way to get you to Spark & Hustle. NO BARRIERS — JUST RESULTS. Right now.

No matter where you are or what your circumstances, I believe strongly in YOUR ability to make the changes necessary to get the results you want. Make it a hugely productive week!

P.S. If you’re more interested in PRIVATE or SMALL GROUP work, there are a few remaining slots to work with small business coach Michelle Pippin and me the week of April 25.

It’s rare that I have openings for one–on–one work, so I’m particularly excited to roll up my sleeves to work with you individually or in a small group session (depending on your program preference).

Michelle and I will help you develop an immediate action plan that drives results where you need them most. It’s a short term, month–long Profit Partner Program to dig into the nitty gritty necessities to move the needle and build your bottom line. Email us with details on your business and your most pressing challenges to see if you’re an ideal match. If you’re serious about making the commitment, don’t delay locking in your spot since the opportunity is limited.


  1. Marleen

    Hi Tory,

    I cannot believe your “friend” responded that way. I have witnessed some of these experiences for myself at Women For Hire events. I have no doubt that the women in your videos and magazines are real women sharing their success stories. I know this first hand because I had the privilege to share my story, and I recently met someone who works at my company who was also featured. I recognized her face from reading your Magazine or Blog. If that is not real enough for your friend…

    Your friend should come to one of your events and see for herself. I am sure she would eat crow if she did. 😉 Keep up the great work!

    Warm regards,


  2. Shira

    If anyone hesitates what you’ve created, tell them to show up to an event of yours. I was at Women for Hire NY last week and it was the best event ever. Your genuine concern was obvious to all who attended and you gave us more services and support than any other event. We are your legacy and success. THANK YOU for being so genuine.

  3. Christi Caramia

    Here’s my email I sent Tory to give another perspective on her work for women everywhere…

    Hello Tory-

    I didn’t get a chance to talk to you last Thursday but I thoroughly enjoyed the Career Expo in NYC! To counteract your “insulting chat with a friend” email I just wanted you to know how positive your message is for me in my time of unemployment. I’ve only been laid off for 2 months but this has been a devastating experience for me. Your stories were heartfelt and I see the pain and breakthroughs you’ve had to endure in your life.

    Your one day conference was just what I needed last week. I can imagine that your 3-day SparkandHustle’s are 10-fold for business owners.

    Keep up the amazing work- we should all be so blessed to be able to do what we are passionate for each day. Hang in there, I’m sure it’s exhausting to always be up for everyone else. I was exhausted just commuting home to NJ from NYC last Thursday- but also refreshed and renewed to begin my “new and improved” job search.

    From this new follower to you- you are greatly respected!


  4. sarah

    having known you for… almost since you started Women for Hire, I find it impossible to believe someone who knows you would suggest such a thing. You do so much for so many every day so… I was shocked & sorry you had to deal w/something so jaded. had to go do my dad’s 91st b-day then Mom fell & broke her rib so will be returning to land of Cleve to help them. Made my dad get himself a computer for his b-day so I’ll follow you from there.

    Many thanks & best,
    Sarah D. Brotman
    P.S> Happy holidays to all of your lovely family

  5. offshore bank account

    I was overwhelmed with all the real world knowledge and tactics that I learned to take Just Between Friends to more communities and families across the nation…I wanted to share some of my insights from last week and hope that it will encourage you to as Tory Johnson says get busy DOing and ACTing not just the planning…First off…the line up of speakers was amazing…not sure how I got to be a part but Iam amazed at these smart women and a couple of men and how they have turned their passions into profit…Secondly kudos to Tory Johnson for putting on this amazing event.

  6. Christina Carabini

    I just returned from Tory Johnsons Spark and Hustle Conference in Atlanta. Wow! What an event. First of all its such a rush being among so many energetic and accomplished womenover 200 of them. If only I could bottle that upwe could use it instead of some of those other energy drinks that usually dont work ..I was impressed with the many ideas that this group of women have individually created. It boggles my mind how unique we all are and yet our journey and challenges in starting our businesses is somewhat the same. All the speakers and attendees were there to support each other with knowledge and cheering each other on. No competition there..All the speakers gave real-life examples for us. There was no pie in the sky philosophiesjust practical tips you could apply to your own situation. But it was not without cheering and motivation. These were real people that had suffered the same types of set-backs and issues as the rest of us. If they made itwe can too..Tory is a very down-to-earth person. She made herself available to everyoneincluding a zillion photos with everyone. I admired her for bringing her kids to the conference. They were just returning from resident camp and she didnt want to spend the weekend without them. Her kids were kept busy with various tasks and photo takinga great family..The two other organizers besides Tory were Michelle Pippin and Laurie Baggett. All great presenters and achievers in their own right. All n all a power-packed weekend. If you have a chance to get to the next conference I suggest you take it!.

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