I’ve often written about things I do that don’t necessarily fit into the traditional “returning to the law” mentality. I work with various bar associations and legal mentoring groups, thus the Belly Up to the Bar(Association) post. This month I added Tory Johnson’s Spark and Hustle to my out of the norm rezooming event experiences. It was just what the rezoomer in me ordered, full of people just like me starting a career or restarting a career; for the first time or the 10 the time.
Age had no place at this event. The presenters and attendees were so willing to share and exchange ideas and information, I didn’t think I’d ever leave the event. The Spark and Hustle crew capped off the program with a cocktail party at the Ann Taylor’s store on the eastside of NYC in the 60′s.
Technology was everywhere. Participants were encouraged and enabled to live feed to facebook, linked in, pinterest and twitter to post about their experience. Every use of social media was authentic and personal. It provided the attendees the opportunity to reach out to their clients and colleagues, clue them in on what they were learning and allow them to share it. No blackout on information. Rather the more information you could squeeze from this entrepreneurial extravaganza tube of information the better.
It wasn’t about paying your money and getting the inside scoop. It was about paying your money, getting the inside scoop and enouraging you to share and comment. It was a finite size room. Yet the people who didn’t get in needn’t fear, Tory Johnson and her followers would ‘share the goodies’.
As background, Tory Johnson started her group on the premise of two words: Spark and Hustle.
Spark – the idea; the premise; what gets we entrepreneurs up everyday, keeps us passionate and eager to do everyday what we love doing everyday.
Hustle - simply put, moving your feet in the direction of reaching the pinnacle of what brings you your eagerness and joy; your spark.
I have attended events dedicated to ‘the entrepreneur’ before. Most are coaching programs where the presenters, who feel they have ‘Made It’, tell you how to make it, too. They speak about the success they have experienced using their method. They charge for copies of their program and membership in their groups. You take it with you and implement it. Success, as they describe it, is easy if you follow their plan. It is totally up to you. You can either do what it takes to succeed or not. If you do exactly what they say according to the ‘plan’ you will succeed. There is definitely a place for these kinds of events in a Solo Universe.
Yet this is not the message at Spark and Hustle. This event, held at prestigious Columbia University, was all about the attendees and speakers. Tory Johnson was the hostess, she introduced and questioned each of her guests, yet it was all about them, not about her. Unbelievable. She had guests that included Keynote speaker, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard of Vera Bradley bags. She spoke on how she started the internationally recognized bag company in her basement. Branding tidbits came from Sarah Caplan of Footzyrolls, Mica May of May Books and Noha Waibsnaider of Peeled Snacks. Muscle Marketing and PR experiences were related by Tatiana Byron founder of the Wedding Salon, Nicole Feliciano founder of MomTrends and Lyss Stern founder of Divalysscious Moms. Finally, 5 Stratgies to Boost your Happiness and Confidence were relayed by Gretchen Rubin New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project. Each of these solo’s business owners spoke of their boots on the ground beginnings, their tireless sifting and sorting about what was working and what wasn’t and finally their present place in the universe and how they now see things going forward including the good, the bad and the who knows!
This program was one of a kind due to the panelists engagement with the audience and the energy in the room. Not one of the speakers, and there were more then the ones mentioned above, talked in the ‘I am so great’ mode nor did they say ‘If you do what I did you will succeed’. They were real people telling the good, the bad, and the ugly of how they got to where they were and where they saw themselves going. It was more an entrepreneurs’ secret meeting on the ‘how to’ then a meeting about Tory Johnson or her guests. It was a breath of fresh air amid all the ‘how to do it like me’ events usually attended by the faithful.
How does this tie in to we Rezoomers? It has you see people who have had the Spark and Hustle, gotten an idea about a service and put themselves out there to show they have the goods to get it done. We rezoomers have the Spark and Hustle – the goods to get back in the game and the wherewithall to get wherever it is we want to go. We bring along the experience of what we were doing in the interim and then create our own place in the legal world. If we think we need to wait for someone else to define who we are and what we can do, we will miss the opportunity we are giving ourselves to get back in the game. Define your own Spark and Hustle, as all these entrepreneurs did. You alone know what you are bringing back into the law. Define it. Make it your own and make people realize they cannot live without it or you, either as a solo or as a team player in a firm.
Take your Spark and Hustle right here, right now, and make the splash back into the practice of law. You are your greatest asset. Don’t sell yourself short, spark yourself to greatness and hustle to the front of the line.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.