Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a great mentoring event. I received a small loan for my business from an organization called Accion. They fulfill a very needed role of providing loans to small businesses that are usually too small for the bank to be interested in. Last year the designer, Tory Burch, became involved with the Accion through her Tory Burch Foundation, and in addition to funding, mentoring was introduced as part of the program for helping entrepreneurs.
I was asked to speak at the beginning of the session, talking about how some previous mentors like Scott Dadich of Conde Nast and Lisa Caputo of Citigroup told me to get on Twitter and get my e-commerce website up and running. Usually, there is a room of business luminaries there, so I knew I had to be ready to give a great talk. You can imagine how the staked were raised for me when I found out that Russell Simmons was going to be there listening to me.
I made a recent wish that I would have more opportunities to speak in public and develop my skills in this area. Well, there it is. Speaking in front of Tory Burch, Russell Simmons, Mika Brzezinski, lots of other high-powered business people, and some film crews....what more could I want out of a chance to speak!
Well, I am sure you are curious. I nailed my talk, and many people told me they were inspired by my words. It was a really great experience. i was able to sit at a table with Russell Simmons and get advice. His advice was more about life than business, reminding us that the enjoyment of the work we are doing should come first, even if the financial rewards have not yet been realized. I also spoke to Ben Fischman of RueLaLa, and he was really on fire, giving us a good look into how to ramp up our businesses, and get clients excited.
So, here it is, the photo that I made Russell Simmons take with me: