Last week I attended Ramon Ray’s SmartHustle Small Business Conference in New York City.

What a day!





Ramon will wake up any room at 8 am! He is such an energizing speaker, with a great sense of humor, knowledge and experience. It’s contagious.

He gathered together a bevy of high calibre presenters with such wisdom to share, not only on business, but on life, and how to integrate both.

They made us think, they made us laugh, they even made us cry.

These people were some of the most giving and gracious people I have met.

The attendees were all smart entrepreneurs and business owners that made it so worthwhile to meet and network with.

I was also so grateful to be able to benchmark myself against these people and see that all my methodologies and coaching strategies were endorsed.
I learned a lot. I was inspired a lot.

Here are some of the take aways, nuggets, and little “secrets” that I thought I would share,
to inspire you on your business/life path.

What I learned from Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s mastermind session was not disappointing.

He is a marketing genius.

He has a deep understanding of the human psyche which is a winning formula for successful marketing.

I asked him the question: To Niche Or Not To Niche?
His answer: 

  • Yes.  It’s very important to focus on a niche market as opposed to a broad market or industry.
  • No, there is no conflict.  The smallest viable market is the biggest insight any company can have.
  • Become meaningful specific, not a wandering generality. Play to your minimum viable audience. 
  • Specialists get the critical mass. 
  • Get very specific: “We specialize in THIS only”
  • The goal is not to be famous to everyone. You cannot be this, it’s to be famous to the family, to the circle.
  • Find the smallest viable group of people who will listen to you and solve their problems.
  • Smaller niche is always bigger.

Watch the video (2:20 min) ?











Seth on Hustle

  • There are two different types of Hustle: one that uses people and will eventually get you burned.
  • The other is reputable and respectable Hustle which revolves around generosity and connection.

Watch the video (45 secs) ?






















Seth on Choosing the Right Clients

  • Pick your clients!
  • Fire the ones that are wasting your time and effort because they not pushing you to do great work.
  • If you can make that commitment, then six months from now your client list will look different, you will not be working more hours, you will be making more money but more importantly you will be making a bigger difference. 

Seth says, he knows it’s hard to do, but every time he has done this in his career – he was glad he did it!   


Seth on The Value of Video to Support Sales and Marketing

  • Given the choice, very few people will read if they can watch video instead.
  • The hierarchy of attention is: SMS, email, video, and far at the bottom….reading.
  • It has never been easier to make video than it is today.
  • Making mediocre video is super easy.
  • It doesn’t seem like a short cut, but paying too much to make good video is a short cut!
  • Make it work, either way.

On Creating Tension

  • How do you sell something to someone who hasn’t bought it before? Create TENSION.
  • Tension always accompanies forward motion.
  • There is always someone cheaper than you, more experienced than you.
  • But if you are causing a small dent in the universe, pushing against someone’s experience as the status quo, then they will pick you.
  • Create that tension of making people realize there is a problem for which you are the solution.

On Creating Scarcity

  • If there’s no scarcity, customers will pick the cheapest or closest option.
  • Create SCARCITY to create VALUE.

…And his socks were just the bomb too!











What I learned from the other Speakers

Here are some gems and nuggets from the other speakers that resonated with me:

Being a Likeable Expert – How To Boost Your Sales and Earn More Money
Michael Katz 

Michael helps professionals stand out as likeable experts.

  • World’s greatest relationship-building tool: the hand-written note!
  • Competing based on likeability and perceived image: It may seem like only a small portion of your business, but it goes a long way.
  • When everyone looks the same and is competing on the same terms, likeability can be that deciding factor.
  • Help people who can’t help you back.

Tapping Into Your Customer’s Passion
Carl Gould 
David Mamman @DavidMammano

Carl and David are entrepreneurs, business growth experts & business coaches.

  • Don’t underprice yourself. Price yourself higher and you will attract your ideal client.
  • Lessons learned from Netflix: They solved the top five problems Blockbuster clients were experiencing, and put them out of business: Getting into their car to get and return a movie, availability, late fees, rewinding.
  • Look for people’s problems – then roll them into business plan and guarantee those problems won’t happen.
  • Make a promise no one else in your industry is doing.
  • Your mission/values/proposition are likely all positives. That’s NOT how your clients are thinking. Think of COMPLAINTS and problems they are having and address them.

The Art of Influence
Mitch Fairrais 

Mitch is a coach providing tools & training to do things differently.

  • People don’t trust you because they understand you; they trust you because they feel you understand them.
  • Influence is one of the most important skills someone can have.
  • If you only see things YOUR way – you have no ability to influence other people.
  • To increase your influence, the first thing is to understand another’s frame of reference & feelings.

Marketing Publicity Hacks – Shark Tank, Oprah and Everything In Between
Becca Brown

Becca is co-founder of SoulMates, heel protectors for women’s shoes, and ABC’s SharkTank winner. She opened up about authentic and organic PR.

  • Blast any press you get all over social media.
  • People get sidetracked; you really have to stick with it to stay in front of them.
  • Spend time thinking about what your core message is and why anyone should care, what makes you unique?
  • Follow up, follow up, follow up.
  • Marketing & PR requires discipline; it’s an every day thing; be ready when an opportunity arises.
…And these were her heels, with protectors and all!








Are You Selling at the Right Price?
Lisa Hendrickson 

Lisa is a business strategist with a human-centric approach to elevate the human experience.

  • Set the price for the customer segment, not the product.
  • It’s my deepest wish for you all to go deliver that special magic you have.
  • If you increase prices by only 1%, you can see profit improvement by up to 11%.
  • Start with CUSTOMERS, not product!

How To Scale Smart. Getting to the Next Level
Chieh Huang 

Chieh is founder and CEO of @BoxedWholesale and spoke on how he built a B2C business in his garage to a nationally scaled business fulfilling both B2B & B2C.

  • People are our priority.
  • The value equation is shifting. More than price matters now. Convenience and brand matter.
  • As you scale your business, there are scales of people, revenue, systems; are your motivations scaling?
  • Doing good is actually contagious.

…And for the Grand Finale…

Leadership Lessons from Joseph Fox, NYDP

Jospeh is NYPD Chief of Transit Bureau. The Transit Bureau is responsible for the safety and security of 5.6 million passengers who use the New York City subways each day. Quite a responsibllity!

I wondered why Ramon had invited Joseph to talk, what context could he add to this conference?

Well, I was blown away by this man. And I think I speak for all who where there.

Joseph gave the most heartfelt presentation that brought a tear to everyone’s eyes, and made us all reflect, deeply, on how to treat one another and what’s really important.

“Be ever mindful of the purposefulness of the purposeful moments in your purposeful life.” 


The conference was truly inspirational on many levels. I hope you can use some or all of these takeaways in your marketing to make you stand out and be truly effective!


















As always, contact me with any questions and help you may need.

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