Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Recap of the NY XPO for Business

One of the things I admire about multi-millionaires like Donny Deutsch, the advertising tycoon turned TV personality, is that they may have pot loads of money in the bank (he sold his advertising company for close to $300 million bucks) but yet they still go to work every day. As host of The Big Idea on CNBC, Donny helps others make millions too. It's "must see TV" for budding Mogulettes.

Donny was keynote speaker at the NY XPO for Business luncheon at the Jacob Javits Center this week and he stood in front of a dining room the size of a football field to give the audience a few golden nuggets of wisdom in his own charming, irreverent way.

One of the first things he said was make failure your friend, which I loved to hear because I have such fear of not doing things perfectly with my business. The biggest growth, he added, comes when we fail - we grow from the stupid things we do - it's a mathematical certainty. If you're afraid to fail you can't be great. You have to know that your product or service may bomb...but if it does, so what? He likened it to dating - if you get shot down once you go on to the next. (This month's Entrepreneur Magazine has two stories on finding success after failure: click here for more)

More of Donny's tips:
Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are. Many entrepreneurs hire people that maybe have 5% of their own qualities. He suggests finding partners and giving them a portion of your business - as long as you keep 51% of it. Small business owners usually hang on tight to their companies - we need to let go!

About success he says do what you love. If you're passionate about what you do then it's not work. If you're not passionate about your work, then find something else!

Do it differently - if your product or service isn't unique, you can't win.

Put your money where your mouth is - show customers that you believe in yourself. People love underdogs.

Show your employees you care for them, for their success. If you root for them they'll root for you!

And finally, hate is good. You need an enemy. When you pitch to a client, tell them how you hate their competitors!

When he finished his speech I made a b-line to the front of the room to get a chance to introduce myself. Dressed in blue jeans and a sweater, Donny looked like the average (but really cute!) guy next door as he graciously listened to a long line of fans wanting to shake his hand. I literally had about 15 seconds to tell him who I was and what I did in a compelling way, and I think I did an o-k good job but there's definitely room for improvement. That's when I wished I had rehearsed Laura Allen's 15secondpitch a little more.

Laura was also at the conference (check out her batch of pictures here) giving a talk on how you can use her pitching methodology not only to introduce yourself but also when you develop your web copy. The same principles apply there as well: don't give them a laundry list - be short and to the point!

On my way out I bumped into an old colleague from my days at CNNfn, Pat Kiernan. He was making a special appearance for NY1, our local cable all-news station, where he is a familiar face every morning, delivering the morning news in his signature deadpan way. It was a thrill to see him and catch up on what some of our co-workers are doing since CNN's financial network shut down 3 years ago. (That's me next to Pat, and behind us, no - you're not seeing double - it's his life sized replica!)


Anonymous said...

Hey Carmina! I watch Donny religiously too! Sounds like the Xpo was a success. I agree that it's nice to see a multi-millionaire still going to work every day, even though I think many of them are just built that way (they don't stop!) The trend I see happening is that TV has morphed into a self-promotion gig, and it's where all the big money lies for go-getters. I mean, the really smart people noticed how Oprah became the richest woman in the world, how Martha parlayed good housekeeping into an empire, and how Judge Judy transformed courtroom drama into millions, and now everyone is trying to jump onto the bandwagon. I mean, the internet is great for research and networking, talk radio is for airheads and magazines have some great articles and analysis, but the writing is on the wall: people are reading less and less, and the quick sound-bite is worth a million books (not to mention that global warming will make the printed page an environmental hazard). It's not enough to be a good journalist any more in this (Thomas Friedman's) Flat World; the name of the game is being successful doing one thing and then going on TV and parlaying that into even more money (witness Trump). Part of the attraction is creating multiple streams of income (Beyonce and Diddy going into fashion, Kimora Lee and her Baby Phat, and now Life on the Fab Lane; Elizabeth Taylor, J Lo and Usher [and everyone else] into perfume). The dregs of the system are the late night infomercials, but even they must be doing one heck of a job because it's not cheap to buy air time, even at those hours (witness the proliferation of companies like Anthony Robbins, Real Estate get-rich-schemes and the notorious Girls Gone Wild videos and all the new shopping channels). The bright stars are those, like Donny, that have found a really interesting and upbeat topic, like success stories of innovative ideas, that appeal to a mass audience, and have enough personal celebrity to convince the networks or cable stations to put them on the air. Or, like Bill Maher or Jon Stewart, who can make social critiquing an (enjoyable, insightful and funny)art form. Since manufacturing (actually making a product)has become so hard to do (start-up costs, labor costs, the China factor, competitive pressures), service industries have become the way to go for many of us. Now it's just a matter of choosing what we are good at and how far we want to take it (stay small and local, or go big and national). The economic trend of concentrated wealth can be explained this way: not only does money beget money; celebrity begets media attention, which begets more public interest, which begets even more money for the very few who have it. I hope to see you or one of your Mogulettes on the air soon!
Monica Perez Nevarez
Business Puerto Rico Magazine

Veronica said...

Congrats on the website!! I learn so much everytime I tune in for my daily dose of knowledge. Thanks for all the GREAT work you do on behalf of the female goddess community.
Keep plugging way - you inspire me...



Carmina Pérez said...

Thanks ladies for your supportive comments!

century21 said...

Oh my gosh! I missed him! I watch his show everyday also. My biggest problem is trying to decide what business I want to be in: one that will bring in money, or one that is creative.

Love your site! Keep up the good work!

Carmina Pérez said...

Why not one that's creative AND brings in money!

John Follis said...

Hey Carmina,

If Laurel Touby is your role model (I used to attend her parties) Donny is one of mine. I've met him a couple times, we share mutual ad biz buddies, and our respective ad agencies competed for many of the same accounts in the early 90's.

Back then he had a very ego centric, over-the-top persona (his nickname was "Madonny") and his personal life was the subject of much gossip, but he's a very street smart, biz savvy dude. And I love his irreverence.

If you haven't already, check out his book. I think you'll dig it.