business growth

Smart Hustle Growth Conference: What You Missed

The Smart Hustle Growth Conference took place on October 25th in Times Square NYC. It was a full day of networking, inspirational talks, and business learning. Some attendees were meeting each other for the first time while others embraced with a long-overdue hug. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve earned seniority, the Growth Conference is a super welcoming community. {Writer’s note: I attended the event as a correspondent and did my best to watch from the sidelines, but it was impossible not to meet people due to everyone’s interest in learning about those around them. This is the perfect place to make new connections, even if you’re on the shy side!}

We got to hear from 12 different speakers, all experts in their field (and incredibly easy to listen to) and there was also time for open networking and getting to know those around you. The day kicked-off with Joe Apfelbaum, who rapped, danced, and fast-talked his way into our hearts. Joe provided priceless tips on how to better utilize LinkedIn for business growth and connection. He is the CEO of Ajax Union, A B2B Digital Marketing Agency, and is also a LinkedIn trainer. (You can check out his rap skills here.)

Martin Jones, a leading social media, content, and digital marketing strategist, and Jess Todtfeld, speaker, host, and trainer, took us through a conversation about social media and content. Social media is a complicated conversation — with multiple channels and ways to post, which now includes stories and live video, business owners are constantly trying to get a handle on how it can help them connect with their prospects and clients. Martin and Jess answered tons of audience questions, all real-life examples that benefited every one listening. 

Tony Chatman and Ivy Slater had their turn next, and dove into communications tactics and the value of hiring the right people. Hiring is no easy feat, but it’s something all business owners need to take seriously. The wrong hire can result in time wasted and money lost, so this conversation was an important one for all listening. Tony is an author, leadership consultant, speaker and Ivy is also an author and speaker but is also a business coach, specializing in women’s success.

Mark Levy is a marketing strategist and author of five books, and he talked to the audience about branding your business. His talk was infused with real-life stories and the perfect amount of natural humor. The stories felt like a behind-the-scenes look into how some well-known brands came to be (cough, cough Simon Sinek!), and the roadblocks they faced along the way. 

Junk removal is a messy business, but profitable if done right. Franchising is a great way to expand a business, and that’s what Josh Cohen, founder of Junk Luggers, is doing right now. He found a profitable business and is expanding it for others can benefit from the strong foundation he created. He started his business in college and it’s now a nationwide franchise. Josh was captivating and his real-life story of starting from nothing was not only inspirational but also relatable. 

Founder and CEO Danny Mizrahi talked to us about how his business, Contango IT, differentiates themselves in the IT industry. Contango IT is an information technology company that prides itself on “keeping costs down, building your business up.” 

Deepti Sharma and Rachel Michaelov spoke right after lunch, and their passion was hard to ignore.  Deepti is the CEO and Founder of FoodtoEat, a community-minded catering concierge service. She started FoodtoEat in 2011 in an effort to connect immigrants, women, and minority-owned food vendors to opportunities for growth — helping them strengthen their own business skills. FoodtoEat helps businesses feed employees great food and build stronger & more diverse work cultures. Rachel is the Founder & CEO of Empire Tax Professionals. They are hitting and exceeding their revenue goals each year, which Rachel detailed during her talk. Both women are mothers and passionate entrepreneurs and spoke from the heart on hard-hitting but important topics. 

Wrapping up the day was John Jantsch, a small business marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, and The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. John took us through a presentation about the power of being resilient, helping others, allowing things to happen rather than forcing them to, and other deep topics, even touching on love. It was really the perfect way to end such a powerful day, since his topics went beyond just day-to-day business topics but touched on the philosophical ideas that help inspire us personally as well. 

It was a full day of inspiration, learning, and networking. It would be hard to leave the event in anything but a good mood. If you missed this year’s event, join us in Fall 2020 for the next one. Sign up here to stay in the loop about events and get tips from the Smart Hustle team.