I was so happy to attend the first ever Instagram School of Hustle, a day-long conference presented by Instagram and Hedley & Bennett for more than 200+ small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the US!
Attendees learned from experts through a series of panels, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities including “speed hustling” round table discussions similar to speed dating. Moderators and panelists included Instagram COO Marne Levine, DryBar Founder Alli Webb, Chef and Restaurateur Roy Choi, Williams Sonoma President Janet Hayes, Tender Greens CEO and Founder Erik Oberholtzer, The Hundreds Co-Founder Bobby Kim, and so many more!
In addition to the amazing speaker line-up, the event also featured a ROYGBIV mural, a ball pit by Richer-Poorer, canoes, teepees, lunch by Tender Greens, dinner by the Nomad Truck, cocktails by RoadSoda Bar, and s’mores by MallowMallow.
According to Instagram COO, Marne Levine, “Instagram is the place to tell your story, whether you are a creator, a business, or both. From the earliest days, small businesses have been an important part of that community. We’re a little bigger now — we now have a diverse global community of 700 million, but people still come to Instagram to be inspired and discover things they care about — and that includes businesses. Today more than 80% of our community follows a business by choice — that’s more than half a billion people! Everyone here today has a passion for what they do and we want to help take you to the next level so you can stand out—what better way to do that than at the School of Hustle!”
Here are 10 things I learned at the Instagram School of Hustle:
“There’s risk in everything. We were all scared, great businesses are born with people who have the courage to do it.” – All Webb, Founder of DryBar
“You so what excites you to make things work. It’s a lot of long hours, love, and tears. As your business builds, you adapt to it. Head down, go for it. – Ted Vadakan, Co-Founder of Poketo
“In my businesses we let decisions come from true culture and creativity. It’s been challenging at times convincing other people that we may not get rich, but we were going to be part of a revolution. There is risk in believing in the culture over money, but if you do, you create something that can live.” – Roy Choi, Chef & Restauranteur of Kogi BBQ
“To succeed as an entrepreneur… Work hard. Keep an open mind. Write stuff down. And work hard.” – Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, Owner-Chefs of Jon & Vinny’s
“Collaborations are very romantic. It’s two ideas coming together to create a better idea. It’s all about creativity.” – Bobby Kim, Co-Founder of The Hundreds
“If you believe in an idea and so passionately and are willing to dedicate your life to it, you go for it. If you have one ounce of doubt, it’s not the right idea yet.” – Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Founder of Olive & June
“Watching a founder build a business can be the best business school you could ask for.” – Jaclyn Johnson, CEO & Co-Founder of Create + Cultivate
“Before starting a business you need to be able to answer the 3 WHY’s: Why does the world need my product and service? Why is now the right time? Why am I the right person to execute it? If you can answer these questions, you should go for it. And then you need to deliver. It’s a hustle at every level.” – Erik Oberholtzer, Co-Founder and CEO of Tender Greens
“I realized a few years into Hedley & Bennett that it’s important to identify your hustle, the one thing you are uniquely killer at, and then build your team and company around it.” – Ellen Bennett, Founder and CEO Hedley & Bennett
“If you’re going to be an entrepreneur you have to be used to taking risks every day. Some are big risks and some are small risks. It’s constantly scary, and it’s constantly exciting, but if you can walk you can dance if you can talk you can sing.” – Justina Blakeney, Founder of The Jungalow
It was an awesome day of learning from experts and meeting other entrepreneurs! Instagram will be doing more of these educational events for entrepreneurs all around world – so be on the lookout for more details about one happening near you! \
Stay tuned and follow our adventures on Instagram @thelagirl!
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