I had such a great time last week at the Inc. Iconic event. Not only are these events great for networking, it’s great to learn from entrepreneurs who have paved the path and what they’ve done for success. Here are some individual highlights from the day. Interestingly, the theme that ran through all of them was authenticity is the key to success.

Bert Jacobs, Life is Good


Bert was AMAZING!!! What a genuinely great guy. I actually went out of my way to meet him after the event because he was just so cool! Bert and his brother worked their butts off to create Life is Good. They printed T-shirts and sold them in the streets. They failed many times until they developed Jake and Life is Good. It’s a great story. Here are my takeaways from Bert:

Takers eat well givers sleep well. (LOVE this quote)

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

Use your Superpowers… Compassion, Authenticity Creativity, Optimism 

Practice optimism 

I always teach and preach mindset. I love his philosophy of, Practice Optimism.

Kevin O’Leary Shark Tank


Next up was Kevin O’Leary. He really is the guy he is on Shark Tank. For him it is all about the bottom line.

Here were his takeaways:

  • If you have either a 90 second pitch or 60 second pitch you are more likely to get funding.
  • A team is better than one person
  • Brand = story + experience
  • Deliver your brand at every touch point

Seth Goldman, Honest Tea


This was a great presentation. Seth, and his partner, a Harvard Professor, entered the tea space, one of the toughest to break into, and… are crushing it!

Tips from Seth:

  • Authenticity can’t be faked
  • Honest Tea was successful using guerrilla marketing. “There is no more powerful a connection than someone handing someone else a product.”
  • 95% of people are honest (They run a “test” where you can take a tea but have to leave money. Most people paid for their tea)
  • Get to market first, then improve. (AKA – JUST DO IT!)
  • Refuse to let failure be an option!

Eric Ryan, Method


Eric is kind of a quirky guy at first but I just fell in love with him. Here’s a 20 something guy who has this idea for chemical free cleaners. He doesn’t quite fit the mold you would expect.

When he met with the Target Buyer they said, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell” it would land in stores. They got it in 90 stores pretty quickly. It sold so well that Target bought their line. They now do $100 million in Target annually. WOW!!!


Here are Eric’s takeaways.

  • “Steal” ideas and make them better (improve on something that’s already being done)
  • Start with culture
  • All company meeting every morning at 9am. They call it a huddle
  • Hire people who feel the brand. Consumers are your best advocates.

One of my favorite things Eric talked about what a cease and desist letter they receive from P&G saying Clorox uses a daisy symbol so they could not. It was a David vs. Goliath moment but they took to video and got their raving fans support. Guess who is still using the daisy?

Bob Parsons, Founder of Go Daddy


The only way to describe Bob is a hardworking, old school guy. He’s a retired Marine and you can tell he’d give you the shirt off his back and he’d also do whatever it takes to make his business work. He is so successful that he and his wife donate $1 million every 10 days to charity. Bob was pretty cut and dry in his takeaways,

  • You need to work hard
  • You need to not be afraid to take chances 
  • Honor your word. If you say your going to do something, do it the best you can
  • Do what you love


Kevin Plank, Under Armour

underIt’s a big deal to be an entrepreneur 

I never believed it couldn’t happen

Winning is a culture

Don’t hate or root against your competition but don’t root for them

Gotta play the long game

Business is a story. Everything you do is a chapter. Chapter 1 has to go to chapter 2… Can’t jump to Chapter 4. If you jump to the end, you ruin the story 

Entrepreneurship is a culture

Build a great product. Tell a great story. Build a great team

Drive entrepreneurship. Stop at a lemonade stand. Inspire them. You are fueling entrepreneurship!

Marcus Lemonis, The Profit


  • You have to be transparent 
  • Be raw and vulnerable. That is the secret to business. It help you find commonality.
  • Businesses succeeds by building relationships
  • Everybody has a purpose
  • Your first loss is your biggest

These amazing entrepreneurs gave us some great takeaways! Make sure you put a few conferences on your list for next year. I speak at many of them and would love to share with you when I do. You can join our community at to learn more.

To Your PR Success