Friday, June 30, 2006

Lunch with Jill from STARTING OVER

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE the daytime TV show "Starting Over." If you are not familiar with the one reality TV show that is actually good and HELPS women change their lives, then let me give you the two cent tour. Starting Over is a show that helps women overcome obstacles in their lives. Six women move into a house together, agree to have their lives recorded and in exchange get to work with two of THE great life coaches, Rhonda Britten and Iyanla VanZant. (And Dr. Stan too!)

One day I was watching the show and one of the women (Christina) said "I need to sell this artwork that I made. That's my assignment. But I have NO IDEA HOW to market myself. I have no idea what to say to people who come up to me." Well, I nearly JUMPED OUT of my skin. "I can help! I can help you pitch yourself, Christina!!" I shouted to the TV, but of course the TV did not answser back. I did some searches online and found some of the women who had been in the house. I did not easily find Christina, but I did, however, find my favorite S.O. roommate of all time, Jill. I loved Jill from Moment One, because she was BOLD, FUNNY and she had an ATTITUDE.

I decided to email her and just let her know how much I really appreciated everything she was willing to share on national TV. There were two episodes in particular that really stuck with me. One was where she was talking about the process of finding her father and the other is a now famous conversation/revelation/moment of truth that she had with a CUPCAKE. Oh, yes, could I ever relate to that!! My 'cupcake' is actually Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, but enough about me!

Jill and I met at an incredible Caribbean restaurant here in the city called Negril. 362 W 23RD. Really excellent food and a nice, friendly staff. I had this frozen Mango drink that was HEAVEN and a rice/tofo/veggie sweet potato mash. I won't give away all of the details of our conversation, but suffice it to say that Jill is just as you would hope. FUNNY, down to earth, warm, smart, just an all around blast! And someday she might move to NYC, which I'm very excited about!

Pursue The Passion

I had fun yesterday as Brett and Tamir from Pursue The Passion stopped to interview me. I told them about the up and down topsy-turvey life that is being an entrepreneur. Pursue the Passion is a website and a concept that Brett came up with to help his fellow college students see the different paths in life that are available to them. In other words, they don't just need to take a job and toil away in Corporate America. I like this idea. When I graduated from college, there was no internet and it was not easy to find out what was out there in terms of careers and 'life paths' if you will. You can check out their website at:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Overt Sales Pitch--sometimes it's actually FUN

There is a man in his 70s who wears a perfectly tailored pin-striped suit. He sits on a tiny stool as he peels carrots, and an assortment of other vegetables into a large plastic tub. His performance takes place in Union Square Park. A crowd surrounds him as he barks the wonders of what he is selling---a potato peeler. But this is no ordinary peeler as you will soon find out!! This one never rusts, it is sturdy and shiny. It will always be there when you need it.

The crowd is now at least 40 people. They are enraptured with this old man and his magical tool. Do any of these people actually peel their own vegetables? Hell, do they even COOK? As I look around the edges of the park, I can see no less than 7 restaraunts, cafes, coffee shops or gourmet food shops. Not to mention a Whole Foods that takes up half of the land mass of Manhattan.

Do any of these people even need a new potato peeler? Don't they have one in the silverware drawer that is just fine? Then, I realize it's not the peeler they are buying. It's the old man AND HIS STORY. Here are some photos of him on flickr:

The Old Man talks with great POWER and enthusiam for what he is selling. I can't remember all of the details, but I think he said he had to go off to some foreign land to have this particular tool made. Very exotic. That makes the peeler more remarkable too. My favorite part is when he has the person in the front row who is closest to him, TRY the peeler out for themselves. Well, one pull and you are hooked! He asks, "Well, now my dear, is that NOT the best, easiest and fastest peeler you've ever used." And everyone who tries it nods their heads, "Yes, it is!"

And now for the pitch. "Why not buy one for all of your friends? It's $5.00 for one peeler or FIVE peelers for $20. dollars." Now, when I got on the train this morning, I never thoughts I'd drop $5.00 on a peeler, but now somehow I'm pulling a $20.00 out of my wallet. I've seen the old man and his peeler and I like his pitch. As I'm leaving two gorgeous 20-something girls quickly make their way through the crowd. Are they late for brunch with more pretty people at Coffee Shop. Nope. The girls run up to the man as if they are stalking Bono before a show at The Garden. "We love you!" Girl number one says as she touches The Old Man on the shoulder. Girl number two chimes in, "Yea, we love listening to you!" He looks up, very briefly but does not stop peeling, "Yes, girls, I love you too." And without missing a beat, "Now, who will step up and take a pull on this great peeler?" They wait in line. Twenty dollar bill firmly in hand. For a chance to be a part of his story.

Friday, June 23, 2006

PitchGirl in the City

Hello, my name is Laura and my friends call me Pitch Girl. Well, okay they don't yet, but they COULD call me that. Yes, they will. I'll insisit on it.