On Wednesday something amazing happened at Levo. In partnership with Microsoft, Levo's CEO Caroline Ghosn and entrepreneur, actress, philanthropist Nicole Richie held a livestream workshop (you can watch it above) in which they coached, inspired and gave feedback to four very diverse, but wonderful female entrepreneurs who are trying to take their business ideas to the next level. "Just remember ideas are ideas and people come up with them all the time. As long as you believe in what you're saying then other people will believe it too. No matter what you say, it's gonna ring true," said Richie.
Feedback is one of the most important parts of launching a company or even just making an elevator pitch. It provides you with a different set of eyes and expertise that can really help guide you. And Ghosn and Richie did just that for these four women.
The four entrepreneurs all presented ideas using Microsoft tools such as PowerPoint, Word and OneNote and though their projects could not be more different, you could see their passion clearly. You could also see how much they appreciated the great feedback Richie and Ghosn provided.
They kicked things off with TPMOCS, an e-commerce brand that specializes in the sale of authentic Native American made children's moccasins. With a commitment to social impact, TPMOCS provides employment opportunities to Native American artisans and uses a portion of the profits to purchase necessities for underprivileged children living on rural reservations. Ghosn and Richie talked with the two co-founders about expanding their brand into apparel and blankets while staying true to their vision. Richie suggested collaborating with others. "No.1 it's so fun from a creative standpoint and it only helps you get further," she said.
The next project was a book we could have used after college. Titled, "So You Think You're Ready To Graduate: Life Lessons College Failed To Teach You" author Bailey has written the handbook she wishes someone gave her when she got her diploma. Richie and Ghosn suggested finding an agent with reach that will help her get published. They also agreed this book was very much needed. "When looking for an agent, it's important for that agent to have reach and be part of a reputable company but I wouldn't exclude somebody who is young who may not have the strong reach that cares about your book. Think of somebody who is going to think of new and interesting ways to get your book out there," said Richie. "You want someone who is going to figure out how to tell your narrative in the best way and outside the box." Ghosn also noted that this book could appeal to two audiences: new grads and parents. She also suggested putting content out there now so people are familiar with her before her book comes out which will encourage a more receptive audience.
The next entrepreneur or entrepreneurs rather were the women behind Comida Caliente, a hilarious reality style cooking show featuring Dene and her daughters, Danielle, Stefani & Dianna. They are currently trying to take the cooking show to the next level and do a live version. This means finding a budget, figuring out a better way to find sponsors, and location for filming. Richie suggested tightening the trailer, getting more viewers on their current platform, and though this group would like to move to a network, she suggested possibly staying on the internet as their is so much more creative freedom.
We can all relate to this final entrepreneur. Cadie took heartbreak and instead of turning to whisky like Richie did or ice cream like Ghosn, she took her emotions and created a poetry collection called "Love Poems For Boys I Hate." The author’s goal was to write accessible feminist poetry and many of her pieces have been published in literary magazines. Originally written as part of her MFA thesis, she is looking for a way for this project to find a wider audience than the small world of literary poetry. Richie and Ghosn suggested to expand her brand she could start a podcast where she read her poetry or just have a friend film her reading her poems that could be shared on a social media channel. This is a great route especially if you aren't exactly comfortable with being the face of your brand. Ghosn also suggested being focused on one topic to focus on for social media. "What you need to do is choose one access that really speaks to why people love your poetry and then be really consistent about that."
All of the entrepreneurs walked away from this workshop with actionable advice they can start executing on as soon as possible. "Just keep working and keep collaborating. It's OK to fail, it's OK to try things in 15 different ways. It's OK to change your plan," said Ghosn. "Just keep doing you and working on yourself. Just dive so deep into you and no matter what field of work you're in finding other areas to further express who you are," added Richie. Watch the Facebook Livestream here and keep an eye out for more articles on Richie and Ghosn's advice from this workshop over the next few months at Levo.com.