Recently I had the privilege of sharing my entrepreneurial story, lessons, and tips with the lovely lady leaders of Breve TV.  It occurred to me after I was on the show that this is exactly what we need more of in the world. Yes we do need more female entrepreneurs, but, in order to achieve that goal, we need more of the ones that have experienced the entrepreneurial roller coaster to share our stories.  Start today by sharing your story with your family, friends, and the people around you.  Stand up, lean in, be counted, and inspire the next generation of lady leaders to stand proudly next to you carrying the torch.  
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Hall H is the center of the universe at San Diego Comic Con.  I know, you are thinking it would be the trade show floor.  You’d be dead wrong.  Hall H is the 6500 capacity main stage where all of the important movie and television show panels are featured.  This year it is where Dr. Who’s 50th Anniversary was celebrated, where Breaking Bad shared the highlights of their last season, and where I was able to witness the beauty of the stars of Supernatural first hand.  As a Comic Con “newbie”, I had no idea the preparation that goes into just making it into Hall H to see these in demand panels.  I thought we would line up a few hours in advance and get decent seats.  Oh silly Krista!  The typical line up for Hall H is 10-12 hours just to make it inside.  However, when you are talking about the final Breaking Bad panel and Dr. Who’s 50th anniversary, people lined up a solid 24 hours in advance.  Do the math on that for a moment to let it sink in.  Yes, people lined up on Day 3 at noon for a panel that wouldn’t happen until noon the next day.  I’m serious here.  Ever committed to getting the full Comic Con experience during our first visit, Dwayne and I decided we would join the line around 10PM on Saturday night armed with snacks, blankets, and reading material.  The first couple of hours on the cold sidewalk were a fun celebration of connecting with our newly made friends in line, chatting about what show we loved the most, and sharing highlights from the weekend.  Then midnight hits.  The San Diego hoodie we purchased last minute from the Marriott gift shop isn’t an arctic proof jacket and the blankets that seemed excessive are now barely cutting it.  The sidewalks in San Diego after midnight go from tolerable to damn frigid and miserable.  I would have robbed someone for a hot coffee, but the darkened, now closed Starbucks taunts me.  It says “You damn fool!  What were you thinking?!” and I start to believe it.  

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Our enthusiastic teenaged friends that we are with- yes high school ladies Brooke and Camille- are staying strong by snuggling under their blankets and reminding all of us that we will make it inside the hallowed walls of the great Hall H.  Brooke and Camille share that geeks are now considered cool in high school.  Even jocks want to be geeks because it’s so cool.  Oh how that’s changed from 1998 when I was in high school.  By 5AM I have accepted that I’ve gone too far to back out of my commitment to spend the night on the sidewalk.  I am just beginning to get comfortable with my situation when security decides this is the perfect moment to condense the line.  So begins a 4 hour process that won’t stop until we are actually inside the hall.  We shuffle forward a few feet at a time as they condense a line that has started just outside the doors of the San Diego convention center and out and around to Symphony Island.  Thousands of crazed fans just camping out on a sidewalk.  This eliminates any doubt that I had about myself not being crazy.  Just this one 12 hour period is indisputable proof that I am a total nut.  By 5:30AM the line outside the closed Starbucks looks like the line up for Hall H itself.  Seriously, apparently there was some kind of celebrity panel going on once they opened and I believe the stars were hot lattes and cappuccinos.  The grass stinks.  It is a combination of sweat and wet grass from the early morning dew.  The makeup I’ve had on all night is starting to look goth, with mascara around my cheeks.  By 9:30AM we are finally inside.  It’s been a long journey, but sitting upright and pumped full of caffeine, I am prepared for the Supernatural panel.  The enthusiasm is back.  And with that…the lights shine bright and the cast of Supernatural comes out to share new episodes and secrets about my favorite show.  Worth every second.  Don’t tell anyone, but I’d do it all again without hesitation.  

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Today was all about our girls.  Mia, our outgoing four year old, decided that anyone in a costume was there for her to take photos with.  From Batman to Wonder Woman to characters that continue to confuse me, Mia was on a tear to get anyone and everyone to take a photograph with her. The beauty of children is that they believe the magic.  It’s not lost on them.  They don’t doubt that Spiderman can climb walls or that Wonder Woman can fly.  For them, these costumed superheroes are as real as mommy and daddy.  San Diego Comic Con was the coolest place on Earth because this was their opportunity to engage with the heroes they only see on the television screen or in the books we read to them.  For parents, San Diego Comic Con is cool because children 12 and under are free with a paying adult, so it makes the entire weekend a fun, affordable adventure where you can get in touch with your inner child and share some incredible memories with your family.    

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San Diego Comic Con has really figured out how to maximize the entire experience for families and I was really impressed with how engaged the exhibitors were with the kids in attendance.  At the Random House exhibit, they were giving away free children’s superhero books and one of the more adult, science fiction publishers had temporary tattoos for children and adults.  Over at Cartoon Network, they were taking photos in the winter castle of Adventure Time and every where you went you could collect a branded button to add to your name tag.  Even the exhibits that could have been too scary for your children were a lot of fun for the girls.  The Walking Dead video game had a zombie escape car that you could have a photo taken in and the actors playing characters and zombies were so friendly, the girls were taken with the cool make up.  Over at the Cinema Makeup school, they were demonstrating how the Joker and an evil queen get made up.  Our girls thought the application of the prosthesis was incredible and they just could not get enough.  I don’t think I would bring young children for the full four days because, as adults we barely made the entire adventure, but our girls thought their day at San Diego Comic Con was an amazing experience and our entire family will be back next year!  

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For my first full day at San Diego Comic Con I had the privilege of combining work and pleasure, but for the purposes of this blog I am going to focus on the pleasure.  In early afternoon I followed my husband up to the Sails area, where all of the autograph sessions were going on.  The line for legendary author Chuck Palahniuk was completely full, but for some of the older living legends, it was clear that their hey day had come and passed.  My husband is a huge fan of the Highlander television series, so we had to grab a photo with Adrian Paul.  While we were in line I couldn’t help but notice that the line next to us for Battlestar Galactica star Richard Hatch was empty.  Never the less, he was all smiles and spending quality time with each and every fan.  After a few minutes in line two elder ladies, easily in their 70’s or 80’s joined our line for Adrian Paul.  Richard Hatch did not miss a beat with his gentlemanly actions, jumping up from his table and grabbing a chair for the ladies, so they wouldn’t have to stand in line.  Half the line didn’t even know who this guy was, but for those of us who recall the great Battlestar Galactica days, we were beyond impressed.  No ego, no pompous jerk, just a good to the core, humble actor who wasn’t going to sit by while elderly fans withered in the heat.  Adrian Paul was absolutely lovely and he is a tremendous champion for children’s charities, so meeting him was a great experience all its’ own.  My faith in actors has been restored.  You two are the gentlemen that the next generation of actors should be aspiring to be like.  


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The funniest part of the day was my My Little Pony t shirt that I purchased the day before.  It has a large pony that I have recently identified as “Rainbow Dash” and, in bold letters, “COME AT ME BRO”.  Honestly I bought it because I knew my oldest daughter, Bella, would love to see mommy supporting her favorite TV show and when I put it on this morning it did just that.  Bella was beyond thrilled to see mommy sporting her favorite pony on her shirt and I felt like I was part of the fan club at SDCC.  However, I am a bit of a workaholic and don’t watch much My Little Pony with her, so I don’t know the details of the show or the culture surrounding it.  Throughout the day I had men and boys of all ages coming up to fist bump and high five me.  I confess: I thought I was just that popular.  Riiiiiight.  My husband waited until later in the evening to explain the culture of “Bronies”, which is what the “Bro” meant, and that these are boys and men very familiar with the My Little Pony shows that support My Little Pony fans.  Yup, I’m not as cool as I think I am.  


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I don’t watch a lot of television, but I’ve seen the occasional episode of Wilfred and I like it, but I’m not a raving fan.  The panel with the cast won me over.  Elijah Wood exceeded my every expectation with his boyish giggle and candor about Hollywood.  If every television cast in Hollywood could be that connected and humble, the world would be a better place.  Oh, and the sneak peak we got at the first episode airing in August was worth watching, so make sure you set your PVR!  

Torchwood.  I believe all of humanity falls into two categories: those who have seen Torchwood and fell madly, rabidly in love with every second and those who have not seen it.  John Barrowman was the next panel and I kid you not- he is the most talented human I’ve ever seen with these two eyes.  Sorry Celine Dion- he can out sing you.  Sorry Adam Levine- he can out perform you.  Sorry Carrot Top- he can out comedy you.  The guy is the entire fabulous gay package and you just could not ask for more, but he keeps coming.  He can switch from a Scottish accent to an English accent to a perfect American accent in a nanosecond.  Just when you are falling madly in love with the man and want to have his babies, he trots out the most brilliant writing partner who is just as witty and humble as could be- his sister.  Both proceed to tell stories that leave you wanting an invitation to their family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  And just when you’re wishing you and your siblings could be this funny, he brings out hands down the sexiest blonde man on planet Earth (so hot my own husband said, “that’s one good looking guy”) and it’s his husband, Scott.  Scott didn’t need to say a word because we were already riveted.  I just wanted to sit there and drool over him some more.  Oh John, when shall we meet again?

My first full day was fantastic!  Yes, there were a metric ton of people, the lines were insane, and I got a week’s worth of cardio into one day of walking, but there was so much good that I’ve already decided that I will be coming back year after year.  San Diego Comic Con 2013 you have exceeded my every expectation!  


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I liked it- a lot.  Proof I need to follow my own advice and be open to the adventures life presents.  It is awesome, but the people are even more awesome.  From attendees to volunteers to exhibitors, every where I smiled, I got a smile right back.  Even G4TV star Chris Gore was beyond friendly when we almost bumped right into him.  I met random strangers in line that became instant friends, each passionate and enthusiastic about their favorite show or character.

Yes, movies and television certainly have brought the big fancy booths, but comic books were well represented and, surprisingly, there were many authors.  I purchased some lovely children’s books for my girls and was able to have the author sign them.  The creative talent in America is unparalleled.  Going from booth to booth it was hard to really comprehend the big picture, but as I looked back at the end of the preview evening, I realized just how many amazingly talented creative geniuses we had under one roof sharing their love of the arts with the rest of the world.  I believe most Americans don’t appreciate the arts the way they should and communing with these talented individuals was a gift for my spirit.  


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There is something for everyone.  If you are a Walking Dead fan they had two huge interactive displays where you could feel like you were part of the show.  If you prefer the classics, Star Wars easily had almost an entire aisle of everything from a Chewbacca plush robe to printed t shirts.  My husband preferred to carry my bags and shop for comics, so we each had plenty to keep us busy.  

Size matters and San Diego Comic Con delivers on all levels.  It is MASSIVE with aisles from 100 to 5600.  The sheer size of the convention floor is impressive, but the size of the statues and convention booths is impressive, with no expense spared.  Televisions are everywhere, Darth Vader is 3 feet tall (and for $50 he can come home with you), and the costumes are what you would expect from a Hollywood costume director.  


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The food is expensive, the lines are long, and you can’t possibly see everything you would want to see, but my day one San Diego Comic Con adventure was well worth the effort.  Check back with me tomorrow night to hear how my first full day goes!  


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And all through the city not a creature was stirring.  I am a noob popping my San Diego Comic Con cherry for the very first time starting tomorrow.  Usually you would be far more likely to find me at a PR News conference or an entrepreneur university learning how to perfect my day job, but it was one of my husband’s bucket list goals to attend a San Diego Comic Con and I am lucky enough to have found myself combining business and pleasure with over 130,000 of my closest friends.  Allow me to confess a few things I am really looking forward to:

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*Freeing my girl geek shirt to be seen in public.  Previously only seen as PJ’s or gym wear, this lovely Wonder Woman shirt is going to be on full display for all to see.  Now, if any of the seasoned con experts dare to ask me about Wonder Woman, will I be ready?  Why of course!  I will be armed with my iPhone and Wikipedia for any and all geek expert level answers on a moments notice.  

*The elaborate Cos Play attendees.  Secretly I wish I had the girly balls to paint myself and invest the time and energy that goes into these elaborate costumes, but just dragging out that dusty Wonder Woman shirt was a big deal in my bubble of a world, so getting my Cos Play on will have to wait until next year.

*The Supernatural panel in Hall H.  Jared Padalecki is my second celebrity crush (after James Taylor and yes, I do realize how odd that is given my age) and I dare say I may swoon like a tween at a Beiber concert during this panel on Sunday.  I don’t care how early I have to be camping out to get decent seats on Sunday, but I will be there.  



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*Immersing myself into my husband’s world of comics, video games, and toy collecting.  Since we work together every day he spends a lot of time in my world of the things I love, so this is the first time I’ve committed more than just an afternoon to walk around a convention.  I am diving head first to find my inner geek and discover what part of San Diego Comic Con 2013 speaks to me.  

I’m really looking forward to this adventure and I’ll be sure to share it with you, so make sure you check back to see how I find my inner geek.  Cheers to an amazing San Diego Comic Con 2013!  


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I moved into the Ogden on Wednesday, January 23rd at the encouragement of an entrepreneur I admired, the late Jody Sherman.  Less than a week later, Jody would be dead and the Downtown Project tour guide I was counting on to introduce me to the community was no longer.  I don’t know that I chose to move to downtown any more than it chose me.  It was one of those serendipitous moments where I was looking for the perfect, inspiring place to fuel my entrepreneurial adventures and Jody shared why he loved being a part of the community.  In those first weeks it was pretty lonely.  My business isn’t a Downtown Project funded project, so I didn’t know anyone and, having last lived in Las Vegas over six years ago, I was a bit leery about the safety of downtown.  In the first month I wouldn’t walk anywhere that I couldn’t see from my balcony.  The Triple George and 3rd Street were scary places that involved venturing outside of the Fremont East strip that I could easily navigate.  

Recently I’ve read some articles about how the Downtown Project can be insular and exclusive, leaving entrepreneurs that are not funded by the project feeling left out from the community.  Some even dared to post these articles with the title “Hero” to boldly share what would not be a very popular opinion.  During those first few weeks alone in my new condo, I would tend to agree that the community was scary, daunting, and imposing at best.  

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The life of an entrepreneur is a constant roller coaster of change, of dramatic highs and lows.  I’ve heard it mentioned that companies outside of the project are upset that they aren’t included in the Downtown Project’s scavenger hunt or haven’t collected a check because they don’t wear skinny jeans.  I agree!  Frankly, I expect the Downtown Project companies to be utterly furious at the prospect that they will not be receiving an invitation to my company Christmas party and if squeezing my ample ass into a pair of skinny jeans would inspire the Vegas Tech Fund to write me a check, well, I’d be right there with you.  As for the comment that these companies are not working on life changing tech and that they should consider being more inclusive of the less cleaned up areas, this sounds like sour grapes to me.  Listen, the Vegas Tech Fund has heard well over 1000 pitches and only invested in 25.  At that rate, the other 975 can go create their own community called “Delivering Unhappiness” and have scavenger hunts to remiss about their lost opportunities, how the big bad billionaire did them wrong, and how the rest of us are members of a secret society hell bent on designing useless tech that won’t change the world.  I’d address the magical, mystical email list we enjoy access to, but if wanting to buy my used hot pink sofas or eat my leftovers is tremendously important to you, please email me and you’ll be top of my list the next time I make too many fajitas or want to upgrade my furniture.  

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Have you met Tiger Todd?  Tiger is the founder of Hero School, tremendously engaged in the downtown community, and a single minded homeless warrior.  As a fit, 50 something grey haired gentleman, I have yet to see Tiger sporting skinny jeans or focusing on the cleaned up section of downtown.  If anything, Tiger is entirely focused on the unclean areas of downtown and using his resources to make the lives of the homeless better.  Not to mention, Tiger hasn’t taken a penny from the Downtown Project and yet, he is a frequent attendee at the Downtown Speaker series and benefits tremendously from the downtown community.  Tiger doesn’t have to aspire to be more than he is.  He is better.  He is amazing.  He is a hero.  

How about big scary Kim Schaefer?  As the fearless leader of the Downtown Project community, clearly she should be around 23, fresh out of Stanford, and wearing skinny jeans.  Instead, Kim is in her late 30’s, a long time Las Vegas resident, and looks like a friendly PTA president.  Always smiling, usually found at the Gold Spike, and easily available for meetings to discuss synergy and partnerships, Kim is hardly the sorority mother some of these articles would have you believe.    


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And these Downtown Project funded companies?  When I moved into the community, I thought they must be living the life.  I assumed- entirely incorrectly- that they were living rent free at the Ogden, that Tony Hsieh was meeting with them daily to make all of their entrepreneurial dreams come true, and that they must be pocketing fat salaries.  The truth couldn’t be further from my ridiculous assumptions.  Downtown Project companies raise money just like any other entrepreneur seeking capital.  They pay rent just like the rest of us, Tony isn’t lingering by the phone waiting for them to call with their wish list like Santa at Christmas, and they struggle with cash flow just like the rest of us.  Life is not all unicorns and rainbows for these entrepreneurs and to downplay their struggles because they are committing to growing the community seems downright ignorant.  The commitment for these companies is 24/7.  They don’t have the option to “check out” of the community because they live here, work here, and play here.  They are always on and, unlike the people who don’t live, work, and play in the community, they can’t hide on a bad day or avoid downtown in a hat on a bad hair day.  To judge these entrepreneurs because they work hard, have a vision, and had a better pitch than yours is utterly ridiculous.  I have yet to find even one company that hasn’t been friendly and welcoming to my family and I.      

Finally, I offer up my own case study.  I am a married mother of two- a college drop out, 30 something, who moved into downtown because I wanted my family and I to be inspired on a daily basis by entrepreneurs and visionaries that were going to change the world.  I don’t speak fluent Ruby on Rails, I have most certainly had times in my entrepreneurial journey where I have lived hand to mouth and check to check, and I learned the lessons of corporate culture first hand when the first company I sacrificed to build blew up because I did it wrong.  I connected with Tiger by doing a crazy thing: I introduced myself at a Speaker Series.  I connected with Kim because both of our children were featured in Romotive’s new video.  Yes, it was lonely during those first few weeks, but it wasn’t any lonelier than if I’d move to the ‘burbs.  Eventually, I met some great people because I got sick of that tiny strip I was spending all of my time in and I ventured over to the trailer to learn more.  I took the downtown tour and met this bubbly guide named Krissy, who is still one of my favorite people.  I spent some time on LinkedIn, asked for introductions, and I smiled at random strangers in my building.  As I grew more comfortable with the community, I got bolder and my network continued to grow.    

My favorite part of this community is how invested all of us are in growing it.  Together, we are committed to welcoming new comers- offensive or not- and helping them to achieve their dreams.  I am a shareholder in the downtown community just as much as I am a shareholder in the many companies that I invested in.  I can’t say for sure, but I like to think that Jody would be pleased that I’ve connected with the community he was so passionate about.