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BossBabe

PictureJoey playing at the Beat in DTLV

Consider yourselves warned my friends.  This entire post is going to be dedicated to two talented musicians and I believe it may fall under the category “fan girl”.  If that’s a problem feel free to check out my previous post about assholes. 

I met Joey Pero several months ago when our family moved into the Ogden in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.  My first impression of Joey is that he was brilliant, humble, and talented- all without hearing the man do anything musical.  He just oozes talent from his pores.  As I got to hear his music first hand, I was blown away.  On his first album, Resonance, he was reviewed by Jazz reviewer Nicholas Mondello who said Joey “easily stands with trumpet stars such as Allen Vizzutti and Wynton Marsalis as a supreme master of the instrument in both jazz and classical disciplines, an achievement of grand (and near impossible) proportions.”  With a resume that includes Juilliard and some of the most prestigious stages around the world, Joey is ready to transform the world through his music and our team at EGO: Entertainment & Growth Opportunities is thrilled to be helping him do just that.  Give your ears a treat by checking out his music at www.joeypero.com.  


PictureSam in an Atlanta park
Sam Collier has worked with my business partner, Jeremy C. Green, for years and when I finally had the pleasure of meeting Sam it wasn’t his huge production and song writing resume that stood out. He’s just good people.  He’s the guy who worries about making sure his girl friend will be in the audience for his performance.  He’s the guy who believes in his every fiber of being that no one has to lose. Having worked with one of my favorite artists, india.arie, Sam’s ability to write, produce, and perform all genres of music sets him apart in the music industry.  His music talent alone would be one reason I would want to work with him, but his commitment to creating social change will blow you away.  Sam created the No Losing Movement (www.nolosing.com) and wrote and produced the theme song for Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising campaign (http://www.onebillionrising.org/).  This campaign made history with over one billion people rising up against domestic violence and violence against women in the world.  Sam’s rich, silky voice and collection of perfectly curated songs are perfect for driving, dancing, or disconnecting while you’re soaking in the bath tub. Diva into the musical talents of Sam Collier right now at www.iamsamcollier.com.  

Power is the ability to do good things for others. Brooke Astor

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BossBabe

Picture16 yr old me

Dear 16 year old Krista, 

As you were working out last night and, as your thighs were burning and your flabby arms were crying out in pain, I thought it was high time that you and I had a little chat about mind set.  As 33 year old you, I think we need to revisit a few things you should know to make the next 16 years a little easier on your self.  You’re not going to like it and I doubt you will listen, but let’s hope there are 16 year old girls out there that might be smarter or wiser than you.  

1. Get healthy and stay healthy.  Please note that I did not say thin.  No, the orange soda you drank at lunch is not a fruit.  Starving is not a diet, sweating is not just for football players, and if you can establish this life long habit now, your workouts with torture master Mariya will be that much easier after you’ve given birth to two baby girls.  Oh yeah, so you might end up wanting kids.  That’s an entirely different blog.  

2. Embrace your flexibility.  Right now you think life is black and white, good and bad, that there is no room for grey areas or humanity.  Don’t be so married to your decisions.  Learn to go with the flow, to make the best of the situation, and push yourself to be your best you. That’s right you competitive little lady, life is not a race and the only competition you have in this life time is your self.  

3. Never let anyone steal your optimism or belief in unicorns.  The more magnetic you are, the more losers and haters will be just as attracted to you as the catalysts and mentors who will contribute to making you a great leader.  Don’t forget that whatever you focus on grows.  Focus on all the great things you have going in your life, the many blessings and advantages you have over the kid sitting next to you.  Your ability to believe that unicorns do exist will enable you to get through challenging times that would crush the average person.


PictureProm date: My little brother
4. Accept that some people won’t get you.  You’re struggling because no one understands you.  They can’t figure out why you walk fast, talk fast, and think fast.  You don’t fit in because you aren’t like everyone else. You challenge the rules, you challenge authority, you challenge the why behind the world.  Embrace your own sense of mystery.  Some day you will find the people who celebrate you and how you think. It’s going to feel like it will take forever, but you’ll get there and be better for it.  

5. You were right that algebra was bullshit.  Your parents were wrong that everyone won’t have a calculator and your math teacher that told you finding “x” would help you was full of crap.  Finding “Mr. Right” will eat up more years of your life than finding “x” ever did and you won’t use algebra in your daily life.  Relish it now because it’s one of the few things I can say you were right about.


PicturePom Pom Ringleader
6. Stick with cheerleading.  Amazingly enough, your cheerleading experience will be the single thing you rely on most as an entrepreneur.  Cheering for a losing team in snowy, freezing weather to an audience of ten dedicated parents will prepare you for the lonely, frigid presentations you will endure during those first days of being your own boss.  The life lesson of gritting your teeth and smiling through the tough times will carry you through challenges you can’t even imagine right now.  

7. Never forget where you came from.  You’ll see the bright lights of many big cities down the road and right now that small town in Central Washington seems like the middle of no where, but growing up with wide open spaces and friendly, community minded people will help you to see the best in others, to see the world as bigger than you and your needs, and to appreciate people from all walks of life.  


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BossBabe

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Today it is my pleasure to share with you a fellow downtown Las Vegas lady leader and friend, Sara Gabriella.  Sara is a writer, marketing professional and TV Content Creator & Host. Her writing career has taken her from corporate copywriting in San Francisco to creating content for top network TV shows in Los Angeles, and finally to online and print media in Las Vegas. Her current columns include a media column “Sara in the City” and her advice column “Sincerely, Sara.”  Today she shares her thoughts on women in business just for you mean girls!

The tightrope you walk as a woman in the business world is a delicate balancing act requiring constant minute adjustments and fine tuning. With authenticity being the buzz word of the moment, thanks to writers and thought leaders like Brene Brown, it is now acceptable, and even in vogue, to pull back the veil of our polished, superwoman demeanor and talk openly about the challenges of being both healthy women and successful career professionals in today’s workplace. 

While we have journeyed a great distance from the Mad Men days of being relegated to making the coffee, answering the calls and working only long enough to find a suitable husband then retire to the home and start our second career as wife and mother—we still do not make equal pay for equal work, are underrepresented in management and on executive teams and face judgments not levied against our male counterparts in the office.  As Women, we are required to have a pleasing appearance, nails and hair and makeup done flawlessly with matching hand bag and shoes sporting the right designer 
insignia and tailored fit dress, not too low cut, but not prudish and god forbid it’s from two seasons ago. We can have educational degrees, experience and work ethic that puts everyone else on the team to shame, and still overhear whispers of how we probably slept our way to the top when jealously and office politics rear their twisted heads. We lug extra weight that the men in our industries do not have burdening their shoulders and do it with a lipstick smile, in shiny heels, holding a fashionable handbag in one hand and a laptop case in the other.  

I lost count at the number of people who assumed my Start-up partner ran the company and I “helped out”. Or how many jaws dropped when it became known I had college degrees, over a decade of real world experience, and the skills to deliver on my company’s proposals and promises. It was assumed my greatest talents were limited to good people skills and the shrewdness to align myself with smart men who were natural leaders and entrepreneurs. The assumptions were dead wrong, but annoyingly persistent.  

To be or not to be…assertive, that is the question we face over and over again, as women in industry. We are constantly aware of the rising of the volume of our voice, the frequency with which we disagree with our team mates and the vigor with which we pursue a diverging opinion.  Men get called visionary and difficult; we get labeled domineering and called a bitch. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were branded as innovative and trendsetters. How many women of influence and power do you hear referred to as either? It is often assumed we are hormonal, have problems at home with the kids or family that we are bringing to work or we just don’t know how to make our point diplomatically. When the truth of the matter is, as women we are especially adept at maneuvering social situations. We are bred to operate with a high level of emotional intelligence, ingrained by years of being trained to take everyone else’s feelings and egos into account before making a move. It is just sometimes we need to set that aside and put the work first, put the focus on what we feel and think is best for the company as a whole. 

Sometimes we need to be difficult in order to be heard. Sometimes we must discount everyone who is saying it can’t be done in order to be trendsetter, to be a visionary. My advice to you, every woman in business, is that while you must pick your battles, because, let’s face it, nothing amazing is accomplished without help and a support network, it’s ok to be the loud voice in the room when you need to be. It’s acceptable to refuse to compromise when your gut and your business savvy are telling you that you need to stand your ground. And it’s not only fine, but it’s downright necessary, to make yourself heard, even when your opinion is the dissenting view or no one really wants to hear what you think because they assume you are there to take notes and help the boss remember dates and details. And don’t take it personally when people think you’re not adequately feminine because you weren’t born with  the fashionista gene or you’re too nice so you must be fake and weak or you’re too pretty so you must not have not earned your position and you are probably not intelligent enough to do it as well as a man would. In fact, do not give those negative assumptions and preconceived notions a moment of energy. Just keep working hard and trusting your intuition and letting your integrity and purpose be your guide. 

I even go so far as to have fun with the superficial misjudgments. I’m a word nerd in the body of a model who can work 8 straight hours on a computer and then go out and tear up the dance floor all night in heels. Darn right it confuses people. And I’m fine with that because my creative vision and my relentless drive keep my focus on my unique purpose and my integrity and talent speak for themselves. In the end, people can think whatever they choose to, because my work will speak for itself. There will always be judgments, some of them will be unfair and untrue, and some will be deserved (because let’s be honest, we all make mistakes and fall short of our potential and sometimes make poor decisions)—but just keep on, keeping on. Your mistakes lay the ground work for your successes. So remember, you are not your mistakes. You are the limitless potential of your grandest dreams, and you are a learning every day how to better manifest those into reality. So be grateful that you are experiencing setbacks, because they are teaching you how to be the superstar you are on your path to becoming.   

Be so great that, like you or not, understand you or not, they can’t ignore you. The day will come when one of your most vigilant detractors will want to work with you. Yes, that person who thought you were too fake, too weak, too unqualified, too cute to be taken seriously, whatever the issue, will send you an email or hand you their business card. The only powers you need to be successful and overcome any obstacle are the willingness to do what needs to be done, the ability to continue believing in yourself, regardless of who else does (or does not) and the burning passion and unfaltering dedication to make your unique contribution in the world. 

“There is vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your businessto determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
~Martha Graham


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BossBabe

PictureFailup.com Start Up Weekend Team

Start up weekend begins with a bang, with Kate Rutter from LUXr.co explaining how you should introduce yourself to potential team mates.  Below is the introduction, but it feels like a business haiku.  LOL

“Hi I’m Krista.
My superpower is being 
a business terminator.
I can business develop, pitch, 
and sell stank to foo foo.
I work best when left alone with 

my Beats and clear direction.
It drives me crazy when people 

do not solve their own problems.”

Some of my favorite friends are the ones who push me to do more, give more, and be more than I can imagine.  Two of these people are Adam Kramer and Michele Rose, who are the organizers behind the Las Vegas Start Up Weekend events.  Thanks to them, I brought shark from Shark Tank Kevin Harrington to guest coach at the last Start Up Weekend event.  During our visit I had the pleasure of helping the “UniteMe” team by coaching and doing what I do best- making connections.  The UniteMe team ended up winning, so, upon hearing this the following week from Adam, I said, “Well, let me know if I can help coach the following event.”  To which Adam perfectly replied, “Oh I get it.  You don’t think you could participate.”  Apparently he has met other serial entrepreneurs and knows how rapidly competitive we are.  His strategy worked perfectly and I went all in to participate in the next Start Up Weekend event.  

PictureThe pitch queen, of course
Want the dirty, sweaty truth behind the 54 hours of Start Up Weekend?  Here goes friends!

We all walk into the room equals.  No one cares how many businesses you have created before, they don’t care if you are still in high school, or if this is the first time you have gotten outside of your 9-5 day job.  Personally, I love this aspect. I love that you are only as good as what you are doing today.  No one wants to hear your tales of old and no one gives two bits how many degrees you have behind your name.  It’s refreshing.  

We think differently.  The more out there you think, the better you will do.  Traditional thinking will get you absolutely no where.  It’s like Alice in Wonderland in for entrepreneurs.  The bigger the idea, the better.  Follow your idea down the rabbit hole and then make magic happen.  

We know how to have a good time.  Yes, it’s intense and when Michele said it was a room full of people staring at their computers for 54 hours, that’s not much of a stretch.  However, it’s a concentration of time where you bond and create friendships that will last.  Our creative director posed the question “Do you love being married?” to our married team mates and the conversation that followed was priceless.  Getting out of the board room and traditional work setting bonded my team in a way I had not expected.  

Overall, our team created a project called www.failup.com that was inspired by the passing of our friend, Jody Sherman, and I am thrilled to say that our team is going full speed ahead to continue the service.  A great experience that I would encourage all entrepreneurs to spend a weekend investing in.  



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BossBabe

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My dream for The Mean Girls is to create a blog that is larger than one person.  I dream of the day when we will have many contributors, all with their own varied experiences, opinions, and wisdom to inspire all of you.  Well, my friends, that day has arrived!  Allow me to introduce you to my friend, the talented Asia Jade.  An experienced host, talented actress, and enthusiastic adventurer trail blazing her way through this world, I was lucky enough to meet Asia at UNLV while I was a guest of the Las Vegas Social Media Show.  I don’t know if it was her crazy hair, her sultry voice, or her positive energy, but we connected and I am thrilled to include her in my circle of fabulous lady leaders here in Sin City.  It is with great pride that I hand over the reigns of my mean girl blog to Asia.  I know it will be an inspiration for you in your life and if you can’t get enough of Asia here, follow her on twitter @Lela_Blossom or check her out on the Las Vegas Social Media Show here: http://lasvegassocialmediashow.com/ 

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 I was listening to Little Red Corvette by Prince at work one day when the corporate world controlled my schedule and I couldn’t help but think about what my “auntie” Norma told me about her younger years in Colorado. She speaks of Prince coming over to her and her husband’s, Van, house to speak with him about some musical business. [Van was a drummer back then and a very big on traveling with all the top musical artists, coming from a long family line of musicians]. Long story short, as Prince and Van are leaving the house to go run some errands, Norma pulls up in a little red corvette that her husband bought her [Yes I know the tabloids say Lisa Coleman’s pink Edsel was the inspiration of the major hit, but the thought was completed by a very good friend with very good taste in cars; or so I was told].
 
     Anyhoo, I came to realize, whether the story is true or false, I have wayyy too many people in my life that know many people in the industries to be struggling this bad. I mean I have tried everything from sending my photos to scouts, to magazines, to modeling agencies, to television shows, to contests, to fashion shows, and the list goes on and on. I know it’s a sign for something knowing all these people who have made it, and most in this case would try to ride the camel until the hundred dollar bill breaks its back; but I’m not like most people, I don’t use people for what they have just because I don’t, but I do find it peculiar that people of high stature [musicians, producers, or just people of the spot light in general] are drawn to me, for whatever reason, just to chat.
 
     It’s a frustrating and difficult world out there for a girl that doesn’t want to conform to the standardized “Look at me because I got my tits for $5k” or the “Omg I dumb myself down so I don’t make men feel inferior to my intelligence”…that’s just not me. It seems like everywhere I turn in this city, girls are trying to become something that they’re not. We all make daily changes to acclimate to our current living situation. Some dye their hair, others rock a $250, 5×7 clutch to a club party just to be apart of the “scene”. Fuck the “scene”, I’m a bargan shopper. In the past couple of months, I’ve met girls with ambition, dreams, and charisma, but, I have also met girls that just conform to a life style that they were never apart of, just to be “recognized”. I met a girl that appeared to be living the high life. She had a Mercedes-Benz SLR, designer shoes/handbags/bathing suit etc., the girl had it going on. But upon speaking with her about her life, she was rather tense. After a few laughs [and a couple of drinks] she opened up to me about how she changed her whole lifestyle to come to Las Vegas and become a model. She spent the rest of her tuition money [around $7,000] to get implants in her breasts because she was told “she wasn’t going to make it ANYWHERE in Vegas without at least a full C – D cup”. Raunchy. She seemed sad when I asked about her implants, explaining that she regrets the choice of getting a full C cup just to conform. “I was happier when I was just plain Jane. I had this dream that I would come out here and work hard to get to where I wanted to be, the ‘high life’. I quit college for this, and now, I’m living in a one bedroom apartment, with a car I can’t afford to keep up, a broken heart, and working a job that barely pays the rent.”
 
   Now, I know nothing comes easy, and achieving a goal doesn’t come overnight, but is it really necessary to chalk someone up, make them believe you could honestly help them reach their goals, and then bail because you changed your mind for that 90 lbs. chick that hasn’t eaten anything since last Tuesday? I know image is everything in the modeling business, but do you really have to go to drastic measures just to get “Closer to your dreams”? I don’t think so. Now I’m not hatin’, nor am I complaining, I’m just voicing my opinion on this stereotype that’s getting rather tiresome. It’s hard for an aspiring model, singer, actress, dancer, etc. to get recognized when there is so much competition, and sleezy competition at that. It’s easy to stand out when everyone around you is 5’10”, double-D, and has a face that Donald Trump himself would lick white chocolate sprinkled with gold off of, but it’s not so easy to gain the respect of the industry without going to drastic measures. Why do we have to conform to a life that suits our needs, but doesn’t suit our life style? Why do we have to drastically change our outer appearance to please those who wouldn’t give us a slight glance. Its driving me nuts that you have to be a flaming ball of lust to get noticed in this town. Where did the natural beauty go? Where did being yourself go wrong? Why do I have to dumb myself down for you to like me? Why do I have to get fake tits just to please YOU? I say…fuck you, I’m going to do what pleases me, and not get those fake yabbos just for your enjoyment, I’m going to do it for me.
 
   My cousin Daryl and I have contemplated this idea for some time. Being young entrepreneurs, we have a creative out look to things and believe that freedom, beauty, truth, and love are the rules of the game. You have the freedom to do what is necessary to acclimate yourself to do what is necessary for survival, but dumbing yourself down and changing everything about yourself is not the way to go; you just appear fake. The truth is what you project yourself onto others because lets face it, fake folks don’t really have too many friends or people that they can say will be there for them in the end. The beauty is what is shown; you don’t have to look like a Sports Illustrated model just to get the guy of your dreams or that “baller status” that everyone is dying to become, you can do that just by being your natural, beautiful, sincere self that everyone who knows you best as. Lastly, love. Loving yourself is a key role in this game of life we play. We all sweat the little things and never really stop to appreciate the things in life that really matter until a disaster strikes us down and “crumbles” our accomplishments. Instead of groveling, pick yourself back up and do something about it. Life is full of disappointments, failures, and struggles; its just how it works and it’s our duty to pick ourselves back up and be aggressive the next time around because if we don’t show an initiative, how will you know if you’ve done something worth while?
 
    My ramblings are of concern of the way the industry is projected on the next generation of shakers, movers, and doers. I think of my niece when it comes to subjects like this because it isn’t instilled in us how the world works, that’s something that we have to find out for ourselves. We don’t have to be a follower on someone else’s path of life to get what we want, make your own path; and if there isn’t a path in sight, get your hiking shoes on, grab some supplies, and start truckin’. We all have to do “me” in some way or another, and I’m not trying to come down on those who have chose to conform to the industry lifestyle, just don’t lose yourself in the process. Re-inventing yourself is cleansing, spiritual, and defining, but conforming for the better good of another and not your own?, now that’s just plain ridiculous.

   In thought, be yourself. Be who you wanted to be chillin’ in your room on a Friday night because you were grounded from sneaking out the past week. Be who you dreamt of being when you were 6 years old, watching cartoons and eating Cap’n Crunch contemplating if you should go outside and play freeze tag with that new kid down the street or if you should stay inside and draw up that cartoon character that you formulated while sipping on a Capri Sun and eating Andy’s Salsa Fries. Be the person that you know and love, but don’t bring youself to lower standards just because everyone else is.
Be original. Be you. ‘Nuff Said.