500 Hats…

Logo By: Janusz Biela

Logo By: Janusz Biela

Put your hat on for this one!

A couple of months ago Bette Holleman and her husband fell behind on their mortgage despite being honest hardworking people.

What did Bette do about it?

She got her yarn out.

“From August 3-31, 2009, I issued the 500 Hat Challenge. My plan was to knit 500 hats. You can buy one (10, 20, 100!) for only $10 each, and keep it for yourself or a friend.”

Bottom line: Buying a hat from Bette would save her house. She even offered to let you donate your hat to the homeless at Modesto Gospel Mission.

Bette’s Squidoo page is here: http://www.squidoo.com/500hats

Megan Morris, Author, "That Idea Blueprint Girl"

Supporter Megan Morris with her hat! Author of "That Idea Blueprint Girl"

“The results have been miraculous, really a God Thing! The grand total is 168 hats, but so much more happened to lift me up. I have always wanted to have my own online craft business, and 500 Hats gave me the confidence to go ahead and do it.”

Bette describes herself as, “A wife, homeschooling mother of five kids, and a self taught machine knitter.”

I would add that Bette ranks among the pioneer entrepreneurs in social media.

I learned about Bette from Sally Kuhlman’s feature on The 500 Hat Challenge in her blog, Sally Around the Bay. Below is Sally with her hat.

Sally Kuhlman with her hat! Author of "Sally Around the Bay"

Sally Kuhlman with her hat! Author of "Sally Around the Bay"

“I received a lot of help from my Twitter and Facebook followers as well as various bloggers and El Mundo.es; the digital version of Spain’s El Mundo newspaper.”

Supporter Alex Beattie and his hat! Author of "The Hound Dog Blog"

Supporter Alex Beattie and his hat! Author of "The Hound Dog Blog"

“I have also found extra work as a freelance copywriter with companies who were impressed with my Squidoo page and videos for the 500 Hats Challenge.”

Bette has been able to keep the bank at bay with payments but our heroine is not quite out of the woods yet.

“We have kept our status at 30 days past due,

and they can’t start foreclosure until it’s 60 days past due. If we can get enough together to make 2 payments in 1 month, we’ll be caught up. Trying to find enough part time work (3 jobs already) to help make that extra payment. 500 Hats gave us enough money to make a payment to bring it back to 30 days.”

The Lady Herself with Husband John!

The Lady Herself with Husband John!

So here’s my challenge to all of you:

To keep this ball rolling I’m posting every photo of everybody who has bought a hat and submits a photo with their hat on. If you have a business or website that you want to promote just include a link and your name along with the name of the business and I’ll post you!

Click here to buy your hat ($10!)

Click here to submit your hat pix!

See my 500 Hats Wall here: ~The 500 Hats Wall

What’s more? Everybody whose photo is on that wall will receive a 25% discount

on any single order placed from my Mary Kay website: http://www.marykay.com/tonyhurst

Just mention 500 Hats in a note on the order and I’ll verify you with my wall.

If you’re a regular Mary Kay customer that will more than pay for your hat.

The 500’th hat person will receive a 50% discount on any single order through my Mary Kay website!

So get your hats on people! These are top quality. Very well made. For mine she even matched my Mary Kay Pink!

This is going to be this year’s holiday gift for every member of your family (and our gift to Bette for the holidays!)

Lets make this happen!

Love, Tony

The Author with his hat!

The Author with his hat!

Add a comment October 7, 2009
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Leela Setty: enLITEning her clients…

leelaSetty01I met Leela Setty at a San Rafael Chamber of Commerce function for women in business. I was impressed at how friendly and approachable Leela was and how easily and artfully she marketed her business. Leela’s story goes far beyond that, however, and connecting with the why’s, how’s and wherefore’s of her start in business will lead us down the path of understanding that being in business does not have to be a superficial endeavor.

For twenty years Leela cared for her ailing husband; learning how to make healthy foods and gaining a personal understanding of the dietary needs of people who suffer from illnesses. Then, in her early forties, Leela was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.

“While undergoing standard medical treatments I decided to combine the healing benefits of cooking and eating life-sustaining foods, along with meditative aspects of daily worship, to become a ‘cancer survivor.’”

“I educated myself on the benefits of healthy cooking and I wanted to use this knowledge to help others with health concerns. Suddenly I saw this niche opportunity to provide adults and children suffering with Autism, ADHD, Cancer, Diabetes and Obesity with healthy and delicious foods presented in beautiful gift baskets as a healthier, lighter alternative to traditional gift baskets overloaded with sugary, cholesterol-clogging fatty foods.”

“Customer response was so great that this has now blossomed into www.EnLITEnedGifts.com, a website that offers healthier lifestyle gifting choices through hand-created designer gift baskets that present both nutritional and educational ‘enLITEnment’ to our customers.  I strive hard each and every day to fulfill my vision of being the #1 go-to-site for providing gift baskets for folks who are actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle and for those dealing with serious health issues. I am honored to be an entrepreneur in my golden years.”

Leela is proof that there is reason to bring your heart to the world by getting into a business that helps people and supports your personal cause; she makes her community a happier and healthier place to live because of her personal and professional contributions to it.

Leela is a very active and highly regarded business member of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. She takes part in the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life in her home town of Tiburon and has been featured in her local Tiburon Newspaper, The Ark.

I am personally inspired to enrich the lives of those around me because of my connection with Leela and I encourage you to get connected with her as well at www.EnLITEnedGifts.com.

-Love, Tony

18 comments September 28, 2009
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Lee Doyle, Profile of a First-time Author…


In the fall of 2008, after more than a decade of writing and revising, Lee Doyle finally published her first novel, The Love We All Wait For.

I met Lee through a networking organization where we were both marketing our respective businesses (Lee owns Credible Communications, a marketing communications firm in Marin County, California.) I immediately liked Lee’s genuineness and astute professionalism; two things that can be mutually exclusive in the world of business and especially in marketing.

Then I read Lee’s newly published book and I discovered a woman with an incredible talent not only for business but for writing fiction.

Frank and original, her novel reminds me of great classical literature by writers such as J. D. Salinger or John Steinbeck. Lee’s blog on her writing process reveals a deeply sensitive writer who juggles responsibilities as a mother and wife with her commitment to writing.

Too often, we witness the result of someone answering their calling and not the struggle behind it. But there is beauty in the struggle. Being a published author is no small thing and publishing a work at this level of authenticity is rare.

“Writing this novel was a personal triumph on many levels,” Lee explains. “First, there was the writing and revising, which required getting my butt in my chair, no matter what. But I also had to overcome the inner voice that was out to sabotage my efforts, the voice that tells us we’re not good enough, don’t have it in us, etc.  I grappled with an enormous amount of self-doubt writing this book. But eventually the characters became so real, the world I created so vivid, there was no way I could give up.  I simply had to push through the mental and emotional barriers and keep writing. In the midst of this, I started a business, had a child and underwent a huge healing process related to the death of my mother when I was five years old. Very unexpectedly, the novel helped me to deal with this trauma. I’ve come out the other side a better, happier person.”

There’s a lot more to fulfilling a dream like Lee’s than just the finished work. We should all strive to have the courage to face our demons and be as proud of the process as we are of the product.

Lee teaches writing at Book Passage and offers private editing and coaching to writers. Check out Fiction Toolbox at Book Passage, a series of four evening classes that will focus on the essentials of fiction: voice, character, setting, and plot. If you’re a writer this is your chance to unlock, unblock, or unleash your best fiction. (Lee is also available to speak at book clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Email her for details.)

My life has been enriched through contact with Lee and her book. I highly recommend The Love We All Wait For, available in book stores and online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. More information on Lee and her novel can be found at: http://www.leedoyleauthor.com. Find inspiration in Lee’s blog and follow her on Twitter @leewdoyle.

Above all, do what you love; it means the world to the rest of us.

-Love, Tony

6 comments September 21, 2009


So, how can a man possibly know enough about the subject of enriching women’s lives to actually publish a blog about it?

My answer is that men (and all people) can know and talk intelligently about anything that they choose to fully participate in.

I have chosen to make a career out of working for a company that was created by women and for women. Obviously that necessitates getting connected pretty seriously to what women need. Mary Kay Ash repeatedly referenced a singular directive to her sales force: “Enrich women’s lives!” That’s my job and I take it very seriously. That’s not to say that I haven’t made some regrettable mistakes in my career or in my personal life with regards to being a responsible counterpart to the women in my midst; but the ideal is clear and I refuse to be discouraged by my failures. (more…)

Add a comment August 17, 2009

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