On the Road with Tory Johnson

Recently I told a group of wide-eyed friends about my travel schedule as I tour the country for my Spark & Hustle conferences.

Monday: Fly to Tampa and prep for our event there.
Tuesday: Lead hundreds of women in our Tampa event, then fly to Los Angeles.
Wednesday: Tape a segment about Spark & Hustle for THE TALK, then fly to Dallas.
Thursday: Host our event in Dallas, then fly home to New York.
Friday: Report live segments on Good Morning America and WABC.

That’s the quick version—just the highlights. What’s not reflected is all I do every day to plan ahead for our events, promote my new book, serve current clients, and, of course, stay connected to my family. Every minute of every day is packed. Very little downtime right now.

Everyone looked at me as if I had the most grueling schedule. They felt badly for me—worried that I was working too hard, as if to say this is such a burden.

I quickly nipped that perception in the bud, because I chose this—and you’ll never ever hear me complain. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I opted to plan the 20-city Spark & Hustle national tour. I knew the commitment to promoting a new book. I knew the challenge of focusing on travel and managing a staff in our office, while not losing sight of family at home.

Instead of viewing the grueling side of standing in long lines at airports and being away from home, I focus on the benefits: meeting amazing women and men, sharing my advice and support, making new contacts and friends, securing new clients and so much more. I’m so lucky to travel the country to connect with new people and visit with old pals.

That’s the beauty of small business ownership: the ability to choose our path, control our time, and reap the rewards that come along with it. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

So you can imagine how delighted I was to meet Gigi Butler at my Nashville event. In 2008 she opened her first Gigi’s Cupcakes and had only $33 in her bank account. Today, she has 65 stores in 19 states, generating more than $30 million in annual sales.

Between managing the fast-paced growth, raising a 1-year old as a single mother, and perfecting the just-right swirl of frosting, it’s no wonder everyone wanted to know how Gigi manages to make it all happen.

Her answer was my favorite line of the conference: “Sometimes, you just have to suck it up.”

In other words, there’s no time for any of us to complain, not a moment to stand still and no need to wallow in “too much to do.” No excuses, just results. Let’s go!


Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.

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