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I am Judith Norman. I am a creative storyteller, an entrepreneur and the founder of Start TV – a multimedia company that highlights the entrepreneurial journeys of multicultural women.

Start TV was created because I wanted to inform, inspire and empower women who wanted to turn their ideas into businesses and take control over their lives. That’s why we created the 30-Day StartHER Challenge. We developed daily actionable steps that will guide you through the process of taking an idea to an actual business. And you don’t have to do it alone. I’m going to share some of my journey and I’ve invited four other women entrepreneurs to share their experiences. I call them the StartHER Squad.

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Okay, let’s get started. The 30-Day StartHER Challenge featuring the StartHER Squad launches now.

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Write down your top three business goals and a target date for completion. Break each objective down into manageable daily steps that empower, not overwhelm you.

Video: Judith, Katia, Porsche and Tamara share how and why they document their goals.

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Choose a name for your business that resonates with your mission. Once you have decided on a name, trademark it using either an online service like Legal Zoom or an intellectual property attorney. Be sure to also secure the social media handles.

Video: Judith shares the story behind the name: START TV.

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Find out from your local and/or state government’s business portal website what type of licenses, permits and other documentation you will need for your business. Compile all of the required forms into a binder and tackle them one-by-one. There may be required fees, so be prepared financially. 

Video: Tamara shares why it was important for her – professionally and personally – to make sure that her business was order.

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Challenge yourself to ask one person – whether it is a family member, friend or stranger – for something that you need to further your business goals. If for some reason the first person you ask says, “No”, or doesn’t respond at all, ask someone else (and so on) until you get your “Yes”.

Video: Porsche shares the surprising thing that happened when she dared to ask for help.

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Think of one solution that will help you overcome an obstacle facing your business goal. Write it down and then activate it. Avoid throwing money at problems. Get creative. Brainstorm with a friend or mentor. And most important, don’t give up.

Video: Claudia shares how the pandemic forced her to pivot from her 2020 plans and why that turned out to be a good thing for her business.

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Think about how you want your business to be represented in the marketplace. What makes your brand unique? What is your niche? What will your logo look like? Will you have a tagline? What is your brand’s personality?

Video: 5 Ways to Become Your Brand

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Draft a business plan that covers not only the who, what, when, where, and why for your business but, also the how – as in how will this entrepreneurial endeavor affect your personal life, your family, your personal finances, and your health.

Video: Katia shares why considering her family was her top priority when she made the decision to become an entrepreneur.

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Good credit matters. Whether you are  applying for a business loan, leasing a building, or purchasing inventory, your credit history will be considered. Watch our video and learn how you can improve your credit score – by yourself. Don’t waste money on costly credit repair services. There are no quick fixes. And most important, forgive yourself for any past financial mistakes. You’re human. Do not allow shame to prevent you for doing what is necessary to move forward.

Video: 5 Ways to Overcome Bad Credit

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There’s a cost to being the boss. Make a list of all of the personal, professional and financial investments that you have made in yourself for your business. Be sure to include the results. Celebrate your wins – no matter how small. Keep the list handy for reference for when you are considering taking another risk and you need a confidence injection.

Video testimonial: Tamara shares how daring to compete on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship was one of her most empowering experiences.

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Knowing how to encourage yourself is one of the most important habits that you will need on your entrepreneurial journey. Everyone is not going to understand your passion. So, in order to not be defeated by discouragement, be intentional about affirming yourself everyday.

Video: 5 Affirmations to Tell Yourself Everyday

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Open a separate business bank account for your company. Comingling personal and business assets can get you into a lot of trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Consider using a credit union. Wherever you decide to bank, visit their website to review their account offerings. Then, call them in advance and find out what documents you will need and how much cash you must deposit in order to open an account.

Video: 5 Documents You Need to Open a Business Bank Account

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Don’t risk your rent, mortgage, utilities, health, or other essential personal needs by over-investing in your startup company. In the beginning, businesses eat a lot of money. Set a firm limit to the amount of personal money that you will invest. Develop products, monetize your content, or, if necessary, take on a second job to carry the business until it generates a steady income.

Video testimonial: Claudia shares her method for keeping up with her business expenses.

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Resourcefulness and resilience go hand-in-hand when launching a business. Be open to learning new skills to compensate for professional services that you are not yet ready to afford. Make friends with Google and YouTube. Don’t buy into get rich quick scams that come in the form of some online courses and coaches. Do the work. You got this, Sis!

Video testimonial: Judith shares how an outrageous price quote, Google and YouTube motivated her DIY some of her earlier business needs.

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Make a list of all of the items that you will need to launch your business. Reach out to friends, families, and even brands and ask for their help sourcing your list.

Video testimonial: Judith shares some of the ways her family and friends supported her entrepreneurial endeavors.

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Prepare yourself financially and mentally for the unexpected surprises that happens in business. And, that doesn’t always mean something bad. You should also be prepared for success. Think about this: If a large retailer approached you about wanting to distribute your product in their stores, would you be financially and mentally ready to seize the opportunity? Or, what if a media outlet wanted to feature you in a story, do you have professional photos and behind-the-scenes video available if they need it?

Video: Claudia shares how the pandemic was actually a blessing in disguise for her business.

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Ask yourself: who is your customer? How can you best serve them? Consider conducting an Instagram poll to learn more about your customer’s needs and desires.

Video: 5 Key Things You Need To Know About Your Target Audience

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Start building your email list now. Remember, you don’t own your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook followers. Find ways to encourage people to give you their email addresses. Then, when you are ready to launch your products, you already have an opted-in audience and you don’t have to be dependent upon someone else’s algorithm.

Video: 5 Ways to Build Your Email List

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How would you respond if someone asked you why you started your business? People love to hear a founder’s story. Your story may provide the inspiration that someone has been seeking. Your story matters. Don’t be afraid to tell it.

Video testimonial: Katia shares the motivation behind her business.

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Having a great product is not enough. You have to sell it. Think of ways that you can bring your target audience along on your product development journey. The more connected your customers feel to you and your brand, the more likely they are to buy.

Video testimonial: Claudia discusses the different ways she shares the process of creating her products with her customers.

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Stop waiting for the perfect time to launch your business or sell a product. Perfection doesn’t exist. Launch that business. Release that product. Don’t allow your need for perfection to delay your success.

Video testimonial: Judith shares what she has learned about perfectionism.

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There are several ways to make money in business. Choose a business model that suits your goals. Create a pros and cons list for each business style to help with your decision.

Video testimonial: Porsche shares why she chose a subscription model for her business.

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Beware of scammers who prey upon dreamers. Use discernment when considering pricey online courses and mentorship programs. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Do your research before investing your money.

Video testimonial: Tamara shares a story about a time when she almost got scammed.

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Create a designated workspace in your home for your business. Whether it’s a spare closet, a corner in your bedroom or a portion of your garage – make it pretty. A clean and organized workspace increases productivity.

Video testimonial: Claudia shares how she utilizes space in her home for her business.

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Don’t forget your health. For every 30-minutes that you sit at the computer, get up, take a 10-minute break and do some standing stretches. Google “standing stretch exercise” for free routines.

Video: Judith shares what happened when her persistent hustle and grind caused her to neglect her health.

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Stop trying to do everything by yourself. Entrepreneurship can be lonely at times. Find likeminded women and build a tribe for support and opportunities.

Video: Judith explains the importance of having a community of collaborative women and offers suggestions on what qualities to look for in a powerful tribe.

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Identify your “special sauce”. Write down what makes you special. What is unique about your gift? How can you express this quality in your brand?

Video: Tamara talks about her inner “magic”.

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De-Stress. Did you know that women are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety due to chronic stress? Stop comparing yourself to others. Affirm yourself daily. Pray. Seek therapy. Write down your stress triggers. Then, create a list of stress-busting activities that bring you peace and joy.

Video testimonial: Katia and Tamara share the different ways that they manage stress.

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Identify the place where you feel the most at peace. Your “happy place” can be a physical location (e.g., the beach) or an activity (e.g., cooking). It’s a place where you go to restore and reconnect with yourself. Make it mandatory to visit your “happy place” regularly and without guilt. Remember the saying: “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

Video testimonial: Porsche and Katia describe their “happy place”.

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Support other women. We need each other. Think of ways that you can help another woman entrepreneur and then, do it.

Video testimonial: Tamara, Porsche and Katia provide examples of ways that women entrepreneurs can support each other.

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Clap your hands and stomp your feet! Girl, you DID it! You completed the 30-Day StartHER Challenge. You are officially a “StartHER”.

Video testimonial: A congratulatory message from Judith.

Alexandra Becket

Artist/Designer/Entrepreneur Alexandra Becket of ModOp Design is not the usual house flipper.  In the competitive Los Angeles housing market, Alexandra (and her husband) have created their own niche by purchasing old bungalows and properties and updating them with modern amenities without disturbing the home’s original charm.  Alexandra’s own line of wallpaper is often included in the makeovers. 

ModOp Design has become a notable brand and their flip houses are highly desired.  But, success – especially in real estate – requires risk.  

Women’s Work Discussion:

Manage risk

Ashley Sumner and Gianna Wurzl

Ashley Sumner and Gianna Wurzl are making it easier for women entrepreneurs to connect.  They created Quilt – a membership community that hosts weekly, intimate meetups of up to eight women in private homes in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, along with monthly parties and a members-only forum.  To date, more Quilt has over 2,000 members.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Value community

Chandra Anderson

Once upon a time, Model/Actress Chandra Anderson’s perception of philanthropy was that it was something to do when you were older and established.  However, when Chandra learned that there were women around the world (including the United States) who lacked access to feminine hygiene products during their monthly cycle, she knew she had to act. Chandra formed The Model Behavior and rallied her model friends together and began distributing sanitary pads and tampons to women in shelters. 

The Model Behavior has grown into a non-profit organization that includes Ambassadors, corporate sponsors and beneficial partnerships.  Its mission is to provide our most vulnerable women with feminine hygiene products that are essential to leading a healthy, dignified life.  The Model Behavior will soon send an entire shipping container of feminine hygiene products to Africa.  Chandra hopes her service will inspire other millennials to consider philanthropy.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Be philanthropic

Claudia Ramos

Hola Mijas Bonitas is a stationery brand created by Claudia Ramos. She illustrates and designs her characters influenced by her life growing up in Los Angeles, CA.  Her main goal is to bring inclusivity and diversity with her stickers, washi tapes, and more. Claudia is the first from her family to graduate with a B.A. from CSUN and be an entrepreneur. Her goal is to create an empire with her brand Hola Mijas Bonitas and continue to bring happiness and joy to everyone. "I want to spread joy to the world"-Claudia R.

Claudia Ramos
Hola Mijas Bonitas
IG - @claudiaramosdesigns

Dr. Renee Dua

Dr. Renee Dua’s big idea for on-demand doctor house calls came to her while she spent hours in an emergency room waiting for her small child to be treated for what turned out to be a non-emergency issue. 

As a busy kidney specialist, wife, and mother, Dr. Dua recognized that her great fortune of having the resources and community to assist her in the event of a family medical emergency is not everyone’s experience.  So, with her husband’s help and the backing of celebrity investors like Lionel Richie, Dr. Dua created Heal, a mobile app that brings affordable in-home pediatric, internal medicine, general practitioner, and family healthcare visits to everyone and keeps primary care out of the emergency room. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Identify a problem and create the solution

Estefani Alarcon

Estefani Alarcon has a story to tell.  She lives in South Los Angeles, a community frequently in the headlines for gang violence, murder and other crimes.  However, Estefani wants to change the narrative of her beloved neighborhood and share the positive stories of the immigrant, black, brown and LBGT people who reside and operate businesses in South Los Angeles.

A natural storyteller, Estefani is the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Dear Southside, a print newspaper she calls her love letter to her community.  Dear Southside features local business owners, non-profit organizations that serve the community and unique individuals who Estefani believes contribute to South Los Angeles’ greatness.

Dear Southside’s first issue was self-published, self-funded and sold-out.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Control the narrative

Gia Fey

Gia Fey, founder of Body By Gia, is not just another YouTube fitness guru.  She creates content for curvy girls in both English and Spanish.  YouTube provided the platform for Gia to build a thriving business that inspires women around the world.  Her channel has over 500,000 subscribers and her videos have over 46 million views. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Use YouTube as a business launch pad

Itika Oldwine

Itika Oldwine went from working eight seasons (including the final) on The Oprah Winfrey Show, to multiple years at AEG - the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, and then finally at a noted Los Angeles florist, before bravely choosing to make a life pivot.  

Itika decided to merge her passion for flowers with her desire to become an entrepreneur.  Encouraged by her boyfriend, Itika opened Old Vine Florals, an upscale floral boutique in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.  Old Vine Florals has created breathtaking installations for major clients including: E! Entertainment Television, Martini & Rossi, Hallmark, Fashion Nova, and Vans.  Itika recently added flower crowns and flower bar parties to Old Vine Florals growing list of services. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Don’t be afraid to pivot

Janeen Gudelj

Los Angeles is the donut capital of the United States.  There are more donut shops in Los Angeles per square mile than anywhere else in the country.  Janeen Gudelj flipped the script on the traditional donut shop business model and created Donut Snob - the nation’s first home delivery gourmet donut service. 

Handmade from scratch using all natural ingredients and no food coloring or dyes, Donut Snob has an enthusiastic roster of repeat customers who crave the company’s pretty as a picture pistachio orange, peanut butter chocolate, blueberry Earl Grey tea glaze, and cherry hibiscus flavored donuts. 

Women’s Work Discussion:

Put a fresh take on an old tradition

Judith Norman

Judith Norman is a creative storyteller pioneering START TV™ – a multimedia company highlighting the entrepreneurial journeys of multicultural women. She is also the author of the Women’s Work book series.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Fail – successfully

Judith Norman

Judith Norman is the founder of START TV - a multimedia company that highlights the entrepreneurial journeys of multicultural women. A storyteller and entrepreneur, Judith’s mission is to share an authentic glimpse into the entrepreneurial lifestyle as experienced from a woman’s point of view.

Judith is the author of the Women’s Work: Los Angeles Edition, the first publication in a five-book series featuring conversations with female founders in five different cities.

Judith Norman
IG - @watchstarttv

Katia Lopez

Secure My Wealth provides education to our underserved and low income communities on the importance of financial literacy. Growing up in humble backgrounds, Katia Lopez learned the importance of these concepts and how money issues are an extreme concern in almost every household. 

Families often accumulate financial stress figuring out ways to keep more of the money we make and by not having enough of it.

Her mission is to educate, utilize our resources, teach the basic financial concepts on how money works and how to create financial stability as we are being affected by lack of financial education.

Her goal is to educate others on the proper ways to manage our money, how to protect our families, and learn to build a stable financial future for us, our communities and our next generations.

Katia Lopez
Secure My Wealth
IG - @securemywealth

Mimi G Ford

Influencer Mimi G Ford aka Mimi G has built a handmade empire consisting of the popular Mimi G Style blog, Sew It Academy online sewing school, a bestselling line of Simplicity sewing patterns, conferences and so much more.  She has appeared on Project Runway Kids and is featured in Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book:  Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too.  Mimi recently launched a weekly podcast called Business Shet.

Looking at her success today, you would never guess that Mimi has overcome sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and homelessness.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Create multiple streams of income

Nicole Dean

A love for tea, a desire for health and wellness and an eye for style led Nicole Dean on a journey to create KOLLO.  Described as the “first luxury bottled iced tea,” KOLLO is a premium line of organic, preservative, flavoring and sweetener-free glass-bottled teas produced in Los Angeles.  A former science researcher, Nicole spent a year and a half studying tea manufacturing, distribution and the luxury market.  Her efforts have been rewarded. 

KOLLO teas are sold at Erewhon, EATALY, Neiman Marcus, the Wynn hotel, Le Bon Marché, and other upscale stores and establishments in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and Paris, France.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Choose your market

Pamela Samuels Young

On the outside, Pamela Samuels Young appeared to have it all.  She was a practicing attorney who had made partner at a major law firm.  She had the big salary.  But, she wasn’t happy.  Inspired by bestselling author (and fellow attorney), John Grisham, Pamela decided to pursue her dream to become a mystery author. 

After years of rejection, and a book deal with a major publisher, Pamela decided to take control of her writing career.  She self-published a series of bestselling mystery novels including Anybody’s Daughter, a fast-paced thriller about sex trafficking in Los Angeles.  Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction.  It was also chosen as a Top Ten pick by In the Margins – a library service dedicated to finding the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody--or a cycle of all three. 

Pamela’s books are available in print, digital and audio formats.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Give yourself permission

Porsche Reid

Crunchables Box is a monthly subscription box offering a selection of the yummiest regional potato chips delivered to your home. You get to taste different locales and flavors that have been handpicked to help you discover some new favorites. 

Porsche Reid
Crunchables Box
IG - @crunchables_box

Ruth E. Carter

Ruth E. Carter just won her first Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Marvel’s Black Panther. The win was also historic.  Ruth is the first black person to win the Oscar in the costume category. 

Her meticulous research, keen imagination and stellar design abilities have earned Ruth two other Academy Award nominations (Spike Lee’s Malcolm X; Steven Spielberg’s Amistad) for costume design.  In fact, Ruth is the first African-American nominated for the Oscar in the costume design category.  Ruth is also responsible the looks seen in “Roots” revival, “Selma,” “Marshall,” “The Butler,” and many other television and film productions.

Passionate about her craft, Ruth is willing to do whatever is necessary to execute her vision.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Honor your vision

Stacy Lande and Carol Sheridan

Makeup artist Stacy Lande and photographer Carol Sheridan have a love for Bettie Page and all things vintage.  The two friends joined forces in 2009 and created Iconic Pinups – a unique, intimate and empowering photo shoot experience that transforms average gals into femme fatales.  More than 3,000 women of all ages (including an 82-year old), shapes, and sizes have participated in Iconic Pinups photo sessions that come complete with a full pinup-style makeover and complimentary vintage and retro backdrops.  The women come to Iconic Pinups for a variety of reasons:  to mark a milestone; to gift the photos to a significant other; or even to take sexy photos of their breasts before a mastectomy.  Every woman leaves an Iconic Pinups session with beautiful photos and an awareness of her unique beauty.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Transform women

Tamara Brown

Mwokaji Cakery is a custom cake and dessert bakery that specializes in creating delicious cakes frosted with buttercream and decorated with organic and natural embellishments such as fresh fruit and fresh flowers. I am committed to providing you with gourmet cakes and desserts that are made from locally sourced ingredients free of GMO’s and unnecessary preservatives. “Mwokaji” means “the baker” in Swahili.

Tamara Brown
Mwojka Cakery
IG - @mwokaji

Victoria Reese

When Victoria Reese received an unexpected Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, she didn’t hesitate to add “Advocate” to the list of titles describing her life’s work.  A Brand Strategist (The Victor Group LA), Influencer, and former E-Commerce Entrepreneur (Baus by Victor Group), Victoria was determined not to let the disease keep her from greatness.  She educated herself about Multiple Sclerosis and then began to share her experience with others. 

As a MS spokesperson, Victoria noticed that there was a lack of outreach to women of color.  So, she created the #We Are Illmatic campaign to empower women of color living with MS by providing them with information, support and a platform to share their stories.

Women’s Work Discussion:

Make lemonade when hit with the unexpected

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