Just Ask SJP
by Amanda Lederman
“A business is a business. People want to be successful. Women Entrepreneurs are successful.”
Sarah Jessica Parker joined us at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit and offered advice to female entrepreneurs on listening, learning, and summoning the courage to reach out and ask for what you want.
Those who attended #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in September left with a notebook full of useful tidbits from Sarah Jessica Parker on entrepreneurialism that won’t soon be forgotten. What started out as a conversation about having the courage to switch from Chardonnay to her own recipe of Sauvignon Blanc quickly manifested into a discussion on women taking and owning their place in the business world. At BlogHer, we work tirelessly to make sure women feel celebrated, strive for social impact, and highlight entrepreneurialism. SJP eloquently contributed to our cause by encouraging our audience to speak up, join the conversation, and “just ask”.
Sarah Jessica Parker entered our conference with grace and her signature melodic hello, then automatically hooked us with talks of her new “unusual” and “surprising” wine partnership, #InvivoXSJP. Although SJP does not think of herself as having a brand, she admitted to having the good fortune of being asked to participate in business ventures and the opportunity to say “yes”. Typically a Chardonnay girl, Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed with her new Invivo wine, she is now comfortable moving to Sauvignon Blanc. SJP is “enormously curious about things in the world.” Creating a wine, despite not having experience in the industry, offered SJP another exciting opportunity to listen, learn, ask questions, and grow as a businesswoman and entrepreneur.
The theme of gaining experience and trying new endeavors was explored throughout the entire conversation with SHE Media’s CEO Samantha Skey. Sarah Jessica Parker has “crazy thoughts” (specifically, in the shower) of becoming as successful as the people she admires, no matter her background or education. SJP offered the following takeaways for women looking to learn in business and life.
Get inspired by other people’s businesses and other women that are starting businesses. Be near people you admire as business professionals and as people. Sarah Jessica Parker defines these people as good, honorable people who treat their employees and colleagues well. They like to see people grow in companies and share information. They are not only employees, they are leaders.
Listen and learn from people who are good at business and absorb their knowledge because you have an interest. “You don’t lose a whole lot by asking… summon courage you think you don’t have.” Sarah Jessica Parker exclaimed. Simply reach out. “The worst that can happen is someone disappoints you and you move on to the next person who will surprise you.”
You do not need to be good in school (or at math, as SJP mentions) to be a successful person. Ask a lot of questions! Be specific with your ask instead of dodging around your goal. Be very clear that there is a transaction that your hoping for.
Make sure you’re informed at all times. Be equipped to be part of the conversation. SJP discouraged side conversations and conversations without the full group. Share all information even if it’s uncomfortable, challenging, or painful. Everyone wants experience and the full story to be better what their doing. The more information you have, the more time spent doing what you love doing.
Having a creative block? “Take a walk. Listen to a podcast. Turn on some classical music. Shake it off and ask yourself is the thought that you’re wanting yours or somebody else's?”
And then, we toasted to #InvivoXSJP. Our attendees listened in awe as Sarah Jessica Parker raised her cup:
“I would like to toast all of you and say that I’m extremely excited about everything you are doing, and working on, and dreaming about, and working toward, and ask each other for help, be good to each other, be respectful of each other, disagree with whomever your colleagues are… I’m excited about your future and what you want to do and who you want to be and we are relevant upon your ideas so thank you very much.”
Sarah Jessica Parker, an Invivo toast to you! We’re excited about your future, what you’re working on, and dreaming about. We are so thankful we could be a tiny part of your journey.