More than 400 women assembled under one roof at New World Stages in New York City for a night of networking and inspiration.
The event, hosted by SELF & Fidelity Investments titled Empowering Conversations: So You Want To…, included a discussion featuring Shazi Visram, founder and CEO of Happy Family Brands, Julia Hartz co-founder and president Eventbrite and actress and entrepreneur Drew Barrymore.
Before financial journalist Jean Chatzky sat down with the entrepreneurs, attendees were greeted with a cocktail networking hour complete with a professional headshot booth and a chance to sign up for one on one sessions with Fidelity consultants.
In “So You Want To Be Financially Fit” session Visram recounted a time when she couldn’t even afford one trip on the Subway and was rescued by a friend walking through the platform. Hard to believe for Visram who would eventually stand at the helm of a multi-million dollar company. She talked to the audience about being in control of their finances.
“You have to do it,” Visram said. “If you don’t do it no one else will do it for you.”
The next session was about taking chances and Hartz is no stranger to the subject. She launched Eventbrite with husband Kevin Hartz and business partner Renaud Visage in 2006. Jumping from television and film to building an upstart took much courage, so did becoming the first pregnant person on the Eventbrite team.
“The hardest times were during the births of my two children … I remember just being really anxiety-ridden over what my future would be and if I was setting the right example… Will I come back to the company and will I have a place? And it’s crazy now that I was thinking that,” Hartz said.
Barrymore sat with Chatzky to talk about turning your passion into a business. During this session the actress and mompreneur shared with the audience the importance of saying no, a lesson she learned as a child actor from Steven Spielberg.
“Saying ‘no’ to things will ultimately lead to saying ‘yes’ to something that makes a lot of sense,” she said.
Saying no and being selective allowed Barrymore to carve out her own destiny by following goals and opportunities she was really passionate about.