Why I am Attending Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 Convention This Week

For many of you in the business world, I am aware that I have come on your radar rather abruptly. I am still getting LinkedIn queries to my continued targeted corporate based invitations to connect, “who are you, really?”. I am not in marketing, nor in sales, at least not in the traditional sense. But I am interested in promoting my book, I cannot lie 🙂

Also, I am very interested in learning about social media’s impact on marketing and sales, which are two areas a productive entrepreneur knows about. But why am I really reading the Hubspot blog daily, and attending Inbound 2013? Two words: Thought Leadership. Hubspot’s been on my radar for two years, out of my three year bootstrapping, eclectic, exhilarating entrepreneurial journey for that reason alone.

“Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences”

– Dr. Howard Gardner, Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 1983

I wrote a blogpost on Tumblr yesterday exploring Multiple Intelligences (MI)  and its impact on Thought Leadership. You can read that post here:


Today, I want to write about Thought Leadership from a book author’s perspective. Actually, both my entrepreneurship and book authorship’s perspective have been shaped by two memorable Thought Leaders; both of whom will be speaking at Inbound this week in Boston. Can’t wait! Pamela Slim, author of Escape From Cubicle Nation, and Seth Godin, author of Tribes and Linchpin (all of which are on my keeper shelf) have both profoundly influenced my entrepreneurial best practices and the way I provide Thought Leadership to others, in my Socially Speaking™ Seminars and social media sites.

Pamela Slim advocates for creation of a Vision Board, to concretize one’s entrepreneurial Mission. As a pediatric speech-language pathologist/Autism Specialist, I have been using visual supports for years, to plan a course of treatment. So I totally concur. Seth Godin advocates for entrepreneurs to become pivots for others, linchpins who create and sustain movements, to promote change. That is what I have been doing as an educational technology consultant and iPad Evangelist for the past two years, criss-crossing North America and giving seminars and school consults.  But at the end of the day, entrepreneurship is about practical strategy implementation, and that’s where my book, and Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 Convention for that matter, come into play.

The excellent blog/podcast/newsletter from Social Media Examiner has announced a cyber-seminar, their Aug 2013 Summit, also geared for the social media & entrepreneurship community. As I have limited resources and time, like so many others, I have decided not to attend, but attend Inbound 2013 instead.

Why? Because I am a huge proponent of FaceTime; literally (I think it’s one of the largest iPad provided technological game changers to date) and metaphorically. Two emerging trends in marketing, and thus by default, in entrepreneurship are:

1. Visual Digitalization: Using video in social media  (YouTube, Vimeo, Vine etc.) and photos of real people doing real things (Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter etc.)

Just think of Justin Baldoni’s profound documentary and subsequent YouTube videos of Zack Sobiek, who died of bone cancer at age 17 in May. His catchy song, “Clouds” went viral on iTunes around that time. Since I lost my childhood best friend and mentor, Dr. Natalie, “Nechah” Hochstein to breast cancer in December 2012, I was particularly moved…..

Think of the new, funny, viral, Heineken ad, “Departure Roulette”, where real people are filmed being offered a last minute flight switch at JFK airport and agonize over their choices…..

2. Story Telling: Personalizing presentations, pitches, The Hook,  and Mission Statements, just to name a few.

Think of Oprah, and how she has had her hand in everything from a girl’s school in South Africa to her famous book club, to her current role as the on-screen wife of Forest Whitaker, who plays Cecil Gaines, the White House butler, in theaters now.

Think of Steve Jobs, the first entrepreneurial guru of story telling, giving his famous graduation speech at Stanford University (it’s on YouTube) or giving the Keynote Address at the annual Apple™ WWDC before he passed….

As someone entering entrepreneurship from the educational arena, specifically the Autism/special education arena, Visual Digitalization and Story Telling are actually not new for me. I have used both strategies to tap into my students’ learning style (research shows that children with Autism tend to be visual learners) and episodic memory, to facilitate retention of learned skills and carryover, especially re: social communication skills, my area of specialty. It is why I am such an advocate of teaching play skills to children with Autism/special needs in a developmental, language/visually enriched, and methodical manner. It is why my trademarked and copyrighted Socially Speaking™ Social Skills Curriculum and iPad App emphasize a visual, sequential, and story telling/play based approach.

I find it interesting that Visual Digitalization and Story Telling  are being proclaimed as the Next New Thing for social media marketing and entrepreneurial minded people. I find it interesting that Inbound 2013 will offer seminars on these two topics, and I am eager to attend them. I have been a story teller my whole life, which is why my NICE Initiative moniker on YouTube is storytellergal. I have had an active YouTube channel reflecting both topics for 3 years:


I recently posted my first story about female entrepreneurship on my new YouTube channel:


As I keep saying, women today, particularly in the field of education, already have many of the tools in the toolbox, to become an entrepreneur. All that’s needed is Thought Leadership, about Visual Digitalization and Story Telling, about other topics that are not covered by male entrepreneurs. Sheryl Sandberg started to fulfill that need in her bestseller and initiative, Lean In.

I hope to continue in that vein, with a somewhat different focus. Sandberg has been quoted that she wishes she were more technically inclined. I tremendously respect her business acumen and candor. But I am single, and have a different perspective about certain aspects to women in the workforce than she does. Furthermore, I have always been a bit of tech geek and a major Mac Girl. So my book’s focus is different than Lean In.

My book is about:

1. The psychological and practical aspects of entrepreneurship

2. How female entrepreneurs can better balance the proverbial seesaw of Me vs. We i.e. the craving for balance between humanity and technology.

I therefore feel that Hubspot’s live conference has real value. I also feel that my book has real value. I believe that I can really help women put those entrepreneurial puzzle pieces together in a more cohesive, easy to understand, and holistic manner. Entrepreneurship is much more than the sum of its parts. We human beings, especially women, are so much more than a sum of our ideas and life experiences. It is why I wrote my book. It is why I am launching The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, whose blog lives on Tumblr.

Rieva Lesonsky, Pamela Slim, and even Erma Bombeck, have all been virtual mentors to me as I read and re-read their works while embarking on my own journey of entrepreneurship. I wrote this in my book, and had the occasion to quote myself, when I read about the Heineken Departure Roulette Ad in Hubspot’s  7/18/13 blogpost:


“Visual Digitalization is the driving force behind new trends in social media, but at the end of the day, it’s finding the absurd in the human condition, and “sharing a moment” by collectively laughing about it, that spurns collective change, promotes content marketing, and gives the competitive, solitary, sometimes grueling nature of entrepreneurship its wings to be free, and be more in touch with humanity.”

– Penina Rybak, July 2013

Same thing applies to story telling. That’s why I chose to attend the live Hubspot event over the online summit by Social Media Examiner. Both offer forums for learning, networking, and being inspired. But only one venue offers me the real opportunity to implement my human craving for Emotional Attunement, by engaging in collective Thought Leadership, through accessing the audience’s diverse Theory of Mind (perspective/empathy) and stories. Thanks to a friendly, personalized response Email from @DianaUrban at Hubspot, I get to be part of something big 🙂

 I’d love to connect with you at Inbound 2013! You can tweet me, @PopGoesPenina, or Email me on LinkedIn…..come find me and tell me your Story.  I look forward to sharing mine 🙂 



P.S. For those further interested, or actually interested 🙂 I’d love to share a bit of my Story. Here are several key links to peruse:




NICE About.Me Page: http://about.me/NICE.Initiative/#



About penina4niceinitiative

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, is the author of "The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur". She is an Autism specialist and educational technology consultant turned social entrepreneur. She is also a pediatric speech therapist and the creator of the Socially Speaking™ Program & iPad App. Her second book, "Autism Intervention in the iEra" was published in 2015. Since 2010, Penina has been a national/international speaker about social communication development, balancing humanity and technology, and best practices re: mobile and social technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. You can also find her on Twitter: @PopGoesPenina, Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC, Google+ at The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, and Pinterest and YouTube as well.
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