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Amilya's Blog: Pay it Forward, Pass it Back, Stay Open to Opportunity When it Arrives

By Amilya Antonetti
I’m often asked in interviews what I think my greatest strength is. People are usually surprised when I answer that I believe it is my willingness to accept the help of people who have gone father than I... and my passion to guide those just getting started.

Fourteen years after the birth of my son (the inspiration behind Soapworks), I have been granted so many amazing opportunities to meet and work with some of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time and touch the lives of tens of thousands of people through my products as well as my speaking and books. Yet each day I get out of bed with the same humble perspective as I did the day I first heard my newborn gasp for breath, and knew I needed to do something. My firm belief is that has been the key to my own success and may be the missing piece to the success of many other entrepreneurs.

Along my entrepreneurial path public relations was a vital key to the success of my business. When I started my company I hardly had the money to pay employees let alone do a professional advertising campaign. However, the willingness of the media to allow a mom with baby in tow to appear on TV and radio and tell her story, in spite of the controversy I created with some of the largest consumer products companies in the world was one of the biggest reasons for the ground swell of consumer activism I created and the popularity of Soapworks.

Flash forward years later after the growth or Soapworks and my choices to sell the company, have another child and entrepreneurially rethink my future in the process. It was May of this past year and I got a call for the producers of the Big Idea who wanted me to tell my story of founding Soapworks for a segment on finding millions in your kids. To be frank I was at first hesitant because I was focused on my newborn and not talking about my old company, but having been a fan of Donny’s for years and the sincerity of the producers, made it easy for me to quickly make the decision to fly across the country, baby in tow to be on the show on short notice.

On the red eye to New York I reviewed my countless highlights and dogeared pages of Donny’s book, “Often Wrong Never in Doubt” and reminded myself of some of the many lessons I pulled from it and the inspiration it offered me at the time when I was saying goodbye to Soapworks. I thought about my own journey again and realized the universe was opening up again offering me an opportunity to jump.



I’ve been fortunate to meet many great people over the years, celebrities and billionaires alike, and frankly often I have had high hopes when meeting some of these amazingly successful people only to be sadly disappointed in the end. Meeting Donny however was not one of those stories and I could not have been more impressed with my time with him and the " what you see is what you get " charisma he oozes from every pour. Not only did the time on camera go well, his sincerity and willingness to offer me his professional advice and assistance on my own journey was what impressed me most reminding me of the lesson to pay it forward and pass it back and inspired me to get started on my newest venture.

I went on the show with humble expectations and was rewarded with the knock of opportunity I was seeking. After a great conversation on the show about my old company Donny asked me "So what’s next?" and for a few short seconds I spoke about my life’s passion for helping others find their dreams and get their ideas birthed from "Mind to Market" not thinking much about any impact my words would have.

Well 5000 of you thought differently after seeing that segment and reached out to share your questions thoughts and ideas with me. (LOVE THAT! ) With all that inspiration I had to find a way to bring all the tools, tips and resources together to be able to help more people be heard and assist them to "birth" their Ideas. With a amazing creative team and other power player entrepreneurs " The Lucky Napkin-Where Great Ideas Launch" was born. http://www.luckynapkin.com

Our goal is to revolutionize how the VC, Angel funding, and incubator worlds work and break down the doors of opportunity for other aspiring entrepreneurs trying to get their great ideas to market. I believe in my heart this could only have happened by following this lesson and being inspired by another great entrepreneur willing to pass it back.

What an amazing year 2007 was but I know in my heart it holds nothing on what what is in store for 2008. Watch out for " Lucky Napkin Live " in March of 2008 and keep checking in for more Lucky Napkin ideas on my blog.

Happy Holidays and Much Success in the New Year

- Amilya

Questions? Comments? BigIdeaCES@CNBC.com