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Wendy Diamond on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, Methods For Success & Being An Animal Advocate

womens entrepreneurship day at nasdaq
Wendy Diamond with a white dog

“I said, who in your country is the greatest person to represent our movement to bring governments and business leaders together to collaborate to find solutions to uplift women in business and that’s how we started the foundation. We’re all volunteers and we work with some of the most incredible people in the entire world.”

~ Wendy Diamond

In today’s episode of OWC’s Leaders & GameChangers, Setorii Pond speaks to Wendy Diamond, who has been a trailblazer and leader in all of the industries she has moved mountains in. Wendy is a Social Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, Endangered Animal and Rescue Advocate, a Pet Lifestyle expert, Impact Investor, Advisor, Best-Selling Author, and TV Personality. She is also the founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and is celebrated at the United Nations and globally recognized in over 144 countries and 65 Universities. This special day is a movement to celebrate, support, and empower over 4 billion women globally in business to alleviate poverty. 

It is surprising to think that just over 30 years ago, a woman could not get a business loan without a male co-signer. Since the 1988 passing of the Women’s Business Ownership Act (HR 5050), the United States’ landmark federal legislation allowing women to take out business loans without a male relative as a co-signer, women have been blazing trails, breaking down barriers, and making remarkable contributions to the business world and the economy across every industry. This is a great time to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of female entrepreneurs in our world today and Wendy’s movement, which truly makes a difference and unite women from around the world. 

Wendy DFiamond with a group of women at Women's Entrepreneurship Day

Wendy Diamond also revolutionized the pet industry by creating premiere pop culture benefits to endorse and help pet adoption. She has been a successful gamechanger and warrior for animals in need for many years. Wendy has appeared in media outlets including OprahThe Today ShowThe New York TimesForbes, and more.

As if this was not enough… 

Wendy holds three Guinness Book of World Records, has written ten books, was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award and has been a featured keynote speaker at Harvard University and Davos.

Wendy has a way of making the impossible happen, motivating people to do good and feel good! Her drive and positive attitude is one-of-a-kind, and her journey and missions in life are truly inspiring. To learn more about Wendy, you can go to wendydiamond.com. To learn more about Women’s Entrepreneurship Day you can go to womenseday.org.


In This Episode

  • 00:32 – Setorii introduces trailblazer, Wendy Diamond. She’s a social entrepreneur, humanitarian, endangered animal and rescue advocate, pet lifestyle expert, impact investor, advisor, best-selling author, and TV personality. Wendy is also the founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. It’s a movement that celebrates, supports, and empowers over 4 billion women globally in business to alleviate poverty. 
  • 05:07 – Wendy gives advice to entrepreneurs to help them get to where they want to be and find success without getting distracted by the shiny things.
  • 09:19 – Wendy advises entrepreneurs on how they can turn a ‘No’ into an opportunity.
  • 15:50 – Wendy shares how a trip to Honduras in 2013 pushed her to create Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
  • 22:01 – Setorii asks Wendy about the investors and entrepreneurs that have been part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day movement and which ones have really stood out to her.
  • 25:29 – Wendy shares her advice to VCs and investors as to what they should look for in the entrepreneurs that they invest in.
  • 31:06 – Wendy talks about the mentor app that she is building right now.
  • 34:34 – Wendy emphasizes why it is better to support local animal rescues rather than corporate animal rescues. She also gives tips on how to contribute to the cause without money involved.
  • 37:12 – Wendy reminisces on the expensive dog wedding she held for her dying dog, which helped bring more awareness to animal rescues.
  • 42:41 – Setorii encourages listeners to check out Women’s Entrepreneurship Day at womenseday.org, and go to wendydiamond.com to learn more about Wendy Diamond.

Jump To Links and Resources


Transcript

Wendy Diamond is joining us today OWC Leaders & Game Changers. I love Wendy. She is a longtime friend of mine, and she is an amazing entrepreneur, and honestly, one of the most inspiring people that I’ve ever met in my life. So thank you, Wendy, for joining today. Wendy has an amazing background where it can go into so many different verticals. And we’re only going to be able to cover tidbits. So if you want to learn more information, I’m going to include her links at the end. But Wendy, could you share a cliff notes version of what it is that you do and who you are?

I created a foundation called Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization in 2013 when I learned about 250 million girls living in poverty and learning about microloans and the importance of how these are going to be able to change the world in a positive manner. And we’re now in 144 countries. And it’s a movement to celebrate, empower and support women in business to alleviate poverty around the world. I’m also an impact investor, I work on about 20 different companies that are making a positive impact in this world, whether it’s agriculture, whether it’s energy, and every day, I support animal rescue and welfare.

That is a very concise and very shortened tidbit of information that Wendy shared. One thing I can tell all of the listeners is that Wendy helps so many people around the world, honestly. Wendy and I met because of our love of dogs. And I immediately was drawn to this laugh that made everybody in the room stop and look. It was this captivating energy, and it was the most heartfelt and sincere and genuine, which is so rare these days, attention that you gave to everybody in the room. And I just immediately loved you, and we kept bumping into each other, and I just was like, “Oh my god, I love this woman.” One thing about you is your heart and soul. And you’ve said one time in an interview, “When you don’t care about money, fame, or power, you can do everything.” And so many people are dealing with so much trauma and difficult times right now. So many people are looking for the next shiny thing, and they’re looking for instant gratifications. Is there any advice that you can give for entrepreneurs that are listening or businesses that are looking to incorporate things into their businesses that can help them get to where they want to get? And help them be successful without focusing on the shiny things.

Well, first, take deep breaths. Take time to breathe and to very much understand that we are living. And life is meant to live. And a lot of people always ask, like, “How do you do so many things?” and I always say to them that everything I’ve done in my life was a purpose, something that I learned, that propelled me to do something. And so whether it was when I first moved to New York City, and I learned about the homeless problem, and I volunteered for the Coalition for the Homeless and fed thousand people per week, and saw the genuine smiles of these people receiving the ham sandwich, cold milk and like an apple, and who were so grateful. That inspired me to help homeless people. And that’s where I did two cookbooks with all the celebrities and raised a half-million dollars for the homeless. And I was on Oprah and Howard Stern. But when I did that, it was never about like, “Oh, I’m going to be on Oprah or Howard Stern,” or “Oh, I’m going to meet all these celebrities.” It was really about, “I want to help homeless people.” And how can I do that? But if I bring celebrities and famous people, we can bring awareness to that issue. And at that time, when I created those two cookbooks, celebrities and sponsorship and cause, very little about that. So by bridging that, I realized, like, “Wow, we could bring awareness towards this problem of homelessness.” And that’s where we were able to raise a half-million dollars for Coalition for the Homeless and empty the shelters, which was a national organization; what drove me was that experience of volunteering, and being on that band and feeding 1000 people per week, and then going to dinner with my friends at night and being like, “Wow, if they knew what I did today, they would be like, ‘No!'” And I would always just remember how great I felt. The whole reason I was really focused on that was because I always remembered one person, that his smile with like a few teeth in his mouth, that was so grateful for that ham sandwich, milk, and apple. And so same thing, when I learned 12 million animals were euthanized a year, and nobody was talking about adoption or rescue. And it was literally when you would look up animals at adoption, and it was really only dog shows and breeders. So I knew from my experience of doing those cookbooks, and with all the celebrities, I knew what when we brought celebrities and pop culture to the animal rescue world, I knew we could bring that number down and teach people that you could adopt any breed any size, any age, and any color. I knew that we could change the mindset of people because everyone loves fashion and everyone loves celebrities, but when we brought animals to the equation, people started learning about adoption through that. So I created the first-ever pet fashion show in history. Because of adopting my dog and cat and learning 12 million animals are euthanized a year, I knew that that was my dream. And that’s why I created Animal Fair and created the very first media company to bring celebrities and pop culture into the animal rescue world. 

Man climbing a pile of rocks
Whatever you go through, it is teaching you something to get to the next step.

The start and the foundation of who you are, you have always tried to just find solutions, no matter what adversity was thrown to you. No matter what walls are put up, you literally always find a way. And if you don’t find a way, you figure out another way. And if you don’t find another way, you literally just continue to try and try and try until you make it work for so many people today that are shifting the way that they do business or having to because of the pandemic. Is there some guidance or advice that you can give because you’re helping so many entrepreneurs out there? Is there any advice that you could give for somebody that is thinking about changing their business structure? And are their opportunities? And if so, how can they take a no and turn that into a positive?

Well, the greatest thing they could do is to control their mind. And the greatest thing they can do is realize you can change your mind in a second. You can decide whether you wake up happy or sad. You can decide that this is going to be the greatest day of your life or this is going to be the worst day. No one else creates your happiness. And no one else creates success in your mind other than yourself. So when you think about life, I mean, I was blessed at a very young age to learn resiliency. And resiliency is what everybody needs to understand from the time we are in now with this pandemic. So I grew up, I was forced to be an entrepreneur, I was forced at a young age to figure out my life. My parents had some issues, so I had to learn really young, to be independent, and to be able to take care of myself, which was at that time, most people would be like, “Oh, that’s so sad.” I’m like, “Are you kidding? It’s the greatest gift they gave me because I learned how to have resiliency.” Nothing’s easy. You’re gonna get knocked down, and you just get back up. But I feel like with everybody right now, and whether you have a job, you’re looking for a new job, you’re transitioning careers, whatever that might be, the key to life is to have a purpose in your life. Sure, keep your day job, or whatever job it is, that’s keeping you a food and housing and the whole thing. But find a purpose that’s going to drive you that you’re going to be so passionate about, that you’re going to be so excited when you get done with work, you’re going to get into and you’re going to work on it. And I learned that at a young age. After college, I sent out 300 resumes. I didn’t get one call back. At that time, no one even talked about networks. And so, I was forced to be an entrepreneur. I’ve never worked for anybody in my life. So I was forced to learn and how to figure things out at a very young age. And so one of the things I do is I look back in life, and you know this about me. I’ve had a stalker, I have haters, I have bullies, I have everything, but all I can say is everything’s positive with whatever we go through in life. You’re not going to know it, maybe in a day, a year, ten years, maybe even 20 years, what you’re going to realize is whatever you go through is teaching you something to get to the next step. Everything I’ve done in my life has propelled me to something even greater, that I feel so lucky to be doing. Because, again, it goes to your mindset that you control your own mind the way you see, think, and feel. And so by being able to live a life of understanding, you know what, it doesn’t matter what’s going on over here, over there, on Instagram or anything, this is about your life. At the end of your life, what are you going to look back on doing? Are you going to look back and like some phony person on Instagram who maybe is in a bikini? Or did a sex tape when they were young? ? Or are you going to look back and say, “I spent my time working on a cause that was important to me.”

No one else can create your happiness and success other than you. Click To Tweet

That really hits home for me. I mean, you know that I went through a lot of personal challenges in the last 13 years. But a lot of people are going through challenges. And so I’m sure that will help a lot of people listening. It certainly helps me. Because every time I’ve ever felt down, I talked to you. And I immediately shift, I get back up again. It’s also about having the people around you.

What I work on is tough. Our movement was appropriated. I’ve got people that want to bring us down. Why? We’re an all-volunteer movement. We’re not about fame, money, or power. If we don’t raise money, we’re still going to do it. This isn’t about us. It’s bigger than us. And that’s what drives us. And I think that people, especially today, need to figure out their ecosystem. Who is in your life? And the people in your life, do they bring you up? Are they shining lights? Are they supportive of what you’re doing? I’d rather be alone than be with people that are not my true friends, that is not behind me and supportive of me. And as you know, I have a stalker that basically created 50 emails to defame and slander my life and literally ruined my life in the animal world, which I created. I was on the Today Show twice a month, I had a primetime show on CBS, raising millions of dollars for animal rescue, a wing named after my dog at the Humane Society the next year. Maybe 75% of the people I was friends with didn’t even speak to me again. But what that did was the greatest gift. It cleaned out my life. I wasn’t wasting time anymore with people that weren’t supportive. Who cares? I have to say, and I feel so lucky because of that experience with that stalker. It was a woman, and she propelled me to like an even better life of making a bigger impact. And like enabling me to work on things, I never dreamed of doing.

I mean, and that’s really telling, because when I talked about you taking your trips, which I just find amazing because most people, including myself, don’t take the time to unplug and take a moment to enjoy the little moments in life. But by taking these trips for a purpose, not just for yourself, but to help others, you were able in 2013 to take a trip to Honduras. And this trip changed the course into a totally new direction that I really wanted to share with people you learned about microloans there. And if you could share with people a little bit about that journey.

Well, so what happened, it was 2013, and I had a stalker, so my whole life was like unraveling. And it was December, and I’m like, “Oh my god, I didn’t go to two new countries.” And when I make a commitment to myself, what everybody should respect themselves enough to do, is when you make a commitment, you stick with that commitment. And so I made a commitment when my father passed away on his deathbed. I was like, “Thank you for being so crazy. Because if you weren’t so crazy, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” Living in the future and living in the present, but not allowing your paths to ruin your life and to be able to let go. And so when my father died, I said, “Oh my god, I worked so hard, if I don’t make a commitment to myself to travel to two new countries. Because you know how it is, like, people don’t want to travel, you’re like, “I want to go,” but no one wants to go, “Eh, forget it, I’ll go alone.” So that kind of what happened that year. So I called Amex and said, “Where can I fly for free with miles?” “They’re like, “Oh, let’s see where it’s like December. So everybody eats up their miles in all the good places,” and they’re like, “Honduras,” and I’m like, “Great. It’s next to Nicaragua. No problem.” And then, when I was researching it, it was the murder capital of the world. And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. No one wanted to go with me.” And I was just like, “You know what, I’m gonna go.” So I ended up at a boutique hotel in the jungle and watching birds with all these people from England, who were willing to risk their lives to watch birds. And I’m like, after two days of it, I’m like, “Oh, my god, I’m gonna go cuckoo myself.” The guy, the owner of the hotel, was like, “There’s an organization that gives microloans to impoverished women. I know, the development director, why don’t you take the two-hour ride. You will be safe. Go ahead.” Now, most people would be like, “You gotta be kidding. I’m on vacation, and I’m going to go visit like this impoverished community?” And I did. I got there, and I fell in love with the whole organization. They were giving $100 microloans to impoverished women. And I met this one woman, and she was 72 years old, she had three little kids. I’m like, “How did you get these little kids?” And she’s like, “Oh, my daughter passed away, and her husband ran off.” And so she was responsible for her grandchildren. So she received a $100 microloan, opened up a window in her one-room hut, and was selling coats and toothpaste, which enabled her to earn enough money to pay $1 a month for each of those kids to go to school. 

Wow. 

Every story was like that. And that’s when I started going through the research again, like what I did in the animal rescue world when I learned 12 million animals were euthanized a year. I thought to myself, “Wow, these women are paying these loans back in and 98.7% rate.90% of the money they earn goes back to educating their children providing for their families.” Let’s go even broader and do the research I found at that time in 2013, 1% of venture dollars went to women founders, and you saw the statistics after statistics. And you’re like, “Whoa, this is really incredible.” And so that’s when I came back to New York and said, “I’m gonna do what I did in the animal world. But in the women’s world,” I knew that when I created Animal Fair Media, nobody was talking about adoption or rescue. If I brought celebrities and pop culture, the animal rescue world, everyone would realize the importance and how easy it would be to adopt any dog, any size, any age. And that number now is down to 2 million from 12 million. Let me do the same thing I did in a woman’s world. And let me create a day in the world instead of a media company. I created a day because I knew if we created a day, and I got Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio and US Congress to proclaim that day, I knew we could bring awareness. So I went around the world, to all the people I knew around the world, from Turkey and Indonesia and everywhere. And I said, who in your country is the greatest person to represent our movement to bring governments, business leaders, and civil society together, to collaborate to find solutions to uplift women in business? We’re all volunteers. We work with some of the most incredible people in the entire world that are donating their time to help their communities and bringing all these parties together on one day in a summit to create solutions throughout the year.

You’re in over 140 countries. I mean, people don’t even realize how big of a movement you’ve created.

They might not know it’s me, but they’ve heard of it. Google is behind it now, NASDAQ is behind it now. It’s all over the world. And it’s funny, the reason why we created Women’s Entrepreneurship Day was to celebrate, empower and support women in business. Because in history, women have been forgotten. And in 2013, when I created this, there weren’t all these women’s movements, there was not the United States of Women, UN Women was not supporting entrepreneurs. They did not recognize that. And now you’ve seen them all come around to see the fact that we have to give a hand up, not a handout. We’re a capitalist society, and people need opportunities, especially women.

There are some notable names that you–I mean, there are so many–but there are some notable names that you give awards to. You recognize so many around the world. Is there a couple of investors or entrepreneurs that stand out to you that you feel, in your opinion, are some of your, I don’t want to say favorite investors or entrepreneurs, but are there ones that stand out that you think that people should take notice of and that you’re really proud of that have been part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Movement?

Oh my god, so many. One of my favorites is Tao Porchon-Lynch. She was the oldest yoga teacher in the world. She was 102 years old when she passed away. She marched with Gandhi, and she starred in movies with Marilyn Monroe, she was a Chanel model. She was a Guinness World Record Yoga Master. She was one of the most incredible souls. And two months before she passed away, I went to her yoga class. And one of the things I’ll never forget that she said to me that was really interesting, and we should always remember this about life, “Never say goodbye,” she told me, “see you later,” in French. Like in life, we don’t realize how short it is, but she celebrated each day. Each day, she said, “This is going to be the best day of my life,” when she woke up. And it goes back to that mindset of always having that positivity.

That’s so true. You said this quote once that I loved. Everyone thinks of TED when you think of getting really informative and important speeches, but I loved it when you said, “Instead of TED, think of WED.” 

Instead of TED, it’s about people talking about themselves or ideas in these different venues. What we do at WED is we bring governments, business leaders, and civil society to collaborate to find solutions to uplift women in business. So it’s a different way of doing it, but to bring impact. And again, it’s about like, how do we find solutions? So every year, we fund a thousand impoverished women with microloans to start their entrepreneurial journey. So that’s what we do. And all over the world, our ambassadors are making an impact in their communities.

You were really in charge. In my opinion, you were in charge of really changing the way that VCs and investors looked at women and considered investing in their businesses. Do you have any advice today for people? There are so many people that are still, even during the pandemic, looking to invest in people. What advice can you give to8 investors as to what they should look for in entrepreneurs, whether they’re male or female? What can you share about what they need to look for, and any other guidance that you can give in regards to what you’ve personally experienced? 

Women are part of leadership boards and companies are 30% more profitable. I think bringing more women in the room, whether it’s women entrepreneurs or enabling women investors to be part of those decisions on investment. And I think it’s again, opening up opportunities and enabling people a chance. And I feel that that’s the key to success, whether it’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day or other organizations about making these simple things to help people understand why it’s so important to support women,

Could you share a little bit about that story with us, just so people can understand how you got it to move forward and why you chose to?

It’s a battle. I mean again, simplifying, everybody in the world wants to help, you just have to make it easy for them. And so by proclaiming the Wednesday after Thanksgiving is the day to choose women. We have Black Friday, Giving Tuesday, Small Business Saturday, but why not take Wednesday and say, make this a Super Bowl day for women? Let’s choose the woman that inspired you, whether it’s choosing women in fashion, choosing women in art, choosing women in construction, choosing women in health, choosing women in business. And so that was the whole initiative behind it. And so yeah, it’s been an amazing battle. I love it. Like I love everything that doesn’t work, everything that works. For me, it’s about the journey. Whether you get knocked down and you have to get back up, it’s all about where we wanted to go. So again, with people who expect things to happen overnight, good luck, it never happens. That’s why you need to have passion and purpose because it’s going to keep you going with whatever you’re doing in life.

Even if you have to pivot. Right now, a lot of people have to change their businesses, and there are still so many opportunities. Is there any advice that you can personally give to help people when they are in a dark place? How can they keep that positivity inside? I know that passion is what you’re saying. You need to find that within and help focus on that. But is there anything else that you can share that you’ve seen or you’ve advised other people to help get them over the hump?

Yeah, I think it’s again, finding your tribe, finding those around you that are going to support you. Be fearless, meaning, what’s the worst that could happen? No? I mean, who cares, right? There are so many opportunities, and there’s meetup, there’s a lot of different things online that you could connect with people, to find those people that are working on something that’s similar to yours, or that can be beneficial for you to know. And it’s about doing the research, doing the homework, understanding everything, and asking for help. One of the things that I did on the first day of isolation was I had a dream in 2013. In 2013, I learned 250 million girls were living in poverty. And I had a dream, and we could create an app like Tinder for mentors. And the first day of isolation, I said, “Oh, my gosh. Wow. If we could do this, we can change the world, and we can give everyone hope and purpose. And everyone could learn and grow and have one on one connections with people.” And so I went on the journey of creating this company. And it’s been the greatest roller coaster up, and then down, and up, and it cracks me up because I’m not going to give up. And I’m going to make my dream come true by providing everyone in the world with a free mentor. And I’m working on this, and it’s fun because I get to talk to so many people. I learned UI/UX, and I learned about responsive websites, and app building, and all this stuff I never knew before. And the greatest gift is to learn, and stimulate your mind and not be afraid. “Oh, I can’t do this.” You can get over it. Somebody on YouTube could teach you how to do that. In two seconds. You’re just as an entrepreneur, and to understand as an entrepreneur is that entrepreneurs don’t give up. And entrepreneurs do everything. And that’s what you have to do at the beginning of any new venture is to understand how to do everything. So when you bring on people to take those roles, you kind of know what they’re doing, and you really know what it takes. So I really have to say that giving advice is truly finding your own tribe. You’ve got to find those people that are going to be in your circle supporting you along that journey. If you have a company, figure out what your purpose is, other than money. Figure out, well, how is this going to make the world a better place? Who are you going to support with your company? And I don’t care who it is or what it is. Everybody can make a difference in this world. And whether it’s one person, one animal, one fish, whatever it is, we can all contribute to making this world a better place.

The key to life is to be positive and have fun while making a difference. Click To Tweet

So true. So your mentor app that you’re building right now can you share a little bit more information about it? And if you could talk to yourself three years from now, what advice do you want to give yourself about the app? Where do you see it going?

So how, being from a little town of 2500 people, that I have this big vision? And I feel like I can do everything and anything. And by the way, a lot of things I’ve done in my life were not successful. But they were successful because they taught me to get to where I am today.

Yes, wow. 

And so I think where I’d like to be in three years, I’d like to be talking to Bill Gates. And I’d like to be talking to the team at Microsoft and saying, “You can buy us, but there’s one thing you’re going to have to promise, that we’re going to continue to enable everyone in the world a free mentor.”

I love that. I love that. 

And that’s what I say to people that want to come on our team. I’m like,” My goal is that we do this. I need this company to have robust revenue models and have like a scalable company, and a 100-page requirement document if anybody knows technology,” it’s a lot of pages. And so I have been working on this, and I really believe if we create the team to do this, we can create this dream to happen.

People don’t know, you wrote ten books. What was one of your favorite books that you wrote?

I would say, How to Train Your Boss to Rollover

Can you tell us a little bit about this?

More importantly, How to Understand Men Through Their Dogs. One of the greatest gifts is to laugh and to have a sense of humor because life is tough. When creating my books, I wanted to show the importance of dogs in our lives or cats in our lives. And I wanted to show that there’s nothing greater than unconditional love, loyalty, and a bond. We all have it with our dogs. Is it possible with a human? I haven’t found that yet. So I have always had a sense of humor in whatever I’ve done. That’s why I have three Guinness World Records. That’s why I have all these humor books out. Why? I try to bring humor into everything I do. Because at the end of the day, we’re working on really serious issues, and the key to life is to be positive and have fun and make a difference.

Woman laughing wearing sunglasses
One of the greatest gifts is to laugh. Have a sense of humor because life is tough.

Yeah, making a difference. I want to come back to the start of how you went into the entrepreneurship realm of helping animals. You made so much impact, Wendy. I really wanted to dive into how you helped animals. And if you wouldn’t mind just giving people a little idea of the difference of, it’s the holidays, everybody seeing these ads saying “Give to the ASPCA.” And people don’t realize that by giving to corporate as opposed to local. What is the difference so people can understand the importance of giving to their local shelters as opposed to corporate?

So creating Animal Fair, fairness to animals; the whole idea was to bring awareness towards animal rescue and animal welfare. And one of the things that people really need to understand is to rescue their local. And so it’s about feeling and knowing who you’re supporting? And so a lot of times, you’ll see directly in the mail from the Humane Society of the United States or ASPCA, all good organizations, right? But they’re not supporting your local rescue. It’s super important to understand, and the small groups don’t have marketing dollars or PR dollars to reach you. And so it’s important to feel and know that we should be supporting our local rescue because rescue is local. And a lot of them right now, even in today’s time with COVID, there’s still a lot of animals up for adoption. But again, it’s expensive to have a pet. We’ve got to feed them, we’ve got to house them, we have to take them to the vet. It’s a lifelong commitment.

So what are some things if you could give people some tips of things that people could all do? You don’t have to have a lot of money, but something that you could do to contribute without cash, what would you do?

You can foster, you could volunteer, walk dogs, you could give them your old blankets that you’re going to throw away. Old toys, they’ll be grateful to have those.

Yeah, that’s helpful. And people don’t realize that it’s such simple things like that, they can really make a difference. There are so many animals that, unfortunately, it’s very cold out, and the shelters try to do the best they can, but they need supplies. I just want people to know that everybody can make a true impact in an animal’s life.

Even in COVID, they could go and call up the shelter or go to their social media pages and share dogs up for adoption or cats up for adoption.

There’s a lot of great things that you’ve done with animals, and one of the one things that everyone always talks about when they talk about Wendy Diamond is they talk about that you had the most expensive dog wedding to help bring awareness, you turn something that was a very unfortunate situation into something that was not only impactful but absolutely beautiful. Could you share some details about that?

My dog, Lucky, who inspired me to create Animal Fair, was dying of cancer. Because my whole life was helping animal rescue, and creating these events and supporting the Humane Society of New York, etc. And so everyone was calling me like, “What can we do to support you? So a friend of mine, who was the events person at the Essex House in Central Park South, was like, “We’ll donate the ballroom. Let’s do a celebration of your dog’s life.” And then I got a call from Harriette Rose Katz, who is one of the most fabulous characters in history. She was one of the most prominent event planners in New York City, and she would do the million-dollar weddings, the million-dollar bank events, everything. She called me up crying, “Oh my god, I can’t believe your dog is dying.” She’s like, “You’ve been so much to me. I want to help. I want to be a part of this.” So when she came on board, she was like the funniest character in the world. And one afternoon at the Essex House. We were planning this event, and one called to Hank Lane Orchestra, “Hey, Hank, will you donate an orchestra?” Within 15 seconds, we had a 22-piece orchestra. And then we got a call from TLC, the Cake Boss, and they were like, “Buddy wants to make a dog cake and the whole thing.” And we’re like, “Well, we want to do a wedding.” And so then this memorial turned into a wedding. And then the next thing I know, my dog passed away before the wedding, and I was fostering another dog, Baby Hope, which I just decided to adopt. So be careful if you foster, because you’re probably gonna fall in love. And then that’s what happened. And then it was about $250,000 worth of donated stuff. We created a fundraiser, and we raised enough money for a wing at the Humane Society of New York, which is the Lucky Diamond Critical Care Ward, where they help people who can’t afford critical care for their pets. But that was phenomenal. So it was a $250,000 wedding, and it was on the Cake Boss, and we had Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on the Conan O’Brien show, and on Saturday Night Live, and he officiated the wedding. And it was just really one of the most magnificent, craziest experiences.

Man holding sparkler with fireworks in the background
Celebrate everything that has happened to you because it’s made you who you are.

Literally, my heart is so happy. If you could share a couple of your favorite moments so far in your journey, your takeaways, and anything that you’ve done, could you share what those were?

Everything. I think you just need to celebrate everything that’s happened to you because that’s made you who you are. And always remember where you are is where you want to be. So there are times in people’s lives where this is where you’re supposed to be. This is what you’re supposed to be feeling and experiencing, and this is why we’re here. Don’t worry about who’s in Hawaii surfing, don’t worry about whose big photographs at some Hollywood party, because it really doesn’t matter. It’s really about you and how you’re spending your time, your valuable time that’s very short in life.

So a few more things, I just want to mention, you mentor personally, so many people find you and meet you, and you’re just a connector. You love helping people. And is there anybody that you have worked with, or you’re currently working with, that you are their mentor, or you’re helping them with a business idea or plan? Is there anybody that you want to bring attention to today?

The thousand people that we’re funding to start their own businesses, impoverished women, it’s about their journey and about what they’re going to do to impact their communities. There are so many people that I worked with, helped, and talked to every day. It’s hard to pinpoint, but I wouldn’t say let’s recognize those that are forgotten and not recognized. Maybe $1 can make a difference.

I encourage everybody to definitely check out Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. There are just two more questions that I want to ask you. Of course, I want to ask a million, but. What is success to you, Wendy?

What is success? I don’t really care about success. Like, that isn’t a word that is in my equation. I think success is just living a fulfilled life and hopefully making a difference in the world.

Perfect. Was there anything that was never asked of you, anything you want to tell us about that you’re working on, anything exciting, or just a takeaway quote of something that you want us to remember this by?

I have a funny quote. “Overdeliver, people remember. Underdeliver, they quickly forget.”

Overdeliver, people remember. Underdeliver, they quickly forget. Click To Tweet

It’s true. It’s very good. And can you share where people can find more about all of the different projects that you are working on?

They just go to WendyDiamond.com.

And of course, where can people find Women’s Entrepreneurship Day?

You get it on WendyDiamond.com, there’s a link, or go to womenseday.org.

Perfect. Thank you, everybody, for joining us on today’s OWC Leaders & Game Changers. It was my extreme pleasure. I have a permanent smile because I had Wendy Diamond on today. I am sending you love and best wishes. Please like and subscribe to the podcast and tune in soon. Bye, everybody.



Checklist

  1. Find your purpose. It drives you to be passionate and excited about what you are doing with your life.
  2. Control your mind. No one else can create your happiness or success other than you.
  3. Be resilient. Nothing in life is easy and something is going to knock you down. Don’t be discouraged and just get back up.
  4. Think positive. Whatever you go through your life, it is just teaching you something to get to the next level.
  5. Find and know your tribe. Have the right people behind you for support. 
  6. Support the women around you. Open up opportunities to empower and enable women especially in business.
  7. Don’t give up as an entrepreneur. At the beginning of any new venture, you may need to do everything until you can bring people in to take over those roles.
  8. Bring humor into your life because life is tough. 
  9. Support local animal rescues because rescuing animals in the streets is local. There are many ways to contribute to the cause that don’t involve money at all.
  10. Learn the importance of pets in your life. There’s nothing greater than unconditional love, loyalty, and a bond with your pet.
    Check out Women’s Entrepreneurship day at womenseday.org, and go to wendydiamond.com to learn more about Wendy Diamond.

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Episode 8