Report from the Winner's Circle: Make Mine a Million $ Business

Posted by Alexandra Watkins on September 21, 2008

As reported on Friday from the finals in Albuquerque, I am now an official Winner of the Make Mine a Million $ Business Program sponsored by American Express. I could not have done this without the dozens of clients and friends who gave me their support, help and a big boost of confidence as I prepared for the competition over the last four months. The finals were exhausting… day one was hours of speech rehearsals and tiara fittings. This won’t surprise any of you in my Toastmasters Club or National Speakers Association ProTrack group, but I was the only one of the 20 finalists who did not have my speech brutally critiqued by the Count Me In staff and professional speech coach. They were pretty harsh on the finalists, calling some of the speeches “boring,” and even trashing some women’s hairstyles and jewelry. Ouch! While I received lots of kudos on my speech and they didn’t change a word, someone did point out that I had memorized my speech, but with 15 mandatory points to communicate in three minutes about myself and Eat My Words, I couldn’t just wing it. I sailed through it on stage on Thursday morning and was announced as one of the 10 winners later that afternoon.
My prizes include a $1000 Dell gift card (which I am using to buy a new camera and TV), professional coaching, mentoring, and most importantly, lots of visibility – the American Express PR Machine goes into overtime to promote the winners. Plus, I will be part of an exclusive Yahoo Group, just for M3 finalists and winners – this will be invaluable.

All of the winners are dynamic women with interesting businesses. (Pictured here, left to right: Carla Falcone, Lana Hutchison, Alexandra Watkins, and Kimbra Orr)
Here are the 10 winners:
Alexandra WatkinsEat My Wordseatmywords.comSan Francisco, CAEat My Words is a creative branding firm that creates unforgettable brand names and taglines that make emotional connections with consumers, build instant affinity for the brand, and have proven Return On Investment. The firm consistently delivers powerful, unexpected names that lend themselves to wordplay, brand-extensions and merchandising opportunities. Eat My Words is the only naming firm that monetizes names for clients including Spoon Me frozen yogurt, Frigid gourmet ice cream, and Stuff a Sock In It laundromat.
Carla Falcone & Romy Taormina Psi Health Solutions, Inc.www.psibands.comPacific Grove, CAPsi Health Solutions, Inc. sells Psi Bands (pronounced “Sigh Bands”): drug-free wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/ travel, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. FDA-cleared Psi Bands are unlike any other product on the market in that they are: fashionable, adjustable around the wrist and at the acupressure point for personalized comfort, waterproof (no more soggy wrist bands), reusable, and affordable.
Lana HutchisonHutchison Assisted Living Services, Inc.Albuquerque, NMHutchison Assisted Living Services, Inc. operates a licensed Adult Residential Shelter Care Home called Andrew House providing assisted living services to individuals. Services include housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing, grooming, medication assistance and general supervision. Lana strives to offer assisted living to the elderly seeking a comfortable atmosphere at a reasonable expense.

Kimbra OrrKimbra Studioswww.kimbrastudios.comLittleton, COKimbra Studios produces solid sterling custom photo jewelry and accessory pieces. Customers can upload, manipulate and view how their photos will look in pieces of jewelry at the website. The jewelry is solid sterling silver and the photos are completely waterproof, making them heirloom pieces.

Tarin Wilson
plan A events, LLCwww.planAevents.comBeverly Hills, CAplan A events, LLC is an event production and management company organizing events of all sizes with an emphasis on detail and quality. They specialize in corporate events and parties, fundraisers/auctions, awards shows, festivals, movie premieres, and receptions.
Krista BranchPeak Educational Flagstaff, AZPeak Educational Services is a multidisciplinary organization that works with schools and agencies in Northern Arizona and on the Navajo Nation by serving the individual needs of the child and family through professional, caring relationships. Peak provides highly needed therapy services to schools including School Psychology, Speech-Language Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Special Education Instruction and Counseling.
Carol GaabTPRS Publishing, Inc.www.tprstorytelling.comChandler, AZTPRS Publishing, Inc. produces and publishes Foreign Language readers, textbooks and teacher training materials that are based on a specific method called Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. It is an input based methodology that focuses on activities and techniques that expose the learner to an abundance of authentic language in a condensed period of time.

Nadine Johnson
< div>Sous Kitchen, Inc.www.souskitchen.comSan Carlos, CASous Kitchen, Inc. provides customers with chef-prepared, frozen dinner kits to cook at home. Customers can prepare their own meals at Sous Kitchen or call ahead and have their meals prepared for them. They also have the option of picking up their meals at the kitchen or having the meals delivered to their home or workplace.

Barbara Spohn-Lillo
Prosthetic Illusions Incwww.prostheticillusions.comLakewood, COProsthetic Illusions Inc specializes in creating custom artificial eyes, facial prosthetics, partial digits, and custom breast prostheses. Creating prosthetics requires a graceful combination of technique, artisanship and attention to detail, to which Barbara and her company are dedicated.
Theresa StelterHillcreek Designswww.hillcreekdesigns.comSantee, CAHillcreek Designs sells buttons with a folk art finish. Each button is hand dyed and packaged for retail and wholesale clients worldwide. Catering to quilt and craft stores, Hillcreek Designs also sells linen thread, wire quilt hangers, patterns and simple stitch templates. Hillcreek Designs also works with designers for their specific projects or books. The buttons have a matte surface, rich in color, and are washable.

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