How Luck and Hustle Got Me Mentioned in Inc. Magazine

I’ve been blessed to get wonderful PR for my business the last few years, and people always ask me how I do it. Yet they are underwhelmed when I tell them it’s just luck and hustle.

I recently had the privilege to contribute to an article in Inc. Magazine, and thought I’d share how that happened, as it might inspire you to keep getting your hustle on.


Luck part 1: A Facebook group invitation

A few weeks ago, someone commented on my article, How I managed The Disappointment of Not Getting on Shark Tank. Then that person sent me an invitation to join a Facebook group composed of entrepreneurs who auditioned for Shark Tank, or have actually been on the show.

I’m in a lot of really cool Facebook groups and the Shark Tank group is easily among the best-so many great entrepreneurs walking the walk!


Luck part 2: A private Facebook message from someone in the group

One Friday I received a message from Marla Tabaka, from the Shark Tank group, asking if I’d be interested in coming on her radio show, The Big Pitch Radio Show, co-hosted by Kevin Harrington, one of the original Shark Tank sharks. The show airs in 37 markets in the U.S. with a potential audience of 8 million people.

Naturally, I saw her message and was like, “Um, hell yeah!” The pitch was a lot of fun and you can find that link here, if you missed it.


The hustle

After the radio interview with Marla, I followed up and thanked her again for contacting me and letting me pitch on her show. I also knew Marla was a contributor for Inc. Magazine, so I started reading some of her articles and one in particular caught my attention. The article was, 1 Quality Leaders Can not Succeed Without.

What is that one quality, you ask? Why, it’s GRIT, of course! The article describes grit as:


Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina.


Since I fancy myself as the personification of grit, I wanted to tell Marla how much I appreciated her article. Then my hustle really kicked in when I shared a few article links with her that show examples of my grit, and I told her to please keep me in mind if she needed content for future Inc. Magazine articles.

Now, I’m sure Marla gets pitched all the time by people wanting her to write about them in Inc. Magazine. But by virtue of the following response I got from her when I made the ask, I think she appreciated the hustle and liked the fact that I took the time to learn about what she was doing and made my ask relevant to her interests:


Hahahaha! Look at you go!


I can’t over-emphasize the importance of learning about the people of whom you’re making a PR ask. Sending the same email to everyone is a recipe for failure when hustling for PR.


The Inc. Magazine article

Marla then mentioned she might do a 2015 round-up article with advice from entrepreneurs for Inc. Magazine. Sure enough, a few days later, on a Thursday, she emailed and said she was writing an article that would publish on Monday and needed my submission by the end of the day. She also said there was no guarantee my thoughts would be included and she would take the best three or four submissions and use those in her article.

I bet there were lots of submissions!

Her request was that I complete the following statements and do so in sixty words or less for each response:

  1. My biggest disappointment in 2015 has been (or was)
  2. The one thing that happened in 2015 that I’m most proud of is
  3. The single piece of advice or encouragement I’d like to offer to other entrepreneurs is


I dropped a few jewels, and luckily, my comments were selected!

I thoroughly enjoyed writing for the Inc. Magazine, despite the limit I had on words and topic. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I really got me thinking about doing some more writing like this. Maybe one day I’ll have my own magazine which I can write for. I’ve seen its’s pretty simple to get a magazine printed (you can do it at, so I’d just need to work on the design and content. For now, I will continue to learn from the experts, picking up what I can when I can.

For example, I LOVE Marla’s intro:


As we close out 2015, I believe that it is time to hear from a few of the entrepreneurs who are still deep in the trenches, waking each morning in hopes that today may bring the next measure of success they’ve been waiting for.


Yep, I’m definitely in the trenches, y’all! And definitely waiting on those next measures of success-every day!


The recipe NEVER changes – luck and hustle. But remember:


Hustle > Luck


Because without the hustle, you don’t get nearly as lucky. And the more I hustle, the luckier I get!


Marla’s Inc. Magazine article, Inspirational Messages from Entrepreneurs Who Are Beating the Odds, published this morning and you can find it here.


[Tweet “How Luck and Hustle Got Me Mentioned in @Inc Magazine via @MarlaTabaka #PR“]


Feature image credit: Artotem Good Luck “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson


  1. Your articles are always such great reads. I look forward to each one. One door seemingly closes, yet your grit allows you to find another one. Thanks for the motivation!

  2. It was great to be included with you, James! I know the feeling… have been in those trenches with PortaPocket but never too busy to learn about the people we work with and care about their needs. All the best for continued success. Cheers to YOU!

    1. My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by, JD. Hope you and the family are having a wonderful holiday season.

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