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Tory Johnson is an expert in small business success, which can be traced to having been unexpectedly fired from a job she loved. The permanent scar from that pink slip led Johnson to shift from employee to entrepreneur. She’s built two multi-million-dollar businesses—Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle—while serving as a Good Morning America contributor, New York Times bestselling author, contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine and a popular speaker. Johnson lives in New York City with her husband and children.
Women For Hire produces in-person and online diversity recruiting events connecting professional women and leading employers throughout the country. She is a frequent speaker to audiences nationwide, ranging from college campuses to Fortune 500 companies. Johnson founded Women For Hire in New York City in 1999.
Spark & Hustle, produces programs and events to help current and aspiring women entrepreneurs launch or grow their small business. Johnson founded Spark & Hustle in New York City in 2010.
Johnson studied journalism at Emerson College, where she received the 2004 Altshuler Distinguished Fellowship in Communication, Media, and Arts Entrepreneurship. She served in corporate communications positions at ABC News, NBC News and Nickelodeon. She was inducted into the YWCA's Class of 2002 Academy of Women Achievers, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of women leaders in business.
In 1999—after being unexpectedly fired from a job at NBC News that she thought she’d have forever—Johnson started Women For Hire in the corner of her bedroom with twin babies crawling at her feet. Armed only with an AOL address and dial-up Internet service—the most minimal tools around, she wasn’t thinking fancy because she had one simple hope: make a decent living to support her family and help some women find jobs. Of course, in the last 13 years, she’s done a whole lot more than that. Johnson knows firsthand that anyone can take very deliberate steps to apply essential strategies to turn their passion and purpose to profit.
Johnson had no trust fund, no college degree, no celebrity endorsements, and no impressive Rolodex. She started with just two things: a spark of an idea and some serious hustle to make it happen. While it may appear that she got lucky, the truth is that it’s been a series of consistent actions that have enabled her to become the owner of a thriving business even as others have suffered greatly through the recession. And it’s the same hustle that has led to success on TV and in print. Johnson knows that ideas are a dime a dozen, but the magic is in the execution. It’s all about the hustle.
She is also the co-author of Women For Hire: The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Job published in 2008 by Penguin Putnam. Her second book, "Women For Hire's Get-Ahead Guide to Career Success" was published in September 2004. Johnson's third career book Take this Book to Work: How to Ask for (and Get) Money, Fulfillment, and Advancement was published in September 2006 by St. Martin's Press. Her fourth book, Will Work From Home: Earn the Cash Without the Commute was published in 2008 by Penguin Putnam and earned the title of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Her fifth book, Fired to Hired: Bouncing Back from Job Loss to Get to Work Right Now was published in 2009 by Penguin Putnam. Johnson's most recent book Spark & Hustle: Launch and Grow Your Small Business Now was published in 2012 by Penguin Putnam and coincided with the launch of a 20-city National Tour of Spark & Hustle events from May through August 2012.
- Gallo, Carmine (2006). Ten Simple Secrets of the World's Greatest Business Communicators. Sourcebooks, Inc. pp. 94–96. ISBN 978-1-4022-1479-0. Retrieved 13 November 2010.