I occasionally like to watch "Shark Tank" on ABC. You know that show where a bunch of rich people descend to the level of some smart but not so rich people to help further promote the latter's inventions and to make even more money for themselves along the way? Yep, that's the one.
I'm not a constant viewer. It's more when I need to feed my curiosity and, maybe, get a good laugh once in a while too.
But some of the stories of the participants can be quite inspiring. Probably, about two weeks ago they had a girl on the show who started her own business selling absolutely adorable baby moccasins (for a whopping sixty dollars a pair, mind you). She ended up making a deal with Daymond John who offered her 150 thousand dollars for 25% of her growing company.
But this girl really inspired me. Why? Well, she started making these baby shoes because she wanted to find something cute and comfy for her own child. She did not know how to sew. So she taught herself following a bunch of different tutorials and discarding many ideas until she created exactly what she wanted. For the first few attempts the gal used a piece of leather she picked up at a garage sale.
When she realized she stumbled upon something big, this lady knew she needed the money to start her own business. They didn't have any extra money in their budget. But her brother was working for a window replacement company at the moment, so they could get a lot of old windows from him.
That whole summer she would take those windows, sand and paint them, and then sell on local classifieds. Some she would just dissemble and sell the metal parts at a scrap yard. She made a total of $200. When Mark Cuban learned how she funded her endeavors, he stated that it was the best story he's ever heard on how to start a business.
Just a few years later (I think she said three but don't quote me on that), she's selling $500,000 worth of merchandise a year netting about $120 thousand of pure profit...
I think, what inspired me the most about her is not even the fact that she started such a successful business but that she had perseverance. She started from scratch. Not even from scratch, from zero. She had no idea how to sew at first. But she taught herself, she used the knowledge she found and she didn't doubt her abilities. It wasn't always a smooth ride for her but she pressed on.
Sometimes the big idea can be hidden in your closet only because your doubts or hesitation wouldn't allow you to try to make something out of it. Sometimes the disappointment of the first or even second or third attempts seems to crush your biggest dreams. But Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the Untied States, once said:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
Quite brilliant, don't you think? And right on the money.
So what inspires you to be the best you can? Do you have any ideas buried under a layer of doubt? Do you have a dream that stays just that - a dream? And how can we help and motivate each other on this road to success, especially when the pathway is quite bumpy?