Sunday, February 2, 2014

What inspires you?

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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?


12 comments:

  1. I started a successful business sewing with scraps from a trash can. I was inspired by the desire to pay my bills and not lose my house.

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    1. These are great reasons to develop a new talent! I did the same thing with diaper cakes before I got my current job.

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  2. What a great story!! I do think people can achive so many things when they focused on a personal goal as she did for her baby is an example. People inspire me. I am amazed at what folks who have nothing, come from nothing, and have no guiding hand can do! I choose not to have a buisness at this point in my life concentrating instead on our family and charity but if the need should ever come about that I needed to bring in the cash to keep our family safe and warm I wouldn't hold back!!

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    1. I know you would have a lot of clients if you started your own business because your creations are amazing! But I know what you mean about choosing your family. In my opinion, there are things that are way more important than money...

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  3. I agree that perseverance is the key. Most successful entrepreneurs have gone bankrupt at least once before they hit it big. The didn't get discouraged. They just kept going. I like stability enough that I will never be rich, but I will never be bankrupt either. It takes all kinds.

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    1. I'm with you :) I like the feeling of stability even if it means a smaller bank account.

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  4. I love to watch the Shark Tank. I always feel inspired after watching. I am an entrepreneur by nature and have many ideas, some of which I am working on. I believe that many people have dreams and aspirations, but are paralyzed by the fear of failure. I just encourage people to shoot for the moon!

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    1. I agree. It's sometimes so hard to overcome your fears. I hope all your endeavors are successful because you definitely have the right attitude!

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  5. That is one of my favorite qoutes and it is true, I am proof of that!

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    1. Yes, you are!!! You are amazing :)

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  6. People inspire me always amazing me at their accomplishments as well. You Lena are also an inspiration. xx

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  7. I just discovered I could watch Shark Tank on You Tube; I am addicted! I just watched the episode you talked about and loved it! That lady is so inspiring!

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