Who is your inspiration?

In previous articles I have written in regard to the fact that “inspiration” can find you anywhere. I believe that.

I’ve witnessed personally being somewhere or listening to someone and have been inspired to write an article, go to the gym, or simply stay motivated.

This happened to me a couple of days ago, and it began me thinking about my life growing up and how I am so much like my Dad when it comes to Business. Although, there have been many people along the way whom have kept the motivation flame lit.
How can inspiration change your life? Do you even think that it can?
Inspiration

Inspiration;

The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

A sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea.

Being mentally stimulated – As Webster states, we have to be mentally stimulated. I believe this is a long term process beginning with the people we surround ourselves with.

Sudden brilliant, creative or timely idea – This type of stimulation just happens. It could be a song, a TV commercial, a movie, a story and/or a person whom or which can inspire you in a moment.

Either way, I think all inspiration is stimulating.

I chose this topic today for a couple of reasons.

  1. I’ve realized it will be very difficult for me if I ever decide to retire. I find inspiration everywhere and if I had no outlet to put the stimulation I receive from this inspiration, I’d be driving myself nuts.
  2. I am a true believer that inspiration keeps us motivated. Inspiration keeps us creative and Inspiration keeps us excited.

My Dad owned a TV repair business during the days when TV’s were repaired. Up north the Business was located in the basement of our home. When we moved to Florida, he was within a strip mall.

I never thought about it at the time, but Dad worked a lot. (me too). Dad had more friends from his Business than clients. (me too). Dad was brutally honest. However, he always thought and always felt….if he was crooked like other TV repair Businesses who charged overwhelming prices for their TV repairs, his income could have been a whole lot more. I always admired him for not going down that road.

As I’ve gotten older and maybe even a little wiser, I marvel at the idea of Dad having his own Business AND seven(7) children.

When my parents moved to Florida with their three(3) youngest kids, it all happened within a 3-month period. Dad was supposed to buy an established Business which fell thru. Now, here they were 1500 miles away, sold their home, three kids still living at home…..ages 16, 10 and 7.

I really never knew they had these challenges. I was an angry 16 year old (they moved me from my friends) and not really paying a whole lot of attention to their everyday lives. I eventually, by the time I was 17 moved back up North (whole other story).

What I learned is Dad got a job and then Mom and Dad and my two(2) younger siblings, spent their evening cleaning office buildings….in an effort to financially survive.

I share this story because I feel I had it easy. Inspiration was built in for me. Whether I knew it or not, because of my upbringing and the example my parents set, I was constantly “unknowingly” being inspired.

Back to this story in a minute!

There are two(2) other people in my life who inspired me during my darkest days. Again, unknowingly.

I don’t have a name (or category) for them….I guess you could say they are family I chose.

They have done very well for themselves in their lifetime. If you are looking from the outside looking in, you would see two(2) people enjoying life, financially very secure, kind, sincere, loving, giving yet non-ostantatius.

Cheri was a nail client referred to me from another Salon (in 1990). When I met Cheri and got to know her, I was also fortunate to become a part of not just her life, but her husbands and her sons.

They were often lending a shoulder to me during my divorce. I would visit with them and really began to learn of their story to their success. It wasn’t easy. In fact, what inspired me the most about their story, is their success didn’t come until later in life. At that time, I was in my 40’s……it gave me hope.

What brought this article into fruition is a text exchange I had with Cheri the other morning, after we shared dinner together the night before.

She thanked us for a great evening and especially thanked us for sitting and listening to Mel’s stories of his younger years and  going through pictures.

My response back “I love listening to both your history’s. It has been my inspiration to be the best I can be”.

Dad continues to inspire me (Mom also) because as I look back at their life I realize their life has not been easy yet…I have never ever heard them complain. Dad quit school at an early age because he had to help bring money in for his family. Yet, without a full education, he still started his own Business, raised a family of seven(7) and considers his life to be very successful.

Mel lost his Dad at an early age and also had to work to help his Mom and he also started his own Business and became very successful. Yet, they are as humble as can be.

We all need inspiration in life to motivate us and drive us to be the best we can be.

Inspiration is faceless. It is colorless. It can be invisible. Yet, we have to open ourselves up to receiving it.

Many of you (including myself) are individually, small, private owned Businesses. We don’t have bosses telling us what to do or how to do it. We don’t have anyone making decisions for us and guarding us through the process. Yet, look around you, we are not alone.

For me, inspiration may have unknowingly been given to me by some very special people. However, I am inspired daily by many who are in my life….and for all different reasons;

  • Life of Riley SS and their team
  • Many, many, MANY of my clients
  • My husband
  • My daughter
  • Several of my friends…….
  • just to name a few!

I think as small business owners, when we don’t have anyone to hold us accountable it is imperative we surround ourselves with good people who will add value to our lives. Not people who will suck the life out of us.

For me, yes…..I’m not in my 20’s anymore yet I have such high respect for the circle of life and the people around me, being inspired is one thing. Keeping that inspiration going and not disappointing those who have inspired me along the way….keeps me charged.

Don’t look far, inspiration is right in front of you.

I also believe we need to thank those who do or have given us inspiration.

Thank you to all of you. Your comments/responses/replies to my articles keeps me inspired to not only keep writing, to write about topics which are relative.

Think about who may have inspired you along the way and how. Think about who still inspires you and why. Thank those who did and those who do. As much as you may receive inspiration from them, they. may need it from you.

CJ Murray, President

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2 thoughts on “Who is your inspiration?”

  1. Esmeralda Loredo

    Hi CJ,
    OMG I am sobbing like a little kid again, I can only imagine what your parents must had gone through to make ends meet during that time. It reminds me when I was a young child, my parents bought a duplex home and my dad took one three jobs, my mom a part time to barely make ends meet. I still remember my mom asking neighbors for tortillas because they couldn’t afford groceries. Anything that we purchases was thought about carefully. I never owned a Nintendo, but I didn’t’ understand what a big deal owning a home was. Until I bought my first home almost a year ago. My dad cried because, he didn’t think any kids of his would be able to buy a home during this crazy housing market. He is very proud of all his kids and that one of them owns a home now.

    I definitely understand how my clients and other small owners are my friends than actual friends. We just get each other more lol. Year after year, I get inspired by many people and slowly making changings to better myself each time. Thank you CJ!!!!

    1. Esmeralda, I believe our past can either make us or break us. I know I am strong because of my parents…not just because of what they taught me also because I chose to work towards a life I wanted. I tried to instill not only what I learned in my daughter but also taught her the tools to afford her a better life than even what I have.
      You my friend have the drive. Because of what you just shared, I know you have the understanding of working for what you want and working to make it even better and better with every passing day. You may think I am the inspiration here….it is you. You inspire me to continue to do what I do :). Thank you. AND…CONGRATULATIONS!

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