Business Inspiration: It’s Personal


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I’ve always been a ‘people person.’  I enjoy meeting new people, getting to know them, and developing relationships over time — business and personal. 

Some of my very favorite questions to ask people — especially business owners — include:

  • In general, what inspired you to start your own business?
  • Specifically, what inspired you to start the business you did?
  • What was the catalyst that put your business in motion when you did?

I’m always amazed at how often the reasons are personal in nature.  Inspiring stories of overcoming obstacles and heartwarming stories of triumph.  And then there are stories that are comical in nature, or where businesses were grown truly ‘by accident.’  

With that in mind, I wanted to share my story with you:

What inspired me to start my own business?

Honestly, I resisted the idea!  You see, I come from an entrepreneurial family.  My grandfather built a successful business in Houston, and most of my family worked there, too.  Gramps seemed to have a good work/life balance — when he was at work, he was at work…and when he was at home, he was at home.  I didn’t see myself being able to do that, so I set a goal for achieving the highest level I could in a company…and still be able to go home at night and forget about work. 

My opinions about owning my own business started changing when I saw my friends start up businesses.  The tools and technologies streamlined many of the processes, and while they put a great deal of effort into building their business, it was ‘sweat equity’ — building an asset for their future.  THAT appealed to me!  But then there was the question:  What type of business would I start?

What inspired me to start the business I did?

I have always been a marketer at heart, and I thrive on working with small businesses and independent professionals.  Working with small businesses allows much more opportunity for creativity and out-of-the-box ideas, and since small business budgets are limited, the focus of any marketing plan is RESULTS.  I still light up like a Christmas tree talking about marketing…it’s in my blood.

Something else I’ve always been passionate about is communication, and one of my favorite forms of communication is greeting cards.  I spent hours at the Hallmark store picking out the perfect cards for friends and family, and would hold on to those cards for months until the timing was right to send them.  On the flip side, I enjoy receiving cards, too!  I have a stack of cards I will keep forever because the sender, the occasion, or the message is very near and dear to my heart.

My business combines these two passions, and the result is a relationship marketing program that includes an excellent tool for increasing customer loyalty and referrals.  With my marketing background, that program can also include my consulting services — how to set yourself apart from your competitors and create fiercely loyal clients.

What was the catalyst that got me to start my business when I did?

Two world collided to get my business off the ground.  First, I was unhappy in my current job.  I always enjoy learning and mastering new skill sets, and this job lacked the challenges and growth opportunities I craved.  Being well-paid was nice…just not nice enough.

Second, I lost a dear friend of mine unexpectedly.  It was my wake-up call confirming that life’s too short not to spend it pursuing your passions.  I miss my friend tremendously, though he continues to teach me important life lessons from the heavens.

So now you know a litle about me.  Please leave a comment below to share your story so I can get to know you.

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5 Responses to “Business Inspiration: It’s Personal”

  1. Joe Cheray Says:

    Stacy my inspiration was actually born out of necessity. You see I used to be in health care or at least health related occupations. I was bitten severely by a cat several years ago and suffered major damage to my dominant hand which is my right hand. With this came the inability to go into surgical tech school and then onto med school to become a surgeon.

    Over the course of the last two years I decided to really start getting serious about harnessing what I have learned over the last ten yrs or so on the Internet and using it to make a living for myself. Like you tho I fought the entrepreneurial tug as my dad was one. He owned and operated his own filling station when I was a toddler.

    But I got to thinking that what I know about the Internet can be turned into a marketable business model. So with that being said I have decided that in the coming decade I am going to rock out and make a successful business for myself out of what I have learned and continue to learn in the great big Internet world.

  2. Stacy Ryan Says:

    Joe –
    Thanks so much for sharing your story here. You are definitely a source of inspiration for turning lemons into lemonade! I wish you much success in the Internet world. Your drive and dedication to success will take you far!

  3. Dani Nir-McGrath Says:

    Stacy, thanks for sharing your story! Looking forward to learning even more through the month of January in this blog challenge. I too am an entrepreneur. I was married to my company, a non profit, and after over 10 years in the field, never though I’d go into business for myself…until becoming a mom! It’s amazing how things changed for me personally and I didn’t want the burden of a pager 24/7 or working many hours without the compensation. Here’s to a great year!

    Dani

  4. Stacy Ryan Says:

    Dani –
    Nonprofit work definitely gets in your blood! It’s easy to be passionate about your work with a nonprofit, and I think motherhood is the perfect catalyst for re-prioritizing! Wishing you much success in 2011!

  5. Tweets that mention Stacy Ryan » Blog Archive » Business Inspiration: It’s Personal -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dani Nir-McGrath. Dani Nir-McGrath said: RT: Business Inspiration: It’s Personal http://t.co/QJ8TiQm via @@followstacy #Blogboost […]

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