Posts Tagged ‘catalyst’

Business Inspiration: It’s Personal

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

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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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