Last week, I received an email AND a phone message from two local moms that they were loving the blog. Awwww….they made me feel so awesome. What I could not believe was that the email stated that I was an inspiration. Me – an inspiration – no way! I could have floated to pick the boys up at school that day; I was on Cloud 9.
I started to think a lot about inspiration after this…..and, who inspires me. Turns out, I have a pretty lengthy list of celebrity and personal inspiration, so I decided to share just a few with you.
No surprise that my celebrity inspiration list begins with Mark Zuckerberg (I love facebook). Zuckerberg changed and continues to change the way we live, communicate, and interact while creating his social platform (he left Harvard without graduating to pursue his dreams)! I find it amazing when someone has such open-ended passion and vision. Zuckerberg is the type of inspiration that my boys’ generation and ones thereafter will continue to channel.
Next month, I am heading to Spark & Hustle with Tory Johnson. Tory is woman who provides inspiration for many. Tory was unexpectedly fired from a job that she loved, and went on to build a multi-million dollar empire that started in her spare bedroom with DIAL UP internet! Today, Tory Johnson helps others build their businesses with real life experience behind her.
I cannot wait to put the hustle behind my spark in a just a few short weeks.
Lance Armstrong is another major source of inspiration to me. Lance fought back after a major bought with testicular cancer, and he went on to be a Tour de France winner 7 times! To have the discipline and fortitude to overcome as Lance did is inspiring. Last year, I had the opportunity to have his latest book autographed by Lance Armstrong himself. A fabulous memory for me.
Which brings me to my truest, most personal inspiration – my dad. All of the aforementioned celebrities overcame huge obstacles to become who they are, and my dad is very much the same. Maybe that is why I have the celebrity inspiration list that I do.
My dad was the baby of eight children born into a small walk up in Brooklyn in the late 1920’s. When he graduated from high school, he was expected to get a job and send money home to his parents. I am sure that my boys cannot even imagine a request like this! With nothing more than a high school education, my dad moved from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh to sell matchbooks. Upon arriving, he did not realize that he did not get paid for the first 2 weeks. With very little money in his pocket, my dad lived in his CAR for TWO weeks. Being smart, my dad befriended someone at the local YMCA, so he could shower there. Determined to be successful, my dad worked tirelessly selling matchbooks during the day to local businesses and restaurants & bars at night. At 21, my dad was the top salesman in the country for the matchbook company. So, what did he do? He bought himself a Cadillac, moved to Florida for a year, and then started an entrepreneurial venture selling promotional products with a childhood friend. The rest is history.
My dad died almost 8 years ago, and I know that he would be so proud to hear that someone said that I am an inspiration to others. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think, my dad would say this or my dad would say that. I keep a framed kitchen sponge (a famous promotional item of his) right above my sink, so I always remember what he taught me. I only hope that some his entrepreneurial spirit rubbed off on me! Here’s to you dad!
Now that I have shared with you – Who would be on your inspiration list? Celebrity or Personal?