12 Most Inspiring Sources of Inspiration for 2012
While thinking of things that inspire us, often we look within. Digging deep into what gives us ideas, pushes us to new heights and helps us see things from a different perspective. It’s always easy to relate inspiration to our personal lives, but how often do we think of it professionally? In business, we all have our network of people that are co-workers, vendors, customers or members of the community. What better way to find inspiration heading into 2012, than by looking at what inspires them. I’ve asked people from my professional network what or who inspired them this year. Here are their responses:
I am continuously inspired by the ingenious thinking of my colleagues and friends; Tracey Jones and Lucia Rohrer Murphy. They’ve combined intellect, poise, and experience into the limitless pursuit of excellence in leadership, education and development in the professional space – offline and online.
2. Turning a negative into a positive by John Clendenning
Getting let go in June from my former employer, just before getting commission from the company’s largest single order in its history, after building from scratch their new subsidiary too. It was a blessing in disguise, because it allowed me to turn around in 3 days after that & start a new company selling the same products. I took away from that previous job what I learned + the vendor relationships I built & maintained, and did things “best in class” that wasn’t always followed through on when I recommended them. Things are working out real nicely so far for the new company, too!
I really enjoyed Chicago’s Idea Week. I got to hear some really great folks talk about what inspired them and share their ideas with us. Then coming in 2nd was the Mobile University. There were some super people there. Finally, just people. I think that I have met and continue relationships with some pretty amazing people. They always inspire me.
4. Tools of the trade by Katie Hawkey
ColourLovers.com has become a critical tool for me to communicate with our web designers about color. I’m a “know it when I see it” sort of person when it comes to color. That can be a painful, time-consuming, frustrating and expensive way of working with a designer. By spending just 20 minutes on ColourLovers, I can pull 2-3 color pallets to share with the designer and get exactly what I want on the first draft of a design.
5. Business authors/speakers by Tom Lynch
David Meerman Scott spoke at a conference in DC – very dynamic – read the book (Real Time Marketing and PR) – changed the way I talk to clients about what they need to be thinking.
I was really inspired by the comedian Louis C.K., both directly by his comedy (just in laughing), and by his career moves. His TV show is consistently hilarious, and he manages to produce it independently with almost no network supervision. And the way he sold his latest special over the internet with no DRM, and yet did so in a hugely successful manner, was truly impressive.
Music exemplifies art and science and has inspired me my entire life. Growing up playing classical piano and percussion created a deep appreciation for what it takes to evoke emotion through this art form. While my favorite current musical expression is using the world as a drum, music’s ability to affect me on a deep emotional level only grows stronger. It would be hard to pinpoint those musical moments of inspiration, but I’m certain that most of the positive things in my life are derived from my relationship with music.
Two things inspired me this year. First, my autistic nephew, whom I affectionately call Little Man, made some big strides this year, doing things he didn’t do a year ago. The second thing is NBC Nightly News #makingadifference segments. They served as a reminder, during another tough year, that it will get better.
9. The charity of people by Sara Altier
The thing that inspired me the most was right after the earthquake in Japan when so many people in Chicago came together for the #ChiHelpsJapan fundraiser…thrown together with very little planning time, hundreds of Chicagoans came to the event itself and donated if they couldn’t make it– raising over 12K!
10. Community by Heather Acton
A large source of business and career inspiration for me this year has been the WordPress community. This is a group of people focusing on innovation, education, and paying it forward. No matter what I am working on (WordPress related or not), I hope to always be doing breakthrough work and teaching others how to also excel in this field.
11. Friends, mentors, advisors by Mark J. Carter
With all the networking events and conferences out there it’s always amazing to find one that delivers real value. I’m continually inspired by Liz Strauss (@LizStrauss) and Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie (@Starbucker) and their conference “SOBCon” (www.SOBEvent.com). It’s not that they just have phenomenal speakers; it’s not just that you meet a lot of people – it’s so much more. Yes – you learn new and exciting ways to grow your business. In addition to that: Somehow they’ve managed to create an environment for 3 days a year (offline) and throughout the year (online) where great people that genuinely care about helping other people can meet, reconnect and create life-changing relationships. At the end of the day those relationships are what business and life are all about; like Liz says “You’re only a stranger once…”. I’m grateful and find it a source of constant inspiration to be involved with people of that mindset and caliber both online and offline; it’s a network of friends, mentors, advisors and people who are willing to help and support each other year round.
12. You by Me
I’ve found more sources of inspiration from people around me than I could ever find on my own. Sometime when we take the time to see what’s happening around us, what others are doing in our own networks you can find not only sources of inspiration, but always opportunities for collaboration. After all, that’s what this post was…a collaborative effort of several people in my network. Thank you to my Facebook friends: Stepanie and John; my co-workers: Andy, Tom, Katie and Andrew; my event planners/doers: Jean and Sara; my friends and continual collaborators: Carter and Heather; and my local coffee confidant: Gwynne.
Now…what or who has given you inspiration heading into 2012?
Photo by Liam Quinn via Creative Commons