Posts Tagged ‘Inspirational’
Client Spotlight: Sweet Treats, ‘The Sweet Taste of Success’ Ah the familiar sound of the ice cream truck’s jingle off in the distance. Your ears perk up; it’s now headed down your street. Are you smiling, remembering the excitement of that sound, salivating at the thought of the ice cream treat you will enjoy? Charismatic husband and wife Chris and Jennifer Saint dreamed of transforming this nostalgic ice cream truck idea into a hip, modern business bringing sweets, rocking music and smiles to corporate events, private parties and fundraisers. It all started with a backyard barbeque conversation with friends and sweetened into a thriving business. Sweet Treats ice cream truck business began as a hobby for Chris. He had suffered a medical problem which left him a paraplegic and required a lifestyle and work environment change as he could no longer work his usual job. He needed a work environment supportive of his physical condition. Ironically, shortly after Chris’s incident, the couple attended a BBQ where discussion began regarding the fond familiarity and memories of ice cream trucks as children, and how good it made them feel as kids. This is where you could say the inception of the Saint’s entrepreneur ideas began. About two and half years ago, Chris and Jennifer decided to take this idea seriously and quickly grew from a hobby to a fully fledged business. The couple agreed that financing would be the first step in making the dream a reality, and pursued a financial …
Running head: GREAT LEADERS BOUNCE
Great Leaders Bounce
By: Troy A. Johnson
Course title: Perspectives in Change Leadership
Prof. Dr. Amy Puderbaugh
If adversity, success, and experience are the building bricks, then courage, perseverance, and tenacity are the mortar that holds together the foundations of leadership. To complete my self development plan I use introspection on my own experiences. My unique story is inspirational and will help others find the courage to view pressure and risk as a privilege. In order to harness your own leadership potential it is necessary to have a strategic personal leadership plan. The plan should indicate past experience, present leadership strengths, future goals, and a clear plan to achieve those objectives.
In May of 2003 I graduated from Eckerd College with a B.A. in international business. This education helped me land a great career in sales and ultimately helped me purchase my first home. I exhibited many common leadership traits, but I had no idea life would soon test my character. “While prominent leaders may be presumed to have the resources to rebound from any disaster, those very presumed advantages can easily turn into great obstacles to recovery. Leaders should not be measured by how they bask in the gratification of their accomplishments. Rather, they should be measured by how they respond when fate deflates the joys of hard-earned triumphs.” (Sonnenfeld, 2008) As in other success stories my fortunes changed dramatically in November of 2006 when I was diagnosed with a rare eye disease, Lebers Optic, causing me to go blind. Although blindness was a formidable obstacle that prevented me from continuing to work in my former sales position I was determined to move forward.
I reached out to several organizations for career assistance and training. The division of blind services offered vocational rehabilitation and computer training. Working diligently with my computer trainer I learned to use the computer again with JAWS a screen reader that provides audio feedback. This gave me access to the internet and thus the entire world outside the boundaries of my home.
The internet became my channel for creativity. I first had to deal with my impending mortgage bills and income deficits. I decided that I would rent out my guest bedrooms to renters for additional income using a roommate referral website. My plan to rent out one guest bedroom worked so well that I launched another to rent my second guest bedroom. Since January of 2007, I have maintained at least one renter in my house helping to supplement bills and my mortgage. The fee for listing and communicating on the website was nominal, but when I looked at the scale of the sheer numbers of members on the site it seemed like a lucrative business.
I decided that I could help my parents and any other seasonal rental owners by offering a website that helps rental managers and snowbirds connect. In early 2008, I started gathering information on what would be required to create a website of this magnitude. After interviewing various contractors, my friend, a former outsourcing manager for Oracle, offered the best solution. I sent my site requirements list to my new development team in India. Using teleconferencing, email, and social media we made a unique seasonal rental website snowbirdseeker. com LLC. Our constant contact and collaborative effort helped launch the website in June of 2008.
The site was open for business and began making headlines immediately. Tom Bayles of the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported “he hired an outside company to create the crisp look of the site, one Northerners should be able to navigate with ease.” (Bayles, 2008) After the article was published traffic increased dramatically and the customers were very quick to supply feedback on any errors and anomalies with the service. I tackled each complaint with my talking JAWS screen reader. While I was making progress sales were slow, so I decided that I would pursue a Masters degree in Business and Management. This decision enables me to quickly put theory into practice. The graduate level classes help me design business strategies that work. In June of 2009 I started to receive membership payments from rental owners that have listed their property in as many as 25 states and 5 different countries. Today, the website experiences 20,000 annual unique visits and boasts over 700 members.
Since I spent many hours researching search engine optimization to improve my rank on search engines I started another service www.seogainseeker.com to help other businesses with their website marketing. Already my clients are responding well to the new service.
In my spare time I train a Brazilian martial art called Capoeira. It is unique because it incorporates singing, dance, musical instruments, and martial arts all into one. I have learned hand stands, spin kicks, backward handsprings, and much more. I have performed Capoeira in many street exhibitions. Participating in these public events takes courage, but my belief is that if you are not appearing you are disappearing.
Blindness is a hindrance and challenge, but I look at each challenge as an opportunity to grow. Today I am the only employee of my organization, but I still implement leadership style into the framework of my site’s structure. For example to improve the value chain on a daily basis there are several steps in the process of joining or using my web service where members may post comments or feedback. These interactive additions are using participatory style leadership. The knowledge I gain from the feedback helps me continuously improve the service. In the beginning I had so many problems with the service that prioritizing development repairs became a dilemma. I used executive level autocratic style leadership to organize the best strategy to improve the service. Since these decisions affected profitability I decided that pursuing a Masters in business would be the best way to ensure sustainable growth for my company and career.
In the future I would like to establish Snowbirdseeker.com LLC as a household name in the seasonal rentals market. I want my organization to have a leading market share in the vacation rental by owner market. On a personal level I would eventually like to earn a doctoral degree so that I may open up more speaking opportunities to share what I have learned. Also, I plan to continue breaking down existing career paradigms for the blind.
To achieve my goals I will use strategic marketing that will boost brand awareness. I will use what I have learned in my master’s degree studies to control the growth of my company. And for my last goal to break career barriers for the blind I will follow Helen Keller’s words of inspiration “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched–they must be felt with the heart.” (Brinckmeyer, 2008)
onnenfeld J, Ward A. Firing back: How great leaders rebound after career disasters. Organizational Dynamics [serial online]. January 2008;37(1):1-20. Available from: PsycINFO, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 23, 2010.
Brinckmeyer, L. (2008). Guidance from Great Leaders. Music Educators Journal, 94(4), 4. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Michael Jackson, I still cannot believe that he is gone. He was one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived during our era and time period. His death inspired me to write another inspirational poem for him. Here goes;
Whatever people may say, the world felt the impact of your stay. You were a one man army to rescue the music industry just like a hungry horse needs hay. Inspite of the negative comments that come up today, your hard work and commitment made you earn your pay. I hope you went to heaven wherever you may lie, for your songs will bump in our hearts for a long time without decay. Your dance moves and videos have influenced most of the r n b stars today like an array; your moonwalk makes me happy every time i see it without delay. I hope we’ll get to see you again one day. Rest in Peace Michael Jackson!
We all like to be inspired by various people and also from inspirational poems. Women are always fascinating to me like a wonder of the world. I just thought about it recently at how we do not appreciate ourselves as we are. Nobody chose how she/he is to appear or to be born into the world. What we can do is just motivate ourselves into liking how and who we are. This is not usually the case. That is why I wrote this inspirational poem for all my black sisters who do not think themselves as worthy to be called beautiful. Here goes;
Some ladies who are dark rush to the shops to buy ‘lightening cream’, in the pretext that they want to be lighter than cream. Just like a phone, they want to change their theme. They would rather spend time eating loads of ice-cream, than put hours getting toned at the gym. Anyway, we live in a strange world, where some people want hair while others want to be bald. White women want to be coal black, while dark women want to be snow white, but end up bleaching themselves and end up looking as red as a comet in flight. Be proud of your colour, as you do when you go to the massage parlour. Rather spend time fixing your inside, because if you do that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. Unless of course your groom leaves you at the altar for being one ugly bride.
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