Today’s Inspiration: The Tales of 4 Legs, One Eye and A Winning Arm

This blog post is different than the usual. After all, this is a digital PR and online marketing blog. So today I want to share two inspiring stories we can all benefit from.

One positive side affect after my brush with a serious illness, is I’m FAR more aware of the world around me. Truth be known I spend a lot of solitary time. Either focused on writing, product creation, speaking platform development or client projects.

The level of brainpower needed for such activity demands a massive amount of focus and consistent concentration. Well, we’re human, right?  And sometimes we feel like things aren’t clicking no matter what we do, say or think. Let’s face it; sometimes we ALL need a kickstart. A catalyst that charges us up to take on the world.

Yet even with our best intentions, sometimes things don’t go our way. Or worse yet, go horribly wrong. In times like those, it’s massively helpful for me to see how others conquered similar
obstacles. And even far greater ones. Sure, I’m a “glass half full” person, but sometimes that’s not enough.

So I turn to real stories of inspiration. Ones that touch me in a real and emotional way. Introducing two stories of inspiration that deserve ALL the publicity they can get…

Inspiration #1:

The tale of Sam the one-eyed cat

My neighbors have a one-eyed cat named Sam. Susan and Hank used to be “dog people.” It was their son Evan who suggested their first cat. And they adopted Sam knowing many others would look the other way because of what might be considered a deformity.

That’s because Sam only had one eye. He lost the other one due to a serious infection that caused him excruciating pain.

And while losing an eye, Sam gained something more: a superior ability…

As Sam’s owner, Susan, shared “Sam is the best hunter in the family. He can catch flies, mosquitoes and geckos–he’s a great hunter compared with our other cats.”

What I LOVE about this story was how Sam adapted and turned an apparent weakness into a strength. You wouldn’t think being one eye short would make him a great hunter. But it did. And he’s happy, healthy and a real member of the family.

TAKEAWAY: Are you letting a perceived “handicap” hold you back? I used to avoid video marketing because of technical challenges. Now? I dive in and if I get stuck, I have a support network via a Facebook group. Problem solved!

Inspiration #2:

a winning arm after 413 days

Disclosure: I’m a Chicago Cubs fan. If you know anything about major league baseball, you know the Cubs haven’t won a championship for over 112 years. So I guess it’s only appropriate that Chris Volstad ends up pitching for them. (He came to the Cubs via a trade this past year.)

Volstad’s bounced back and forth between the major leagues and the minor leagues. Many players do when they first start out. But Volstad has assembled a record of futility that rivals the Cubs. This past Sunday he got his first major league win.

It was a long time coming. How long? Try 413 days, 59 weeks and 24 starts without a win! To become a successful major league pitcher requires a supreme level of concentration. The mental part of the game is more important for a pitcher than any other position player. So imagine what went through Volstad’s mind every time he took the mound? Especially with an “0-fer” that spans 24 starts?

What kept him going? For starters, really focusing on one critical source of his undoing. According to Volstad’s pitching coach, Chris Bosio, Volstad’s Achilles’ heel was his “one bad inning.”He’d pitch well overall, but there was always one inning where things would go bad and he’d put his team in the hole.

So what happened this past Sunday? Volstad had ZERO bad innings. Gave up ZERO runs. And got his first win.

TAKEAWAY: Volstad “course corrected” in his pitching approach. And he didn’t give up. Even when he was sent to the minors. And he kept right on pitching game after game without a single win until his recent breakthrough. As his manager said, “he got that monkey off his back.”

What monkeys do you have on your back? Are those that can be removed with a course correction or two?

We can ALL learn something from Mr. Volstad. Because even without his record of failure there is ALWAYS room for improvement. What mprovements  impact online marketing success? Here are some clues:  5 course corrections anyone can make for online marketing success. Now while your situation might not be as grave as Sam’s or as desperate as Volstad’s, there are certainly times where everyone needs inspiration.

Where do you turn for inspiration? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Marc Harty is an online publicity expert, professional speaker, Internet marketing consultant and CEO of MainTopic Media, Inc. Marc’s Online PR Made Easy can help anyone at any skill level generate targeted web site traffic on autopilot.

  • Marc, I think I value similar sources of inspiration. I don’t want
    to see some genius walking an easy road to success. I want to see heart,
    struggle, ability to overcome obstacles, dedication and all that. And I want a
    person to bring that up not for marketing purposes (“oh, I can get the audience
    to identify with me”), but because it’s the whole truth. 

    I saw a video by
    Barbara Corcoran (Shark Tank) talking about the boyfriend who left her and said
    she’d never be anything without him. While I liked her a lot before, I LOVED
    her after that. No one ever said anything like that to me, and maybe that’s why
    I felt how hard that would have been to hear. I’m inspired that it didn’t stop
    her and that she can leverage his “ign’ence” – as we say here in the South – to
    inspire others like me.

    Stay healthy! 

  •  Samantha,

    Great share! And thanks for the kinds words. Do you have other sources of inspiration you turn to on a regular basis?

    ~ Marc

  • My clients, my colleagues and peers inspire me every day! Also  … 

    * CNBC’s “20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow” (about Thiel Fellowships)
    * Bloomberg Game Changers – great bios 
    * Bloomberg Risk Takers – even more great bios
    * Bloomberg The Mentor – actual business coaches getting in there, just like we do! 

    I also love case studies – any story that’s a “before, during and after.” This is why I read books about human behavior and brain science. Other recommendations: Switch (How to Change when Change is Hard) by Chip & Dan Heath [very, very inspiring] and anything by Malcolm Gladwell.

    Speaking of health, as you have a lot, I am a big believer in the power of the spirit (mind and heart) to overcome physical challenges. All of those kinds of stories get me really fired up!

    So thanks for yours.  🙂

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