Part 4 in the OWN IT series

Let’s talk about the “I” in OWN IT, which stands for Inspiration.to_inspire_

It would be a mistake to underestimate the power of inspiration and its affect on the success or failure of a business. With so much information at our fingertips and so many influences around us we need to ask ourselves the following question on a daily basis: Who are you listening to?

Who are you listening to?
It has been said that a person’s income, lifestyle and chance of success will be the average of the five people they hang out with the most. For some of us this is a very sobering statement. Author and speaker, Charlie Tremendous Jones, said, “you will be the same person in 5 years as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet”.

Ask yourself who am I spending my time with. Who influences me? What am I feeding my brain and my spirit with? How do I use my time, what books do I read? What do I listen to? Are my influences causing me to grow and develop as a businessperson? Are these influences inspiring me to be better at something, or are they dragging me down to a life of mediocrity and complacency?

Everything we read, listen to, and talk about and everyone we spend time with and communicate with is influencing our life in one way or the other.

Therefore ,we need to be very particular when it comes to our influences. Just like what you eat will have an effect on your physical fitness, what you listen to will have an effect on your emotional and mental fitness.

The second part of this is that we need to understand what inspires others.

What Inspires others?

To build a successful business you need a team of inspired and engaged people helping you. So, how do you keep people inspired? I used to ask “what inspires people?” But I soon realized I was asking the wrong question. It was wrong because there is no single answer. Different things motivate different people. We have all met people who appear to be motivated by money alone, where all decisions are based on what will bring them the most money right now.

We’ve also met people who would take a pay cut for a greater sense of significance and fulfillment. Some people remain students for most of their lives, because of a strong need to learn. Some people work for very little, volunteering most of their time to a cause or charity that means more to them than anything else.

Instead, I began asking the following questions:

  1. What inspires and motivates me?

I am inspired by the job of building a world-class, nationally admired company.

  1. What do I want my company to be known for?

I want our company to be known for it’s culture of care, where customers, team members, vendors, business partners and the communities in which we operate are better off because we exist.

  1. Are there others out there who are inspired by that same purpose and are they interested in helping me build this company?

To answer this question we recruit based on our clearly articulated principles and values. We use our “culture of CARE questionnaire” to help us determine whether a candidate is predisposed to the things we value as a company, and only hire them if they are.

Once you establish the answer to the first two questions you will begin to find like-minded people whose inspiration comes from the fulfillment they get by being a part of a company that cares about the same things that they do. Fulfilled, engaged and inspired people will do a much better job of managing and growing your business and the result will always be a better bottom line.


3D_CoverOrder your copy of Peter’s book “C.A.R.E Leadership”
Your Manual for Building and Leading a Culture of C.A.R.E.

Buy your copy today at

“Peter van Stralen knows that when you care about your team, they will pass along that caring attitude to your customers, and success will follow. If you haven’t yet created a culture of care in your organization, read C.A.R.E. Leadership and make it happen.”
— Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Trust Works


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