The Entrepreneur Who Intends to Cure Blindness (and Other Inspirations)

approaching the summitThis week, I’m about to break the cardinal sin of blogging.

Instead of my usual marketing topics, a post about 3 people who were inspired to go the extra mile.

Here’s the common thread that runs through their stories:  having a goal, and committing to see it through … despite discouragement, even when it’s hard.

Here are their stories:

The Entrepreneur Who Intends to Cure Blindness

This week I met Evan Mittman.  Evan founded and grew Cipriani, an accessories company which was sold to multinational Li & Fung Ltd,  where he continues as President.  His story of building a company is one that every aspiring entrepreneur can learn from.

I also learned something completely unexpected about goals and commitment.  In college, Evan learned that he was losing his sight — and while growing his company, Evan set an audacious goal: curing blindness.

As board member of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, he now uses his influence to raise money for a cure, and is also the force behind the Evan Mittman Music Center, a special place where blind artists record, practice, and perform.  Incredibly, a cure for blindness is within reach.

Evan has been pursuing his goal for 40 years … truly, determination and persistance can move mountains.

An Artist Who Reinvented Herself

At a recent art show, I ran into a painter from whom I bought a floral watercolor years before.   Seeing her current display of bold, contemporary abstract oils was a complete surprise.

I asked Rosalind Oesterle what caused her to change:

” … Well, the market changed … people didn’t really want softly colored, floral vignettes anymore … and I got tired of doing the same thing over and over …”

 If an artist with over 50 years of experience can successfully change her craft, well … you know the rest.  Change can be overwhelming, and it’s hard … but change is rewarding for those who stick with it.

If change is your particular challenge, I offer Rosalind’s example.

Duke NY Job Angels: Going the Extra Mile

The aptly named “Duke NY Job Angels” is a group committed to helping fellow unemployed alumni land their next professional gig.

Maybe it should just be called, “Suzan’s Angels” … since the idea began with Suzan Fruchtman, who saw a need, and did something about it.  She not only provided the spark, but built a bridge from inspiration to action.  Now, there are dozens of alumni involved in this effort.

Why not help someone in transition network and connect to their next opportunity?  It’s hard for them to ask, so don’t make them … simply go the extra mile and offer your help.

P.S. – Would it Kill You to Say Thank You?

People of generous spirit,  like Evan and Suzan, don’t do what they do for the “thank you”.  It’s just who they are.  Saying thank you costs nothing, and sometimes, it’s the least we can do.

Not everyone gets this.  Recently I went the extra mile for someone, got others involved, and then … nothing!   I’m not sure what the lesson is,  except that occasionally, you meet a jerk.  They don’t come wearing “jerk” name tags, but their inability to show gratitude gives them away.

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Humanity is a bell curve, and recently, I’ve seen both ends of that spectrum … but that doesn’t change what I believe.

I believe in going the extra mile to help others when you can … and in paying it forward when you can.  It feels really good, even if you encounter the occasional jerk.

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PS –  if you are trying to accomplish something important but facing headwinds, hang in there!  Remember:

“The higher you climb on the mountain, the harder the wind blows”.

Thank you for listening.  Next post, my friends, will be back on point, marketing topics, keywords and all:)

Thanks for stopping by!  Tweet me, connect on Linkedin, or leave a question or comment on my my facebook page, where I share marketing tips, opinions, and news.

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz, @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, is an internet marketer and business development strategist who helps businesses develop more effective online marketing strategies. I also blog at Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
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