Being in the creative business, inspiration is at the heart of everything we do. As an agency, we are always looking for examples to spark our work on behalf of our clients. Not only do we look for inspiration for our creative deliverables, but also how we, as leaders of the agency, run the business. There are several entrepreneurs that inspire me. Here a few that rise to the top:
**1. Ray Attiyah.** Local entrepreneur and owner of a suite of businesses, most notably his first business – [Definity Partners](http://definitypartners.com/) and his book [Run Improve Grow](http://definitypartners.com/run-improve-grow-book), Ray has more passion and energy for his businesses than anyone I have ever met. If you know him, you know what I’m talking about – he’s literally hard to keep up with. He’s a big thinker, always pushing the envelope. His passion is contagious. I know if I bring half his passion and energy to my business, I’ll be successful. He’s a reminder that there is no substitute for passion and energy.
**2. Jon Lindy.** Entrepreneur and owner of several businesses, most notably [Appearance Plus Dry Cleaners](http://www.appearanceplus.com/). Jon is a student of business and a life-long learner. Always looking for a better way; how to raise the bar. He’s the guy that asks you a question and likely already knows the answer. He’s just that smart and has probably already dissected the information and thought of the optimal solution. He is a great inspiration for always striving to find a better way and reminder to work on your business, not in it.
**3. Nora Fink.** Can work really be fun? My hope is, yes, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Nora has taken this to a new level. As a [stylist and personal brand consultant](http://www.norafink.com/), I have never witnessed someone absolutely loving what they do more than she does. (Full disclosure, she is a client.) Every time we meet, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun because that is how she chooses to live her life and run her business. It helps that she’s great at what she does. She reminds us that if you are going to spend a lot of time at work (which, if you own a business, you do), make it fun!
**4. Sara Blakely.** I would like to say I know Sara, a national entrepreneur and the creator of Spanx, but unfortunately I don’t. However, I have read about her and seen her featured on a number of programs over the last few years. To me, she embodies the American entrepreneurial spirit: a great idea, fierce determination and perseverance. She took on a male-dominated industry and, well, [we all know the results](http://www.forbes.com/profile/sara-blakely/). She continues to innovate and push her company into new markets. She is a reminder that where there is a will, there is a way.
**5. Bill Kohlhepp, my dad.** He’s not technically an entrepreneur, however, he has advised countless businesses over the years and certainly has been invaluable to me in building Intrinzic. Bill is able to separate his emotions and bring objectivity and clarity to every business situation. Not to mention, he is probably the most ethical and humble person you can ever meet. There is a not a week that goes by, that I don’t ask myself, “How would my dad handle this?” Set your bar high with your role models and never, ever, compromise your integrity.
My list continues to grow, as it seems there is always something to learn from one of your peers. I am interested in hearing from other business owners – who inspires you?