Today, I’m closing a chapter in what has been my favorite blogging experience. I’m sad to say, that our beloved Poop (my dad) passed away in March very suddenly. Today would have been his 63rd birthday. To honor him, I’ve created, with the help of my family, the final Poop’s Scoop. So without further ado, I give you…
Allow me to introduce Jerry Geroulis, my dad! My sister and I have lovingly nicknamed him Poop. Poop owns an auto-body repair shop with his brother, Sam and lots of employees. I grew up watching the story unfold… from my parents not being able to afford junk food (my great-grandma would supply my mom with potato chips), carpooling with a station wagon that was lucky to make it up hills and my dad working all hours just to make ends meet. Today, my dad owns his dream home, buys trampolines on a whim for his granddaughter and is my #1 source of inspiration and advice.
We’re tackling a tough topic today. Quitting. Yeah, you don’t like thinking about it, but I just know the thought has probably crossed your mind. I talked with Poop tonight about his thoughts on quitting:
Q: How many times did you feel like quitting before you became successful?
A: I was eating lunch with my brother in the back of a Subaru and we talked about how we could make more money flipping hamburgers even after three years into the business. We never had that conversation again.
Q: And the next time you felt like quitting?
The fire department came in and let us know that we needed an air-system that would cost $300,000 to install. I replied, “I’ve never heard of a fire in a body shop in this county.” The response, “Well, we don’t want one.” That was a time that I was gonna walk out of that shop and never walk back in.
As it turns out, like everything else, you take life one day at a time and things work out. Don’t panic. Go with your gut.
Q: What if you go with your gut, but you feel like your gut is betraying you?
A: No, that’s not possible. Not possible. You just didn’t stick it out. Go with your gut. It will always work.
Q: What if your gut has put you in debt?
A: That’s okay. That’s what makes the world go ‘round. I was always in debt. Always. Starvation mode. To start the business I sold the Corvette I completely restored.
Q: Mom chimes in with a question: What about having supportive spouses?
Spouses are not necessary. Just kidding… gotcha there! (my mom pretends to hit Poop with a frying pan and calls him an ass, for a really fun interview party bonus!). But, sometimes the people closest to you can unknowing hurt you because they don’t have the same drive that you have. So be careful who you share your dreams with.
Q: What if you think you’re failing?
Stick it out.
Q: And while sticking it out… what should someone do to motivate themselves?
Well, I do believe that after you’ve tried everything there’s no reason that you can’t treat yourself to something, whatever that may be. There’s no one who’s going to come out of the woodwork and pat you on the back. You used to get a pat on the back at your other job… but that pat on the back is so expensive. You’ve paid dearly for somebody to tell you, “Good job, worker!” But you don’t need that pat on the back. You reward yourself by your achievements and they aren’t gonna come overnight. It’s so slow.
Q: What if someone does all the right things? Working hard, learning, rocking their business… but has no money to show for it yet?
Then I say to you, you haven’t done it long enough. We live in this world of instant gratification. Everything happens at its own pace. You have to wait for it.
You just work harder. You hit it harder. You go after this thing with a vengeance. You live and die by it. You’ve made this commitment to yourself. You don’t give up. Keep on keepin’ on. Make it happen. Because you’re smarter than that.
The easiest thing is to quit and throw up the white flag and go back to work for somebody else. But you’ll never be happy. You’re always gonna have that feeling that you let yourself down. But it’s out there. It’s out there. Keep plugging along even if it seems impossible. It will happen. Don’t give up.
Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for e-mail updates as well! Until next time…
Thirteen years ago, something awesome happened. I met Moby.
Now, I know we’ve probably all been lucky enough to have a brush with fame. I’ve had several myself living in New York City, working for a magazine and just getting lucky. I’ve got real pictures of George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to prove it. But whatever… it all means nothing… except for the night that I met Moby.
I’ll tell you the story and then I’ll tell you why it matters.
I was in college without a care in the world except for a few things:
1. I cared that my freaky makeup was perfect at all times. (Glitter eyeshadow? Oh yes, please!)
2. I cared enough to excel in design school.
3. I loved electronic music.
Enter Moby. I was obsessed with Moby’s music… still am. Moby is amazingly talented and nothing I can say in this sentence will sum it up… so go have a listen for yourself.
When I found out that Moby was touring and coming to a venue near me… I flipped out and rounded up a couple of friends to go with me. Bush was headlining, but I could have cared less.
Let’s jump to that night. I went to the show 110% positive that I would meet Moby. Seems realistic, right? In a crowd of thousands, I would somehow wind up one-on-one with this guy. I had no doubt in my mind and I’m even more sure that my friends thought I was crazy.
Fast forward… Moby’s show was over (amazing!) and I knew it was crunch time. We left the venue early and headed outside. And then, it started to happen… the magical series of events that would lead me to Moby.
I saw a group of people that just seemed “up to something.” I headed over to them and they informed me that someone was having Moby sign some of their stuff. I knew I was getting warm. I made myself part of this group. Then, that someone came outside and asked, “Would you guys like to come with me to meet Moby?”
I followed the group. I felt like an outsider, but I was not about to remove myself from them out of fear that I didn’t belong.
We headed backstage and there was Moby. Cue the craziness… “Can you sign this… Can you… Can you…!!!” The swarm had descended and it all felt very wrong to me. Who were these demanding people? Did they even care at all about the music or this man?
I decided that even though I walked in with this group. I didn’t want any part of it. I stayed behind, kept to myself and thought, “If I have to act like a crazy person just to get an autograph, no thanks.”
When the swarm was happy, they walked out. And there I was with Moby. Last in line with nothing but some kind words for him. “I’m honored to meet you,” is what I came up with and it took all I had to spit it out. Looking back, I could have come up with something a little more witty, but whatever!
Moby asked me if I had anything to sign. I pulled out my favorite notebook and he doodled a “Little Idiot.” for me. And then, he gave me a KISS!! Okay, it was on the cheek… but still. I’m lucky I didn’t die right on the spot. I have to believe that, for a second, Moby just kinda liked the awkward girl who came in with nothing but some nice words (and killer eye-makeup).
So, I know you are asking… What does this have to do with anything, Sara? What’s your point? How does this relate to business, me, design, anything at all.
The answer is everything.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this story is full of valuable lessons that I carry with me to this day. And they are:
1. Believe anything is possible without a shadow of a doubt. Wanting something is different from truly believing in something.
2. Follow the crowd, especially when they are on the right path, but don’t lose yourself. Don’t be afraid of breaking away and know when to do what’s best for YOU.
3. Good things come to those who are passionate and know their stuff. You’ll end up just where you need to be at just the right time. It’s probably not luck at all.
4. Be prepared for opportunity to strike. Make sure you have your “favorite notebook” equivalent ready at a moments notice.
5. This isn’t the ME show. Selfishness will get you nowhere. Doing nice things, saying nice things and treating everyone with respect will get you far. Smiles are good too.
6. One “little idiot” can make a big difference in someone’s life.
Does this post inspire you? Has something awesome happened to you just because you knew it would? Share your stories in the comments below and stay in the loop by signing up for my emails.
This week, I want you to treat a stranger to coffee, just to see what happens.
I’ve always thought of doing this, but I’ve never actually done it. I’m writing this on Sunday night and I’m totally going to follow through on Monday. I’ll update everyone on how my first attempt at a planned act of kindness panned out for me. Of course I’m hoping to make somebody’s day so that they will do the same for somebody else. What does this have to do with design, you ask? Oh, absolutely nothing… but it has everything to do with being awesome… kinda my thing.
So… are you up for the challenge? If you are, please commit to doing this in the comments below by saying, “I’m in!” and then come back to share your story! Ready… Go!
Allow me to introduce Jerry Geroulis, my dad! My sister and I have lovingly nicknamed him Poop. Don’t even ask how it came about because I totally forget. I love my dad and lots of people who know him think he’s QUITE a character. He also happens to be a pretty successful small business owner and the guy I can count on for awesome advice. And while it may take 3 hours of story telling to get to the heart of the message, it’s always something good.
So, I’ve done everyone a favor and asked my dad some questions in a new blog series I’m calling POOP’s SCOOP! Do you love it? Yeah, funny. I’ve interviewed my dad, tossed the fluff, and I’m sharing his advice with you. So here goes.
Q: What advice do you have for someone starting their own business?
A: Do something you love. Something you’re passionate about, but not your hobby.
Q: How do you know the difference between a business and a hobby?
A: Your gut! Go with your gut! You have to always go with your gut!
Q: How long do you give a business before you hang it up?
A: Your whole life! Everyone is cut out to do something that they’re good at. I truly believe that. You’ve got to be good at something. (insert stories of Thomas Edison and Colonel Sanders, which you can Google, but I’ll spare you)
Q: Is it hard work to have your own business?
A: Uhm. I think because you’re passionate about it, it is hard work, but you don’t think of it as hard work. If you’re watching the clock, you can’t do it that way. You don’t even think about it being hard, you’re just doing it because you’re passionate.
Q: How do you know if you have a burning desire?
Well, that’s something you have to ask The King (as in Elvis). I said a hunk-a-hunk of burnin’ love! Poop says burning desire! Even if you have 1,000 failures… you never give up on your dream. There’s probably a little insanity there. People thought Henry Ford was insane.
Q: How do you start?
Look at people who are successful. Success leaves clues. You’re not gonna start on top. If you’re gonna start a pizza company and you have a burning desire to do that… go to the best pizza place and start by sweeping the floors until you find out the tricks! Every business has tricks.
Q: What did you sacrifice to be in business?
Everyone in business has made a sacrifice. I sacrificed my time. That’s what you’re giving up. Time where you’re learning the hard knocks of what it takes to be successful. But if you keep putting out good, there’s no way it’s not gonna come back.
Q: Any other gems to share with the group?
You can’t take advice from other people when they’re squashing your dreams.
Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for e-mail updates as well! Until next time…
It recently occurred to me that I’m a bit of a cheerleader. Noooooo, not that kind. I’ll be honest, I’ve never even come close to doing a cartwheel, even as a child. I’m an even better cheerleader… the kind that can make my friends and clients feel awesome… pump them up to do things a little better. I’ve been noticing a trend this year among business owners and people who inspire. The theme is to dream big… and as cliche as that sounds, it’s fun to think about. So when you have an idea, I want you to think about how you can make it even better. Dream big. You can do it.
So, here’s a little treat as a reminder. Some desktop wallpapers designed by me.
2560 x 1440 / 1680 x 1050 / 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 800 / iPAD / iPHONE / iPHONE 5
Okay folks! I found some gems and I want to share them with you. And if you stick around long enough this post ends with a super cute project. Gem #1: Winsome Cottage in Waynesville, OH. I discovered this shop a couple of weekends ago. While I am a super modern, city girl, there was still something about this “shabby-chic” place that struck me. I mean look… super cute right? Party bonus… the owner is a sweetheart!
So, what was it that I liked? Drum roll please… Gem #2: Chalk Paint! Okay, so take a close look at those photos. Pretty much every piece of furniture you see there has been redone simply by applying chalk paint! Pardon my french, but this shit is like magic. It can coat just about every surface (fake wood veneer, yes!) goes on nice and thick and dries in 30 minutes to a lovely, buttery matte texture. You can paint on metal, glass, dark wood… you name it! So are your wheels spinning yet? Got something in your house that’s a little outdated and drab? Chalk paint it, baby! That chest of drawers that you neighbor left on the curb… swipe it at night ’cause you got chalk paint, and the neighbor doesn’t have a clue!
Alright! Are you ready for my first attempt at chalk paint madness? I swiped this mirror from my late grandmother’s house. It’s Gem #3 in my book. A gem because it belonged to my Grandma G. who I loved very much. And, frankly, it was the only thing in the whole house that was worth taking in my opinion. The mere fact that I found it was a feat in and of itself.
So, I’m going to walk you through my first attempt at using chalk paint. I chose 3 colors of paint at Winsome Cottage (yes, they sell it) seen here. It took me FOREVER to decide.
For the mirror, I chose to use “Florence,” a lovely, bright, turquoise. Then I got to work!
Looks like I need another coat!
Much better! I’m still keeping a bit of the weathered look.
That’s a shot of me through the Windex on the mirror… kinda neat! Had to clean it up!
So, here’s the final piece in all of its glory! Complete with a reflection of my beloved Shepard Fairey limited edition print of Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Museum. Ta-da!
I’ll keep you posted on my chalk paint projects! Next up: Antique sewing cabinet!
When I decided to take the giant leap into operating my own design business, it certainly wasn’t on my own. I had been secretly snooping around for everyone’s blessing. Even the most strong willed, pumped up people need to feel as if they are doing the right thing. My friends were behind me 100% because they are awesome and super-supportive. I took an online mentoring course from Isa Maria Seminega and that girl was behind me 110%! (super courses, btw… I highly recommend!) My closest family members took a bit more convincing. How many times did I hear the warning “Don’t you dare quit your job, Sara!” from my dad? Ironically, my dad is a successful entrepreneur and so was my great-grandfather. But dad’s look out for their little girls and he knows first hand that running your own show is not easy. But as usual, I got my way and ended up with his blessing. Yay! My husband had valid concerns about being the only one with a “real job” and insurance… but if I have a number one fan, it’s him so it didn’t take long to turn him around either.
But let me tell ya about my mom. My mom has always been behind me 120%. I know, the percentage thing is out of control now. But really, my mom had my back all along and knew that Cormier Creative would be a hit! So, in April when I said adios to the steady gig, my mom made me a little artwork for my office (seen above). She might not always get a lot of props for being artsy, but she totally is. She can sew, paint, decorate and craft the hell out of anything she puts her mind to. “She believed she could so she did.” That’s my motto now. I can’t think of a better one… mom that is.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs recently, Zen Habits, and I ran across the phrase “Experiment Boldly.” I’m going to remember this whenever I try something new in my life or in design. I think it’s a great little motto! It inspired me to make this mini-poster for my office, which ended up looking pretty cool.
Because I’m feeling super nice today, I’m providing this artwork as a free download. Use it however you like.
Get your free mini-poster here!
How will you experiment boldly in your life?