Welcome to the Inspiration Cocktail Series!
Here we are taking on the role of mixologists—shaking up quotes and ideas to inspire! Part encouragement and part enlightenment, we hope you find these bursts of insight from Take Back Monday both refreshing and delightful.
Today’s cocktail is inspired by the stories of Rob, Sam, and Lilly. Their full stories are profiled in the book, but here’s a quick snapshot of their backgrounds:
- Rob defeated the expectations of experts and published an anthology of nearly 100 essays in four months.
- Sam patiently built his business, Bunna Café, before he decided to take it full-time in a very successful brick-and-mortar restaurant.
- Lilly used her expertise in fashion to create an entirely new product and build a globally-recognized company with 60+ employees.
In each of their journeys, they relied on intuition to guide them. Here are their own words—shaken not stirred—for a perfect inspiration cocktail on following intuition:
1 oz. Passion:
It was July of 2004 with four months to go before the presidential election. Every publicist said Rob’s timeline was too short to solicit, edit and publish an anthology of political essays from American youth.
Why not take a year then?
“We knew in our gut that this was a good idea and we had to do it at that moment. It couldn’t wait until after the election.”
16 weeks of ups and downs later, Rob appeared on national TV with his co-author just days before the election to speak about his published book.
He reflects: “It might have been impossible for all the publishers and publicists, but it wasn’t impossible for two motivated college kids.”
1 oz. Patience:
In 2011, Sam started Bunna Café with an informal rooftop party that quickly morphed into pop-up restaurants and coffee ceremonies booked weekly around New York.
By late 2013, Bunna had a substantial following and opened a permanent lunch counter within another restaurant. Just months later, for reasons unrelated to Bunna, that restaurant went out of business. It was the perfect opportunity to take over the lease.
“It was a risky move given our limited funds at the time,” Sam recalls, “but it felt like the opportunity was being handed to us on a platter.”
“Throughout this experience, I’ve learned you don’t force an opportunity,” says Sam. “You create the momentum—like we did with our first rooftop party and hundreds of subsequent events—but then you sit back, do what you do, and wait for the right opportunity to come.”
1 oz. Belief
By synthesizing cultural influences like fashion, art, and technology, Lilly’s company, Fashion Snoops, provides unique insights on what customers want next. She founded the company 15 years ago with her husband, Itay Arad, and today they guide a team of more than 60 employees worldwide in forecasting global trends.
“It was never in my plans to start a business,” she says, but a move from New York to Boston in the late nineties “forced me to look at what I could create on my own.”
Ultimately, the move provided the opportunity to invent what she now describes as her “dream job”—Chief Innovation Officer at Fashion Snoops.
“When the opportunity came, we fully committed ourselves to making it a reality. We built it piece by piece,” she says. “I deeply believe that by naming your vision, you can make it so.”
If you would like to read the full version of these remarkable stories—along with 17 others—they are told in Take Back Monday. In the book, you’ll find lessons and inspiration to take the leap, make a change, and custom build a life you love. You’ll see that it is possible to create a life that makes you eager to jump out of bed every day of the week—especially on Monday.