Back in college, I’d started my own side business, Formative Studios, with two partners. It was a small scale operation that we ran on the side, doing odd design jobs and small websites. Our size made us perfect for small businesses and single owner startups. Working with so many new owners gave me plenty of examples of people who did it well, and people who could have done it better. Formative Studios still exists today, and although we never pushed it to be a full-time gig, it was the perfect crash course on starting, running, and sustaining a business.

So when my cousin Marie was starting a fledgling food blog in San Francisco a few years ago, I offered to give her some tips. We met several times in hobbity coffee shops to discuss her plans and progress. She’d message me for advice, and I found I always had something to share from my previous experience.

Fast-forward two years – Marie has a blossoming food photography blog, an astounding 70K+ instagram followers, and her first recipe book just recently published. When I received my copy over Thanksgiving she asked me if I had read the thank you section yet. I quickly flipped through it and found this:

“To Natasha, I know that none of this would have happened had it not been for your tireless encouragement. From supporting the blog in its infancy, to guiding me through this cookbook, I am so lucky to have you in my life!”

Wow! She told me the book would never have existed without our impromptu talk sessions and get-togethers. A handful of talks…that’s all it took!? And get this – it was easy for me. It wasn’t a lot of work or effort, it was something that came naturally to me, and something that I enjoy. And, most importantly, it was everything she needed.

Never did I think when I was enjoying myself giving my cousin advice, that I was actually inspiring her to make a leap of faith towards her dreams. What an amazing affirmation that the things that we enjoy are not just for our own benefit. Our natural talents can easily be utilized to help someone else, and we don’t have to feel bad that it wasn’t work.

Today I remind you to think about who might be inspired by you today. It might be someone you weren’t expecting, it might even be the person who always seems to be perfect. We all need inspiration from someone around us. Why not you?


Don’t forget to check out Marie Reginato’s awesome blog, or purchase her recipe book, Alternative Vegan, which features healthy plant-based recipes that break the rules.

5 Responses

  1. Wow, Tasha. The funny thing is that as you were helping me, I also had no idea the impact it would have on you! I loved our hobbit cafe sessions and it’s just crazy to look back at it all now and recognize that it truly wouldn’t have happened without your advice along the way. It was crucial.
    Thank you for your endless generosity my wise cousin!

    Love you!
    xx Marie

  2. I am really glad I read this! Thanks… what a great question: “Who might be inspired by you today?” So many of us want to make a positive difference in the world, and it could quite possibly be any number of contributions we make just by sharing about something we know, with someone who doesn’t.

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