As George Jerjian begins the promotion of his tenth book Spirit of Gratitude, he joins us at Business Matters to tell us what inspires him and why he would do nothing differently in his life.
What do you currently do?
I am a consultant, coach, writer and speaker. I help people to get out of their own way, so that they can be their true selves and live the life they were meant to live. I am currently promoting my 10thbook – Spirit of Gratitude, which combines 12 transformational events in my life – crises that turned into opportunities – with practical solutions provided by thought leaders from the past and present.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The inspiration behind my new business came from two crises in my life. First, in January 2007, three unrelated events in that same month formed a perfect storm in my life: moving home, death of my wife’s father, and I was diagnosed with bone tumour and told I had 6 months to live.
Second, in January 2016, I was stuck in a decade-long litigation, which was going nowhere. I needed a resolution, but surrender was not an option, so I had to seek an alternative resolution elsewhere. I went on a 30-day silent retreat in North Wales to seek my answers.
In that deep silence, I was able to reflect on and write about my past successes and failures, I was able to peel away my alter egos and to allow my fragile true self to emerge, and I was able to do an audit on my life, and so I wrote all my stories, good and bad.
From the spiritual exercise, I was able to discern a connection between my crises and my opportunities and I recognised that I had to be grateful for the opportunities as well as the crises, because without the crises, the opportunities would not have emerged. I also discovered that I liked helping people and so I made a commitment to pursue a new direction in my work life, and this led me to the world of self-development, with which I was already familiar.
Who do you admire?
The individuals I admire are varied but they all showed the attributes of courage, character, and innovation. They are Thomas Becket, Thomas More, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Helen Keller, Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey. I also admire the following individuals in the world of self-development: Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale, Bob Proctor, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Eckhardt Tolle, to name a few.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
No, I would change nothing in my life. To use the words of an Edith Piaff song – “Je ne regrette rien.” I regret nothing. I would do nothing differently. I am where I am because of choices I made in the past, right and wrong. Even what others might term mistakes, I consider were the right course of action because they have brought me to where I am now. We learn from our mistakes; our mistakes also define us and define our life journey. In a sense, I agree with Aristotle who said, “Character is destiny,”and so in many ways my character helped to carve my course through life.
What defines your way of doing business?
Communicating or, if you prefer, sharing ideas and insights, thoughts and feelings, strategies and tactics, with my audience is my way of doing business. I am a researcher, an explorer, and adventurer at heart, so I like to trailblaze on my own, and then return home, as it were, to share my findings and discoveries with the communities and collaborators.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
In a nutshell, I would give two pieces of advice.
The first and most important thing is to be yourself, your true self. For most of us, this is not easy. We try to be all things to all people. I will share with you a wonderful statement that is attributed to the late Bill Gove, one of America’s most prolific speakers, who once said: “If I got to be free, I got to be me. Not the way my parents want me to be; not the way my siblings and friends want me to be; not the way my spouse or partner wants me to be; not the way my children want me to be. If I got to be free, I got to be me.”
The second piece of advice is – Love yourself. Most people do not love themselves. They believe that they should love others. They seek love outside themselves. If you do not love yourself, how can you expect others to love you? Also, if you do not love yourself, how can you love anyone else? Everyone is seeking love, but they seek it in the wrong place. Love yourself first. Be gentle with yourself, and then you can be gentle with others, and only then, can you love others.
George Jerjian is one of the UK’s leading communications specialists and a sought-after public speaker.
Since 2017 he has worked alongside Bob Proctor, the acclaimed motivational coach, at the renowned Proctor Gallagher Institute in Arizona, US.
His new and 10thbook, Spirit of Gratitude, an uplifting spiritual memoir to help readers identify and overcome life’s challenges and crises, is out now on Amazon UK priced £9.99 in paperback.