The CEO and founder of Inspired Living, Keri Murphy is committed to empowering people all over the world to “Dream it. Live it. BE it!” An international speaker, media expert, and business mentor, she honed her expertise in the entrepreneurial field for over 20 years, helping others to create—and succeed at—a business they love. Murphy is a television veteran with appearances on MTV, E!, FOX and NBC just to name a few. Her Inspired Living TV web series helps people bridge the gap between having a dream and making it their reality.
Growing up in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, in a close-knit Italian family, Murphy always knew she had an affinity for the entertainment industry. Attending modelling and acting school and represented by the agency ABC Kids, she felt at ease commanding audiences from the stage and on camera.
Over time, she discovered she was a natural at finding and developing talent in others. By 27, she was building one of the most respected agencies in the Northwest—The Murphy Talent Group. She challenged the status quo by still appearing on air.
By 2008, Murphy was appearing as a new reality host on The Golf Channel and was a “MADE” coach on the popular MTV show. Meanwhile, the Murphy Talent Group had grown over 400%. But fate had something else in store for her. The recession hit, and she closed the agency. Heartbroken at the loss, she took away the valuable lesson of surrounding herself with mentors—a lesson she would eventually use to launch her most successful venture yet.
Murphy began a new chapter in her life by moving to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming the next Mary Hart. Hosting gigs on E! and red carpet premieres soon followed. Still auditioning for roles, she had a “light bulb” moment while cooling her heels for three hours in an audition waiting room. Instead of waiting for an opportunity, Murphy realised she was primed to create it—for herself and for others.
Soon after, Inspired Living and iLTV were born. After booking her first celebrity interview with actor and long-time golf fan Kevin Sorbo, Murphy has since interviewed many celebrities and successful entrepreneurs on their inspiring journey to success.
As a trainer with the UK-based Academy of Wealth and Achievement, Murphy jumped at the chance to travel the world, teaching and influencing others. That experience allowed her to create her own training programs like Igniting your IT Factor, which draws people out of their comfort zone and helps them do what they love.
Murphy makes it a priority to give back, particularly to other young women discovering their own hopes and dreams. She is a regular supporter of the “Unstoppable” foundation (a non-profit organisation that brings education and sustainability to developing nations). She makes time to serve on the advisory board of the Women Network, which gives women a voice and platform to share their messages. And she was chosen to be a mentor for the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurs, an organisation of the most passionate and socially minded entrepreneurs in the world.
When not inspiring and empowering others, you’ll find her spending time with friends and family, playing the piano, or relaxing seaside—all while enjoying her time as a new mom.
Okay, Keri, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hello! I am Keri Murphy, On-camera host, Video expert and CEO of Inspired Living. Yes, I really love inspiring people! I get so much joy out of helping people see what they’re really capable of and helping them build influential brands that make a social impact in the world.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Keri Murphy: Well, it’s been a long one. I started my first business at 23. It was an interior design business and I really enjoyed it. I still love creating beautiful things. I think it’s why I love building influential brands. Even though I really enjoyed my role as an interior decorator, I knew I wasn’t doing what I do best. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be on camera. I started modelling and acting when I was 11. Then I got into hosting and could really learn how to be myself on camera, this brought a new joy to be in front of the camera. It’s why I think I love to teach that to entrepreneurs because we all have the ability to really make such an impact through video. In my first business, I was the local interior design expert and didn’t even realise how I was using video to grow my business. After running that business successfully for 5 years I started to feel restless and was presented with the incredible opportunity to purchase the talent agency I went through as a little girl. I was 27 years old and full of naive enthusiasm. The agency grew over 400% in the years I owned it however I soon realised again, that although I really loved what I was doing, I still wasn’t using my gifts to the best and highest use possible.
When the recession hit and I had to make the very difficult choice of closing down that business, it was a very hard time as that business became my identity- a lesson I carry with me today. I soon found myself at a crossroads where I had nothing more to lose and everything to gain. All I could do is focus on what I knew I could do really well, on-camera hosting. So, I moved to Los Angeles and signed with one of the top agencies in the world. I worked for shows on E !, FOX, TV Guide, and MTV and quickly realised that I wanted to make a bigger impact than that. After a year of traveling the world as a personal development trainer, I started coaching- at first I was a life coach and soon that evolved into what we’re doing today, which is helping people step in to the greatest and best version of themselves through entrepreneurship. Equipping them with the tools and expertise to help them scale, leverage and monetise their gifts in order to make a great impact on their lives and on the planet.
What is a day in the life of Keri Murphy like?
There is no regular day in the life! I think it’s why I love being an entrepreneur because every day is so different. I have a three-year-old little girl and love being a mom. I’m running and scaling Inspired Living, serving our clients, building out product lines, creating video content and teaching people how to be on camera. It’s a lot…so, there’s no typical day. What I do have to make sure of is that I constantly checking in with myself on how best I’m using my time? Am I using it in a way that really moves forward my goals and dreams for the vision and for our clients? Am I delegating enough so I’m able to do what only I can do? I think as with any business owner, that’s always the struggle, letting go of things that we don’t need to do so we can really step into those things that only we can do.
That is a constant practice for me. So, I love that there’s no typical day in the life, but I will say I love every day. I really do. I know not every day is perfect, but I find so much joy in what I do. I love that it varies so much each day between my clients and the video content and the teamwork and the vision that we continue to hold for the brand.
What was the concept behind launching Inspired Living?
Well, what’s so funny is that the concept has greatly changed since the eight years that I’ve had it. When I started Inspired Living I was coming right off of personal development training. I had found myself doing a lot of life coaching. Even though I loved it, I soon found myself being a therapist. I thought, “No, that’s not really what I want to be doing.” So, that kind of morphed into business coaching because I have been an entrepreneur for 20 years and I do have some really great things to share with people but I’ll never forget the day I was at my home office trolling online like we all do and was watching a video of someone very well known in our industry and it just had this “a-ha” moment- this is what I can teach! It certainly wasn’t as authentic as it could be.
I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, I can help passionate entrepreneurs share their message in a way that’s authentic and real and connected! “ Because the more we can emotionally connect with people online, the greater our brands will grow. That’s not a new concept, yet so few people know how to do it. So, I feel like what makes us really unique is the fact that we’re not building just these fluffy, glossy brands. We’re actually really helping people step into their true, authentic voice and message in order to make the emotional and intellectual impact in people’s lives both on and offline.
How is Inspired Living funded? Is it bootstrapped? Self-funded?
I am still wearing the bootstrap. I am actually really proud to say when I closed my talent agency back in 2008, we had a lot of debt. My vision has always been great no matter what business I was in, but sometimes I didn’t have the right team or the right even know-how and knowledge on how to utilise funds to grow. I’m really proud to say that we’re now a 7 figure business and have zero debt. I’m sure at some point we will, I don’t think debt is bad. I know at some point we will leverage that because I do think capital it’s an important piece in growing the business, but we have bootstrapped it and it continues to grow every year which I’m really excited about.
Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos at Inspired Living?
Yeah. I love on our website you actually have what we stand for. What I love about my team is how we all hold the same vision and values for Inspired Living. The core of everything that we do is to be of great service. To provide exceptional products and experiences and make sure that everything we’re doing not only impacts the people who are paying us, but also gives back in some way. I want to step into that model even more so this year we’re focusing on working with people who want to create businesses that included a social conscious model. We all believe we get what we give. We are a brand of Integrity, meaning we say what we mean and try to over-deliver where ever we can. We live by: Dream it. Live it. BE it!
Can you tell us how you are helping talented entrepreneurs like us to rise above the crowd to become the go-to expert everyone wants to work with?
Oh yes! That’s exactly what we do at Inspired Living is help people rise up against the noise. Growing up, actually, it wasn’t even that long ago that you had to audition to be on-camera. You had to pay a lot of money for commercials and marketing and now we have these incredible platforms where everyone has access to showing up and providing great content. The wonderful thing about that is that we are surrounded by incredible experts sharing their content and on the other side, we are surrounded by people who are sharing content that doesn’t know what they’re doing and there’s a lot of noise and it’s very distracting. So, what we do through Inspired Living is really help people understand who they’re talking to, why they’re talking to them, and what makes them unique in their niche and marketplace?
This means going against sometimes with what everyone else is doing and looking at how we could do things differently to rise up against all the noise out there right now. It’s really the focus of our brand- creating unique authentic brands that aren’t copying anyone else or trying to be anything they’re not but really understands their core brand message, who they’re talking to and why they’re talking to them.
Can you highlight three tips to help us clarify our message as entrepreneurs?
- Absolutely. I would say the first tip is to know what the main challenge is that you are alleviating when you’re working with your clients. We all buy emotionally. There are pain and possibility in every single one of us, so if you don’t really intrinsically understand the reason why someone wants a certain result, no matter how much money you put out there, they’re not going to be emotionally connected to moving forward. So, I would say really understand the pain of the ideal client so that you’re speaking to what’s possible for them once they get what it is that they’re looking for. I would say that’s the first thing. The second thing is understanding why you’re different and what you do differently.
- There are enough people on the planet for all of us to serve and that’s a great thing, but for you to hold that space of understanding why you and what makes you unique I think is vital when it comes to reaching that one person online. So, know the pain and possibility. Know what makes you different and why you.
- Most people press record and are too focused on what they’re saying that they don’t take any time to think about who’s watching. With the number of people online, the billions of people that are watching videos online right now, it is so vital that you understand that one person that you want to reach. When you don’t know who you’re talking to, no one else knows who you’re talking to.
Who does the team involve behind you and Inspired Living?
I really love my team! There’s no way I could do what I do if it wasn’t for the team that we have right now. We’ve created a model where the team that has built my brand and continues to help expand is the same team that supports our clients. There are very few businesses that I know that provide that level of support for an entrepreneur looking to grow. You usually get one coach or one mentor. When you work with Inspired Living, you get nine expert coaches from marketing, copywriting, systems, automation, branding, speaking opportunities, sales, and media. It’s really incredible! This is a holistic approach that we have with the team and our clients.
Where can you see yourself within the next three to five years?
I definitely see us growing into the product space. We’ve done an incredible job in the coaching and business development niche. I love what we’re doing and I know the business development and on-camera training will continue to grow but I’ve always had this vision of Inspired Living products. These products would support and inspire our community, such as makeup and camera kits, office goods and more. I also see ILTV expanding and reaching millions of people. We’re in talks right now with some networks and possibilities of expanding that reach. So, lots of exciting things in the works!
I hold a vision and yet I also leave space for things to come in that I wasn’t expecting. I think that’s the exciting part of being an entrepreneur is when you hold this vision and let the opportunities come at the right time. I’m over trying to force things. I’ve learned through the years that the more I let go of expectations and trust outcomes, the more possibilities show up. We will continue to build out our highly sought-after Brilliant event, that brings in top women entrepreneurs from across the globe.
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansions of Inspired Living?
Keri Murphy: Well, the strategies always include the overall vision, the implementation of the vision, the systems that are required behind the vision and then the team support to bring that vision into fruition. So, right now we’re working on all aspects of that within Inspired Living, the Inspired Company, and our product lines. So, it’s understanding the big picture and then taking it down to the quarterly and monthly goals that are going to help drive those goals to fruition.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Honestly, there have been quite a few areas over the years. As we evolve as an entrepreneur so do the problems. I’ve always held a BIG vision for my life and company. It can be challenging to let go of things in order to realise it. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “my business is my baby. As business owners, we give birth to our vision. What I’ve learned is that it really takes a village to raise a baby and the more you understand that, let go of things and stop trying to manage it all, the better off that baby will be. It’s still something I’m working on but for me, that has been one of the greatest lessons- don’t try to do everything. Don’t just hire people that are good, surround yourself with brilliant people! Hire people that are better than you in areas that you don’t really want to know. Then let them do what they do.
Have you ever had any other mentor and if so, how has this benefited you to grow?
I have had many mentors. Mentors that I’ve paid and mentors that were just people in my life that inspired me. I remember when I was working at the talent agency and I was coaching our Miss America (at the time because I ran a local Miss America program in Oregon) I was working with a gentleman by the name of Ferris Top. He ran a communications company and he said, “Keri, you should always be working at your best and highest use.” That was in my 30s. Now in my 40s, I think about that all the time. I talk to my clients about it all the time. He was one of those mentors that I never had to pay but was always there for me. We had these really great conversations. Now, I invest a lot in coaches and communities that stretch me and drive me to grow my company. They help me become a better CEO and give incredible insight into how I continue to expand the vision of Inspired Living.
So, needless to say, I’m a huge fan of mentors. I’ve had many and will continue to make sure that I invest in them as we grow.
What outlets do you use to market Inspired Living?
I’m a big fan of speaking. I love to speak and connect with an audience. I grew Inspired Living to 6-figures in the first year from speaking at small little events. Now I speak all over the country and host many of my own events as well. So I would say that’s one of the main areas and one of the most successful ways we grow the brand is through getting in front of our ideal client at events. Hosting our own events have been very successful when it comes to retaining and growing the business with our clients. We also market through social media of course. We have to be there. So, all the fabulous channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram. I would say those are our main three. We also love to collaborate with brand partners and affiliates to help expand our message and products to different audiences.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
I think my support comes from surrounding myself with like-minded women who think big, dream big, act big, do big. So, that’s really how I continue to grow my network. Also surrounding myself with an amazing team and making sure that I’m always having conversations that allow me to grow. I think it’s really great to get on the phone with someone that you don’t know who’s doing amazing things in the world and just showing up and seeing how you can support them.
What are you believe are the common misconceptions about marketing and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
I hope my platform is an example of what happens when you stop trying to please everyone and you really focus on being authentically who you are. I feel one of the most common mistakes is that people put out an image that they think other people want to see. It is perfect. It’s glossy. It is beautiful but it’s not real and it’s not authentic, therefore, it’s not driving change. So, I would say that I think that is the most common mistake is that we’re putting out a version of our brand or ourselves that we think people want to see and it’s a façade into actually unleashing and breaking open what is truly possible within your business.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I think millennials are amazing. They come with such a zest and so many ideas. They grew up with social media which is something that we didn’t have. I think that I would like them to continue to invest in themselves and see the value of mentorship, working hard and understanding that although we’re in a world where it looks like success happens overnight, it never does. That the struggle is real and that being an entrepreneur is not easy and it takes an undying commitment to the vision and personal growth to run a successful business. So, I would like to tell millennials to keep doing what you’re doing. To be innovative and to think outside the box.
However, don’t forget that there is a box that you can learn from and tools that you can grow from and take advantage of those realizing, that nothing comes overnight.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date? Business advise.
There has been so much incredible business advice that I have had over the years. I want to go back to Ferris, that mentor when he said, “Keri, you’re not doing what you should be doing and you’re not working at your best and highest you.” Even though it wasn’t advice, it was a statement that really has dictated how I built Inspired Living and is that kind of ticker mark that I always go back to as to what am I doing best and what should I be handing off to someone else.
What is the number one critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
No doubt about it. The number one lesson has been surrounding yourself with an incredible team who knows more than you and yet supports you and your vision and believes in what you believe in and shares the same values. Your team is an extension of you and the brand. It’s like your family and the more you invest in them, inspire them and value them, the more they show up in full service, not only to you but to your clients.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
For me, my health and my family is just as important as my business. Let me tell you. My business is really important. So, I make it a priority to work out, get massages, be a good mom and partner. At the end of the night, I can put my computer away to be present with my family and not worry about what I’m not doing. So, I think for me, it is a constant juggle and there’s never enough time in the day and I just have to be okay with that and know that there’s more time tomorrow.
Tell us a seminal point in your career so far?
Someone once said to me that success isn’t about what you have. It’s about knowing that if everything was taken away you could rebuild it tomorrow. After losing and shutting down the talent agency and starting completely over in my 30s with no idea who I was going to be when I grew up, I would say the greatest lesson that I have learned is to trust yourself and to trust the gifts that you know that you have and to use them. Whether it’s in business or it’s in the community or whatever outlet you choose. You might not be fortunate enough to run your own business yet, but that is a true success. To know how to do something so well that if you were to lose it all, you could do it again tomorrow. I feel like I’m in that place now that I know myself so well. I know what I’m really great at and what I’m not so great at.
So, for me, the lesson is to do what you do best and outsource the rest.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Well, right now, I am sitting in a room full of my Luminary Leaders which is a group of women that we mentor throughout the year, helping them build influential brands. I will tell you, nothing brings me more joy than seeing these women step into a greater, brighter version of themselves. More committed to making a difference in the world. More committed to serving one another and truly clear on who they are and what they want to create and being a part of that journey for them. There are so many things in my life that bring me joy. My daughter, my family, my team but to be in this room right now and to see the opportunities and the minds open up to what is truly possible for each and every one of us brings me incredible joy.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your career?
I think any entrepreneur is going to experience challenges. I would say my personal challenges have been when to grow and when to invest in certain things. Understanding the timing of things and when to scale and when not to scale. I would say that’s probably an ongoing challenge that I have is when the vision is big you kind of want to do it all at one time instead of looking strategically at what you need now to actually reach that greater vision in the future. So, I would think scaling has been probably one of the greatest challenges and knowing when to do that.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
There are so many. Off the top of my head, I think of people like Brene Brown, Sara Blakely, and of course Oprah and what they’re doing in the world. One of my mentors Ali Brown is really changing the conversation around women, self-identity, and leadership. What I love is that I get to work with these types of women every day. There are so many women out there that I admire the work that they’re doing and the impact that they’re having in the world.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I need to read more books. I have not had a lot of time to, I started three books to be honest with you and still in the middle of them, ‘The E Myth Revisited’ is a book that I love and revisit often. I’m a huge fan of ‘The Big Leap’ by Gay Hendricks and on my desk right now, I have ‘Becoming’ written by Michelle Obama. Also, ‘How Not To Give A F*$@!’, I started reading that book and it’s very intriguing.
Top three go to podcast channels?
I wish I had time to listen to more podcasts!
- I love listening to ‘Glambition Radio’ with Ali Brown and
- Currently started tuning into, ‘The School Of Greatness’ with Lewis Howes.
Those are the only two podcasts right now that I’m listening to but I am committed to learning more because we’re launching one this year as well. I think podcasts are fantastic! They’re a great thing to do to fuel your brain while you’re fuelling your body working out.
How do you define success?
I think I mentioned it earlier. Success to me is being able to recreate something over and over and over again. So, if you lose something having the understanding and talent to be able to recreate. I think success really comes down to impact that you’re having and how you show up in the lives of others.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
It means exactly what I teach at my “IT” Factor on-camera training. Be unapologetically who you are. What does that really mean? Figure out what makes you, you. Stop waiting for permission to do what you know you’re here on this earth to do. Be committed to being your true authentic, amazing self.
Finally, what can we expect from you and Inspired Living?
You can expect us to continue to impact and inspire lives. You can expect us to continue to build incredible businesses that are changing lives and giving back as well as a whole bunch of products that are going to help you continue to live inspired, feel inspired and share that with others. As I always say…Dream it. Live it. BE it!