Erin Duffy has simultaneously managed two notable careers over the past 25 years. As an executive in a creative services agency, she built wildly successful customer relationships, managed creative teams, and helped clients find their voice and communicate their story effectively. As a professional singer/actor, Erin was able to tap into her characters with a passion for storytelling and perform on many stages.
Erin’s breadth of research and experiences have culminated into her proudest work to date, the merging of her skills as an executive and a performer and the launch of her company, InspirationSQRD. She guides mid-career professionals to rediscover the wisdom of their experiences. These insights evolve into a powerful catalyst for stories of change and positive outcomes leading to a unique and influential personal and professional voice. Her clients’ journeys are a testimony to the power we have within us, and when guided faithfully, they can be transformative.
Read The Proof
When I was a young girl, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to sing — oh God, did I want to sing! I’d close my bedroom door, put on old records, and I was a star. I sang Garland. I channeled Streisand. I became Julie Andrews. In the solitude of my bedroom, in their songs, I find my stories. And I kept it all a secret until the third grade. I am at a sleep-over party, eight of us, 3 am. It’s Truth or Dare, and I’m dared to “Sing a song out loud”. I nervously shuffle to the middle and begin.
“Somewhere over the rainbow way up high, there’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby”
There is silence. My friends burst into applause. And, right then and there, I know what I want to be. The next day, I tell my mother “When I grow up, I want to be an actress who sings songs!” I recognized the fear in her voice when she said: “Oh, honey, you can’t do that, you’ll starve in the street.”
Fast forward I am heading to college. I want to major in Theater Arts, but my parents do not support that idea, so I major in Communication Arts. Film and television production to be exact. I do continue to sing and act on the side. Once out of college, I am at crossroads. The unbridled joy of singing and acting gives way to the realization that I need to make a living. I get a job in corporate America. I continue to sing and act on the side. Six years later my mom is diagnosed with cancer crushing my family and me. Mom struggles courageously for 2 ½ years. But, then on a warm Thursday night in October I’m holding my mother’s hand, singing to her. Suddenly, her crystal blue eyes open wide and she looks right at me. And for the next five minutes I hold her hand as tight as I can, singing to her, and she stares at me, responding back to me with her eyes full of recognition.
“Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true”
My mom’s dreams were cut short. The life she had hoped to continue would not be.
My mother’s passing jolted me into realizing that my performing career was not to take a back seat to my corporate job. I enjoyed them both. I needed to sing my own song. From that moment on I pursued both with vigor. Over the course of 25 years, I rose in my creative agency to the rank of Vice President, and I successfully performed on stage in many lead roles. Ironically, at its core, the secret of my success in business was the same as the secret of my success as a singer/actor. On stage I practiced making a deep connection with my audience. In business, I made an equally deep connection with my clients. On stage I embodied my role and told a story. In business, I understood my clients and helped them communicate their stories. Stories faithfully and effectively told was the powerful common thread.
Then in 2017, my father passed away unexpectedly. Suddenly my own mortality became even more real. I could feel the intense urge not to waste another moment. I wanted to make a difference. I felt a deep calling to merge my dual careers into one. Out of that struggle over the years to find my own voice was my realization of my gift to guide others to find the joy in their life and sing their song. What happened to me is a variation of what happens to all of us at some point in our lives. We must awaken our inner voice to guide us onward to where our passion and mission converge.
“If happy little bluebirds fly, beyond the rainbow, why oh why can’t YOU”
Sing your song, tell you story, and shine.