In a world that can often feel daunting and uncertain, there are individuals who radiate warmth and resilience, lifting our spirits and reminding us of the power of the human spirit. Inky Johnson is one such person, a remarkable individual who wears many hats – husband, father, entrepreneur, and author. His journey has taken him from the depths of adversity to becoming one of the most sought-after speakers worldwide. In Atlanta, Georgia, he finds solace and support in the loving embrace of his wife, Allison, and their two children, Jada and Inky Jr. Through over a decade of experience, Johnson’s resilience and determination have become a beacon of hope, inspiring others to overcome their own challenges and discover the incredible strength that lies within them.
His messages on leadership, teamwork, adversity, change, mental agility, and perseverance resonate deeply with audiences. But what sets him apart is his ability to communicate effectively across various industries. Johnson’s journey to becoming an influential speaker and motivator has been shaped by his experiences. He earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology from The University of Tennessee, where he excelled as a collegiate football player. As a three-year letterman and two-year captain, he showed promise as a top NFL draft pick in his junior year. However, tragedy struck on September 9th, 2006, when a life-threatening injury left his right arm, and hand paralyzed, abruptly ending his football career. Instead of succumbing to despair, Johnson transformed his adversity into a driving force to impact lives positively.
His powerful message reverberates worldwide. He passionately shares, “The one thing we all have in common is that we will encounter adversity, but we have to decide how we respond to it. My arm and hand are paralyzed, but my heart, mind, dedication, work ethic, and commitment are not.”
Beyond his speaking engagements, he hosts the Serendipity with Inky Johnson Podcast, where he continues to uplift and motivate listeners. He also dedicates his time to mentoring athletes and underprivileged youth and is a founder of The Inky and Allison Johnson Foundation. Johnson’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that our experiences serve a greater purpose. He aims to make the world a better place by using the lessons he has learned along his journey.
He shares, “It’s important for me to inspire people because the experiences we accumulate in life are not just for us.” He draws inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: “You judge the true character of a man, not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
His approach to life also emphasizes the value of treating people with dignity, recognizing that we are all in the “people’s business.” He echoes Maya Angelou’s sentiment: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Inky Johnson’s authenticity and genuine care for others resonate deeply, leaving a lasting impact. As he continues on his mission to serve, he is excited about creating a platform that focuses on holistic development. He aims to guide individuals in their quest for excellence, not only in their careers but also in other aspects of their lives. His story is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and using one’s experiences to inspire others, reminding us that we can all rise above adversity and positively impact the world.
This article feature is from our annual special edition issue, the L.A. STYLE Magazine Most Influential of 2023.