So, my story has gotten a lot of visibility this week. I’ve been all over Facebook with it, promoting my upcoming free teleseminar for purpose’preneurs. I performed a piece of it last night at a storytelling salon, along with my husband, Dean. And.. dun, dun dun… I was featured on National Public Radio over the weekend!! That’s all wonderful, and I know from the feedback I’m getting that my story is making a big impact on people and their lives. Terrific. That’s exactly my desire.
But I’ve also heard some feedback that makes me sad. It’s from mission-driven entrepreneurs who, upon hearing my advice that their stories can create meaningful connection with their ideal clients, say, “Well, I don’t think I can do that… I don’t have a story as powerful as yours.”
If you hear me say one thing, let it be this: Just. Not. True.
Here, I’ll give you an example.
Some of you may be familiar with Lisa Nichols. She is a very successful motivational speaker who came to prominence after the movie The Secret was released. I’ve heard her speak twice, the first time at a church in my area.
Lisa has some intense stories, but the one that moved me the most, that has stuck in my head for nearly 8 years, is beautifully ordinary.
Lisa was a competitive swimmer as a teen. And she was BAD. She was constantly coming in last, and by a long shot. Desperate to quit, she went to her grandmother and complained. But her grandmother was a wise one. She reminded Lisa that she came from survivors, winners in fact. This had to be true because Lisa was alive, and those ancestors who weren’t survivors didn’t live to create offspring. She managed to instill in Lisa not pressure to perform, but a belief in her own worthiness.
At the next swim meet, Lisa had a mantra in her mind. I don’t now remember what it was — it doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that she had it in her mind from the moment she stepped onto the blocks. With each stroke, she chanted her mantra, in easy, perfect rhythm.
When she finished the race, she pulled her head out of the water and discovered that she was alone. And she thought, “Dang, I’m so slow, everyone else finished and got out of the pool!” Then she saw the other swimmers coming toward her. She’d beaten everyone by nearly a pool’s length!
As I write this story, it brings tears to my eyes. It’s still that powerful for me. And I was never a competitive athlete. But I have felt like a failure; I have wanted to quit; and this story gives me hope. Plus, it gives me a hint about what I can do to “win” the next time I’m experiencing repeated failure.
That’s powerful stuff. Memorable, meaningful, and relevant… All the things you want your story to be. And it has nothing to do with catastrophic injury or child abuse or drug addiction or near death experiences. It’s about swimming, for pete’s sake… And it works!
So, the bottom line is this… If you’re telling yourself you can’t move an audience (and therefore shouldn’t speak) because you don’t have a powerful enough story, I’m telling you, you’re wrong. You may not know exactly what that story is, or how exactly to tell it, but those are different issues and completely solvable with the right support.
What’s more likely than that you don’t have a good enough story is that you’re having trouble valuing the stories you have. You’re having trouble valuing yourself and your life experience. I’m happy to say that, too, is completely solvable with the right support.
So here’s a bit of support to consider. This week, I’m offering the first of two, complimentary teleseminars called, Speak to Change Lives and Make Great Money — What Paralysis Taught Me. This is a training specifically designed for purpose’preneurs who want a heart-centered way to get more clients, increase their income AND make a profound difference in the lives of other people.
To see if it feels like the right support for you, please visit HeartfulSpeaking.com. If it is, register to receive the call-in details. Then make a date to be on the call live, because one person attending live will WIN a 30-minute signature story makeover with my personally (a $250 value).
Don’t let our human tendency to “compare and despair” keep your powerful message from the people it could serve. You have more to offer than you think. And the world really does need you.
So, what’s your “swim team” story? Give it some love in the comments below and see what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.