This Interview of Lewis Schiff and Jeff Goins Turned my World Upside Down

Business Brilliant bookA few weeks ago, I listened with interest to Jeff Goins’ interview of Lewis Schiff from Inc. Magazine. I had never heard of Lewis Schiff before.

The interview was based on Schiff’s book: Business Brilliant. I used to think radio hosts and podcasters often would interview authors “just to sell a book and make a buck.”

Let me say clearly, I have a different perspective now.

The podcast

In the interview, Jeff admitted that he questioned some of the the claims Lewis made in the book. However, Jeff did say he has bought eleven copies of the book for his mastermind group. (He’s bought so many his wife shut down his buying power for that title. No more buying the book to give away.) Even others in the group questioned claims Lewis made in the book. However, the group members were willing to adjust their thinking to accommodate the claims.

I concede, in the course of the interview they knocked over some pretty important pins in my own structure. (Let me correct and restate: I thought the pins were important.)

I noticed that this particular interview has the least number of comments from all of Jeff Goins’ podcasts. Could we conclude it didn’t resonate as much with Jeff’s tribe as some other interviews he has presented? I am beginning to conclude the podcast was presented for only me.

The effect

It is hard for me to explain how paradigm-shifting and revolutionary the message of that podcast has been for me. I listened to it four times. (You might even find me listening to it again. No promises about that.)

The main thing it did for me: it gave me understanding that spurred me to action. I got it!

I had been dialoguing with a coach to help me in my graphic design and marketing business, but had not committed to a package to proceed with his services. After Lewis Schiff’s message of Business Brilliant had registered in my core I felt an urgency deep within.

I couldn’t go to bed before had I sent the email to the coach. My wife was waiting in bed while I was in the bathroom pecking out the message on my phone.

These are the main points I needed to get off my chest:

1. I’d like for you to help me be able to afford you for coaching.

2. I listened to Jeff Goins’ interview with Lewis Schiff. Kinda shook me up. I need help to be profitable. Can you help me? I need help/accountability to execute… and get it done. I’ve made excuses for too long. Lord, please grant wisdom in Jesus’ name. I need it.

I’m simply sharing these details on my blog to share my journey. It is something that has made a difference in my world. It might make a difference in yours.

Key messages in Jeff’s podcast and in the book:

1. Imitate, don’t innovate in your business.

2. The idea that you ‘pursue your passion and the money will follow’ is false. People who Schiff has interviewed who have done well for themselves and their businesses have indeed followed their passion, but then they followed the money. (Someone might take this as greed and money hunger. Truth be told, our local grocer has no plans to hand out loaves of bread for free. He charges money for it. Neither has the coffee shop next door started giving out coffee for free. Yeah, charging for these goodies is simply good business.)

3. Having a new idea for a start-up is not that impressive. The execution of the idea is what separates the winner from the loser. (Schiff is audacious enough to title a chapter in his entrepreneurial book with this name: Mastering the Mundane. Not exactly appealing to entrepreneurs. Read it to find out how cool that really is. I’m beginning to like it.)

Action steps I took:

1. Made myself accountable. I made a list of specific projects I needed to complete with finish-by dates that I gave to my coach.

2. I began doing projects instead of putting them onto my to-do list for the umpteenth time.

How my thinking changed as a result of my coach:

1. I knew I had someone in my corner, rooting for me. It motivated me. It strengthened my resolve and my purpose.

2. This specific coach’s personality, worldview, and business operation experience and success are a right fit for me. (This is the most important one.)

3. He is able to speak the truth in love and hold my feet to the fire if needed.

That’s been a few weeks now. But after I had a break in the action, I called my coach. I was ecstatic with the unfolding of events and the changes my mindset have had on my performance.

My coach said he could hear a difference in my voice.

Let me say, I have someone in my corner. My world has changed. I’m living the difference.

For so long, I’ve wanted to take all the credit myself for my success. I wanted to be the star of my own show. Guess again. (Talking to myself now.) I need help to succeed.

I have accomplished projects in these few short weeks that have been in my cache for months.

Truth is—we’re created as social beings and we function more productively in synergy with others than alone.

Coaching that is connected to specific actions in my life. That is what made the biggest difference for me.

I now understand in a fresh way: books have the power to change lives. Let’s get the word out about good books.

My adventure continues.

Do you have a coach? Why or why not? I’d be delighted to hear from you. Thanks for reading, and please leave your thoughts below.

Dad Ran Away—Then We Thought He Had Died

Over the past several years my wife and I became close friends with a special couple from our church. The husband, Fredy, is Peruvian, his wife, Leona, is American.

Nearly every time we visited their house they would goad us to join them on a trip to Peru. “You should go with us,” they would encourage. And they would tell us what they experienced on previous trips. They would show us photos of their relatives in the mountains. They would tell us about the challenges they faced on previous visits.

Time went on. They would remind, “You should go with us.”

Then in late January, I got a text message from Leona, a former travel agent. “I can hardly contain myself…” She went on to tell about drastically reduced airline tickets to Lima, Peru. And she confirmed the numbers by adding, “No, this is not a typo.”

The implication: Here is your chance. You gotta do it.

The four of us had all had enough travel experience to know that deals on airline tickets are time sensitive. If we don’t take timely action the deals go away—without explanation, without apology.

My wife and I had definitely been interested to join them, but we hadn’t made a conclusive decision. Now—we were forced to decide.

We hardly even decided—we just bought the tickets.

Though we had several months to prepare, the clock began ticking. We ran a small Krispy Kreme fund-raiser through several local businesses to help pay for the car rental. That turned out well.

As time went on we sensed there was something special brewing for this trip. We decided we would share our trip plans and story with the church, but it won’t be a ploy to get funds.

Since it was becoming obvious God is very much in this trip He will also amply provide all the resources needed. We were amazed at the provision.

The day came.

We were ready.

Traveling was not new to me–this was my country Number 14. However, in spite of all my traveling, Peru had never been on my radar. Now, here I was. Lima, Peru. What a delight. Yet I felt a weight and responsibility.

We had three main objectives for the trip:
1. Meet Fredy’s father, who lived in the jungle.
2. Meet Fredy’s mother, who lived in the mountains.
3. And, deliver a specially-made recording of the gospel in Fredy’s mother’s native tongue of Quechua, provided by faithcomesbyhearing.com.

Our first stop after arriving in the capital city of Lima was the jungle.

And, yes, jungle it was. We had several opportunities to get stuck with our rental vehicle, but avoided those opportunities. Mud puddles, narrow paths, dangerous drops. Finally we parked our vehicle and walked the rest of the way.

The Meeting
Fredy’s father had previously lived in the mountains many kilometers away. Then one day he ran away. Things in his life caused him to take measures that took him into the jungle where he also started a new family. Fredy, his siblings, and his mother didn’t hear from him for years. They thought he had died.

Fredy and his brother Felix had spent most of their lives away from their father. Fredy is 31 years old. About ten years ago, Fredy had met his biological father for the first time in his adult life. This trip was his second meeting.

Now, here we were.

Fredy’s half-sisters had instructed us that the house was “up there by the banana trees.”

Before we made it to real narrow and muddy walking path, Fredy’s father came down the trail to meet us. What a glad reunion moment! He gave us all a hug and a kiss. What a moment for the earth to stand still. Wow!

Peru Jungle Photo_Reunion in Peru Dad Father Reconciliation

The reunion of father and son. The moment frozen in time.

But we needed to keep moving. The daylight was dwindling away. We had business to do.

The scene at the home of Fredy’s father, was a jaw-dropper. Feast for the eyes. Far removed from other people. Remote.

We were welcomed by barking dogs.

After all these weeks of planning and imagining, now we beheld for the very first time what we never imagined.

Peru Jungle Photo_Tiger Leopard Cat Mountain La Merced Peru

This is the tigre, the mini pet leopard.

He had killed an armadillo and the shell hung over the rafter. He killed a leopard that was responsible for killing a neighbor’s calf. He showed us the pelt. They had a pet monkey and pet mini leopard (or tigre, as they called it) in their cooking shack. A pet turtle. Turkeys. Dogs. Yes, the jungle indeed.

However, the most historic part of the whole trip was still coming.

At the Table
We were ushered into the small cooking shack to a special meal of caldo de gallina, which is chicken soup. (Literally translated, the name means, broth of hen.) Accompanied by cooked yucca, or cassava. It was yummy.

It was not the food alone that made the meal so special. History was unfolding.

My job was to document the happenings of this important trip. I took a new little GoPro camera to grab footage. I couldn’t fathom the importance of the meeting, but I knew I would not be tasting any chicken soup before I had this history-making table of reconciliation well-documented.

Fredy’s first meeting with his father had been rushed, and my friend wasn’t able to ask his burning questions. Now we would not be rushed as we sat at the table. The table where all parties are vulnerable. (When are we more vulnerable than when we eat and enjoy a meal together?) Indeed, this was the table of reconciliation and reunion and peacemaking.

We enjoyed a most delightful dining experience. Friendly and hearty conversation.

What would be the first personal thing to talk about? What would Fredy or Felix ask first?

What about the direction each of their lives has taken? What would they tell? Who would take the lead? Who would initiate the hard questions?

We enjoyed the delicious food.

Then I asked through Fredy’s translation how his dad felt about our visit. That opened the way for more questions and personal conversation.

Fredy, his brother Felix, and their dad had an extended moment of honesty.

Why did you leave? Did you ever think of us after you left? Why didn’t you make contact with us?

It was a lengthy conversation. They were on a quest to know the truth. They wanted the gnawing in their minds quieted. They spoke their minds, in peace, with grace and respect.

All their questions were answered. They found peace. They found rest. After all those years of questions and wondering, they finally started to know their father.

The mental captives were set free. The bridge was built.

Peru Jungle Photo_Hospitality Reconciliation Cooking Shack La Merced Peru

The cooking shack—home to the table of reconciliation. What a special place. A history-maker.

Hospitality
We spent several hours around their jungle home visiting the mountain-side coffee plantation. Walking the mountain to his pasture fields. Picking guava fruit. Taking pictures while holding the stinky little tigre.

Then before we left they treated us to tasty fried plantain. We washed it down with brewed espresso raised on their own farm and roasted in their own kitchen. What delightful jungle hospitality.

Next Visit
Now weeks later, Fredy wants to go back. He did indeed meet his father. He wants to know him better.

 

Do you know of any similar experiences where a parent and child were separated for years and then met? What happened? Please tell us the story in the comment section below.

[This is only our first adventure on this eventful two-week trip. More adventure stories coming.]

Just Returned from Peru, South America

I just returned from a 2-week “bridge-building” trip to Peru, South America. What an amazing experience. We saw jungle, mountains, sand dunes and waded the salty Pacific Ocean. A flat tire twice. Got stuck on the road once. More coming soon.Peru Teaser photo May 21 2014

What is The Heart of the Key Takeaway?

I’ve spent lots of money and lots of online time attempting to understand what successful online communicators do.

With the great opportunity the internet offered I didn’t want to miss out.

I kept reading, surfing, browsing… going places online. But the only place I really arrived at was watching those who were taking action. Those who were sharing photos. Those who were telling their stories.

But I took the safe route— remaining quiet.

I thought I had something to say, but I was afraid to say it. Afraid to share it.

I tried to stay hidden and anonymous.

But then I also realized that remaining silent is no longer an option. After an epiphany this summer I just took the leap and started writing. I started this blog.

 

Biggest encouragement

I have noticed that blogs worthy of visiting were those who gave me something to take home. Those who gave value.

But I felt most connected when the writer’s life seemed to intersect with mine. The writer was humble. Similar goals and intents. Similar worldview. Living a story I was desiring.

The writer patiently showed the way by telling how it was done and also showing the way by example. Offering an easy start. Being human.

 

Intersection

This writer for me is Jeff Goins. I mentioned his name to one of my coaches. Jeff had spoken to their staff. Another connection. He had been in my local area in Ohio. I continued to develop a deeper appreciation for his work.

Then I wanted to meet him. Earlier this month I drove 500 miles to meet him in person. He is true to his online presence. He’s the real deal. He’s an encouragement to me.

 

Take something away

With my experience in getting to know Mr. Goins online and then meeting him in person defined a ‘key takeaway’ for me.

Quite obviously Jeff has much more experience than me, but somehow our stories seemed to intersect.

His humble and approachable communicating style allowed me to enter his story.

That is truly what I experienced. I was able to enter his story. Even though he has thousands more readers than I have, I still felt able to connect.

 

Takeaway in the dictionary: a key fact, point, or idea to be remembered, typically one emerging from a discussion or meeting.

My personal experience in meeting Mr. Goins clarified the meaning of the key takeaway for me: My story intersects with the writer’s story. It made a connection. It made a difference in my life.

 

Now for me

The challenge to me: how can I write my story to intersect with my readers? How can I leave space in my story for my readers? Still learning. Going on.

 

What do you think it takes to create an effective takeaway when we communicate? Please comment below.

 

I Got Writer’s High After Getting Published

In 1999, my then current employer, dared me to attend a local birdwatching event and ‘act-the-reporter’ where a mutual friend was speaking. In my area in Ohio many people are taken up with birdwatching as a hobby, so this was a prime location for a birding conference.

I attended the Saturday event and took notes and wrote the story. Then whisked it off, actually faxed it (old-fashioned, I know), to the editor of the local paper named The Budget. By Wednesday, I had my first article printed in the paper! That is a red letter day in my life! Then I got ‘publish fever.’

I wanted it again. I got a writers’ high when I got published. Even though I got published time and time again it just propelled me toward the next one. The next opportunity to get a high.

Actually, later when the editor left that newspaper and there was no replacement yet, I got the two main stories flooding the front page. What an experience.

In another regional paper I had the only front page story on January 1, 2000. What a launch into the millennium! The story was about a 104-year-old lady at a local nursing home. On January 1, 2000 she had lived in three centuries. That was another delightful experience.

As I continued to ask the questions and write story after story and then send them off to local papers, I began to notice something.

Asking questions set me free

The freedom to ask any question of the interviewee got addictive. It was purely liberating.

I was a social recluse of sorts when I was a child. I just didn’t fit in. It seemed when a whole group were agreed on an idea, I had another idea. Doing the same thing was too mundane and uncreative. I needed to learn the hard way but this approach was not conducive to fostering genuine friendships and a growing social life.

My brother, the masterfully gregarious one, taught me a lot. By his example and by occasional advice. He’s three years my junior but he was much more agile on the social side.

When the time came for me to freely ask questions and express myself through writing it did my heart good.

It’s still one of my favorite parts of the story writing process. Asking questions.

There’s something almost magical about asking honest questions without apologizing.

It draws stories out of a person’s life in a way nothing else does.

 

What has been your experience when you began writing? Please comment below.

Committed to Going On

There is a price to pay for results. The big question to me is: Am I willing to pay the price?

I’ve made a commitment without making it. The private commitment in my heart to publish daily on this site. I didn’t want to make a vow. I wanted to tread carefully.

Will I be able to do it? Is it reasonable? Is it possible?

I was inspired by the story from Jeff Goins when he decided to get up daily at 5 AM and have something published by 7 AM. He did it for a year. He cranked out 400 posts— 300 for his site and 100 otherwise.

It’s amazing what happens when you take the leap and do it and keep at it.

Faithfulness may sometimes seem boring. But faithfulness is a powerful character trait.

Other ways to describe faithfulness include dependable. I love what I found in the dictionary. Loyal, constant, and steadfast.

Though it may seem mundane at times, there is much to be said for keeping at it and staying focused and doing the right thing. Over and over again.

 

I want add value

Everyone is teaching by their example. In some form. They imply what worked for them. I can observe how committed someone is.

I think usually we often ‘know more than we know’ when we meet a person live or online. The sniffing begins and we can get a feel for what the writer is made of.

I desire to have value. Live with value. Give value.

 

 

The One Key That Sets Us Apart and No One Can Take it From Us

Are we good at copying top-class writing with a slight variation to hide the full identity? Or are we the creator of new writing?

Do we think all the good ideas have been taken?

Frankly, before I had launched my blog I thought there was no one doing exactly what I wanted to do. I was hanging out around the blogs of Donald Miller, Michael Hyatt, and Jeff Goins.

As far as my focus and my objective, I believed I had a unique one. Still do.

I have a few basic objectives for this blog. I want to provide tools and understanding to:

1. Help people tell their own stories.

2. Help people tell the stories of others.

Perspective

In the business world there is competition. Do we see that as a threat or an opportunity to be a good neighbor? Do we fear the competition?

There is one thing that sets us apart in business and in blogging (including the competition). No one can take our story. No one can take your story.

This is the pure beauty of story.

Tell your story

How did you get to the point you are at today?

What was the process?

What were your thoughts and experiences and fears along the way?

All of it.

Can we share our humanness? That’s the story.

Can we live our own adventure?

Can we brave a new path? An unworn and even uncreated one?

Then share the story to inspire. Instruct. Teach. Connect.

That’s what stories do, and a whole lot more. Somehow story is woven into the human fiber and the human existence. It promotes change. It promotes understanding. But the most beautiful one: it connects us.

It connects humans. Keep telling. Keep connecting.

What do you think is the best way we can share our story with people around us? Please comment below.

Good Things Can Happen When I Keep Moving

Have you ever tried to steer a parked car? It’s usually stiff and sometimes difficult to turn the tires. Plus, It’s pretty pointless.

Sing wrong

A number of years ago I was in young mens’ group to learn how to read shaped musical notes to sing a cappella. There were no instruments to cover up the booboos. So I had better be right.

We were a group of local guys with a teacher ten years superior to teach us.

We studied and discussed music theory and soon we were ready to start singing.

The first number, as I recall, was the old-time hymn, ‘Are You Washed in the Blood’.

Each of us had our parts to sing. I was supposed to sing tenor.

The song started and we sang our parts. Well, most of us did. And while we were singing, Aaron, our teacher was coming around listening in over our shoulders.

When the song was over Aaron was in his chair. We discussed the song briefly. I asked what he thought of my singing.

‘I didn’t hear anything’, he said.

 

Go ahead risk it

I was too afraid to open my mouth and sing. Afraid I’d sing off tune.

Guess what? That is not a good way to get anywhere in life.

That’s been a few years, but that was a moment of learning.

At least sing wrong! Then you can be corrected and sent in the right direction.

If I sing nothing, guess how much I can improve. Almost exactly nothing.

A ship that’s still docked has no need for steering.

Push back from the shores.

Take risk.

Cast out.

Let go.

 

Blogging risk

I’ve been writing for years. I’ve been enjoying it.

But, now as a blogger I’m somewhat starting over.

I’m not scared. I’m just finding my way and finding my voice.

I’m going to keep moving. Staying in motion.

No turning back. Because I’m committed.

I want to give. I want to engage.

 

Keep moving

I certainly don’t have many answers about how it’s done. But I’m doing it.

There are quite a few blogs out there these days. There are multiple platforms, but WordPress alone, which is the platform this blog is based on has 70,099,366 blogs as I write.

I do know one thing. When I keep moving, and shaking, and doing I get noticed. Well, somewhat.

 

Do unto others

I would like for people to visit my site. Discover my site. Comment on my site. Yeah, I’d like to have a meeting. :)

I like to hang around people and I would like for people to hang out at my ‘cyber house’.

What I’m finding is when I go visit other bloggers and engage with them, those same people come and visit my site. Not all of them, but some. Some are A-list bloggers and I’m a small guy starting out.

One simple thing I’ve discovered in a short time: the Golden Rule still works.

And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Luke 6:31.

The ball is in my court. If I start playing, others will play with me. That’s what I’m noticing.

I’ve been very hesitant about asking another blogger to visit my site and leave a comment. I don’t think that’s too wise. Yet, I see that I get visitors.

All I say is thank you so much for your visit. You’re most welcome here. I don’t take you or your visit for granted. I appreciate you. Please come back. I hope to have a meaningful interaction. I hope to learn from you. And I also hope I can add value to your life.

While you’re here I would love you to sign the guestbook, of course. Well, I mean the comment area below or somewhere in the site. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Coming soon

I have some great storyteller interviews coming soon.

Excited to be able to stand on the shoulders of giants.

Everyone I have asked to do an interview has consented. It’s so exciting!

Please stay tuned and stop back soon.

 

What’s the best thing that can happen when we stay in motion? Please comment below.

Will You Tell Your Story and Be Set Free?

Security

Have you every visited a prison or a jail? If yes, then you couldn’t help but notice all the security, right?

iStock_000006248673Small_Sept 9 2013 copy

The walls. The doors. The locks that clack and lock. And then you’re penned between the hefty doors. Then the security person forgot to open the other door? (At least that was my experience.)

All jails the same?

What’s the reason for all the clanging locks and inefficient door ways?

I have never been admitted to a prison for wrongdoing. I have visited multiple facilities. Each one is pretty much the same. Officials sitting behind thick glass. Looking at screens. Not smiling much.

One reason: To keep the prisoner in.

Truth be told: the walls and locks also keep the free one out.

Which one are you?

It seems the prisoner just can’t help but get into prison. They seem powerless to do what they know is right. Once they are in they want out. Once they’re out they often get back in. At least some do.

Then there are others who are striving and making conscious effort to get into prison. Doing all their paperwork. Getting background checks. Taking tests. Talking to the officials.

All this to try and help set the prisoner free.

The local jail

Just last week I visited a local jail.

A friend of mine had been caught overstepping the law. Immediately into jail. Even though I was disappointed, I still believe in him. Furthermore, I’m sure he doesn’t need me to tell him he’s wrong.

Last message I got he’s getting out today.

What’s the point?

The million dollar question: Did it help any? Ten days in jail.

Anything besides an inconvenience?

If it doesn’t help is there a point for continuing the process and expecting different results?

My story

When I was facing depression and utter hopelessness in my teens the main antidote towards freedom was when I let the air out of my tires. I spoke up. I told my story. I owned my story. I took responsibility for my condition.

Lord, help me.

And believe me– He did.

That’s my story.

What about you?

Are you in prison and free… OR… free and in prison? (Think about that.)

Freedom comes from the inside. I fully believe it is possible to have a life sentence in a physical prison and still be free.

Are we held by the inside prison or outside prison?

What is real freedom?

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31 & 32

We may be one of only two kinds of people… in prison or helping others get free. What do you think?

Is your story of freedom setting other prisoners free?

Have you allowed the gospel of freedom to set you free? What’s your story?

Sometimes telling our stories is the most effective way to be set free. Because then I am facing the truth.

What was that scripture? When I abide in Jesus, then I can know the truth and I’m set free.

Get out

There’s something so confining and dark about a prison. Are you in one?

Do you need to forgive? Do you need to face the truth?

Are you telling your real story? Or just keeping it inside?

Are you letting it bottle up… keeping you in prison? And thereby encouraging others to remain in prison by your example?



What’s your story? Are you telling it? Or are people around you being deprived of a blessing because you’re not sharing? Please comment below.

The Biggest Mistake I Made in my First Book

On my shoulders

I had encouraged him to write his story.

I had never written mine but I encouraged him to write his.

He had a story. He’s ready to tell it. But he wasn’t a writer. What to do?

I had been doing journalistic writing, but never did anything like this.

It seems sometimes we are the answer to our own prayer. Get moving. Just do it!

Have you started?

For some reason I have this question stuck down inside of me… that just keeps coming out.

Especially to interesting people: Have you written your story?

So many say, ‘not yet’. Or, ‘others have been encouraging me to write’. Or, ‘I have written a little’.

I felt I needed to do it.

Project at hand

I really didn’t know how but I started. I traveled to Haiti for interviews. I flew to Georgia. I trekked to eastern Pennsylvania via Greyhound bus. I was following my subject.

I had a notepad and pencil. He had a story.

I didn’t really know how to do it all, but I kept doing. We prayed before the sessions. Lord help us. Have Your way.

We kept doing. Talking. Recalling. Telling. Writing. Asking. Traveling.

Published

I tried to do what was necessary. Then finally it was printing time. August 2001. We hit the press.

It was released at an annual event that benefits mission work in Haiti.

We made it into the local paper. So the community knew about it.

We sold books. Some from our table. And some over the auction block.

All the proceeds from the books that sold at that event needed to go to Haiti. It wasn’t the most ideal way to pay off the printing bills, but it was definitely the right thing to do.

My thinking was that when we give the firstfruits then the blessing (sale of books) will follow.

That is definitely true. However, in this case it didn’t quite work like I had hoped. But the work in Haiti was benefited. And it was still the right thing to do.

Feedback

Many books sold that weekend. All the money went to Haiti. But no feedback.

Almost embarrassing to admit now. But I never got feedback. Maybe that’s normal for authors. Maybe not.

Mistake

20/20 hindsight… I believe my biggest mistake in the project was how I told the story.

I listened to my subject. Then I wrote. I was gathering info.

I had a full-time job during this time and I was in a hurry to write. We did face a few language and language usage hurdles in the interviewing but we kept going. I kept asking questions. He kept answering and telling his story. I kept writing.

Then a discovery

A number of years ago I traveled abroad in the same group as a public speaker. She introduced me to ‘takeaways’. She informed me that we need to provide ‘key takeaways’ when we speak.

That’s been a few years now but the concept was new to me.

I believe that was it! I believe that is what was missing in my book.

I had told the factuals, but missed the flesh and blood. The interesting way of telling it. The connection to the reader. The story.

In the process of hearing the story the connectors to the reader got lost. It was an interesting story but it was too informational. Too much matter-of-fact.

My hurry combined with the challenges to be on the same page with meaning nuances and usage in the English language got in the way of the story.

We told the story. But not passionate enough. Not told in an interesting way. Just told. Then on to the next story.

Lesson

I’m glad we don’t only get second chances, but we can make new beginnings.

I believe a key takeaway is simply a ‘connection to the reader’. Can the reader see themselves in the story?

Can they be inspired? Can they be educated by the story?

What value is the reader receiving by reading my story?

Passion

When I tell the story with passion the reader can feel it. If I really don’t believe what I write, the reader can also feel that.

Passion will definitely affect my storytelling. I can guarantee that one.

 

What have you learned about storytelling that really works? Or doesn’t work? Please comment below.