#77 Every Storyteller's Reason For Being
A Little Inspiration for Your Inbox
As you may know, my life’s purpose is to share untold stories. I do that as a writer, a freelance journalist, as a strategist and in my business as I help my clients, readers, and students uncover and share their own stories.
Purpose is something I learned about early in my advertising career. For awhile it was a constant talking point among marketers and consultants. It is less so now, but no less valuable for businesses and for people trying to live and figure out this life thing for themselves.
I define Purpose as a person’s reason for being. The thing you choose to stand for in the world. And it is a choice. I don’t quite believe in fate and destiny and all those things (that’s a post for another day), I think your purpose is a result of your life experiences and influenced by your values. You have some agency in this. Uncovering it often requires diving deep into your context and then it’s just a matter of summarizing it in a single phrase or idea.
It is also something that evolves. It is not fixed, which is something a lot of folks who in the early days of talking about it did not believe. In fact I learned about Purpose in marketing as something that you define once and work against for the rest of the life of a brand. Working with clients and just living in the world (especially through the past two years), it quickly became clear that that just was not practical. Our brands, our purpose, what we believe and stand for, need to evolve as we do. Purpose is the foundation of a lot of the work I do with clients and with people I teach storytelling to. I define it for my clients with an understanding that it should be true enough to live for five years, but strong enough to adapt as our context and culture continue to shift.
Purpose can be a north star as we navigate life. My purpose is what guided me as I developed YOUR Big Story! It’s the thing that has taken me on adventures all over the world as I sought out and shared stories that would otherwise go untold.
I’ve spent long stints in Norway, Rwanda, and cities across Canada and South America as I explored, found stories and let my purpose guide me. Through some of that, I wouldn’t have been able to name that quiet but powerful force inside me that was guiding my steps. But it was and remains my purpose. It has shaped who I am, my life, and my career. But I have also shaped it.
Purpose is something that lives within you. You don’t have to go on a long arduous creative journey to find it, you just sort of have to look around you and within. What matters to you?
It is one of the most powerful tools in a storyteller’s arsenal and it’s one of the first things we dive into in YOUR Big Story! Not only how to find and define your purpose, but how to use it.
To get started thinking about your own Purpose I’d challenge you to sit down and ask yourself, what do you exist to do in the world right now and how can you learn from it to tell better and more engaging stories? What are the moments that have lit you up in life? What was it about them that made them special?
I also want to help you answer those questions and define your purpose. If you haven’t already, spend some time reading more about Storytelling University and our YOUR Big Story! storytelling foundations program. It was made to help connect you to your Purpose and infuse it into your beautiful, unique story as you share it across your life, business, and career. The live session begins next week and enrolment closes this Saturday.
I know you’re still deciding. I also know how impactful the right storytelling approach is for a business or career and how great this course will be for business owners, professionals and creators. While applying no pressure, I do want to encourage you to think about what your life or business or career could be if you were able to attract and engage people simply by sharing your story. What impact you could have on their lives if you were able to express your unique story and show them how what you or your business have to offer could positively affect their experience of the world.
Learn more here, and if you have question reach out with them! I’m all over social, you can reply directly to this newsletter or leave a comment below. I am here to help. If you are interested in the course, but not able to afford the $895 investment, reach out to me about our sliding scale pricing which was created to ensure anyone who wants to take the course has access to it.
If you’re ready to dive into this adventure with me you can enroll here.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
*Time Sensitive Share!
I’ll also be going LIVE on instagram tomorrow evening January 26, 2022 at 6pm with Prasanna Ranganathan, a gifted storyteller I admire (hint hint), public speaker, and DEI professional. We’ll be talking about my journey as a storyteller and YOUR Big Story! I hope you’ll join. We’ll be on for an hour so hop in any time with questions and thoughts.
A Story Well Told
We lost a true icon last week. I’ve followed and admired Andre Leon Talley since I was 16 years old. First in the pages of Vogue Magazine and then on the internet when that and social media became a thing. He was a teacher I never met with an understanding and passion for the history of fashion that is unparalleled. I don’t talk about style and fashion very much in this newsletter, but it is one of my (many) passions. I love it and through it and through Andre Leon Talley I came to understand myself and who I wanted to be in the world at a young age. I’m not alone in my admiration and respect for Talley and his inspiring commitment and contribution to the world and culture of the fashion industry. The tributes have been many and varied. This is an obituary published in Vogue, but I’d also encourage you to get your hands on his book about his life, The Chiffon Trenches—I haven’t read it yet, but I have read much on his long life and career and know it will be a nuanced lens into a life in fashion—he is…was…an excellent storyteller.
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