What do you do?

What do you do?

I have one son studying in France, and another son packing his bag to go meet him, so my thoughts have been swirling about all things French.

It got me thinking of a time, not long ago(!), that I was enjoying a similar adventure back packing through Europe after studying at the University of Edinburgh.

One memory that has always stuck with me is when our merry band of adventurers boarded a train in Paris. We had no set plan and would hop on and off trains as we liked. We happened to be sitting with a very suave Frenchmen (right down to the elegant leather shoes, sans the nike swoosh) and the conversation naturally got around to us asking him “What do you do?”

And his answer was simple and succinct – he simply said “When?”

For a bunch of soon to be graduates, it left us a bit speechless. We had been asked incessantly “what we were going to do” once we graduated, we were expected to have a plan, to have our life laid out, milestones marked and above all else know what the answer was to: “what do you do?”

Since this was our “Go and find yourself” European style adventure his answer could not been more appropriate. And,  I’m guessing that since I have never let go of the conversation, that finding my “when” is just as important to me today as it was then.

As a marketer we are always looking to perfect the 60 second pitch. It’s way up  there on the “important things to master” to market yourself, your cause, your business, your brand. And you can count on us diving deep into that very concept on this blog so you are armed and ready for when the big question, that can make any of us stumble, comes your way.

But sometimes, there will be days, when life asks you “What do you do” and saying “when” might just be the best answer.

Happy travels to the spirited of adventurer in all of us.

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Be Indispensable

How could I not love a book like Pam Slim’s Body of Work when she says things like “the quality of your life and business, is directly related to the quality of your stories. Tell them well.”

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In fact, I was so intrigued by her philosophy that I signed up for her course to become what she has coined  an “Indispensable”. The idea of seeing your whole life as a body of work was just a brilliant concept and I knew it would fit beautifully into my research and work in personal branding.

And fit it did.

It really validated  why we need to develop  our own personal brands so that we can truly do our genius work.

Pam, is both solid and inspiring and intensely kind. And you know that right after the first few minutes of the first class. In a world of “make a 100k in a month” kind of e-courses her approach was refreshing, real and vital.

You could call it a career handbook for disruptive times but that might be selling it short, or perhaps a career transitions handbook but that too would be selling it short. What she really gets at is – how do you take action and responsibility to keep the passion for the life that you create alive. And that’s powerful stuff.

Her creative process takes you through an in depth look at what matters to you, defining your roots, then you work your way through 3 highly acclaimed personality and strengths finding tests all while you are creating your “Indispensable Plan” and turning on your “winner’s switch” (love that concept). It got me to think deeply and plan clearly. Two of my favourite things 🙂

If I had just bought the book I would have loved it. I would have highlights everywhere and little notes in the margins, pages folded over but likely, I would not have taken the time to really “do” the exercises. The course helped me with the “do” and the community that develops amongst the “indispensables” is supportive and expansive. So now I can join Pam’s many graduates who can say I am an “Indispensable” with an “Indispensable Plan” and I am pretty jazzed about that.(I can also now spell indispensable  without spell check which is just an added bonus)

Many of her words spoke to me but none more so than “We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our ‘stuckness’ when we create. We reinvent our lives, tell new stories, and rebuild communities when we create. We reclaim our esteem, our muse, and our hope when we create.”

And I think that is just a compelling thought to leave you with.

Create how you want to be indispensable by creating a body of work that matters. All you need is you! (And Pam’s book)

*This is an unsolicited review of Pam’s book and her course. Nobody asked me to, or paid me to, I just can’t resist sharing good stuff, good people and inspiring thoughts.

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The Power of Story

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Stories move us to act, to dream, to buy, to make millions, to build communities, and to create change.

Story marketing can be a tactic, a strategy or a way of doing business. We believe the real power of story lies when you live your story.

Every business has a compelling story. That story is the life force of your brand. And it is the core of what matters to you and, to those who matter to you – the ones you want to serve.

When you are clear on your story, decisions come easier, opportunities reveal themselves, growth happens, and you build a community that deeply connects and loves your brand.

Don’t settle for your story being a tactic or a strategy when it has the power to be so much more.

Never settle.

Instead, live your story and love your brand.

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STAND IN YOUR FUTURE

Recently a friend shared this quote with me from a presentation she had been to by Peter Docker.

I felt jazzed when I heard that. Pretty powerful words, and the ideal theme for one of Story co.s first blogs.

Its a bit “leap-ish” (yes, I just invented that word) to think of standing in your future but I kind of love to be leap-ish! Because it hardly seems scary to leap into the future if you are grounded by the present.

As marketers, we always have one foot in the future, understanding and predicting the whats hot, and the whats not. And since marketers, are by nature a curious bunch we also have to add in – but why?

Why does it matter? Why should we care? And how will we inspire others to embrace our why? If we miss this step – well, we kind of miss it all! Because it’s the why that creates movements, generates loyalty, builds  communities, makes sales, and gives the world something that just makes living in it, a little easier. 

Knowing what we want our future business to look like and feel like, and do for others helps us to do what needs to be done today  – with passion and purpose. And thats the nuts and bolts of a good marketing strategy. Eyes firmly focused on the future, with your why bursting from your soul, building strategy from the core of your brand. Then you can build now, and create tactics that get you to the future you have imagined. For some that’s Forbes top 100, for others it’s being at full capacity and for others its balancing a pinot and eating bons bons on a chaise somewhere in the French Riveria. That’s the cool thing about creating your future – it’s yours!

There are some great stories along the way to the future and thats what we look forward to sharing with you here.

As I stand in my future, I see the opportunity for this blog to be a place for some galvanizing  business stories – that get you jazzed and leave you filled with energy, excitement and possibility. A place for you to imagine what it looks like when you stand in your future.  And maybe, a place that makes you feel a bit leap-ish. Soaking up your tomorrow’s, while you create your genius work in the now.

Care to share what leaps you might be taking?

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