For me, my life changed both personally and professionally when I discovered my “why”. Being able to truly know why I do something makes the things I do more fulfilling. It fuels more passion. Having an intent allows me to develop greater purpose in my work. If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek, you may have read ‘Start with Why’. Once I discovered my why, I started this business. It led to my transition out of my full-time career position. I had a great career path, with an even greater company. BUT, I wasn’t living my why. I was working hard to live someone else’s vision and reach their goals, not my own.
Why I do what I do is driven by the “why”. It’s the emotional connections to all of the things that are most important to me. These things drive me more than anything else. They also help me connect with other people and inspire me to make their lives better. Understanding your why is important. Living your why is even more so. I wanted to be more transparent in sharing with you why I do what I do and hopefully, some words here will inspire you to live your why.
On a professional level, why I do anything comes from a place of intent. Having a passion. Connecting that passion with a skill. Using both with the purpose of helping others. Why I do the things I do in business are because of the value I can deliver to others, while fulfilling my own desire to do so. If you are driven to help people, you should find all the ways possible to do it. On a personal level, why I do what I do helps me connect better with people, and it helps me heal. Being a wordsmith helps me lead, inspire, and heal. Not just myself, but my peers.
Why I Do What I Do
A good story sells products, ideas, services. A good story creates connections and solidifies investment and loyalty. Having good content in the ‘story’ of one’s business, and life creates for better productivity, growth, profit, learning, and confidence. Being able to create and tell a story in business leads to up to 13x more ROI (per Forbes) and reduces the cost of acquisition per client by approximately 4x (Statista)…but these stats are NOT why I do what I do in regards to story selling.
When I was growing up, my mother struggled to raise me due to an abusive household. I spent a lot of time with the family members of my parents. My closest relationship in life was my grandpa (my mother’s mom.) He was a boisterous Norwegian man. He was tall, slender but strong, and as handsome as the day was long. His voice was deep, and it made him seem even larger than he was. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered anyone with a better personality, though I may be biased.
He was smart, extremely funny, chivalrous, kind, honest, loyal, selfless, and a fantastic leader. What he did the best, and better than most, was tell a story. Man, oh man, could he tell a story. He’d embellish every detail perfectly. Segue story threads together to make the most exaggerated and exciting plot. His delivery of the climax was perfection. His father was a writer and made each of his children keep a journal. My grandfather wrote regularly most of his 89 years.
When I’d struggle with anything as a child, he’d use stories to cheer me up, to motivate me, to help me cope. He taught me how to use stories to connect with people. I began writing as a young child, and he claims that I had a talent for it. If he were still alive, he’d tell you that he thought I was the best storyteller he ever met. Always a humble man. He kept encouraging me to continue writing, tell stories, and using words to impact the world. His dream was for me to be a writer, and to “never stop telling stories”.
When he was in Hospice and passing from cancer, we reminisced together about our many years of storytelling. He knew he was dying, but he didn’t want to admit it to me, in fear I’d find out. He tried to shelter me from anything that would hurt me. It’s the kind of man he was. He’d take a bullet for you and immediately check in on you. He made me promise that I’d continue to tell his stories. His war stories, his family stories, his farming stories. His less than appropriate stories. He also asked me to promise him that I’d do something with my ability to tell stories and write. More importantly, I’d use it to help others. The idea of Shine Consulting began just days later when he lost his battle with cancer.
Why I do what I do is inspired by every value he engrained in me. Every ability he, genetically, passed on to be. Every action he taught me. Why I do what I do is driven by the love, the memories, and the passion that I have in my life, because of him. He impacted a lot of people in his life, and he felt strongly that I could, and would, do the same. If he were here now, I think he’d be thrilled. I think he’d be proud that I never forgot all he taught me 30 years ago when he helped me start my first business, back when I was 6. I think he’d share my passion for the vision I have for this company, and for the future non-profits, I plan to create.
The passion for telling stories, and creating emotional connections, is why I do what I do. It’s why I’m a storyseller, a WordSmith, an engagement champion.
What’s your why?