The general feeling out there in the world of success seems to be that if you don’t have a story to tell, there is no meaning to your words. They won’t have the desired impact with your online tribe. Your tribe won’t grow. And you have failed to pass on your intended message.
This has brought me to start thinking about my story. What is my story? Do I have anything worth telling? Are people even interested? Thinking about my story has been a bit of a wake up call. Why do I do what I do? What have I done to make a story? A story that others will relate to?
Now, I know we all have stories worth telling. Something that I might find mediocre and normal, would be of immense interest to you. But, how do I tell that story? I’m just that ordinary guy with a wife and 2.5 children, own a home with a white picket fence, and have a steady middle-management job. What is there to tell about that? All the time, I read other people’s stories about fantastic world travels and unique life-changing moments in the middle of Africa or some such thing. Or that they’ve invented this awesome business model that’s generating 6-figure incomes.
I’m not that. Should I be focusing on that? Do I need to be that awesome in order to tell my story? These are too many questions, too many unknowns.
However, earlier this year I discovered something amazing. Something that has been there all this time, but only took me to ask myself the right questions in order for the light bulb to be switched on. You don’t have to be world famous to achieve success. Jeff Goins, Stu McLaren, Pat Flynn – you might recognise some of these names, you might not. These guys are prime examples of achieving success through their stories. And I want that, I can be that, I will be that.
I want something more. Something more than what I’m doing now. Middle-management in a large company is good. It’s safe. But it’s not going to get me the lifestyle I want for me and my family. It’s not going to allow me the freedom and flexibility to spend more time with them. Things need to change, it’s just a matter of finding out how.
Simon Sinek has an excellent TEDx talk about inspiring action, which ties back to his book “Start With Why”. I believe that video was the single point where my outlook started changing about work, about making an impact, about life. What am I doing to expand my horizons? What am I doing to ensure that I don’t work myself into oblivion, and then have a few measly years to enjoy retirement.
So what is my story? I’m still figuring it out. Think of it as “still in draft”. Although, having said that, I have been awakened this year. I’m still wiping the sleep from my eyes. I’m learning the ropes of this new world I’m in. And I’m getting more excited about the possibilities each day.
What has happened since that defining moment is a multitude of things that, only just a year ago, I would not have thought of doing. I’ve pushed the boundaries at work – much more than I would have before. I’ve started writing – on this blog, on Twitter, on Facebook (which, in turn, has opened up a can of worms with friends and family, but that is a story for another day). I’ve purposely spent more quality time with my wife and children. It’s been quite liberating. And it’s only the beginning.
As to what is my why? What is getting me up in the morning? Why do I do what I’m doing? I believe that my ‘Why’ is definitely about making a positive impact on people’s lives. I’ve noticed this especially with my colleagues where I have had the opportunities each day to improve their circumstances. This year, I’ve been instrumental in implementing processes and tools to make their workplace an easier, and better place, to work in. And I continue to strive to achieve more.
I love what I do. And I will do more. To find my true ‘Why’. And finally, to deepen my story.