Five years ago last month, I lie heaped in a puddle over the tiny yellow squares of tile on our bathroom floor.  I’d quit my stable leadership development job and worked seven months from two in the morning until nine at night writing and designing my personalized children’s book and creating the infrastructure for a print-on-demand business.  Launch is a week away and I know deep in my bones.  I can’t do it.  Not only have I used all my wit up in negotiating my book covers and creating the web-to-print database with the right variables to personalize each book, I don’t have the courage to show up in this new space — my book and business out in the world for critique.  What if the world thinks I’m a moron?  My husband looks down at me and says, “Get up.  Honey, get up.”

I lie a little longer — the cold pale tiles feel so good on my forehead.  I wobble up and that week I launch Memoir of Me.  In the next years, I tell the personal stories of 1,500 kids.  I meet idyllic people.  I win a few awards.  I wish I could say I turned my little personalized digital business into a thriving business, but I can’t.  I lose both money and time of earned internal equity in a workplace organization.  Again, I lie again on those tile squares – my very own lemon-shaded checkerboard, and ask myself, “What’s next?”

This time, I ragefully move up from the bathroom floor and I flounder for a year or so.  I beat myself up.  I wallow in self-pity.  I blame the economy.  One day, I have lunch with Archie, my 92 year-old friend.  He says, “So you worked hard and it didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped.  Your ego’s bruised.  Boohoo, kid.  What new chances have you missed by staying stuck?”

Within the next few months, I create my story formula model.  I write a whitepaper The Business Case for Personal Stories.  I do story workshops for fortune 500 companies and get invited to speak at a national conference. I create and coach story portfolios for executives.  I finally use both my expertise in facilitation, research, and assessment and my workhorse passion and prowess in finding authentic voice and writing strategic storylines that win.  I help people tell their stories in ways they’ve never thought about!  I push people to be vulnerable and use my gift to help people make their lives better!  More authentically me than I’ve ever been.

Workshops for Teams:  Facilitate Leadership and Sales Story Skills.
Story Portfolios: Write and Coach Personal, Business and Branding Story Portfolios.
Writing Services: Write and Research Feature Articles, White Papers, Case Studies, Strategic Web/Blog Content, and Branding Projects
Advice Column: Write Table Talk personal advice column — where advice is always a story.

Fresh Voice.  Passionate Stories.  Story Love.

Michelle and her Family

michelle family