Imagine the mayor of the city you are visiting for a conference, welcoming you with a keynote presentation and a song… Or meeting a friendly, modest man by the campfire, who turns out to be the singer-songwriter on stage the next day, sharing how events in his personal life lead him to write the song you are listening to? Discovering the stories behind entrepreneurs and other people you meet, is exciting. Sharing your own personal story provides much more connection and impact. Storytelling is ‘hot’, and that’s what this ‘inspiration shot’ is about…
Ever heard of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? At firesideconf (a kind of unconference in the middle of nowhere in Canada) I experienced exactly the opposite: the Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO). Without phone reception or internet, people really disconnect to connect. Real conversations around the camp fire. No screens to distract from real life and beautiful stories. Try it for yourself, for a day, or weekend or longer if you dare…
Picture this: 400 entrepreneurs sleeping in bunk beds in unheated cabins in the woods… Firesideconf was a blast. Apart from swimming, sailing and campfires, I had some unusual experiences. During a lock-picking workshop I found out that being a criminal is actually pretty hard…
In a mobile escape room in a tree house (!) we had to locate the mayor of Barrie (the town we were staying), who was apparently lost. After 33 exciting minutes (riddles, puzzles and …locks) we found him! To my surprise the actual mayor gave a speech (incl a song) an hour later, so we felt proud that we kind of made that possible, haha.
The book that changed my life
A cruise ship, Maya indians, tobacco used as medicine, history and anthropology, a big decision, a boarding pass from 1997… Some books really make or mark a change in your life. For me, ‘Caribbean’ is such book. Read the full story in my blog.
Jeff Lehman – Mayor of Barrie, Canada- shared how his town actively seeks partnership with startups to solve social issues. Other mayors don’t like Jeff because he insists there is enough money in society to solve all problems. For example Barrie reduced the number of 911 calls and hospitalizations by simply having emergency response teams visit ‘regulars’ during quiet hours. The town even plans to introduce ‘social impact bonds’ with clear deliverables as investment opportunities. Not for the money, but for the accountability it provides. All participants of the conference even received a ‘passport’ to the city, with a ‘boarding pass’ to discounted city events.
Turn annoying into exciting
What happens when you reply to scam emails? James Veitch is a curious ‘nerd’. He started replying to those annoying scam emails (“The niece of your great uncle in Nigeria has left you $10,000,000…”) purely to annoy the scammers and take as much of their time as possible, so they couldn’t spend that time scamming other people. James is a brilliant storyteller. Check out his other videos: they are all as brilliant and funny…
A 9/11 musical???
On 9/11, a tiny Canadian town opened its runways and heart to 7,000 stranded travelers. Magic happened in the following days; passengers bonded and experienced extreme hospitality from the people of Gander. The effects can still be felt today. Travellers stories started circulating and were even turned into a musical! Read the short version (impressive!) or watch the documentary (45 mins of goosebumps).
We are used to Hollywood movies following a certain plot. Why don’t we use that for our own stories? The first chapter of a successful biography never starts with “when I was born I was very young…” It always draws us into an exciting scene, which ends in a cliffhanger. That is a perfect moment to start the ‘heroes’ background story. Later we get back to the cliffhanger – with more context- and find out how the scene ends. I teach this and many other tips and tricks in my writing retreats in Chiang Mai, Thailand or Mallorca.
Write your book?
From Coins for Care (charity) to Mr. Wrong (relationships) to travel, tango and personal development, I love sharing my life lessons, bloopers, tips and trips with the people around me. Without realizing it, my name has become a ‘brand’. Branding (both personal and that of your company or product) is all about storytelling. That’s why I focus so much on visibility in my workshops. Whether you are trying to ‘turn anything into a business’ want to ‘become a location independent entrepreneur’ or want to make a ‘social media mindshift’ you have to learn to use your personal story and many more details than we are used to to make a real connection and lasting impact.
Six word story
“Passengers, this isn’t your captain speaking…”
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn…”
You don’t need a lot of time or words to share a story. Check out the amazing #6wordstories on Twitter and Google that tickle your imagination and leave you wanting to know more! Is this a way to share your story?