Why Your Stories Matter is a culmination of eight years of reinvention. It started out as Why You Must Blog, which had it’s origins in an enormous adventure that continues today, called Knit-a-square.
My husband and I ran a marketing communications company called ArtWords for 22 years. For years before we moved on from this business, we’d discussed the power of the Internet and how we could harness it to do something good, or at least better for us than running a client servicing business.
We started a charity. Perhaps not the wisest thing to do as a replacement for a lucrative business. Still, it consumed our lives happily for a number of years.
By 2011, it was clear that for all the wonder of the work we were doing with my aunt, Ronda Lowrie, and a world wide community of caring crafters to warm and comfort some of the millions of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa, we had to turn our attention to income generating work.
We looked at what we’d achieved online to start and build a now self-sustaining global community, and saw that it was the stories about the children and their carers, the work my aunt and her volunteers did, and the community itself that had sparked such an strong response.
How could businesses prosper from this approach?
I could teach business owners to do this by blogging. But to learn how to blog and tell stories that would connect meaningfully with others, there needed to be a context for it – a clearly articulated purpose, well defined intention, a deep curiosity about and empathy for their people, and a clear understanding of the unique value they had to offer.
They’d also needed to define their principles, the immutable laws that governed why they did what they did for who, and the outcomes for applying them, because this would unearth the stories they could tell.
It became evident that the work we’d be doing together was more than blogging. It informed a coherent and correctly positioned platform from which my client’s could present, pitch and communicate, telling the right stories to raise their profile, inspire, influence and build their communities.
I created a clarity coaching program called Get It Right Online, and have since worked with dozens of start up businesses, entrepreneurs and established business owners to achieve this.
My purpose and principles
My purpose evolved into believing that stories told from purpose and principle, sparked a passion to change the world.
The principles which uphold this purpose are clarity, curiosity and coherence, and the outcome is purposeful, appropriately positioned stories that reach and connect with the right people.
I wrote a book, Get It Right Online. Build A Clan and Supercharge Your Business, which details the framework to do this.
Present with Intent
The story of Knit-a-square, and how story itself can enrich, change, or even save lives was told in a TEDx talk, Tell Your Story, Save a life, which I was privileged to deliver in Melbourne in 2014.
This lead to more speaking opportunities, and then to pitch, presentation and story telling training and the development of Present with Intent. The same principles stood to deliver stories offline as they did online.
This training work expanded to include teaching PhD’s to pitch the impact of their research, working with the remarkable Carolyn Tate, Jon Yeo and Yamini Naidu to deliver Talk on Purpose, and more latterly a partnership with Mahana Culture.
Mahana and I have teamed up to deliver what I believe to be a ground breaking program called Cultural Building Blocks, at first teaching outreach workers, police, agencies, and child protection workers cultural intelligence, and the ability to tell, and talk their cultural tale. This will soon expand into organisations and corporates invested in diversity and inclusion.
Why Your Stories Matter
It’s been a journey and has littered the pathway with websites, which all have a place but now needed to be put in their place! After some reflection, it was obvious that Why Your Stories Matter was quintessential to all of this work, my purpose and principles, and the most desired outcomes for those I worked with.
I farewelled Why You Must Blog, although all the original work remains on the site, as much of it refers as it should, to the power of story.
I look forward to your visiting this site often and to hearing about you and why your story matters. Please contact me here for a chat.
PS. My work with Knit-a-square has evolved into the charity, CreateCare Global. It’s mandate is to raise awareness of all the issues affecting suffering children worldwide and to connect caring people directly with the grassroots organisations that do such incredible work on the ground to help these children.