This week is going by quickly – but when does a week feel slow? Especially as we age, it seems that time flies. All the more reason to live deliberately.
Spoke to a lovely crowd of women in Ann Arbor Tuesday night, the American Business Women’s Association Maia Chapter. Lovely women – have I said that? A tiny metallic Christmas tree adorned the registration table, on which I set my books. (Cute restaurant: The Quarter Bistro. Have to return!)
I spoke about the stories that drive us, the stories of our lives, the importance of connecting heart to heart, even in the business space. Do you believe me? You may be shaking your head, saying, that’s too frou-frou for me, it can’t possibly be true that I have to share my heart in order to grow my business.
You can believe whatever you want. It’s not my job to change your mind. Just to inspire.
And if it gives you pause to consider for even a minute the possibility that the challenge in growing a business has everything to do with how much of you is present in the business model, in the branding, in the heart of the business, then I’ve done my job.
Yes, I work in public relations. But I have spent my life writing stories. I notice how people find meaning in the moments. I love seeing the details interweave, the passions float far above the personalities of a person.
We have so many inclinations. So many tendencies. So much behind our names and our signatures. Who we are is something so few people ever really know. In fact, many people rarely know it themselves.
So how do you stumble on the truth? The plain and simple, heart-to-heart truth?
By pulling down the veil. By immersing in the discomfort. By being vulnerable.
By sharing details that you are afraid people will judge you for. Divorced at 37, with three kids. I failed at a marriage, said the voice in my head. Orthodox for 10 years, not Orthodox for 32. What will people think of me?
I could go on. But I won’t. My stuff is boring. Or at least that’s what I thought.
Until I began sharing select details when I spoke, of my own travails, of my own mistakes, owning the missteps and the misfortunes and the things I was afraid to say out loud.
And that’s what draws people closer.
If I am willing to share my heart with you, perhaps you’ll feel safe enough to share yours with me.
When I first went into business, Crain’s Detroit Business did an article about my transition from journalist to public relations entrepreneur. In the article, they mentioned I was then a recently-divorced single mother of three very young children.
Because of that innocuous detail, a woman called me out of the blue and hired me to help her start a business. I created the branding and the marketing materials for her. Anyone could have done that job.
She chose me because, on the verge of filing for her own divorce, having never worked in her entire marriage, and feeling afraid of the revenge her husband mig
ht take on her, she felt safe coming to me, that I would understand her plight.
I don’t work on jobs. I help people reach their dreams.
There’s a difference.
I don’t care what industry you are in – once you start looking at your clients as heart-based lovely people, you will succeed far more. Try it. Let me know how it goes.