Everyone Has a Story To Tell

In Community by Michael Margolis149 Comments

What yours? We want to help you tell it.

Our tribe continues to grow and gather from all four directions.

Lets get to know each other. Come introduce yourself:

  • What are you working on?
  • How do you hope storytelling can make a difference?
  • What would you like Get Storied to teach and share with you?
Please post in the comments below

Share about yourself, including your secret super-powers. Ask a question, and I’ll point you to relevant resources and links. I’ll read and respond to everyone (just be nice).

  • Jamillah Warner

    I’m a poet with a passion for business, at least that’s the short and sweet version. Born to a former salesman, the oldest daughter of two entrepreneurs with great big hearts (they are always in the business of helping people)….and I just want more out of my life and out of the lives of everyone around me. 

    – I have a tendency to focus on how communication impacts everything and I have always believed that we (all of us) are superheroes of some kind, so thank you for your take on it!And thanks for get storied, glad to be a part of this “tribe”

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Jamillah – I love your superhero energy here in the mix. Love the poet and business mashup. I think that’s how we should all approach life – as creative art and expression.

  • Gloria Nikolas

    I am a Program and Planning Analyst.  I have always had strong communication skills.  I am always looking for ways to expand and improve on telling my story.  My story is still inside me and will probably take years to develop to the point that I am confident to share my life story.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Gloria – thanks for taking the step to put yourself out there, here. You’re already sharing your life story…just a crack open in the door. Over time it will grow. Appreciate you introducing yourself.

  • CelesteandCo.

    Hi Michael, 
    Help!  Any ideas on how to approach a great About Me…  for someone who sports both a creative development hat (e.g. name ideation, colorist, design thinker, brand identity, concept development, product development) versus a strategic/ biz dev hat (knowledge base around consumer and b & b marketing and PR; human resources and operations)…

    I need to find a way to clearly and interestingly, explain myself … yet in a comprehensive, compelling way. Thanks so much in advance for insights… With best, Celeste

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Celeste –

      Great seeing you last week. I recommend you choose a theme or story to wrap everything else around. For instance, think of how you see the world – my sense from knowing you is that its a combination of aesthetic alignment and harmony in the details. You also are phenomenal researcher, connector of people/ideas, and you see patterns everywhere (i.e. you connect the dots).

      Not trying to push a sale here, though you might find the system as the perfect structure to further shape, and package your story. Lets catch up soon!

  • Vlad Nikolov

    A normal trilingual child from a bilingual family, I went into advertising at the ripe old age of 26 and never looked back. Looking back though, I have a record of telling engaging and believable made-up stories (like urging my school buddies to look around the house for that gaming console I claimed to own but allegedly well hidden from me by my parents, concerned with my marks at school). Those experiences proved usable for advertising copywriting and Creative Director’s job later.
    I am recently working on a launch campaign for a new brand of packaged pastries. I make a living by telling a good story about brands and products but tend to forget the importance of my own storybeing well told. I joined the club to get myself constantly reminded that I need to tell my own story better. A repeated alarm on the subject is what I expect to overcome snoozing and get my presentation right. Cheers Michael.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Vlad, my sweet tooth thanks you for your stories. And I’m grateful to have a fellow brand marketer in the tribe. Glad to know we can support each other in remembering the personal side of storytelling, and that most of us storytellers are drawn to the fire, as an exploration of our own selves and relationship with the world. Excited to hear your own thinking and evolving around these issues.

  • Doc Seth

    Hi Michael, love your site and vision!

    I’m a husband, dad of 3, and an “Elevator”.  I’ve lived in Oregon, Utah, Hawaii, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Hungary.  I speak fluent French.

    I love network marketing, Vince Flynn novels and making French Crepes with Nutella for breakfast. My City-League basketball team just went undefeated and won our City Championship.

    I gave up my Chiropractic career to focus on being an Entrepreneur 100%.

    Working on 2 books and currently co-authoring the sequel to a recent best-seller.

    I’m the owner of, a site that I created to encourage entrepreneurs everywhere to elevate themselves so they can in turn elevate their families and their communities.. and eventually the world.

    I love incorporating stories in my posts and putting pictures in people’s mind to drive home important principles!

    I love your Manifesto and look forward to learning from you for years to come!  I can definitely see us doing a JV in the future!

    Make it a great day, and as always…

    Elevate Everything!

    Doc Seth
    ~husband, dad, elevator~

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Doc! Thanks for stopping by. I love the “open kimono” style of your about page/bio on your site. What a great introduction to yourself. And really vibe with the “play your own game” ethos. Look forward to connecting more.

  • Loralee Hutton

    I’m a preachers kid from a gypsy family going back at least 4 generations.  They might not call themselves that, but it’s true.  All of my family had a passion for packing it all up and getting on the road, leaving our baggage behind literally and figuratively for long periods of time.

    I used to think it was normal, but maybe not! It’s in my blood, and I’m the most passionate & creative while planning my next adventure.  I show up better for my clients, when I’ve got travel plans in my calendar.  

    For the past 5 years I’ve been working towards changing my accounting consulting business from 100% in person 1-1 coaching, to an elegant blend of offline and online.  And now I’m ready to launch in style.  I’m putting almost all of my earthly belongings into storage & making the road my home for the next 6 months or longer.  Back to my roots.  Sorry Grandad, I’m not selling pots and pans and spices from the back of the car.  Loved you for your passion though!

    • Michael Margolis

      Hot damn! Love your vision of location independence Loralee. It’s definitely something we’re equally working on here at Get Storied, and in the coming years,  plan to spend a bunch of time on the road, setting up hubs and linkages in cities around the world. In 2012, we’re going to be sharing more of the tools and strategies for how to build a platform that allows you to operate and thrive from anywhere in the world.

    • Bettina Clark Coaching

      Resonating with the gypsy aspect! I also call myself a modern gitana – moving every 5 years ever since I am born. And, yes, Loralee and Michael, you will find me too on the Coaching Camino in the Future ;-)))

  • visualsspeak

    I am super passionate about creating visuals that get people telling stories. Getting beyond the habitual stories they always tell, and surfacing new insights and ways to look at the world. I’m interested in connecting to others who are using storytelling for personal and professional development as well as people who are using the arts in various ways. 

    • Michael Margolis

      Hot Damn! I love what you do. Stay tuned for the next Reinvention Summit in November where we’ll gather over 1,000 members of the tribe online for a virtual conference on the future of storytelling. Lots of networking that comes with this too.

  • Terri

    Hi, I am the host of a TV show about businesses.  I would like to know how to better tell my story as well as how to teach other businesses how to tell their story.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Terri – thanks for introducing yourself. What an awesome job! Will definitely keep sharing content that I think can be relevant to you and your audience.

  • Wendy

    What are you working on? The Whole Warrior Project- a package via flash drive of coping strategies our warriors can take with and use in battle during deployment as well as post-deployment to deal with healing the trauma of battle.How do you hope storytelling can make a difference? Sharing the story helps to heal. It helps all of us better understand what is really happening and hopefully we will cease to continue making repeated mistakes.What would you like Get Storied to teach and share with you? How to get the story out! How to engage others in the story. And how to do it with no money!

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Wendy – thanks for doing such important and humbling work. Excited to share with you strategies for getting the story out. The money bit…can show you how to build stuff for pennies on the dollar, but you also have to embrace the need to build your financial base to grow and scale. In your case, recommend thinking more of “who really cares” about your story? How/why would they want to be involved/buy/invest? For instance, are you marketing this package to families with a deployed soldier, or churchs/community groups that do projects in support of soldiers? Focus on getting others invested in the story.

  • Glen Crosier

    Hey Michael – I help everyday people with less ordinary ideas. Right now I’m working with social enterprises working in local communities here in England. Looking forward to *that* webinar – lol – keep up the great work, Glen

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Glen – I appreciate the encouragement. I started my career as a social entrepreneur, and storytelling around those dimensions is close to my heart. Stay tuned for more content and programming on that end, especially in 2012. Also working on a Global Tour with social enterprise hubs as one of the key lever points.

  • Snufkin

    I’d like to get over my reserve/modesty in be better at articulating who I am in terms of unique skills/experiences. My suspicion is that people who have successful online profiles have either worked at this skill or are naturally talented. And oddly enough, I’m very good at public speaking (classic ENTP personality) and could probably verbally tell somebody. In writing, not so much. I just killed myself over a cover letter application for a company I wanted to get my foot in the door and since they didn’t respond (and hired somebody else), I’m looking for Lessons Learned. 

    Otherwise, the common threads for me would be International Relations (I was in the Peace Corps, speak Spanish as a Second Language, & been all over Latin America including Cuba & Brazil) and working with Digital Information in the Clean/Renewable Energy and Science/Technology Business industries. 

    • Jennifer

      Snufkin, are you a fan of author Tove Jansson by any chance?

      • Snufkin

        “I’ll come when it suits me. Perhaps I shan’t come at all. I just may set off in another direction entirely.”

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Snufkin – I can totally relate to you. I’m so much more comfortable telling my story in dialogue/talking than in writing. Do you ever record your talks and get them transcribed? That’s a great way to capture your voice and personality – without over thinking in it while staring at a blank page.

  • Stormy Sweitzer

    HI Michael,
    I love your story-telling approach, but have fallen victim to dry, corporate-speak that influenced the earlier part of my career.  I listened in to your call last Wed for as long as you spoke and look forward to the recording to help me get my story out in a meaningful, interesting way.

    What am I working on – using my entrepreneurial skills and save-the-world sensibilities to help nonprofits create dependable revenue strategies, and teaching people with food allergies how to make the transition to a new way of eating.  Looking forward to Getting Storied.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Stormy –

      Love the bridge building that you’re working on. I used to be kind of uptight and uncomfortable in my own skin, and as I became more confident in myself, the story became much easier to tell. It begins by following the energy just as you currently are. What are the issues, ideas, and projects that get you fired up. That energy is a teacher. There’s a natural story for you tell there, because its what matters to you.

  • Anonymous

    I am a web marketer, and I recently got my license in massage therapy. I’ve seen that nearly all massage therapists struggle with presenting themselves (their vision of their practice, etc). In their attempt to seem professional and legitimate, they stop being relatable. I’m putting together workshops to teach them how to better represent themselves (online and off), so what I’m learning from Get Storied, I hope to apply both to myself and to what I teach them. 

    I really appreciate your recommendation during Friday’s webinar to read the Medici Effect. I hadn’t ever heard of it, but it’s perfect for what I’m trying to do. I’m about half way through it and it’s giving voice to a lot of experiences I’ve had. Thank you.

    As for what I’d love to learn more about- DATA. I’m trying to teach the therapists that just because something looks good to them (think: papyrus font, stock photography, third person bio, vistaprint templates, etc), it doesn’t mean that it translates to their target audience. I’m introducing Calls To Action and A/B testing. So, while I LOVE what is being taught from Get Storied, the more data I can get that statistically supports the idea that people buy people, not products, the stronger case I’ll have in trying to help them move to this model. (“It just sounds better” isn’t an argument you can make to a group of people who think that their site needs to launch music and have no text on the home page.)

    I know you’re conducting a study for About pages, and I’ll definitely reference that once it’s complete. I don’t know if you have anything in the works for how your Before/After pages not only READ, but CONVERT, but if you do, those stats will definitely help in my efforts to show a measurable benefit of being authentically connected.
    Thanks again for the book recommendation, and for the inspiring vision and mission of Get Storied!

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Amy – thanks for sharing your story and journey here. Grateful you’ve signed up for The New About Me, and are enjoying the book recommendation.

      I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with DATA. Sure, we’re doing a study on About pages and will data to share in the process. But in general, I find our culture tries to hard to over-rationalize a story to death.

      Instead my bias, is always to focus on what really matters, talk about in terms that others can relate with, and help them overcome the objections and obstacles that stand in the way of implementation. This approach doesn’t require “data” to prove I’m right, it requires resonance that gets people to believe in themselves and to choose a path in alignment with what they think is most important.

      I know my perspective is a bit contrarian in a world that worships data, statistics, and the need to validate/prove everything. You can’t create a real change or innovation if you are dependent on the past to validate its existence. Of course, whatever you create has to be relevant to people – if folks don’t believe in your story, all the blind faith in the world, won’t buy you a cup of coffee.

      Welcome your thoughts and comments…

  • Tim

    Tried some thing different, how’s this?

    OK. Here we go. I’m a Leo. I enjoy long walks on the beach and
    Monster Truck and Tractor Pulls. Oh…that’s probably not what you are
    interested in huh?

    Tell you what; I’ll give you 2 versions. For those of you who don’t
    like to read more than the standard 160 characters in a text, FB post or
    tweet, here ya go:

    “Tim Tialdo – Self-Proclaimed Media Pimp, Fitness Buff and Dance
    music Addict. In his spare time, Tim stunt doubles for George St. Pierre
    and mentors young disadvantaged children. Oh yeah and he wears sex
    panther, a formidable scent that stings the nostrils.”

    Now if that just teased your curiosity, please read on for the more traditional description of who and what I’m all about.

    Tim grew up in Belleville, Illinois where his love for the camera
    didn’t develop until people kept telling him he had a great voice. He
    followed that calling and studied radio/television at Southern Illinois
    University at Carbondale. After graduation Tialdo was lucky to
    immediately begin working inside the research department at “Access
    Hollywood” in Los Angeles, CA. After learning the in’s and out’s of
    Hollywood, he pursued an on-air career in TV news, which included 5
    years and stops at NBC affiliates in Clarksburg, West Virginia and
    Springfield, Missouri as an anchor and reporter.

    Looking to utilize his personality a bit more, Tim stepped away from
    news and took his first full time entertainment gig in 2008 as a field
    host for “Great Day St. Louis” on CBS in St. Louis. Tialdo then strapped
    on his entrepreneurial boots and created/executive produced and hosted
    the entertainment magazine show SPOT TV on ABC in St. Louis.

    In 2006, after competing in a bodybuilding show, Tim began emceeing
    as a secondary career. In 5 years he’s worked with the biggest names in
    the fitness industry and has become one of the most sought after emcees
    in the bodybuilding world.

    Tim has enjoyed some great opportunities during his television career
    including numerous celebrity interviews and behind the scenes features
    with The Today Show, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. He’s hosted several
    state beauty pageants and has published articles in Parks and
    Recreation magazine and has presented at national conferences for the
    NRPA on how to deal with the media.

    In addition to his broadcast career, Tim many commercial and
    corporate video credits to his name. He’s filmed statewide and national
    commercial campaigns. Tim continues to emcee many charitable events. He
    founded the annual “Spike It For Diabetes” Volleyball Tournament in
    Springfield, MO and was a big brother for 4 years in the Big Brother/Big
    Sister program.

    In his daily life Tim is very involved in health and fitness. He’s a
    former Natural Bodybuilder and also played competitive volleyball for 16
    years. In his spare time, Tim works in the Internet Marketing space
    where he continually is learning how to take what he does to the next


  • Denise Mulligan

    Hi Michael,
    I love the whole idea of your Storytelling University and manifesto. I come from a storytelling family. My personal tribe loves to talk!  They are funny and tell very funny stories. I enjoy making art and I like to blog.  Eventually, when I have some inventory to sell, I’d like to get a little online business going.  I would like to learn how to tell a better story.  How to talk about myself without sounding pompous or boring.  I believe in connecting people through storytelling. I would like people to be interested in my stories and keep returning to my blog and maybe buy some artwork.  
    If you have any suggestions or great websites for blogging, I’d love to hear about them.
    Good luck on your continued success!

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Denise! Appreciate you introducing yourself.

      My suggestion: start producing content/products now. Even if it’s a simple white paper or free report. The web works on the concept of the gift economy, you need to share something that people can pay forward. And you want to give people something to talk about. Thus the reason I give my manifesto away for free, when I could easily charge for it.

      Great websites for blogging. Start with,, and Great balance of articles on finding your point of view and practical stuff to trick out and grow your site.

  • Chase Sherman

    Michael, I went through your exercise for developing a compelling story… thought I’d post it:

    Most would say I’m a 23 year-old punk kid who’s got no business trying to start his own business.

    Especially when I’ve got no corporate experience under my belt.  I get it, most CEOs and managers will look at me like I’m nuts.

    And to top it, four months into ‘real-life mode’ I sold my car and moved back to LA in order to buy myself more time. Fortunately I could live at my mom’s and work on my business at her office because she had an extra desk.

    But here’s the way I see it — because you’ve just now heard what the rest of the world thinks (and how I set myself up for absolute commitment to my work).

    To start off you must know that right when I graduated high school Facebook and other social media platforms were just getting started.  And although I wasn’t leveraging them for business up until this last year, I was using Facebook before many were even able to get on it.

    I can remember every one of my friends using their new college emails to claim their profile.  From the perspective of a college student, I saw Facebook evolve into what it is today.

    Consequently, I’m now translating what I know into my company.

    Now before we jump into the business, you should also know I’m interested in creating a life that fulfills me.  As a result, I’ve invested much of my time in search for gratifying work.  I love learning from people who’ve seen a lot and done a lot.

    I’m a personal development fiend.  I love listening to guys like Tony Robbins, Earl Nightengale, Napoleon Hill, Bob Proctor, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Tim Ferris, Jack Canfield, and Brendon Burchard.

    I eat this stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I try to train my mind to be prepared for opportunities.  There’s something nice about always being ‘on.’  Thinking about the next move. Strategizing.

    As a 23 year-old college graduate, I think I’m in the best position to do great work.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Chase – I love your passion and mojo. And totally agree, entrepreneurship is increasingly an exercise in personal development. You are well on the path. As a digital native you intuitively understand how the social web allows any of us to create our own world and play our own game. You are both doing that for yourself and teaching others to do the same. No greater way to build an online business than to invite people on the journey with you. Excited to collaborate with you some more.

      My favorite Napoleon Hill quote (from 100 years ago):
      “People buy your personality and ideas, before they buy your products and services.”

  • Angela Bushman

    I’m a writer and mar-comm strategist, a single mother and homeowner, a maven, active and adventurous. I’m  obsessed with Bob Schneider (the singer-songwriter), standup paddling, Endangered Species Chocolate’s Tiger Bar and eating locally-grown, organic foods. 

    I love synthesizing complex information from divergent sources and turning out messages that are easy-to-understand for regular people. And I love making my clients happy! I love hearing that I have a gift.

    As a side project, I wrote a book about dads just being fathers / caregivers and I’m trying to get it funded on — you can learn more and support it here: 

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Angela – Great to have you amongst the tribe. Hmmmm….you said chocolate.

  • Mantecagirl

    I’m a public library director in California (that’s two strikes in case anyone is interested). The perfect storm of anti-tax, a terrible economy, anti-public sector sentiment and an assumption that technology is making libraries irrelevant requires new energy and new stories to tell. If people only knew how amazing libraries are and how we make a difference in someone’s life each and every day!

    I am working on repositioning a library system that faces some real issues, including economic ones, but also a crisis in confidence from a few years ago that resulted in the arrest of two library employees and a scathing grand jury report.  As the new kid on the block, (2 years on the job) I am juggling lots of plates and need help working on a cogent and coherent message that reinforces all the good we do AND that we’re doing all we can to rebuild the public’s trust. 

    • Michael Margolis

      Wow! I can really sympathize with your efforts and the challenging need to reinvent the library story. Wonder what can be done to transform libraries into more of a true community learning center. And/or the 21st century version of imaginarium…a place where your imagination can run wild, and you can explore the world. In many ways a reinvention of the old story of libraries, but recontextualized for today’s issues.

  • Cakewalk76

    My name is Muneeza. My story is one of ‘unusals’ – everything about my life is unusual. I feel like I don’t really ‘belong’ in any place. I am from Pakistan, born there, but never lived. Moved to kuwait at the age of 11 months old. Left there during the Gulf war at age 14. Ended up in Pakistan for a few months. Then moved to Oman with my family and ended up there for 9 years. Then moved to Dubai. (Where I met the love of my life – but that’s a whole different story!). Stayed there for two years before landing an admission into my top business school – London Business School. Went there for a year and then married the love of my life and moved to the US. Stamford CT!! Been here 8 years… I have lived in many different places, but don’t feel like I belong anywhere, but yet I connect everywhere. I don’t really fit in being a Pakistani who never really grew up there, I can never be a citizen or ‘belong’ to the Persian Gulf states where I spent most of my life, England came close to feeling like I belonged, and then of course I ended up in the US of A where I just wanted to runaway and never return. I guess some folks call me a world citizen, whatever that means. All I know is that I love connecting with people, connecting to their hearts and healing their hearts. 

    So far, you’re thinking – her life doesn’t sound so unusual to me so far – actually it sounds pretty good. Well, I haven’t mentioned so far, that all the while growing up, I was a pretty sick kid. I was beridden with respiratory problems from the age of 4 months, first with bronchitis, tuberculosis and then a host of coughs, colds and flus and numerous other infections my whole life. This led to pretty severe allergies and asthma. It was interesting that the culmination of my journey to heal my sickness happened in the very place from where I wanted to escape, the US. I was the person who said I would never live in the US (lesson learned: never say never) and yet the place which made me feel so imprisoned also gave me the ultimate liberation of body, mind and spirit. 

    It was here in the US where I found the courage to leave a 13 year career in finance, an amazing cushy job at NBC as Director of Finance for Television Operations, overnight. My health in the US was abysmal. I was rushed into the hospital emergency room about 8 times in my first year here! It was hard to perform well at a job I didn’t love with a body that wouldn’t cooperate. I was finally pushed to my upper limits for tolerating this life and I decided that I was going to quit. The only person I told was my husband. The next day when I handed in my resignation, EVERYONE was shocked. They hadn’t seen that coming. But life is full of contrasts, right? In the deepest darkest days I experienced feeling unwell, lonely and despaired, is where I saw the light to finally walk away and change my life. It was in the contrast of the darkness that I even saw the light. And boy was it some light. That is the light that has led me to live the life I always WANTED. The life where I was able to lose weight, heal my body (within 2 weeks I was able to leave a life of 5 drugs a day FOREVER and its been 6 years since I had a drug), find a career that I absolutely LOVE (I am a health, nutrition and lifestyle coach helping people find their own way back to health), 2 beautiful children I could never have had with all the drugs I was taking, and now doing deeply spiritual work to heal my own deep-seated limiting thoughts and beliefs and I want to shout my story from the rooftops. It IS inspiring, it is beautiful and it can be yours too. The story of how my children were born, calmly, serenely, comfortably, ecstatically and pain-free, is a whole other chapter in my book of life. It is why I became a HypnoBirthing teacher, using hypnosis to prepare for labour and birth. 

    I always wanted to be a healer. Little did I know that the deep contrast of ill health I experienced for almost 30 years of my life would be the foundation on which I would grow into a passionate and compassionate healer. Healing through foods and through birth.

    This is my story. It is the story of everyday miracles. And my passion is to inspire the world with my story. That is why I am a world citizen. 

    • Cakewalk76

      So Michael, I just posted my story (I was inspired to write so I let it flow), and I guess I should answer the questions you put up: I am working on growing my businesses (HypnoBirthing and nutrition coaching). I reached somewhat of a lull and I want to turn that around. I am riding a huge wave of expansion as I write this, and I love how my story inspires folks. I want to tell it in the most compelling way possible to reach and inspire as many folks as possible. I want to learn from GetStoried the most effective way to tell my story, write my about page, harness word of mouth marketing (your manifesto is brilliant). My websites are and and I would love to learn how to incorporate the story in an effective way on other marketing material like a brochure or a flyer. Also I want to know whether a video (live) story is more compelling than a story told in the written word. My secret super powers (I have many LOL): Making quantum leaps of time (basically getting a lot of S*&# done when I need to), I love to write creatively, I am a voracious reader (I read two books a month), I am a multitasker (with 2 kids that is a job requirement) and I am super organised (when inspired so). I am a super pleasure seeker (I like to take the easy road of least resistance and I think I have that down to an art)… I have moments of being scattered and my goal is to now focus on my work and bring the message and brand that is me, together for the world to see….

    • Bettina Clark Coaching

      Hi Muneeza, your love for life bubbles in your post! Amazing how much life has to push us until we notice who we really are…. Kuddos for your path and purpose! It’s great to have you on this planet.

  • Rachel Rubin

    Hi Michael! I’m from Chicago and work as an I/T eCommerce analyst for a large corporation. For fun I have a food blog. I have started down an additional path and am writing a non-fiction book of historical short stories. With that I plan to get a new blog started as well. Lots of fun times ahead! I look forward to connecting more with you and your tribe.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Rachel – Yum, I love food. Especially when chocolate is involved. Appreciate all your creative interests and that you’re a woman of creative action. Excited to see your next chapters take shape.

  • Di Mace

    You may be wondering who I am.

    I spin gold from the straw at hand; I’m a business writer,
    thinker, blogger, storyteller, believer in the impossible, darer, re-inventor, idea
    starter, learner and searcher for the perfect pencil case.


    I am a writer and marketer: I help businesses make
    money using words. By combining the science of marketing with the art of
    storytelling, I develop persuasive communications.

    Why? Because everything has a story. And a good story
    moves you. It can inspire you to remember, to act, to buy.


    My name is Di
    Mace and my background includes marketing, corporate and magazine work;
    across business, creative and marketing writing.  As a freelance
    copywriter I specialise in the power of the written word. I have more than
    twenty years’ experience in marcom and corporate communications that need to do
    a job – to sell something. That ‘thing’ may be a product, idea,
    service, person or a company that just wants to make things happen.

    I love your storied movement. But I’d love to see you cover stories about companies and people other
    than large corporations. To truly spread the power of story it needs to be
    shown in all contexts, not just the international brands and people who are
    well known – that’s unrealistic and unreachable for the many than could and can
    benefit from storytelling.

    • Michael Margolis

      Thanks for the great feedback Di. We talk a lot of about the journey of entrepreneurs and social change agents here too. Stay tuned for our Reinvention Summit, virtual conference on storytelling November where we’ll have a huge diversity of voices, perspectives, and angles on the movement.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Di – thanks for introducing yourself here as a fellow storyteller. We’ve got lots of content for people and organizations beyond large corporations. Check out, our system for personal brand storytelling, and, our virtual conference for entrepreneurs and creatives on the power of storytelling.

  • Dellabeffa

    Hi, I’m Carla Della Beffa, a visual and video artist and a student of life. My work is about connecting experiences and sharing knowledge and emotions: that’s why I can be a good choice as an international artist-in-residence in universities, foundations or museums. If you are among them, trust me, even if you can’t yet find many reassuring big names in my story. Be the first. 

    I started painting in 1993, just before the international advertising agency where I was creative director dismissed me. I discovered the Internet in 1996: slow modems inspired my technologically simple net-art and website, Went on to digital photography, two published books, video art. Change is the key: I need the evolution.

    My family name, Della Beffa, means joke. I love red wine but not pasta, unlike your typical Italian.

  • Alyse

    I am Alyse Hart and the earliest words I remember my parents using to describe me were…you are SUCH a storyteller,  instigator and precocious. It wasn’t a compliment- it meant that I embroidered things and got people moving. Felt like something I ought to hide. Except with some friends. My letters from Sleep away camp reporting on the disgusting food and my bunkmates quirky behavior made me a hit with my small fan following who really loved stories from New Hampshire.  That helped me embrace my inner observer and communicator.

    Back to my family though. Three generations  were in sales. They liked talking to everyone and no answers were cut and dry—no, they always had a backstory. These guys used both sides of their brains. Since I had trouble learning and academia wasn’t for me I followed my Grandmother’s advice ( she was a 3rd grade graduate) “if you can get along with people–you can make a living.” So…. I defaulted into sales and wasn’t really any good at it. I couldn’t “man up” and close…. no not me. I had to  create rapport– I had to know their story.  Eventually I found my success in advertising and magazine print sales and enjoyed long relationships with customers.

    For a while I became a little obsessed about gender differences. I crabbed a bit. Wrote a book called “Your Corporate Recovery”  and noticed that women weren’t using their greatest assets. Sell it Like a Woman was born and it was a guy who hired me for my first workshop teaching. He was smart. Women balked or threw eggs 4 years ago but something is changing and call it 2012 coming or evolution but we all need to be seen and heard and thanks for giving permission to all to do it. It’s what makes me interested in others and allows me to “click” with people or not. So excited to be here.

  • Alyse

    I am Alyse Hart and the earliest words I remember my parents using to describe me were…you are SUCH a storyteller,  instigator and precocious. It wasn’t a compliment- it meant that I embroidered things and got people moving. Felt like something I ought to hide. Except with some friends. My letters from Sleep away camp reporting on the disgusting food and my bunkmates quirky behavior made me a hit with my small fan following who really loved stories from New Hampshire.  That helped me embrace my inner observer and communicator.

    Back to my family though. Three generations  were in sales. They liked talking to everyone and no answers were cut and dry—no, they always had a backstory. These guys used both sides of their brains. Since I had trouble learning and academia wasn’t for me I followed my Grandmother’s advice ( she was a 3rd grade graduate) “if you can get along with people–you can make a living.” So…. I defaulted into sales and wasn’t really any good at it. I couldn’t “man up” and close…. no not me. I had to  create rapport– I had to know their story.  Eventually I found my success in advertising and magazine print sales and enjoyed long relationships with customers.

    For a while I became a little obsessed about gender differences. I crabbed a bit. Wrote a book called “Your Corporate Recovery”  and noticed that women weren’t using their greatest assets. Sell it Like a Woman was born and it was a guy who hired me for my first workshop teaching. He was smart. Women balked or threw eggs 4 years ago but something is changing and call it 2012 coming or evolution but we all need to be seen and heard and thanks for giving permission to all to do it. It’s what makes me interested in others and allows me to “click” with people or not. So excited to be here.

  • Melvin Bowman

    I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2 (64GB) and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $674 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from,

  • Charles Lenchner

    I’ve spent 25 years working for social justice and social change with nonprofits, political candidates, advocacy groups and unions. At some point, I realized that there was a big difference between the actual tasks I was engaged in (marketing, event planning, organizing, fundraising, and lobbying) and the goals I was pursuing (peace, love and justice). But when I stepped away from the crowd to look at the actual mechanics of my work, it seemed that I was breaking ranks somehow.

    For the last two years I’ve been running a series of trainings to help advocates for economic justice use online communication tools better. To succeed, the labor movement doesn’t just need better organizers, they need hundreds or thousands of new digital labor strategists. Unfortunately, for many labor organizations no one qualified is wearing that hat. Even worse, there are many who are qualified but they don’t have the status power to wield influence.

    I’d like to offer my training to more people across the country. Not so much because ‘my’ training is so great, but because I’m in touch with so many pro-bono volunteers willing to come together and share their specific skills to others in the community. Digital strategy trainings for social change do exist, but they are few and far between.

    One of the challenges to working with the labor community is that it relies a great deal on long established relationships. This means that a veteran communicator who doesn’t understand new media can get the contracts while freelancers with better skills and lower prices aren’t even in the mix. I’d like to change this situation, something I think would benefit unions AND provide work for great union allies who can do a better job.

    I really enjoyed your presentation on story, and immediately started working on my superhero profile. The one serious question I had was about how to make my audience feel like the hero. My audience is a mixed bunch, and range from outgoing creatives to cautious by the book folks.How can I make them the stars of my stories?

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Charles – thanks for introducing yourself here.

      In terms of making your audience the hero, its important to remember that you can’t please EVERYONE. So focus on connecting those who you can most easily relate to. The answer lies in your own journey, and what you’ve had to overcome or learn the hard way. In my case, I serve entrepreneurs and change-makers because my entire life has been focused on translating world-changing ideas into cultural acceptance. So that’s who I focus the hero story on. Make sense? So while your audience is a “mixed bunch” start making choices about who you feel most called to serve (and are in a position to benefit from your work).

      You might want to connect with John Hlinko of Left Action – around your work. Just mention my name.

  • Paddyslantern

    After a serious spine injury that has hindered my ability to live life fully alive for the last 5 years I am about to open up a specilty coffee bar. I have decided that doctors only know so much and not working hospitality and providing people a lift for the day will not be my story. Thanks for believe me book, I have happily recommended it to many friends. Love the reality check that we have a story and need to tell a story. I am amazed with the timing of discovering your manifesto and the encouragement of
    making my story bigger than just premium coffee.
    Many thanks, keep on talking mate.

    • Paddyslantern

      P.s My name is Sam Carey,
      I live, work and play in Adelaide South Australia. After waking up April fools day 2006 and could not walk I have been on a tour of pain. I am on my way back in the driving seat of living my life. My super power is consuming caffeine and making friends along the way. I don’t use Facebook but add friends to my list everyday. Just about to turn my super power into my first business. Making friends and selling specialty coffee.
      Thanks again Michael!

      • Michael Margolis

        Hey Sam – thanks for tuning in from Adelaide. Great to have you here. My special powers come from chocolate, so we must be distant cousins of some kind. 😉 Excited to hear about your new business and how you are living beyond the expectations and limitations others have put upon you regarding your health.

  • Elsa Kendall

    Hi Michael, I heard you on Srini’s June podcast recently and was stunned at the synchronicity once again of the DOE (Dept of Energy/Divine Orchestrator of Everything). Listening to you I was really moved (understatement) by the fact there was someone else who sounded as passionate about the personal story, and inspiring others to share theirs, as I was.

    I’d just finished putting my CV together as an e-CV (actually an entire web site) for the director of e-Commerce at a bricks and mortar company.  As destiny would have it I didn’t hear from them. . . and was totally relieved! I realized the whole exercise had been a grand conspiracy to motivate the socks off me to get going with what I’ve wanted to do for some time: create my own online business.

    After nearly literally dying a few months ago, then going through several personal deaths in recent months I now know there is absolutely nothing to lose. I’ve been photographing and writing since I was about eight years old. My passion for storytelling is equally matched by my passion for inspiring others to do
    the same, both through photographs and words. My site is gaining momentum in the recesses of my imagination, and will physically launch this November. It will be geared toward photographers of any ilk, but is unlimited with regard to who can participate. 

    I don’t have a superhero. Yikes! But when I was a little kid I was inspired by Pippi Longstocking, Atticus Finch, and Gypsy Rose Lee, in that order.

    I’m totally inspired by the work you are doing and really look forward
    to becoming more involved with Get Storied as I come back into the
    world. Point me to any links on your site you feel would be of help. Grazie!

  • Bo

    Hey Michael!  Been following along for a while.  Love what you’re doing.

    My name is Bo.  I left my job back in January and dream of sailing around the world.  The plan is to begin the 3 year journey in 2012.  Between now & then I’m just trying to devise random ways of letting people sail around the world vicariously through me and my writing.  The first?  Allowing people to “sponsor a mile” of the trip in order to receive a postcard from the other side of the world.

    Any other ideas welcome! :)

    • Michael Margolis

      Hey Bo! Way to go after your dream. Love the idea of sponsor a mile, although this assumes people are invested in YOUR story. How can you offer a gift back where your journey is really about THEIR story, not yours? Make it less about living vicariously through you, and instead invite people onto your journey from the perspective of how it it can help and inspire your readers to set sails on their own dreams. I know you know this already. Just really think about the design and story campaign to focus on what you’re inviting your audience into (and remember, the story is never about you), you’re just a mirror back for people.

  • Sharon

    Hi Michael

    Hi Michael

    I’ve really enjoyed reading the comments, seems there’s a lot of Reinventing going on! My name is Sharon, I am The Reinvention Diva, and I love stories. I’m a mother of two and wife of one, I’m happy to put this right up there as the most important thing in my life. My family are my pride and joy.

    I heard about the Reinvention Summit last year and am looking forward to the next one, I wasn’t able to take part but will this time as this subject is right up my street. I’m working on my online magazine, where we tell the stories of women who have reinvented themselves in many different facets of their lives. We recently concentrated on career reinvention.

    I’ve discovered that I enjoy interviewing people and I’m actually quite good at it. The women I’ve spoken with so far are incredible, they openly share what they have created and changed and how they did it. I think for me that is the interesting part of a reinvention story: How.

    My super power is cooking a mean mac and cheese, I’ve refined it so well. I enjoy communicating through food and use this as one way to let my boys know I adore them.

    I’d like Get Storied to help me learn how to tell my story, and how to approach would be interviewees to share theirs.

    Thank you so much


  • Peter Voiceoverartist

    I am a 50+ pale,male citizen of the New South Africa.
    I am an ex radio broadcast lecturer and am passionate about radio broadcasting.
    To this end I am trying to set up an NPO that will alow broadcast students from around the world to pay to come here and offer their skills to community radio stations that really do need them whilst at the same time taking in some of the most incredable natural beauty in the world

    • Michael Margolis

      Love your vision Peter, both its laser focus and how it reflects your own journey and passion. Excited to hear how to evolves. Also love your personal intro – I’m equally pale male, I like to say swiss-african (my dad is from Zimbabwe and I grew up in Switzerland). Life is a funny story…

  • Charkin

    Hi I’m Charlene.
    I love the power of story. My day job is as a food co-op marketer, I met Michael at the NCGA Marketing Matters in May. I tell the story of good food sustainable grown by day, but outside of work I am part of the growing home funeral movement, reclaiming the right to care for our dead at home. Yes, I’m the food and death writer! Interesting combo, wouldn’t you say?

    I am also gathering stories for an anthology -Where the tree falls, the forest rises.

    The larger story is not just that death is a part of life, something we will all experience, so let’s not be afraid to talk about it, but to look for the transformation that occurs that is uniquely the product of your life and the beloved who has died. In acknowledging the reality of death, we become free to truly live. To discover who we are while we are still here. And those things are better expressed through story than lecturing about it.

    • Michael Margolis

      Wow Charlene! I love your shadow warrior spirit. Thanks for having the courage to help us discuss and engage around our deepest fear. By facing death, we discover life. You have to connect with Erin Donley of, who is equally called to help the world work through their relationship on this topic. Go and twin powers activate.

  • TimT

    Hi everyone!  My name is Tim and I like to solve problems so even though I work in corporate America, my heart belongs to the social sector and their unique and innovative way of making our world a better place.  When I am not in a suit and tie, you can find me playing softball in the summer, board games in the winter, and getting out and about as much as I can. 

  • Faith Singer

    My name is Faith Singer and I’m a teller of stories – my own and those that are closest to me. I’ve worked in executive management for 25 years and I’m looking to change the direction of my life. Trying to get a website and blog up and running, along with starting my own business and nonprofit. My secret super-power is connectedness and all I want to do is help others to overcome obstacles, just as I have. My favorite superhero as a child was Wonder Woman. She was strong and caring – traits that I can relate to. I look forward to learning how to utilize storytelling to change the world. Silence is a killer – giving voice to the truth of the human condition connects us all. We’re not alone – we have each other!

  • alicat

    My name is Ali and I’m a 30-something mom of 2 wonderboys, a (inconsistent, often unpaid) writer, recent (finally) graduate of college, jack (jill) of all trades but master of none, in-recovery (and loving feeling awake finally), and lover of stories. That’s an understatement. I’m hungry for stories- both to learn from, listen to, and tell. I believe many of the posts below said it best.

    My hero is Studs Terkel.  I would love to do in this decade what he did in the 50’s.  Take a recorder around the country and collect an oral history of everyday folks who are everyday heroes and heroines.  I’m also in the process of collecting stories about coaches, football coaches specifically (no offense to any other sport).  But that’s kind of a long story… that I don’t know how to tell yet but want to learn. 

    I have lots to learn. I’m a painfully-shy-learning-challenged-late-bloomer-former-addict, not having a clue how to do what’s in my heart yet but mesmerized with life’s twists, turns, fates, fortuitous events, failures, successes, and love.  My hope is to collect stories and then give them away.  If these stories make even 1 person feel not so alone, or some sense of hope, or inspire action, it’s worth recording a hundred stories.

     I feel like stories promote peace and awaken understanding.  Mr. Roger’s mom said something akin to: ‘Wherever there’s bad things happening because of bad people, there’s good things happening because of good people.’ (ali paraphrase) I think storytelling is part of the solution side of things, part of the good things.

    Anything is possible, and as Coach Taylor instills in his players, fictional as they may be, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”
    I might not understand the “How-to’s” yet, but I feel like if I keep ears and heart open and have courage to tell tales that need to be told that maybe the How-to’s will come… one day at a time. 

  • FilipC

    Hi Michael,

    My name is Filip (say ‘Philip’), age 30, living in Brussels, Belgium.

    I worked as a copywriter in an ad agency, managed the marketing of Belgium’s pioneering datingsite (long before social media became a hype), and am now working as an interactive marketeer for a consulancy company.

    Originally I was fully dedicated to painting and drawing comic books. But even when a picture is worth more than a thousand words, you still need a story. Therefore, past years I dived into screenwriting theory and learned what makes a good story. For two years, I followed courses at a Belgian screenwriting academy.

    In my day-to-day career, I’m focusing on building brands and dialogues, mostly via digital media. It is there I discovered that screenwriting techniques can be applied to almost anything in business. Why? Because it’s part of our lives!

    Storytelling is what distinguishes mankind from the animals. It’s in our DNA. It’s how we pass our knowledge (our culture), it’s how we get involved and engaged in the broader community.

    So I made the switch from screenwriting to storytelling. I started to blog about it and continue to broaden (and share!) my knowledge.

    Currently my ‘things-to-do-LONG-before-I’m-dead’ list contains the following three things:

    – write/draw my graphic novel
    – focus my marketing activities more on storytelling
    – launch my tech startup that allows brands to connect with their customers via mobile devices (September 1 in private beta)

    For the storytelling part, I’m very grateful to find out about your Get Storied universe, Michael!

    What I wanted to know is: you’re focusing on storytelling on a personal level, but will you broaden it up to other domains in the future, like branding?

    Looking forward to hear from you!


    @filipc:twitter @frametales:twitter

    PS: My superhero’s are Tim Kring (HEROES), Matthew Weiner (MAD MEN) and Alan Ball (TRUE BLOOD). In my opinion they master storytelling in the best way possible!

  • Katharine

    My name is Katharine and I’m really interested in knowledge management.  I’m doing an internal strategy project where I work right now and I’m interested in how people share information and how we can make that more effective even when everyone is super busy.  I like learning what makes people tick and using applied psychology to improve organizational effectiveness.  In practice, this means I like emailing people lots of useful things I think they’ll like and I’m thinking about starting a leadership development email list/wiki page at work.

    I also enjoy yoga, chocolate, and TED talks on my apartment treadmill.  I am also a nerd (U.Chicago grad, Phi Beta Kappa) and read lots of magazines like Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation review, etc.

  • Peter Sterlacci

    Hi Michael,
    I’m Peter Sterlacci founder of BeYB – Believe, Become, Be Your Brand based in Kyoto Japan. I will start my intro with a couple of questions. 

    How do you stand out in a culture that teaches you to fit in?  Does the nail that sticks out always have to be hammered down? In the United States, for example, standing out is valued and almost expected. But
    in other countries, like Japan, people values fitting-in. The reality is that the world of work has changed forever. And careerists world-wide must now stand out and demonstrate their unique promise of values or run the risk of losing opportunity.

    My mission is to guide on-the-move careerists in global companies in Japan through a 3-stage process to uncover, communicate, and manage their personal brands. In Stage 1, we uncover your strengths and
    attributes.  By doing this you can establish a firm belief in your brand. In Stage 2, we create the tools you need to become your brand. This includes your own personal brand statement, a branded bio, resume and cover letter, and a brand communication plan so you can manage your brand online and offline. Finally, Stage 3 is all about total brand management so you can clearly, consistently, and constantly be your brand.

    My motto is ‘personal branding with a spin’.  You see I am passionate about cycling. As an avid cyclist, I often starts my days with a training ride. My own focus and determination in cycling has led me to the podium in many races, and I transfer this same commitment to achievement to those with whom I work. Actually, the idea for my consulting service—’BeYB‘ – Believe. Become. Be Your Brand—actually came to me on an early morning ride. So naturally it makes sense for my own brand image to be geared toward cycling. By combining personal branding strategy with cycling imagery my clients are motivated to shift gears, get out of the saddle, and sprint to career success!

    My own brand is about confidence, action, and collaboration. I have a natural drive for action that creates momentum when I work with clients. But I balance this with a comfortable bond of trust as I coach my
    clients outside of their comfort zones to believe, become, and be their brands.

    To quote Charles M. Schultz, “Life is like a 10-speed bicycle.  Most of us have gears we do not use.” I am personally energized when my clients discover and use all of their gears to capitalize on their unique strengths. You see my goal is not about fixing weaknesses. Rather I seek to transform something strong into something superb.

    Come over and visit my site at: or my facebook page at:


  • Tim Mushey

    Hi Michael! Thanks for the incredible content. I was first introduced to your work through a Mike Koenigs video a few months ago, and have been following you ever since.
    I have a diverse outside sales background spanning over 11 years. My passions include sales, sales management & leadership. Oh yeah, and since I am from Western Canada I am a hockey fanatic! I have battled a stuttering issue since childhood, and continue to work on that as I start a part time online business. My business will be focusing on the sales profession, leadership and certainly personal development. The stuttering community has a special place in my heart, and I plan on being involved in that as well.
    I realize the power of video and speaking engagements, so I want to be on top of my game as I move forward with these exciting new opportunities. I have finally started my first Toastmasters group this fall, which I am looking forward to.

  • Ramesh

    Hi, I am Ramesh, I work for a newspaper as a senior editor. Yesterday one of my colleagues asked me about a book I was carrying. Though I had finished reading some 60-70 pages I was at a loss to tell him what it was all about in graphic details. I managed to say something, but still I felt awful that I didn’t know how to tell a story. I didn’t even remember what I read. What should I do? 

  • Afolabi

    Hi Michael, I am Afolabi, I have a passion for writing and I have so many stories in my heart I wanna tell. I Want to learn how to express my self better in writing by captivating the attention of my readers till they are done.

  • Di

    I imagine it won’t surprise you to know that life so far seems to have led me to this point of reading your Believe Me Story Manifestion, that point where I stop and think, ‘Oh, but wait, haven’t people been telling me that they would buy my book if I would write my story?’ 
    Thanks for the huge surge of energy and enlightenment here in my life, just as I’m setting off on a new venture … just as I’m having to tell my story and identify my tribe, just as I’m at that point where pretty much everything you say in the manifesto is a much-needed, much-appreciated thing that I needed to ‘get’.
    I have subscribed to your world and I’m looking forward to future wisdoms :-)

    • Michael Margolis

      Wow Di! Comments like yours are what I live for. :-) Thanks for sharing your experience on the threshold. Go for it! And let us know as you step into the next chapter of the story.

  • Pingback: How to Be More Likeable to Grow Your Small Business | Sage One Blog()

  • Karen Mireau

    Here’s what I’ve been inspired to write in the past few days thanks to Michael . . . how does this feel to you? Comments are welcome!

    I am a “Literary Midwife” and small boutique publisher who specializes in helping my clients create beautiful, meaningful, imaginative books. With over thirty years’ experience in book design,production and marketing, it’s my mission to inspire others to express themselves with maximum creativity and literary integrity.

    It has always been my belief that the measure of aesthetic value is not a monetary one. What matters is the truth of our story, to show the world our authentic self. As a child, I was the classic bookworm; always writing stories, putting on marionette shows based on Shakespeare’s plays, and crafting little hand-made books. This taught me that anything of worth requires love, devotion and the willingness to keep a spacious, attentive mind.

    And so, I began my adult creative journey as a full-time poet. When I was literally about to starve, I changed course and went on to create critically-acclaimed children’s television series for NBC and Cartoon Network, to raise an enormous family of fantastic kids, to be a children’s book agent for over a decade, and finally to come full circle back to my first loves—poetry and story.

    I offer one-on-one support to authors—a rarity I’m told in this world of cookie-cutter production. Whether your genre is memoir, poetry, novels, short stories or children’s books, I can help you bring your project to fruition, as well as successfully introduce it to the marketplace.

    It is my impassioned hope that we all experience the deeply rewarding process of fully using our creative gifts. Let’s get in touch . . . and get started on seeing your personal literary journey unfold.

    • Bettina Clark Coaching

      What an inspiring energy you have; every page in your book of life says: CREATIVITY

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Karen – thanks for introducing yourself here. Love your unique focus area. Undoubtedly serving many. Curious for deeper insight into WHY you love to create thru story, poetry, plays, and more. Why is this so personal for you?

  • Robert Friedman

    I’m Robert Friedman and my business is Fearless Branding.

    I work with service firms and consultants to help them win at the moment of truth: that moment when you are pitching a new client and they are asking themselves “Should we hire you – or would one of your competitors be a better fit?”

    I help my clients define what makes them unique and position them precisely in their markets. You can download the Fearless Branding Manifesto: How to Build a Fearless Brand here: to learn more.

    Look forward to hearing more of your stories and getting to know some of you.


    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Robert

      Thanks for joining us here. Would love to know more about your life experiences. Whether from childhood or early career that inspire you towards fearlessness.

      • Robert Friedman

        About 15 years into my career I was acting director of marketing on Coffee-Mate at Nestle. It was an extremely lucrative gig.

        One Saturday, I was taking a hike in the Santa Monica mountains and I realized that I was having a crisis. “Shit. I cannot spend my life-force, my talents, helping to sell more boxes of artificial crap. It is just not how I want to live.”

        I was very seriously considering an alternate career – something like psychotherapy – in fact, I was accepted to a grad program. But i had the thought: I may be working on Coffee-Mate, but someone else is working on Apple. The guy down the hall is working on Carnation Instant Breakfast, but someone else is working on Nike.

        I realized that some brands were doing more than pushing stuff. They were working hard not only to create great product but to use that product to create truly meaningful experiences in the lives of a specific customer. These brands were creating meaning through story and archetype. Brands I admired wanted to help people to feel and be more creative (Apple) or more of a hero in their own lives (Nike) or feel more love (Tiffany.) Not everyone would buy into a particular brand’s story … and that’s ok.

        I decided I admired brands that were working to create precise meaning and that I wanted to help companies that wanted to work in that way. And so, Fearless Branding was born.

        It took a while, but I’ve developed a viable business and I apply the learning and approach gleaned from some iconic brands to an entirely different kind of business – service firms and consultants that need to define their value and tell their story in a way that helps them answer the question that prospects are asking: Why should we hire you?

        Thanks for the inquiry Michael.

        All the best,


        • Rich Tatum

          Wow, Robert, I personally love hearing stories like this because I’m in sort of a similar career turnaround myself at the moment. (I’m probably slower on the uptake than you were, and I have never held any sort of a “lucrative” position. And I’m not handsome and well-groomed like you almost certainly are. But, still…)

          By the way, I’m sure you’ve seen this influential HBR article, but your journey reminded me of the important opening question:

          “What business are you really in?”

          Marketing Myopia


          • Robert Friedman

            Rich – Glad I could be a bit helpful or share something that can be motivating. Finding your right path is a hero’s journey. I wish you much success in your career evolution. Robert

  • Lisa Rossetti

    My name is Lisa Rossetti and I am a community creative writer and biblio (story!) poetry therapy practitioner. I would never have stepped into such a role without the huge health blow I suffered about 7 years ago. Yet, that story transcended is a tale that I tell to my groups; it was a door that opened up a new story for me. I now declare that storytelling is my passion and speciality, and every time I do this in a concise but authentic way I open up new connections.
    I am interested in the different ways people use personal narratives to persuade, influence, connect, impact, create change.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Lisa – delighted to see you here. It’s amazing how health issues can serve as the doorway into our story, and the reimagining of ourselves. So grateful you’re sharing that wisdom with the world.

  • Celia Pearson

    Hello! My name is Celia Pearson. I have made a living and a life for 40 years with a camera in my hands. My riddle is this: How do you make an image of what is invisible to the eye? How do you make an image, say, of the essence of a stone, or of the inner light of a person, or of the soul of a tree?
    One day I realized that the act of standing behind my camera was a powerful teacher, that I was learning something I had not set out to do. I was learning to be present, to pay attention, to be right here right now. I am quite sure this is part of the answer to my riddle.
    My mother was an accomplished dancer, my father an entrepreneur for whom no risk was too great. They were intrepid. They knew what it meant to show up. This is not exactly how I would describe myself early on, but I see now that their spirits were in me. I am quite sure this requirement to show up is another part of the answer to my riddle.
    I believe that art at its best accesses some inner muscle, joins us (we who are creating it and we who are witnessing it) with something we cannot see, some pulse of life, some spark. And that in doing so it joins us, too, with each other.

    • Michael Margolis

      Wow Celia! Love your riddle. And philosophy on art. yes yes and yes

    • Tantra Bensko


    • Eva Deitch

      Celia, yes! I always thought that my being a photographer led me to mindfulness, empathy and contemplation, but I’ve since realized it’s quite the opposite. I think you ended up with a camera in your hand because you had those questions buried in you already.

      Also, I’m so happy to hear you mention the soul of a tree! I have quite an affinity for trees and their sense of spirit. If you haven’t already, look into the ideas of Wabi Sabi. I think you will enjoy what you find. Thank you for your story!

  • Angela Magnotti Andrews

    My name is Angela Magnotti Andrews, and I was born and raised in Eastern Washington, primarily Ellensburg, where I went to high school and college, got married, and gave birth to my first child. (I’m about to burn my fish, so I’ll be back in a minute to tell you about my parents…. OK, the salmon is perfect so I can continue.) My mother is a devout Pentecostal Christian. Her primary occupation, for as long as I’ve been cognizant of what she does, has been to serve academia. She started college after she and my dad divorced, when I was six years old. She studied economics and worked as a full-time secretary in the economics department. The year I graduated from high school, she graduated with her masters degree in family studies. She continued to take college courses, post-grad in psychology as well as a number of art history classes. All this schooling while she worked full-time, eventually rising to the position of Director of Research in the Graduate and Research Department. She got straight As throughout this time, while I consistently put my social life ahead of homework, bringing home very solid Bs through my undergraduate program in psychology at the same college.

    My father, in partnership with his beautiful fairy girlfriend, Simonne, established Seattle Aerial Arts and their performing troupe, Cyrcus Chaos. He has not always been an acrobat, but he has always lived on the fringes of conventional society, even while attempting to maintain contact through his service on various boards, his letters to the editor, and even his appearance on America’s Got Talent many years ago. When I was young, he seemed to do anything he had to do to live the life he wanted to live. He trained horses when he owned a farm. He painted houses after he decided to move into town. He bought a building on Main Street when I was in high school and transformed it from a butcher’s shop into a happening all-ages night club/espresso and juice bar by night, and an antiques store by day. He lived upstairs in the apartment space he built with his wife at that time. He was anti-religious, though not anti-spirituality. His experience in seminary made him a formidable force in my otherwise conventional Christian life. Never quite sure whether to demonize him or idolize him, I was conflicted by the challenges he presented at every turn.

    Naturally, I gravitated toward psychology. At age 12, I determined that I wanted to be a psychologist and that I would specialize in art therapy for children. At every opportunity, I wrote papers about multiple personality disorder (now called disassociative identity disorder). I took every psychology and sociology class available in high school. I majored in psychology in college, with a minor in administrative office management. I loved both tremendously. I am an avid reader and researcher, and to date I continue to study psychology, business, human relationships, and spirituality. Since graduating from college, I’ve added to the list in-depth study of jewelry history, quantum physics, creativity, wholeheartedness, shame/vulnerability, codependency, writing, platform building, transformation, leadership, and then some.

    The riddle I’m trying to solve today is, out of all these interests, all the experiences I’ve had, all the ideas I have, all the talents and gifts I have, what should I focus on today to find the convergence point for all of this knowledge, understanding, curiosity, and drive to share what I’ve learned. How do I bring this all together into something that will mean something to others, that will bring me a sense of meaning while at the same time providing a source of income?
    Thank you for sharing your insights, Michael. And thank you for giving us a place to share our stories in community. This was a fun exercise, though I must admit that my stomach dropped when I read today’s action step. ~Angela

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Angela

      Thanks for sharing about yourself and your epic origins. Wow! What an amazing childhood you’ve had. No surprise you’ve become a student of human behavior.


      • Angela Magnotti Andrews

        Thank you, Michael. It’s nice to be heard and seen. ~Angela

  • Michael Williams

    Wow. . . what a coincidence (ok, I know there’s no such thing) but I just wrote and posted a story on my blog that so resonates with what you’re saying Michael. I’m a StoryCoach who works with people who have a passion but not the story . . . yet. I know the agony of what it’s like to have an untold story locked within. I know that our stories can transform us. My “super power” is the ability to create a safe space for that transformation and the openness to listen “eye to eye, mind to mind, and heart to heart.”

    Like many of you, I work alone . . . and that’s often my biggest challenge. There’s no one around to bounce ideas off of, to reflect with, and be challenged by. It certainly helps to come to online groups like this and read about other people’s experiences, but how do you or did you deal with the isolation? of working alone? of being something of an outsider?

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Michael

      Thanks! Your superhero powers come through deeply. Love learning more about your work. Isolation is a choice. I’ve chosen plenty of it too. And I’ve learned over time to create the support mechanism that make sense. The internet has been a huge lifeline in finding my tribe. Even further, calling in the tribe. This is a part of it. We probably wouldn’t have met without such efforts. And that I am deeply grateful.


  • Bettina Clark Coaching

    Little did I know in my preschool years that 40 years later I would finally become a
    professional version of what I would call then: a inquisitive listener and curious learner, and am calling now a Chief Executive Listener – otherwise known as Coach.

    Hi, I am Bettina Clark; I am a Communication Scientist, Awareness Coach and a Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapist.

    Ever since kinder garden, my journey was marked by a never ending love for adventure and the discovery of the unknown. I started of being known as The WHY-kid, never being tired to ask burning questions to parents and family members, teachers, neighbours, and strangers alike.

    An ignorant teacher and a mostly dominant father dampened this enthusiasm in my early school years, but only to the outside. Gratefully I soon discovered that there is more to Life outside a family home and public school activities: there were books and there was nature; animals, forests and fields to discover. In the 1960’s and 70’s children in Germany had a lot of freedom to roam outside, and the farm next door turned out to be a blessing for my researching mind.

    What could be a burden for many children, was another blessing to me: my family moved five times before I left for University. Every change of environment was my discovery zone. New people, new friends, new environments. In these first 18 years, the foundation was laid to explore more in the communication sector. I studied Journalism and Communication Science,
    and embarked on a 15 year journey from advertising, to PR and event marketing,
    until I decided to slow down and create my own family.

    This major turn in life initiated a journey within, out of which I finally raised as a professional Facilitator of Self-Discovery and Empowerment, with a valuable experience in multiculturalism, having moved 12 times, lived on three continents and seven countries.

    The riddle I am trying to solve is how to position myself in this international market of coaches with an authenic and unique niche.

    • Michael Margolis

      Hi Bettina – its a beautiful story of emergence! Love your deep listening and how you translate that into grace and harmony. Your nice? All about finding your voice. 😉 You certainly have many stories to tell.

  • Maisie Smith

    I was born in Oregon, raised in Oregon and now live in Oregon. Perhaps there is something in the water here that brings people full circle.

    My name is Maisie Smith and I am a card-carrying member of GenX. I was one of those kids who roamed free until twilight, busting moves on “the jumps” with my BMX bike and
    wrangling the neighbor kids to put on impromptu plays in my parents’ garage. My evenings were filled with Family Ties, writing stories about people falling off of Ferris Wheels and taking turns programming our Commodore 64 computer so that my three brothers and I could play a rousing game of Pong.

    We migrated to Eastern Oregon when I was twelve, to a small hole-in-the-dirt town that was
    celebrated for its ability to grow watermelon. My dad was an attorney and my mom kept life in order as a stay-at-home mother. It might be assumed that I lived a life of privilege and comfort as a result of this, but we were actually poor for the majority of my childhood. Reduced lunch tickets, people secretly dropping things off on our doorstep during the
    holidays, cars without air conditioning. Poor.

    My parents valued the struggle more than almost anything. Toughing it out was the Smith family ideology and it ended up churning out some pretty fantastic, industrious children. In high school, I became a pro at coloring the blue Keds rectangle on the back of $3.99 drugstore canvas shoes.

    As a renaissance soul cruising through life, choosing a career path has been tough. When you find everything fascinating, how on earth can one be expected to select just one road to go down? I flitted from one college major to another- early childhood education, nursing, humanities, history, art history, architecture- finally settling on physical education. My internship was spent trying to figure out how to juggle scarves so I could teach 3rd and 4th graders this important skill.

    My first “grown-up” job was owning and operating a personal training business for women.
    This was followed up with a 10-year career in branding and advertising. Eventually, I needed more. Way more. All of the ideas in my crazy brain needed a place to hunker down and call home. In May 2014, I launched my own freelance writing company, Audacious Muse Writing Studio. Basically, I help small businesses go from boring to brilliant with the right words.

    It’s been a wild ride.

    The riddle? Being okay with not knowing where the road goes.

    • Michael Margolis

      Congrats on the Audacious Muse! Love your story of origin, and the way you describe your family’s pride in the struggle. Wonder how you can use that as a touchstone for the struggle that so many creatives/small business owners go through themselves? And how your services help them break out of their self imposed stories of struggle?

    • Alicia Korten

      Ha ha!! I did that too – “busting moves on ‘the jumps’ brings back memories. A la Starsky and Hutch. Great image!

  • Paul May

    Hey Storytellers!

    I was born deaf in Florida and raised in Mountains of East Tennessee (brewed some moonshine and grew MaryJanes! … gotcha!) My Dad practices law and my Mom ran Interior Designs but now had to retire due to illness. I have young Sister who lives in Belmont, NC with her husband who runs Bolt, a Graphic Designs agency…very successful agency!

    As for me, yes, I am deaf and cannot hear at all, but very people-person as I easily make new friends anywhere I go, even baddest gangsters (leaders, of course, not the minions — no brains). Yes, I did meet some top-level leaders…man, I was really nervous, but very strange experience because I did see the leaders threaten his men, but NEVER me…they respected me as another leader — even more stranger, they even will NOT let me do any illegal activities, not even one time! No, I was never a member at all. Looking back, I sure am glad they didn’t allow me! I am an actor — grew up in theater arts…LOVE IT! I express in American Sign Language. I love telling stories for I am dang good at researching for ideas and great stories that I can use to apply to our lives.

    I am involved in ministries, sharing Good News to my deaf people, and of course hearing people. I believe in building relationships with those people and help empower them to live successfully and independently, too. I had been serving for many years…little impact. Until I found Get Storied website by accident! It was a few years ago and signed up for newsletter — to be honest, I didn’t think of learning other than just reading — VOILA! RED PILL or little blue pill — Heck, I took RED PILL! Wow, it must be fate since it is right time, I believe. I am so thrilled that I can grab opportunity to learn how to tell stories properly, of course in ASL, my native language.

    I want to re-revive my back-burner business to do consulting, workshops, and produce streaming subscription material, especially educational ones! The real reason is that I am heart-broken to see many young deaf people going into real world, completely unprepared, and they have no idea what to do next after graduating…real disappointed in educational systems everywhere in USA! I want to do something through storytelling using real-life situations to help them open eyes and realize that they need to start growing up and have a real life!

    Enuff with telling my life story! I am looking forward to learning more about the Red Pill lessons and hope one day to meet you, Michael, in person! And yes, including y’all new friends!

    • Michael Margolis

      Wow Paul! What an beautiful personal story. I so appreciate a glimpse into your unique world, and the way you draw us in with your passion, personality, and perspective. Can’t wait for more.

  • Franklin

    Hi all,
    I am Anu Franklin. Am a mathematician and a management student.
    To tell about me , My story started before 22 years coz am 23 now. I am the only character of my story since my mom and dad passed away wen I was 2 months kid.I was taught to speak and write by my grandparents. I excelled my studies due to which my schooling and colleges happened to be in far places in the midst of different cultures. My grandpa was my hero he always said me something wen I loose my energy, that is ” God created you for a purpose, You have born in the wilderness and u shall lead people to light”.Whenever I heard it I felt the fire in me. It kept going. When I was 15 ,I missed the camp bus and walked almost for 2 days and 1 night I stayed on a tree. It kept me strong.I felt the strong me that night. From then I kept people telling how good they can be. Till date I have been inspiring people. I am inspired and feeling like reborn with get storied. Thanks to Michael.

    • Michael Margolis

      Anu – I’m deeply touched by your story. I’ve always felt like an orphan myself, though I had the privilege of being raised by two loving parents. Stephen Jenkinson says that any of us that are disconnected from a story of origin and a story of place, is an orphan. So many of us seekers, are indeed trying to find the way home. I appreciate your willingness to walk for days and even sleep in a tree in pursuit of your path. Grateful to have you with us.

    • Alicia Korten

      Franklin, What a powerful and moving story. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • Leif Rask

    Leif Rask. Born in Denmark to a Danish mother and Swedish father, I am the youngest of three children. Migrating to Australia in 1973 when I was 4 years old, I am by every definition Australian, except by birth – yet my heart is in Denmark and even hearing Danish makes me feel at home (even if I can hardly understand a word) – weird!

    I am married to a lovely lady and have three wonderful boys, that are challenging most of the time, encouraging sometimes and make me feel appreciated every now and again. I have a wonderful life. I am truly blessed.

    My scholastic pursuits started in mathematics – my passion. I feel at home with maths, and I find the beauty and elegance of it awe inspiring! And naturally, that is why I founded an internet safety company! Go figure, right! Well, there’s a story to that too – one that starts with my children.

    Around 10 years ago I had an idea to make internet safety simpler and more effective for parents – a way that they could help their children easier, and a solution that could last through the next 10 to 20 years of technical evolution. Well, that’s where my vision started.

    Fast forward a few years to 2011 and I founded my company, jajoza Connected Solutions, with a mission to solve internet safety and make the online world a safer place for children. This was the result of listening to Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret” and figuring out the one thing that I wanted in life. I wanted to solve internet safety (and I already knew how). I wanted my children to live in a world where there was a solution to staying safe online, now and in the future.

    Well, the last fews years have been an interesting journey to bring jajoza to the world. What started as a vision to help my children online has resulted in writing novels for kids, textbooks for schools, articles in parenting magazines, books to help parents, talks in schools, building an online collaborative eLearning solution, and lots of other activities.

    jajoza is my passion, global internet safety my mission. And of course, my family is my life, my reason.

    This is me. Want to have a look at jajoza? Want to help spread the word?

    • Rich Tatum

      I can think of few things better in life than to work toward improving the safety of children. Bravo! And I’m sure you’ve collected a few interesting stories along the way. :)

      • Michael Margolis

        Lief – thanks for introducing yourself here. I’m fascinated to learn more what inspired you in the realm of internet safety and how this has evolved into education/learning products. There’s a story there!

  • Rich Tatum

    Hi all, I’m Rich Tatum, and my story is unfinished. I’m the unsung hero who doesn’t know he’s on a journey and would be embarrassed to find out he’s already in the middle of an inciting incident because, well, it’s probably his fault to begin with. :)

    I grew up with alcoholic parents and I had no idea how profoundly that shaped my personality and temperament — until reading an article about ACOA experiences as an adult and experiencing an “ah-ha!” moment. Like, “Really? Other people see the world that way, too?” I was also an adopted, mixed-race child who never knew the truth until stumbling upon it as an adult — and suffering as a result. (I also finally understood why my racist father had so many unresolved issues with me in my childhood.)

    Despite the chaos of enchanted forests, alien metamorphoses, and intergalactic battles, I spent my childhood retreating into stories because nobody could ever take my imagination away from me. I could enter into story as deeply and intensely as I wanted (or needed), anytime I wanted, and as often as I wanted. Story was my escapist drug of choice, and I mourned the end of every book, instantly craving my next fix.

    I would suffer any ridicule for the sake of having a story-based escape hatch with me everywhere.

    To this day, I am convinced and persuaded that stories saved my life. Without constantly entering into a hero’s frame of reference, or seeing things from an antagonist’s point of view, without having to entertain thoughts of deeply alien cultures, and without having to view the world through countless thousands of eyes, I would never have developed empathy. I would never have learned to communicate. I would hardly have learned how to feel.

    And without that nourishment to my soul, I would have been a thorny, wild bush growing up in the sere, New Mexico desert. I’m certain I would have turned out ruthless, harsh, and barbed. Stories, however, sated my anger, fueled my compassion, and broadened my perspective. Stories saved my life.

    Since leaving my Albuquerque homeland, I have graduated from a Bible college, believing I was destined for some kind of church-oriented, public ministry. I also began graduate-level seminary work to that end, but that career path never came to pass. Instead, I found myself doing technical work for the next 15 years — work I was untrained and unprepared for, but at which I excelled. And which I hated.

    However, a couple years ago I finally understood that the basis of my work performance had nothing to do with any technical competence or native intelligence, it was entirely dependent on my ability to communicate. My love of stories as a child had changed me into a natural story-listener and story-teller. My chaotic family dynamics had given me finely-tuned emotional antennae that helped me discover the underlying plot and character dynamics at work in every new environment. My reading of hundreds of thousands of lines of dialog helped me learn, in real life, how to read *between* the lines.

    Story, I learned, actually *was* my life.

    So, I began a career shift a couple years ago. I’m moving away from technology for its own sake, and seeking an ideal job, one where I can tell stories that are worthwhile, will change lives, and will matter. I haven’t found that job yet, but that’s the puzzle I want to crack. I want to set free my inner storyteller and help save someone else’s life — if I can.


    • Michael Margolis

      Rich you were born to storytell. I knew that when we first met a few weeks ago, and I know that now even more. Your ability to map and construct a world and bring it to life is a clear superhero talent. I’m grateful to hear how you’ve taken your early circumstances of life and transmutting them into your healing arc and calling. You’re on the right path, and I’m excited to see your next chapter unfold.

      • Rich Tatum

        Thank you, Michael. :)

  • Anna McLoughlin

    Well, hello there Storytellers.

    I’m a writer who helps brands define their story, uncover their authentic
    personality and empower their people to write with one common language and

    I‘ve spent my life trying to master the written word and I’m fascinated by how writing gives us power to connect with and influence the way others, think, feel and

    Raised by activists, I spent my childhood at demonstrations, singing protest songs,
    giving out flyers… you get the picture! Early on I learned to look below the surface
    and question the status quo. I’ve lived life on my own terms as a result.

    But my parent’s politics were also a source of pain and puzzlement. The biggest
    unsolved riddle of my childhood was – “why the heck do we never win?”. The
    change my family fought so hard for never came to be. Despite what movies and stories
    told me – the goodies, the underdogs, the heroes – rarely championed in real life.

    This triggered a lifelong fascination with the way the stories we believe shape our
    behavior. The question that drives me is “How we can use words to change the way others think, feel and act?”.

    As a kid, I turned to books to make sense of my world. That’s also why I love
    to write – to find meaning, to bridge the conscious and unconscious worlds, to describe
    the indescribable. I want to find the words for that which people say there are no

    I passionately believe everyone can write and I want share what I’ve learned so far and to keep on learning – hence joining StoryU!

  • Bev KnutsonShaw

    My name is Bev Knutson-Shaw and my heart’s desire is a). to make a difference, b) to find my own story- one that is interesting enough to tell and c) to help others tell their stories. I am from the prairies of Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. My father, a builder, carried baggage from a childhood experience that didn’t bring the best out in him. My mother is a small timid woman who has work hard all her. From abuse to unrecognized dreams she doesn’t realize how strong she is. I am/was a teacher- mostly of mathematics but am no longer in the classroom.. I have a master’s degree in educational technology. I am working hard at establishing a business in digital storytelling and instructional design (two separate things). For the last two years I have helped many seniors to share short snippets of their lives through digital storytelling- a place I never saw myself going. Seeing the joy and pride in others when they see their story put together is so rewarding.

  • bill hartnett

    My name is Bill Hartnett. Born in Massachusetts. Grew up all over Washington state. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on for years. And I’ve listened to music for just about every minute when I wasn’t sleeping. I am incredibly curious and always want to know what’s around the next corner. My riddle is solving how to keg go of the past to let the future happen.

  • Deryn van der Tang

    Hi I am Deryn, I was born in the now extinct Rhodesia to an English mother and South African father who was of pioneering stock. I Lived an isolated life in the bush and found social interaction difficult as a child. I married young and had three wonderful children. My life fell to pieces and I had to reinvent myself after getting divorced, but this part of going through the crucible was what made me.

    I had to support myself and my children, working in the mining industry in Johannesburg and Cape Town. My dream had always been to be an artist which I found to be a wonderful means of reconciling problems. After several reinventions of myself I find myself on the cusp of yet another reinvention. I want to write and get a family history blog going so I can tell the family stories and find my tribe which is now scattered over the four corners of the globe.

  • Stephen Moulton

    I help leaders particularly leaders that don’t want to risk making hiring
    mistakes. They want to be sure their leadership team is both a fit for the
    organization and will be great leaders. They want all their team members to have
    the right Attitude, Alignment, and Aptitude for success.
    I’m the author of The CEO’s Advantage—7 Keys for Hiring Extraordinary Leaders
    and Hiring Employees – Big Company Secrets for Small Business Leaders. Plus I’m
    working on his next book titled: Engage – Leadership and Building an Engaged.
    I developed my expertise on how to hire people, under fire by having to hire
    1000 people in 6 months to build huge airliners. I made a large number of hiring mistakes and had to quickly find an effective way for hiring employees. In fact as you will hear in
    the video that is when the angry manager declared, “You suck at hiring and
    should be fired and I told your boss so!” Since those frustrating days of
    hiring mistakes I discovered the secrets of how to hire great employees. Over
    time I’ve developed a simple, time tested hiring process that has reduced
    turnover by as much as 69% large and small businesses alike.
    My educational background includes a master’s degree in management from the
    University of Redlands, California and two professional designations from UCLA,
    the first in Industrial Relations and the second in Organization and Human Resource
    On a Personal Note:
    I joke about growing up a military brat, living in Florida, Germany, Texas,
    California, and Hawaii and going to 12 schools in 12 years.
    My wife and I share their home in Broomfield, Colorado, with their son’s
    miniature schnauzer Max. They enjoy having their four children and five
    grandchildren all living close by.
    In his spare time I enjoy building projects around the house, reading both
    fiction and nonfiction, writing my own books (two more are in the works), and ballroom dancing, especially the waltz, swing and cha cha.
    I invite you to learn more about me and how my coaching, presentations, books
    and learning resources on leadership and performance development can make a
    difference in your work and life. You can find more information at or

  • Monica

    In the spirit of putting myself out there, here goes…. I was born in Colombia, South America, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California. If one listens closely you can still hear my ‘Like, totally’ accent from my early years. My parents are a bit of a misnomer. For most of my life I felt like I was dropped off on the wrong planet and that I was somehow placed in the wrong womb, at the wrong time. Suffice to say, without going into gory details, I’m estranged from my parents. I’ve spent many years coming to terms with them, and most recently have finally begun to give the relationship it’s proper burial.

    I’m a bit of a nomad, and have been since 1997. In the past 2 years I’ve lived in Maui, Big Island, Belize, Mexico, and am now back in my home state of California. One thing I know for sure is that I’m currently crafting a life-story that will enable me to work virtually, from wherever I choose to call home.

    In my personal life I have been on a lifelong soul-quest to better myself. I am always seeking ways to improve, heal, and learn. In the recent wake of my son’s death (it’s only been 5 months, God bless my Palo’s soul), as well as the loss of those whom I once thought were friends, and remnants of what family I had left, my life has done a complete 360.

    Which brings me to my recent riddle – how do I reinvent my entire life? Everything that I once knew has been completely burned to the ground. When I say everything, I do mean everything. Paradigms have been dramatically and forever altered. Stories have always been a part of my life. Like many others, I read to escape my childhood troubles. I devoured books as a way to cope with the world around me. As I got older I reached for stories that could provide me with leverage – a way to shift me forward.

    Now? I realize that it’s the story I live, breathe, eat and sleep that will catapult me to where I want to be. What is my new story? How do I recreate my life? Reinvent myself? These are all questions that I am seeking to answer. The best part about this, and the most frightening, is that it’s up to me to tell the story I want to tell.

  • Stephanie Boldt

    My name is Stephanie Boldt, I am a facilitator, coach and ‘story worker’.

    Thinking of an early story in my life, my birth comes in my
    mind. My mother being 17 years old, my father leaving her during pregnancy,
    she left her parents home because of disagreements … a quite challenging
    period, no real warm welcome. A lot of different stories told and some more unspoken
    ones were circulating about this event, making me search for the true story,
    the essence, and the meaning of my arrival.

    Professionally I crossed quite a landscape of discipline, studying mathematics first and then
    international management, I engaged over 13 years for a brand management career
    with a multinational consumer good company. My main focus became brand building/strategy and innovation management, still more when I found out about archetypes and storytelling, working through to the essence of a brand and the meaning that can be created for everybody involved.

    I started to deepen my psychological curiosity by studying process work (ref.Arnold Mindell / a Jungian student and physicist) and felt very much
    at home with the idea of different reality levels (consensus, dreaming, essence). Together with story it allows me to navigate between these different levels and to include my continuous search for meaning in a cognitive working environment.

    I left the organizational structure three years ago to work independently as a change
    catalyst and to build up my own brand B-onfire. My personal drive is very much
    to connect people with their True Story.

    Reading your stories I feel related to a lot of your tellings and very attracted to be
    part of a getstoried community. Thank you Michael for this space !

  • Kathy Klotz-Guest

    Hey all,

    I’m Kathy Klotz-Guest and I am a marketing storyteller. I help organizations uncover and tell bigger human stories that employees and customers connect with. I grew up in Silicon Valley as it was becoming Silicon Valley (used to be all cherry and apricot orchards!). My superpower is humor/levity. Growing up I was the only girl I knew that watched Three Stooges with her dad and brothers. and loved it. I am a comedy nerd: Fawlty Towers, Dave Allen Group, Monty Python, Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson…watching all that stuff in reruns as a kid. I know more women like me are out there. I just didn’t know any. Today, I am also a comic improviser and writer.

    My dad was a marine and mom was very spiritual and also a music teacher. So I grew up to be a seeker with a healthy dislike of authority;-) So, of course, I ended up in Corporate America after degrees from Stanford and Berkeley…because nothing says complete “freedom” like corporate America. LOL. Very wrong pond for this authority-questioning fish! After 15 long years, I left. However, that part of my journey did shape my strategic acumen and today that helps me navigate tricky terrain with my corporate clients. I get their pain. I lived it. They are caught between old world and new world reality and that can be hard. It’s also totally doable. Having done improv and sketch comedy now for almost 18 years, I also like to infuse levity into my storytelling because humor IS human, and 92.3% of all audiences are made of actual people!

    Lately, I am preferring the edgier stuff that attracts edgier clients who want to take bigger risks with storytelling and content, and who want to change the world for the better (i.e., not creating another CRM product. No offense to CRM products or those who create them). And my riddle is how do we create more vulnerability and humanity in companies? So I am fascinated with how corporate culture and story affect external and internal communication. I think because I grew up in a household that was very conservative/authoritarian and not very vulnerable and open – it’s what I am seeking most.I have had to learn it as I go. After 15 years in Corporate marketing where you are not vulnerable or very open (it’s supposed to be all about the customer, after least that’s what we’re taught), I had to learn how to put more of “me” and my personal story back into my marketing. It’s a journey…but today I’m happy to report that I’ve purged about 80-85% of the unwanted corporate stuff. I’m working on opening the emotional kimono in my own storytelling. Today, while I am not at full emotional frontal, I am at some good emotional sideboob! Ha. Progress.Plus, sideboobs!…;-).

  • Philip Heath

    My name is Philip, and I was born and raised in Texas. My parents were northern transplants from Indiana, and I was the only member of my family born in the South. I was also a first generation college graduate from the University of North Texas with a B.S. in mathematics. Since I graduated, I parlayed my degree into a career in Information Technology where I have been a Software Engineer, Manager, and (currently) an Architect. Over my career, I have come to appreciate things that I did not in my younger years namely psychology and interpersonal interaction. Although I’ve been out of school for almost 20 years, I have maintained a joy for learning new things. While I am able to understand complex problems involving technology and/or people, I am unsatisfied with my ability to influence. I am also deathly afraid of public speaking. If you want to know just how much so, I struggled with the Scripture readings the one Sunday that I was ever asked to do. All that this involved was reading something off a page that was fairly familiar to me. During this short stint, I could feel my stomach trembling. Yes, it was really that bad. I learned about storytelling in James Whittaker’s course The Art of Stage Presence. From there, I found my way here. It is my hope to become a better storyteller and to use this to overcome my fear of public speaking.

  • Jaqui Lane

    OK, here goes…

    I am from a regional city in New Zealand, the youngest in my family, and only girl with three older brothers. Anything they could do, so could I and I’ve spent the better part of my life driven to succeed in whatever I chose to do.

    Regional NZ in the 1960s was like a country version of Mad Men crossed with The Stepford Wives. Conservative, largely remote from the world, changing slowly. Childhood days
    spent cycling around the streets, heading off to the river, the roller skating
    park and the movies and boarding school – didn’t like the girls but loved the

    Beneath the surface my mother fought hard to manage the mental and physical challenges of being an intelligent woman with no role permissible other than mother, and a husband who
    ‘drank too much’. Cracks appeared and she fought, and won, to keep her family
    intact. Not that I knew until my mid teens.

    I could ‘do’ or be anything, and, independence was vital. After studying politics at university
    and working in politics I was offered a job in Sydney, Australia to research and co-write a book on the history of entrepreneurship in Australia. I’ve been here ever since. And the storytelling started – business histories, business biographies, books on international trade and industry. Not as artistic as being a novelist but I love it.

    I formed a corporate publishing company with a business partner that we ran for over 20 years. Talk about independence, financial security and ‘being there’. All part of the two
    decade-long boom in business and trade around the world. Successful, mother of
    a terrific son, single, travelling internationally for work, supporting women in business and following my passions of scuba diving and researching the Middle East. Life was good.

    The double whammy of my business partner dying and the GFC changed the lot. No amount of hard work, long hours, effort could stem the decline of my business. I reaslied at one
    point I needed to do the one I’d never done before. Ask for help, I couldn’t do it on my own. I wasn’t Wonder Woman. So I asked . . . and was helped. It was a humbling experience and I had to confront my fear of failure head-on.

    Time to reassess . . .and find a way to pay the bills. What did I love and want to do for the next five years, ten years? Write. But could I still write, it had been a good 20 years
    since I had seriously done so . . .and would companies pay me? Global Stories was born, and I am writing full time, combining my experience, knowledge of the Middle East, business, politics and economic history.

    I write for companies who need to provide context and insight to their clients, pulling together local, national and international events and trends with a deep knowledge of history
    and how it informs the present.

    I also work to bring together businesswomen from the Arab world and Australia to promote business links, create the opportunity for people of different cultures to meet and get
    to understand each other – something needed more now than ever.

    In a way I am a 21st century Dragoman (an 18th century Ottoman interpreter and translator
    between countries and courts): someone who interprets, translates and provides
    context that resonates. I do this through writing and business storytelling.

    My mission, should you chose to accept it, is working out WHO to speak to in large companies about the value of good writing that resonates and how they would then know where to find me?

  • Alicia Korten

    My name is Alicia Korten and my life’s work is to unleash passion and purpose in the workplace. Below the surface of most organizations and companies there is a vast wellspring of creative energy and life force that remains untapped. My work is to help birth that potential and help companies step into a greatness they often have not realized possible.

    My parents are thought leaders working to usher in a world that is more loving and sustainable. I like to think of myself ushering in the golden age through transforming organizational culture. My dad is coming out with a book this spring called Change the Story: Change the Future (ah, dad – finally caught up to your daughter). I see myself writing a sequel to that book on how by living into a new institutional story you shift not only your own organizational reality, but also our larger global destiny.

  • Maite Arce

    My name is Maite Arce. I was born in Ensenada, a coastal town in Baja California – about an hour south of the San Diego/Mexico border. When I was 8, my hard working parents moved us to southern California to live, work, go to school. As the oldest of three, I learned English first, and helped my parents with book keeping, check writing, translation. I attended my brother and sisters teacher parent conferences and tried to oversee their schooling and my own while my parents worked long days. We were low income, but we had all we needed to feel loved and be a family. My mom was a housekeeper for a couple in Newport Beach. Her employers watched me grow up and paid for my college education! Truly a life changing gift. As a professional I later realized how many resources and opportunities existed in our community that could have made our lives easier, and yet we missed out on due to a lack of information and lack of trust in reaching out to discover what was around us.

    Four and a half years ago I started what is now a medium sized, successful, national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Its based on the idea that by connecting people with trustworthy information, resources, and support networks they’ll have more opportunities and better lives. Our work started in one city and has grown to 18 communities from Boston to San Diego. I’d like to learn to tell my story in a way that everyone who hears it will feel inspired and many will be moved to be part of the work I’m doing.

  • Julien

    Hi guys!

    The riddle I am trying to solve is this: how can we set ourselves free from our “fake” selves and truly find ourselves? How can we break the unhealthy patterns, the psychological and cultural chains we were born and raised with to reach a higher level of freedom, peace and true identity?

    I guess that this riddle lead me to study neuroscience and become a researcher…and grow extremely keen on psychology and psychoanalysis.

    I was born and raised in France, from very smart and hypersensitive parents who were not loved by their families. Still, they managed to achieve a lot and pass me on tools to think critically and flee from Plato’s cave. Now, I am trying to find what my gift in life is and to share it with others in order to give back as much as I can, make the world a better place and well… make sense of it all.

    • Sci Kik

      Hi Julien – this resonates with me as it probably does with many others as well. What a great riddle we all are! I tell people I’m a ‘psychic’ but I want to say ‘energy reader’. A spiritual test I took labeled me with ‘the gift of wisdom’ (meaning I’ve had life experiences where I made bad choices and learned from them). There are so many reports of fake psychics. I think there is much yet to be discovered about neuroscience, psychoanalysis, metaphysics, and the connection between mind, body and soul – that not all of our senses are physical.

  • evee

    My name is ivy age 25 was diagnosed with leukemia and want to make a difference before my time ends in this world so I have a story that I want to tell to help our younger generation to help our kids generation anything u can think of i have been through gangs,drugs,alcohol,bullying,young mother,rape, molestation,abandoment,mental,sexual,physical,verbal abuse all I want to do us make a difference in at least one kid life but seems like Utah has no support since when I called our youth speaks out in utah she said cut to the point in busy if anyone can help me help someone please let me know…

  • James

    James Harris
    Born and raised in Alabama, with a great set of parents who’s morals and ethics are
    instilled in me today. After college and the military I settled down in
    Atlanta, Georgia.

    I am an Environmentalist relentless on stop pollution.
    Founder of an environmental company, I have just patented an apparatus that
    will immensely extend the driving range of electric vehicles. Getting to this
    point took eight years, and what a story that is.

    Not being a great storyteller, I am so THANKFUL I heard
    Michael on a podcast. My first campaign (the old problem then solution story
    didn’t work), so Michael I am following your advise this time! My story,
    correctly told has a chance to change the world. Currently preparing my story
    for a crowdfunding campaign I would greatly treasure any advice you would have.

    Go forward and excel!


  • Tatiana

    Hello, my name is Tatiana.

    I am a child of the Northern Lights.

    I was born at the Far North of Russia. It
    was a place where the extreme cold winters lasted 7-8 months. On the other
    hand, it was a place where one of several astronomical phenomena called “Polar
    Lights” occurs.

    At age six I became an orphan. My grandparents who were in their late
    70s raised me as their little girl.

    The challenge in my school years was that my grandparents
    consciously or unconsciously never got involved in my life. From nine years old
    I became a decision-maker. Life
    was tough. On the other hand, I believe it was the years when the main
    qualities of my character were developed.

    The saying: “Children learn what they
    live”. What did I learn?

    Perhaps, to value family, friendship, be a
    fighter and find my place on this earth.

    Yes, I wanted to be noticeable and
    contribute to lives of other people. I became a teacher in a primary school. I
    dedicated most of my time to teaching “little angels”. I was rewarded by their
    love and a good discipline. It was
    the best 5 years of my life. Soon
    Rebuilding of Russia started and unexpectedly my life turned round.

    Today I am a citizen of a beautiful country

    I feel gratitude for the beauty that
    surrounds me, for the people I meet and the opportunity to find my life’s
    purpose that is in harmony with my spirit, my heart and my ability.

    As we all know that life is not always like
    “a box of chocolate”.

    Life really changed for me when I started
    experiencing serious health challenges. I spent 80% of my energy on myself
    trying to figure out why “all of a sudden” I didn’t feel well any more. Sadly
    to say, I depended on doctors to cure me.

    Fortunately, solution to my health problem
    came from unexpected source. It
    was so different approach to health that I needed totally reprogram my thinking.
    To cut story short, it was a case of meeting right person who introduced me to
    a company that supplied scientifically engineered complete health care

    What I learned about products left me in
    awe of its quality and effectiveness.

    To my delight, it didn’t take long, I
    started feeling alive, happy again. I had more clarity and balance to say
    nothing of more glow of the healthy woman. From that time I have a great
    interest in sharing what I have learnt with people for their benefit.

    My Satisfying Health took me into Wealth.

    Today my mission is as clear as ever. I am
    a representative of a new and emerging Industry. I share a unique marketing
    concept that helps people create a better life. I am truly blessed to have seen this vision and have taken
    it to my heart.

    It became my passion to help those who have a need in my

    That is my short story. I have a feeling I
    didn’t express my personality enough. This is why I am here to learn how
    through compelling stories let the world know who I am and what I do.

  • Sue

    Hi! I’m Sue and the riddle I’m looking to solve is this: How do I overcome my reluctance around sharing my personal back story in professional venues.

    I was born in Washington DC to a stockbroker Dad and a stay at home Mom. It was a
    childhood you’d expect growing up as a middle class kid in the suburbs of the
    1960’s…. sting ray bikes, crab apple fights, Chinese jump rope and bomb pops.

    Then, in 1973, my world was rocked. My mother died. I was 12 years old. This event,
    without question, was the first, most defining, turning point in my story. It became the lens through which I evaluated my entire world. Over time, as I struggled to make sense of it, it became the force that gave rise to my highest core value – the sanctity of human

    Of course, life moved on and after college, I began pursuing my career. I held various positions in broadcasting, commercial television production and corporate
    communications and although I always enjoyed my work, my professional life never
    really felt integrated with the essence of who I was and what I valued most.

    Turning point #2. It was a rainy morning back in 2009. I was commuting to work listening to NPR’s StoryCorp. As I pulled into the parking lot, I found myself (as I often do) having a “driveway moment.” As I sat there intently listening until the segment’s end, I had a deep self-awareness about what was happening to me….the power that this intimate, vulnerable, beautiful exchange had over me….something had my attention and it wouldn’t let me go. Of
    course, I soon recognized that “that something” was storytelling.

    Since that time, I’ve immersed myself in learning as much as I can about storytelling (thanks, Michael, for all you do!). I’ve introduced the idea to my organization –facilitating various workshops/workgroups devoted to incorporating more story into our communications. The latter has had moderate success but for me, personally, the world of storytelling has been an enormously gratifying discovery.

    So that’s my back story…my “why.” I’ve always wanted to share it more but have always feared that it’s a maudlin unprofessional way to present myself. I’d love to hear thoughts on that. Thanks.

  • Patricia Meserole

    I am working on raising the youngest three of my seven children while building an amazing brand. Storytelling has been a love of mine, it has bored my children on numerous occasions, as well as wowed them. I have a particular fondness for gut wrenching stories and stories of triumph. My goal is to tell my story in such a way as to earn the trust and loyalty of current and potential customers. I want them to know that I have been through much of what they have and that together we can puzzle through the challenges life sends our way. I look forward to learning the most effective way of doing this as I sit at the feet of those with more experience than I, here at Get Storied.,

  • Gary Dobbs

    Hello and my name is Gary Dobbs. I’ve been working on my business for quite some time now. Basically by business will be creating spaces which people live out their lives through the lifestyle they crave. And by helping people get into their architectural masterpiece more of their own creative brilliance will shine, like a lighthouse. Live a lifestyle. Leave a legacy

    Take some Michael Margolis storytelling dust and add it to a Seth Godin original sundae. This experience of residence creation will knock your socks off just before bed.

    Help me select better content and curate that experience for the finest museum with jaw-dropping artwork.

  • Socrates


    My name is Nikola Danaylov and my blogging/podcasting alias is Socrates – i.e. I am the man with the questions. The black sheep that knows he does not know.

    The riddle that I am trying to solve is how does technology change both the question and the answer to the meaning of being human?!

    The value I hope to create with my blogging and podcasting is not so much in the answers it provides, but in the questions it raises — the kind that everybody could or should be asking.

    Like Socrates of Athens, I am deeply in love with learning but keenly aware that my personal knowledge is always going to be dwarfed by my ignorance: a man who knows that he doesn’t know; a man with many questions and few answers of his own…

    Yet, I am of the strong belief that we can attain profound insights by asking challenging questions in the company of good people, gathered within an open, informal and interactive symposium. And so I hope to be the midwife, and Singularity Weblog – the setting, where you come to examine the questions, search for your answers, challenge, be challenged and, ultimately, give birth to your own ideas.

    It is for this reason that, having spent the past 5 years producing over 800 articles and interviewing more than 160 of the world’s best known experts, I have gifted all his content for free – in the hope of helping you create a better future, better you.

    I was born and raised in Bulgaria, behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. My dad was a mechanic in the airforce and my mom was a chemical engineer in the food industry.

    I am absolutely addicted to learning and thus I have studied a variety of fields and disciplines. But some of my longer standing passions include Aikido, Yoga, Cycling, Philosophy [ethics in particular] and technology.

    In 1998 I moved to Canada where I completed an HBA in Political Science, Philosophy & Economics at the University of Toronto followed by an MA in Political Science at York University.

    It was at YorkU that I became deeply interested in the Technological Singularity and wrote“Hacking Destiny: Critical Security at the Intersection of Human and Machine Intelligence.”

    In 2011 I went to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California and completed the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University.

    Today my home is in Toronto, Canada where I live with my beloved wife Julie.

  • Davidson S Hepburn

    Hello. My name is Davidson. I grew up between The Bahamas and New York City. My father was a diplomat and so I was exposed to an international experience at a young age. My mother is a doctor who has managed a successful private practice for over 40 years. I am currently enrolled in the TNAM course and I am really learning and discovering a lot. My big, evil plan is to create an eCommerce business that combines my international mindset and helping people reconnect with their inner passions. Thank you for everything you do. It’s very helpful!

  • Brandon Chien (The Art of Self

    (1) Where you were born and raised, (2) Who your parents were, (3) what you’ve studied in life, and (4) and what’s the riddle you’re trying to solve.

    My name is Brandon Chien and I am a native Californian, born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. My father was a first-generation Taiwanese immigrant with four brothers and sisters when he moved to America. My mother was a second-generation Cantonese woman who raised my single-handedly after my parents divorced when I was one year old. My whole life I have been curious about the meaning of life and how things work. I was a mechanic in my college years and went on to study Philosophy at UC Riverside in Southern California. After I graduated, I became fascinated by the human body and have spent the most recent 8 years coaching, learning, and participating in Olympic weightlifting (you know, throwing steel barbells over your head rapidly). I have been working on two riddles. The first is how to renew a healthy sense of Masculinity (that is vulnerable yet effective) in our American culture. The second is how to reinvent our healthcare system by teaching people to unite with the body’s natural wisdom and strength.

  • Genevieve60

    I was born on the Island of Manhattan, and raised on the nearby Island of Long. Not so much a suburban upbringing- our little township was pretty undeveloped in the 60’s and 70’s when I was climbing trees and exploring the woods for hours at the end of our block.
    My aspirational parents left New York City, to build their home on land gifted them by my grandfather, one of the first black men to gain entry to the Carpenters Union. Who had with his three brothers, opened a small grill in the bronx, and used his share of the profits to invest in Real Estate.started invested in redone well black choctaw

  • Dennis Yu

    When I was little, my best friends were factory workers, flat lock stitch machines
    and nylon/polyester clothing fabric. I was born into a family with a long
    lineage of entrepreneurship in the apparel industry and like my father, uncles
    and cousins, I learned to take risks at an early age. Since my parents were
    very busy running and growing the business, I had to develop a strong sense of
    independence, but that was fine with me. I loved figuring out things on my own.
    Sure, that led to many bumps and bruises, but I saw it as a natural part of the
    growing pain that comes in search of self identity, as well as the overall path
    to success.
    When I was 11 years old, I immigrated to Los Angeles from Taiwan with absolutely no
    English language skills. None. Zilch! The American people and culture were so
    strange to me, but as it turned out, I was even stranger to them. Back then,
    diversity in school meant a choice between hamburgers or pizzas for lunch. Long
    before bullying was recognized by others, I learned the meaning of the term in
    very personal ways. I was ostracized me for the way I dressed (the unofficial
    uniforms were Billabong and Hurley, while I wore shirts with English writings
    that made no sense), my rice bowl hair cut, and everything I didn’t know about
    getting along in school – which was just about everything. My daily lunch spot
    was the corner of the music building. I watched the kids playing basketball and
    wished somebody – anybody – would waive me over for a game. It may sound
    depressing, but the upside is that I went to the library every single afternoon
    after school. My goal was to read one book every single day. Little did I know
    that my daily routine would not only help me learn English at a fast pace, it
    would help me cultivate character strengths such as perseverance and
    After graduating from college with cum laude in Economics degree I started working at
    Merrill Lynch as an assistance financial advisor. Shortly after, I received a
    sales job offer from a fashion company based out of Virginia with full
    relocation package. 4 years later, I returned to Los Angeles and launched my
    own sales agency called Natural Selection. The company handled north of $10
    million worth of sales annually with a team of 6. We were successful and
    reputable in the industry for our work ethics and the ability to cultivate
    meaningful relationships.
    When 2012 came around, we experienced the down turn that many other companies could
    not avoid. In the times of business difficulties, one of the greatest moments
    happen in my life as I got married and found out we have a baby girl on the
    way. There’s over abundance of joy but also creeping fear and doubts as I began
    to lose sleep wondering how I can afford to raise a family with a suffering
    business. For the first time in a long time, I applied for jobs and took on corporate
    positions for stability. But my inner entrepreneurial fire was always burning
    and my mind was always in the works to rebuild something of my own. I
    researched ideas, read books/blogs, went through thousands of business
    articles, subscribed to A list entrepreneurs’ courses and at the end I found
    myself not only standing in the same spot but more lost than ever in terms of
    who I am and what I like to do. I was missing clarity, focus and intention.
    Out of desperation and feeling of helplessness, I seek out top level entrepreneurial coaches who helped me hone in my psychological alignment and practical strategies of entrepreneurship. These sessions turned my whole mindset and career focus around.
    They inspired me to utilize the knowledge and techniques I have learned from other ultra successful entrepreneurs as well as my own successes and failures to guide others to their
    dream lifestyles.

  • jim

    Michael, like you have, I am once again reinventing myself. This time, at the age of 47. Over the course of the last few years I struggled to hang on to a failing business and marriage. I lost both and re-learned a lesson that I should have remembered from an earlier challenge; you cannot always control the outcome.

    Stripped of the life clinging to a sinking ship, the workaholic energy to fix it, and enough debt to last a lifetime, I am starting over. My debts are wiped clean, I am getting married this summer, and I am venturing into consulting.

    I’m on your 3rd reinvention assignment and learning to articulate who I am, where I’ve been, and what I stand for.


  • Reeve Gutsell

    Hi! My name is Reeve Gutsell, and I have been intrigued with the power of story ever since I discovered Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey. I am in the middle of a career transition and am excited to find this resource, which hopefully puts some of those concepts to practical use. As an introvert, I used to say that my secret power was Invisibility, but now I think I prefer Listening.

  • Tantra Bensko

    I was born in Indiana, living in an animal sanctuary, and also remaining connected with the Alabama homestead all along. My mother cared deeply about the world, and was kind to it in the ways she knew how. My father was driven to understand the nature of reality, though the tools he was given to do that with were cultish. Wanting to help people also struggling within the cultish social engineering, I studied the history of those beliefs, as well as how to write. I solved my own personal puzzle that came from growing up with those ideas and am now focused on my novels to help people rethink such things themselves.

  • Steven Bird

    Hi everyone. My name’s Steven and I’ve been recording the stories of people in remote indigenous communities for the last five years. How do you preserve the stories, histories, and knowledge in unwritten languages that are quickly falling out of use? And how do you make them fully accessible and interpretable to others? I’m intrigued by the various ways languages name things, impose an order on the natural world, and call attention to different aspects of human nature.

    I first became interested in stories, I now realise, though the storytelling of my grandfather. Those stories are forever lost, but I can recall his animated face and the way he could draw me into his childhood experiences in Germany. Whenever I have recorded an elder telling stories, be it in the Amazon, or Melanesia, or Central Asia, or Africa, I’ve been transported back to a little house in Australia listening to my grandfather. It seems like I’m hearing different versions of the same stories, though the detail, the colour, is unrecognisable.

    I’ve recently started my own creative writing, fictionalising my own fieldwork experiences, in an attempt to take readers on the same emotional journey into remote places, so far from home, yet so close. I’m learning that story-telling strengthens connections between people, in spite of great separations in distance and time, and want to learn more about the nuts and bolts. I’m also learning that I have my own story to tell, and I enjoyed the challenge of rewriting my “about” page.

  • Anke Herrmann

    Hi, I’m Anke Herrmann. In 2004 I traded my (relatively) stable and (very) well paid corporate IT job for the exhilarating adventure of moving to Spain and setting up my own sewing studio specializing in made to measure flamenco dance costumes.

    I’m now on a mission to inspire other sewing enthusiasts and help them turn their passion into a flourishing business.

    Most people spend a lifetime searching for something that energizes them and makes them jump out of bed in the morning, their purpose in life. I feel that those who are fortunate and have found their passion deserve all the support in the world if they want to LIVE that passion, rather than keep it as a hobby on the side.

    I grew up in Germany, in the days when Germany was still divided in two parts. I’m tempted to say I grew up on the “wrong” side of the wall. Back then all we wanted was get out, be free. I’ll never know whether life would have been better or easier had I been born in West Germany, but I am grateful for the resilience, resourcefulness, curiosity, determination and creativity I attribute to my East German upbringing.

    Studying languages seemed the only way to connect to other cultures in a country with closed borders. When the opportunity arose to leave I didn’t hesitate, accepting that it was a one way ticket, that I wouldn’t be able to see the people I’d left behind again.

    Nothing I’ve done since then – changing countries, changing careers (both more than once) has been hard compared to that. I always felt there was no risk, after all I could turn back anytime I wanted.

    If I’m an advocate of living your dream I’m not suggesting it will be easy but I know it will be worth it.

    Mahatma Gandhi expressed it perfectly: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

  • Kerry Bray

    Hi my name is Kerry. My first nickname given to me as a child, was Little Miss Chatterbox. From the moment I could speak I was expansive Communicator, always going all the way around the houses in order to make a story out of the most mundane experiences!
    Although the nickname was one of endearment, there was a part of me that felt that I talked too much and that it wasn’t welcome and there have been a number of instances where this has been reflected back to me.
    My gift for communicating is Also the place in which I experience blocks.
    I love to tell stories, especially stories of transformation.
    My whole life has been one of transformation, and most of my healing has come through the transforming of my own personal stories.
    I would like to possibly share some of these stories in order to inspire others on their own journeys of transformation and healing.
    I am an avid dreamer, and a lot of my dreams have held healing insights and I often find myself sharing them, as I would a story.

    I am a Transformational Coach, just starting out. Not fully decided on my niche, but I feel story telling is part of it.

  • Kave Bulambo

    Hallo!! First i am so excited about discovering Getstoried!!! OMG, where have i been? But i am glad to be here now. Born and raised in the Republic Democratic of Congo. My mum was a nurse and my dad an accountant in a company that produced the only plastic shoes in the little city of Bukavu. I loved this little city, it used to be called “Bukavu la verte” which simply means Bukavu the Green. Life was vibrant and so much fun with my peers and siblings. We enjoyed going to school, picnics and church but my most favorite time of the year was christmas, as it meant new clothes,shoes and loads of eating. All this change in 2001 as we had to flee the city and country in sought of refuge. This journey took me and my family to Tanzania, Mozambique and finally South Africa where we lived for 14 years. Twelve of these years we spent waiting to qualify for residency. Now that we have received it, I cant really tell the difference. Life went on by quickly and we got adjusted to our new environment. While in this journey I started an organization called Women Across Borders to equip and train refugee women in accessing both economic and educational opportunities, but more importantly to help them share their stories as women, which is often overshadowed by the “Refugee” label. I have received good feedback and enough branding, however my riddle has been how to really expand the organization and it works beyond the city of Durban. I recently moved to Berlin to pursue a Masters degree in public management, which i have just completed and i feel the fire inside my belly to rejuvenate and rebirth Women Across Borders right here in Berlin, as the timing could not have been any better than Now. Before embarking on this familiar journey I am on the mission to equip myself with knowledge and skills that will enable me to relaunch my story (idea) without pulling back, and I believe Getstoried will help me do just that. So Yes, lets do this!!!

  • DeShawn Wert

    Hi Michael- This is a blog I posted on my website when I first started my ADHD coaching business. It was titled “Now What? When You Go-to Strategy Is Done, Gone.” I hope you and the rest of the community learn about me and my story…

    I was diagnosed at 48 with ADHD. My “go-to” strategies that had worked all my life failed me. The tools I developed in elementary school and were perfected into college failed, as my son says, “epic.” Those strategies that had served me so well were “work harder and stay longer”.

    The fact was, I got all kinds of kudos and appreciation for my dedication and hard work. It was a source of pride and it made me feel good (accomplished even) when others noticed my tenacity and my can-do attitude. You want to know the irony? I was chosen for assignments based on that tenacity and hard work! Over and over again the work and effort I gave paid off in recognition and additional responsibilities. After all, I was the “Go-to Girl.”

    But that all changed when I took on a new position at a new location, which required a whole new skill set, including understanding small town politics. It called for more than being willing to work hard, treating others fairly, and even understanding my role on the team. The long time “go-to” strategies no longer worked as I had to be efficient, automatic, systematic, and even play the hard ball political games. That kind of efficiency coupled with the lack of humanity made me feel robotic, inhuman and soulless. But I’m jumping ahead of myself.

    I felt pretty prepared and confident. My work ethic was beyond compare and my reputation was second to none. I had actually prayed to my Maker for a good fit in my new position asking for the perfect place to showcase my skills and make a “real difference” in lives. My years of experience had given me tons of opportunities to work with some great leaders and other talented individuals and I was anxious to touch the lives of others in the same positive way. Little did I have any idea of the “difference” I’d be making would be in the quality of my own life!

    So I entered this position during a time when the economy called for everyone to do “more with less” and multitasking was a badge of honor in the office. Sound familiar? It was then the feeling of overwhelm started to make it’s way in my life. With all my preparation and knowledge I felt like an impostor! It felt as if I couldn’t keep it all straight and it didn’t matter how hard I worked at staying on task or worried about the deadlines. This started a “hamster wheel” of judgement where I called myself names, told myself I should do better, and silently agreed with condemning eyes.

    It felt like I had to be superhuman all the time. Super powers like being able to leap to my supervisor’s conclusions at the same time, magically see through colleagues hidden agendas and divining high priority items based on little to poor communication. I was miserable working with people I didn’t understand…and who didn’t understand me.

    The lack of time and too much “stuff” to do started dominating my life both at work and at home. I couldn’t sleep and I was distracted by my own thoughts all the time. I started seeing a counselor but was told I was “too accomplished” to have ADHD. After all I did not meet any of the childhood criteria and I was college educated, professional, and so well “put together” on the outside. But no one ever knew the cost to keep that facade up! My two strategies of staying longer and working harder just were not cutting it anymore and it was compounded by the harsh, negative atmosphere only added more to my high stress level.

    This inability to reel in my thoughts kick-started my “people-pleaser monster” into high gear. When I look back, it was when I had really lost perspective…my boundaries, my inner voice, and my confidence all left me. My compass was totally off kilter and my focus was on “winning the unwinnable game of pleasing the displeased.”

    I had over used the strategies of working hard and staying longer and made myself sick. Between my illness and my emotional state, I stopped doing everything I enjoyed. My time at home was thinking about work and my screw-ups (both real and perceived) and it was more than frustrating because I knew I was talented and smart but it wasn’t coming through.

    Have you seen Les Miserables the movie? Ann Hathaway plays Fantine the mother of Cosette who ends up selling everything of value she has (necklace, hair, teeth and even her body) to keep her precious daughter intact. It felt as if I was “Fantine” in Les Miserable …losing “bits and pieces” of myself and becoming unrecognizable to myself and those who loved me.

    I had every sign of Adult ADHD for women listed in the ADDitude article linked here, only it didn’t connect until I had a family member diagnosed in college. I asked my doc again about ADHD and it took a computer test that certainly challenged me and made it perfectly clear I was ADHD. Man, was that day sweet!

    Sweet… because I no longer felt crazy! I wasn’t the lazy or stupid person I had made myself out to be in the mirror each morning. I knew I had an invisible neuro-difference in my brain that had been exasperated by the stress of a high-anxiety, negative work environment, and thoughtless coworkers.

    So how did I get my “Go-to” strategies back? I didn’t. I developed a whole new set of skills that worked for me that includes using timers and alarms, task planning and management, and learning mindful activities that included prayer and quiet time rituals. I ditched the things (and people) that didn’t work for me. I made the adjustments to how I tackled my life and the projects in it.

    I became VERY intentional… with my decisions, time, and those I loved. Which empowered me to do the things that I’m good at including… connecting with those I work in the ADHD community, providing timely resources to those desperate, and designing life strategies that work based on strengths and not weakness.

    If you’ve seen the end of Les Miserables the movie, you know my ending, my friends. A beautiful and fully restored Fantine returns to Cosette’s wedding. She is happy, radiant, and joyful. Today, I feel like Fantine at the wedding day gazing on the beautiful life I’ve created, crafted and polished. I can’t tell you how full and satisfying my life since I chose to honor myself and my differences. It’s a life full of the things I choose, with the people I love, and it’s about things important to me.

    So I don’t mourn my “Done, Gone” strategies. In fact, I want to urge you to start moving forward by getting a diagnosis or determining treatment or making a career move! I want you to
    be intentional with your precious resources so you get the life you want. I want you start making decisions about you and your life. I can say today that I’m glad my “Go-To” strategy left me and I could discover this whole new part of me that is so much more that I could ever imagine only a few years ago.

    Have you seen Les Miserables the movie? Ann Hathaway plays Fantine the mother of Cosette who ends up selling everything of value she has (necklace, hair, teeth and even her body) to keep her precious daughter intact. It felt as if I was “Fantine” in Les Miserable …losing “bits and pieces” of myself and becoming unrecognizable to myself and those who loved me.

    I had every sign of Adult ADHD for women listed in the ADDitude article linked here, only it didn’t connect until I had a family member diagnosed in college. I asked my doc again about ADHD and it took a computer test that certainly challenged me and made it perfectly clear I was ADHD. Man, was that day sweet!

    Sweet… because I no longer felt crazy! I wasn’t the lazy or stupid person I had made myself out to be in the mirror each morning. I knew I had an invisible neuro-difference in my brain that had been exasperated by the stress of a high-anxiety, negative work environment, and thoughtless coworkers.

    So how did I get my “Go-To” Strategies back? I didn’t. I developed a whole new set of skills that worked for me that includes using timers and alarms, task planning and management, and learning mindful activities that included prayer and quiet time rituals. I ditched the things (and people) that didn’t work for me. I made the adjustments to how I tackled my life and the projects in it.

    I became VERY intentional… with my decisions, time, and those I loved. Which empowered me to do the things that I’m good at including… connecting with those I work in the ADHD community, providing timely resources to those desperate, and designing life strategies that work based on strengths and not weakness.

    If you’ve seen the end of Les Miserables the movie, you know my ending, my friends! A beautiful and fully restored Fantine returns to Cosette’s wedding. She is happy, radiant, and joyful! Today, I feel like Fantine at the wedding day gazing on the beautiful life I’ve created, crafted and polished. I can’t tell you how full and satisfying my life since I chose to honor myself and my differences. It’s a life full of the things I choose, with the people I love, and it’s about things important to me.

    So I don’t mourn my “Done, Gone” strategies. In fact, I want to urge you to start moving forward by getting a diagnosis or determining treatment or making a career move! I want you to be intentional with your precious resources so you get the life you want. I want you start making decisions about you and your life. I can say today that I’m glad my “Go-To” strategy left me and I could discover this whole new part of me that is so much more that I could ever imagine only a few years ago.

  • Michael De Jong

    My name is Michael de Jong and I spent my preteens in post war Holland and my early teens in cold war West-Germany. I’m the son of a WW II war hero and the grandson of a WW I (Gallipoli) war hero, so not being a hero was never a real option. My riddle was always having to re-find and build up the inner strength and courage to walk the ever changing path of life, in truth. My journey took me to the US in my twenties and back to Europe again later in life.

    I call myself a “recovered marketer” as I spent much of my creativity thinking and creating concepts people thought could not be done or they could not really imagine. I just often felt deeply unhappy with the purposes this gift of creativity and clarity was applied to by me.

    Now I pour my energy and creativity into co-operating and growing an enterprise where we coach people, and help them overcome their fear of, communicating in a foreign language, in a non-traditional way and injected with lots of joy, humor and fun. Witnessing them grow and succeed fills my heart with joy.
    My bliss lies in the simplicity and truth of the path I walk today.
    Heroism is so much more than the ultimate physical act or moment in time; it manifests when our inner strength and sense of quiet allow us to rise above our doubts and fears; at that time and in that state we can walk down the road with the determined step of a hero.

  • Jessie McQuiston

    My name is Jessie McQuiston. I’m a Rolfer in Eugene, Oregon. The official name of what I do is Rolfing® Structural Integration. As a Rolfer, I help people find the things within that are inhibitors for freedom of movement, expression, and growth. I do this via soft tissue manipulation, sensory awareness, and movement education. A big part of my story is that I am working though my own inhibitions. (Aren’t we all?) I try to convey the idea that I’m not trying to fix them, but only to offer other options to evoke possibilities from within.

    Personally, I came from an emotionally and spiritually inhibited (repressed?) family. We were very physically active, but none of us was physically very flexible. I can see a correlation within my own body. As I become more emotionally and mentally flexible or plastic, I find that my physicality (structure) seems to do the same (becomes integrated and coherent). And vice-versa.

    This is monumental to me. This transformation is part of the reason I pursue this work. My goal is to facilitate change within my clients the same way I’ve experienced it over the last several years.

    The changes that many of my clients see can be profound and life changing.

    My challenge is in telling the story of what I do in the public sphere. I don’t want people to only come because they are in pain and need “fixing”. I want them to come in prepared to shift their reality.
    I am trying to not be put in the “pain relief” box. I truly believe what I do fits the “agent of change” ideal, but if I tell prospective clients that I facilitate change, I fear they may dismiss me as new-agey or woo-woo.

    The riddle(s): How do I introduce the idea of facilitating change without sounding woo-woo?
    How do I invite them in so that they feel safe to recreate their own story?
    How do tell my story in a way that inspires or piques interest?

  • Adam

    Hello! My name is Adam Guzman-Poole

    I was asked to answer a different set of questions than the ones above.

    Here they are

    1) Where you were born and raised, (2) Who your parents were, (3) what you’ve studied in life, and (4) and what’s the riddle you’re trying to solve.

    I was born in Canada and raised in the Philippines, My independent mother left my Venezuelan father and took her four kids to an isolated beach in the Philippines. The study of spirit always was the most important part to me. Finding much wisdom in old and traditional knowledge from aboriginal elders in Canada. Trying to make sense of the world I also dived deep into personal development books/ and business performance books. Currently, I am studying child and youth work as well as creative writing. I have always been deeply passionate about poetry and writing but put that passion on the back burner. I have most recently committed to following my dream and using my writing as a vehicle to inspire and bring out that beauty and greatness within those that read it.

    Through walking the heroic journey of following my dreams, there were countless times when I felt lost and isolated and desperately wanted mentors and teachers to help me walk in a good way. This has encouraged me to into the co-creation of Storytelling/ creative program geared towards Aboriginal Youth.

  • Alan Wearring-Smith

    Hello my name is Alan Wearring-Smith. I was born and raised in the London overspill town of Basingstoke, Hampshire, England in the mid-1960’s (yes I was fifty last summer). My father was a workaholic Dental Technician making dentures, crowns and all things denturist. My mother, well according to my wife the less said, the better!

    I’m a researcher by training and an entrepreneur by trade. The husband of a photography lecturer and father of children at university, college & school, I am fascinated by how spirituality is the bedrock of reality. I learned this when entombed inside a failing business held captive by a well-funded, hostile competitor, eroding my supply and customer base, suffocating revenue streams, and destroying my livelihood – think Jonah and the Whale – bedraggled, stinking self that needed to repent.

    Until eighteen months ago I directed my own business as one of the UK’s foremost providers of products & services for sous vide cookery and other modernist cooking techniques. I also provided insightful and creative chef-oriented training services. My company’s customer base included PLC pub companies, fine dining businesses, Michelin Star Chefs, Industry Associations, Contract Catering organisations and highly regarded education and training establishments. I sponsored the highly prestigious National Chef of the Year competitions in 2013 and 2014 and received an award from the Craft Guild of Chefs in recognition of my support for the Hospitality Industry. Then disaster struck, the competitor arrived. I had an annul horiblis in 2013 where affairs went from bad to worse and in 2014 had to petition for personal bankruptcy.

    As you might well imagine this was not the career path I planned or anticipated taking. I do however believe that this is not the end of my business career; it is the beginning of the next path to teaching and inspiring others to see liberty, community and generosity for debtors, discontented and distressed. The novel I am currently writing illustrates this. It is a philosophical journey codifying moral and financial bankruptcy in the form of a conversation between an investment banker and a chef. The fundamental question the story raises is: Who is the more bankrupt – the manager who won’t whistle-blow on immoral practices or the chef forced into bankruptcy by her husband?

    You see, I have learned a crucial lesson in life, especially business. When we see vulnerable people and organisations fall in on themselves (which we all do), others feel better prepared to handle their personal and business challenges and hold conversations that invoke constructive change. Thus, my pitiable story is not one I wish to hide. In fact, it’s the opposite: it’s one I wish to present courageously to others as a challenge to business morality. I want people to realise that debt, discontentment and distress can be destructive. However, those who immorally exploit power, position and money, need whistle-blowing so that human beings can be at liberty to trade with a clear conscience. And so, my passion has changed from running a business to telling a story about business ethics and the moral imperative for companies to see why the process of business and the journey within society, not always the end-result, matter and motivates people.

    My riddle is how to earn a living again when the world economic system is against me, and yet all I want to do is share stories of decency, forthrightness and honesty.

  • Eva Deitch

    Hi, my name’s Eva Deitch. About a year ago, I began listening more intently and paying closer attention to the little voice inside, a tapping at my shoulder, my beacon in the distance. I started not only asking questions but trying my best to answer and then follow them.
    See the thing is, I’ve always had “this feeling” that I couldn’t quite put words to. It’s been there for as long as I can remember and it’s showed itself in various ways. I’ve explored it in an array of endeavors; my timeline goes a little like this….Graduated with a photography degree, went to India with an interest in Photojournalism, studied Permaculture in New Mexico, lived in an indigenous Maya Village in the Highlands of Guatemala for 3 months, moved to Vermont, explored a curiosity in Herbalism, picked up my camera again, moved back home and started a business photographing the spirit of childhood.

    I guess you can say I’ve been looking for something, “that feeling”.

    I’m a recent transplant to the beautiful Hudson Valley in New York from Chicago. I’ve been raised by two fiercely (in the best way possible!) loving and supportive parents who I can accredit to my creative and entrepreneurial spirit. They miss me, but understand.

    Since those first questions a year ago, I’ve follow a crumb trail of think pieces, inspirational podcasts and interviews, cognitive and cultural aesthetics and then to a book called The Artists Way. Instructed by the book to get out my notebook and write, I did, and within those pages, I heard myself in a way I never had before. That feeling began to form into something less obscure.

    Slowly but surely, a language has started to form around the feeling and I’ve found others thinking and talking about it too. I’ve found it in The Artist Way, the podcast On Being, in the worldview of Wabi Sabi, and right here in your email series.

    Over the past few months I’ve begun to develop an idea around what I’ve discovered. A business with the philosophy of this feeling at it’s core.

    My riddle is this: Does the feeling need to be defined exactly or can it be discovered and formed around the content and services provided?

  • tnilson

    Hi, I’m Todd Nilson. As a consultant, I help organizations find better ways to connect with their customers, partners, and employees through the use of social technologies and online community. My story began with a solid grounding in, well, stories. Before I was in the business world, I was a storyteller who loved table top role-playing games. Yes, stuff like Dungeons and Dragons where you take on the role of a character and tell his or her story. It’s a bedrock grounding in how to construct a narrative because your audience is right there in front of you. My love of stories grew into a journalism major, then a study of literature in grad school. How did I find my way into consulting, you ask? Like most, it was quite accidental and involved an unexpected turn into software training and about 15 years of recruiting information technology professionals when the path of teaching literature at the university level looked increasingly bleak and lifeless. I found joy in the immediacy of helping people understand and use technology in more meaningful ways. That immediacy grew into helping people find jobs and helping companies to tell a compelling story about their brand so that people would want to work there. With the rise of social networks, especially LinkedIn, I found myself to be one of the many excited voices who touted technology-mediated interactions as a world-changing new development for business. And I have never looked back.

    My super power is the ability to connect the seemingly unconnected. It is what I have done throughout my career.

    Michael, I appreciate the work you are doing and am particularly interested in specific tactics and approaches based in social psychology for persuading and moving audiences. Thanks for the great email series and I look forward to one day getting to one of your live events and knowing you better.