The Power of Your Story
The first time I ever went to a conference was a conference for the national association off women business owners and I remember the speaker to this day I remember when I looked up on stage in this ocean off women and I thought one day I'll be up there and I'll be teaching and I'll be talking and everybody else will be listening to me but I also knew that there was going to be a path that was going to leave me from here to there because you can really only talk about things that you actually been through so I never liked people that just talk big and then when you checked the references and you like they never really did that so that's one of the things that's really important to me no matter who you work with as a consultant of coach or who you allowed to be in your life make sure you listen to people who actually have done what you were trying to dio successfully some people say well, you know some people are teachers and some people are not in this kind of space I think you want te...
achers that have actually the experience and the more heart stuff is in their resume the better it is and my resume iss littered with bad stuff so I have I don't know if I really always knew I was an entrepreneur but I knew that I I was different I mean too I always felt like I was different you know, with other people said and did you know didn't b I couldn't really quite connect it took me a long time to figure out that that really meant that I needed to follow my own ideas and and come up with something new but when you first start out or when you first have this feeling that you don't fit in it's really not e I mean scary it's scary because you have to tell other people why that is this can't you just be like everybody else can't you just follow the rules can't you just do this? No I can't and I hear this all the time you have the people feel like they're misfits to some extent if you are misfit congratulations you're just like me so your chances off making an impact just went up and I the average person's say has seven jobs in a lifetime so don't be discouraged if you start with the first one and we've had some feedback from college students that said we just started with this and now we take this course because we're not even sure that what we went to school for absolutely is relevant so it doesn't matter where in the path you are but I was I was a photographer I was a photographer assistant I went to become photo editor at a urban young hip magazine called vina magazine and then I went to be a photo editor of elle magazine I immigrated to the united states became a hair and makeup artist representative then I started a photography production and representation firm then I started my stocks indication then I started yet my other business and you know with the photo biz coach then I started the women's code then it was looking at the the visual ist at the evil publishing business in the meantime I tanked and ab business so you know it's it's okay to to look at this as an adventure and to go out and to really try what suits you and one of the things that you know I write in my notes the evening before when I you know when I think about what I really want to talk about and I thought what I want to share with you is when I was just before sort of all this really bad stuff happened you know the lawsuit and and september eleventh and then my dad died and that wasn't really everything I told you yet because you remember the big asian tsunami when you did you know nate berkus so nate berkus his boyfriend at the time fernando bengoechea that was mikey photographer and he's the one who died and they never found the body that came exactly one year after my dad died so we just had circled through this first year off off you know vacation holidays and all this you know birthdays and father's day and things like that and it's christmas and it's the twenty fifth and it's in the morning and I wake up and I get a phone call and and it's this newspaper in new york and they said do you have a statement on the disappearance of fernando bengoechea and my heart just dropped and I said what do you what do you mean and they said well he's just disappeared there was a huge incident and I turned on the news and I must have screamed because my daughter and her friend who was staying over we're running in the living room she says what what's the matter with you mom what's the matter and I said it's never going to end because how can you even recover after you know and this is that theism broke you know this the lawsuit september eleventh my father died and now my business the one that I'm just building up they don't even know if I can you know sort of put together all properly and the reason I tell this or a telly stories is because hardship hardship really gets to that part ofthe courage where you sometimes off forced to let go off the what if scenario because you're what if already happened if you want it has already happened you have nothing to lose because it feels like you already I kind of have lost everything right but what I don't usually talk about is that all the time when I was being a photographer representative and and producer slapping you know, cooler boxes into the desert for photo shoots being up at four o'clock in the morning pitting picking up models being the last one in a ten o'clock at night to put the whole thing together that I thought the entire time there has to be born I knew I knew I wanted to do more I wanted to have a global impact and I kept saying it and I did nothing about it and then the decision was taken away from me probably to some extent by my own doing right because if you really think that and if you really feel that and you don't put things into motion sometimes universe bird god, whatever you believe in puts things in motion for you because is that you know what the odds we've really had it with you you've been talking about this nonstop blah blah blah blah blah but you're never doing anything about it guess what? We're going to help you make that decision and it's gonna happen quick and bam there was mac and magnificent explosion ah lot of you have had mix it magnificent explosions congratulations because it means that you are starting at a clean slate whatever happens from here on forward is yours to define so if there's been failure if there's been bankruptcy if there's been adversity if there's been disaster if they're spend whatever it wass I don't want to say congratulations but I want to say the tough stuff might already be behind you this is this is the this is the dip this is the curve that comes after the death so do we have any responses from our life audience just that you're awesome ah with a lot of smiley faces and exclamation points actually come with the gumbo wants know something personal what what will your degrees in it's? Just a photographer degree it's okay that's what I thought yeah it's a basic for toffee I went to the parishes starts academia for photographing merchant I used to suffer from that sixty four, seventy five says I hear all these negatives things from my family and while they don't mean to be discouraging discouraging it is but attending this class has built my confidence so much to hear that it is possible and to see your example and the live students examples I feel like I can make it happen now this is so encouraging and empowering karen is saying exactly the same thing they're saying that this has been so empowering for them they identify so closely with your story wonderful see it you know our our story is your story and this is kind of how we we all connected that way, so let's help each other. So what else? Ah, lot of parts of my story you already know, I I do. I'm a normal person. I like, you know, hanging out that love skiing. I'm actually really good scam a ski instructor so I can really rip it on the mountain and, uh, I paint in my spare time which I have not really had any but to me, you know, as long as I can create somewhere I'm happy I like good wine. So if you ever come to us and just you happen to have a good bottle wine, by all means to look me up and I, you know, and I really in two thousand three I was dead broke and then I turned things around, things really worked out well for me, and I am excited in my mission in life and I knew this this is this is what this is. What I wanted to dio always is to share my story and have a good story to share it, and then to inspire others to do the same. So just in case you because we individual business let's, visualize this, so this is my first car I paid five hundred dollars for it and the license plate says double oh seven and from there to the german engineered car you know it's a journey and I show this because you know you don't start with what you start with one and then you get to the other and that is actually my room and what I don't know if you can see it here or not but this is what we used to call the famous roller dex off a photo editor I had it and I brought it from deutsche lud here and I slept on the floor on a food thanh in a blanket that I could afford that thing just was like twenty bucks and some yard sale and was so colors freezing my butt off you know until I could buy my house and that is actually my house uh that is is a journey involved so the reason I talk about my story is off course too to be honest with you about what it takes to also inspire you but not just that but our stories make us arrive at our why so my wife is very clear so what's your wine and adversity often times and difficulties often times takes you to the point but you have to really think about it why am I doing this that's your why? Because you don't want anybody else to go through what you went through because you want to give people a tool that makes something easier or better because you have this great unique idea that really makes a difference for other people that changes something any ideas of what your wise are what your wife I know you know your wife I I want to make it possible for other people who are physically challenged who have letyou know lifestyles that need flexibility and and freedom to be able to succeed and live life with intention and with happiness and with just peace of mind um and focus right and and you know, if they're the the experience that I've had through online mentoring has completely transformed my life and and I looking teo bring just genuine creations to fulfillment have it be a successful business on my other dream is to create all mentoring matters so that everybody can mentor everybody and it could be a new form of education available in the world okay that's powerful connie what's your way um you really moved this morning yeah thank you and you know when emotion comes up like this and I feel as good goose bumps when emotion like this comes out we really touching on some some core some core stuff do you want a minute? Are you okay talking no, I'm fine I'm fine um for me my wife is that no matter what, no matter what you've been through, it doesn't matter how old you are as long as you believe in yourself as long as you have that little spark in her heart you can do anything more than anything I want women to know that there's there's no expiry date um I turned fifty and, um my life changed uh, being on my own discovering who I was, what I was capable of and that's partially why the bodybuilding competition, which actually I just realized that ate that was a year ago today I was standing on a stage, and what I didn't realise was how much that was going to change my life. So I want all women to know and really anybody don't ever look in the mirror and say, I'm too old to do this because you're not anything's possible if you really believe and never stop trying that's a very powerful why do you not know why we need to be talking to women just like you? What you need to be talking to him and just like you, you talk like that. I mean, we already won him over. Thank you so much for sharing that that was felt I've been feeling it this morning. It was like, I want to know what what's what's going on but that's that's very powerful stuff. Thank you so much for sharing that. Come, barbara uh, I mean, I just thank you so much for sharing connie um that's I mean, uh, I have that's um this it's funny when on the first day you all ask you know what was my story and how did I discover my talent? And and I kind of went back several years but really the pivotal thing for me was some life events to that then were devastating. My grandmother died at ninety three which is that's normal right that's a long life but then what was very unexpected is my father passed away um within the same year just about six months later at seventy two um the previous year my husband was hospitalized in intensive care with a crazy freak um infection I had two kids two kids under five and I just those three things happen within about a year and a half of each other and and I just I was I was realizing that life is short life is fragile. Um things come at you when you least expect and um and I I just it made me really want to take life by the rains and and do all these things as you say that I've been talking about doing for so long uh so and I was coming up on a significant birthday too I was just about to turn forty and um uh just very shortly after my father passed away and and I I decided I was going to perform salsa at my own birthday party that was a goal that I set for myself so group of uh got a group together and we we worked on it and uh uh and we had a talent show fortieth birthday party and we were part of the talent and uh and then that's really when when I started saying look the photography has to happen now you know because what else is it gonna happen like what am I I mean my kids were old enough er and I just I I couldn't I couldn't wait any longer so if you talk about how precious memories and life is based upon that story do you think that's a compelling story to tell I would imagine it would be yes indeed yes I mean I have you know yeah I mean I could think about my own photographs photographs I took of my father in in uh in hospice even you know, um that well, just looking at those brings me right back to those moments he actually had a really positive wonderful experience in hospice and um and uh you know right now there's a private photos but for me but wow yeah and the pictures of my kids or whatever or yes photographs or or one way really out of their ocean in there as well yeah yeah um certainly photographs are a very tangible visual way toe to preserve your and maybe talk about it like this and when you talk about it like this and when you talk about it like this believe me, that message by passes everything and to go straight to the heart because that's you know that's how it works people know the difference between nonsense and the truth I mean you feel it if somebody comes from the heart and this is what this process that I've been taking you through off the toughness is to break that barrier away so we can get to where we are today so we can access that why that heartfelt deep emotion and from here on we rebuilt that's part ofthe the process we have to let these barriers in thes other things go and we have to acknowledge the fear failure and the pain and the um you know everything that we've that we've been bottled up I mean everybody's heard it so many times you can do it why even waste your time don't throw good money after bad money uh you know you two all to do this you have the wrong race to do this you're in the wrong part of the country to do this who even would want what you need? You don't not know nothing about this so this is all stuff we hear and we somehow keep this inside but the reason we came to do these business ideas is for the's reasons he was sharing right now mary like barbara, and thank you guys for sharing, I didn't have the words to articulate why I'm doing what I'm doing when we started it on the first day and today when I was driving here, I really was thinking about it, and, um, so I am dyslexic, I have a learning disability, and in fourth grade, my teacher told my mom that in this affluent public school that I was going to is the whole reason she moved there that I would not make it through high school. My poor mom was heartbroken, I was like a la di dah um and so she did everything she could to find the right place for me, and she sent me to a boarding school for kids with language based learning disabilities, and I was pretty much a straight a student and then graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design, you know, with a college degree, and I always said to my mom because school was so hard that I was going toe absolutely do what I love when I get older, I'm going to be a happy adult isn't told her aunt, I got out of college and I had, like, followed by another longer good job and then finally kind of got them to fire me and went on unemployment I took that time to really figure it out I was like oh I'm going to do it's like, you know test to tell me what I want to do because I couldn't figure it out and everybody was like you should really be a preschool teacher you're so great with kids and I was like, I want to tell that no offense anybody's preschool teacher uhm so finally putting those two things together that were really important to me and really made me happy brought me there is a lot of emotion in there to today in the funny on how you off feel that way today jenise gently well I I've always been a creative person and I've always loved to create whatever I created I I uh had uh I used to be a crow she instructor I made things I build things and I love beauty and um I think and for so long I haven't been able to do that when I when my husband I had a windfall and what I did is I bought a camera and I was so happy after I got it I I just wanted to take everyone's picture and it brought me so much happiness even though we we didn't have much money and there was a time where um we were just so so broke I was going to sell my camera and he said to me he said don't feel your camera uh because it gives you so much happiness and I'd like to bring happiness to people with with what I do to make them look beautiful, gorgeous and, um, I've actually done that, and it gives me so much pride and so much pleasure that I have to do it. Thank you. And you know, again I miss amazing to me, you know, on dh thank you so much for feeling safe and, you know, been helping each other sort of through these emotional, emotional I know it's got a cry fest today way we got to go through this I want to you know it. You have to access this this is the why this is the bottom of the soul. This is the hard this is why we're doing this, galina well, I'm just have sures just listens to everybody. It isthe it's it's energizing to er mei wai um I want to share. I came to us with no family, no friends, nobody here, just a temporary job contract. And, um now, um part time single mother I recently separated from her husband on glee. I'm a self so it's, very important for me to show other women on dh to show to my daughter that it's possible to be happy to be happy no matter what teo um too I don't know if you want to travel, you can travel if you want to live in another country than he can find the way to do it. Uh, it's, if you put your mind, and if you feel it in yourself that this is what you meant to do, this is where you supposed to be, then you should just follow and just go for it. So I just want to empower and cuddle and empower too good. So what I want you to do is I want you to actually go to page sixty two and write some of these thes thes thoughts, while we are sort of in this space off that connection to our our core, and just write some of these things in the, um, it says my story right here and just write some of these key points in this field, because I don't want this to go away. I want you to remember the why and the why you here and these these moments like the one we experiencing right now and again, thank you so much for for, for allowing the audience to hear your stories and do everybody out there please to tell us your stories is we have to know why we doing it, because this, at the end of the day's, what you will go back to when you have these moments off despair and when you courage is faltering, this's, what you go back to this is the stuff. When when I said that if we're going to do this again, instead of retiring and drinking, you know, I say beverages with umbrellas in it for me, I said, if I do this, I want a thank you note every single day I've said this, so to keep sending me those notes, because I really I mean, seriously that's really important to me. That's what? That what builds me up when I when I do these massive projects and and I go out, I don't know if things work before I do them. I think they work, but then when I do them and they do work and people tell me they work that's a huge high that that gives me that's the wind under my wings. So you want to find your why and the reason? Because that is always what we need to get back to connect with. So we say, I know why I'm doing this for him and I get thes thank you notes I really do this and that's what I did, you know, last night the first thing I did this morning, I check your comments. And there was one weird comment, and there was a lot of really, really great comments, and I read the great comments I'm going like, you know what? That it's a powerful that makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing at the right time, so what's our life audience saying about this, we'll really become very, very emotionally engaged with our students. I mean, they have been all along, they've been following your journeys, but I do want to give all of our lady some support here because they've been very brave to come here and share that personal struggles in some case, but also the things that they've overcome and there is very inspiring to hear from all of you how you've accepted challenges in your life and overcome them. So thank you for sharing with our online audience. Mansoor is saying big hugs to all of you never stop dreaming, paul k saying I'm fifty seven, I'm just starting my journey, a comedy gumball machine saying great name is saying when I'm forty nine and I'm doing the same that sue is saying you never fail until you give up yeah there's so much, so many comments, sab says, go girls, this catharsis will just take you right to where your dreams are, karen in says, cry fest is right, I can barely see see right now I'm a ball of tears listening to all these courageous and inspirational women and anna von says after sitting in class for the past two days accidentally building my business plan I have discovered the that my desired business may not be a viable business here where I live and now after listening this morning and answering the question of my why I get an overwhelming sense of piece that I'm pursuing the wrong business and that it's now okay to follow my dream business instead and jazz rock is saying it took me a lifetime to learn that fighting my anxiety disorder was damaging me I now have a need to share my story with others like me and then they it can help them understand that people like me understand they can't and they just have to accept it and that's me and that's really powerful moving fortress of thank you ladies I'm happy when I turned thirty this year I'll be able to face the same challenges and thirty one that's right e I thought you were twenty one not a day older I swear I fused in my maybe I'm counting back but thankyou ladies it was really very, very powerful for all of our online audience there as well well, wonderful well thank you again for for sharing and thank you for all of you out there for sharing