no guts no story

As my little car skirted across the terrain of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, (and then, five days later back to Colorado again) the question crossed my mind … why do I like driving the open highway like I do?   I remember my sister asking me with a serious question mark before I left on this journey – “You are driving to Utah?”

Part of my yearning to hit the highway was that there is this confinement I feel about flying on airplanes, and, the total insanity of going through the security process. And for this business trip I thought why not drive and see the open highway in front of me.  With plenty of plane travel in my future DIA would not be missed this go round.  

And as I drove across the beautiful terrain on some pretty remote strips along the highway, I found myself (as I usually do) thinking about the inner cowgirl in me, and all the possibilities of the road ahead.  From time to time I couldn’t help but think of those pioneers – those exploration leaders that came across our country discovering places they had never seen before. 

What compelled some to turn back?  Some to keep going?  And then there were those that made the decision to stop when they found the place they would live out their days.     

Driving along, listening to motivational CD’s and great music, I had a number of aha moments that left me feeling freer than I had for a long while.  The possibilities seemed endless, as I truly was the captain of my own ship, the cowgirl in charge.  Creating a much different story for myself than if I would have hopped on an airplane.  

Life is about the stories we create along our way.  In a workshop I did in Boulder this past week I shared the 12 Marketing Secrets from Seth Godin’s Little Book of Marketing Secrets and three of them pertained to telling a good story.  

Marketing Secret #1

Marketing is what happens when you tell a story (a true story, an authentic story) to the right people and they choose to believe it. And then you spread it. If you do it right, people take the actions you are hoping for. Tell the wrong story, you lose. Tell no story you lose.

Marketing Secret #2

The best stories don’t tell anything new. They make the audience feel smart and secure by reminding them how right they were in the first place.

Marketing Secret #5 

A message aimed at everyone rarely reaches anyone. Be vivid. Tell a story. Don’t be bland.

I think to tell a good story you must be fully in the moment and capturing the details around you with your imagination fully engaged.  Think of the best storytellers you have known and how their stories have come to life.  The sign of a good leader is one who can tell a story well.  And a good story is one that leaves you feeling different than before you heard it.  It shifts your perspective.  

We are beginning to re-release some of our Victory Circles Radio Show recordings in podcast form and this week I am delighted to share last years (oh how the time flies) show with a man who was one of my mentors along my way. Jim Thomsen has made his open road the oceans of the world and he shared how he and his wife Katie created the life of adventure on their boat Tenaya.  If you have ever dreamed of packing it up and hitting the road you don’t want to miss this podcast, Captain of his Dreams.  

What’s your story?  What is that your inner cowgirl or cowboy wanting to discover and then share with the world?  Here’s to having it unfold before you as you let the highway of your life fully come to life. 

The frog in today’s Victory Pic I am sure has many stories to tell.  I came across him on a recent adventure to a plantation in South Carolina.  A good story is always waiting to unfold…

To Your Successes and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles