Starting to Tell My Story

(Interview starts at the 17 minute mark)

In August of 2021 I attended my first ever Podcast Movement—a conference that brings creators and industry pros together for a few days of learning, collaborating, and, well, partying. I had never been to a conference before and had no idea what I was doing or why I was there.

Naturally, I decided this conference was huge and filled with people I would never see again, so embarrassing myself was impossible. 

Wrong. I know all of these people now.

But still, that mindset gave me the courage to be bold. I even used the Q&A portion of John Lee Dumas’s keynote to ask if Eric could be on Entrepreneurs on Fire. In front of the ENTIRE conference. He said yes. The show went great.

One of my goals for the conference was to get Eric booked on Stacking Benjamins, one of the biggest and best finance podcasts out there. For three days, I tried to find the host and introduce myself. I sidled up to him at vendor booths, hid behind a book I pretended to read while he recorded an episode from the expo hall, and had headshots pulled up on my phone so I could memorize his face and not miss him.

On the third day, I passed him in the hallway and (possibly?) had a stroke? I yelled his name which stopped him in his tracks and admitted, “I have been casually stalking you for three days. If I don’t get my host booked on your show, I’ll be fired.” 

Was that true? Well, no. But it was memorable. So we met the next day to talk about an episode idea.

That’s when he sparked a change in my mindset. 

I gave my spiel about Eric: he has all the letters after his name, a great message about retirement, and is a host himself so he’d make a great guest. 

Joe’s response: “I don’t want an expert, I want a cool story.”

What came out of my mouth next still haunts me: “Want to hear about the time I got a tattoo of a penis in Ireland?” 

Yes, he did.

We sat down and talked, I told him the story, and I didn’t realize at the time how much value was there.

Yes, I got an embarrassing tattoo. But I also had an experience that opened my eyes to my own potential and gave me the courage to take back control of my life.

I took a solo trip to another country and learned that I could do things on my own. I saw how much more there was to life than a job that didn’t excite me anymore. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed to do other things that scared me.

I quit working for the woman who said I was “just a copywriter.” I left the state that held more bad memories than good ones. I accepted a job I never thought I’d take, working for a man who was determined to see me succeed. I made sure my ideas were heard within a company of more experienced and far more polished professionals where I brought about more change for the firm than anyone before me. And, finally, I convinced myself I could do it on my own and launch a company that was all mine. 

Why not? I’ve done things on my own before.

My story proves that the path to success is not a straight line. It has bumps and turns and sometimes you don’t know if you’re on it at all. It proves that who we are is a constantly-changing entity, altered and painted by the places we go, the stories we hear, and the people we meet. 

Plus, it’s fun to tell at parties.

My point here is: tell your story. It doesn’t have to be profound or dramatic to have a message with value. Whether it’s a message of self discovery, a trauma that helps someone else heal, or even just an anecdote that makes someone laugh on a bad day, tell it. Someone needs to hear it.