“Choose the best words to describe yourself.” I remember doing that exercise in a workshop.
And the words I came up with are “explorer” and “messenger.”They describe the essence of who I am.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been seeking out “the story” in everything. Questions … always questions. What matters most – about me, about you, about life? What’s the story underneath the facade? What’s real – and what’s not?
I believe we are “meaning-making machines”, and the way we make meaning is through story – through narrative. In your personal life your “story” defines how you see yourself, and also how you’re viewed and experienced by others. With your business, your “story” can help you find and build trust with your ideal clients.
As for “my story” … I graduated from with a degree in Photojournalism and saw it as a license to explore with camera and pen. I moved to Ketchum, Idaho and spent two decades as an outdoor photographer & adventurer – exploring and sharing stories from the edge while mountaineering, whitewater kayaking, climbing and other outdoor ventures.
I then moved to Silicone Valley, worked in various start-ups, burned out, and traveled through Asia for a year. While there I got into adventure motorcycling, trekked to Everest Base Camp, lived in a monastery and sailed in the Andaman Sea. I contracted pneumonia, returned to the States and “wandered” for awhile.
And then I was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma, nearly went blind and went into a multi-year depression. That became a major turning point in my life. When I reached the darkest of places, a voice from somewhere beyond myself said “Do your bucket list.” Doing the first adventure on that list turned my life around, and is what my book From Grief to Grace is about.
Since then I’ve continued to explore why some people seem to rebound more quickly than others from dark places. I interview people with their own extraordinary stories of inspiration and insights – and to reveal what really matters. I also coach and interview coaches and consultants to help them find and create their own authentic narratives and use it to find and bring in their ideal clients. And I still have one big bucket list item left to do.