I have been writing Faces from The Neighborhood for over three years now. During that time, I have witnessed the power of telling our stories. I have seen faces light up and confidence grow during interviews as someone tells me their story. I have heard how these stories have attracted new clients and business for the people whose stories I’ve shared. But what has impacted me the most has been watching businesses flourish from the energy of the owner’s passion. I can’t tell you how much this has changed my life.
A Little Story About Lisa
Because I believe our stories are so important, I’m going to tell you a little story about me. As many of you know, I am a licensed Realtor. I landed in real estate after a long and successful career as a paralegal. Wanting to venture out on my own and test my entrepreneurial spirit, real estate seemed like the perfect fit. And it was, for awhile. I enjoyed working through challenges, helping people navigate a complicated transaction, and getting to know Portland even better. I also learned a great deal about how to run a business and also about myself.
Not long after I started selling real estate, I started writing this little blog. I had no idea at the time how much I would love doing this – meeting people and telling their stories. The blog blossomed, and I did too along with it. I discovered a creativity buried inside me I didn’t know I had. I developed a love for writing. But mostly, I unleashed a passion inside me – a passion for storytelling and how storytelling builds who we are and the communities we live and work in.
I also rekindled an older passion of mine. I’m kind of a technology geek. Last fall I decided to migrate my blog over to WordPress. I spent hours researching themes, looking at designs, and planning how I wanted my blog to look. Now, I wasn’t in new territory exactly. I had built websites in WordPress before. But now, I was feeling courageous enough to tackle something big – at least big in my perspective.
The blog blossomed, and I did too along with it. I discovered a creativity buried inside me I didn’t know I had.
I set out then to design a site using one of the premium themes and site builders, X Theme. As I started building the site and learning the inner workings of the theme, I realized I hadn’t had so much fun in a long time. I also realized how much sense that made. Throughout my paralegal career I was always immersed in technology. I taught myself to use a litigation database, Summation, because I needed it. I fell in love with the program and eventually became a certified trainer for it.
I received promotions and job offers because of my technology skills and reputation in Sacramento. Eventually, I was designing trial presentations and managing a large Sacramento law firm’s litigation support needs. I developed training programs for staff and lawyers, and helped trial teams strategize on what technology to use for their cases. In the process, I picked up skills in a repertoire of litigation software packages, mostly self taught. Before moving to Portland, I even owned a litigation technology consulting business.
I’m only sharing this because it was worth it for me to remember this about myself. I missed technology. I longed for the geeky creativity and problem solving working with it involves. As a Realtor, I found myself always wanting to learn the latest technology tool. Somehow, that energizes my brain. So, working on the new site for this blog (yes I put this together), became almost an obsession. I didn’t want to stop. I wanted more. I even resurrected an old site I had built a few years before.
A Passion for Stories
Then, I started thinking about what I had learned from writing this blog. It really is about the stories and the passion. The people who have shared their stories with me became my muse and my inspiration. I saw how they flourished in many ways because they were following their passions – they were living their stories. I witnessed how their courage to express their true selves and follow their passions drew people to them in ways I couldn’t imagine. In some ways, it seemed almost miraculous, but it also just made perfect sense. Of course our life’s pursuits would flow naturally if we are doing what we are meant to do.
Naturally, I wanted this too. As I felt drawn more and more to my blog and everything surrounding it, I knew it was time to make room for that in my life. That path seemed cleared ahead of me. I would start a business doing what I am most passionate about – helping local solopreneurs and freelancers, telling and sharing stories, and geeking out with WordPress.
So, I went to work and play. I embarked on a self-study mission to learn more about web design and the coding that makes it work. I started developing skills for copy writing and mastering blog and content strategy. I also thought about what services local freelancers and professional service providers might need to help them get their stories out. Share Your Story Media was the answer.
Share Your Story Media
You may have seen my recent Facebook posts from Share Your Story Media. Share Your Story Media is my new business designed to help solopreneurs, professional service providers and freelancers get their stories online. I am providing three basic types of services:
- Blog Design & Site Up: Help designing the blog feel and structure that make your story shine. Then, stepping in as a WordPress handyman of sorts, setting up the site using one of the many themes in WordPress.
- Content and Content Strategy: Helping you discover the stories you have to share and the best ways to get the word out, and writing stories for you when you’re out of time or just not in the mood.
- Training: Personal training to make sure you know how to use your blog and the other tools you have to share your story.
I am super excited about this venture, and I’m having a blast. When I first shared this idea with a group of professionals I meet with weekly at TaborSpace, the response was touching and reaffirming. They almost unanimously reported an entire energy shift in my demeanor. They felt my passion. And it is true. I have found a new energy within me, and even a new confidence. I am living my story and sharing it. I want each and every one of you to experience the same joy.
Learn more about this venture at my newly launched website, shareyourstorypdx.com. Check back often – there’s more to come. Maybe, you’ll even see special appearances from my sidekick, constant companion and coach, Dagger the Corgi Tale Master.
Help me share more stories. Follow me on Facebook.