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We All Have a Story to Tell

There’s a old saying that goes, "That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger."  I thought about that adage tonight as I was watching the new season of Chefography on the Food Network as they profiled Nigella Lawson.  I knew very little of Nigella except that she’s an incredibly beautiful woman who has this amazing ability to describe food as luscious, savory, and sexy, all at once.  I stand in awe of her language of food — and have tried to replicate it with dismal failure..:)


What I discovered about Nigella tonight is her ability to go on living after tremendous adversity.  While she doesn’t like to be described as the tragic heroine of her own story, the woman has overcome some amazing odds to get where she is today.  Even though she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so to speak, no amount of money in the world can insulate you from death.  She seems to be haunted by the ghost of cancer.  She lost her mom, who died at age 48, her sister at age 32, and her husband in his late 40s, all from cancer. The death of her husband  in 2001 left her a widow at age 40 with 2 young children to raise and support.

Nigella is only a few years older than me, and I just can’t imagine that I would have come through it all as well as she seems to.  Despite this adversity, however, she considers herself to be very lucky and to have had a wonderful life.    As  I think about it, we’re all lucky in that way.  After all, none of us would be who we are without overcoming some obstacles in our path, now would we?

In 1993 when I was suffering severe burnout and depression from my job in higher education and seriously contemplating suicide at times, I could have never foretold that a scant 5 years later I would be grateful for that experience, which helped catapult me into self-employment. 

Nor could I have foretold that 2 years after beginning my new business in a highly unorthodox fashion in which I simply ripped up my life and began again (quit my full-time job, got a temp position, decided I hated my life and my marriage, asked my husband for a divorce, quit my temp job, put my home up for sale, sold the majority of my possessions, packed myself and my dog into my car and moved halfway across the country back into my childhood home, opened my business in my mom’s garage surrounded by moving boxes, and drained my retirement account before the business took off) that I would be telling that story of adversity to several hundred people as motivation for them to begin their own businesses.  I remember saying, "You know, if I can open a business and be successful by doing all those things that no one in their right mind would ever advise anyone to do before opening a business, then you can be successful, too."

I learn best by hearing stories and I incorporate those stories into my coaching and training.  I think that storytelling is a very powerful medium for communication, and I encourage my clients to tell their story to their target market of why they’re doing what they’re doing and how they got there.  It makes you approachable, more human, and lets your prospective clients know that you’ve walked in their shoes.

What is your compelling story, your defining moment that led you to doing what you’re doing today?

About the Author Donna Gunter

Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.

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