By 2011 I’d grown restless. I was working as an International Strategic Marketing Consultant for corporate healthcare companies. There was a dearth of heart & soul connection in my life and work seemed to have taken-over.
When an email pinged with an invitation to a six month programme for folk who wanted to be more inspired in business, I signed-up. Half-way through the programme, I was excavating property websites to buy a retreat cottage in Ireland where I’d grown-up. “Surely I’d rediscover the enchantment I’d known as a child there. And, I could indulge my passion for writing and storytelling that I’d had since childhood,” I told myself. As for finding heart & soul in my work in the business world – that seemed like an impossible dream.
One weekend on the programme I reluctantly admitted to feeling lost. And layered on top of that was my shame about feeling lost. It felt safer to appear to be invincible and never show any weakness, regardless of how I was feeling inside.
But then, Nick who was leading the programme said ten words that changed the entire direction of my life.
“Why don’t you write the enchanted story of your life”
He must have seen a furrowed brow looking back at him. I didn’t have the slightest idea what that meant. But I said yes anyway. That evening I began a blog of stories from my life, starting with childhood. Encouraging feedback spurred me to write more.
A couple of months later I found myself sitting next to a lady at a workshop. We started chatting and it turned-out that she was a professional storyteller. Enthusiastic to learn about storytelling, in 2012, I took a five-week sabbatical to train in the art of storytelling performance.
When I returned to the business world I began to introduce storytelling into my consultancy work. I noticed how powerful storytelling is at breaking down the invincibility shields that business folk wear to protect themselves. And when the metal exteriors melt, people connect, build trust and work together brilliantly.
In 2013, I turned my story blog into a book called The Tao of Storytelling – 30 Ways to Create Empowering Stories to Live By. And I co-founded The Story Mill Ltd. to bring storytelling into business.
My journey taught me how to reconnect with my own vulnerability and how valuable that is business. At The Story Mill we create innovative programmes combining NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) and storytelling. Our programmes span; leadership, culture, branding, sales & marketing and innovation.