By Lynne Golodner
When I was traveling recently with YP team member Dana Nyquist, to meet with a client (Sacramento Waldorf School), we had breakfast one day at Mimosa House. It was an early sunny weekday with a forecast of 90 degrees, and we found the restaurant by searching online for a place near the media outlets where we had meetings to build relationships with journalists. (KCRA, FOX 40 and the Sacramento Bee, to be specific)
Online, we perused the Mimosa House menu and read a bit about the backstory. Family-owned. Five locations.
When we arrived, I was struck by the copper-topped tables, the serene patio with fans spinning, an early morning sky pink with promise. The menu offered eight pages of creative dishes – just breakfast! – plus an additional menu of mimosas.
When the waiter came, I asked about the restaurant’s inspiration.
“The owners have five children, so they have five locations – one for each adult child to run,” he said.
I asked about the menu items, the evolution of the business. I checked in on Facebook and a long-lost friend commented, “That was our favorite place! We used to go there all the time.”
Stories That Inspire
The stories and the connections spin and keep spinning. They are everywhere. They connect us, inspire us, feed us.
Wherever I go, I ask questions, asking for the story behind the story.
How did the business come to be? What drives the nonprofit? Why is a particular person in a particular role?
What unfolds are stories of purpose. We all have them. We all need them to build meaningful lives.
On the plane to Sacramento, I sat beside a tall, red-bearded man. As the plane ascended toward the clouds, he opened a notebook of unlined white paper and started to draw.
“What are you sketching?” I asked.
“Golf courses,” he said.
“From your imagination or real places?”
And so our conversation began. I told him about my youngest son Shaya sketching a course for American Ninja Warriors. He revealed he teaches kids Shaya’s age – 6th grade math – at a middle school near Davis Waldorf School.
I told him we were on our way to work with Sacramento Waldorf, and he asked, “What’s Waldorf?” And my story unfolded to meet his.
The conversation meandered. In came mention of my oldest son, Asher, and his desire to be a math teacher. And then the man shared that he went to college somewhere in South Dakota and he advised that kids today should choose a college where they won’t accumulate debt.
By the end of the flight, I’d given him my Your People business card, a unique tri-fold that always attracts attention (He said, “Cool card,” to which I always say, “If I can’t impress you with my card, what could I do to market you?”).
Stories unfolding. Webs of connection weaving. Our backstories, our “why,” lighting paths that wind together and apart.
We’ve met so many people on planes and during travels. People we are connected to on social media. People we feel like we know but have only met once.
After breakfast, we drove on the eastbound highway, mountains rising in the distance, snowy peaks beckoning. A life of silence is a life half-lived. By hearing other people’s stories, and sharing our own, we live more deeply, spin a web of connection that transcends time and place. By speaking up, we open ourselves to possibilities.
What stories of inspiration drive you? Where will you find stories that motivate you today? How can storytelling build your success?
Lynne Golodner is a master storyteller, author of eight books, adjunct professor of writing at University of Detroit-Mercy, and Chief Creative Officer & Owner of Your People LLC.