But, not you.
What matters is, you have a story, and it's important that it's told well.
I work with authors who write books because they want to make a difference in the world.
I'm a Story Grid Certified developmental editor. That means I help writers wrap their message to the world in a story that readers can't resist.
The only thing I liked more than stories as a kid, was trying to change people’s behavior. When I was in fourth grade, I wrote a report on the dangers of smoking. I gave it to my dad to persuade him to quit.
It didn’t work.
I thought it was because I didn’t know the science well enough. So, I went on to get a Master’s and a PhD in public health, reading and performing stories on the side.
Why your fourth grade self shouldn't run your adult life
In graduate school, I discovered that I had made a mistake. Scientists were incredible at describing what people do, not at persuading them to do things differently.
I started looking for the people who were persuasive.
Professionally, I took jobs at nonprofits and eventually landed in tech startups.
I worked as a marketer and as a product designer of analytics software for marketers. I used numbers and data to communicate and tell stories. I learned what kinds of products customers love, earned millions of pageviews for my work, and had analyses featured on big name media sites like the LA Times and the Washington Post.
The fine art of learning how to NOT be an asshole
Personally, I looked for people that could help me change. Because after years of pursuing a career that didn't work out, I was frustrated and bitter. I blamed the people around me, but I suspected that I was also part of the problem.
I found nonviolent communication. It's a system that doesn't let you blame anyone else, because it forces you to take responsibility for your own behavior. Which sounds awful. But it turns out that learning to handle yourself is the secret to getting people to care about what you have to say.
I fell in love with my nonviolent communication teacher. (You would have too! He was that good.) But he was sick. He died a year after we got together.
At his funeral, I realized that he had inspired half a dozen people to change. To go after their dream job. To take steps to deal with their anger issues. To say what they really meant.
And the crazy thing is, he did it through listening to people's stories.
I'd love to help you share your story.