Telling your story

How do you tell your story?  Do you leave out parts, shine them up or out and out fabricate?

How did you become the you that you are today? Was it an easy straight line stroll on a well swept sidewalk? If so, you must be very young.

Many of us need to re-learn to tell our story without the omissions and without the self-incriminating tone.

Back when I was hiring, I loved the idea of hiring athletes. Not because they knew how to win but because they knew how to lose and not quit. Give me somebody that has puked and kept going and it makes me think they can hang tough when the project is not going well and management is not cheering.

The single mom that worked two lousy jobs for six months when she was laid off from her professional career shows me she understands the need to do what needs be done without ever whining, “it’s not my job”.

A serial entrepreneur demonstrates incredible courage. He has been willing to risk and fail, risk and fail and have the guts to risk again. Read this except of an interview Ramit Sethi did with Amanda Steinberg of DailyWorth.

How do you deal with failure?

“It’s part of the game. I like to call myself a serial entrepreneur with a try-fail try-fail try-win try-fail try-win mentality.

My first company was an e-commerce gift store which I hand-coded my senior year of college. I didn’t sell a single gift, but I learned all about transaction engines. A technology module business I launched in 2006 to support the Joomla open source community (Joomla is a competitor to WordPress) failed because it only spit off $3,000 a month as customer support was too expensive to make it worth it. A platform I launched in 2008 to help mental health practitioners discuss patients anonymously didn’t have a sound revenue model, so it failed.

DailyWorth, which is now almost four years old and reaches 250,000 + readers daily, is successful because the market opportunity is enormous, the revenue model is sound, and the technology is simple.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling products or services, working for someone or yourself — the key is to turn your failures into valuable lessons you can leverage and learn from next time. Now I can solve people’s problems because I’ve launched more than 200 Websites, properties, and campaigns over the years — I’ve seen it all, and I have countless successes and failures to point to. That’s priceless.”

When I read this I can hear the confidence in her words. There is no way anyone she speaks with is going to discount her abilities based on these failures. She believes her failures are her biggest asset and she can make you believe it to.

So how can we get you to quit looking at your shoes when we start talking about the holes in your resume?

If it took you 6 years to earn your degree from a no name school while working full time in a high pressure job, talk about the real life skills you acquired during this period.  While many new grads have never held a real job, been solely responsible for paying the bills or had to fit their studying into the few remaining hours after a full work day, you did. How did this affect your time management skills or your ability to perform under pressure?

Are you embarrassed by that long stretch of unemployment? What did you do during that time? What did you learn?

Chances are you’ve been through some character exposing trials; take some time to consider what you learned and practice telling your story with pride and confidence.