If you don’t believe a new story can dramatically change your future as a freelancer…

People write to me with gentle challenges like, “Hey Nick, I love your enthusiasm for stories. But honestly, I don’t see how simply changing the story I tell can improve my future as a freelancer.”

OK… so you doubt the power of stories to influence your life?

You don’t think stories have the power to create change?

Let’s try a short experiment…

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Don’t blindly accept the popular narratives other people follow.

story of you notepad

We are all exposed to a wide range of narratives that are often accepted as truths.

But for the most part they are not truths. They are opinions. Stories.

And we’d do well to question them.

Let me share a couple of examples I have bumped up against recently.

One from my work life and one from my personal life.

Narrative #1: To get stuff done, you need to focus, distraction-free.

Sounds reasonable, right? I’ve told this story myself.

And then…

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Freelancers: Telling the right story is like unleashing your own superpower.

superpower stories

Some of the most powerful stories we hear are the ones that support the narratives that define the countries we live in.

As I’m Canadian, I’ll use one of the dominant Canadian narratives to illustrate my point.

One of the stories that defines “being Canadian” is that we’re really, really nice.

We’re polite and friendly. We love animals and the environment. We welcome refugees with open arms. We make sure all our citizens have access to health care. We say please and thank you.

Really… we’re just super-nice people.

So goes the story.

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How I found my true self by spending time as someone else.

new story of you coaching gear

In my last post I mentioned that I struggled academically during my earlier years at school.

I was at an English private boarding school from age 8 to 12. Not a fun place to be, particularly if you’re shy and have zero self-confidence.

At that particular school, after the first couple of years, they divided everyone between three academic streams.

At the very top was the scholarship stream, followed by an academically competent stream, and at the bottom was the “don’t even bother to try harder” stream.

I was in that last stream.

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Are you really the author of the story of your own freelance business?

Are you the author of your own life story

There’s a scary question for you.

Who IS the author of the story of your life and career as a freelancer?

It’s tempting to immediately answer, “It’s me, of course! I’m the author, protagonist and hero of my own story!”

But is that true?

Truly, honestly, I think most of us are secondary characters in other people’s stories.

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The New Story of You should have a purpose beyond just money.

Story of you with beer

We all have to make money to pay the bills.

But when you work just for the money, and no other reason, your life can become a little thin and unsatisfying.

To illustrate this point, let me share a story from my own life.

About 20 years ago I was a decade into my career as a copywriter and doing very well. But I wasn’t that happy about my work.

One evening I was having a few beers with a friend of mine, Mike. He was a friend first and foremost, but he was also a client. He was a small business owner and I had done a copywriting job for him a few month before.

After a few beers I told him I was feeling kind of crappy about my work.

More or less, here’s what I said…

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