charliep: The Defining Moments That Changed Everything
Join me as I embark on a new adventure of sharing the stories that have profoundly shaped my life.
Walking into the assisted living facility, I ran into a friend from our Atlanta tech community. We were surprised to meet each other. I asked why she was there. She said, “We moved my mother from Tennessee, and this is where she is living.”
I told her about moving my sister into an assisted living facility.
She knew what it was like. I saw it in her eyes. She understood this process, this change in life priorities.
I said, “I just need to get her to Atlanta and settled. I’m sure after that, all will be fine.”
She looked straight at me and said with a tone of calm sincerity, “You are only at the beginning.”
I was ignorant. I thought I was in charge, but really I was overwhelmed and now scared to death.
I began thinking, “What is happening? What will happen to me and the life I once knew?”
I write to share with you, my reader, what I am learning. In looking at what I was learning, I wondered if anyone cared to know.
Then a scary thought hit me.
“Do I want to share what I am learning?”
I wrote about entrepreneurship and investing when I started writing over ten years ago. I wrote much of what I learned on how to be great at those careers—the “how to” is a great place to hide.
We all like to know the…
The three key elements of starting a company.
The five rules for maintaining a healthy weight.
The twenty-eight immutable rules of leadership.
These topics are a great way to learn.
But I discovered the best way for me to learn is through stories. And not stories of what happened to other people, but the writer’s story. These stories stick with me. They stick because I can relate as one human being in this world to another. When I hear someone’s story, it interests me. Not only that, but there are parts of their story, maybe all of their story, that I connect with my story. When that happens, I experience deep learning, life-changing learning.
I once gave a speech on “The Five Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur.” People loved it. I gave that speech during a breakfast meeting. That afternoon, a marketing professor Ph.D. from the University of Miami visited me.
Early in the visit, during our conversation’s “establish rapport phase,” I told her about my speech that morning.
She asked, “So what are the five characteristics?”
I was embarrassed.
I only remembered three of the five. That’s because the characteristics were my observations of other people’s stories, not my story.
And this is why I stopped writing.
My purpose for writing was to share what I learned in business and in life.
When I write about what I learned in business, it generates little feedback.
When I write about life, the feedback is a bit enthusiastic.
When I share my soul—those hard life lessons—the feedback is off the charts. Readers connect.
New chapter: charliep
Now my writing will focus on the hard lessons, the experiences that have shaped me, and the wisdom I’ve gained from them. These stories have left a lasting imprint, the moments of trial and error, triumph and defeat, that have guided my journey.
For this next chapter, my new blog is called charliep.
I hope you come along and share it with a friend.