Moving from My Story to Our Story…. A BIG Step

Stories not only teach us how to act – they inspire us to act. Stories communicate our values through the language of the heart, our emotions. And it is what we feel – our hopes, our cares, our obligations – not simply what we know that can inspire us with the courage to act.  Marshall Ganz

cover.finalLast year, when I wrote The Can Do Chronicles, I was attempting to find my voice, to tell my story out loud and in the open. I was such a reluctant author! I told my story of personal transformation during a prolonged time of challenge and adversity, hoping that someone, somewhere might maybe, possibly get some inspiration from it. The whole experience felt awkward, like I was walking in high heels on a slippery sidewalk, and one false step would either totally humiliate me or cripple me for life – or maybe both.

I got the story out there. Whew! Met that goal. Ticked that box! Then in the months that followed, I realized I want to do more with it – with this Can Do “thing” that had become the center and focus of my life.

I want to share more than just my story. I want to spread my Can Do world view and its life-giving message.

I want to shift from telling my story to leading to shape “our story.”  Sure, shutterstock_945275my background in counseling, nonprofit leadership, training and writing comes together and positions me very well. But O.M.G., it’s taking a big leap of faith and courage for me to get out there!

But, I need to do it, so I am! I don’t want to keep it to myself because I believe CAN DO is too important!  

Why? In today’s world, where there is so much division, blaming, negativity and drama, I am totally convinced that a Can Do attitude and world view makes a fundamental difference in peoples’ personal lives, families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. I feel called and compelled to GET THE WORD OUT THERE about the promise and potential of Can Do.

So, for the last few months, I have been busy creating, writing, discussing and developing numerous strategies, venues and channels to GET CAN DO OUT THERE!  I am very excited and, I have to admit, more than a little scared about pushing, marketing and being OUT THERE. The age old anxiety questions pop up: What if you don’t like me or my message?  Or don’t agree with me?  What if I mess something up?  shutterstock_70290889Well, questions or not, I have put my “Big Girl Shoes” on, and back out there onto the slippery sidewalk I go!  I know it will not all go perfectly, but I am giving it my best shot with the resources I have today. I trust the voice inside me which has guided the creation and growth of Can Do for almost five years. And, I gotta say, I am pretty darned proud of myself for doing that!

So how and where is it all GETTING OUT THERE, you ask?  Here are a few good places for everyone to start:

  1. The Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life FREE virtual workshop series launches on January 2nd
  2. You can read The Can Do Chronicles with this early bird special savings of 15% – it’s the quiet launch!  To take advantage of this special offer, click here and when you check out, enter discount code 5K243YTD. The Chronicles is still available in Kindle format on amazon.com, but without the updating and refreshing I did for the paperback.
  3. The Can Do Dialogues, my new series of podcasts with inspiring guests sharing their Can Do stories, launched on December 2nd. The newest post is a great, fast-paced conversation with my friend, colleague and fellow cancer survivor and writer, Judy Leaver. Check back regularly to hear new, inspiring stories.
  4. I am writing my second book, the Can Do Workplace, and I just learned last week that it was accepted to be published by Motivational Press later this year. WOW!
  5. I have restructured Coridan Consulting to provide writing, training and interim thumbnailexecutive services that help nonprofits and small businesses navigate change & growth with excellence so they can make a Can Do kind of difference.

I am grateful that I have the combination of leadership experience and the gift of words – written and spoken – that allow me to share my story and begin to tell “our story” of the promise and potential of Can Do.

BUT

I cannot do this alone! My BIG 2015 goal is to use the phenomenal potential and opportunities afforded by the internet and virtual technology to create an online Can Do Community that spans and touches all part of the globe. Check back, I will be posting much more about it in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, I hope you will check out other posts on the Can Do Blog, take advantage of the early bird discount code to buy your copy of The Can Do Chronicles, listen to the the new post on the Can Do Dialogues and sign up for the The Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life FREE virtual workshop series…. And, imagine what our world will be like when we all make a little bit of a Can Do difference every day.

With heartfelt thanks –

cathi_rev.slant

“So, What is Can Do?” She Asked Me.

shutterstock_108972257I believe that there is a very powerful, but quiet space between Can and Do.  A space where the hard work happens. A space filled with details and deadlines that no one else can see. It’s not a very exciting or sexy place, rather it requires focus, determination and perseverance. It’s where you make sure you measure twice. A space of preparation, of getting ready for something wonderful to occur.

Make no mistake – there is a lot going on in my life. My new consulting model is evolving and shaping up wonderfully…many pieces in place, and some are still emerging. My community-focused workshops are ready to go and the marketing to the local churches starts next week when the postcards arrive. I am working together with my clients about 30 hours a week to meet grant and other project deadlines. On weekends and some mornings I work away on the second book. And, I am taking the time to do outreach into the local community, and loving the results!

Writing my second book is going slower than I planned – for all the right reasons. I am carefully reviewing the research, analyzing the interviews, reviewing my assumptions. Thinking. Reading. Writing. Thinking some more. Making and erasing then making more notes on my white board wall. Pulling it all together, taking it apart and trying a different sequence. The other book was easier – it was just about me and my view of the world. The new book is about the workplace, which is not an easy place, in many more ways than one.

cover.finalAnother example of the “in-betweens”: The Can Do Chronicles is being published in paperback – a real book, as my Aunt Wanda calls it!  My work on it is done and I am now waiting for the publishing people to do their thing, to finish the inside editing and the back cover… to send me a proof… to be able to hit PRINT… I am hoping for a BIG Black Friday blow out, but I am still not sure about the timing. The publishing company does not want to over-promise and neither do I!  Stay tuned!

I have made it a priority to reach out and network to learn about the nonprofit and small business communities in the Northern VA and Washington, DC areas, to meet the community leaders. I am very aware of my need to establishing street cred in a very different community. One that has been home to me on and off for almost 40 years, but after being in New England for 10 years and then “in my cave” for almost three years, one where I am still a stranger, an unknown.

All that said, I am more of a “come on, let’s go” kind of girl. This space of preparation and transition can make me squirm and want to push too hard to find some action that brings immediate gratification, a move that  has often turned out to be someplace between a mistake and a disaster. I am proud to say I have learned from those (many) mistakes. Instead of moving too fast to the big outcome, I have learned to take little breaks from the hard stretches of “in between” work, and fill the space with little moments of AHH! that scratch the itch a bit. I had a great AHHH! moment on Monday.

My friend and colleague Marlys and I created the first in a series of CAN DO You Tube videos. It’s folksy, casual and decidedly low-tech – a coffee cup conversation, as she called it!  It gave me a great opportunity to focus in on the core messages for the community-based workshops. Marlys is a ROCK STAR, supportive and great friend. And, I achieved another milestone: I am, finally, on You Tube!!

And, I have (re-)discovered this afternoon that writing this blog post gives me another AHHH! moment. An almost tactile sense of accomplishment. I have been delaying writing one, waiting for something to ANNOUNCE!  A BIG deal. No need to wait, I realize. So, stay tuned. I plan to be blogging more. By next week, the new head shots for the website will be ready!  And, now that I am getting the knack of it, I just might create another You Tube video to post on this blog.

I CAN DO that, and so much more…..

Have a great late fall weekend, everyone!