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Tell us a story. Today Paul Smith, an author and one of the world's leading experts on business storytelling is my guest columnist. Paul is a former executive and 20-year veteran of the Procter & Gamble Company. Today he's a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and bestselling author of three books on harnessing the power of storytelling for some of the most important work we do as humans: Lead with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and his newest book, Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale.
Paul has four copies of Sell with a Story to giveaway to readers. Whether you're in business or trying to sway someone to see your point of view, you'll learn from the book. To enter the drawing, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your preferred shipping address, in case you're a winner.
Welcome to the book club author Paul Smith...
As a boy growing up in a small, Southern town, sports was a big part of my life. Whether it was on a school team in uniform, or just a rag-tag group of kids in a sandlot, I played them all. But my favorite was baseball. I wasn't big enough to excel at football, nor tall enough to be much of a basketball player. But I was built for baseball, and felt like I could compete with anyone. I played for 13 years all the way up to American Legion baseball, which was somewhere between high school and college level. I found most of my pleasure, and my athletic self-worth, on a baseball diamond.
Two decades later, I was married with two boys of my own. I noticed when my oldest son Matthew would try a new sport, if he couldn't master it quickly, he'd get frustrated and quit. He'd move on to another sport, and the same thing would happen again. I tried to coach him in each one, but he resisted me every time. And if I ever tried to give him advice after a game, it would immediately launch us into a shouting match.
One day I was visiting my father, who was in his late 70s at the time. I told him about my difficulties getting Matthew to stick with a sport long enough to get good at it. I asked him if I was ever like than when I was young, and what he did about it.
He thought about that for a moment and then said, "No, not really. You played baseball for all those years, but you were never very good. I just came to your games and cheered anyway."
I was dumbfounded. I thought about all those years of he and my mother coming to cheer me on at baseball games. Not once had it ever occurred to me that I wasn't very good.
But on reflection 20 years later, I could see it. The truth is, I always played on the junior varsity team. I was one of only 2 kids on my Little League team that never got to pitch. And my glasses were too fragile to wear while playing, so I didn't. I'm surprised I could even see the ball. And yet my entire childhood is filled with fond memories of my adventures and success on a baseball field.
It made me realize that what Matthew really needed from me was not to be his best coach. It was to be his biggest fan.
If you'd like a free copy of my newest book, Sell with a Story, send an email to email@example.com along with your mailing address and a story about an important life lesson you learned from one of your parents. Best four stories win!
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: MORE TALES FROM SUBURBIA: Yes, It Gets Even Crazier (NonFiction) by Brandi Haas
Motherhood is the hardest gig in the universe. The pay is horrible, the wardrobe is pathetic, and your boss (although utterly adorable) is usually a tyrant. Squeezing into tiny chairs on back-to-school night and planning a romantic evening only to fall asleep on the couch. Heartfelt and seriously funny, this book is like sharing a bottle of wine and a good laugh with your best friend.
Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader click on MORE TALES FROM SUBURBIA to find out more about the book and the author, Brandi Haas. Send her an email, she'd love to hear from you.