Clear stories are the best stories

What’s your story? When we ask that question of businesses and organizations we work with, we get all kinds of reactions. 

Some shoulder shrugs, some glassy eyes, we often hear, “it’s complicated”, or sometimes it is a long, convoluted story about products, processes, and history. It is easy to get lost before the story is finished. 

Most of the time, if we could see inside the minds of those trying to explain their business story, it looks (and sounds) like the first graphic. It’s an overwhelming feeling to both tell and hear a confusing story. It just gets lost in the noise. And we are so over the noise! 

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be. 

You can slay the overwhelm and be well on your way to telling the story that needs to be told (even if you are not an Oscar award-winning writer)! If you keep these few things in mind.

Tips for writing your story – the one that connects and resonates

  • Your purpose is the foundation of your story. Know your purpose and embed it into every aspect of your story and culture. When you do that, you will always be on brand and aligned with your strategic objectives. This is hard work but worth it because running a business and not being clear on your purpose is the hardest thing ever! Don’t set yourself up for that kind of misery.
  • Your purpose is other-centred. It is not about you, but it is about the impact of your great work. When your reader hears the impact you can have, there should be an audible sigh! 

Only you can own your purpose – let that sentence sink in because it is the key to your differentiation in the marketplace. It is your why, which means it is something you care deeply about. Show the depth of your caring by showing how you can help.

  • Write your story with a mindset of generosity, and you will emotionally connect with your reader every time.
  • Clear over clever always works. Write your story, then ask yourself – so what? Answer that, then ask again so what? Keep going until your purpose is a clear, concise message.
  • Next, test your story – with an IRL person before you send it out to the masses. Maybe start with someone who loves you so much that will be brutally honest. I live with someone who perpetually asks, “but what does that mean?” Ugh! Sometimes it’s exhausting, but it works. So be brave; ask your partner or someone outside the company to read your story on your website, your blogs, or your social post and ask them to tell you what they think your story is. You might be delighted, shocked or be running right back to the drawing board to reframe and clarify your story. 

Then find someone else, this time a bit outside your loving circle and ask them. This honing down of your story is essential. And will make you even more committed to telling it with ease.

Suddenly that mess of a story you started with gets unravelled and takes us on a journey we can’t wait to go on. 

A clear story invigorates your team and attracts customers and employees, and who doesn’t want to do that! It will keep your business on track, motivated and fulfilled so you can continue to effect great change. 

You will never have to wonder again what your story is? Instead, you are singing it from the rooftops and living it daily. Now that sounds fun!

Need help getting your story straight? We would simply love to help! 🙂 


my AHA moments of 2021

I keep track of my aha moments! I know, right? That might be weird? Please, someone, tell me you do too.

It started when I decided to erase: “where did the time go” from my lexicon. Well, because I wanted to know where the time had gone, and I wanted to know what I was thinking during that time. Covid especially made me feel like we had all lost a year.

So, here is a select (because you really don’t want to know all of them) and random list of thoughts that made me say “aha”. Some were inspired by books and podcasts, while others came from conversations and personal experiences.


    1. Great keynote speakers, podcast hosts, authors are generous people. Generous with their ideas, hearts, souls, and stories.
    2. Creativity is not an escape but the truest form of ourselves.
    3. How purpose-driven leaders are changing the world for the better shakes my world in the best possible way.
    4. Grieving for the loss of the children of the residential schools hurts. Learning more about Truth and Reconciliation is a powerful and difficult journey.
    5. “Don’t take criticism from someone you would not take advice from.” – Jamie Kern Lima
    6. Cleaning out my inbox is not a good use of my time!
    7. “Stay curious just a little bit longer.” – Michael Bungay Stainer
    8. You can’t get the right answer to the wrong question.
    9. The sheer joy of sharing in positive experiences. Investing in positivity changes everything.
    10. You can wish for many things for your kids, but the greatest of those wishes is that they have true and loyal friends to share their lives with.

great stories – culture code

This is a book I go back to again and again when working with teams who are interested in ramping up their cohesiveness and effectiveness. Since its writing in 2018, I think his message has only become more important, and I whole heartedly believe in his statement, “Group culture is one of the most powerful forces on the planet.”

Since many of our workplaces have moved to a virtual format, it is so important that we are now focusing on creating an amazing team culture in an online/work from home environment!

Through his research in sectors such as creative, hospitality, military (and everything in between), Daniel explores three primary skills: 1) build safety – create an environment where it is ok to provide feedback, regardless of status; 2) share vulnerability – allow for an environment where team’s are willing to accept the help and support of others, which in turn, drives trusting cooperation; and, 3) establish purpose – foster an environment of a shared culture that defines the group’s purpose and goals.

Purpose Driven Leader Profile

Today I want to honour Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s top public health official as an exceptional example of a purpose-driven leader.

When we think of a purpose-driven leader, we think of someone who stays true to their values, lives their purpose, and is committed to their own unique way of elevating humanity.

Throughout this pandemic, Dr. Shahab has stayed true to his purpose, tirelessly working to reduce the impact of Covid-19 in our province of Saskatchewan.

These are anxious times. Yet, guided by science, Dr. Shahab bravely leads with a level of humility and graciousness that is so rare today and direly needed.

Yesterday, in an emotional plea to the people of Saskatchewan, we saw the depth of his passion and concern. We also saw his unfailing commitment to the welfare of others.

His appeal struck the very core of my being.

I cannot imagine how he pushes forward in the political quagmire in which he exists. I believe his purpose has been his rudder.

If you have not had a chance to hear his remarks, you can find them here. I hope his message is heard and acted upon.

Thank you, Dr. Shahab, for your dedication, courage, and wisdom.

You are the purpose-driven leader we need right now!

Cuppa T FutureProof grad

We are so excited to feature another graduate of the FutureProof Retail Certification course run by myself and Lisa Hutcheson of JCW Group retail consultants.

You cannot imagine the energy behind Jule! And I don’t think it is all tea fuelled!

Jule epitomizes what it means to be FutureProofed and to be able to adjust to the changing and uncertain times that retailers face today and likely for many days ahead.

She is nimble in both mind and action. She quickly adapts to changing times because her mind is always open – to new ways of doing business, to new ways of thinking, and to new ways of being. That attitude was inspiring for the whole group!

When Jule learned something new – she applied it! Often within 24 hours!! Lisa and I got pretty excited about that because the certification is all about application and building a stronger retail business.

There was no pause for Jule during COVID.  CuppaT now has a new brand identity, new website, online shopping, re-merchandised, and has just introduced subscription boxes. Do you see what I mean?!

For Jule the opportunity to be in the course gave her some fuel to strategically “focus on her business and get the creative juices flowing again.”

I am not sure about you, but I will definitely have whatever Jule is drinking!

I encourage you to check out CuppaT! It is the perfect season for a warm cuppa or to gift one of her swoon worthy teas to anyone who needs to know you are thinking of them.

After visiting with Jule, I think you will also carry out some of her infectious optimism and who wouldn’t want a cup of that.

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