Ever have one of those transformational years on the path?
This was me at the beginning of 2016:
On retreat and pilgrimage in India. Learning to live in greater flow. Emptying my cup.
One year and almost 100,000 miles of travel later, and 2017 is shaping up to be a wonderful dramatic contrast.
I’m back living in the San Francisco Bay Area, increasingly working with many of Silicon Valley’s leading players and venture-backed startups.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I find myself as a householder with a family and home.
In most mythic stories it’s usually the other way around.
In November, I put down roots in Sonoma County, California. For the best reason of all: love.
An Unexpected Evolution
I was blessed with many life-changing relationships in the past year.
Culminating with my new partner Alyssa and her 5-year-old daughter.
It’s been quite a change. Making the transition from global nomad to family man.
And yet… My story, and the evolution of Get Storied? It’s all connected.
Stick around and I’ll explain.
Even though I lived as a nomad with no permanent home for 18 months, I was hard at work, deepening and advancing the work of Get Storied.
In 2016 alone, I lived and traveled across a dozen countries and four continents — strengthening the teaching dojo to include Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Auckland, London, Lisbon, and Warsaw.
Our clients included Google, Facebook, Deloitte, Genentech, Kauffman Fellows, Vistage, Productized, Capital One, Directly, WPS, Superfly, and many more. We launched new Narrative Strategy offerings and I delivered 36 keynotes and workshops around the globe.
Other than my one-year detailed recap I kept my nomad sharing to bite-sized glimpses. It was more important for me to be completely in the experience, than worry about how I could “report” on it. Thanks for understanding.
That said, even when I’m a little bit quiet about my travel experiences, I’m regularly sharing business strategies with 18,600 Medium readers and engaging with over 252,000 Twitter followers from around the world. (There’s lots of great content for you here, just sayin’… 😉 )
In 2016 alone, I lived and traveled across a dozen countries and four continents — strengthening the teaching dojo through 36 keynotes and workshops.
Now that we’re in a new year, there’s a lot I want to share: (a) a glimpse at our goals for the year ahead, (b) highlights from 2016 and (c) and how the journey keeps informing the path.
What do you say we dig in?
Fueling our Future Vision
Looking at our priorities for 2017 (and beyond), we continue to carry an ambitious vision and mission — to teach the world how to think in narrative. To transform business education. To empower the innovators, change-makers, and disruptors who are inventing the future.
Everything is made of stories. And the stories we tell make the world.
That’s what we continue to teach across all four corners of the earth. At the highest levels of corporations and civil society. At an unprecedented time of global change and transformation. Storytelling is the DNA source code to all of creation.
As many of you know, it has not been an easy path over the last 15 years.
For years, I’ve been trying to climb Mount Everest… in a pair of shorts and t-shirt. With a banana and two oranges in my pack. Not necessarily the wisest choice. 😉
Storytelling is the DNA source code to all of creation.
If nothing else, the past few years have taught me…
You need the right plan, the right gear, and the right team for the expedition.
Since then, we’ve been quietly carving a new path up the mountain.
So what does our roadmap look like for the coming year?
In 2017, our priorities at Get Storied are…
1. Strengthen our core engine of growth. Over the past year, we’ve gone back to consulting with many top corporate innovators, and rapidly built a portfolio of world-class clients, from Facebook, Deloitte and Genentech to high growth startups, venture capitalists, social change-makers, and “Forbes 30Under30” next-gen entrepreneurs.
2. Share our curriculum and methodologies on a bigger stage. I’m now represented by 5 of the top speakers bureaus in the world, and will be doing two month-long speaking tours: ANZ (Feb/Mar), and Europe (Sep/Oct). We’ll be leading corporate training and keynotes inside many more iconic organizations. And teaching our 1-day masterclass, Undeniable Story, as an open enrollment course once a quarter in San Francisco.
3. Expand digital publishing and marketing as core capabilities. We have a treasure trove of insights, teachings, and resources we want to share in a more accessible manner. We’ll be upgrading our publishing platforms and how we promote our most popular online courses, Undeniable Story and The New About Me.
4. Write my next book on Storytelling and Disruptive Innovation. We have a breakthrough and novel approach that we’ve been testing with thousands of global change-makers. As you might imagine, we’re eager to share these methodologies more broadly.
5. Expand our staff and team capabilities. We’re scaling up the team with more talent and collaborators. Want to contribute to client delivery, business development, training, thought leadership, or digital marketing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year will bring us another step closer to serving our community in the way I’ve always dreamed. There’s a much bigger story ahead…
This creates the foundation for climbing our next summit in 2018 and beyond:
1. Thought leadership. New books published every 12-18 months, for the next 5+ years.
2. Deep mentorship. Through highly-selective Practitioner Training and Certification.
3. Educational scale. Enterprise-level courseware for our signature methodologies.
4. StoryU conferences and local meetups. There’s magic to being together in person.
Now you’ve seen what’s ahead, let me share with you what’s gotten us here.
2016 Year in Review
When you’re deep in the flow of daily life and work, it’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture. I didn’t fully appreciate the depth and breadth of experiences this year brought until I paused to look back and take an inventory. What a year it’s been!
In January I launched #StoryWorldTour, and fulfilled a lifelong dream of teaching in India: Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai. We also made the difficult decision to sunset our StoryU membership online program, and regroup on how best to deliver practitioner training.
Back in the U.S. come February, we taught for Google, Kauffman Fellows, NASDAQ, and Draper University. This included trainings for Google in NYC and Silicon Valley, a featured program at Vistage ChairWorld Conference, and training 70 top venture capitalists.
In March we revamped our consulting services, offering Narrative Strategy to corporate innovators and high-growth startups. This would total 24 new clients by the end of 2016.
The months of April and May saw my Australian and New Zealand #StoryWorldTour, with programs in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Auckland. We rolled out a new online learning platform on Kajabi, and welcomed Lauren Hawk to our team to oversee social media.
In June I said goodbye to Melbourne and headed back to the U.S. We led a leadership workshop for Genentech, taught for General Assembly, and we welcomed Daniel Robinson, Digital Platforms Manager, to the team.
Starting in July, we revamped our design capabilities — launching a new website and updating our curriculum materials, thanks to the support of Matt Smith, our new Creative Director. We expanded our Narrative Strategy, offering clients a strategic Core Story, in just 90 days start-to-finish. We also refined our ongoing services for communication and change strategies.
Come August I delivered a keynote and workshop for 600 sales and marketing team members at NBC Universal. My travels took me back to Amsterdam for most of the month, and we kept scaling up our Narrative Strategy work with venture capitalists, Rubin Museum of Art, and Christina Rasmussen, best-selling Hay House author of Second Firsts.
September included facilitating two days of training for 20 top NYC CEOs, a continuation of my European tour teaching in Spain, and Narrative Strategy work for Facebook and Genentech.
The month of October included a keynote at Productized in Lisbon, a keynote at Open Data Science Conference in London, alongside 1-day masterclasses in Lisbon and Warsaw. New Narrative Strategy clients included Directly.
When November rolled around it was time to return to the U.S. I delivered a keynote at Open Data Science Conference in Silicon Valley. We released a new video series, How to Tell a World-Changing Story, in partnership with our friends Digital Storytellers from Australia. And we revamped our Red Pill free 5-part email course.
Wrapping up the year in December, still deep in Narrative Strategy work, we welcomed Jessica Glendinning to the team to oversee our content and editorial efforts.
A huge contributing factor to my growth are the practices of Core Individuation, a subtle energy healing modality that I’ve been studying for 15 years. As a certified practitioner of this work since 2014, I spent all of 2016 in initiation with my good friend and teacher Desda Zuckerman to become an instructor of this awakened path.
I’ll now be offering this work as a way for you to deepen your presence and compassion when leading change. Consider joining me for a 2-day intensive on how to more consciously use your energy. The next dates I co-teach are June 10-11, and again November 3-4. Click here to get on an announcement list for this work.
Celebrating Those Who Made #StoryWorldTour Possible
The epic adventures of 2016 would not have been possible without support from many global friends and local partners. I want to give a shout out to some of the key colleagues and organizations that allowed me to truly feel welcomed and at home all around the world.
Storywallahs – I can’t imagine a better way to kick off the year than with you in Bangalore
Dr Amit Nagpal – you went above and beyond to make me feel like a VIP in Delhi
Bombay Connect – was an honor to share this work with social entrepreneurs of Mumbai
Digital Storytellers – you brought tears to my eyes with what we co-created in Sydney
David Hood Eddie Harran – you made me feel like I had keys to the city of Melbourne
Donkey Wheelhouse – your mission and venue inspired a breakthrough learning event
Murali Maheswaran – our vision and mapping of the deep work still reverberates
Adrian Geering – loved your deep life wisdom and CEO business tour of Adelaide
Andrew Melville – you get the award for the most creative, spectacular workshop venue!
GrowNZ – was a delight to connect so deeply with the social change sector of New Zealand
Progressive Partners – Warsaw was a magical mystery tour; your curation was impeccable
ThinkTank – inspired by the caliber of top business leaders you bring together in Poland
Productized – one of the best conference collaborative experiences I’ve ever had!
Desda and Bobby – was a total thrill to debut the Illuminated Body in Spain together
ODSC – grateful to have helped leading data scientists bring their stories to life
Gary Goldstein – among so many things, you helped me fall back in love with Los Angeles
Phil Hayes-St Clair – thanks for being such a true believer and advocate of our work
David Nihill – you’re always expanding my horizons and bringing me inspired opportunities
Moya Sayer-Jones – you’re a true friend that touches the heart, and stirs the imagination
Huddle Design – whether in Melbourne or Amsterdam, I always felt like a part of the family
Gilbert Rochecouste – my brother from another mother, thanks for tending the hearth
Mark Truelson – introducing me to Australian football and treating me like Springsteen
Mark Taylor – was really grateful for our heartfelt conversation on the drive up to the Lodge
Celena Aponte – forever feel like family at the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center
Greg Plum – we created something special at Contactually; excited for the next chapter
Pam Slim – our weekend in Mesa was a deep initiation into the heart of community
Robbe Richman – thanks for opening the doors to even more keynote speaking
Peter Block – forever learning so much from you, especially your presence and ethic
Christina Rasmussen – adore how our partnership unfolds in such a cosmic manner
Sandra Wells – for always meeting me in the timeless place of “what is”
Jodi Bepler – truly the one who keeps it all together + managing me across 15 time zones (!?)
In 2016, we enjoyed collaborations with David Ursillo, Jared Karol, and Carly Schwartz. We honored the transition of team members Matt Mintun and Emma Sedlak as they moved on to new creative opportunities.
And our beloved Jodi Bepler was promoted to VP of Operations.
From global work to deep friendships, and everything in between…
That’s 2016 in a (large) nutshell.
Where Do We Go From Here?
It’s been a long and windy road. Most great treks are.
As you’ve seen, we had a lot of great company along the way.
Learned a lot. Loved a lot. Ate a lot of chocolate.
And despite the twists and turns of the past few years, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed. We’re here to help you master your story, now and into the future.
Because everything is about the story.
So get out there and make 2017 your best story yet.
Want to take the next step in your storytelling journey? Learn how to craft your 1-page Undeniable Story.