Betty’s Show Notes
I am a big believer in reading. It’s enjoyable, but it’s also about gaining a different perspective. And reading a story is totally different from telling a story.
What’s your story and have you told it to anyone? Your story is everything you have experienced: the bad, the good, the ugly, all of it. It has the ability to change the world in which you live, to have an impact on those around you, to be inspirational, and to help you reflect on yourself.
Here’s my challenge to you. Write your story, get with someone and tell it, and then figure out how to use it to impact the world around you.
“Inspiring Women” Podcast Series
“Inspiring Women” is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. The show is hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and presented by Brady Ware and Company. Brady Ware is committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home. Past episodes of “Inspiring Women” can be found here.
Betty: [00:00:00] So today I want to talk to you about your story. What is your story? We all have one. We all have some kind of life experience. And sometimes I think it just needs to be told. It’s one thing to read someone else’s story but it’s completely different for you to write yours and talk about what has happened to you and show your perspective. I guess the question I would ask is have you ever really thought about your story?
Betty: [00:00:30] I really didn’t until I was about 50 years old. Why would someone want to hear what I have to say? My life is pretty routine. It’s pretty normal, it’s pretty ordinary. However, there have been so many people over the years that have impacted me because of their story. Most of them realistically have never written it down. But they have been very impactful to me.
Betty: [00:00:54] The first time I ever had to formally write my story was in August of 2014. This part of the story was really about my career and where I had come from in accounting. And I was doing this for Brady Ware’s Women’s Initiative Internal Day that we have. All the women of our four offices come together. And we come from Georgia, Indiana, Dayton, Ohio and Oklahoma.
Betty: [00:01:17] We get together and we talk about how things are going. And this was the first Brady Ware’s Women’s Day that we had together. So I had to get to know some of these people. So I kind of told it and here’s my story here’s my path. Here’s what I went through. I merged into the company in 2012. I had about 45 women at that time at this meeting. And so I was really nervous. I thought how am I going to introduce myself? You know, what am I going to say? Why would they want to hear this? They don’t know me. So I’ve got to talk about it. It took some time for me to write down that path because that path started in 1984.
Betty: [00:02:02] But the more I wrote the more I remembered and the more I got into it. It was really energizing. I mean I was like, wow, how fortunate I had been over my career. The right people that were in my path. So in some ways it was really good therapy for me to write my story and talk about this part of my life. It helped me to see that really I had a great life and I had a great experience in this area. And that even though there was what I called “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” I remembered it and I put it down.
Betty: [00:02:36] And I thought OK I’m going to tell this. And I was very nervous when I had to tell my story and talk about why and how I had done things. Because you know I wasn’t in the national news. I wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t work in a large company. I wasn’t with the Big 4. In fact women in this room had bigger careers than I did.
Betty: [00:02:56] Yet I was the shareholder at the table. So my big thing that day wasn’t just to talk about Betty Collins’ life, it was to talk about how I had gone from being a staff accountant. And now I’m a shareholder. It was that part of the story. It was just one of the chapters in my book.
Betty: [00:03:18] The biggest takeaway from that day was that these women listened. I mean, they weren’t on the edge of their seat and they were like “Tell me more,” but they listened. They seemed very genuinely interested. And in over those next several weeks after that I realized that with some it was very impactful. And with some help challenged them. So I thought Wow. Now that of course they know me. They’re kind of probably tired of hearing my story because I’ve told it too many times.
Betty: [00:03:49] But take a moment to think of people in your life that have impacted you. Just by how they live, what they say. They probably never wrote anything formally for you or went around talking about themselves. They just they lived life and you witnessed it. You probably are sitting from afar witnessing the success or you’re in the audience and they’re speaking and you’re hearing about the outcome. But really probably would impact you more is the success of the journey and the whole story, not just the positive good ending that they had.
Betty: [00:04:25] For me, I know that day in talking to the women, I’m the shareholder at the table, that really wasn’t the story. It was “I became the shareholder.” And how did that happen. You know what are all those details of getting from that staff accountant to the shareholder.
Betty: [00:04:42] In your life, it might be something completely different that you do. Sometimes there’s just those lines in a play that stick out to you. You know it’s not the whole thing it’s just there was a take away and you’ll be surprised that your take away that impacts people. And sometimes just knowing the tragedy becoming in. You now have to triumph, that’s the other good thing.
Betty: [00:05:06] So I would like to challenge you today by considering the impact your story can have on others. Your story. All it is simply put is an experience. Life that you have experienced the good the bad the ugly, it can’t just be about the good. About your decisions and circumstances, things you didn’t foresee and now you wish you would have. And now you have the advantage of hindsight.
Betty: [00:05:31] And sometimes the best story is the tragedy or the failure and all the learning you had to do to take place. Your story is personable and relatable and it’s yours. It’s probably not a big thick novel. It is probably also not just about you.
Betty: [00:05:47] Why this topic? I think it’s because your story has the ability to change the world in which you live. You can be impactful to those around, you can be inspirational. And it will help you to reflect on you when you’re thinking and having to write, and having to put things together or tell your stuff. Don’t ever underestimate your experiences
Betty: [00:06:08] All around you people are experiencing the same thing as you do. Maybe they just need help. Maybe they just need guidance.
Betty: [00:06:14] The real truth is 90 percent of us live ordinary lives. Very few of us lived this crazy big, national figure, live in the castle, you’re a household name. That just doesn’t happen. Ordinary people telling ordinary stories.
Betty: [00:06:33] Why do you tell it? Because other need other people need to hear. Plain and simple. You have something to say.
Betty: [00:06:40] So how do you tell it? Well I tell my story or bits and pieces or wherever I’m speaking or wherever I’m having conversation or where ever I’m engaged. I tell it my own way. And it’s personal. It doesn’t have to be in a format. It doesn’t have to be like you know these organizations that try to help you do a speech. It’s not that.
Betty: [00:06:59] And who you tell it to? If you think you have something to say and you have that much confidence, you figure out your audience. For me it’s the women of Brady Ware. For me it’s small business owners. For me it’s my children.
Betty: [00:07:12] You got to figure that out and you have to figure out who you’re driven to impact. Hopefully you have somebody that you’re driven to impact. Maybe it’s people within your own industry. For me again women in business, business owners, my kids, and certainly the generation behind me.
Betty: [00:07:27] Whose stories had my impact on me? The Grote family story. The Donato’s story. There is a great book called The Missing Piece. What I got from Jane Grote Able is that pizza was just the venue. That stuck with me. That was the takeaway that day. Accounting is just the venue. And in the Grote family, it was all about “that’s how we can serve people.” Also from her she talks about the sole purpose of business is spelled S O U L. I take that with me now. everywhere I go. We’re not all Jane, we’re not all the Donato’s name, but there are other people.
Betty: [00:08:07] I have a client, RDP. They’re just passionate about the grandfather that started the business. And they’re passionate about selling food. They’re passionate about tomato products and they love talking about their grandfather and what it means to work.
Betty: [00:08:24] I’m sure most of you know the name Ricart. Rhett Ricart has a great great story not on he built a ton of business with car sales. His stories about his 13 biggest mistakes. He tells that everywhere.
Betty: [00:08:37] The shareholders in Brady Ware, they have stories from years of experience in Big 4. They have little things of how they landed the client. Stuff makes a difference.
Betty: [00:08:47] I have a client Essence Marsh. She has a daycare, just to heart for kids. She’s guided by her faith she listens to everything I tell her as a business owner. And so she inspires me, if I tell her to do something she just does it. And her story continues to evolve.
Betty: [00:09:07] People like my daughter Erica. She comes and tell these stories about these kids. They’re just hilarious. She’s energized by that advanced class and how can she get them on the right path to think of college and AP courses. I hear the story when she tells it.
Betty: [00:09:23] Certainly the women of Brady Ware. we had a Women’s Day last year when it was National Women’s Month in March. And it was a day of persistence. so I asked the women of Brady Ware to write who did they know who was persistent. And we had about probably 20 that opened up about the persistent women and men in their life. It was energizing. And we had just a great day celebrating over chocolate and stories. It was engaging and it was it was impactful. Again, the ordinary things by ordinary people.
Betty: [00:10:01] So whose story do you need to tell? Because maybe you’ll never get someone to tell their story or your own. Who is in your family, in your life, your professional, all of those things, who’s impacted you?
Betty: [00:10:12] Recently my dad passed away and the night he died I couldn’t sleep so I started writing about him and was just amazed who he was. And as I wrote about those things I realized who he really was in my life. And my son, not knowing that I wrote this, spoke at his funeral and he said “My Grandpa was a storyteller.” That’s just how he communicated life. I’ll remember those things more than I will his lectures or his lists. It’s the story.
Betty: [00:10:40] Challenge. Write your story. Get with someone and tell it and figure out how you can use it to impact the world around you. If you know someone who has a great story and they will never write it, write for them. Write a piece about it. It’s easy to be on the outside looking in, right? It’s easy to go “I see this. I see your story.” Chances are they’re not going to write it. So tell it.
Betty: [00:11:04] We all have people we all have circumstances. Life experiences that can create this amazing story, with characters and plots and themes, dreams and as well as reality. And it needs to be written because I assure you there’s someone who needs to hear it.