By Chad D. Lerch | Owner, Digi Marketing Pros
Who is this man and what’s his story? Why does he look so sad? Has he experienced a great loss? Has he ever given and received love? Does he wish he had done more with his life? Is he close to death?
I’ll get to that in a minute.
Twelve years ago, my friend David Drury and I started a writers society to feed our passion for becoming great storytellers. We were already pretty darn good: David had just published his inspirational book, The Fruitful Life, based on John 15:5; and I was a scrappy journalist who had contributed to a few award-winning team reporting projects in Ohio.
Before we knew it, the Lakeshore Writers Society had grown to include Sharlene MacLaren (whoa!), Anna Bradfield, and others. We shared our personal journals, critiqued each other’s work, and most importantly, encouraged each other to grow in our craft.
During one of our meetings, David brought a picture of this lonely old man and challenged us to tell his story — based only on what we could take away from a printout that sat on the table. And, oh yeah, we had to do it in 15 minutes. The stories that came out of that exercise made us laugh, made us cry, and though we never talked about it with each other, it forced us to think about the end of our lives. What will be on our hearts at the end? Who will be standing by our sides? Will we be alone? Will we wish we had done more?
The only regret I have in my professional life is that I allowed myself to sit in a cage-like cubicle for 40 hours a week doing marketing other people’s way. I don’t want to be that old man, looking back on my life, wishing I had broken free.
Change is here, and like David’s book, my life will be fruitful and prosperous.
My new business is two weeks old today! I am placing faith in my God, and in myself, to sustain a marketing business that helps companies connect with customers who need what they’re offering. Like Jack Canfield said in his book, The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are To Where You Want to Be, I’m going to “lean into it,” even if when it’s scary, daunting, or stressful.
Now, about that old man. What’s his story? Go ahead and write it. You can take longer than 15 minutes, no one’s counting.