It’s rare I do this; but from the moment I opened the following e-letter from Rob Hatch (President, Owner Media Group), I knew it is to be the “Women in Micro-Business” post for today!
Why? Because it has so much heart that I nearly sobbed before reaching the end. Not that sobbing is a requisite for good copy; but good copy ought inspire, motivate, encourage and empower. Rob’s e-letter does all that – and more! So without further ado; let me post his piece in its entirety; then wind up with some brief thoughts of my own. . .
Earlier this week Chris sent an email about Donald Miller’s StoryBrand workshop. Chris attended it. He had a great time and it’s had a real impact on our business in a short time. I’d encourage you to check it out.
I’ve had a different experience with Donald Miller’s work, a very personal one, and I’d like to tell you about it.
There are certain people, books, speeches, poems, or experiences that impress upon us something significant. They can change us, as long as we do something.
I’ve talked before about how we tend to read as though reading itself is going to make a change when in fact, it ends up being just another form of consumption. Unless…we take action.
Let me tell you a story
A little more than five years ago, my wife Megin and I were living in Maine with our three children. I was running a non-profit. Megin stayed home with our kids. This was our family. This was our life. It was pretty good.
My friend (and now business partner) Chris recommended a book to us. It was Donald Miller’s, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years. It’s a wonderful book filled with humor, self-reflection, and the type of self-deprecation that is endearing and honest. Don writes well.
His book chronicles a journey from a life that was somewhat uninspired to one in which he decides to live a story, one worth writing about and reading about.
Megin and I both read the book and as you might imagine from a well written book about living your story, were inspired.
A few months later while on Twitter, Megin learned of a group of women from Maine planning a humanitarian trip to Ethiopia. They would be visiting orphanages, bringing food and medical supplies, and helping to build a building that would be a library, health center, and community center. They needed donations and support for their trip. Megin wanted to help. But the way she kept talking about it, I noticed something. She needed to do more.
“Why don’t you go with them?”, I asked one night.
Her response was a mixture of, ‘we can’t afford to’ and ‘you have to work’ and ‘I can’t leave our children for that long’.
She had excu…errr reasons and they made sense.
I said, “This isn’t something you afford to do. This is something you decide. The rest will happen.”
Then I told her, “I think you’re going. You just haven’t said ‘yes’, yet.”
She may have rolled her eyes at the time. But a few days later she called me at work and said, “I’m going”.
Inspiration to Action
It was in this moment that Megin took Don’s inspirational words and acted on them in one of the most powerful ways. She decided.
That very night in a simple conversation with a friend, and without asking, support for her trip started coming in.
She jumped into planning mode, coordinating what needed to be done. She received support from family and friends and strangers to bring whatever supplies she could carry with her.
She was gone for 10 days in all. She visited orphanages, helped others, and hugged every child who wanted one (and even some who were too shy to say so), pouring every ounce of her Mama Love into every child she met.
She made lifelong friends (Hello, Tam!) and came home changed. She was living a new story.
Who knows what a book will do? Actually, I do. Megin does. We know that it can do absolutely nothing or… when you move from inspiration to action. It can change everything.
We had no idea
A few months after her trip, Megin continued to stay in touch with new friends, helping from afar in any way she could, but another shift was taking place.
The group took many pictures of their experience but one found its way on our wall. It was Megin, cheek to cheek with an 11 month old girl. A baby without a family. Megin had a tear as she again poured so much love into her, not knowing what her fate would be.
We stared at that picture for months and then cautiously inquired about adopting her. We were met with roadblocks and lots of people telling us that it wasn’t possible. I think there were six agencies who said it couldn’t happen. We persisted.
After nearly a year of hearing no, we looked at each other and said, “What if that’s the answer? That happens sometimes. What if we need to accept “no”?”
I received a phone call the next morning telling us that this little girl, our daughter, was able to be adopted.—
We have four children now. Last week we celebrated the three year anniversary of our daughter being home and realized now that every day she is with us, it is one day longer than when she was without us. She’s living a very different story, too. Trust me when I say that she is the hero of her own story.
Meg is my hero
Megin is my hero for so many reasons. She took inspiration and used it to take an action so profound it changed the nature and scope of our family. She didn’t do it alone, but it all came together because…
She had a mission and purpose.
She broke it down into actionable steps.
She articulated her needs and utilized her network of support.
She stepped out of her comfort zone in service to something (and someone) else.
All of the work she did ahead of time enabled her to be present when it mattered. Present to pour Mama Love into so many and one in particular.
There are many people and experiences who influenced this journey, but it all started with Donald Miller’s book inspiring her to live a better story. Our family owes him so very much.
What inspires you to action?
Have a great week.
My question is the same as Rob’s: “what inspires you to action?”
As a woman in business – one many call “teeny-weeny” and don’t take seriously; what motivates you to take action?
Better still, what will you do TODAY – TOMORROW or no later than the NEXT DAY to step out of your comfort zone by taking action to help another as you help yourself?
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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Images: Rob Hatch President, Owner Media Group Inc and <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7679455@N03/5787097010″>The Bernina Express</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://neighborhoodboutiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]