I’ve got a 40-something single female friend.

This friend of mine¬† – who hits the trifecta of gorgeous, brilliant and kind –¬† has a great job, does amazingly interesting things, and takes 2 big international trips each year. Every night it seems she’s experiencing new restaurants, music, art, performances. She lives the MOST AMAZING life.

BUT in this day and age where it seems everyone (friends, family, neighbors) is married and completely unabashed about talking about it until they pass out – or you do – and then blah blah about their kids, who can do no wrong… her story is different.

I have to stop myself and ask: so?

Know what? Her adventures are like OXYGEN to the people that drink up her pages and love her. They are thrilled and jealous and longingly wish they could live her life – – even though it might seem THEY have it all with their families and whatnot.

And now I’m reminded of talking to an old school chum who is a partner in a big NY law firm. Same company for X years, big home, big $$ – – he was set for life before he was 40.

I remember telling him of the vagabond way I’d traveled through those same years, from the East Coast to an island to Europe to Wyoming to California, Oregon, back to California… Nowhere near retiring, I felt like a totally unfocused gypsy loser – – until he said, “Wow, I wish I had your life.”


“I never did any of that. I wish to God I had.”


First – YOUR story has power – personal, business, whatever – it crackles because it’s yours.

That’s Point 1: be authentic. Whatever you are, OWN IT.

You don’t have to be Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, or Ernest Hemingway – – (and by extension, the founding of your company doesn’t have to fit into a Harvard B-School case study, and your product can hit the market before anyone knows they need yet (ahem: iPod)…).

But if you do feel like you’re swimming upstream, you might just be an archetypical MAVERICK, EXPLORER or MAGICIAN.

Figure out what your archetype is, and TELL THAT STORY. Tell it again and again until you breathe it, bleed it, can’t live without it.



~ Christopher Smith