Lead with Your Story


Just a couple weeks ago, I was sitting in my family’s living room in Bordeaux, binge-watching the TV show The Blacklist with my mom.

I have always felt good back at my family’s place. You know what it is like.

You shut the lights down when someone is in the bathroom and hold your breath not to laugh, waiting for them to yell at you (and there it goes). You run into your childhood friends when shopping in town and give them a big hug as if you just left each other the day before. You catch up on the family news and the hometown gossip that you missed out. Life is great.

But this time, I was feeling different about being there.

The last time I had been at my family’s place was the Christmas before that…

I didn’t stop working during that short vacation at all. One would think that the biggest holiday of the year would put business on hold, but that simply was not the case.

I was still getting a steady stream of emails from clients.

While my family celebrated and enjoyed time together I was on calls. Many of those calls went not only late into the night, but early into the following morning. My clients’ expected me to be there at the snap of a finger to help them right when it was needed.

I felt miserable not to be able to pay more attention to my family – but my care for my clients and my business were of the highest priority for me. After all, it was that way the rest of the year so why change for 7 short days?

Why? Because I was convinced that I had no other choice.

I started this by not setting strong boundaries or setting them and not respecting them myself. By doing so, I had allowed them to literally walk all over me.

So six months later, when I realized I had so much time to watch the dramatic main character of The Blacklist Raymond Reddington fight against criminals (and also collaborate with them), I was amazed. In the middle of an episode, I looked at my mother and said: “I’m not sure if you realize, but the last time I was here, I didn’t have a minute to myself to watch TV”. She nodded.

Then and there I vowed to never put myself in that miserable position ever again.

What caused this shift?

Since last Christmas, I admitted that for the biggest part of my life, I have been a nurturing person and took pride in that. I was following after my mother’s example. I have so much admiration for her strength of character, and her ability to serve others selflessly. My entire life, I’ve seen her relentlessly be there for others, help them grow and support them emotionally. I connected with her caregiving identity so much that without knowing it, I was losing my own.

In situations of conflict or when I was asked to do something that I was not thrilled about, I didn’t want to speak up for myself – it would have been selfish. When I would be given the responsibility to handle way too many business tasks on my own while the business owner would go on vacation – I didn’t want to say that I too needed help – it would have shown carelessness. So I usually stayed silent until it was too much for me to take on. At which point I either left the situation or was downright angry.

For years, I thought that this extreme caregiving nature was me. And that my fears (of being selfish, of being ungrateful, of being careless) were inherent to my nature. But it wasn’t the truth. The truth was that I was being a caricature of a caregiver. A martyr. It was that simple.

In February this year, I made the decision to join a mastermind of women who keep me accountable for being my best self.

In the last several months, I have had the most impactful coaching sessions with people I truly admire – Natalie MacNeil, Kimberly Riggins and Robbie Grayson. With their guidance and support, my determination to change the course of my personal story was stronger than ever. As a result, I made the following decision:

This led to many changes in my life and my business – and of all these changes, letting go of what was holding me back from being my best self was the most frightening and the most significant change.

Seeing myself on the family’s couch, next to my mother helped me reach the clarity I had been desperately seeking for all these years.

Here it is.

What I admire the most in my mother is not as much her caregiving nature as it is her endless love for books and humans.

For stories.

It is what I inherited from her. It is the reason why we were watching this TV show, episode after episode. From as far as I can remember, I have had an endless passion and compassion for human beings, their personal tragedy and collective victories. I am on a mission to uncover women and men’s unique legacies and contribute however I can to showcasing them to the world.

At the core, I am a storyteller. A brand artisan.

This is why the title of online business manager doesn’t fit me anymore. I am an entrepreneur and small business brand strategist.

I design, polish and elevate my client’s personal stories into their legacy to the world. I co-create with them their signature brand that they turn into global business empires.

When being fully, unapologetically myself, I have participated in the most fulfilling projects of my life all while reaching results I never thought were possible:

  • I helped one of my clients increase her 6-figure company revenue by 40%
  • I guided 2 clients through the launch of their year-long business coaching mastermind and through the reinvention of their business model – contributing to $38,000 of their bottom line
  • I managed the book launch of 2 of my clients, which resulted in them becoming Best Selling authors (and one of these books was a fundraising effort for a cause that is dear to me, raising awareness around women’s abuse and domestic violence)
  • I helped a client land a deal with a publishing house, because they were impressed by her professional brand

I believe that we become entrepreneurs and small business owners to make a bigger difference.

As we come in service for others, through services and products, we take the risk of losing ourselves. We can think, like I did, that we are meant to nurture and care for others more than we are meant to care for ourselves. And in doing so, we deny the deeper truth about our journey. What being with my family and coaching with some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs I know taught me, is that we don’t have to go at it alone.

If you are inspired to finally turn your story into your legacy and elevate your perceived value in your niche while doing so, I’d be delighted to plot your world revolution with you. This opportunity is limited to 2 high achievers this month. Sounds like you? Contact me now and I’ll email you back personally before we get on the phone.

Long live your legacy,

Nadine N. Bone
Small Business Branding Consultant in Paris.

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