A New Beginning: This Time, It’s Personal

April 18, 2010 in News & Events | Comments (4)


For the last 20 years, I’ve spent most of my time telling other people’s stories for them. In one way or another – through Journalism, public relations, back to Journalism and into business development and conference content curation – I’ve focused on being a conduit for bringing other people’s stories to the public. Most of those years have been spent in and around Silicon Valley working in the media, at agencies, a couple of start-ups and consulting.

In January 2009 I attended my first Camp Courage, an activist training program developed by the Courage Campaign and based on the success of Camp Obama. Through these sessions, which focus on the importance of personal narrative as tool for engendering social and political change, a large light bulb snapped on over my head.

Today, that light bulb casts a powerful glow across my brand new endeavor – Story Navigation. When I step on stage at Jeff Pulver’s 140 Conference on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 to share my perspective on connecting “who” with “what” I will be announcing the launch of this new workshop series. {You can catch my presentation LIVE at 5:55pm Eastern on 4/20/10 at this link}

Designed for business professionals, Story Navigation turns people’s everyday answer to the standard question “What do you do?” into a powerful, compelling response. Because let’s face it, when people ask that requisite question, while they may certainly have interest in the logistical bits of what you do for a living, the real question they want answered is WHY. Why do you do what you do? Do you like, or hopefully love, what you do? What makes you unique in your work? Of course, getting into such deep answers just isn’t feasible in most professional scenarios, but the need for articulating that passion at the get go has never been more important.

Today’s world is one in which we are pummeled, prodded and otherwise poked (sometimes literally if talking Facebook) by information – products, services, events. Everyone is trying to sell something. In his upcoming book “The Mirror Test”, Kodak Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Hayzlett highlights the connection between a person’s personal motivation and their business as one of the most critical ingredients in that business’ success. He also emphasizes that making that connection needs to happen fast – or you not only lose attention you likely lose whatever deal it is you may be pursuing.

Through these Story Navigation workshops – which are to be expanded upon in coming months by additional seminars, an on-line community, and a live weekly, talk show – I will help people address this challenge.

In addition to the launch of Story Navigation, this week also marks the unveiling of an entirely new web presence for me. Thanks to the Herculean efforts (there’s a story here, but that’s fodder for another post) of Adam Helweh and the amazing team at Secret Sushi Creative, I’m proud to reveal a brand new site – CathyBrooks.com – along with a fresh take on my blog, OtherThanThat.com.

The biggest part of this goes beyond the new top-level domain and branding and steps squarely into my own personal journey – my own story. You see my career hasn’t just been about telling other people’s stories for them. It also has been about helping other people realize their dreams, while putting my own on hold. I harbor no regrets about any of my career. In fact every single step along the way was critical in my landing at the very point where I sit today. To all of those with whom and for whom I’ve worked over the years, there can be no thanks or gratitude large enough for the guidance and lessons learned.

Now it’s time to use my own voice, and in doing so the great gift is that I am helping others find theirs.

So … what’s your story?


4 responses to “A New Beginning: This Time, It’s Personal”

  1. Well well well, Cathy B…how are you? It’s been awhile so I wanted to let you know that in reading your story about *telling other people’s stories*, I too share that same sentiment about wanting to share my own. (or at the very least share it in a public space and be heard). For the past 15 years plus I have been listening to countless numbers (i think, actually around 14,000) of people’s stories as a Psychotherapist, Mind/Body Therapist and Coach. I’ve listened , staying present and quiet listening to who they are, what makes them tick, what makes them happy and everything in between. People have shared every conceivable attribute of their personality with me; their life’s struggles, their identity and every thinkable issue there is. They have showed me their underbelly and the full spectrum of emotions from which they may have come to face in light of challenges and obstacles they didn’t expect.

    From rage to glee, despair to hope and everything in between I have listened with intention, compassion and with an open heart. I commend you on the fierceness you impart along your path to pave a new story for yourself. The importance behind that is that it is for *yourself* first. Being a fierce woman myself, I must relay that being for *yourself* is *not* about being selfish. Much to the contrary. Being and doing for yourself allows others to be and do for themselves and that actually makes the world a better place because thetr is more self care and less addiction to the *other* for happiness (which seems to be valued highly in American and other cultures).

    So to say, I wanted you to know that you are not alone in this journey even though you are focused on *yourself*. I too, am along with you in that I am also taking risks and steps to procure a new beginning for my business and to set the stage for others to find their own stories and avenues toward happiness.

    Being a Psychotherapist doesn’t allow much of an opening in the way of celebrating *me*, so I am beginning to learn to use that skill in other ways so I too can be heard and valued. I hope to be with you along this path and will look forward to being an active participant in both of our lives. This will mean speaking up, being fierce and learning to accept what is, instead of worrying about what is *not*.

    So, I toast to you, your new company for the great inspirations you will impart to any person in need while allowing people to share their story in a frank and candid way so they may speak their truth and be healed because of it.

    Alison leigh siegel,
    Body Fierce
    “The courage to be you!”

  2. Cathy says:

    I can think of no other partner whose fierce compassion and power are more welcome to me in this journey. Thank you for the comment, Ali … thank you more for being a continued example to me in embracing strength, looking at truth and daring to be all that I can.

  3. […] those who may have missed my announcement, here’s the item I wrote last week to detail the […]

  4. […] those who may have missed my announcement, here’s the item I wrote last week to detail the […]