Stories help you dream big and overcome your fears.

Mary.Nerburn.photo_Today on Barkada Circle radio, we interviewed Mary Nerburn––author, coach, speaker, and entrepreneur/business owner. Mary is celebrating the one-year anniversary of her book, Jack It Up: A 50-Something Women’s Guide to Fixing a Flat Life and Start Living Again. Internationally, women and men of all ages are benefitting from her wisdom.

In today’s program, she tells the Barkada Circle audience how she uses storytelling in helping people dream big once more, push through fears and show up in life again. Mary’s no-nonsense approach appeals to those who seek an engaged authentic life by answering their true calling and realizing their new life mission. Her reminder for embracing your true north is “Like a pebble in your shoe, your dream will nag at you until you respond and live it.”

Jack It Up explores core values as the foundation for decision making and suggests ways to identify and act on personal giftedness as well as using laughter, movement and connecting with nature to create balance. The reader is guided from one chapter to the next with tools for both reflecting and making real changes with laser questions such as, “What do you know about your potential and what do you intend to do with this insight?”

Listen to the podcast of today’s program.

Mary is available for workshops, book readings and consultations with individuals or companies: http://www.MaryNerburn.com. Mary’s book Jack It Up is available at http://www.JackItUpStartLivingAgain.com.

We are what we teach.

Instead of, “do what you love,” perhaps the more effective mantra for the entrepreneur, the linchpin and maker of change might be, “love what you do.” If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we’re going to do important work.
— Seth Godin, Turning passion on its head

The core of Barkada Circle is to connect, in meaningful ways, the people who can affect change within their organization. It is the first step to getting clarity on their mission and ultimately getting to it. Story is our passion. It is also our message.

Coming back from a long break, these words from Mr. Godin provide just the right tone for Barkada Circle to begin a new chapter in dynamic storytelling. To be clear, by no means were we on vacation. These past few months have created a turning point for Barkada Circle as we continue to discover the many different ways that storytelling could help Chicago’s local nonprofits build stronger communities around mission.

We learned that in the field of education, there is a great need for effective leadership development for teachers starting with those in early childhood education. The women and men who introduce learning to our 3- to 5-year olds not only read stories to these children, but also find themselves needing to tell stories to their staff, the parents of the children, and others in their community. Many of them, believing that they were born to teach children and youth, also see the need to lead others and in some cases, entire communities.

They realize that story is a vital catalyst for engaging people and helping them understand two key things: 1) why change in education is important and 2) what role they need to play in making it happen. Through story, they try to spark relevant conversations that build valuable connections to raise the quality of learning that our children receive at that early, yet critical point in their development.

On the heels of the observance of Labor Day, I salute our teachers for the hope and the potential they bring to our society. I thank them for recognizing the value of story in their work. I love what I do for I share in their belief that storytellers make the best teachers, and the best leaders.