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What’s Your Story?
By John Barrows | May 26, 2016

I recently wrote about how I’m starting to figure out SnapChat: the more I use it, the more I see the potential for this platform and understand the impact it can have. SnapChat’s potential really hit me this past weekend while talking to my 24-year-old brother-in-law. He is trying to sort out how to make a living as he follows his passion of being in a heavy metal band.

I met my wife 14 years ago and so I’ve known this kid since he was about ten. He’s always been shy and without a lot of confidence, but has an incredible heart. He muddled through middle school and high school like the rest of us: figuring out where he fit in. Along the way, he ended up connecting with heavy metal music and gravitated toward the music and the scene.

Going into college, he didn’t know what he wanted to do career-wise. Since he always liked helping people, he thought a degree in Psychology would be a good fit. He did OK in his studies, but really started to thrive in the heavy metal music scene. He joined a band, started to write and play music, and things started to take off for him. My wife and I watched him go from being a shy, reserved kid with no confidence, to a thrash metal rock star playing lead guitar for his band Carnivora. Soon he was touring the country, backed by multiple sponsors, and even opened for a festival headlined by Megadeath. Whatever you think of that kind of music, that’s a pretty big deal. The confidence he showed on stage translated off stage, too. It’s been awesome to witness.

This past weekend he came by our house to get some advice on what kind of job he could pursue that would support both his passion and his lifestyle. Unfortunately, regardless of the success of the band, it’s not exactly the most lucrative profession out there. And, since they go on tour a lot, he can’t exactly have a 9 to 5 office job. We talked about some ideas he had — some were better than others — and about various options he could tackle. The conversation soon shifted its focus to the journey itself.

I told him that in your 20’s you’re figuring things out. This is why you should take risks and try a bunch of different things. In your 30’s, you should start to settle in and get more serious about setting and achieving your goals. In your 40’s, you should know what the hell you’re doing or else you’re pretty much screwed. 😉

I shared some of my experiences and told him I wish I had paid more attention to my journey along the way. Then we got to talking about his current journey. Regardless of what job he decided to pursue in order to fund his music passion, I thought that the story of him figuring it out would be pretty interesting and potentially helpful to him and to others along the way. I asked him to consider that if chronicling his journey and sharing his experiences ended up helping just one person (maybe someone like him when he was younger) would his degree in Psychology then seem worth the investment? Without question, his answer was “Yes.”

Introducing SnapChat.

SnapChat is a low risk way of telling your story and of potentially helping others along the way. Users can connect directly and in a very personal way with your audience. For my brother-in-law it’s also a means for him to start building his own personal brand while simultaneously helping to promote his band. He jumped on the idea and is now telling his story on Snapchat as he tries to plan what’s next. You can follow his journey at “ironmeehan” if you want. Once again, it’s awesome to watch.

I’m doing the same thing: sharing my story on SnapChat as I try to evolve in my career and my profession. My hope is that by sharing my experiences, successes, and failures that someone watching might learn something and it will help them skip over a few steps in their journey. Ultimately, that’s why I do what I do. If I can connect with one person and make a positive impact on their career, it’s worth it for me.

For those of you reading this, trying to figure things out: think about your journey. We all have a story. Why not tell yours to build your brand and to potentially help someone else along the way?



P.S. Check out my free Resource Center where I share almost everything I’ve learned throughout my career. Also, feel follow me on SpanChat at “johnmbarrows” where I will answer any question you have about sales, business, or life.

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