What’s Your Story? Make it Count!

Today I want to shift gears and share an exercise to help you share your story in a new, authentic and congruent way.

Last weekend at the Legacy Leaders retreat I helped lead with Laura Gisborne at her beautiful palace in Sedona, AZ we all took 15 minutes to write “our story”. That is 15 minutes max to tell your life story, with the twist that you do so in an entirely new way.

The purpose of this is to break free from the looping and autopilot we all too easily run on and focus on telling your story the way that it is most real and true for you right now.

So, here is “My Story” told in an entirely different way than I’ve ever shared it before and I encourage you to comment and share your new story and/or how this exercise was for you!

My Story – Circa August 28 in Sedona, AZ

I fell in love with music and electric guitar from age 13. I played this forward to starting a record label at age 21 and touring America twice by age 23.

This showed me the creative side of business and I became a consultant, investment banker and eventually entrepreneur and CEO at age 27.

Simultaneously my love of traveling, learning languages & cultures and exploring relationships from many perspectives has provided myriad experiences that far exceed those which someone of a more traditional life path experiences.

By being comfortable, or willing, or thriving in uncertainty and seeming chaos, I have developed a large capacity to hold space for others and this has become huge for my work with authors.

Now, at age 34 I am confident in my career path and do work I love with people I admire. Others look to me for leadership and I always o my best to rise to the challenge.

My priorities in life have been to collect experiences and relationships, now I see the value in also accumulating assets and growing my capacity to earn as I learn, such that I may become financially free, debt free and ultimately wealthy.

Wealthy in the sense that I am secure in living the lifestyle I enjoy, able to invest in opportunities & experiences that are attractive and be able to support my family, as well as start one of my own.

Most recently I realize that my tendency in life has been to try and bend the world to my will, but that is an arrogant posture with which to approach life.

Now I see the value in releasing my attachment to the outcome, surrendering to the experience at hand, and in so doing being willing to play full out to the best of my abilities, in a spirit of self-love, gratitude, and contribution.

Now it’s your turn…What’s Your Story?

About Jesse Krieger

Jesse Krieger is the founder and publisher for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press. International best selling author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Host of Bestseller Summit Live. Connect on Facebook, Google+, and YouTube


  1. Jesse, I would love to tell you MY story but I’m actually writing a book if my project gets funded on Kickstarter Kary Oberbrunner gave me the idea. He’s a pretty awesome guy.

  2. At the age of 78 my thirteenth novel was published.
    As a teenager I wanted to be a nurse, but that plan fell through. After working a year as a nurse’s aide I found I didn’t have the stamina for nursing.
    I took a leap of faith and went to a Cheyney Teachers College with money for only one semester. God opened doors from the time I received a reply to my application, to the unique way I learned about and got a job in the area during the school year and for the summers.
    I became a teacher, and after several moves, ended up at a school designated as a computer magnet school. I was the Reading/Language Arts Specialist and was trained to teach word processing to students in grades 3-8.
    I was always an avid reader and learning to teach word processing provided me with the opportunity to try my hand at writing a novel. The first one was never submitted to an editor, but my second one, “Snowbound with Love”, became my first published novel and was well-received as have been the others.

  3. What was your first memory as a child? I have asked this question many times, because of my interest in the answer. The responses I have received back varied considerably. These people thought and described some event so important, that it became embedded in their minds for decades. Some of these folks were in there 80’s, so this was a very long time ago, but no matter what their age, every one of them had their “I remember the time….”

    These memories, for the most part, were positive times with either family or friends. They ranged from as early in their life as one to two years old. The people would go on to describe a birthday party, playing with a friend, riding their first bicycle, grandma baking a pumpkin pie and so.

    My first memory was at three years old as I was having 105 sutures to close a massive wound across my face. A train, on the side I happened to be sitting, hit the car I was riding in. The head on collision with the locomotive, in a matter of a second, turned me from a beautiful three-year-old blond boy to scared and ugly child.

    The ridicule and taunting that followed from the other children due to the facial scaring transformed me from a happy person into a lonesome sad child.

    This escalated to the point of near destruction, as I got older. The senseless physical abuse and mental torture I endured from my father was unmerciful. As a child I was a bed wetter until I was somewhere near 10 years old. This added much stress to the already dysfunctional life I lead. I felt that, here again, I was not normal and a freak or misfit. The beatings and agony from my father went on for several years. My father had a much different approach on my bed-wetting. He figured that I was just too lazy to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. He reasoned that I would much rather lie in the bed and urinate all over myself. So his diagnosis and plan was that he would beat it out of me.

    This punishment did not work, and if anything escalated the problem. My father decided to ratchet up the beatings. He then took the approach that not only would he beat me, but would drape the soggy urine soaked blanket over my head, while he beat me with the belt. There would be times where I would have to stand there for 30 minutes or more breathing in the urine soaked blankets that had a stench of ammonia. These moments seemed to last an eternity. This continued to feed and fuel the hatred deep down inside me that I had for him. My body odor was so rancid that when I was in first grade the teacher would ask me to go home. I would sneak home and enter through a basement window. I hid under my bed all day in a dark musty basement thinking of how worthless I was to the rest of the world.

    This had such a negative impact on my inner self. I developed into a bitter and angry child with a major chip on my shoulder. I become a very defiant and ornery little boy. My father was a mean insensitive son of a bitch.

    As I developed into a hardened boy that desperately needed sociological help and mental health counseling, I received none. My life continued to spiral into a deep dark hole.

    I went on to being homeless, living in a tent pitched in the forest and living off the land. My living room at 16 years old was a campfire and folding chair.

    My older brother by 15 months, the only person who showed support and understood me, was killed in Vietnam after 2 weeks and 3 days at just 19 years old.

    The descent into the dark hole of pain continued for many years. At times this descending path was a free fall and then it started to slow down. I managed to grab on to something in this crevice I had created and stopped from going any deeper.

    At this point in my life I needed to overcome many past issues: child abuse, homelessness, lack of any formal education and mental health issues. I started in and by the grace of God I met some angels on earth who, along with myself, changed my life. I starting looking at myself in a new light and hope was born within me.

    Despite all these limitations and issues I went on to have a professional career in the banking and the real estate industry.

    I have invented and patented numerous products that are being sold across the United States. I created a company based on these inventions for the barbecue industry. Over the past 40 years I have founded and still own the three companies that are operating today.

    I broke the chain of child abuse. I raised my son without ever raising hand. To this day we are best friends and he is my proudest accomplishment in life.

    I have “given back” and honored my angels on earth. I have mentored 6 people that were in the same situation as myself, total despair with no future. Through their hopes, willing not to give up, hard work and my help, they too have become professionals. They started out as labors just existing on little earnings. They developed into highly skilled pro’s earning six figure incomes and flourishing.

    The determination to not fail, but be a winner in life, was strong within me. I read that Vince Lombardi once wrote, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” This has inspired me more than any other seven words written.

    • Wow, wow, wow. Amazing story Kim. You have certainly plumbed the depths and heights. Very moving and very healing – how one can come through such terror and darkness into the light. You certainly faced your demons from a young age.

      • Kim Hemphill says

        Thank you Francis for your kind words. I am very thankful to my God and all the “giver backers” that bestowed their random acts of kindness to me.

    • Thanks for playing full-out and sharing something so vulnerable and authentic as that Kim! You have certainly navigated through difficult times and come out stronger as a result.

      One point of constructive criticism, this exercise was intended to limit writing to 15min and I’m guessing that took a lot longer to write. What I found, and hoped for everyone here to find, is that by having a hard limit on time to express a lifetime, that many of the details you included are left out or distilled down to key takeaways or learning points.

      To your success,


      • Kim Hemphill says

        Thank you Jesse for the opportunity to participate on your site. I am continuing to learn and hope to make this a full time career. Your advise and critique is very much appreciated!

  4. Great stories shared here, thanks everyone! And thanks, Jesse, for your invitation,,, If you ask me, I share my life any time I write — most of what I write is autobiographical. My first published novel, LIE UNDER THE FIG TREES, was a thinly disguised report of a trip to Mexico to smuggle my ex-lover over the border to the US! But recently, I felt I need to come up with an Overview of My Life. Jesse’s invite gave me a kick in the pants to write what I’ll post next , , ,

  5. My Story – Sept 5, 2016 in N. Hollywood, CA

    Whatever I write, I write about myself, like in my novel. LIE UNDER THE FIG TREES. But lately, my life’s taken such sudden upheavals, showcasing wild new developments, that the whole picture has been calling for a few updates.

    My most recent upheaval occurred in 2005. After 28 years of living in California, I uprooted myself, and took a university job in Taiwan. My life turned upside down.

    Until then, all I ever wanted was to be a starving artist, totally uncommitted, free to come and free to go, with nothing and no one of my own. I hated babies, in particular. I despised domesticated men, dogs and plants, rationalizing it by saying I didn’t want any of them die during my frequent travels, my passion.

    Shocked by the Chinese lifestyle, I realized that, actually, the “lone wolf” lifestyle live is loser, love is king, and money is blessing. In short, I became a new man. In fact, this was not the first time that I started a new life.

    In 1977, I also uprooted myself, fled the Communist Poland, and settled in America speaking just two words in English, “I” and “you.” Two words, wow! Great start, though. Soon, I started publishing in U.S. literary magazines, published a book, and subsequently ran a creative writing workshop called, WRITE LIKE A LOVER! Finally, I became a college professor of English. Only in America!

    There’s one more breakthrough moment I can’t skip. I was maybe 10 years old, but it keeps going till this day. I often stood by the railroad tracks watching the faces – all the sad faces in the passing windows. One day, I saw an old lady. I smiled at her. She replied with a bright, happy smile. At that moment, I realized that I had a tremendous power. The power of influencing people’s minds.

    I was getting convinced of that, but slowly. My “monkey brain” overpowered me often. Despite my aspiring to be rich, famous, and happy, I remained poor, nobody. I recall jogging along the beach in Carmel yelling at the seagulls, “Ten million dollars! Ten million dollars!” as I craved the moolah to materialize. Nothing happened.

    Until I moved to Taiwan. For the first time, I really, really saw that I am changing my life by my own design. I’d always dreamed of teaching university, and now, I grabbed the pulpit. I’d wished to love and be loved, and now, I was. I became a papa, again. The first thing I did, I bought my newborn a house, his own house, dammit, so he’d never be homeless as I.

    In 2005, I made my next wish list. As of today, every single wish has come true. Incl. my “ten million dollars,” of course. My employment contract was lovely. I made my 10 mln quick – in Taiwanese dollars!

  6. My story that I’m going through now is my startup journey. At first it started as wanting to start a business. That changed when I went through my particular difficulties of trying to do so. I didn’t just think of myself; I felt that if I’m going through this, others have to be going through the same thing. I wanted to do a web startup but the problem I ran into was how do you do this when you never grew up around web developers & you come from a family that doesn’t have a lot of money? By the grace of God I was able to get the opportunity to get my website developed. I wanted the focus of this site to be on helping people like me who come from the same conditions & want to chase the dream of being an entrepreneur. I felt that the best way to do this was by letting people blog about their entrepreneur startup journey as it was happening & at the same time allowing others to participate in these journeys. This way, these stories could shed light to unknown resources & hopefully build a strong entrepreneur community. I just started & I’m currently blogging my startup journey on there. Please wish me luck.

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