Posted by: Mike Whitmore | May 26, 2009

Power in Words

At a Biznik event in Seattle on May 6th, 2009, more than 500 entrepreneurs gathered for a unique event. The Biznik team offered the opportunity to capture the passion of these entrepreneurs on film. Anyone who runs their own business does so for a variety of reasons, but one common factor burns within each of these folks – their passion.

Let’s face it, most small businesses fail within the first few years. And with the collapse of the economy and the rate of new businesses failing (even when times are good) these business owners have some serious hutzpah. To put their careers and personal finances and even personal relationships at risk is strong evidence that they are driven by some internal passion.

Something stronger than money motivates them.

Capturing the stories from these folks on film was the plan and the most compelling tales are usually, if not always, human.

Biznik conducted a practice session a couple of days before the filming event to help us feel more comfortable in front of the camera. As I listened to the facilitator I realized my own human story for being an entrepreneur was buried beneath the elevator pitch I’ve used to sell Fresh Consulting. That is . . . until now. I’ve uncovered more of the story as to why I’m in business for myself and the fire within me.

First – a bit on Fresh Consulting – what we do.

We are strategic business consultants that help firms take advantage of all the new web has to offer for business solutions. That’s a broad statement. The internet is a platform for connecting people to people and this capability empowers customers, companies, and communities of interest to connect in ways never before possible. Please refer to the book Groundswell for a more in-depth treatment of these principles.

Second – how these principles apply to my story.

In November 2007 my first wife, Deborah, was diagnosed with Stage IIIA breast cancer. As our family struggled with this heartbreaking trial and her eventual passing eight months later I maintained a blog on http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com. Within this medium I wrote about more than just her status, but also her insights of hear heart and spirit as she suffered through the pain, funny stories so readers could get to know Deborah and our family better and I also poured out the pains within my own heart. This was a personal and family struggle, but communicated and shared in a new way.

The blog proved the power of the new web. Via the blog readers felt they were on this very human journey with us, walking beside us, even carrying us on many occasions. This electronic format connected, nay, rallied people in love for Deborah and our family of five. We received tremendous support and service from several communities – our families far away, our church, our neighbors, the elementary school, my work, our community and in ways impossible to measure. My heart was and continues to be touched by the outpouring of support as hundreds read this open book into the depths of my heart during this time.

This illustrates the power the web can have in connecting people and this became the central focus of my commentary for the film. I drew the parallel of how the loss of my wife became my impetus – my inner flame – my passion for starting a business that helps companies harness the power of Social Media and using the new web in connecting people in powerful ways. We can now collaborate, share, inspire, serve and sell within this new paradigm.

We can also find true romance, which is also part of another chapter of my story.

All the best,

Mike

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