Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 26 · 2 years ago

26: What's Your Story? with Sarah Elkins

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Sarah Elkins joins the podcast to chat about her book, Your Stories Don't Define You: How You Tell Them Will. She shares the power of storytelling, how her life experiences has shaped what she's doing now, and her favorite small world connections.

Welcome the good people, cool things, the podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. I'm your host, Joey held, and today's guest is Sarah Elkins, author of the Book Your Stories don't define you, how you tell them will, and founder of the no more virtual summit. Now, if you're anything like me, these zoom calls are kind of getting a little crazy. A lot of people want to do virtual happy hours and there's you know, there's only so much attention and energy we can give. Sarah was feeling the same way and started the no more virtual summit as a way to kind of connect with people that she had only known through Linkedin, through technology, through online now we're kind of going in the reverse of it, with everyone being at home, but still a lot of great ways to connect with people and share your story here. Their stories have those small world moments which are always so fun. Sara's going to talk about how you can better tell stories. I've done a terrible job of it in this intro but how you can succinctly and clearly share your story with people to really get them engaged, whether it's an interview of first date, walking by on the street while you're both social distancing and wearing masks. All of that, Sarah's got you covered. If you'd like to get in touch with good people cool things, you can do so in a couple different ways. Shoot an email to joey at good people cool thingscom m, follow the show on facebook or twitter, GPCT podcast, or go over to the shop. There's lots of great stuff good people, cool thingscom shop. And while your brows in let's kick in with Sarah. We're going up five floors on an elevator, which I've timed the last time I was in an elevator because I was curious and it this might have just been a slow elevator, but it was about twenty three second. So Do you have a twenty three second pitch about who you are? Gosh, I knew you were going to ask me something like that. Let's see. I'm going to start with the whole why and let or why and how. You know the the Simon Sin Thing. My why is that I believe that relationships are the key to happiness and satisfaction in life. And my what is that I help people be more self reflective and improve their communication, which then helps them improve their relationships, which of course, in turn improves your happiness and satisfaction in life. Awesome. Is that twenty three second? I was not timing it, but it's sound. It sounded I know I clicked, I clicked over to to my notes and I just like totally lost track of everything. But yes, we're gonna will go and check the tape afterwards, but I'm going to say twenty three seconds on the nose. Well done all around, and you touched on a couple of things that I think are super important, especially how stories can help build relationships. You go into that a little bit more? Yeah, absolutely, I'm stories can make or break a relationship and one of the first things that happened after I started dating my husband was I was twenty five and he was thirty seven and I started telling stories about ex boyfriends, and I don't know what drove me to do that. When I look back now, I think maybe I was kind of setting a boundary and pushing him away because I was a threedate woman and I had been dating him for like a month, so it's possible that I was getting a little freaked out. You know, commitment and obligation really make me uncomfortable. So I started telling almost every story would turn back around to some guy that I dated and at one point we had this big blow up over it. He said, I don't know why you feel compelled to share these stories with me, and I got really defensive about it. It's like what, I'm just sharing stories, you know, and I hadn't really thought about the context of the stories I was sharing and I remember going home to my apartment that night and we think to my roommate and best friend at...

...the time, Mary and and said I think I just ruined the best thing that has happened to me in a long time, and I had to really reflect on what he said in terms of what the stories were telling him. Now he he knew exactly what button to push. He basically said that I was kind of creating my identity around to the men that I had dated, and that really pushed a button, you know, that hidden nerve, because I always think of myself as fiercely independent and to be told that that's how he was perceiving me based on those stories. Now this was this is twenty five years ago, but it's still resonates with me when I think back on that time. And I've heard conversations. You know, I'm kind of a fly on the wall and when I'm sitting in restaurants and I've heard conversations where somebody, the man or the woman, was going on and on about an axe and I'm watching the interaction just devolved from there. So the stories you tell can make or break a relationship. That's a I mean, I'm sure it was terrible at the time, but that's a great way to kind of frame it. Of how to you they just seemed like stories, but to your now husband, which I'm glad this has a happy ending, and you didn't, you didn't ruin the best thing you had to go for here, but like he was coming at it from a completely different angle, and I think that's I know I certainly get caught up in that. Sometimes I'll tell a story that I think is just wonderful and that's because I have a tight knit relationship with everyone involved. You know, maybe it's friends from back in high school, maybe it is an axe and it's like not at all interesting to the person I'm telling it too, or they're just like wait, who, like, who is this other day character you've introduced? Like you haven't mentioned them before. I don't know who that is. I'm like, Oh, that's right, like you don't have the context for it and I'll try and go back, but in my head I'm just like there had to have been a better way to lay that out at the beginning. Yes, they're always is, and that's actually what my book is about, is kind of pinpointing which stories to share and win and there's a whole section about observing your audience so that you can see if you're shutting them down or causing a problem friction in the relationship before you dig too deeply. Can we get, I guess it's not a scoop since the book is available, but can we get like a sneak peak of one of those things to look for a store? Yeah, so it's called your stories don't define you, how you tell them well, and it's really about those stories that you share and how they impact your internal messages, how you see yourself and your place in the world and how your stories impact the relationships with the people around you. And, as I mentioned before, your relationships are really going to be the key to your happiness and satisfaction in life. And if you're not paying attention being self reflective about how you are being perceived by the people around you. Then you kind of lose this opportunity to be intentional about that. So the book it walks through you know, the beginning is kind of the science behind it and some of the observations I've made about where stories come into play in your life and internal messages, and then it gets into I actually share a story and then I encourage the reader to think about their own stories that might have popped up into their memories while they were reading mine. I found that in my years of coaching storytelling and public speaking and communication that the best way to uncover somebody's...

...story and start to understand where their internal messages are coming from is to share one of my own stories. That demonstrates a little bit of vulnerability but also makes their memories start coming back to them. It's like unlocking their memories by sharing a brief story of my own. So that's what I do in the book and there are worksheets and exercises to help people create their own story portfolio so that then not only can they have some stories ready, like if they're asked for an interview or even a media interview or podcast interview or if they're actually going for a job or first date, they'll have a handful of stories in their back pocket that they can pull out that they've practiced and kind of figured out what the key points were of it. But also they can look back at this, at the worksheets that are in the book, and see some of their own patterns. Like me in this whole stories about ex boyfriends or boys that I had dated. They can see the patterns and maybe start to identify where they're getting in their own way. I like that. I like the way you've broken it out and really the unlocking their own stories through yours, I think is a real critical element to it and I think that's kind of hard to be on top of. So kudas well done. Thank you well, and that's that's been kind of the magic of doing this. For about five years I became certified with Gallop to do strengths finder coaching, and one of the things that I realized as as going through their training and the pretty rigorous certification process, was that one of the issues with interviews and getting to know people is that we have a tendency to want to tell people who we are. So I'm a team player, I'm a Great Cook Book, I'm I'm this or on that, and in strengths it's well, I'm strategic activator. Kind of really weird little narrative that you put out there that most people can't possibly understand. Or if you're saying I'm smart or I'm a good cook, people struggle to believe you unless they've had an experience with you and it just comes across as either ignorant or arrogant. So what I've put together really in all my coaching is that when I understand somebody's strengths and I understand some of their stories and where their internal messages come from, I can then help them craft a story that demonstrates those strengths. So the the I say your strengths are your stories. So instead of saying I'm a good cook, I might tell you about the salmon that I made the other night. I got this beautiful big filet of Salmon and cooked it on the grill, but first I wiped it down with a rice wine vinegar and then very lightly sprinkled some garlic salt and put on some butter pads and just a little bit of dill and threw it on the grilled just long enough that it got this nice crispy edge, and served it with delicious cous coups, where I toasted the the couscous grains and added some pine nuts and some sundry tomatoes and some olive oil. And now you're not only thinking wow, maybe she is a good cook, you're thinking, Wow, I'm really hungry and must be dinner time. Yeah, I regret recording this around dinner time. So I also had salmon for lunch. So look at us go. But you, you did a much better job putting it together then that I did with mine. Well, and that's the thing is, I could tell you I'm a good cook, but why would you believe me? And if I can't cook for you, how am I going to prove it? Well, I tell a story and I might even add a testimonial. Like that's my dog shaking. Sorry, what kind of dog I might oh, he is a gigantic chocolate...

...lab mix. He weighs as much as I do. She's like just like a hundred and something, hundred ten pounds so, and he, he is bored out of his mind because it's been really rainy around here, which is unusual in Montana, but so he's he likes to keep me company. I opened the door of my office to let him out before we started recording and he went out and then I was about to close the door and he put his nose back in. See, he didn't want to be left behind. So as now he's doing his circle thing to find a nice place to lay down, but we have wood floor, so he can hear the click, click, click. Anyway, he's really a sweet, sweet boy. I love him. Yeah, I'm talking about you. You should see the face that he's giving me. W ALK is it time for a w no, anyway yet, at least not yet. Awesome. Well, I think you kind of touch on this a little bit, with having this experience, that of telling stories and really kind of CON concreting, that's not the right word, making your message more concrete. There we go right through through a story, and I think this probably goes back to your background. You have a pretty extensive one, from serving cocktails to serving city government. And how do you think that's prepped you for what you're doing now? Oh, you know, every everything that I've done in my life somehow comes back to lessons and application. So I loved working restaurants. The sense of humor was always dirty and raw and I always found it fascinating and I got really good at hearing things that we're going on at my tables from a distance. So I could actually be taking an order at one table and I would hear and be able to distinctly hear a conversation at a table of mind that's for or five tables away. I would hear them talking about their next drink orders and I would finish taking the order from the One table and go get the drink orders for the other table and bring it back and they'd say, wait a minute, we didn't and I'm like yeah, I just knew you were ready. So I was tipped really well, even though I wasn't I wasn't a very good server because I would forget stuff and I'd get visiting with some table because I love people. I'm super curious and I'd start visiting and I'd forget to stuff for my other dayle so I wasn't a good server, but I was really friendly and loving and so I got really good tips. But I got really good at listening to people's conversations and and understanding where I could be of service and it's interesting you ask me that question and I really appreciate it because not that hasn't been a question that's been asked in any of the interviews I've done about the book. But there is a part of my book that I talked about how I uncovered when I call my what or my how related to your why. So Simon Senek talks about finding your why, which is basically your your belief, your strongest mission statement for who you are and what you believe in the world, and it is supposed to drive your behavior. And what I found is that people were talking a lot about this about three years ago and I just got really annoyed. First of all, it seemed too fluffy for me. was to woo and I couldn't find the application of it, and I'm all about practical youth full application of things. And I finally hit...

...this point where I realized part of why I was so annoyed by it was because I didn't know mine and I couldn't possibly begin to imagine what one thing I could say about my life and how I live it that could possibly encapsulate all these experiences, as you mentioned, from cocktailing to being a public information officer for a local government. But what I realized was that once I kind of figured out what my magic is, which after after a few events and they're listed in the book, I realized that what I'm really good at is creating a comfortable, safe environment for people to be vulnerable and learn and grow in a very authentic way. And it took these three events that I had planned or facilitated or been part of for me to come to that conclusion that it wasn't the events themselves, wasn't the content of the events, it wasn't even the participants necessarily. The one thing that was in common among those three events was how I created the space for people to speak and be heard. And I looked back at all of those different experiences through my life and I realized I've been doing that since I was like ten years old. I remembered hosting a surprise birthday party from my baby sister who was turning five it and inviting her friends over and not telling her I was going to do this and I remember planning in that event at ten years old. That's impressive. I'm trying to think what I was planning at ten and it certainly wasn't that. Maybe I was doing like full march madness, brackets in my head. Even you got it. You gotta stay entertained outside of March too, and it's it comes to college basketball. So absolutely I do want to talk a little more about your book, but I have two quick follow up questions based on your background. One, do you have a go to cocktail? And too, is the show veep a good portrayal of what government life is like? God, you are so good, Joey. I'm into this. My go to cocktail? That's a hard one because my husband is really amazing at mixing cocktails and he just created this bizarre when last night that actually had that violet in it, you know, the yeah, the pilot liquor with gin and I think there was some sort of bitters in that. It was so good and I don't like floral sweet drinks at all, but this one there is an old candy, hard candy, the Violet Candy, from back in the S and they still make it and every once while you find it at one of those cookie little sweet shops and that's what this drink tasted like, kind of a sweet sour sweet tart, kind of thing. It was delicious. But I think my Goato, you're going to be a little distantive is actually just a particular whiskey, a rye on the rocks. That's look or or a shot of Tequila if I happened to be singing with the rock band that I perform with sometimes. But I know whiskey on the rocks, not even mixed with anything, just to play. So yeah, it's kind of disappointing a suppose. So No, I think that's that's totally on brand. I just did a virtual whiskey tasting happy hour and we made quote unquote, cocktails. were all it was was whisk. I'll give a shout out to the my Lemon Green distillery down here in Austin and they were actually not an Austin...

...but Austin area and they the tasting was just a bourbon and a rye and both of them on the rocks and just a little zest, sort of peel, I guess, from an orange and a grapefruit respectively. I think I have that right. I think the Bourbon had the grape fruit in the rye head the orange peel and it was just that would make like like peel a little a little bit of the skin off and and just I'm doing the finger motion but you can't see me doing it, but like you know, the little little finger, rubbing the fingers together to get all the flavors out in there and then just throwing the peel right in it. And that was the cocktail and it was delightful. So I'm totally on board. Sounds Oh I. Oh my Gosh, I'm gonna have to look at that STI. I wonder if they shipped to Montana. We have some amazing distilleries here in the state and as a matter of fact, the other night we drank we some friends brought over a bottle from Willie's distillery in Nis, which is very famous for fishing along the Yellowstone River, and it was the first aged whiskey that was available in the state. Wow, and it was really pretty impressive for a brand new bourbon. So yeah, HMM. And the other question deep no, but I have to say I kind of did it back chords at my career when I lived in Washington DC, I got a job implementing people soft products, which was back in the late s early s. It was a really big human resource management product that was supposed to streamline all the processes and it was a brilliant piece of work. It was brilliant software. But instead of understanding the that this was designed to streamline all the common processes that every major or musition has, each organization would end up customizing things on it, which just totally ruined the whole idea of it. So, but I was implementing that in the DC area and so I was working with federal and world agencies there. I might the last job I had there as a consultant was working with NSA. So I was driving from Capitol Hill and DC up to the Baltimore Fort Meat Exit, going on the NSA campus and working with their personnel records. And I can say that now because it's been twenty one years since I left, but otherwise I've probably would get in trouble for saying them. But I had the highest security clearance of civilian could have and I was working with NSA. I had worked with World Bank and Federal Reserve and the arm of Edications, so I was at full level. And then when I moved to Montana, I ended up working for the State of Montana for two different agencies, and then when I left the state. I worked for the city which is the capital of a Montana, Helena, and so I kind of went backwards in my government experience, starting at the far levels, moving down to the local level, and I can tell you none of it look like me. I kind of wish it did. Scandal maybe. Yeah, that's both reassuring and and a little disappointing. Right. That's been one of my shows I've been recommend ending people watch when they ask for new shows, because I've gone through everything with with all the social distancing going on, which I think could segue nicely into your no longer virtual conference. So I think it is a very cool concept, but perhaps maybe was thwarted a little bit ear or will be moving forward, or is the timing of it perfect that you can still kind of get back to things next year? That's a...

...good question. So no longer virtual. It started as I really wanted to meet people in person that I had met on Linkedin. So I had developed this incredible network really just warm and smart, like wicked smart, people that were just sharing incredible content and I was learning so much from them and they were inspiring me to do my own writing, which I hadn't really done before that. This was probably seven or ten, seven or eight years ago when I started really really doing it, and at some point I gotten off the phone with a guy named Cartha Rajan, who was one of those one of those people that I was just so inspired by. I got off the phone with them and I thought, Gosh, if I've learned this much from him just by interacting with him online, I can't even imagine how the exponential increase in learning if I met facetoface. And as luck would have it, I had a scheduled call with a couple of other connections, one Crisper v up in Newfoundland, Canada, and heather younger in Denver. We had already scheduled a call just to see if there was something we could collaborate on, and I was still in my full time job with the city, so I actually I got on the phone with them. I said I have this idea. I want to get everybody together somewhere and it can't be just a meet up because no one's going to pay to fly across the country for an evening cocktail like that's just not going to happen. Even if we plan a hold day. They're just not going to do it, but if we have a curriculum, a full agenda that makes sense and is covering really relevant topics that we've been talking about on Linkedin for the last year, maybe they would make it happen. And if I was going to get something like this organized, would you come and help me? Would you facilitate sessions? And they were over the moon. Absolutely, will be there. You couldn't keep us away. And that was in August or September of two thousand and sixteen and we got together. I limited it to fifty people and you know, after all these years of planning events, you think that I would be a little less optimistic, but I am up toist, sometimes naively so. And when I put it out there on Linkedin and among my my connections, which are well over Tenzero, I was thinking, well, I guess at the time probably about four thousand. I got so many responses. Oh my gosh, I would totally be there. That would be so awesome. I'm in. So I thought, well, limited to fifty this first year and see how it goes, because I really want to make it intimate and anything more than fifty you can't really get to know people. So I limited it to fifty and we had twenty three in the room and I was very pleased that we had twenty s and it was outstanding it. None of us at I had met two of the twenty two other people in there. Or Twenty. Yeah, of the twenty three people I'd met to facetoface before meeting them in Atlanta at the Ritz Carlton and downtown Atlanta. And you would have thought when you walked in Wednesday evening to the Hotel Bar, the conference was Thursday and Friday. If you walked into that hotel bar in that evening, you would have thought it was an incredible reunion like that we had all gone to school together, we were all cousins, or I mean it was diverse enough that people would have questioned the familial relationships, but it was amazing, all the hugs and the Oh my gosh, it's so great to see you like he would have thought we had known each other in person for decade, the way that people were respon bonding meeting in that hotel lobby and the next two days were exactly the...

...same. There was it was extraordinary. It really was. The content was strong. I learned a ton, just like I knew I would. And at the end we did kind of a debriefing to talk about if we would do it again and what that might look like, and everybody was like what you're thinking about not doing it again? It's like, this is really stressful. That's a big financial obligation that I set up for myself. But we they couldn't imagine not doing it. So we did it for we did it again in two thousand and eighteen and Denver and there were twenty eight in the room, and then we did it in Atlanta again last year in two thousand and nineteen, back in Atlanta at the Buckhead, at the inner continentimal Buckhead, which was not nearly as fun as it's Carleton, by the way, but we had, let's see, we had twenty, I think we had thirty. I think we had thirty eight in the room and again, just phenomenal content and but but the key, the kicker at the end of these conferences was how intensely connected all the people who had attended became. And I can tell you that it has in terms of Roi at least a handful of people that have of written books, published books in the last few years. They've become best sellers because of this network. A handful of US went from working for the man, whatever that look like, to being self employed, successfully self employed, and it's just been this inspirational tribe that's been created, and anyone who is a NLV alum will give you the same report. So this year we did it in Chicago and we did do it on March twelve and thirteen. It was an adventure, to say last. It was extremely stressful, but we did it and I had thirty eight registered and twenty in the room. I had thirty eight registered five days before the event and twenty in the room the first day of the event. It was really stressful but it ended up being one of those things that everyone in the room was so grateful for, that moment of connection on the cusp of what we knew was going to be a really completely transformed world when we left. But as for next year, I'm actually kind of making noises now about potentially doing it in Missoula, Montana. Yeah, yeah, possibly in June. It's normally in February or March and I was looking at March dates, but I think that may still be too early and who knows if he'P in June will happen? At this point we could be two years out and I've had a lot of people ask about doing some version of it online and I have to tell you, joey, I really have no interest in doing that. The whole point is to leverage online relationships to improve our offline relationships. I believe in social media, I believe in the depth and strength of online relationships, but there's a limit to how far you can go with those without eventually meeting facetoface. Yeah, I agree, and I think getting a break from zoom would be wonderful. I use zoom to, you know, collectively be all the online things like that. And Yeah, taking something that was in person and moving it online is just not it's not as good. But I love the just...

...the story and power of connection and the the people are being fooled by how well it seems like you know each other just from, you know, one night in person, but having that strong foundation there, and I think again I'm all about the seguays here. I think that segues very nicely and to the question that I like to ask, which is what is something you wish you were asked more frequently? And I really liked your reply of tell me about your favorite small world story. So what you got? I have so many small world stories. I love that question. So what I found is that there's in in strengths finder. There's a one of the talents is called connectedness, and it's people who generally don't believe in coincidence. They don't believe. They believe things happen for a reason and whether we can identify the reason is, you know, not even part of the question. But I find that people with connectedness and their top talents and their top ten have a tendency to have the best small world stories. I think it's because we look for them. So one of my favorites. This is kind of interesting because it comes back to the questions that we ask people in the curiosity with which we approach people. This was twelve years ago or so. My brother was turning forty in Colorado, in Denver. I was the in Montana. My sister was living in San Francisco and we agreed to fly into Denver to celebrate my brother's big birthday. So we we got into town and my brother this was back before twitter. I can't remember what the predecessor was, but he created this group where he was effectively tweeting wherever we were and other people would join us. So it ended up being this huge pub of crawl across downtown Denver. So my sister and I had had too many shots of to Waco, which is Gross, by the way. I don't know what I was thinking. It's like drinking yeager, almost. We'd add a few shots of Tuaka and we were at this one bar. We were getting ready to go to the next spot with fifty of my brother's closest buds and my brother said, Oh, I want to introduce you to this friend of mine. He said his name and his last name was cast and I said cats and he said no, CASS and I said, oh, that's really interesting and I said I knew someone in fifth grade with the last name of Cass he was my first boyfriend, and he kind of chuckled. I was obviously, you know, a little buzzed and sharing more information than I should have, but I said so, are you from here for and he said no, I grew up in La. Now my brother and I went to elementary school in La. We went to from I was there from second grade till the beginning of sixth grade and when I asked if he was from Denver, it was because I thought, well, you're from La, you have the same last name. So of course I put it out there and I said, oh, that's so interesting. My first boyfriend in fifth grade who asked me to kiss him and I turned him down. His name is Brian Cass he said, that's my brother. We all went to CANTERBUR ray elementary school in La and it was I. I freaked out. I was like no, that's not true, you're totally making that up. And of course I was very silly at that point and I'm like, oh no, that can't be true. And then he pulled up Brian's facebook page and it was him and I just started laughing and he said see, you could have married and I said in Albuquerque. Look now he's Brian was a doctor and Albu Quirky. But here's here's why I love that story. First of all the fact that this just happens in some bar in Denver. But the second part that was so fascinating...

...to me was that my brother and this Guy Jeff, had been working together at the Denver Newspaper Agency for a few years. They had known each other a few years, at least four, and they never knew they went to the same elementary school in La. Wow, that's crazy. Yeah, yeah, but I think it's just because it's what you talked about. It's how you choose to connect and if you ask somebody with true curiosity about where they grew up or who they are, tell me a story about growing up in La then you uncovered those kinds of connections and it just they just make great stories. Absolutely. I'd love her about your top three connection experiences, and I almost feel like we just got one right there. Yeah, well, I'm not friends with Jeff or Brian Anyway. I mean what I yeah, their acquaintances. Top Top connection stories? Gosh. Well, I would start with NLV, that whole that first no longer virtual event, and the story is that when we were getting ready for the end of the first day and I hadn't made plans for that Thursday night dinner because I wanted to leave space for the introverts to go do what they wanted, but I mentioned as I was doing housekeeping announcements at the end of the evening, it's like six o'clock. We've been going all day and I said, so Bob, my husband, Bob and I are going to go down to this Chinese restaurant. It's about a block and a half away down the road that the hotel staff recommended. Will you raise your hand if you think you might want to go with us, because we have a larger group. I want to call the the restaurant given a heads up and when I looked out, said can I see a show of hands? Twenty two, twenty twenty two of the hands went up. I was shocked. I thought for sure people needed their space at this point, but no one wanted the day to end and to me that was absolutely the pinnacle of success for that particular event. You know, if I was going to measure success, that would be how I would measure it. That almost all of us ended up going out to dinner together and continuing the evening because we were so connected was really pretty amazing. Let's see, what's another connection? One of my best friends on the planet I met when we were in second grade and I moved around a lot. I went to four different elementary schools and she went to five different elementary schools. We only went to the same elementary school for one semester and that was in the first semester of second grade. And I was in her wedding in nineteen ninety three and she was in my wedding in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven. And she even came out to Washington DC from La. She lives in Ta. came out to Washington DC when our first baby was born to come and meet him. And there is something I love my newer friendships and relationships. I find incredible beauty and every single one of my relationships, whether I've known somebody five minutes for forty something years, and there's something so interesting about having a friend that you've known that long. And she's the only friend that I've known that long because I moved around so much I didn't keep in touch with anyone else. And for my for my podcast, your stories don't define you. It's the same as my books title. I actually interviewed her when I got to see her in person this past February when I was in California and we I interviewed her about long term friendships and the meaning behind them and how...

...why they're different from shorter term, the ones that you that are more recent, and that is a beautiful connection and for my third one now. My sister and I are super close. I'm close with both my brother my sister, and my sister is definitely my my best friend on the planet. There's another woman, though, that I met about twelve years ago and her name is twilight, and we started singing together and I called her my soul sister, because when our voice is blend, it will give you chills of your spine. You I rarely hear harmonies that create that resonance and and I think that's one of the strongest connections I have ever experienced as someone that loves music, plays music, listen to music all the time. I like the perfect harmony with someone is so hard to obtain and I think it's just like, like you're second, like one of the most beautiful things to hear when there's two voices just like perfectly and sync like that. So wonderful. It's magic. It really is been and I've never had that experience with anyone else. And when we sing together, people weep, Oh, that's a nice power. Yeah, people crying. Yeah, well, and laugh, of course, because we are very silly together. We Are we are Tequila drinkers together. And so we get very silly. We actually one of my favorites was when we would have gigs together. We would end a GIG with the song you've had too much, and it would start. Hey, my friend, I think it's a sin the way you've been guzzling that GIN cause you've had too much, and it just goes downhill from there and it's awesome. It's a wonderful song. John Hammond did it. It does sound like a fantastic way to to close a show. Was An evening really in general? Yes, exactly, oh my gosh, it's so much fun. Well, Sarah, thank you so much for hopping on. This was fantastic. I feel like I learned like a month's worth of stuff and what forty five minutes a very efficient all around for all of us. And if other people want to get connected with you, online for now, but perhaps in person down the road, where can they find you? Well, the simplest thing is to go to my website, which is Elkin's, Elkins Elkins consultingcom. Then my book is available. Your stories don't define you. How you tell them. Well, it can be bought on Amazon, but if you are not a big Fan, I'm really encouraging people to go to bookshop dot org, which is new service that supports independent booksellers, and I will have an audiobook coming out some time this fall. Lovely. Are you doing the audio for it? I am my publishers and undertaking. I know my publisher was trying to dissuade me from it, but I have studio time under my belt. I've done musical recordings and let me tell you, that's never easy either. So yeah, I decided it seemed very silly for me to hire vocal talent when I sing and perform an m a professional keynote speaker and storyteller and podcaster. It seemed kind of silly not to read my own book. Well, looking forward to all of that as well. Thank you again. And of course we have to end with a Corny joke, just like you end with a brilliant show stopping number. I was like to end this episodes with a Corny joke, and let's make it a relationship based one. My girlfriend left me for being too old fashioned. It's a shame. I thought we had great alchemy. Good after today, people. That's dad humor.

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