Our parents are all gone now. I miss them - the crazy songs they sang and the stories they told. I know you do too.
It's up to us to keep their legacy alive and preserve the crazy stories they used to tell. I'm inviting you to preserve the side-splitting and heart-wrenching stories from your past in a library that will be accessible to family for generations to come.
For the past year I've been writing a book. Although it's a business book, I used personal stories from my life experience to bring the lessons to life in practical ways. Some chapters required me to look into my past to see patterns and get complete. Rest assured, telling my "money story" took a bit of soul searching. It also awakened a deep desire in me to capture and preserve priceless stories from all branches of our family tree.
I hope you will join me in building a story library for descendants of our wild and crazy Hume family.
With love, Tana
PS - I can still hear Dad's voice singing this silly song! Can you hear it too?
After the ball was over, Nellie took out her glass eye, Put her false teeth in water, Corked up her bottle of dye, Put her false leg in the corner, Hung up her wig on the door, There's not much left of poor Nellie, After the ball.
The Back Story
In case you missed the Hume Family Reunion at the home of Margo and Randy Reeve in 2003, here's a quick recap of Doug's captivating presentation.
Do you need help in formulating your story first?
Click the "plus" sign on the right hand side to reveal helpful tips and tools.
How do I find great stories? (like there's any shortage of material in our family, lol)
LOOK TO YOUR PAST
What are your greatest successes, obstacles you’ve overcome, or accomplishments that you are proud of?
What failures have you suffered or costly mistakes you’ve made?
What important events shaped your point of view?
Who do you admire most, and why? What did you learn from them?
What were your most important life lessons?
When was a time that you felt most inspired?
When did you have the greatest sense of belonging and team spirit?
What’s the most difficult experience you’ve ever been through at work?
What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?
When were you given the toughest feedback that made a difference to your performance?
What’s the best working relationship you ever had?
What was the most surprising thing that’s ever happened in your professional life?
What’s the toughest problem you’ve ever solved?
What was the job you loved the most, and why?
STORIES THAT HAPPENED AROUND YOU
Did someone learn an unexpected lesson?
Did someone learn a lesson in a surprising or unexpected way?
Success stories (decisions that turned out, closing a deal, smart risk, etc)
Failure stories (mishaps, flops, circumstances, decisions that didn’t turn out)
Take mental note of the best stories you’ve heard other people tell.
Ask people how owning their business has enriched their lives.
Listen for, and take note of, the unexpected.
Ask people, “Got any good stories?”
Conduct formal interviews.
ASK INSPIRING QUESTIONS
Have you ever heard someone introduce themselves in a way that gained immediate respect? What did they say?
Has anyone ever told you a personal story about themselves that completely changed they way you thought of them? What was the story?
Have you ever seen someone blow any chance of acceptance on the first day? What did that person do?
What are the stories you find yourself telling over and over again throughout the course of your career? (These are likely effective and engaging).
Give people your questions in advance so they have time to think about them.
I need help in structuring and crafting a compelling story.
Use this framework to craft personal stories filled with honesty and heart.
This handout covers the basic elements of story structure.
CAR = STORY MAKERS
CONTEXT Where and when the story takes place Who is the main character/hero that is relatable to the audience What is he/she trying to achieve, passionate about, treasure being sought Who/what is getting in the way, adversity, villain, obstacle
ACTION Conflicts, setbacks, and barriers Catalyst, first turning point, game-changers
RESULT Final stage links back to why you told the story Explains how it ended and how people felt Moral of the story (2nd last paragraph) Failure stories need the result spelled out
CAR = Context | Action | Result
CAR = STORY MAKERS
SUBJECT You - Stories about your everyday challenges or your past Other people - Stories you’ve witnessed others experience Characters - Fables, retold stories you’ve heard others share
TREASURE What is subject of the story trying to achieve? What are they passionate about? What does success look like to them?
OBSTACLE Who or what is getting in the way? Could be a villain, personal/leadership challenge, hardship, circumstance
RIGHT LESSON What is your objective for sharing this story? (Build trust, avoid mistakes, show how reputation was built) What did you learn from this situation? How did you feel afterward? Choose a story that supports the image you want to portray
Y - WHY IT’S TOLD Why is it important to share this story? What do you want the audience to get from it?
Three great business narratives to tell:
I’m not who you think I am. Shatter stereotypes/misconceptions.
Share about yourself and your background to build connection & trust.
Why I do the work that I do, why I chose this business.
STORY = Subject | Treasure | Obstacle | Right lesson | Y Why
CAR = STORY MAKERS
METAPHORS & ANALOGIES Use metaphors and analogies that people can easily remember and understand.
APPEAL TO EMOTION Speak from the heart and draw on truthful emotions. Limit the risk of offending the audience. Direct the drama in your story toward you, not the audience.
KEEP IT REAL Keep it real and relevant to the audience. Don’t make it up, unless you disclose it’s made up. Otherwise you’ll loose the connection and trust.
ELEMENT OF SURPRISE Let them in on the surprise quickly. Don’t drag it out for too long.
RECAST THE AUDIENCE INTO THE STORY People remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they see and hear, 70% of what they say, and 90% of what they do. Let them be part of the story. If that’s not possible, allow them to be part of the telling of it.
STYLISTIC ELEMENTS Keep it conversational. Use powerful words and compelling language. Avoid being too flowery. Match the audience’s style and preference.
MAKERS - Metaphors | Appeal to emotion | Keep it real | Element of surprise | Recast the audience into the story | Stylistic elements
I'd like to see an example of this story structure.
Weyburn Junior High, grade 7 and 8, a time in my life when all I wanted was to be liked and fit in with my friends. In the hallway at school, on the streets walking home, when friends came to my house, during the excitement of parties, sitting in the bleachers watching the Red Wings or Comets play hockey at the Colosseum, that sinking feeling found me.
A bully stalked me for two long years. Her name was Lorraine, but kids called her Tank. She was a big, tough girl. I was the sole target of her frustration. Warnings and threats that Tank was going to beat me up found me wherever I went. She ruthlessly hunted me. I was her prey.
She called me “the rich bitch on the hill”. As for my crime? I lived in a majestic heritage house built in 1913, with a big yard and pristine gardens. My Mom, as stunning and glamorous as Jackie Kennedy, ran a nursing home and served on city council. My Dad was a sharp dressed business man, always sporting a jacket and tie, and wearing expensive Dacks shoes.
To the outside world my life looked magical, picture perfect.
Inside our big, beautiful home, money was a problem. My parents separated three years earlier without admitting it. Dad bought a business in the neighbouring town of Radville, 32 miles away, and returned home only to keep up the pretence of being married. Several times during his absence I returned home to an empty house to find power or telephone service had been cut off due to unpaid bills. Few sounds are as unsettling to the soul as the floor creeks and radiator groans from a dark, old house.
Gordon Miles was our milk man. Jim Burge was the butcher. Both men generously extended credit to Mom so we could eat. Knowing in their heart she would pay them back, and she did.
Without knowing it, my brain was being programmed to associate money and having nice things with shame. Seeds of “I’ll show you I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth” germinated in my subconscious mind.
Dad purchased that big house and numerous other houses, toys, businesses, and assets with money he inherited. People looked with envy from the outside. Meanwhile, our family unit crumbled. I cried a lot of tears in that lonely house.
Disputes about money severed relationships with aunts and uncles on both sides of the family. In addition to the shame I felt for “having too much,” I formed a belief that conversations about money destroy relationships. I had plenty of evidence to prove this statement true.
May I invite extended family and friends to share stories?
24 Important questions you should ask your parents, aunts and uncles:
1. What was your childhood like? 2. What were you like in high school? 3. How would your parents have described you? 4. When you think about a fork in the road in your life, what was it and why did you choose that particular path? 5.What happy memory will you cherish forever? 6. What was your second choice for my name? 7. What have you always wanted to tell me, but haven't had the courage to? 8. Growing up, who inspired you the most? 9. If you had to do it all over again, would you pursue the same career path? 10. What is your biggest regret? 11. Best trip of your life? 12. What amazes you most about society nowadays? 13. What do you miss most about the 'old days'? 14. Looking back at your life thus far, what are you most proud of? 15. What did you discover in the last decade or two that you wish you discovered sooner? 16. Favourite place you have lived? 17. What were you doing when you were my age? 18. What advice would you give your 40-year-old self? 19. When did you know that you wanted to marry mom/dad? 20. What do you remember most about your wedding day? 21. What do you wish you made more time in your life for? 22. What do you wish you spent less time doing? 23. What family tradition do you cherish the most? 24. What have YOU always wanted to ask ME?
50 Questions for family interviews:
What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you?
Did you have a nickname?
When and where were you born?
How did your family come to live there?
Were there other family members in the area? Who?
What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?
Were there any special items in the house that you remember?
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Describe the personalities of your family members.
What kind of games did you play growing up?
What was your favorite toy and why?
What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?
Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?
Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?
What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?
What school activities and sports did you participate in?
Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?
Who were your childhood heroes?
What were your favorite songs and music?
Did you have any pets? If so, what kind and what were their names?
What was your religion growing up? What church, if any, did you attend?
Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?
Who were your friends when you were growing up?
What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favorite foods?
How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?
How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?
What do you know about your family surname?
Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?
What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?
Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?
Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?
Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?
When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?
Where and when did you get married?
What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?
How would you describe your spouse? What do (did) you admire most about them?
What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time?
Why did you choose your children's names?
What was your proudest moment as a parent?
What did your family enjoy doing together?
What was your profession and how did you choose it?
If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?
Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?
What accomplishments were you the most proud of?
What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?
Why is this PRIVATE page on your business website?
For two reasons:
1. So I can use the systems I already own and already know to manage the stories we collect. 2. Because I'm not a web developer. I know how to create a new page like this one, but not build a website from scratch.
I'm sorry I can't make the "Schedule an Appointment" popup and navigation menu go away.