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Tips on how to make a comeback after a major setback by Sandra Younger

  • To make a comeback after a major setback recognize that you may not able to choose everything that happens to you, but you get to choose your response.
  • Come to a place of gratitude
  • Be patient with the process
  • Accept help and ask for it when you need it
  • Choose your response, choose your story going forward
  • Keep moving forward
  • The biggest myth is you have to be a victim

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To make a comeback after a major setback recognize that you may not able to choose everything that happens to you, but you get to choose your response.

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Doug:                                    Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today in the studio, I’ve got joining me Sandra Younger. Now, Sandra, I met at the New Media Summit in San Diego, another wonderful contact. We had some great conversations while we’re there. She’s a speaker and she is an author and she is a resilience expert. Sandra lost her home. 12 neighbors nearly lost their lives in the catastrophic California wildfire. Her best selling book about disaster The Fire Outside My Window was praised by Amazon reviewers and studied by top-level emergency professionals. After the fire, Sandra discovered that personal resilience is both a natural strength and a skill set that we can develop like a muscle, although it’s something I hope I don’t need to exercise too much. Combining her own recovery experience with leading academic research, she developed the ComeBACK formula, which is a five-step system of powerful common sense practical, proven practices that are proven to transform disaster into opportunity and loss into a legacy.

Sandra now shares her resilience boosting message as an international speaker, workshop leader, and media guest. She’s appeared on ABC, CBS, PBS, CBC, Fox and CW and was twice featured in NBC Dateline Special. Her many podcast credits include Reinvention Radio, His Whiz, Boss Mom, the Business of Story and the Five Minute Bark, so I’m super excited to talk to you about resilience today, so welcome to the podcast.

Sandra Younger:               Thank you, Doug. Wow, that’s quite a list.

Doug:                                    You’re a very busy person taking the opportunity and making an opportunity out of loss, turning it into legacy, so there we go.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, right. It’s possible.

Doug:                                    I’m excited, and we talked a little bit before we got recording and you said, hey, you know, are we going to focus more on marketing, or are we going to focus on the resilient side, which was a really fair question being that I’m a marketing guy and I shared with you that I felt that resilience was really something that businesses and entrepreneurs and marketers need to learn because not everything goes the way that we want it to.

Sandra Younger:               I know, I agree.

Doug:                                    Do you want to share a little bit of kind of your backstory, and then let’s talk about how do we take this, the situation we’re dealt with and deal with it by being resilient, and then how do we maybe transform that into our hero’s journey so we can use that too, as you’ve said, in your words, turn loss into legacy?

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, that’s exactly where we’re going. I’ll tell you first how I discovered what I call the ComeBACK formula, how I discovered resilience principles, and it all started about 15 years ago already when my husband and I were living in the suburbs of San Diego, and we decided we wanted a change. Our kids had taken off for college so we could live anywhere we wanted without worrying about school districts, and we found this beautiful house out in the country about half an hour from San Diego on the side of a mountain, looking down at Canyon. I can see all the way to Mexico from my home, and we thought, what an incredible place to live. It’s so special. It needs its own name, so we named it Terra Nova, which means our new land and it really was a whole new chapter of our lives. Seven months later, after we moved to this idyllic new home, we woke up in the middle of the night to the sight of fire outside our window. We thought-

Doug:                                    Wow, so nobody knocking on your door, but just a really bright light outside.

Sandra Younger:               Yes, there was a lot of fire across the canyon, and then we saw down in the canyon below us a glow, which told us it was on our side too. We realized we had to be out of there. The fire was moving so quickly that they really, our emergency professionals really couldn’t get out ahead of it, so that’s why a lot of us did not have any evacuation notice. Here we were, we grabbed our animals. We had two big Newfoundland dogs. We had a little cockatoo. We shoved her in a traveling cage and we jumped into the closest car, which happened to be mine, so I’m driving.

As we back out of the driveway, Doug, we could see this huge wall of fire and light just enveloping our beautiful new Terra Nova, but we had to run for our lives. We’re heading out and I’m driving down this very narrow ribbon of asphalt that’s just cut into the side of the mountain. This is our neighborhood road, and just when I got to the most treacherous part of this road, we hit the smoke and suddenly I couldn’t see anything and I started screaming to my husband. I can’t see the road and he yelled back, well, just don’t wreck the car.

It’s true. Of course, what he meant was don’t drive off the side of this mountain, right?

Doug:                                    Sure. Yeah.

Sandra Younger:               At that moment, a miracle happened. A bobcat leaped out of the bush, he was running from the fire too and he landed right in front of my headlight, and then dashed off into the smoke. And something told me that the cat was on the road I couldn’t see, and then I needed to follow him. I followed the bobcat, and when I got to the place that he had disappeared in the smoke, I could see these two red fields, these red sneery fields below me and a dark place in between, and I knew that everything ahead of us was already on fire, and the dark place was the road so I scurried for the dark place and we threaded our way between these two lines of fire for about a mile until we popped out into clear night again and that’s how we escaped by the skin of our teeth from the Cedar Fire, which until last year was the biggest wildfire in California history.

Doug:                                    Wow I can’t even get my head around how scary that would have been.

Sandra Younger:               Very scary and unfortunately, a lot of other people have had similar experiences. You up there in Canada had the horrific Fort McMurray fire a couple years ago. Last year, you had fires there in British Columbia. It’s unfortunately not an uncommon experience anymore. In my case, because I’ve been a journalist all my life and I was a magazine editor at the time, I knew that I had to capture the story for posterity. I knew I was the storyteller and I had to tell the story, so I started writing a book. I started interviewing people. I interviewed over 100 people and I realized that even though we felt like survivors rather than victims, a lot of people disagree with me. A lot of people embrace the victim label that the media and almost everyone else slaps on anyone who’s been through a disaster right away, and these people were bitter.

The other funny thing was that or I guess the funny thing was that it did not seem to matter Doug how much or how little they had lost in the fire as to how bitter they were. In fact, I talked with two different families who had lost like three loved ones in the fire and they weren’t nearly as bitter as some other people I met who’d lost an office or a garage. That is when I discovered my first doorway into resilience. I realized that it was a choice that we may not able to choose everything that happens to us but we get to choose our response. I like to think of it as choosing our story going forward.

Doug:                                    Yeah, that’s always not true.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah.

Doug:                                    I think Bernie Brown, I like one of her books, my daughter was reading her books. I figured, hey as a dad, I should keep up with what the kids are doing, and she talked about adversity and she talked about you can’t control the front end, but you can control kind of like you said the story. While you can’t write the introduction to the story, you can certainly, if you choose to, you can write the ending.

Sandra Younger:               You can, and I should have figured this out before as a storyteller, but you know, a lot of other people had beaten me to that. The ancient philosophers, the Stoic philosophers talked about this. Epictetus was one of them. He talked about choosing your path, your response, and then the quote that I found shortly after the fire that really resonated with me was by Victor Frankl. Do you know of him?

Doug:                                    I do, absolutely yeah.

Sandra Younger:               Brilliant Austrian psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor. He wrote this beautiful book called Man’s Search for Meaning and I found a quote from him that said, it’s the last of the human freedoms that we can choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. We can choose our own way, our own story and I resonated with that and then I started to wonder well if we can do that to help ourselves come back, what else can we do? Are there steps we can take no matter what the adversity to come back to speed and smooth our comeback journey and I started doing some reading and I found this whole body of research on resilience and even a subset called post-traumatic growth. I looked at a lot of that and I synthesized it down into five practices that summarize everything the researchers have found and that’s what I now call my ComeBACK formula to build the resilience.

Doug:                                    That’s really neat. Now I can’t help but ask what are the five, what are the five things?

Sandra Younger:               What are the five?

Doug:                                    What are the five? I’m sure there are few people listening. I mean I went through a tour of the Holocaust Museum when I was in Israel and it was interesting because while the world often denies that that was a reality, the leaders of the day were documenting that to prove what they were doing and that’s the first time I’ve been through with a group when nobody spoke. We went to the entire museum. We spent the hour and a half going through the museum and came out and everybody was like dead silent.

Sandra Younger:               Just dumbfounded, right?

Doug:                                    Yeah, just overwhelmed with how something so horrible could happen but like you said, there were people that chose a different outcome and chose a different attitude post that event and move forward and there are still people today who are playing victim from that.

Sandra Younger:               Right, and we can’t really judge anyone’s particular response because our reactions to adversity are so individual but what I found is that there are these universal principles that almost anyone can use to come back from almost any sort of adversity or disaster. Let’s go through them and I know that we have a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs in your audience so let’s think about how these apply to business too.

Doug:                                    Well I’m sure that the business owners, I mean there’s nobody in business that has adversity. You just have a dream. You wake up in the morning. All the money you need shows up so you can start your business. Your employees show up, you never have a problem, a lawsuit, nobody ever quit. It’s just blessed, it’s wonderful.

Sandra Younger:               Never need resilience.

Doug:                                    For those who don’t have that experience, and you might want to listen because you might pick up a few tips here on how to deal with it.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, yeah, and you know, when I speak with business audiences, I like to point out the resilience of some of our best-known businesses and business leaders like Steve Jobs, who was thrown out of his own company at a certain point. Legend has it, that friends found him curled up in a fetal position on a bare mattress on the floor. He was so depressed by that whole turn of events, and yet he came back. He found his resiliency. He came back strong and was the linchpin bringing us all of these amazing inventions that we now take for granted. Yeah, there are a lot of great business examples, but let’s talk about the ComeBACK formula.

The first one, the first practice is the word come, as in “come to a place of gratitude, because we know from research and from our own personal experience that if we can find one little teeny tiny thing to be grateful for, even in a world of hurt, it helps us begin our healing journey. It helps to lift us out of this quicksand where we land after a big reversal but we don’t want to stay stuck there because if we stay stuck, we get bitter and we spend the rest of our lives being miserable and blaming other people. If we can be grateful for one little thing and go from there and develop a gratitude practice, it will speed our healing and our growth.

That’s the first practice. What do you think?

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To make a comeback after a major setback recognize that you may not able to choose everything that happens to you, but you get to choose your response.

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Doug:                                    No, that’s good. I think if people are thinking of gratitude and being grateful, they don’t, they don’t need to be necessarily big things of the world. They could be small things. I remember asking our kids once when we were sitting around that dinner when the kids were younger, and I said to my one daughter, hey, will you pray for dinner and she and her prayer was thank you for my crayons.

Eva was kind of silly. Well for her, that was a big thing, right? She was thankful for crayons. She didn’t say I’m thankful that my dad drives this car, we live here. She says thank you for my crayons.

Sandra Younger:               That’s why kids are important. They help us really focus in on what’s truly a priority. My daughter used to pray over meals and God please help us have a good time. That was valid too, right?

Doug:                                    Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, gratitude just like you said be grateful. Find something and I find, once you find one thing that it’s easy to find another thing, you kind of get on a roll, right?

Sandra Younger:               Right, it’s really important. Then the next four steps or practices of the ComeBACK formula, follow the acronym BACK, as in “come back.” B stands for “be patient with the process”, with the pain and yet believe that you can come back because resilience is in our DNA. We are part of a resilient universe. Spring comes every year no matter how much snow you get up there in Canada. It comes every year and we are part of that, so we also are resilient by nature and we can build our resiliency as well.

Doug:                                   Yeah, it makes sense.

Sandra Younger:               That’s something that we do.

Doug:                                    I don’t always do well in patience but I understand it.

Sandra Younger:               I know but you know, that’s so important. When I was putting these principles together, I went and talked with a colleague who had had a much deeper loss in that he had lost his young daughter and I said to him, I don’t want to sound flippant here. How can I build in this capacity to come back from a deeper loss as part of this formula and that’s the piece that he gave me was being patient, that sometimes it takes a long time for us to even believe that it’s possible to come back to even find any reason for gratitude.

Doug:                                    It’s possible, sure.

Sandra Younger:               Eventually there are cracks and the light comes in so being patient with the pain, with the process is a part of it and yet believe that it is possible to overcome that.

Doug:                                    Yeah.

Sandra Younger:               Then the A in ComeBACK is this is the tough one, Doug. It’s “accept help and ask for it when you need it. I talk with a lot of emergency responder communities and I always add for them be tough enough to ask when you need it because it’s hard for us to ask like that, and especially for our responders who we see as heroes. They feel that they need to be macho but what I say is that even heroes, as part of the hero’s journey that Joseph Campbell, the mythologist told us about, they have mentors and guides who helped them on the way.

Doug:                                    Yeah, and I think we’re seeing more of that at a higher level of understanding in all communities around like you said, ask and be humble and forget the hey, I’m a guy, I’m supposed to do this. Suck it up and yeah, be vulnerable.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, exactly. It’s hard to do that but it’s really important. Then the third one is C, which we’ve already talked about, which is Victor Frankel’s lesson to us, choose your response, choose your story going forward. That’s also really important to realize that we may not get to choose what happened but we do get to choose our response going forward.

Doug:                                    Yep. Fair enough, not always easy but you’re right. We’d always have a choice. Someone says you have to do that or I have to, some that I’d hear people talk about his work as an example, I have to work for money to stay. No you don’t, what do you mean, you don’t have to.

Sandra Younger:               You don’t have to but you get to.

Doug:                                    You could stay at home.

Sandra Younger:               Right.

Doug:                                    Well, I’ll get fired. It’s like yes, but you don’t have to. You have you have a choice.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, exactly, and we can also look at this. Now I like to say choose your story as the hero’s journey because you probably know and probably a lot of your listeners have heard of this too. The hero’s journey is the same story that we see in so many of our most popular movies. For example, Luke Skywalker, he’s a hero. The hero is called out of their normal village environment, and they have to battle some really deadly foe, usually a dragon. In olden days, it seemed like a dragon and you needed to slow them up, and they almost died in the process, but they don’t and they go into the dragon’s lair, and they find this incredible gift that they bring back to the village. They’ve slain the dragon and they have a gift for the village, and now they’re a hero. This is the hero’s journey.

It follows this narrative art pattern that looks like a roller coaster, right? It goes up, it hits this tipping point at the top where you think all is lost, and then it comes back down to resolution and normalcy. I like to think of it as flipping the pit that we fall into after any sort of disaster, any sort of sort of adversity. If we flip that kit, which looks like a U, we’ve fallen down and now we have to claw our way back up to the top.

The mirror image of that is the roller coaster ride or the hero’s journey, right? Then we can see this hit as being the summit of a mountain and now, we have momentum on our side to find our way to this new normal that we have a lot of power to choose for ourselves. That’s choosing our own story, the hero’s journey.

Doug:                                    Yes, absolutely.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, yeah, so then the final piece of this puzzle is the K and the K is for keep moving forward. What I mean by this is we can’t have our old normal back even though we wish we could sometimes. We’re not going to get it back. I could not get my house back. I could not get all of my kids’ pictures back from when they were growing up, but what we can do is embrace the possibilities of a new future and move into that future by gradually letting go, forgiving anyone who may have had a role or anyone you perceive to have a role in the problem. Even ourselves, we need to forgive in order to let go of the old and move into the new normal and almost always, Doug, people find blessings and riches in the new normal but they would not have had any other way.

Doug:                                    Yeah, I totally get that. I’ve experienced that a lot. I got really sick and I don’t think I would have got my health in order if I hadn’t gotten sick. I think I probably would have died opposed to getting healthy.

Sandra Younger:               It really motivated you to change your lifestyle.

Doug:                                    Well, you have a choice, so I had an opportunity to make a decision and the decision was to keep going the same direction I was and likely get the same results I was getting or was I going to make a change and then so you make a change and so, that’s where you are today. Was it easy? No. Was it free? No. Was there a big cost? Yeah, but given the choices, like you said, choose your response. How are you going to respond to this particular situation?

Sandra Younger:               Say you chose a new story.

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To make a comeback after a major setback recognize that you may not able to choose everything that happens to you, but you get to choose your response.

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Doug:                                    I did, and I don’t want to say that flippantly because you know, I’ve seen people and we’ve suffered the loss of family and friends and all the different losses that we experience in our life. I realize it’s not easy but like you said sometimes we have to forgive ourselves, and sometimes you need a time of mourning where you need that quiet time. You just can’t stay there forever, but you do need that and my personality is I need to forgive myself. I’m okay, it’s okay I could take this time and kind of get over it, but now it’s time to move forward like you said or keep moving.

Sandra Younger:               Right, exactly. That’s our choice. That’s the choice part.

Doug:                                    What do you see from your experience and the people that you talk to? What do you see is the single biggest struggle that people have with starting this ComeBACK?

Sandra Younger:               I think that in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, whether it’s a personal disaster, personal loss or an illness as you experienced or whether it’s a big global disaster like a natural disaster. As we’re speaking right now, there’s a volcano erupting in Hawaii, and people are losing their homes. No matter which kind of disaster you face, I think the hardest part is to believe that you can come back because it’s so dispiriting to be standing there looking at the wreckage of your former life. You think, how are we ever, ever going to get back to normal? The first message I want people to know is that you can come back and the first step in coming back is to choose whether you’re going to be a victim or survivor. That’s the choice, right? We could be victims if we want to be or we can be survivors.

Here’s what happens with survivors. Survivors have this funny way of turning into thrivers because we don’t want to just float around on a life ring forever after the ship goes down, right? We want to get out of there and we want to come back and we want to thrive and rebuild. Survivors turn into thrivers and thrivers sometimes turn into givers in that we can begin to share what we’ve learned with others, and sometimes some of us feel inspired to leverage that to a larger audience. That’s when we can become world changers, and we look at people like Malala from Pakistan and we look at people like Nelson Mandela or Michael Phelps, people who have overcome tremendous odds and yet they have created a legacy from that disaster not just for themselves, but for the world.

Doug:                                    Yeah, I mean, that’s really needed. I mean here we are having this conversation because of the loss that you guys suffered. If you hadn’t suffered that loss, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Sandra Younger:               Exactly, I would not be here.

Doug:                                    Yeah, so that’s interesting. Choose to be a victim or survivor and then you said thrivers too often or then survivors turn into thrivers and thrivers can turn into givers, which I do see, I often see that where people make a radical transformation and then want to give and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve just written a book and the editing’s just been done on my health journey. It’s how I got off five medications and saved my life.

Sandra Younger:               Wow.

Doug:                                    People remember, there are lots of people that talk about health, it’s like yes, that’s true but I’m talking about this was how did I deal with all these medications and how to get off that stuff and move and move forward. I think the other point too that kind of resonates with me is even though I’m a very impatient person is the fact of being patient, and I learned this from my father in law, who worked in the fire department for 35 plus years.

Sandra Younger:               Really?

Doug:                                    He basically, when he retired, he said when people suffer a loss, what you forget is for the person who suffered the loss, so let’s just talk about a death in the family or friend, you might get a day or two days off work, and that’s it. Then the world’s expectation is that you go back to work and carry on. He said really, it takes a year for that loss to go through all the things that you normally go through and experience all the things that you normally would have experienced when you’re thinking or being with that person to mourn through it.

For me, that was the first time when I heard that number and I don’t know whether that number’s correct or not. I’m sure there’s people more along a lot longer than that, but to me, that was logical going that’s right. There are all these things that we used to do or think about or hang out or whatever we used to do, and it’s going to take time, so it’s not going to happen that at the end of the week, everything’s better. Go back to work.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, that’s the being patient with the pain part.

Doug:                                    That’s right, yeah.

Sandra Younger:               Right, and this is a special challenge that our emergency responders face. I do speak with a lot of groups in the emergency professions because this happens to them over and over again every day. Sometimes they are called into some emergency situation where people are injured, people are suffering, people are experiencing the losses of their homes or possessions and it’s very hard not to take on that energy, that emotion. Our emergency professionals really do struggle with that.

Doug:                                    Yeah, it’s sad really because like you said, our expectation is that when we dial 911, that they show up and they’re there to deal with our emergency but the reality is they may have had depending on what their callout is or what the first responder responsibility is, they may have had five other calls before us, so to us this is one major disaster, but they’ve already had five calls on their shift and they’ve all been a bit different and they’ve all been devastating for the people that they were there to help.

Sandra Younger:               Right, and they have too as emergency professionals be somewhat protected against that or they wouldn’t be able to function. It still affects them. They feel it.

Doug:                                    Absolutely.

Sandra Younger:               You know that.

Doug:                                    Looking at this from, so we have business people listening, different people listening to the podcast are going okay, that sounds good. What do you think the biggest myth is around this process that, hey, I can choose to be a victim or survivor and I can come back? What do you think prevents people from believing or acting or moving in that direction?

Sandra Younger:               I think the biggest myth is you have to be a victim at all because that’s what everybody calls you, right? The next morning after we lost our house, the media was talking about the fire victims and our friends or maybe not just our friends, but everyone we encountered was saying, oh I’m so sorry. I hear you’re a fire victim and I never felt like a victim at all. I lost 12 neighbors in the fire. Those were the victims. As another neighbor said, we buried the victims and the rest of us are survivors, so we can make that, in many cases we can make that shift in our head almost immediately.

Doug:                                    Well maybe that’s the beginning. The beginning is the conversation by changing the language. The language isn’t victim. The language is survivor so you know, you may not like where you are but you did survive and so you have an opportunity to rebuild in whatever fashion that looks like, so maybe to where you were before maybe far exceed what you’re doing before.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah, that’s possible and I want to add though that a lot of times, this ComeBACK journey lands us somewhere we never intended to go. There are people who don’t have enough money to rebuild or you know, there are people who lose loved ones and they can never see those loved ones again. It’s naive and flippant to think that the new normal is going to be anywhere like our old normal. It may be a totally different place that we would never have gone on our own, and yet, in case after case, I’ve seen that even people who could not begin to recoup their old lives can still find opportunities and even blessings in the new normal, which is why I say you can transform disaster into opportunity and you can even transform loss into legacy.

Doug:                                    What would you say if we’re going to kind of move towards wrapping up in terms of how do you take this, being a survivor and how do you create that hero’s journey so you can build what you’re doing and move forward, like share that message. How much do people really want to hear of your journey?

Sandra Younger:               How much do they want to hear my personal story or how much do they want to hear of the resilience practice?

Doug:                                    Well no, when you’re creating, you say you discover the power of your own hero’s journey, so when you create your hero’s journey and you’re speaking, how much so, I’m thinking here of our listeners, how much detail needs to go into that hero’s journey for people because you know, I know that you go through, you suffer a loss of some form. Then like you said, there’s often blame or there’s bitterness or there’s unforgiveness. You need to kind of work through all those things and then you get to a point of where you’re willing to share that. For our listeners, what we don’t want you to do is to post the whole story on Facebook, but what should we be sharing and as we’re creating our hero’s journey and doing what you’re doing, which is out educating people and speaking and training and helping people.

Sandra Younger:               Right, yeah, I get it now. This is a really important point for business people, and especially entrepreneurs because we know that our prospects out there are future customers and clients no matter how perfect they are, how ideal they may be for what we have to offer. They will not do business with us unless they know, like and trust us, right? I mean, that’s a given in business.

Doug:                                    Yeah, absolutely.

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To make a comeback after a major setback recognize that we may not able to choose everything that happens to us, but we get to choose our response.

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Sandra Younger:               There’s nothing, nothing that builds that sense of I know this person, I like this person, I trust this person more or better than sharing your own story, your own entrepreneurial story to explain why you’re so passionate about what you do. That is another part of my business actually is working with entrepreneurs to discover and craft that core story. I call it their signature story that explains to their audience why they do what they do and why they care so much about helping them. If we can craft that for ourselves, and it’s always a variation of the hero’s journey. It’s how we overcame something and found a solution that now we offer to the world, that becomes our most, we’re talking about marketing.

That becomes our most powerful marketing tool because it enables people to trust us enough to take action on what we recommend.

Doug:                                    What I like about a hero’s journey or your own story, your own journey or your testimonial, whatever term you use is that it’s yours.

Sandra Younger:               It’s yours.

Doug:                                    We can debate whether or not Facebook ads are good or Twitter ads are good or bad or whatever but what you can’t do is debate my story because it’s my story. You can like it or not like it but there’s no debate because it’s my story. It’s unique to me.

Sandra Younger:               Exactly. No one can debate your experience because it’s your experience, and you’re right. You become a category of one because no one else has the same story, very powerful.

Doug:                                    Yeah, and that’s why I was so intrigued when we talked and so intrigued looking at your background thinking right now in the marketing world, so to speak, what’s really converting and what’s really working and helping businesses drive sales are native ads, so more of an editorial approach. More than that is storytelling and storytelling using media, like audio, like we’re doing today or using video. That’s what’s helping these companies become real because there’s a person, there’s a face there, there’s a story there that you can relate to, or know someone who’s been in a similar situation and can identify with.

Sandra Younger:               That’s exactly it. We want to tell our story as an entrepreneur offering a service or goods to our clients. We want to tell that story in such a way that they hear it as their own.

Doug:                                    Right, and not in a way that we’re using our story to leverage people but I think because we’re using our story because we have experienced this and we want to help people.

Sandra Younger:               Right, we just start building relationships and people do business with people they know to be in a relationship, but we could do a whole another podcast episode on the power of using stories in your business, and basically it works because we are programmed just as we have resilience in our DNA. We have stories in our DNA too. That’s why our ancient ancestors drew stories on cave walls. All of that cave art, that’s stories people are hunting animals and being chased by animals or whichever way it went but when we hear new information, we process it through a neural net that’s been physiologically proven, actually so that everything we process in terms of story.

Doug:                                    I was not aware of that. What does that mean? I don’t understand.

Sandra Younger:               Well, it means that all the information we take, in we process through a filter that looks like a story. This is why we can have two disparate facts that are coming at us and we jump to conclusions because we’re trying to develop a cause and effect in our mind, we’re trying to make it a story. We’re already predisposed to see everything in terms of story and that’s why we respond so well to stories. That’s why we remember stories long after we forget facts and figures.

Doug:                                    Yeah, which is a whole separate point. You’re right. I knew we could do a whole segment just on storytelling because the retention level is always better from a story. You think about when we get together socially with friends or family, we don’t recite stats and figures and facts of stuff that we’ve seen during the day. We’re sharing a story whether it’s a new news broadcast or whatever, but it comes back to we’re sharing stories with our peers.

Sandra Younger:               That’s how we communicate. I like to say that stories are our cultural currency.

Doug:                                    There you go, and it’s just so funny hearing everybody, not everybody but hearing it be the topic that’s mentioned over and over again at business and marketing events as if it’s something brand new, but it’s I guess maybe it’s new to marketing. I don’t know.

Sandra Younger:               I know. It’s been coming around for about the last 15 years but it’s really gotten very popular now.

Doug:                                    That’s really cool. A couple of questions and I’ll let you get back to your day and the tough question that stumps all of my guests is who’s one guest that I need to have on my podcast?

Sandra Younger:               Oh my gosh, only one?

Doug:                                    Well you can tell me a couple but pick one or two and just blurt it out then I’ll make a note and then we’ll reach out.

Sandra Younger:               Well I know you probably already have your eyes on the great Steve Olsher, who has put together the New Media Summit, where you and I met, a podcasters convention. He’s a terrific person to have on your podcast.

Doug:                                    Well that’s a great recommendation. I’ve interviewed Steve and he is a great guest to have on my podcast. I appreciate that.

Sandra Younger:               Yeah and someone else who really does a great job, I have been on her podcast is Arlene Battishill. She is a business coach and she’s very savvy about getting down deep, talk about getting into the story and finding out what really motivates a person and how that can be applied in their business.

Doug:                                    Well, that’s super cool. Thanks. I appreciate so much the introductions. I thank you for your time.

Sandra Younger:               You’re welcome.

Doug:                                    I mean, I know lots of people say, well, hey, you know, how are you selecting guests? The guests come in this case through the New Media Summit, because I heard your story.

Sandra Younger:               Because I told my story, right, and I had to tell it in 30 seconds.

Doug:                                    That’s right. That’s right. What’s interesting is, you know, it’s two different things. You said that we do business people we know, like and trust, and so opposed to getting a static email, say, hey, you don’t know me, but I’d be a good guest in your podcast because I’ve released a new book and I want to talk about it, which is often an approach, our approach and our meeting was different. You had a chance to share your story and wow, I really like your energy and your story. That’s really cool and then looking at your background, it just made more sense realizing that business is not all roses and sunshine, that sometimes there are some dark times, there are storms and rain and you just have to deal with that as well.

Sandra Younger:               Right, we need to persevere through that and some of the best most successful entrepreneurs, when all is said and done who have pushed through are people with great comeback stories at the heart of their work.

Doug:                                    Absolutely, so Sandra, where is the best place for our listeners to reach out and find you?

Sandra Younger:               The best place is comebackformula.com. That’s where they can find a lot of resources that I have for them, including a copy of the ComeBACK formula steps and a five-minute resilience workout to implement all of those steps in just a few minutes. I’m going to be posting more and more resources there so that’s comebackformula.com.

Doug:                                    Excellent. Well, thanks again for your time. It was great to meet with you in San Diego. It was great to talk to you on the podcast. Maybe we’ll have to revisit the podcast on telling your story for a later date but I just appreciate your time and your willingness to share your story and how you’ve used that story and how our listeners can use their story to move forward.

Sandra Younger:               Great. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it. I appreciate what you’re doing.

Doug:                                    Thank you so much. Well, there you go, listeners. There’s another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. We took a little bit of a different approach today. We didn’t talk about marketing, but we did talk about being resilient, so hanging in there through the good times and the tough times and how to do that and how to leverage that using Sandra’s own words, turning a loss into a legacy. Thanks for listening. Make sure that you follow us on iTunes so don’t be shy to subscribe or leave a review and we look forward to talking to you on our next episode.

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To make a comeback after a major setback recognize that you may not able to choose everything that happens to you, but you get to choose your response.

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