• Nadja Eriksson

An unresolved mystery is a thorn in the heart

Joyce Carol Oates said that. 

It’s true. 

I’m still trying to understand the untimely death of my uncle in late January 1996. 

I was twelve that day, and I also got my first menses. 

I remember sitting in my bedroom, curled up in a large, round wicker chair. With its half-moon shaped seat and soft beige pillow, it was the perfect spot to hide in. 

That winter's day, I had immersed myself in The Lord of the Rings and had just come to Rivendale when the phone rings.

"Olaf is dead," my mother comes in to inform me as soon as she gets off the call. 

My uncle had always been frail, and I knew he's had problems with alcohol.

But when I heard that he'd died, I was shocked. At 33, he was still so young.

What happened?

I wish I knew, but our guess is that it was a nasty flu combined with strong liquor. A heart-failure, perhaps. 

They never did an autopsy; his early death remained an unresolved mystery.

I didn't have much time to think about it, however, because an hour later, I felt cramps in my womb. 

I’d been waiting for my period for months. I was eager to get it because most of my classmates had already got theirs.

I felt like a baby for not having had mine yet. (I'm a late bloomer.) So when it finally came through, I was excited. 

Proud and solemn, I told my mother.

But she just smiled, gave me a quick hug, and handed me a tampon.

"You know what to do. Just rest now and we'll talk later."

I felt disappointed and abandoned. Nobody cared. I understood that my uncle's death had priority, but did it have to be today?!

Fortunately, I know how to be with myself. Like a cat, I like to sit and do nothing, gazing at the sky. Pure beingness. 

Holding a hot water bottle on my belly and a cup of warm chamomile tea in my hand, I quietly welcomed my blood while his broken mother wept in our living room until late that night...

Now, what does this story have to do with your business? 

EVERYTHING.

Think about it.  

Who do you like to buy from? 

The people you know, like, and trust, am I right? 

Humans like to do business with people we enjoy being around, whom they’re comfortable with. Peeps they want to be friends with. 

I see all my subscribers as my friends. 

I love sharing these intimate stories with you. Stories deepen relationships. Humans bond over sharing our lived experience. 

My favorite copywriter, Laura Belgray, teaches that you should share especially those stories that you are most afraid to talk about.

(Remember when I talked about the guy who conned me? It wasn’t an easy one to tell.)

Maybe you fear that you could look bad in front of your audience. Or that some things are too embarrassing to talk about. What will people think of you?! 

But the truth is, we all love to learn a secret.

If you’re anything like me, you’re curious AF, and you love eavesdropping in public places because, who knows, there might be an exciting story to listen in on!

So what I’m trying to say is this: don’t draw the line between your personal brand and your business' brand. 

If you are the face of your business, bring your personality into it. 

Or, in the words of Laura Belgray (again) -- forget about creating a brand personality -- let your personality be your brand!

Tell your stories -- they build trust.

Let people see you. Get personal, and your ideal clients will feel like you’re their best friend even though they might never have met you. 

Need guidance crafting your stories?

I help you figure it all out, either through a 1-Day Brainstorming Intensive or straightforward Get-Er-Done-For-You-Writing.

Already have a website? Great! Maybe it's time to rebrand. Maybe you've pivoted this year. 2020 is the year of change, after all. 

So hit reply and tell me -- which stories would you love to share with your audience but feel afraid to talk about? 

Let’s get these puppies* out there, so you can take your messaging from "meh" to MONEY. 

Secretly yours, 

Nadja

PS: *Not the kind of cute furball that hides behind your sink for weeks and eats living mice -- we'll get that one soon. I mean the words on your website and sales page. You know, the ones that make you moolah. 

PPS: Here's another secret for you: his name will be Hemingway, and you'll meet him soon. 


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Website design and copy by Nadja Eriksson. Portraits by Jan Dahlqvist.

 

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