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Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

Digital interactions often lack a sense of human connection. We are living in a distracted world where millions of advertising dollars are fighting for our attention. We have the option to opt-in or out on what we get to consume. We have more power than ever to create our bubbles online.

To build a business that stands out in a saturated market, you need to share stories that connect with your customers and audience on an emotional level. As human beings, compelling narratives make us want to listen and engage.

The Case for Storytelling

Long gone are the days of waiting for formulaic TV shows at primetime on CBS, NBC, and FOX. People want polarizing and compelling narratives that shock and delight. Researcher Anton Siebert from the Journal of Marketing explains that “It’s not all about creating consistently good customer experiences, but about creating intentionally chaotic, maddening, and unpredictable ones.” …

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Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

Many of us spend a large part of our lives feeling stuck in one way or another. Maybe you’re feeling stuck in a job you don’t enjoy but have mixed feelings about starting a new career path. Perhaps you started a new fitness and diet regimen and are struggling to follow through. The initial excitement has worn off, and now you’re left with trying to find the motivation behind what got you started in the first place. There are a range of reasons for feeling stuck:

  • The problem is beyond our background to solve
  • The problem is not entirely clear
  • It is not clear what knowledge needs to be applied to get…

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Photo by Josh Carter on Unsplash

The feeling of failure can have a downward spiraling effect.

When we find ourselves reflecting on past failures, feelings of anger, dread, regret, and sorrow can bubble to the surface, leaving us with an unshakeable feeling.

There’s a magic to failure. It’s up to you to decide how to process it.

Looking back on setbacks can only make you stronger. It can help you carve the right path forward to understanding how to separate emotions from reality.

You have the power to shift your brain to stop seeing failure as a threat.

When you feel anger, you can allow yourself the space to actualize the feeling and situation. You’re able to turn it into a better outcome for the next time. …

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Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash

Side projects are not only for entrepreneurs. It can come in many forms and serve a broad range of purposes. Seeking a new challenge, learning a unique skillset, and following a passion requires little to no risk other than carving out some time to do it.

In 2018, I started an interview series for my website called Conversations. One of my motivations for starting this project was to hone my interview skills. The project allowed me to connect with a diverse range of creatives: photographers, graphic designers, illustrators. In my spare time, I would send direct messages to creatives I found on Instagram and ask them if they wanted to participate in the interview series. I didn’t set high expectations for the project. …

Writer and Photographer. Finding comfort embracing the unknown.

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Westfjords, Iceland. 2018. Taken by my friend Aldis.

My name is Mia Nguyen. I’m a first generation Vietnamese-Chinese American. I was born and raised in Rhode Island. I now currently live in Los Angeles. I’m the oldest out of three. I have two younger brothers.

I’m a reader first, writer second. In 2009, I got my first job shelving books at my local library. It was there that I discovered the power of gaining multiple perspectives through reading.

Finding and reading books is something I integrate into my daily practice. I enjoy reading essays, non-fiction, food science, nature writing, art, and photography. …

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Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

Storytelling is a powerful tool that can help stretch the meaning to the world we live in. Consuming diverse stories gives us the privilege to understand and humanize perspectives. It’s a reminder that no two people are the same. In order to succeed, we need to listen and understand this life together.

Setting the intention to read stories written by authors with different backgrounds, writing styles, genres, and time periods can greater our understanding of the world and stretch our empathy. The act of diversifying our media and reading material requires the act of stepping out of our comfort zones.

Our modern experience with the world has been mostly curated for us by algorithms by giant corporations and the influence of social media. …

It’s becoming less attainable as the world changes

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Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a burgeoning question that sparks a wide range of emotions. It was a daunting question that stared right back at me on blank sheet of paper in elementary school. I had trouble finding a definitive answer.

As we get older, we try to find an answer and work towards it because it seems right for us. The answer we land on usually allows us to identify the path we take to define our career path. We end up spending a large sum of money, taking out loans, dedicating precious time to pursuing the ideal dream that we have somehow pressured ourselves into. We think our future self will really be happy in this place we have dreamed of. …

We only know the present moment

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Photo by Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

It’s easy to get lost in the headlines in the wake of a pandemic. Our society is built for the 24 hour news cycle. We wake up to the constant news of COVID-19 spreading throughout the world affecting millions, skyrocketing unemployment rates, restaurants and essential businesses navigating difficult times. We are forced to reflect on our lives daily. Our job security. Our finances. Our healthcare system. We oftentimes forget how the news affects our mental health.

A lot of us are feeling despair, but also a sense of hope. Tough times are meant to shake us out of our comfort zones. When we feel any sense of despair, it feels easy to fall into the emotional trap, but it doesn’t end up helping anyone out, ourselves, the people around us, or our community. …

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Photo by Ryan James Christopher on Unsplash

2019 was a difficult year for me to define. I went through a lot of unexpected changes, more than I could have ever anticipated, but that’s life. I felt extremely lost in my career and I didn’t have a good sense of where I was heading.

At the beginning of 2019, I had lost a job that I had been working for almost 3 years. I viewed losing this job as a sign of failure. It made me feel vulnerable in every sense of the word and I was struck by an intense fear that things weren’t going to be whole again. I thought I wasn’t going to find another job that I liked due to the trauma of the situation. It felt like a dramatic shift. I viewed it as the end of the world, even though it wasn’t. Things naturally fall apart in life. …

Overcoming the fear of public speaking

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Our insecurities and fears debilitate us from unlocking our true, authentic selves. Heights, the dark, spiders, ghosts: words that can cause one’s blood pressure to increase.

Fears haunt us in our waking life everyday and attack when we allow them to.

They’re alive and raw.

When I am standing in front of a room presenting a project the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I allow a series of what if questions to overcome my preparation: What if my mind goes blank? What if everything I’ve prepared is a complete waste?

About

Mia Nguyen

Writer. mia@mia-nguyen

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