Client Kudos: How a Yoga Teacher is Making Mental Health Less Taboo

Click image to read article about Mandy GivenMandy Given has one of those stories.

Heart-wrenching. Courageous. Moving. Inspirational.


It’s no accident the fates brought us together.

Mandy is a mom. She’s a business owner. And she’s a fearless messenger.

When we met in the fall, she suspected that her story needed to be tightened up & positioned strategically. She also knew she wanted a more professional sounding & looking website.

As we worked together, it became clear that in addition to a powerful story that would connect to potential clients, she had a message that would benefit the 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders.

That is a story worth pitching to the press, & Mandy was game.

Earlier this year, Mandy landed placements with her local paper & the local CBS radio affiliate in Boston, the country’s 8th largest media market (click the links to read the article & hear the spot). And she’s just getting started.

Here’s why it worked, & how you can do this too.

  • Clarity around message & story. Mandy came to me with her story so I could help her turn it into its most concise & compelling version. From there, we shaped & re-purposed it for different channels including her website & media pitches.
  • Media connections. I love it when clients like Mandy already have connections with journalists, That’s half the battle because if a journalist already knows, trusts & likes you AND you have a great pitch, getting placed happens fast & easy. You don’t need to have existing connections or relationships to get publicity. If you want more tips on how to start making your own connections check out my interview on The Carrie Roldan Show.
  • Craft a media-worthy pitch. Pitching the media is part art, part psychology. There are plenty of free resources on my blog (like this one & this one) & others (check out The Publicity Hound — better than a PR degree!) to help you pull your own pitch together. Or you can just hire someone & be done with it.  Here’s the email pitch I wrote for Mandy’s CBS contact — in less than an hour.

What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Hi <first name>,I’m Mandy Given and I’m the owner of Govinda Yoga Play, where I help children in grades 4-12 throughout Greater Boston & North Shore better cope with the stress of these uncertain times and the daily dilemmas of modern society. I’ve listened to your show and I believe I’d be a great guest for your audience.

Proposed Topic: What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Did you know that anxiety affects 25% of US children ages 13-18 (SOURCE: National Institute of Mental Health)? At the same time, anxiety is highly treatable yet only 20 percent of children suffering with anxiety receive treatment. Parents of children with anxiety can help ease their child’s worries, and it doesn’t always have to be with the use of powerful prescription drugs.

As a guest on your show, I propose discussing the following points:

  • How families can experience more peace & happiness in spite of these turbulent times
  • Simple, drug-free techniques anyone can use to change our chemical response to stress
  • How to avoid the dangers of your child, you or any loved one being misdiagnosed & over-medicated from the perspective of a parent with anxiety

Many of your listeners may struggle with anxiety or have a child or loved who struggles with it. They may not know that easy-to-learn techniques and alternative solutions to pharmaceuticals are available.

I’ve recently been interviewed by my local newspaper (Marblehead Reporter) and my goal is to deliver an informative interview for your audience. I’d be happy to provide you with sample interview questions at your request, as well as come into the studio should you decide to do a segment on this timely topic.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Mandy Given


(I’ll break down this pitch with footnotes in another post but in the meantime study, rob & duplicate this format for your own topic & pitch. Or book a consult with me if you want me to take care of it for you.)

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. For goodness sake, DO NOT wing an interview with the press. Figure out your talking points & practice. Mandy & I sculpted the most meaningful & succinct points, then hopped on the phone to review & mock interview. If you’ve never done a media interview and you plan to make media relations a key branding & marketing strategy, get media training.
  • Re-purpose your media placements. It’s exciting to be in the press. High-five yourself. Not many people have the balls, tenacity or organization to reach out to the media. Share your news! Your co-workers, clients, partners, friends & family will be excited for you. Link to your press from your website. Add an “As Featured In” section to your homepage & include the logo of the media outlet. Post it on your Facebook timeline & business page. Print out the actual article, blow it up to poster size, laminate it & hang it on your office wall. Go for it, you deserve to toot your own horn.

So if you’ve got a newsworthy story to tell . . . I challenge you to reach out to the media.

If you need help pulling together a PR strategy & concise, compelling press materials, book a complimentary consultation so we can discuss what’s possible for you!

Reconnect to the Emotion In Your Story

😀 😢 😠 😟

If you saw my last post about how to tell a better story, you know that the first step is to go deeper emotionally (if not, check it out here).


Because people love to be moved by story. We all like to imagine ourselves in situations that challenge us and provide us an opportunity to rise to the occasion.

So if you want to tell a better story that will move people, you have to rediscover your emotion. When I started my business, I would gloss over the emotion in my story. I’d lean on similar career experiences because I simply “didn’t want to go there.”

I was doing what I love and what I was good at, but I wasn’t making much money.

And that didn’t turn around until I made friends with the deeper emotional themes in my story.

If you’re asking yourself “How do I rediscover my emotion?” these questions (taken directly from my Tell to Sell Story Creation Home Learning Program) will help you reconnect.

Have fun with it, and stay tuned for more ways you can tell a better story.

How to Tell a Better Story for Emerging Coaches & Consultants

connect to the emotion in your story

photo by Vinoth Chandar

If you’ve been in business a few years, you may be asking yourself . . .

How do I tell a better story?

The kind of story that leads you to the next level in your business and your life.

One thing I noticed as I worked intimately with several women entrepreneurs over the summer on their stories is that they already were telling a story, yet they weren’t happy with the results they were getting.

If you’ve noticed this too, take heed because that’s a sign that you may not be telling the best story.

You’ll know when you’re telling a better story when you:
  • Get an “in the bones” knowing and feeling about your story – you’ll actually feel the connection somewhere in your body
  • People hone in and comment on very specific things you said in your story – this means they didn’t just listen to the story, they connected to and got meaning from some part of it
  • You start generating leads and new business like never before – I didn’t share my story in sales conversations for the first seven months after I first came out with my story. Fascinating that my two best months that year were the month I came out with my story and the month I started telling it in every single sales conversation. I actually had a 100% close rate that month – and I don’t consider sales one of my strengths!
  • People start coming to you with opportunities because they heard about you from someone else – when people you don’t even know start asking you to speak to their audience or collaborate on a big project or do something that gets you one step closer to your dream, that’s your story at work.
So how do you go about telling that kind of story?

I’ve been in the business of helping others tell their stories for 20 years. When it comes to linking better results with a better story there’s a constant that I’ve noticed.

You know what it is?

It’s going deeper EMOTIONALLY.

You have to go deeper emotionally so you can connect with people on an emotional level.

I see this with my coaching and consulting clients today.

I saw it with the PR campaigns I ran for national brands and government agencies (and trust me, emotion and energy efficiency weren’t as hip or passionately adopted then as it is now).

I saw it in the newsroom when I wrote a feature about how local schools were dealing with a very heated conflict between pro-life and pro-choice campaigns targeting school kids in the ’90s.

Emotion. High stakes. Conflict. Resolution.

If these fundamental elements are NOT in your story, it’s time to upgrade.

Stay tuned because I’m going to break this down for you even more in upcoming blog posts. I’ll also share more about a new way I’m working with entrepreneurs like you to upgrade their stories.

In the meantime, what’s holding you back from diving into the emotional deep end? Let me know in the comments below.

How Successful Entrepreneurs Get Hired for Their Story

courtesy of JO Social Branding

courtesy of JO Social Branding

A wise person once said . . .

“If you’re a coach, consultant or entrepreneur you’re specifically being hired for your story. Your ability to attract the right opportunities and deepen your impact is all about getting your story straight.”

If you’re still working on getting your story straight, you’re going to want to check out this Social Eyes podcast with Jeannine O’Neil of JO Social Branding.

Jeannine had me on last week as her expert guest to talk about Unleashing the Power of Storytelling as a way to attract clients and grow your business.

Here’s what you’ll take away from the podcast:

  • Why your story is so important not just for attracting clients but for stepping into your role as an owner and leader
  • How to tell a difficult story that makes you (& your audience) feel good
  • Why hiding your story hurts you, your business & the very people you long to help — & what you can do to change it
  • The advantages of being internally aligned with what you express externally & how story helps you connect the two

And much more.

You can listen here or simply scan the “Key Points & Quotables” section to pick up some fast pointers.

While you’re there, will you do me a favor? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to where it says “Leave a Reply”. Introduce yourself in the comments & let me know what your biggest problem is around sharing your story. Thanks! 


How to Conquer 6 Crippling Fears That Keep You From Telling Your Story & Making More Money

Why aren’t you telling your story?

Fear #1 – Maybe it’s because you think it doesn’t matter (it does).

Fear #2 – Maybe it’s because you’re worried it will offend someone (it will sometimes & that’s OK).

Fear #3 – Maybe it’s because you’ve got a story that you know you MUST tell but the thought of telling it makes you feel like throwing up (you’ll come close, but you won’t).

Fear #4 – Maybe your story is the kind of story that you worry your audience can’t handle (they can).

It’s deep.

It’s heavy.

Fear #5 – And it reminds you of shit you don’t really want to remember, never mind share with a ton of people. You don’t want to tell THAT story because you don’t want to burden your audience.

Fear #6 – You don’t want people to (horror of all horrors) feel bad for you.

As a coach and speaker, you want to tell a story with power, hope and impact.

Good news?

You have a powerful story that shows your audience what could be possible for them and makes them feel good.

Bad news?

It may be the EXACT same flippin’ story you don’t want to tell.

Before I get into how you can share a tough personal story in a way that feels good for you and great for your audience, let’s look at what hiding your story may be doing to your business and your life.

Why Hiding Your Story Hurts

I don’t know what’s going on in your business, but I can tell you what happened in mine while I was keeping my heaviest story under wraps.

I’d burned through more than $28K+ in savings and racked up nearly $14K in debt.

Sure, I was getting clients. I was also spending embarrassing amounts of time and energy on far too many tire-kickers. I was making money, but certainly not enough to cover the money I was bleeding on all the products, trainings and coaching promising to fix my problem.

Sound familiar?

By the way, 80% of that stuff was worth the investment, but only half (or less) of it was effective for me because I wasn’t ready ON THE INSIDE to execute on it.

The BIG reason I wasn’t ready to execute on it was because I had NOT come to grips with telling my story.

As a life-long saver and the mother of two young children living in one of the most expensive places to live on the East coast, I can tell you that the money fear got REAL. Fast.

And thank God it did.

Because it forced me to stare that mother of a story right in the eye and deal with it.

I knew when I started my business that I would one day tell the story I never wanted to tell, even though I did everything in my power not to tell it for the first two years of my business.

And I paid for not telling it.

Oh did I pay.

Here’s the thing.

I didn’t just pay for it in my business.

If you know my story then you know the hurt goes much deeper than that.

(If you don’t, you can hear it in my webinar The Connect & Convert Strategy — How to Turn Your Audience Into Paying Clients with Your Powerful Personal Story.)



Look, I’m not saying that hiding your story will actually kill you or your business.

What I am saying is that Maya An
gelou wasn’t kidding.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”

And if that untold story is the very reason why you do what you do, your business will continue to struggle until you find a way to tell it.

How to Feel Good About Sharing Something That FELT Bad

I’m not going to bullshit you.

Facing the ugly stuff in your life isn’t easy.

Sharing what you might consider the broken parts of your story with A LOT of people is downright terrifying.

At first.

But if you truly care about connecting with your community, your clients, your loved ones – then this is the straight up truth . . .

Your real story, the messy one with all its pain, shame and secrets IS your BEST story.

It’s the one that forges the deepest bond with your audience.

As long as:

  1. You’re not still living it
  2. You’ve made sense of it for yourself
  3. You’ve made sense of it for your audience

Let’s begin with #1.

If you’re still waist deep IN your story, hear this loud and clear. That is NOT the story you share with your audience and potential clients. Maybe it becomes a story someday (or maybe not), but until it’s resolved it’s not a story your audience wants or needs to hear.

[Note: DO share what you’re experiencing with someone who can help you get through it!]

That being said, you’re story doesn’t need to be over in order to tell it. In fact, if it’s your personal journey that fuels your purpose and your work, no doubt your story is still unfolding.

Let’s look at #2. Even though hiding my story for the first two years of my business caused lots of tears, fear and anxiety, the truth is I wasn’t ready to tell it. I thought I’d made sense of it years before but as a result of starting my business, a harsh truth emerged. I had more work to do.

If you haven’t worked out what you think, feel and believe because of what you’ve experienced, you have to figure that out first precisely so you won’t burden your audience with your story.

And finally, #3.

Once you clear any of the last hangers-on of emotional and energetic pain surrounding your story, you may still struggle with the more obvious challenge that all storytellers face:

Does this matter to my audience, and if so, why?

This is the most important piece of the puzzle friends.

If you can’t find the intersection between your audience and your story, then it’s just a story.

Yes, it could be emotional, powerful, shocking, inspirational, but if it lacks RELEVANCE, you leave your audience wondering what it all means for them.

Fortunately for coaches, it’s often your personal journey and growth that drives you to do the work you do.

That’s why telling your story – no matter how much it makes you want to puke – is so important for connecting deeply with the people who can benefit most from it.

And when you finally tell that damn story you don’t want to tell, you’ll see that your audience doesn’t feel bad for you at all.

Because your pain helps them heal.

Because sharing your darkest truths is surprisingly liberating.

Because your story sets people free in the most meaningful way.

And isn’t that the point?

The Connect & Convert Strategy

How to Captivate Your Audience & Turn Them Into Paying Clients with Your Powerful Personal Story

Want to learn how to turn that painful story into profits?

Watch this free webinar and learn:

  • What the world’s most successful coaches & consultants are doing right now to grow their empire & change thousands (sometimes millions) of people’s lives
  • The essential elements for creating a powerful & profitable story that your audience actually cares about
  • How to use your story to cut the amount of time it takes you to get a client in half
  • Right & wrong approaches to telling your story — And ONE HUGE pointer that will increase your sales!
  • An easy-t0-follow system that will help you connect with the right people from this point on so you can do your best work with clients you love & watch your profits soar! 

Click here to get instant access (no opt in required!)

What’s something painful you’ve been avoiding in your story? How is it holding you back? Share in the comments.

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