I’ve got a question for you. Do you recognise this picture? Who is it? Not sure?
This will help. Possibly the most memorable TV theme tune from my youth. (Please feel free to sing along.)
If you’re of a similar vintage to me, you’ll know that this is, none other than, The Littlest Hobo. The best thing to come out of Canada EVER. (OK, not ever, I have family in Canada to avoid offending!!) If you remember the show you’ll know that the unnamed dog – (real name London) went from town-to-town saving people, foiling crime and bringing people to justice. And no, the dog didn’t have any super-powers. He just had a big heart and uncanny canine skills.
What I really remember though is the cruelty. Not to the dog, but to the people he helped. He bonded with them. He’d help a kid. And, in a remarkably short period of time, the kid would grow to love him. But then, once the good deed was done – The Littlest Hobo would sod off. No goodbyes. No emotional farewells. He’d just go. Leaving the poor wee kid with nothing more than memories and most likely a messy pool of tears and snotters.
So brutal. So cruel. But, it’s tough love I suppose. You see, now, years later, I see the Littlest Hobo differently. Rather than seeing him* as a heartbreaking pooch, I see him as a wise philosopher, a teacher and a canine coach. He’s teaching those he helps to be independent, t0 not be reliant on him. The subtext – I can’t do it all for you. You’ve got to stand on your own two feet. Either that or he was on the run from the police.
What does a dog have to do with me, and you, for that matter? In November, I started thinking about the business and what I wanted to achieve in 2017 and beyond. I thought about what success looked like. Typically, I’d look at this in financial terms. But, I didn’t. Not this time. I scribbled in a notebook and the first thing I wrote was ‘self-sufficient storytellers’. I wrote a tonne of other stuff, but it was those first three words that I came back to, again and again.
Because that’s what I want. I want to be The Littlest Hobo of Storytelling Coaching. I want to come in. Do my thang. And then leave you to it. Safe in the knowledge that I have equipped you with the tools, skills and knowledge to tell an infinite number of captivating stories. My coaching programmes and workshops are designed to make me unnecessary. In fact, they’re designed to make me redundant.
Of course, I’ll not bugger off without saying goodbye. Not my style. And, instead of tears, I’ll leave you with smiles and most importantly the ability to tell stories on demand. For the avoidance of all doubt, I think it’s important to note that I’m also house trained and will refrain from sniffing you in an inappropriate manner.
So that’s it. My mission for 2017 is…
To create more self-sufficient storytellers than I did last year.
I want to make as big an impact as I can. That means working harder and smarter. That means being more creative. That means leaving a legacy of more people, telling more stories. Stories that have intent. Stories that have power. Stories that help grow your business. Stories that help charities raise funds and awareness. And, stories that help people help themselves.
I’ve got a lot to do, but I’ve never been more excited or up for a challenge in my life. The hard work starts today, and until tomorrow, I’ll just keep moving on.
* Note: It was a him, right? I can usually only tell the gender of a dog by how it pees, and unless I’m mistaken, that didn’t feature in any of the 114 episodes.
I'm a storyteller, case study specialist and the founder of The Story Edge. I want more people to tell more stories. I write stories, teach people to do the same and generally encourage people to use storytelling in their business.