How to leverage other people’s stories

Melisa Caprio recently stumbled on a fun little secret about stories: She doesn’t have to be the only one telling them.

The fine art photographer was going through a significant life change when she came up with the idea. She recognized that her need for reflection, healing, and growth was universal – so she began to invite others to share their own inspiring thoughts. Her book project, Postcards to the Universe: A Global Movement for Manifestation, is a collection of postcards from people around the world who are coming together in creative ways for global change.

A sample postcard from Melisa’s book from a contributor who wanted to manifest a life partner – and whose love story is unfolding.

Melisa’s approach has some pretty big implications for businesses and books. When you as a business leader or author are willing to open your forum to others, you blow the lid off your capacity for influence.

Your small story now has the potential to become a big idea. As it includes more people, it can connect to and reach more people. Whether you’re crafting a corporate story or a book, your collective stories can draw more followers and have a more meaningful impact within your company, among your fans, and out into the world.

We recently sat down with Melisa to find out how she’s leveraging others’ stories.

Q: What was your first step?

A: I started with a clear mission statement. I asked myself, “What is it that I need? What is it that I want to accomplish?” My answers to these questions pointed me in the right direction on where to go next.

Q: How have you invited people to participate?

A: I’ve used all of my resources. I’ve given mini-workshops, lectures, and webinars in which I’ve shared my project. I’ve also attended women’s groups, book groups, and meetups who have the same interests. I’ve created accounts on Facebook, Twitter account, Pinterest, and Instagram on which I share my project. And I’ve also joined Facebook groups and invited people to participate with me. I’ve found that people love to share themselves if I just ask and listen gratefully.

Q: What has been the response from others?

A: People really respond with interest. They relate to me and contributors to the book. I’ve been featured in the local newspaper and on three different radio shows to talk about my project. Step by step, I’m gathering more postcards and stories and growing my movement.

Q: How are you maintaining your momentum?

A: I’ve noticed that the more I put myself out there and talk to people about it, the more opportunities present themselves. More and more people want to know about it, want to create a postcard, and want to be inspired and bring about changes in their lives.

Think about the other people in your company or in your community with whom you can collaborate. What collective story do you want to tell the world?

MCaprio portraitMelisa Caprio combines art, photography, and personal wishes from people around the world in her book project, Postcards to the Universe, A Global Movement for Manifestation, a visual guidebook that features images and techniques from everyday people who are living out their greatest desire. For more information or to participate in the project, contact Melisa by email or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.


Ella7_croppedElla Hearrean Ritchie is the owner of Stellar Communications, a Houston company that delivers quality business communications and book publishing services on time to nonfiction authors, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, and federal government agencies.  Connect with her on LinkedIn or check out her website for more information.


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