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Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a very accomplished leader and business owner. He began to tell me his story–about a high school mentor who sparked his passion for his industry, about the ups and downs of his career, about the chances he took and how hard he worked to get to where he is today. It was an inspiring story and as I listened, I was struck by how powerful and influential our stories can be.

Everyone has a story.

And everyone has the ability to use that story as a powerful tool of influence.

But sharing our stories can be hard. It can be uncomfortable to open up and be honest about our lives, our failures and challenges. Yet stories have a tremendous power to affect and uplift others and we need to tell them more often.

So what is stopping you from telling your story? What have you overcome? What has shaped you? What about your story might encourage someone else?

Share your story. And be Uncommon.