inspiration

When Your Heart is In It, You Bring Great Value

Stories of Understanding the Value of Your Work

Going into the resume and job search business, John Sattler underestimated the impact he could have on the lives of others. His interest in starting this business had more to do with using the knowledge and skills he had developed as a recruiter to make his income, and less to do with the “why” behind it.

His “ah ha” moments came when he opened his mind and heart to really get to know a few of his clients. John realized that each client had a completely different and interesting story to tell, they just didn’t know how to tell it.

He’s not a soft-skills guy, in terms of how he approaches his work. John isn’t the guy you go to cry on his shoulder; he’s the guy who will tell you exactly what he thinks, and will not sugar coat his advice and suggestions. That’s why he won’t take on every client that knocks on his door. If he gets the impression that the client isn’t going to put in the work and effort it will take to get a job, and if he gets the impression that the client won’t choose to be self-reflective about his or her past challenges, he will refer that client to someone else. And that’s what makes him such an asset to the clients who retain him.

It’s magical when you realize that your skills and competence can make a real difference in a person’s life, and that they realize your value and will invest in themselves to benefit from those skills and competence.



Government is Beautiful? It Can Be.

Personal Stories to Challenge Our Perspectives

For a serial entrepreneur to develop a love for government seems counter-intuitive and a ridiculous contradiction, but Jonathon Ende did exactly that.

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After a few years of focusing his online forms product development and sales on small businesses, he had an enlightening conversation with a government employee who was as enthusiastic as Jonathon was about the potential use of the product.

It was the conversation with this public sector employee that clarified the direction SeamlessDocs would take, shifting its focus entirely from small business to government agencies. All the right things and people came together to confirm his lightning bolt moment of insight about the need and desire for improving interactions among agencies and between agencies and their constituents, and Jonathon was propelled by a new vision and mission.

The motto, Government is Beautiful, is rarely an easy sell to anyone who has ever had an interaction with government, whether that’s at the department of motor vehicles, the post office, or trying to get a permit for a parade or event in a city. And yet, after speaking with anyone at SeamlessDocs, or any of the government employees who have had the opportunity to work with that team and their product, people have a completely different view of their jobs and their governments; some parts of government absolutely CAN be beautiful.

The beauty of government can be found in those public employees who make it their mission to improve relationships with their residents, the ones you don’t see working behind the scenes to make sure your water is safe to drink, the ones who work to meet the complex restrictions on wastewater release into the environment, and the ones who care deeply for their community and demonstrate that every day in whatever role they play in your local government.

Learn more about Jonathon and SeamlessDocs by connecting with him on LinkedIn, and visiting the website. You can read about my early experience with the product in my blog post here.

Embracing Life Transitions as the New Normal

We are Living in Transition Now, What Stories Help Us Navigate this New Normal?

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Kris Macchiarola left the corporate world because her activities there just didn’t align with her core values and priorities. What she discovered after leaving that world is a community of women in varying types of transitions in their lives: Divorce, empty nesting, career changes, priority changes, and a general desire for something different in their lives.

There appears to be three responses to these major life adjustments:

  1. People see an open door and choose to turn back around to the known dynamics of their previous jobs, industries and types of partners, regardless of happiness and fulfillment.

  2. People see an open door and freeze, not knowing which opportunity to take because there seem to be too many options.

  3. People see an open door and leap across the threshold, choosing risk over safety and comfort because there are simply no other options for them.

In this podcast episode, we share some of our own stories of transition, the stories of some of our friends, and some important strategies and thought processes to consider in this changing world of transition.

Kris Macchiarola is a consultant, speaker, leader, and coach. She specializes in helping organizations create a culture where employees feel energized, enabled, and engaged, ultimately, giving them a competitive advantage. She is an EQ champion and specializes in Human to Human. Connect with her on LinkedIn, check out her Patreon profile, and visit her website to learn more.

A Spark of Inspiration is Only as Good as Your Response to It

The Spark that Started a Story of Innovation in Education

It was a TED video that caught Don Wettrick’s attention during his lunch hour. He’s always looking for inspiration through reading and videos, and as a teacher, he’s used to fitting that inspiration into little boxes necessary to keep administration happy. But this was different, partly because he had switched schools and his administrator was more open to changes and innovation, and partly because he really wanted to see his students find something they could get excited about.

When his students came to class that afternoon, Don showed them the video. They were not as impressed as he was, it seemed a little dry to them. And yet, as the discussion continued, an idea emerged. Students had often complained that if they were just given some freedom, they had all kinds of interests and projects they’d want to dig into.

“What if you had 30 minutes every Friday to work on whatever project you wanted?”

Don expected students to jump at the opportunity, and some did, but what he found was that a lot of students were so driven by grades and being pleasers, that when it came time to take those 30 minutes, he heard things like: “Well, Mr. Wettrick, what do you want me to work on?” And he’d answer, “whatever you want. What are you interested in?”

Many of the students had a really hard time thinking through that question, sparking an even greater desire for the idea of an innovation class, and curiosity about what would drive students to think more about what they liked, what they were interested in, and what they were good at.

Fast forward a few years after that spark of inspiration, and we see Don making waves all over the country with his work in bringing student innovation to classrooms everywhere.


Don Wettrick is the Innovation Coordinator at Noblesville High School, and is the author of "Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level." Wettrick has worked as a middle school and high school teacher; educational and innovation consultant; CEO, and podcast host. He is also the founder of StartEdUp, an organization dedicated to help transform the school culture toward innovation and enable student-led entrepreneurship. 

In the podcast, he speaks about his great kids, particularly Ava and her podcast, redefining (thank goodness) influence and mentorship on younger generations.

A Hero's Story Doesn't Have to be Epic

One thing people seem to misunderstand about being a storyteller, or simply about sharing stories, is that a story doesn't have to be flashy or exciting to make it interesting. As a matter of fact, most people prefer stories they can relate to, that they find humor in, and that connect with them on an emotional level.