Do you have any tattoos? I’ve had three or four if you count the dot on one knuckle.
When I was about thirteen, a group of us were skiving off school and decided it would be a great idea to tattoo each other.
Can you imagine?
Yes, it was a mess and a disaster.
After I was so embarrassed by the hideous heart on the top of my leg for a few years, I wouldn’t go swimming or to the beach. The one tiny dot on my knuckle, which you can’t see I did to remind me that this was a foolish venture – yet I did it anyway.
One day, I confessed to my mum, made her promise not to tell my dad, and cried all over the doctor. I was sent to a hospital, and it was removed.
I remember going in my best, posh clothes so that they didn’t think that I was a tramp.
Years later, with this all forgotten, I headed out very early one morning to a tattoo studio in Reading. Hormonal and gutted that I was not first in line, I paced the floor as all rational thought left me. I was going to have a delicate flower; instead, naffed off, I chose a rather large and intimidating devil.
I’m not sure now why I wanted a tattoo, but I knew I had to have one, and it wasn’t fashionable then. It was more of a rebellious statement, against what – who knows?
During the healing period, I went to Monaco to visit my aunt with a friend. And we partied hard. What happens on tour stays on tour. Except, I damaged my knees one eventful evening.
What a disaster.
When I got home, I was due to go to a company ball with my then husband. It was, as you can imagine, a very important event.
My dilemma was – long dress to hide the scabby and bloody knees but show off the devil, or a short cocktail frock to hide the devil and show the knees. I went for a long dress.
The devil caused quite a commotion but with positive consequences. The table behind me was made up of people our table needed to connect with. I became a bit of a star with both my tattoo and knees story.
My husband’s company forged a working relationship with this key customer, and I was often fondly referred to. Or at least, I think that it was fondly…
Back then, there weren’t any social media platforms and nowhere for us to share our stories. Unless, of course, you include the pub and Sunday lunch with mum and dad.
The point is that stories create connection, and connection creates relationships.
You may not have a devil tattoo on your shoulder – and I do have more devilish tales for you – but you will have stories that are worth sharing.
These can be in your journal for healing, on your blog to inspire or in a book to build your personal brand.
The question is, are you ready to share your story or stories?
When you are ready, come and chat with me and we can look at what book to write and how to turn your ideas into products and services to build your brand.
Check out online writing retreats as well, if you are currently stuck.