Knowing how to tell your story can be a key differentiator for your business, career, or life in general. Telling your story will help you identify yourself and inspire others as well.
This incredible interview about the power of storytelling comes from a former FOX News Channel Correspondent, a father of four, jellyfish eater, and public relations rockstar. He was a TV news journalist for 25 years, won 3 Emmys and has reported live from Iraq and Afghanistan!
Please welcome to Everyday Power, the founder of Jeff’s Journeys, Jeff Goldblatt!
Jeff Moore: Hey Jeff, thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us. We’re here to learn about your journey. Could you tell us more about who you are and how you arrived at where you are today?
Jeff Goldblatt: I spent 25 years in the TV news business on-air. Nine of those years, I was based in Chicago as a correspondent for Fox News. I covered 9-11, the war in Afghanistan and even did the first national network interview with Barack Obama.
This was when he announced that he was running for U-S Senate in Illinois and before he even ran and became our President. Bottom line, I got to cover many of the world’s most prolific events!
As I reached the pinnacle of my career, I learned that life’s a journey for all of us.
Originally, I transitioned out of TV and into social media and communications strategy consulting.
Longing to return to my roots of storytelling, I launched Jeff’s Journeys, LLC to help global brands tell their story. I applied principles I learned from my time on TV to help my clients tell their story.
Jeff Moore: While working in an organization or even building a business, it’s so easy to get caught up in the endless checklist of tasks and chipping away at efficiency. Many people are not prioritizing the power of their story. Why is it so important to tell a story?
Jeff Goldblatt: Currently, a critical brand differentiator is telling a story. The highest-level PR firms are now hiring journalists and have partnered with creative teams, so they see the need.
I encourage people to go out there and talk about themselves, to tell their story. Sitting on the sidelines in life gets you nowhere. Taking chances gets you somewhere.
“SITTING ON THE SIDELINES IN LIFE GETS YOU NOWHERE. TAKING CHANCES GETS YOU SOMEWHERE.”
The more you try to identify your brand, the more you learn what your brand is and what it stands for.
With the power of social media, anyone has the opportunity to be a brand publisher. From the biggest brands like Ford to the mom and pop names, everyone has the same opportunity to tell their story. You may not have the same following, but you do have the same opportunity!
“YOU MAY NOT HAVE THE SAME FOLLOWING, BUT YOU DO HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY!”
It costs nothing to organically post on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. I’m inspired by you Jeff, because you started from nothing, just one post and now you are promoted by many!
Jeff Moore: Thank you.
Jeff Goldblatt: Thank you for realizing that there’s a nation of people who needed to hear you. You’ve made great traction because you tell your story and you know there are people out there who want to hear and share stories.
Jeff Moore: How should someone go about telling their story?
Jeff Goldblatt: First, you must BE AUTHENTIC. There are many pretenders out there. There’s no need to fabricate, just be true to yourself. Having authenticity allows you to prevail and endure because you’re being true to yourself.
Jeff Moore: What’s the next step?
Jeff Goldblatt: I would start by documenting what you do daily. Have several posts a day. Get out of the office and network.
Ask people for their social media contact information and have them take yours. Make connections with people beyond a traditional business card. Get a digital card.
While networking at a party, when people ask for your card, say “I have a digital card. What’s your cell phone number?” Now you’ve made the contact right there on the spot.
Jeff Moore: I love that! What do you say to people who are afraid of sounding stupid or believe that no one cares about what they have to say?
Jeff Goldblatt: That’s all fear and it’s ok to have fear. But, as Mr. Zig Ziglar said, “failure’s an event, not a person.” It’s better to try than not to. You will find your footing while trying, despite the temporary bruises. Your audience will find you. (As a note to the reader, Zig Ziglar International is a client of Jeff’s Journeys)
Jeff Moore: Once someone is ready to get started, what platform should they use?
Jeff Goldblatt: The vehicle for telling stories has now changed. A Syndacast study recently said that in 2017, 74% of all Internet traffic will have some form of video content in it. Using social media to share videos is the best way to go.
Jeff Moore: Wow! How long would you say the video should be?
Jeff Goldblatt: Since we live our lives on the go, and we typically look at social media in passing, it’s desirable to have a video be 30 sec or less. If you want more views, you want to keep it short.
Jeff Moore: Love it!
Jeff Goldblatt: I’m very excited about what I’m doing. Without my journey, my success would not have been possible. It was my missteps which brought me to my current position.
Although I’m in my late 40s, I made a commitment to reinvent myself. To stay relevant. I refused to shrivel up and melt away.
Jeff Moore: I once heard somebody say that success inspires, but failure empowers. Could you share a failure that led you to this moment?
Jeff Goldblatt: I’ve had a lot of bumps along the way. In 2010, when I was the main anchor in Chicago for the local Fox station, new management came into the station and decided not to resign my contract.
It was hard not to take it personally, at first. This all happened to me in the throes of the recession. And I ended up taking it on the chin financially, because the TV news industry was going through major changes at the time, and it was difficult to find a position.
Going from a top Fox News correspondent to a freelancer in a matter of months was very humbling. But I was determined to get the right role for me. After a two-year job search, I found the right opportunity on air in San Antonio.
But at the end of my contract in San Antonio, I couldn’t come to terms on my future value with the station, and it was time to try something new.
Without the unexpected detours in my life, I wouldn’t be here, which led me to Jeff’s Journeys, where I bridge consulting and content marketing. There was no name for what I was trying to do in San Antonio, so I created one.
I now have the opportunity to be working with an amazing group of clients, including the team at Zig Ziglar International. It’s the highest level, to be working and spreading innovation, hope, business and leadership skills with so many.
IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY OR SATISFIED WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING, YOU NEED TO HAVE THE STRENGTH TO MAKE THE DECISIONS EVEN IF THEY’RE HARD.
Control your life. Take charge of your journey. My biggest failures became my biggest opportunities.
It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. I learned that the journey in life is how resilient you can be. That’s what defines you long-term.
Jeff Moore: Many new business owners build their business by operating in silos and locking themselves in an office. What’s the power of building relationships?
Jeff Goldblatt: Networking and making meaningful relationships are hidden talents because they are hidden needs in the business world.
To build meaningful relationships after an event, you have to:
- Take notes of your conversations with people
- Follow up with phone calls
- Look for possible alignment and how you can provide a service to someone you meet
For example, look at my story and how I got connected with Zig Ziglar International. Randomly this past summer on Facebook, the name Edwin Britt just popped up. I could have easily passed up this opportunity because we had not spoken last since we were roommates during our first jobs right out of college.
Instead, I chose to connect with Edwin, and as it turned out, he asked me to mentor his daughter who is pursuing a career in TV news. I agreed, and we stayed in touch. At first, we often talked about Zig Ziglar International, and I would offer support for their work. I realized that there may be a business opportunity here.
Fast forward, he introduces me to their amazing CEO, Michael Ray Newman, and we decided to create a partnership, where I work with their team to help grow their brand!
Looking back at all the people with whom I have crossed paths over the years, from a business perspective, many conversations didn’t lead to business. But what’s the harm in picking up the phone or direct messaging someone just to see if there is an alignment in life? A couple of minutes of your life could be a potential opportunity of promise, and much more!
Jeff Moore: Famous psychologist Abraham Maslow, talked about every moment being critical. You either take one step forward, or one step back into comfort. You made the conscious decision to send the message. What’s your thinking behind taking risks?
Jeff Goldblatt: I am wired to take calculated risks. We make ourselves better, as individuals and collectively, by communicating and scaling out our ideas; by collaborating.
Take my 13-year-old son. He’s very interested in digital accouterments. So, he decided to reach out to a few brands and he offered to represent them on YouTube as a product tester. He’s just 13 years old and he decided he wanted to do this!
He researched their email address, but he was nervous to reach out. I asked him “What’s the big deal? Even if they don’t write back, at least you took the risk, right?”
When he reached out, they did respond and explained they were looking for someone with more followers. As he contemplated how to respond, I said to him “What’s the worst and best that can happen? Again, at least you took the risk!”
As you take risks, it’s important to do your homework first. If reaching out to someone, it is helpful if you know something about that person and their company.
It’s like fishing, if you throw out the line hundreds of times, eventually you will catch that fish!
Jeff Moore: Jeff, we spoke about risks, networking and the power of telling your story. But lastly, as we ask all of our guests, how do you define Everyday Power?
Jeff Goldblatt: To me, Everyday Power is standing for something. If you stand for something, evolve and commit, you will be more powerful! Although your finish line may evolve a bit, you make the commitment to be powerful every day.
Every day, I commit to being a good husband, a good father, and giving back. It may look different day to day but I make daily commitments to pay it forward and grow. That’s what Everyday Power looks like to me.
Jeff Moore: Thank you so much, Jeff. If somebody wants to contact you to learn more about you and find out what you offer, how would they contact you?
Jeff Goldblatt: My website is jeffsjourneys.com. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like I said before, you never know what’s at the other end of that line if you don’t take the chance. If you have any interest in storytelling or networking, I would be more than happy to try and help you.
Jeff Moore: Jeff, thank you so much. It was an honor. Thank you so much for your time for the interview and for explaining how to tell your story.