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Meet Dave Bricker of Remarkable Stories in Shenandoah

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Bricker.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dave. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After finishing my first year of college, I returned to Miami to work on the Christo Surrounded Islands project. It was 1983. There, I met some people who lived on their sailboats in the free anchorage at Dinner Key. Up until that time, I thought adventure stories only happened in books and movies, but these people traveled the world. And when they took me sailing, I was hooked. I bought my first $3000 fixer-upper sailboat and began living aboard before I even finished school. Six months after graduating, at age 24, I took off across the Gulf Stream with a locker full of food and dreams and $30 in my pocket. I sailed thousands of solo miles, crossed the Atlantic with a friend, and came back with stories of my own.

Before graduating (I got a degree in liberal arts with a minor in jazz guitar), I bought one of the first Mac computers. It had no hard drive, two floppy disk drives, a black and white screen, and a whole megabyte of RAM. But that gave me my introduction to digital graphics and because I got on the “desktop publishing” train early, I found lots of opportunities. Eventually, I opened a graphics studio, taught myself web design, became a Flash developer, and was asked to teach at various art schools. I spent 15 years teaching and got my MFA in graphic design.

But, I was still playing music every day, and when I got involved with traditional book design and typesetting, I fell in love with writing. I became an authority on self-publishing and have since written eight books.

I had a serious professional identity crisis. Aside from being that “weird guy who lives on a boat,” people would ask “What do you do?” and I’d have to ask, “How much time you got?”

But my stint in academia was coming to a close. I had already been helping a few professional speakers with their books and websites, and speaking as a form of communication I knew I could take beyond the classroom. It took me twenty years to figure out how to mix my sailing adventure stories with music, technology, writing, publishing, and design but that “umbrella” was storytelling. I developed a model that explains how stories work, what a story is, and how to use storytelling to solve problems, create engaging content, and build connections. I’ve been a storyteller and storytelling coach ever since.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Has it been a smooth road? No. 3000 miles of ocean is not even a road, but I wouldn’t trade in an inch of my journey. I’ve had a great mix of fantastic things that just happened to me and scrapes I got myself in and out of, wonderful people, great lessons, and amazing experiences. I’ve swum with whales, climbed a volcano and spent the night inside, worked with inspiring people, gotten to be a husband and dad, and made a difference in the lives of a lot of people. Who wants a smooth road? Overrated!

Remarkable Stories, Inc. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a speaker, author, consultant, and coach who teaches the art of business transformation through storytelling to writers, presenters, professionals, and visionaries. If you’re writing a book, building a branding platform, crafting a speech, working on a sales pitch or trying to build a corporate culture that attracts and retains talent, I offer keynotes, workshops, and group and individual coaching programs. I’m also building one of Miami’s first Vistage peer mentoring groups for business owners and CEOs.

Essentially, what I do is help people discover and communicate the value that distinguishes themselves and their organizations from competitors. I help business leaders take control of the narratives that define their business, make sure their teams are telling those same stories (which they rarely are), and then find ways to connect those stories to customers’ stories. We get away from typical “processes, data, and ingredients” thinking (“This is what I do”) and focus on outcomes and transformation (“This is what I do for people.”) You can’t have a relationship with a product or service; stories are always about people. I love this model because it produces real business results and it also helps people feel good about the roles they and their organizations play in the world.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
“Success” is often thought of as some sort of state you attain, like “happily ever after.” I think of it more as a path. If you’re on a path that feels meaningful, and you’re giving to yourself and also adding value to those around you, that’s success. Some days, it will rain. Some days, you won’t feel like getting out of bed. Some days, you’ll marvel at how great it is to be alive. Living and sharing that spectrum – that’s success.

Contact Info:

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Dave Bricker

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