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Your Story Matters (and So Do You). Write your Own Legacy.

It's 9/11 and I normally stay quiet today. In fact, I haven't sent a broadcast mailing on 9/11 ever.

But today I have something to talk about. Please forgive me if it's a little disjointed as I have a lot of thoughts and feelings running through my head.

It's been 12 years since the towers came down, although it still feels like yesterday.

If you're reading this, you've been given a gift of the past 12 years that the 2,977 victims of the attack did not get.

You've had 12 years of life that the others didn't have.

What did you make of it? And, God-willing we are having this conversation again in 2025, what will you make of your next 12 years?

12 years ago today, I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter (who was born just a few days later).

I lived in Oregon. My husband had a great job and we had just bought our dream house.

I really didn't have a care in the world.

A few weeks later, in response to the attacks, departments started closing where he worked – and his entire department was closed.  So we went from one child to two – and one very nice income to none, in the span of a few weeks.

That set a few things in motion. One being me looking online for ways to make money. And, therefore, here I am.

That's my story. 9/11 broke my heart, left me sobbing on the floor, pissed me off more than I knew I could be, and it scared the crap out of me – like most people reading this post. And, it also changed the course of my future.

So today I wanted to talk about something I feel strongly about.

YOUR story.

Life is short and only God knows when ours will be done.

I don't want to be morbid, but if you don't tell your story, who will?

Here's an email that I sent the other day about telling life stories. Yours, your loved ones, and even other people (as part of a business model).

Whether you buy the course I recommend or not, doesn't really matter to me.

recite-8705-229849323-xmdfqoWhat does matter to me is YOU. Your story. Your life. Your legacy.

So please jot your story down. Whether you write it in a journal to keep private for now or share it with family and friends that's up to you. Or – if you want to write your biography to share your lessons with the world, that's great, too. Print-on-Demand technology makes it easy to give the gift of your story to everyone who you love or to make it available worldwide.

On that note, here's the email that I sent last week…


As you probably figured out by now, I’m a big softie.

I love my friends. I cherish my kids. I admire my gramma. I adore my husband. I snuggle my puppies.

And, actually one of my biggest regrets in my short life so far is that I did not capture the stories of my grandparents while I had the opportunity.

I intended to take the time to capture my grandparent’s love story – how they met, fell in love, and stayed together for so many years.

But I didn’t. And, now it’s too late.

What does this have to do with business? Well, my friend, Dennis Becker, just released some interesting training about how to create products (or a paid service) by capturing the stories of others.

Here’s the link -> How to Write Life Stories

At first, when he told me about it, I didn’t get how it could be a business idea.

But then I remembered, one of my dear friends was recently offered a writing gig doing this for a business man and she asked me what to charge him.

I wish this 86 page manual had been available to tell her about at that time. The questions to ask are even included.

Here's part of the Table of Contents so you can see if it might be for you:

  • About Me: . 3
  • A Business Plan with Heart 9
  • Why Would People Be Interested in This? 11
  • Types of Personal Histories 13
    • Recorded Interview13
    • Email Interview 13
    • Transcribed Interview 14
    • Written Memoir or Biography .14
    • Multimedia .14
    • Very Specific Memoirs .15
    • Event in Time .15
    • Spirituality 15
    • Travel 15
    • Quest 15
  • Getting Started With Your Own Family 16
  • Consider Your Own Story 16
  • Approach Additional Family Members and Friends 17
  • What You’ll Need for Your First Interview 17
  • 100 Interview Questions to Ask .20
  • Interviewing 101: Everything You Need to Know 26
  • How to Transcribe an Interview .31
  • Using the Interview to Write a Compelling Narrative .33
  • Special Ways to Make the Narrative Great 38
  • Publishing the Book 40
  • The Basics of Formatting Your Book for CreateSpace 40
  • Alternative Publishing Options 44
  • Specific Services You Can Offer 46
  • Pricing Your Services 55
  • Frame Your Offer Right for Higher Prices.56
  • The Services You’ll Provide .56
  • Getting Paid 58
  • Setting Up Your Business .60
  • Finalizing Your Menu of Services 62
  • Your Business Plan .63
  • Finding Clients and Where to Advertise 71
  • Teach Others to Create Personal Histories, Biographies, and Memoirs 81
  • Where to Go From Here 85

Anyway, whether you’re thinking about capturing the stories of people who you love to pass along the generations – or offering this as a highly-paid service, it’s worth looking into as the price will be going up in a few days.

Here’s the link ->  How to Write Life Stories

Thank YOU so much for sharing your time with me. I appreciate you greatly. Talk soon!

I hope you have a wonderful day. YOU deserve it!

Nicole Dean

PS. Your story is uniquely yours. Get it in writing. Whether you sell it on Amazon or just keep it on your own shelf – it’s a gift to pass on to those who love you. Write it.


I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Uma Girish

    I have been facilitating a “Storytelling” group for seniors at a retirement community for the past 5 years and it has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I have a treasure-chest of stories that come to me from this group. Just this week, I had an eighty-something man shed tears in my group because he’d buried his 48-year-old son and was still mourning him. I bought this product and now plan to help my beloved seniors have a permanent copy of their lives to pass on as their legacy. If you wish to have me work with your mom or someone you know (or you yourself), email me. I am a writer and a storyteller and love to combine the two.

  • Kelly McCausey

    It’s sobering how events large and small ripple out and affect us.

    I think about my family and wonder how many stories are lost to us because the older generation has passed and nobody saved anything. So sad!

    Last year I scanned a batch of old family photos so that all of my siblings could have copies and my Aunt is hungry to share details with me about my father’s youth… I need to take a recorder over there!

    • Nicole

      I agree. The ripples are amazing to ponder. And, some of the effects from the lowest of low times can be good ones. That’s hard for me to accept but I guess it’s part of what makes us survive and go on.

  • Tishia Lee

    Great post Nicole. The 11th always brings so many strange emotions for me and it takes my breath away when I can still, even 12 years later, remember exactly where I was (at a J-O-B), what I was doing and the feelings that came over me when I heard the news. There are so many things through my life and my family that I want my son to know about…it really is important to capture our life history even if just for the sake of our children (or other family members).

    • Nicole

      I started to write letters to my son when he was a baby. I had a health scare and wanted to make sure he knew me if it was bad news. Now I so wish that I had kept it up.

      We think that we have all the time in the world. Dennis’ product really makes me realize the need (and also, of course the potential) of this important task.

      • Tishia Lee

        I had started writing letters to my son before he was even born! Through all my moves over the years, I’ve managed to lose them 🙁

        I really think I need to pick up this training so that I can start now to capture stories for my son!

  • Ruth Clark

    Hi Nicole,
    I remember what I was doing 12 years ago. Like you I wish I’d recorded my history and now it’s pretty much lost. I am a senior and my kids want me to write my life story, so I guess with this guide that I just bought I will start. Thanks.

  • Steve Freeman

    Nicole, I visit everyday to share posts. I read each post to make sure it fits my target market before passing it along. I very seldom respond to the posts, but I’ve got to say this one grabbed me.

    You tell a great story and I appreciate being able to pass this message along. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kim Snyder

    Hi Nicole,
    I was sleep in bed when the first tower was hit. My then very young sons came running in waking both my husband and I so that we could watch the news with them. I can close my eyes and still seen everything has it happened on TV. We are all lucky who are still here. And all families have stories that need to be passed on to the next in line. Thanks for the wonderful post as always..

  • The Mom

    I remember that morning well. I was sound asleep in your spare bedroom. You came in and woke me up to tell me that something happened. I was in a fog, but I knew from the haunted look on your face and the thin, shaky voice, that something was scary. If I remember right, I think you said something about ‘being attacked.’

    We went from happily waiting for the birth of our little girl to sitting, watching in horror, as our world was turned upside down. Being thankful for every day, every minute, after that is important.

    Thank you for taking the time to remind us to take a good look backward… then forward. We are lucky to be here. We are lucky to be able to share our stories. I know the kids laugh and shake their head when I start a sentence with; “I remember when…” But, at least they laugh, and they listen (usually.) That’s what we need to do; keep remembering – Out Loud and In Writing.

    Good post, Nik. Very good!

  • Alex

    Hi Nicole,

    This is the first time I comment on your blog, but the occasion is as special as your post. Thank you.

    Here in Europe is September 12th morning in 2013. The sky is wet blue, and the sun has started its work. People also began the day’s activities habitually, minding their own business.

    You know; I remember what happened twelve years ago.

    Even it was a nice autumn time, and I was on a business trip during the day. But, I saw the planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers on evening TV news many times in those days, and since then.

    Furthermore, I also saw your heroes risk their health and life to save, protect and serve so many victims.

    I believe, 9/11 was a Janus-faced event, if I may say. Partly, it demonstrated the very worst side of the civilization. Partly, it presented that face of it that speaks about sacrifice, helpfulness, sympathy and humanity.

    I don’t know if you are affected in this thing in some way. But, this day reminds us not to allow ourselves to be a victim. And also reminds us to wait a minute and appreciate those who stand up helping others.

    In conclusion, I’m writing you this today, because I didn’t take properly to disturb anyone in the remembrance’s guileless moments yesterday. And I’m doing this to tell you NOT to feel yourself alone in the world in the recollection.

    With friendly handshake, 🙂


  • Sylvain

    You made me think about my last 12 years!

  • Michelle

    Hi Nicole
    I just wanted to say what a brilliant post this is. I have lots to say but can’t voice my words at the moment, because it brings me to my own family and stories that I have not confronted.
    I remember the day of the attack, it was lunchtime here in the UK, and at our office, we stopped everything and crowded around the television which was rarely used.
    It was so horrific and impossible to take in the enormity of it… I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. I can’t imagine what was like for you guys in the US, and those personally affected – oh my goodness 🙁

    Thank you for a very poignant and inspiring post, we only live once, let’s make the most of it.

    Take care
    Michelle x

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