Changemaker Podcast tells social good startup stories, inspiring life lessons, and unexpected ideas.
Why do people and businesses want to learn to tell stories? According to Jackie Biederman, host of the Changemaker Podcast, “That’s how we’re wired as people. We want to tune in to stories.”
Stories move us. They take us out of our logical brains and help us to connect with one another.
When people hear stories of social good, they are engaged, informed and inspired.
Because social entrepreneurs are everyday people like you and me, when listeners hear their stories, they see themselves as possible changemakers too.
The stories inspire people to act. Listeners are more inclined to give time, talent, and treasure to help a cause. Or, they take the leap and become changemakers themselves.
The circle expands and encourages more social good and more stories that need to be told.
So, more social entrepreneurs telling their stories to more listeners equals more social good in the world.
According to Jackie, the mission of Changemaker Podcast is “To inspire people to dream and empower them to act so that, together, we can change our world for the better.” How do they do that? Jackie says “By sharing stories, ideas, and lessons about people who are solving some of the world’s biggest problems. By focusing on the power of an individual and the power of business to drive change.”
Jackie grew up in the suburbs in Minnesota with her parents and 2 older sisters. “My sisters are brutally honest and have told me their candid opinions of all of my business ideas,” she laughs. “They love Changemaker and have been so supportive in providing feedback to make it better, so I know that I’m onto something!”
Jackie started Changemaker to spark a sense of hope. “There are so many problems all around us.,” she explains. “It can feel hopeless and leave us feeling defeated. I get depressed when reading the news, but it’s helped me to decide to be part of the solution. I’ve realized that small actions can drive positive change.”
Instead of focusing on negative news, Jackie decided to focus on solutions. “I’m driven to amplify the positive stuff happening in the world in the midst of negativity. When I came across social entrepreneurs I thought, ‘that’s who I want to help.’”
Jackie joined online forums and groups. She found people who were new to business, and yet wanting to make a difference. “While there are resources, they can be overwhelming and dry,” Jackie says. “Since I didn’t know much about this area or running a business, I decided to enlist the help of people who are a few steps ahead.”
For Changemaker Podcast, Jackie collected stories and lessons from social entrepreneurs, “so we can learn from each other. I want to make it easier for people to make a difference.”
Looking back, Jackie wishes that she would have acted sooner. “What didn’t work was living in my head. Thinking through ideas and doing research is important but can harbor the insecurities I have for putting myself out there and publishing my work. There’s risk in getting uncomfortable, but that’s the only way to help.”
She was eventually inspired to make progress instead of waiting for perfection. Jackie likes to quote Seth Godin, “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” To begin, Jackie created a pilot program with two women, Ashley and Maria. “It wasn’t perfect, but it gave people something to comment on and understand more clearly what I was attempting to do. It also gave me a starting point that I could refine and make better.”
“I’m inspired by how much good there is in the world,” she exclaims. “People are giving their time and using their talents in ways that is truly driving change. They are starting with nothing to create solutions. To discover their stories and creativity and hear about their dreams is what gets me so excited!”
What can storytelling teach us about business?
To hone her craft, Jackie has studied storytelling. Here are a few tips that Jackie shared about the power of stories:
- “Have a focus. If someone will take away one thing from what you’re trying to say, what would you want that to be?
- “Be authentic. People want to connect with you as a person. Some tips that are used in radio or audio storytelling are, to keep sentences short. If you listen to how you naturally speak, there are a lot of short phrases. There are a lot of dashes or pauses.
- “Take people with you and raise questions – get people curious and wondering what’s next. Read a good book and there’s motion in it. This happened, then this happened, then this happened.
- “Don’t be afraid to kill. Ira Glass said, ‘By killing, you can make something even better live.’ That’s really hard to do because we’ve invested so much. But it’s something that can make your product even better in the end.”
Season one of Changemaker Podcast is now available. You can find it at ChangemakerPodcast.com.
Social Entrepreneur Quotes by Jackie Biederman:
Social Entrepreneurship Resources:
- Changemaker Podcast: http://www.changemakerpodcast.com
- Changemaker Podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/changemakerpodcast
- Changemaker Podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/changemakerpod
- Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book