The Reason I Wrote My First Book
In the fall of 2016, I was on my way to DFW Airport after an exhilarating and intense work week helping corporate executives identify and live their purpose. Quickly into the cab ride, Walter the cab driver asked what I was doing in Texas and I described my week with the above-mentioned corporate execs. I saw his eyebrows rise and could see his interest was piqued. I then asked him a few questions I often ask CEOs. After a few short minutes into our conversation he proclaimed, “You are the answer to my prayers! I have been trying to figure out my purpose but didn’t have the questions to get me going!”
Though the cab ride wasn’t short, we arrived at the airport too quickly. I found myself wishing I had some kind of playbook I could hand over, something he could work with on his own, and left feeling frustrated that I had nothing to give him other than a tip.
The next morning, I grabbed a pen and paper and sketched out the story board for a guide that might be able to equip people like Walter. Over the next several weeks, I filled in the gaps, rearranged, added stick-figure drawings, wrote more, danced, ate lots of dark chocolate, danced more and continued sketching.
I knew the book had to be visual, simple, playful, and colorful — a physical manifestation of the joy that can be found in this process. While my ideas were clear, I eventually bumped up against the limits of my own artistic abilities. Thankfully, Taylor Wright, a gifted artist and my daughter’s dear friend, brought my ideas to life with her wonderful illustrations.
My interaction with Walter made me realize that I really wanted to help people press the “easy button” on the purpose process. I believe we all have gifts and interests, but sometimes we can forget what those are or de-prioritize them in service of our busy lives.
Who has the time to wrangle through hundreds of books, scour the web, or spend thousands of days and dollars figuring this whole purpose thing out?
Instead, a concise illustrated guide could better provide a jumpstart by leveraging the same principles and ideas that have helped thousands of new and seasoned leaders I have worked with over the years.
I wrote this book for Walter, and for all of us who just want the essence — the gems, the nuggets to chew on. If you feel similarly, this book is for you.
Laura J. Stone received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and French from the University of Wisconsin and the L’Institute D’American in Aix-en-Provence, France as well as studied energy medicine at The Four Winds. She is a former licensed 50-ton U.S. Coast Guard Captain and a former contributing editor to HRO Today. Stone was included in the 2016 Women Worth Watching List by Profiles in Diversity Journal.