Alysia Seymour’s story is featured.
She’s also a founding board member of the Flying Squirrels Charitable Trust, set up to create free art schools for children.”
Welcome to the Story Therapy podcast, so I wanted an excuse to have conversations with and do a deep dive look into the stories of entrepreneurs I respect and that’s exactly what the Story Therapy podcast is going to be. It’s time spent discovering and learning about the unique, complex and inspiring stories of many different types of creative and ambitious entrepreneurs, business owners, content creators, and more. All focused on making an impact and changing the world in small and big ways.
Welcome back to the podcast, so I’m really excited about this story from Alycia Seymour. She and I met recently on a shared Facebook group, facebook community. We joined a program, a business by design, and she was looking to share her story more, be featured on podcasts and yeah, we connected that way and I won trump and podcasts pretty quickly because as I learned more about her, what she’s up to, it’s so different than what you see in this entrepreneur world and this community of content creators, storytellers, entrepreneurs, because she is a fiction storyteller. Fiction writer who is helping entrepreneurs and other storytellers share their own stories, but in a unique way where it’s taking your own story, your own personal story and sharing it in a fictional experience. So kind of like inserting me into a Harry Potter novel, fiction novel or my personal experiences and how that can impact. So I am excited to share her personal story with you. She is just on incredible mission to help people share their stories in a bigger scale. And so we just, we relate on so much. It’s so cool. So without further ado, let’s get into Alysia story.
Dallin Nead : Let’s just start with young Elisia. Walk me through from young little you to your journey that led you to where you are now.
Alysia Seymour : Okay. Well my journey starts off a little bit, I wouldn’t say dark, but I can never usually find a better word than that to describe it. At the time when I was, it was when I was five years old and when I was five years old, I didn’t realize at that time I didn’t see it this way. I didn’t understand what was going on, but looking back, I see how it really shaped the direction I went in my life. Until about I’d say maybe two years ago and that was when I was on the playground at preschool and I was, I don’t remember what I said, but I had called out to my friends something that I was telling her. And then another girl who overheard me, somehow in some way like mocked the sound of my voice. She just, in the way she did it, just like hit me in my core for some reason. And obviously she had no idea what she was doing. We were both five years old, but it stuck with me to the point that I wouldn’t talk in school. I didn’t talk in school until, from that point on until I was, I would say it was about sixth grade. I had a really awesome teacher who worked with me behind the scenes and finally got me to get up in front of the class and read a story that we all had to write a story and read it. And he got me to get up in front of the class and read that story and after that I realized that “Okay, it’s really not as dangerous as I made it out to be as a little child to speak as a normal person would.” And so I slowly started opening up to certain people that I was comfortable with and it slowly progress from there by high school. I’m pretty normal kid, like everybody else, just a little bit quieter than the average, but I wasn’t at the point where I felt afraid to talk anymore. And then I just went on doing a pretty normal teenage years as a teenage girl, went into college, actually got a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, which was probably the best year of my life up until I started this business because I loved learning about the cultures and people and why we do the things we do, how it’s all connected, the archaeology behind the way we used to live and how it’s connected to how we live now. It’s just all fascinated me. And so what I had planned to do was get a master’s degree in anthropology and then hopefully a PHD so that I could teach it because I’d had this college professor who was also extremely awesome in my life. And he just inspired me because he was so passionate about it. He really made me so passionate about it and I wanted to be able to do that for students like he did for me. But I didn’t get into the grad schools I applied to. I ended up taking a job at a bank because I needed money. Been nine months since I graduated college. And I was right at the point when the economy was at its like the worst. Everything was crashing. And I think it was in like 2007. I’m just everything. There were no jobs available. And so I finally got this one at a bank. So I’m like, “Okay, I’ll take it because they need the money.” But that took me on a whole other journey that just wasn’t the most pleasant. It was working for companies. I worked for four different banks and all of them didn’t care about their employees. They cared more about the money they were making and if you did something to mess that up for them, they weren’t quiet about letting you know. I had gone through some layoffs there. They’re undercover like they say that they’re going to lay you off, but instead, they find a way to fire you instead–
Dallin Nead : And they tell it probably in a different way too.
Alysia Seymour : Yeah. So yeah, yeah. Well, they just made your job impossible. Like nobody could have kept up with that. And then like, “All right, you made too many mistakes so you have to go.” And, and so after dealing with that stuff in the corporate world, I was never much of a corporate person to begin with. But after that I was like, “I can’t do that. That’s not me. I don’t want to be part of that stuff. It stresses me out.” I was physically ill during that time because of the emotional stress I was under. And it was through that experience working at these banks that I really turned to books and I started reading a lot. I’ve always loved fiction as a little kid. I watched The Hobbit animated version. I was reading stuff like where the wild things are. That was all my kind of thing. And so as an adult reading books, I was really into Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, all of that stuff. And it was when I was reading the first Hunger Games book that I decided I wanted to try to write a book myself because these books were really changing my life and saving my life in some ways because they were so inspirational. And seeing these heroes tackled is impossible stuff and still come out okay and even stronger gave me hope that I can do that. And so I set out to write my own book and I did. I have one novel published. A second one about to be published later this year. And that whole journey of kickstarted me into creating the business that I have now. And that’s kind of a longer version of the whole process, but it was, yeah, it was definitely very unpleasant journey for a lot of it, but it was worth it because it made me so much stronger to be able to get my voice back and speak it even stronger than ever before.
Dallin Nead : I love what you just said there. You said it was a really long journey. It was difficult– I may be changing some of your words, but you know, it was difficult. You identified conflict, the challenge and the struggle and I believe stories are not stories without conflict and we throw out story, the term all the time, marketing everywhere. And I think people confuse what makes a great story. And some of the things you have hit on hands down, we can look at as the hero’s journey, we can look at it as other terminology but bare bones I think conflict and challenges essential. Otherwise there would be no interesting story or journey involved or it wouldn’t be– we wouldn’t be where we’re at. And so I find the fact that you touched on that incredibly enlightening to your own journey, but also the fact that you are a master storyteller in the sense that you have an understanding of that. And what makes a great story. I do want to, I do want to jump back a little bit. So you talked about obviously that experience as a five-year-old and your experiences as well struggling to get into schools you’re applying for, finding the path. If you can whittle down all of these mini stories or this journey into one main desire you were seeking, what is it that you’re out to accomplish by pursuing these different experiences?
Alysia Seymour : So you mean by getting like overcoming them, right? What was my desire?
Dallin Nead : Yeah even before overcoming them, what motivates you? What motivates you to– I mean this could be even after the fact of when you’re five, but what motivates you to maybe be reserved, to not want to speak publicly, when you’re younger or motivates you to want to right and help others, write fiction novels and become better storytellers. Like what’s at the core of that motivator?
Alysia Seymour : Okay. Well, about what motivated me to kind of shut down and start talking and, basically in some way give up a little bit. It’s kind of a really deep and intense story that I won’t get too much into, but I’ll touch on that a little bit is that I ended up, a few years back, I’m starting to seek therapy just about stuff that was going through, currently in my life, some personal things that were bothering me and I felt like it was blocking me from getting to where I wanted to go in the business world. And during one of the sessions, it’s a therapy that was all about, it’s called Splankna, and I don’t know if anyone knows what that is, but they basically, and it’s a spiritual type of therapy, so we connect with God and the therapists can read your reactions within your body and he asks questions and then based on how your body responds, it’s a yes or a no. Through all of that, we uncovered that moment when I was five years old, was actually like this kind of spiritual battle that went on. And I somehow– a piece, a part of my soul was really disconnected from the rest of me, so it was almost like a part of me was literally missing for most of my life until that session where we were able to heal it and repair it through the power of faith and speaking with God and the divine to really fix that. I had no idea of all of this, but as it was revealed to me just a few years ago, it was like, that makes complete sense. Like my whole life, I always felt like there’s something wrong with me. There’s something missing. I don’t know what it is. And it would drive me crazy. And that moment he said that to me I was just in tears. I said that was it all along and there’s no way I could have known, five years old, you don’t know what’s happening. But I guess when I completely gave in and let that girl have that power over me, darker energies stepped in and said, “All right, I’m going to take advantage of this little girl right now and make a deal with her.” or something that I can make life really difficult for her. And so that’s kind of out there maybe for some people. I strongly believe in it. I’m a very spiritual person. And so I believe that what my motivation was when I stopped talking was probably out of fear, of unknown, of what would happen if I did start talking again because I think deep in my intuition I knew there was something, a stronger force related to all of this that I didn’t know how it would react if I tried to fight it. And I think that that was my motivation for that. And that’s also where my writing came from because I found it so much easier to communicate in writing then verbally. I could really work things out when I would write it. And that’s how I started the business I have now is because the fiction I was writing was actually me sorting out all of the struggles of my life through the characters and the plot that I was creating and it just gave me so much insight into who I am and how much I really do have to offer, that now I want to share that with other people so that they can use fiction in the same way to empower their message in a unique way.
Dallin Nead : I love that. That was so powerful.
Alysia Seymour : Yeah, it was a long– I know I get long-winded sometimes, but–
Dallin Nead : No, no, that was not long-winded at all. And I relate, I’m also very spiritual person and I am a strong believer that there is opposition and everything. And however people want to define that spiritually or non spiritually, there’s always opposition. And our personal journeys and our stories that opposition comes in the form of many different types of conflict, whether it’s us versus a spiritual power of the divine, us versus ourselves, us versus society and different forms of conflict. I find that battle between good and evil, so to speak, really enlightening to our journey because I also have shared a very different yet personal, spiritual journey of needing to discover why I would impose my own narrative and my own negative emotions and feelings and perspectives towards myself. Because in all reality, not everything is as we tell ourselves. And I think the more we can realize that and is that we are loved and we are appreciated by more people and more, like God and others who do recognize us. I think the more we recognize that, the more empowering that is for us and then to then guide us and motivate us to share that in different ways and different methods with others. And I think that’s where businesses are born out of is those personal journeys and kind of a higher calling around what we’re meant to do. And definitely for you– and that’s one thing I love, is Story Guide, is that your current podcast?
Alysia Seymour : Yeah, The Story Guide Podcast.
Dallin Nead : The Story Guide Podcast, I saw that, and I love the word guide in that. Tell me more about why you have themed or named that Story Guide?
Alysia Seymour : Well, I also call myself a story guy because I don’t, I mean technically I do coach people to writing their story, whether it’s in the form of a first draft for their business book or whether it’s helping them create the script for a brand video. It’s still just me guiding them. Like I’m not telling them what they should write, it’s about them discovering the true story that’s in there. Like you were saying, how we can choose to see things a certain way, but they may not really be that way. And that’s where this process that I help people with can really open them up to seeing it for what it really is rather than the stories they’ve been telling themselves. And that’s where the term guide comes from because I just kind of present the stuff that’s going to help them get in there and figure it out and then write it themselves rather than, I’m just coaching them on like, this is the way you write a book.
Dallin Nead : That’s perfect. And that’s where guide to me, it’s the gatekeeper or the visionary or it’s the person who brings the heroes along their journeys. And I think for other people that’s just so fitting for you and where you’re at with your business, where you’re seeking to help others share their stories, whether it’s their personal stories or in– I loved the fiction side or the fiction storytelling side of your business because, I mean, which seems like that’s the core part. But, because I just don’t see that much in this entrepreneurial space. Where there are plenty of authors, but a lot of times these authors are writing self-help or business and marketing related books versus fiction, which I know for me too where– once again, I relate with you where I enjoy fiction, I enjoy fantasy because it transports you to a whole another experience in world. And it’s, to me it’s an also an escape, where I needed that escape a lot throughout my life through my own struggles. And so tell me more of how you help others with fiction writing in storytelling.
Alysia Seymour : Sure. It took me a while to really figure this out because I knew that fiction, my fiction writing was my purpose in this world and I’m like, but I know it’s not. I’m not meant to just become a New York Times bestselling author. It’s just never felt like my calling while I still am writing my own novels like that’s not my goal with those books. My goal is just to get my story out there and get it in the hands of people who could help them. But I’m not like seeking to get sell millions of copies or something like that specifically. And so it took me awhile to nail it down, but I realized it was actually in a previous podcast that I was a part of, when me and my cohost would talk in conversations, that it is clicking for me as I would talk more and more and more about this passion. And then I finally got to the point where I said creative entrepreneurs are the people I’m meant to help because they– I’m very entrepreneurial myself. That’s why I say I’m a fiction author and a story guide because I still associate with the fiction authors as well. And that was a battle for me for a long time was the fiction author versus the entrepreneur. Which one is it? I don’t know. And I couldn’t decide and it would literally just spin me in circles until I realized that “No, they actually meshed together and this is how I do it. And that’s when I realized creative entrepreneurs and they say creative because it’s geared more for the people who run a creative centered business. It can’t necessarily work for like an accountant or a lawyer, it’s not really geared for that. But like I recently worked with someone who was a cartoonist and that was really awesome. Um, so just the creative aspect of business is the people that I work with and the way I do it is we start with a pivotal moment. It’s a moment in your life like kind of we were just talking about earlier. That leaves you changed after you go through it. It’s an experience. Something that somebody did to that really scared you or hurt you. And it could be, anything along those lines in really resonant, letting that moment resonate with you. I have people take a lot of time to write about it and then we talk about it to get really centered on what the core emotions were for you during that time. And once you have that core emotion you want to think of, “Well where are you now? Or where is your ideal place that you’re heading to? What is that emotion?” So it’s like the complete opposite. Like a very enlightened and joyful type of experience, right? So then that creates the theme, like just in a story, like in any fiction story, they often start off with the hero’s journey and we’ll just say as an example, starts off for the heroes either semi comfortable where they’re at or they’re going through something that’s really unpleasant and they have to venture out and save the world or save their family. Sometimes it’s just a matter of discovering who they really are through the process. And so use that core emotion to start with the story. And the lighter emotion is going to be the end goal for the character at the end of the story. And then it’s just a matter of using that as the focus. And then, of course, I have the guides to actually help people through writing a fictional story into a book that includes plot and character development, story structure and that type of stuff, but it’s always centered on your story because of that pivotal moment. So for entrepreneurs, it’s the pivotal moment that really kicks start your journey to create the business that you have now because that’s the story that your audience is going to want to hear. They’re going to see you depicted as the hero, but not only that, they’re going to be able to put themselves in that journey as they read the book. They’re going to say, “I can really see myself doing this too” and I think it’s just a really beautiful way to explore your own story and share it with other people.
Dallin Nead : I love, love, love that. That’s so cool. And like I said, it’s just so different than what I’ve seen and I think that’s why I was like, “This would be really cool to get Alysia on the podcast to talk about this more.”
Alysia Seymour : Yeah, I mean–
Dallin Nead : I agree with you so much. Go ahead.
Alysia Seymour : It just made me, reminded me of, and I don’t discount like if you’re doing a marketing book or how to or know more of a, like a memoir, there’s nothing wrong with those, but they all have their purpose, but I just believe this type of a book for your business is really like for your story brand, it’s really to get your audience to feel like what you feel and to resonate with you on that deep emotional level and that’s where you want people to be with you because that’s where the real connection sticks. Like when you’re with your friends and you guys have that moment where you just had this really intense conversation late at night and you’re a friendship changes after that, right? It’s like different and it’s deeper than it was before. It’s the same thing with your audience and this, the purpose of this kind of book for your business.
Dallin Nead : That’s incredible. And, and I love hearing that too because along those same lines– so Content Supply is my business, right? And we use video as a key part of someone’s content strategy. These content strategies are built custom built for entrepreneurs and we primarily lead with featuring their story as early as possible in video form. I’m a massive believer in the power of video and video is one form of several different types of powerful pieces of storytelling mediums or types of content. Video, podcasts, even photos and then writing and I actually, when I was young I began as a writer because that was my outlet, my creative outlet to really convey and communicate my emotions and how shy was, how alone I felt at times. And I think the power for people to, whether it’s through video, through the written word, through audio or pictures, there’s a power in telling your story and I think what motivates you and what you’re doing is vital. With all the marketing and the cells and the money and all those things aside. I think at the core of each of us is we all are yearning to connect in story does that for us and so I love what you’re up to. This is so cool.
Alysia Seymour : No, thank you. Yeah, it really is. It’s true that connection is for those of us who don’t realize that’s what we’re really looking for. It’s what most humans are really desire and you know, I think what we do is very similar too, we have very similar type of work. It’s just mine focused on the fiction and the writing aspect and I am starting to get into helping people with a video right now and creating my own video even though I said I can get very anxious in front of a video camera. I decided that if I can do it in this format that I think it will be so much easier for me. So we’ll see how that goes. But yeah, I just think that it’s so great to connect with other people who have this is like their core message telling your story and helping other people like get their story out there.
Dallin Nead : Oh, perfect. Well Alysia, thank you so much for sharing some of your story and your back– I mean, this is just incredible and we’re going to have a chance to meet here in the future. We’re both in a, a similar program, the same program, so I imagine we’ll have opportunities to collaborate and do things and, and I do want to collaborate with you on. I have some ideas, so we’ll talk more for sure.
Alysia Seymour : Definitely. Sounds good.
Dallin Nead : Where can people learn more about you and what you offer?
Alysia Seymour : The best place to go is my website. It’s alysiaseymour.com. Pretty much everything is up there of what I do, so–
Dallin Nead : Awesome. Well thank you and we’ll talk soon. All right, take care.
Alysia Seymour : You too.
Thanks for listening to the podcast today. If you found some inspiration and enjoyed what you experience from listening to these stories, then will you please leave a friendly review on itunes, share this with someone who needs it, and just continued to follow us here on our storytelling journey.