Monday, October 26, 2015

Have you faced your own mortality?

Originally published on

This question has been bouncing around in my head for the last two weeks as I reflect on life and the end game of goals and planning for the future.  This question was asked by an individual that was in the process of interviewing a patient that was probably facing the likelihood they could be dying from a fatal disease.  It was part of the story being told about a pastoral caregiver, Dr. Will Alexander, working within the medical community presenting the idea behind whole caregiving and transforming a generation of new healthcare servants and caregivers in the hospital system of Loma Linda University Health Center.

The documentary, "A Certain Kind of Light", was shown most recently at the Laughlin International Film Festival, on October 17, 2015 and has forever changed the way I will think about this question.  You might be wondering why this question and why does it matter.  Two reasons, this particular weekend I was attending this event specifically so that I could be part of a memorial / celebration that was going to be about remembering a very close friend that passed last December 2014 and I had a personal dedication I was doing on behalf of another friend that just past a way in September unexpectedly.  When considering the grand scheme of life and what you do daily to survive, operate day to day, make an income, and even possibly make a difference in others lives, the idea of mortality does not often cross your mind.  However, due to the closeness of death, that question, when asked by Dr. Will Alexander in the documentary, seemed to resonate loud and clear; that no matter your current situation and position in life, you should ask and consider this as you never know when your time may come.

This story of Dr. Will as they called him, showed how important it was in patient care, to not just diagnose and treat the symptoms, illness, or disease, but how it was of the most critical importance to include the patient in their own approach and decisions of the care they would be given or receive based on their own story of why they were in the current health situation they faced and/or the other circumstances of their life affecting them.  The key critical piece mentioned here is the story.  It is the story of the patient's life in their own words and the audience of the caregivers and the medical professionals who were listening to that story.  It's about their ability to really HEAR what the patient was saying and then allowing them that time to release and express what in most cases no one ever heard before or got from them in all the prior doctor visits or appointments or treatments they attended.  Loma Linda University Health embraces this philosophy / methodology of transforming lives through whole person care and has seen much growing success with this being integrated and taught to their health / medical professionals.

You may be wondering what this has to do with PR, marketing, or business.  It is the story and the idea of really listening. As I live and breath with my clients, if I did not know their story, I would not be able to be effective in presenting who they are to the world and their demographics or audience.  This requires the essential skill of listening and interpreting what their needs are and really helping them with their needs.  Often times a client just needs to be heard and given the opportunity to speak and share and then you take from them and recolor, reorganize, reaffirm, and recreate that story so that others can also hear and grasp their message.  It's easy to want to tell people what to and how to do it, but to engage them in their own telling of their story and sharing it in a meaningful way can make all the difference.  

I've seen businesses come and go and individuals in businesses reach a pinnacle and then fall.  Many of these occurrences have happened because they could not share their story in a way that others could get connected and so their dream, their business, the life they thought they wanted, essentially died.  This is the mortality that applies the same way.  If you cannot connect others to your dreams or your ideas and there are no audiences or clients or other business partners around to hear your story, the chances of survival are slim.  In this business of marketing, PR, promotions and advertising, this is our job to help others get their message out, their story told, and then to help with those connections so collaboratively or through business development or sales, these businesses can continue to live and survive.  As a marketing professional, if you can understand and hear your client's story then you can serve them or help them get to where they need to be faster.  On the flip side of that, if you have clients that don't have a story or anything that can be held on to meaningfully, then you can also make smarter decisions on long-term or short-term engagements as these clients may not be mature enough for you to even help. With the client's story known, this can help you decide that too.

On a personal level, this question of mortality was and is still a very big question.  It is something that I will continue to think about every day.  As it relates to my clients and those who need their story told in business, the focus will be on really hearing the clients and working with them to tell their story and message it on their behalf to create those meaningful connections to help the businesses achieve their goals and last.  Lessons learned everyday.  I hope that in your business journey you will consider these ideas and apply them whole-heartedly as you approach doing better business for those you serve.

This article is written and shared by Eva Louis who is a writer, marketing professional, and works to serve others and make a difference everyday.  You can find other articles of her's at and find her business information at  

No comments:

Post a Comment