I’ve worked 25 jobs, across 7 industries, in the last 15 years.
In all of those roles, my purpose has always been to act as the hub of communications, or the bridge that helps other people connect better with each other. I am translating languages – not literally, like translating French to English, but the languages of people who have different communication styles. Through empathy and compassion, I can understand what people are trying to say, and help them better communicate that to other people.
There is this idea that if you’re not working to the bone, you’re not earning it.
I have a workaholic energy; if I care about it and I’m in it, then I’m giving it everything. As a woman in business and person of colour in business, there’s this pressure, a feeling that you have to be working around the clock. I remember going to a conference and someone asked me, what do you do for fun? My brain glitched! I thought, well, when I used to have fun what did I used to do… I realised then that if I am going to run a business themed around helping people reach their full potential, then I need to cultivate a rich inner life.
Our Tell Me About Yourself (TMAY) method started literally as an idea on a post-it note.
A colleague asked me, ‘Can you teach us how to effectively introduce ourselves?’ I said sure thing, and jotted down some ideas. Then I really thought about it: what is the logic behind introducing ourselves? What are we trying to do?
Most of us are wearing 50 different hats at any given time.
My goal was to create a simple framework to teach multi-disciplinary people how to sum it all up – all of those different tasks and hats and specialties. I wanted to come up with a way to help people authentically discuss their craft and confidently articulate their purpose and value, in high stakes conversations.
It then became: how many ways can we roll this out, so a wide range of people can access it?
I started teaching it in workshops and conversations, and that evolved into a book, with a complimentary podcast, and now story labs and workshops. We also partnered with WeTransfer on their content platform called WePresent.
This work takes me everywhere!
I’m based in Winston Salem, North Carolina, but I’ve collaborated in 15 countries delivering speaking engagements, facilitating learning experiences and working on strategic projects. There’s a need everywhere for people who want to unlock and activate their potential in effective communications and storytelling.
Collaborating with companies who are aligned with our values is always a huge moment for me.
I started Oratory Glory about 4 years ago, after doing the work that led up to it for 4 years prior, and there have been a few aha moments; collaborating with WeTransfer was one of them. I was like, “They want to commission me? Invite me to work with their design team, and build it out together? Yes please!” That was amazing – a dream.
I have a small team now, and I’ve learned to be okay with that.
There’s a validation that comes with saying ‘I’ve got 15 people on my team.’ But I don’t need 15 people! We have a small team of key players and that works very well for us.
I can run my business however I want to – because it’s my business.
It’s been huge to reach the point where I’ve realised this! There is no perfect way or ‘right way’ to do it. It has been so liberating to listen to my gut and feel okay with doing things the way I want to do it. For instance, people frown upon working with friends, but I have a wide network of folks to bounce ideas off and I love to collaborate with people who are my friends. And, for me, if you’re on my team, then you’re likely someone I would invite to my home to have dinner.
Patience, patience, patience.
This has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt. As entrepreneurs or consultants or freelancers, it’s so easy to get caught up in the vision you have for the future that you miss out what you have right in front of you. There are moments of joy are when you can be here now.
Holley M. Kholi-Murchison is the founder and CEO of Oratory Glory, where she helps creators overcome fear and thrive doing what they love.