Every family has a story. So does every business and foundation. Story is the heart of connection, who we are as people, and the assignment of meaning. The most vital link between human beings – members of a multi-generation family, employees of a company, beneficiaries of passionate philanthropists – story is also legacy.

The scope of your story can be as broad or as specific as you’d like.

• What do you want your family, employees, or community to know about where you came from – and where you’re going?

• What experiences and accomplishments do you want your family to understand and appreciate?

• Are you a passionate collector? Committed philanthropist? Founder of a successful business?

• What do you want to convey about what family wealth means to you – and what you hope it will mean to the generations following you?

• What do you want to share about what life has taught you?

• What have you learned about using your talents and gifts?

• What do you believe your family, your business, or your philanthropy can make possible in the world?

“In our sound-bite culture, we’re losing the key elements of story, and when you remove the linkage, people disassociate from the insight and the meaning. If I say, ‘The temperature in the water around Alaska has gone up two degrees in the past 50 years and there is 30 percent less permafrost,’ you might tune out. But if I say, ‘The bears are coming into the village and eating the dogs because they’re hungry,’ that’s a story.”

Read an interview about storytelling that Historia founder Shelley Lee did with author, educator, and storyteller Christina Baldwin.