Why telling your story online is the path to freedom, joy and meaning

Amanda Hirsch
7 min readOct 8, 2021

As a story coach to women CEOs and leaders at other levels across a range of industries, I get riled up when I read things like the following:

“If you’re lucky, you enjoy what you do and thrive professionally but we’re not working for fun. We are working in a capitalist society that demands our participation.” — Roxane Gay, Work Friend column, New York Times

How dismal. Yes, we all need to work to pay the bills (or, we need to make arrangements for other people to pay our bills, or we inherit money that pays the bills — regardless, there are always bills! and they must be paid!). But to suggest that enjoying work is about luck feels misguided to me. We aren’t just passengers in this life; we have agency. Yes, that agency is more available to white men than anyone else. The world is obviously not an equal playing field, not by any stretch, and women of color face far more barriers at work than anyone else, from unequal pay to the impacts of the pandemic, and on and on.

But still: We have agency. And one of the greatest tools at our disposal is the ability to get clear on the story we want to tell about ourselves, and then tell that story consistently — especially online, where it has the potential to reach exponentially more people than any one of us can ever expect to meet offline. That’s not just true for CEOs; it’s true for all of us.

In the old days, it went like this:

You work for a company. You give them 110%. At some point, you become disgruntled, disillusioned, or simply dissatisfied. You want to move on. But where? And how? The only people who know how amazing you are are the people in your immediate professional orbit. The idea of updating your resume or LinkedIn profile sounds worse than bathing suit shopping. So you stay where you are, because making a move requires more energy and clarity than you can possibly muster.

That was the old days.

Now, it goes something like this: If you work for a company (instead of for yourself), give them, say, 95% (we’ll come back to this number later). Take the 5% you have left (because, news flash, you can’t give more than everything, silly, without killing yourself) and put it toward telling the story of what…

Amanda Hirsch

I write about raising women's voices, power, and motherhood.