I recently took about a week and binged watched the Netflix Series “13 Reasons Why”. I was enthralled by it and ended up averaging 2 episodes a night for a week until I was done. My schedule wouldn’t allow me to watch any more than that and to be honest I’m not sure I would have been able to handle it anyway, the acting and storytelling are superb but the subject matter is pretty intense and most episodes struck a chord and stayed with me.
“13 Reasons Why” is the story of a teenage girl, Hannah Baker, who after a series of desperate attempts to fit in, becomes a victim of cyber bullying and rape. In the end she kills herself but not before recording a serious of audio tapes detailing how all the people in her life had a hand in her feeling isolated and worthless to the point of her decision to take her own life. The program has been both praised and criticized for its portrayal of teenage angst and graphic depictions of rape and suicide.
One psychologist I saw aptly stated that revenge is a supremely bad reason to commit suicide, and expressed concern that the program would give too many depressed teens too much information on how to carry out such a bad plan. After having watched the show, I can’t say I disagree with him but I still think it is a well produced program with a valuable message to teens and their families.
High-school for me was nearly 30 years ago but while watching “13 Reasons Why” memories of how I felt during that time came back intensely. I knew Hannah Bakers, I knew every one of those kids, and in some ways I was every one of those kids, (except the entitle rich kid who raped Hannah of course).
After watching “13 Reasons Why”, I also took a few days and read the critically acclaimed business and marketing book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. Sinek’s thesis is that in order to develop an effective following you need to start by communicating a compelling reason behind your “how” and your “what”. In my business there are literally thousands of other Financial Advisors who do what I do. There are fewer but still hundreds who do it in a similar way. So in order to differentiate myself I need to get super clear on why I do it and lead all of my client communication with my unique why.
Why did Hannah Baker kill herself? I think part of the answer lies in the fact that she felt worthless, somehow “less than”, within her high school culture. Why do I do the things I do in my financial practice? Because I firmly believe that every human on earth has infinite value.
That value each of us has means that you deserve the very best service I can provide. How I do that is through a customized personal and highly relational approach to what I do – Financial Planning.
In the very last episode of “13 Reasons Why”, Hannah’s friend Clay confronts the high school’s guidance counselor about how he and everyone else had failed to really see Hannah’s struggle to find value in herself. As he walked out of the guidance counselor’s office he paused and said “It has to get better. We’ve all got to do better.”
Do you believe you have infinite value? When you begin to doubt your value check these out and call me… It has to get better.
Lauren C. Sheil is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for over 25 years. His latest book “Meekoethics: What Happens When Life Gets Messy and the Rules Aren’t Enough” is available on Amazon.com.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 613-295-4141.