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In the sixth episode of The Intelligent Change Podcast, our founder sits down with Matthew Pohlson, Co-Founder and CEO of Omaze—an online fundraising platform that offers people the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences while supporting nonprofits around the world.

Matthew Pohlson talks about building Omaze, the power and mathematics of storytelling for business, his near-death experience and how to make choices out of love rather than fear.

In this article, we share three powerful lessons to help you experience profound connections and make courageous decisions.

Lesson 1: Optimism is a superpower

Rather than being a simple mindset, optimism is a skill set that can be honed through adversity. It isn't merely a blind belief in positive outcomes; it involves envisioning goals, recognizing obstacles, and discerning the difference between impossibility and uncharted territory.

“Optimism can take you to places that you haven't been before” says Matthew Pohlson. “Real optimism is about being very clear on what you want, as well as all the obstacles that are in the way, and not falling prey to other people’s projections—just because it hasn't been done before, doesn’t mean it can't be done” he adds.

By training the capacity for optimism, one can forge a path toward success even in the face of uncertainty.

Lesson 2: Overcoming fear will create extraordinary experiences

Every decision in life boils down to this fundamental choice – embracing love or succumbing to fear. This principle transcends personal and professional realms, guiding actions and relationships.

“What’s I’ve learned first hand is that everything you want is on the other side of fear” says Matthew Pohlson. “It's okay to feel that fear—if you are scared, you are not alone and I am living proof of that. Be a best friend to yourself, feel the fear and do it anyway”.

By aligning your choices with love, you can experience profound connections and make courageous decisions.

Lesson 3: Storytelling is a tool for connection

Storytelling is a transformative skill for entrepreneurs and individuals alike. By leveraging its power, you can effectively communicate visions, rally teams, and connect with customers.

“Storytelling is maybe the most powerful skill a business person can have” says Matthew Pohlson. “Donald Miller explains this perfectly in his book Building a StoryBrand when he says that words are to stories what noise is to music” he explains.

“If you hear noises on their own, with no context or no structure, they can actually be incredibly disturbing. However if you range noises in the right way, with a rhythm and a purpose and a structure, they turn into music and music can create powerful moments of connection.”

Storytelling serves as a bridge that connects human experiences, allowing for deeper connections and shared understanding. It's a skill that, when honed, can amplify impact and inspire change.

To hear more from Matthew Pohlson, listen to The Intelligent Change Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. The Intelligent Change Podcast brings you experiences of leading entrepreneurs, change makers, and innovators. Every Wednesday, join our founders as they discuss living with purpose, relationships, entrepreneurship, well-being, and much more.

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