Who takes responsibility of documenting a family's memories?
After becoming a mom, Hilary Robison also took on the mantle of "keeper of family memories." Her experience led her and her husband to found Legacy Tale, where they help clients "learn how intentional living, memory-making, and technology come together to build stronger families and make life more enjoyable."
Living life intentionally
In this episode, we discuss how we can be oblivious to experiences while we’re in the midst of them. By being intentional in our choices, we have a better chance of creating experiences (and the memories that follow) that strengthen our relationships and make us more resilient as a family.
A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory.
Treasuring the experiences as they happen
Hilarie's advice includes creating a roadmap or strategic family, with input from parents and kids. Ask:
- Who do we want to be?
- What’s our vision for our family?
- How do we achieve that?
- What kind of experiences do we want to have? e.g. places we want to travel
Why? Because experiences shape who we become.
Hilarie didn’t want to look back and say, “Where did the time go? What did I do with that time?”
Other topics include:
- planning a family planning retreat
- tips on creating your own family history
- Google Photos, a free app at photos.google.com
- on partnering with her husband in the Legacy Tale business [hint: Hilarie’s husband can build your life story business website and help market your business!]
- Legacy Tale's interactive books, with links connect to audio and video content
- creating a business that’s scaleable
- digital projects—coaching and help for diy’ers on how to write and publish your personal history and more
- Legacy Tale's courses and products, including a self-guided online course and membership on how to write your life story
Links and things:
You can find Hilarie at LegacyTale.com.
Click below to receive 20% off products at Legacy Tale, a special gift to The Life Story Coach Podcast listeners. Thanks, Hilarie!
Transcript of interview:
Amy: 00:34 Hi Guys. Welcome to episode 25 of the life story coach podcast. In today's show, we're talking to Hilarie Robison. She and her husband help others record their personal and their family histories with Legacy Tale. And we're going to talk a lot about their company and what kind of services they offer. But one of the best parts about this conversation for me was just getting inspired about my own family history. She talks about how we can be intentional in creating memories with our family and with our relatives. I like how she brings this focus of intentionality on family experiences. So you're going to hear her talk about how a strategic planning session can help with that. And how it focused on her family and the vision that they had of themselves and it even led to a two-month stay in Europe. And if you head over to the podcast episode on the thelifestorycoach.com, again, it's episode 25.
Amy: 01:33 You'll see some photos of them on their trip. She also talks about some tools that make all of this much simpler than it used to be in the past, including Google Photos. If you're like me, well hopefully you're not like me. Hopefully you've all discovered Google Photos already because I didn't know anything about it before I started talking to her and it's pretty much floored me. All of the things that you can do with it. So it's not just a repository for storing photos, but it has some really incredible search capabilities. Without tagging photos, it allows you to find them really, really easily. And the best part is it's free. Let's jump into the interview. I hope you enjoy it.
Amy: 02:14 One of my favorite things about doing this podcast is getting to listen to all of the really creative ideas people bring to their legacy business, creative ways of recording and saving and sharing clients' life stories, things that I would have never thought of on my own. Today is no different because we have a special guest who not only helps others record their stories, but she's got some wonderful thoughts about creating memories, of fostering experiences that lead to the memories that we hold dear within our families today.
Amy: 02:46 Hilarie Robison from Legacy Tale is joining us. Hillary, thanks so much for being here.
Hilarie: 02:51 Thanks for having me. Amy.
Amy: 02:54 Well, I heard you tell a story about an older couple who approached you to help them write their life story and I guess that was what officially kicked off your career as a life story professional. But you also say that your interest in saving stories really began when you became a mother. I thought maybe we could start with you talking a little bit about that, about being the keeper of memories because every family has one or needs to have one. And it sounds like that's what you are for your family.
Hilarie: 03:23 Absolutely. Uh, you know, I don't know about you, Amy, but I find that in that sort of motherhood and memory keeping go hand in hand, right when we're, when we're younger, we're a bit oblivious to the value of the experiences while we're in the middle of them. And for me, when I became a mother, I just really desperately wanting to freeze time with each of my children at each of their stages. And I realized that, you know, immediately that was not possible. But I began to learn to embrace each new stage as I documented and recorded the memories and the moments and the experiences that we had together and that really more intentional about making memories too would have those times to treasure.
Hilarie: 04:08 I saw through my own life in our own family that as we were strategic about the way we spent our time together and then documented all of that, it built additional opportunities to strengthen our relationships. Because as we looked back on those memories, whether they were written or whether they were photos. Right. That was another then experience that we treasured and I felt the power of that in our own family. And then since then I've seen and read the research, backing up what I had already experienced that we, our families literally become stronger as we recall and retell our memories and our experiences.
Amy: 04:47 I remember--this was probably back when I was in high school. This was way before cell phones. This was way before social media. This was before people were taking pictures at every, you know, every given moment. And I remember my dad saying something about how in my generation, so me as a teenager at that point, how it was such a shame that we would go and have these really great experiences. So go out with our friends and have some, you know, something really fun or some really great experience. And then go onto the next one immediately without really talking about it. And what his point was that the way he grew up. And I'm talking more about his friends, I think, not necessarily his family but it, but it can fit either way, that they would go out and they'd have an adventure and then they would talk about it, you know, they would rehash it, they would bring it up, you know, time and time again.
Amy: 05:45 And it seems to me that the speed of life has picked up and so we do go very quickly from one thing to the next without taking that time to reflect on the experiences we just had. And I love the idea of you bringing intentionality. So not just snapping the pictures, but actually I'm creating this sense of intention in, in fostering the experiences that will be really significant family memories or just even fun family memories. And can you talk a little bit about that, about how you actually do that within your family?
Hilarie: 06:25 Absolutely. So one of the things, as I really began to be strategic about this, that we did a few years ago was we said, you know, memories are important to me, to my husband and you know, we used to do a lot of camping together as a family and we would do things just to spend time together and document those from the time the kids were babies. our kids now are 13 and almost 10 a few weeks. but they, as they got a little bit older, I started to realize, you know, what, I want kind of a roadmap of almost a strategic plan if I go back to my corporate days, right? For our family that includes not just my input and my husband's but our kids too, about, you know, who we want to be as if, what's our vision for our family and how do we achieve that.
Hilarie: 07:15 And a big piece of that was what kinds of experiences we wanted to have together because we know our experiences shape who we become, right? So do we want to become as individuals and as a family? And, and what experiences do we need to have, do we need to give our children during those limited years that they're in our home so that they're able to achieve what they want to as well as perhaps partially what we want them to. And so we actually sat down as a family and had what I call the family planning retreat, actually have a template and plan for it, you know, online for free if anyone's interested in doing a similar process with their family. But we sat down and we, we address some of these questions together, right? What did we want our family life to look like and what our priorities to us and how does that translate into how we spend our time. And that actually ended up giving us a bit of a roadmap of experiences we wanted to have together and places we wanted to travel as a family. And we've slowly been kind of checking those off of our family bucket list over the last few years since we did that. and, and interestingly, our life has, has changed significantly since then. And a lot of it is due to that, that strategic planning session we had as a family,
Amy: 08:35 I've never heard of that approach to family life. And I love it. And I think it's probably, it's, it's such a fantastic idea because so much of what we do, especially as mothers, you know, when our kids are younger, it feels very reactive. You know, you're, you're putting out fires and you're just trying to keep your head above the water a lot of the time. So what you did was create a space where instead of just reacting to life, you could actually be forging the way that you wanted it to go to an extent.
Hilarie: 09:09 Exactly. Right. Amy, one of the things that I saw, I'm a little bit of an older mom so I, a lot of the people my age started having kids graduating from high school and, and things a few years ago. And I saw it in my own family too when my siblings were graduating from high school and whatnot. But you hear people say, Oh, where did the time go? Right? Where do we hear that all the time? And we say that to you, where did the time go? And I wish I would've done this or, you know, I always thought I had time to do x, but we didn't. And I thought I would see that and I would hear that. I would say, you know what, I don't know if I can avoid that entirely, but I'd sure like to minimize those regrets and I, you know, I don't want to look back when the kids are leaving home and say, oh my goodness, what did I do with that time?
Hilarie: 09:56 So it's been really neat. Not that we're able to accomplish everything we want to. There are real life constraints, of course, that limit us sometimes. But I feel incredibly blessed. We have a look back and say, you know, what, we have been able to do some of those things because really what it does mean is it just, it just shifts your priorities. Right. and so instead of thinking, oh, there's not enough money or time or energy to do this, you shift and you say, you know what, that is what we decided is most important. So that means we need to let some other things go and make this happen. For example, we spent a couple of months in Europe last summer as a family, which, you know, I never thought would be possible, but we made it a priority. It was on our bucket list to have experiences in ancient Rome.
Hilarie: 10:45 Well, it's not ancient anymore, but relive what we had studied about ancient Rome in modern roam together as a family. I mentioned in our family's, been through a lot of transition driven by this process and it included a cross-country move. and so in the middle of that, we sold our home in Nevada and before we resettled, instead of paying a mortgage, we decided to pay airbnb for a few months and traveled during that time and we did make incredible memories. And we check those things off of our, of our list. And I'm really acted on that plan that we had set for our family.
Amy: 11:22 Well, I, I'd like to hear you talk a little bit more about how those experiences, how you help them translate into, you said that you document things and how you're translating them into memories that can then be told and retold. And one thing that I think is really interesting is, you know, the, the majority of the people that I work with are older and I hear almost every single time I'm the adult children. Tell me, well, I've never heard that story before. You know, so there's always something new that they're hearing about. And this is sometimes coming from people who tell me that they've heard the same stories over and over again their whole life. But then when you sit down and intentionally talk about somebody and their life and their experiences, the stories come out that, you know, maybe they haven't ever told or maybe they haven't told in years, but what your doing is actually getting your, your whole family. It sounds like, to talk about stories. When they're fresh and you know, your kids are young. So they're starting to appreciate their, their own family stories and I assume also the stories of the older generation in your family.
Hilarie: 12:37 That's right. And so, you know, honestly, my work with my own family, I'm better at documenting more current things, although we do work in some of the other stories and my kids, you know, every year interview their grandparents and we try to incorporate and those stories they capture through that into our family history and whatnot. but one of the things that we've been able to do is as we're going through, so for example, you know, last summer as we're traveling through Europe, we are having all these wonderful experiences, but we're having some not so wonderful experiences as well too, right? That's what it's all about. Right? So, you know, I'm two months of being together, 24/7 and you know, just travel and international travel and, and the challenges. And so we had, you know, some, some moments that were not glorious and those are almost even more fun.
Hilarie: 13:33 Looking back to document and you know, I was, I wrote at length on train ride, I'd pull out my laptop and I'm basically keep a journal of that trip and of course we all took lots of pictures and everybody could, you know, we use Google Photos so all of our photos are automatically shared with each other and we can curate them on the go. That's one of my favorite tips and tools that we promote all the time. It's used Google Photos because it, it makes your life so much easier. So you're sort of curating all of that on the go and you know, then at the end of the day I make a book that incorporates the photos as well as the journaling and then we, you know, that sits out, right? We, I try to keep those things sitting out so the kids or I will pick it up and thumb through and “Oh, remember when, remember when dad was so grumpy on that train ride and we were so crowded in, sitting on top of each other and none of us would even look at each other because we were so mad in Italy.”
Hilarie: 14:32 Those are almost as fun as wow. I remember being on Dad's shoulders looking at the coliseum and the scope and the size and the magnitude and the historic significance of that place was beyond what any pictures could ever capture, but the picture prompts us of, of being there and in that moment. So our, our bonds are strengthened as we pull up those pictures. And honestly, just one picture can prompt everything else. You don't have to see a picture, of everything else. It just, it, it feeds and builds on, as we share those experiences.
Amy: 15:05 [inaudible]. And I love the fact that this is happening with your children at their tender, young ages and they're not waiting. They're not having to wait until you and your husband are in your eighties and then they're, you know, getting all of this family stories then because they have never heard them before. So that's, I, I think it's a wonderful service that you're out there and promoting that, you know, you're promoting the importance of having these, being intentional in the experiences that you have as a young family and and then talking about them and, and you know, making sure that they're part of the family narrative. and that actually leads me to a question. So, you know, it sounds like, you know, you have this approach to family memories and it sounds like it probably comes natural to you. I don't know if that's how your family of origin was growing up, but now that you are working in the business of, of preserving stories and you have your own legacy business, has there been any kind of evolution in the way that you think about family memories or in, you know, how you think about recording them, preserving them, sharing them.
Amy: 16:17 I know that a lot of people approach this business with some romantic notions, you know, they think it's going to be wonderful to sit down and, and talk to somebody about their life and I think that is absolutely true. I think once we get in, in that chair and we're, we're interviewing somebody that meshes up with the, the idyllic viewpoint we have of it before we even start, but then you have to bring all of that material back to your desk and you have to, you know, you have to create something from that. So, has your own experience with your family and creating these memories, has that changed or have your ideas and how to help people create a projects from their memories changed at all?
Hilarie: 17:06 So, absolutely. I mean, I've certainly learned and grown, I have a lot more to learn. But it's, it's shifted my thinking in, in several ways. Although I will tell you, I'm certainly not as great at, you know, documenting the generational family stories as I would like to be. Right. I haven't published books for my parents like I have for some other, you know, for clients, for example. Oh, neither have I. that's, that's the plumber, the plumber story, you know, they always have the broken sick at home. So thank you. I'm glad I'm not alone in that, but I have gotten better and been really intentional about at least starting to gather some of the material and, and share it. So while I haven't pulled things together and I haven't written narratives, I have been intentional about you know, using technology, which I think is one of our our strengths here in our family is using technology to help you in documenting so photos as well as family stories and narratives.
Hilarie: 18:06 I'm the keeper and curator of putting those all on a shared Google Drive that all of my know my parents and siblings. I'm number two of seven children that everybody can access and share. So anytime somebody sends a cute photo by group text to the family or by email, I will share that caption and that photo, I put it up in our shared drive. And if someone sends a particularly significant email that, that report's on or sometimes you know, like my mom will send an expression of faith or a special experience she had and we'll send it and I add that to, you know, her, her file on our shared drive have, you know, mom's stories or mom's testimony. and so I'm gradually collecting and as we've had grandparents pass away over the last 10 years, we've, we've lost all of them and we say, oh, thank you.
Hilarie: 19:12 We were lucky we had one of my grandmas until she was almost 101. And so we had a lot of wonderful memories. But, but those things then in preparation for the funerals, for example, everyone was sharing memories. Right? And the people that prepared talks for the funeral, those had memories in the eulogy and all of that. I'm, I'm collecting and curating some of that information so that hopefully someday if we ever get to a book, the information's there. But, but even if we don't get to that point, the information is available and we can share it with our children. And I'm, you know, my nieces and nephews have access to that information. So those are some things that I've been pleased we've been able to make progress and
Amy: 19:51 it really just takes one person who's gonna step up and be that, that organizational hub, you're the one who's curating but you're not the only source of the material people are sending you things. But if there's not somebody who's going to take the time to make it available to the bigger group, then all those things have their way of just finding their, you know, resting spots and little nooks and crannies that maybe someday somebody will find and maybe some day they won't. and I'm speaking from experience here because I am, I document things all the time, but unfortunately I do them in little notebooks and then I lose track of the notebooks that I usually have multiple notebooks going on at the same time. So I've never really, I've never really come on a system. And it really it really drove it home for me recently because my youngest daughter just turned 18 about a month ago and she got her present.
Amy: 20:42 And then she looked at me, I'll expectantly and, and you know, with a smile as if something else was coming. I'm like, no, you got your presence. And she said, mom, isn't there something else? I said, I don't know what you're talking about. Well, she had remembered that more than 10 years ago because I know what house we were in when this happened. I had written a letter to each of my three kids and I it was about where they were in life at that point. And then on the outside of the envelope, I seal them in envelopes. I put their names on it and then I put, do not open until. And now I don't even remember what the year was. I think it was probably 20, 28, I can't remember. But it was going to be after they were well into adulthood. And she had that in her memory. She remembered seeing those and she thought that she was going to get her letter at 18. It was never intended for that. But the sad thing is I have no idea where those letters are now. You know. So yeah, I mean, and so I have the impulse like you do too, to kind of jot things down to to be that, to be that hub where I can gather these things, but I don't have the organizational skills that apparently you do and that's, you know, it is what it is, right?
Hilarie: 22:03 I guess. Well, Google drive I love for that kind of thing. so I mean that's wonderful that you wrote that list, so maybe you need to write her a letter now.
Amy: 22:12 Right, exactly. You had mentioned Google Photos and so I, I, you know, we, we haven't even actually talked about legacy talent. I do want to talk about that because you've got some your business model I find very interesting because you do both the custom product, uh, projects and then you also have some online products and I think I read that your book about using Google photo is one of the most popular of your online books. Is that correct?
Hilarie: 22:40 It is, it's our most popular by far actually, of our, of our ebooks.
Amy: 22:45 Okay. Well this is embarrassing. I feel like I'm pretty tech savvy, but I don't even know what Google Photos so could you for people out there who are either listening because they want to be doing their own family history or people who want another tool in their toolbox for, for going out and doing other, doing clients live stories. Can you tell us a little bit about Google Photos and and how we can make it work?
Hilarie: 23:08 Absolutely. So Google Photos is a free google product. If you go to photos.google.com, I'm all you need is a g mail account, which most people have anyway, but if you don't have a gmail account, you just set one up for free and it is a. It is a repository, a library to store all of your photos and it is unlimited free photo storage if you have them at a certain, at the recommended size. So if you want them, you know, extra, extra large. If you're professional photographer or something, you may want them started at a higher resolution, then Google Photos will give you for free. But if you're anything other than a professional photographer, we find that it's, you know, the quality, the resolution is fantastic for everything that we want to do, the free storage level, but you can also pay if you want more storage.
Hilarie: 24:03 and what's fantastic is this not just a storage repository, right? There are a lot of those out there. but Google Photos is magic, amy. It's incredible. So the search capabilities and the organization capabilities of Google Photos are beyond anything that anyone else offers. And again, it's all free, so we just can't recommend it enough. You had stores photos and then you can search by a face. You can search by location, you can search by anything in the picture. You can say, you know what, I know he took a picture of that that Christmas that Rebecca got a, an American girl doll. But what year was that? I wonder what year that was. Right? You don't remember the year. You're going to go digging through your, your digital files of photos forever if you're looking for that, right? and Google Photos, you can, you can put in a doll.
Hilarie: 24:56 And it will pull up every photo that has a doll in it, you. And that's without having the need to tag the photos with a doll. You don't have to tag it and say direct. You have not tagged anything. It's you know, facial and other recognition capability is, I'm frankly a little bit scary, but it's very helpful. Okay. I'm thinking, okay, this is my, I'm having squirrel brain right now, but I'm thinking about a, a neighbor in St Louis who swore that their house was haunted and she came down one time and showed me a picture that she had taken her kids standing outside her mother's house, that, that was one that was supposed to be haunted. And she, she showed me the, just on the camera itself, she said, look, I told you and it looked very much like those ghosts in the background.
Hilarie: 25:44 So I'm just wondering like Google photo, what would it find gloves? I wonder if that's something that'll pick up. Yeah, you could try it, upload that and see search gust and see if it comes up. Maybe we wouldn't want to know. But it, it's fantastic. So doll or you could search you know, doll Christmas if there's anything related to Christmas in the photo at all, I'm a wreath at Christmas tree, a Nativity set up, it pulls it up or if it happens to be on a Christmas Day, if you're, if the date is Christmas, December 25th, it would pull it up. so it's just really, really powerful. And like I said, facial recognition, it even works. So we were uploading small photos of, of me when I was a brand new baby, so of my dad holding me on the day after I was born in 1975 and then we have, of course I'm more current pictures of my dad and so 40 plus years later it recognizes the same man and groups those together.
Hilarie: 26:53 Oh my God. Wow. I don't know if that says more about your dad or about Google Photos. Not the only one that does it for me. So it even if you, you know, if you started using Google Photos like we did when our kids were babies, it, it tracks their growth recognition. Right? Even from, you know, a day old baby to a 13 year old, it knows that's all the same person. Now, occasionally if you don't start adding photos until they're older and then you know you scan in some from when they are babies, sometimes you have to tell it that baby is the same person and then it will always future match it up. But if you have them from the beginning all along and it sees the progression, then it keeps them together automatically. So both for the current photos you're taking that are digital as well as scanning photos in it, it just organizes like nothing you've ever seen and it makes your life so much easier.
Hilarie: 27:45 You're not digging through finding you. I'll have to tag it. Does all of this automatically, so let technology work for you. It's. It's a beautiful thing. Now, as you said, amy, not maybe not everyone knows what Google Photos is, number one or now that you have an introduction or you've heard of it, say, okay, that's great, but maybe you're intimidated or not quite sure you know exactly how to use all the bells and whistles as one of the things we've found. Actually some people are using it, but they really don't access its full capability. They don't know how to use everything that it can do and that was why we ended up getting into the business of writing a book about how to use Google Photos. My husband's an it tech guy who has a phenomenal gift for helping everyday people like me understand technology and use it to make their life easier and so he wrote this book that that has been quite popular about how to use Google Photos is free, but if you buy the book it will help you more effectively used Google Photos to your advantage.
Hilarie: 28:43 So it's been fun to help people, you know, get excited on your phone. The computer, everything is seamless and sinked between Google Photos. And here's the other thing. You don't have to worry about using up all those storage on your phone, it will automatically just automatically backs up your photos and so then you can say, clear off my phone and know that your photos are safe and you can still access them from your phone or from your computer anytime you have Wifi or Internet. So. And that works on, on apple phones as well as. Absolutely, yes. Oh boy. Yeah, I definitely need to look at. I'm going to, I'm definitely going to get that book because like I said, I had never even heard of Google Photos before, but it sounds like something that could be very helpful. I don't, again, not so organized.
Hilarie: 29:30 I have, you know, my photos somehow magically get uploaded and there in about five different places and I'm sure half of them are, are replicated, you know, repeat photos. So that's the, you know, it will help you clean that up and consolidate if you want a. and I use it for clients too. So I'll set up a Google Photos folder for, you know, different clients. So, uh, be their name and then I can share it with them. So then they, they have access all the time to all the photos I've uploaded for them that, you know, that I've scanned in old because it's typically old photos, right? That we're dealing with, with clients and uh, so it's, it's fantastic. They love it too. Yeah.
Amy: 30:12 Well thank you for that heads up. I'm going to look into that. Okay. Something else that I'm really curious about is most of the people, at least most of the people that I've ever met who are in the legacy business where our solos, you know, most people don't have partners. You not only have a partner but your partner is your husband. So I'm just wondering how that works. and I, I think you do both do this full time
Hilarie: 30:35 so we don't anymore, amy. We did for a couple of years. and we're trying to make it work for our family full time, 100 percent and financially that we didn't end up able to swing that 100 percent. So so we're part time on it now, but it's been honestly, you know, you say most people don't do that and I never thought that we would be working full time. I never together we've been married 22 years. We just had our 22nd anniversary last week, now congratulate you and I, you know, that was not something I ever envisioned until it happened, but it was, it was really pretty organic and kind of serendipitous and ended up being a wonderful experience. I mentioned that he has no, he worked for 20 years in corporate it so he can do everything from build websites to you know, do digital marketing and facebook ads and things like that.
Hilarie: 31:33 And he, he's a great content marketer as well. So in terms of helping with the blog content, whatnot, he did all of that aren't, not all of that. We shared the blog piece, but the, the technical side of things was all his as well as any advertising. And I'm, the personal historian piece was all me. So the interviewing and the writing was my area of expertise. And as you mentioned, such an enjoyable, wonderful peace to sit down with folks and learn about their lives. Everybody has such amazing stories even when they think they don't. though I love that and that's been so, so rewarding. So that piece was, was my area of expertise and then he helped with the technology side and still does. So
Amy: 32:16 let me ask you this, does he? I don't know if he does any kind of freelancing, but I know of that can be one of the hurdles that people are really afraid to try to jump over when they're getting into this business and that is setting up a website. does he in your website is gorgeous? I think it's beautiful. It's incredibly well done. Does he do websites on the side? He does,
Hilarie: 32:40 he does do that kind of work and freelances. So absolutely. If, if you know folks who said website as well, as I said, if anybody is at the stage that they're wanting to do online marketing, advertising or that kind of thing, he does that as well.
Amy: 32:55 Well, I'm definitely going to have to put his information in the show links too, because I know one person specifically who well it's a common scenario, you know, you try to build a website yourself and if you have never done it before you know, it, it's supposed to be a lot easier than it is and then you can get so hung up on little things and you're just spinning your wheels and you're not really being productive. You're not doing, you're not going out there and actually getting the projects, you're not out there recording people's stories because you're hung up on something that you really shouldn't be doing yourself. So yeah, that, that's good to know that he, he he is familiar with the industry and he's a good it guy. So
Hilarie: 33:37 I mean it was wonderful to not have to worry about that technical side of things. I felt very grateful. So yes, if there are folks that want help with that hurdle, that'd be wonderful.
Amy: 33:47 So a couple other things that I want to talk about. You have something on your, uh, your custom books. You have something that you say is an interactive book. Tell us a little bit about what that is.
Hilarie: 34:01 So we have really been trying to sort of bridge the generation gap are a lot of the folks that we do books for writing these personal custom clients, like you mentioned amy are older and they want that actual book in their hand. And I'm a book person honestly. I love, love, love real books and these heavy beautiful books in your hand and but we want their grandchildren to be excited about learning about their lives too. And so we started trying to talk about how to integrate technology into a traditional book and like I said, because I have this, this talented Hubby, he's, he said, well, you know, we could we could link, you know, video content or audio content from the book. So. So basically, uh, what he started doing was embedding links to a video or audio right into photos and the books that we do.
Hilarie: 34:59 So you install a free app that scan like a free scanning app on your phone, the same kind that you would use, like to scan items in the grocery store if anybody does that right, they want to look up you know, prices or things like that. And so you just use that, you have that scanner app on your phone and you sit there with grandma's book and you scan that photo and built into it as a code that pulls up content that we've uploaded to youtube or somewhere or vimeo that is you know my grandma had age 98 playing hopscotch with my kids, a video that I captured of that and there's a still picture in the book but you can access the video of that by using your phone scanning from the hard book. I love that idea. I love that idea.
Hilarie: 35:55 So it's really, you know, everybody always has their cell phone in their hand to anyhow. So you're basically sitting there with a book, but every once in awhile when you turn the page, there's going to be something that's identified as a link to take you to a different form of media. Is that right? That's right. That's exactly right. So you're sitting there with a book and then yes, one of this photo has, oh, has content behind it and you pull your phone out and then snap it with a scanner and then up on your phone comes out that video that you get to watch together. And those are precious times pulling up those videos because, you know, one of the things that got us started on this was I'll tell a quick story if that's okay. Amy. Yes, please. The one night I was putting my daughter to bed, she was, oh, I don't know, maybe maybe five or six or something at the time and I'm usually, you know, do stories and songs and she sort of out of the blue started asking me about my grandmother who had passed away years before she was born, not the one that lived to be 100 the other one.
Hilarie: 37:03 And she'd been gone a long time and my daughter had never known her and you know, she asked me what she looked like and I described her and and then she said, you know, what did she sound like, what was her voice like? And that really caught me off guard. And next thing I knew tears were streaming down my face because I really couldn't remember what my beloved grandmother sounded like. And that kind of broke my heart because I loved her so much and we had been so close and I couldn't remember what her voice sounded like. I didn't want that to happen with anyone that I still had access to recording their voice or recording how they, how they move, how they how they embrace my kids are held, my babies when they were little. And things that you can't capture everything in a still photo.
Hilarie: 37:54 And so that's how we started incorporating video and audio into our books is so that we can, we can remember how they sound. And I've found that it's, it's priceless, not just for those older people who have passed on and aren't with us anymore. But Amy, can I tell you how incredible it is for me as a mother to have these videos in my books of my kids when they were babies, right. One of my very favorite ones that for both my kids and I is to when my daughter was born, the first night we brought her home from the hospital, I walked in to the dark room where I'd put her to bed in the bassinet and my three year old son was in there singing to the baby in the bassinet on the first night home from the hospital. It was precious as you can imagine. I mean, so precious. Thankfully as you said, I had my phone in my pocket and I know surreptitiously got part of that song on video and I had forgotten what his three year old voice sounded like. I had forgotten what it felt like to capture that moment. but I can relive it now through that video.
Amy: 39:06 Absolutely understand what you're saying, because the, the sense of smell is very primordial, right? I mean that, that can take us in a split instant that can take us back to a time or replace when we smell something. but I think that the sound of a voice is not far behind. I mean it is incredibly powerful and I just know that from having a little snippets of recordings because I, I was a little bit better about doing some recordings with my kids and keeping track of them and I know exactly what you mean. You know, my, my oldest daughter who's now 21 and her voice is, her voice has smoothed out, but when she was five she sounded like a little gin drinking cigarette smoking 80 year old because it was all gravelly and it was, it was part of her personality and it was something that people would react to.
Amy: 39:54 And when I hear her on, I'm on tape recordings. I, I love that. And the fact that you're that you're incorporating this into a book. So you know, what we do as the story is people who preserved stories. We're bringing together a whole bunch of disparate things, right memories photos, uh, so people, People's spoken stories about things and the reason we do that is to have it all in one place so that it's, it's a better experience for the person who is reading the book or watching the video, but also it's to, it's to make sure that those things don't go with stray and that's what you're doing with these books, you know, your, you don't have to go search out for where you had the voice recordings and maybe you'll get to it and maybe you won't. It's going to be right there in the book. I love that idea.
Hilarie: 40:50 Right, because you're right, we can't keep track of all these different things. So that's, that's exactly the point. Amy's keep it there together where we will access it and use it and have had that gift right at hand. Right. Yeah.
Amy: 41:03 Well, okay. So I, I'd like to talk a little bit more about the the services that you offer with Legacy Tale. You have some ebooks. We already talked about the Google Photos ebook and then I think you do at least one if not more online courses and then you also have a membership site. So can you tell us just a little bit about those and why you decided to go in that direction?
Hilarie: 41:28 Absolutely. So, you know, as you mentioned, did start out in a more personal history space and doing custom custom work and still do some of that and find it extraordinarily rewarding. But we also were trying to grow the business in a way that would support our family and that was scalable, right? When you are sitting down one on one in those interviews, as much as I love them, there's only so much you can do. It's and, and it's dependent, it's your work is dependent on you personally, right? I mean doing that and so it's not very scalable and we were really trying to think of ways that we could grow the business and grow income. Uh, that was not tied so closely to an hourly responsibility. And that was where we got the idea of having digital products. I mean certainly not a new idea, but we decided to try growing that because number one it wasn't so tied to our specific time, but also, you know, we meet folks who are interested in this kind of work but perhaps don't have the resources to pay someone to do it or even if they do, they really want to try to give it a go themselves.
Hilarie: 42:44 So these do it yourselfers I'm don't want full service, but maybe they need a little bit of guidance right on how to go about doing this. And so that was really the, the idea behind our digital resources was to, to give them help. And so we have ebooks that are you know, how to, how to write to your publish your personal history. yes, how to use Google Photos. We have a whole set of ebooks that are writing prompts and instructions for writing at each, at various stages of your life. You can buy them as a whole set or just individual many ebooks. And that's some of the. That's kind of the idea behind the, the self guided course online too. So it's a look, I want to, I want to write my life story, but I don't know how to go about it and I need you know, I need guidance and so the membership is basically self guided course and access to the resources at your own pace that will walk you through the kinds of questions you want to be answering, whether you're doing it for yourself or for someone else, the kinds of photos you want to be using, how to, how to digitize photos, how to edit, and you know, compile your history, how to go about printing, whether that's traditional printing or electronic.
Hilarie: 44:10 So those are the kinds of, of digital resources we have. We also have a video course that is I guess some feedback, amy, that I'm sure you've heard this too from some folks that especially those who want to do it themselves, they get really overwhelmed. They're like, you know, tell him my whole life story. Like, that's crazy. And that could take years and it can sometimes. So it seemed like there was a need or a desire for kind of a shortcut course, right? If we're not going to, is there a way to tell important pieces of our, of our life story in a way that hits the highlights and the pieces that will be most compelling or useful both for the storyteller as well as for those who will read and enjoy that. And so this kind of have a shortcut course. I'm focused on four key questions, so suggesting that if you address these four key questions, you'll capture the most important facets of who you are and the legacy that you want to leave in that
Amy: 45:13 course. And is that course also done by video? So you have a video and other teaching materials or what does that look like? Right? So that is a video and yes, other teaching materials, so handouts and course materials that you work through while you watch the video or in between and after. It sounds like both of those things would be beneficial for somebody who is just getting their feet wet with, with having a life story business and doing life stories for other people. Because if, if you've created these, not just for people who want to write their own life story, but for family members, you know, recording their family member's life stories, then that could be easily extrapolated to be doing it for strangers. I'm a as a career, is that correct? Yes, I do think it would
Hilarie: 45:59 be useful particularly. Well, yes. I guess it depends on the scope of the projects you're wanting to do. If you're wanting to do a, you know, a more full scale than absolutely the you know, we've gotten more extended set of, of ebooks and then the condensed version if, if someone wants more of a condensed version, it's got, yeah, the video course. And then the, all the writing steps in writing worksheet and timeline worksheet. I'm designed for a more condensed.
Amy: 46:25 Most people when they first get into it, you're, you're trying to figure out exactly where your clients are and you're trying to figure out exactly what kind of offerings you want to have make available. And usually that means saying pretty much yes to what, you know, if somebody wants a really small project or if they want a big project so I can see it all. I could see it all being very useful for somebody who's who's doing this as, you know, for clients, for paying clients. So that's good to hear about. Well, this has been wonderful talking to you. Any future plans for legacy Taylor, you're going to. Anything new on the horizon?
Hilarie: 47:01 You know, we've we've enjoyed doing ben and I, my husband and I did a, you know, a live course in Webinar in conjunction with Thomas mcentee. I don't know if you know him and genealogy bargains. He has quite a following and helped us put on a live course on photo organizing that was really successful and we hope to do some more of that kind of thing. I really love sort live workshops and retreats and I've had a dream of a, of a women's retreat, almost a mother daughter or friend retreat where we help help women capture the stories of their family, of their own life. Both for the benefit that it will be for their families, but also for the healing and therapeutic kinds of benefits that, you know, and I, I heard you talk about that in another podcast and so I love being able to interact with folks one on one.
Hilarie: 47:53 I do some conferences and whatnot, but that's a place I'd love to grow in. The kind of motivational speaking related to this kind of work is exciting to me. Well good. We're going to have to watch out for that. A good luck with it. It sounds pretty interesting. so where can people reach you? Where can they find the products and the different services that you offer? So Legacy Tale.com, tale fairy tale, Legacy Tale.com. And I did want to mention amy, that there's a lot of free content on the site too. So folks are getting started. If you, there's how to interview blog content that's free. If, if folks are looking at some tips about how to interview others there's a lot about how to digitize photos and we'd love you to buy the products, but there's also a lot of free content that I think would be helpful that would love to direct folks they're under full. Well thank you and good luck going forward with this. Thank you amy and good luck with what you're doing. I love that you are being a coach to folks in the personal history space. I think you're filling a need and appreciate the opportunity to visit with you.
Amy: 48:54 That does it for our talk with Hillary Robeson of Legacy Tale, for links to everything that we mentioned and for 20 percent off coupon code for Legacy Tale products, head over to the live story coach Dot Com. And look for episode 25 and please help spread the word by leaving a review on iTunes. Until next time, go out and save someone's story.