Ep. 117: Life Lessons Learned from the Farm with Brian Sheppard
Brian ("B. A.") Sheppard is a TikTok creator, motivational speaker, and a "coach with a natural approach." He lives and works on a farm where he uses his horses and other animals, as well as tasks and chores around the property, for metaphors on how people can strengthen their relationships—with themselves and with those they care about. He is passionate about helping the youth find their "area of influence" by connecting their inner hopes and dreams to his lived and learned experiences.
In this episode of The Storytelling Lab, Brian shares how being vulnerable and telling his story on TikTok connected with hundreds of thousands of people, all seeking the lessons he had learned the hard way.
A couple of years ago I saw a man on TikTok standing in a grass field, wearing the straw hat of a farmer, while a younger man in the background sat atop a riding mower, cutting the tall grass in that field.
"Think about the honor of the opportunity." the man in the straw hat said.
"This young man that's coming towards me on this lawnmower, that's my son. He's cutting the grass and zig-zagging all over the place. And you know what? It's perfectly fine. He's getting the grass cut. It might not have been Dad's way, but he's getting it done. And therein is the honor of the opportunity."
The man making the video was Brian "B. A." Sheppard.
Brian is a motivational speaker and a relationship coach "with a natural approach." And his TikTok following is now over 500,000.
I continued to watch Brian's videos over the next year or so, seeing his content go from parenting advice to relationship advice (with oneself and one's partner) and what can be considered just good ol' fashioned life advice. All from the farm.
But a couple months ago, I had a video of my own gain some traction.
Among the hundreds of comments and notifications I received, one stuck out to me: a new follower that went by @basheppard.
"Wait a minute!" I thought. "The horse-father-relationship guy follows me?!"
I couldn't let that connection slip past, so I immediately messaged him and told him how much I appreciated his follow and how much I admired his content, as a father myself.
And that's the beauty of this platform. You find people that inspire you every day that you would have never known about.
They aren't celebrities (though some are getting there), they're just real people with beautiful ideas that can impact the world.
And I'm lucky enough to get to know some of them.
I had Brian on the show and his story not only moved me, but motivated me.
He has clients out to his farm often to learn life and relationship lessons based on the work that has to be done at the farm.
Something as simple as brushing and cleaning a horse, conveys how when we love someone, their dirt becomes our dirt because of our proximity. And if we care about them, we gladly take on that burden and help relieve them of it.
His passion pours out of him and that's the reason his following has grown so much in just two years. That, and the fact that he understand how to sincerely empathize with his audience and make them feel like he's talking only to them.
"If you touch on something that's emotionally charged and people start talking, you can open up a dialogue. And if you can create a conversation with your audience, you're now building an actual relationship.”
And it doesn't take Brian eight hours of content creation a day to achieve this.
He posts two times a day for four days a week. The weekend's are for his personal life and that of his family's.
This is one of the biggest issues content creators face: thinking they have to post six to seven times a day every day of the week.
All Brian does is organically share his stories while he's in the moment.
No high-tech or super stylized edits. No fancy camera.
Just stories and life lessons learned from the farm.
If you need some inspiration for how to build your personal brand by simply sharing your real life stories, this is the episode for you!
Some of the highlights of our conversation:
The initial inspiration to start his TikTok account
How being at his lowest point in life opened a door that changed everything
Why being honest about your struggles is the key to connecting with others
What content resonates most when building an audience
Why your message is more important that the medium in which you share it
How every people can find their "area of influence"
Connecting the hope in young people to the experience of older ones
How to speak to your audience to make them feel deeply connected
His big goal for the rest of 2022
As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!
Peace and Love,
Follow Brian on:
For more storytelling tips and tricks,
Visit my website rainbennett.com, or
Follow me on TikTok @rainbennett_storycoach
Follow me on Twitter @rainbennett
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