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Tell Me A Story
May 08, 2018
Tell me a story...
The story of your business.
The story of your business is no ordinary story.
Because when successfully created it will rally your team members to do more day in and day out.
It will give all your stakeholders customers a deeper reason to believe in your business.
It will attract a community of customers who surround your products or services, your business, and your brand.
It will allow you to charge more for your products and services.
And it will transform your “tribe” into a group of raving fans committed to advocating for you through thick and thin.
Storytelling is a powerful way to put ideas into the world.
You can easily create the story of your business by following the simple structure I'm about to show you.
Creating Your Story
You'll want to touch on 12 specialized building blocks when crafting your story. These are the elements you'll piece together to build the beliefs that'll grow your business.
Don't be intimidated by the idea of crafting this story.
You don't have to be a good writer or storyteller to get started.
Your story is all you need.
Shape that story around the building blocks below, and you'll wind up with a narrative of what makes your business unique and what differentiates it from the rest of your market.
Building Block 1: The Hero
Joseph Campbell popularized the notion of an archetypal journey that recurs in the mythologies and religions of cultures around the world. From Moses and the burning bush to Luke Skywalker meeting Obi wan Kenobi, the journey always begins with a hero who hears a calling to a quest. In this story, YOU, of course, are the hero.
At the outset of the voyage, the hero's path is unclear, and the end is not in sight. Obstacles, hardships and disaster lie ahead, and the journey to success tests more than financial resources. It tests the hero's stamina, agility, and courage.
Who is the hero of your story? YOU!
Building Block 2: The Calling
This is the event that gets the story rolling. In mythology, this is often referred to as "The Call to Adventure." In scriptwriting it's called the "Inciting Incident."
Whatever you call it, something happened that forced you to consider the journey of building a business.
Building Block 3: The Stakes
In order for your audience to be involved in your journey, to care about the hero, they have to know what's at stake. In other words, what do you stand to lose? What will be the consequences for the hero, the marketplace, and the world if the hero fails on his/her quest?
Building Block 4: The Decision
The hero is now at the decision point, where his destiny hangs in the balance, and must decide… Do you go on living your life as you always have, or will you risk everything in an effort to grow and change the events that started the journey.
Of course, you and I both know what you, the hero, decides - but your audience doesn't yet and this is your very last chance to share with them the enormity of the decision.
You might have to encounter other characters like a boss that you will have to submit his resignation to...
Or it might be the spouse who has yet to give his approval...
Or it might be the banker who has not yet signed you from moving forward.
Building Block 5: The Search
This is where the hero begins searching for a solution. Along the way there'll be obstacles, trials, and challenges that must be overcome. He might be able to do this alone or he might call upon allies or a mentor.
No matter where the wisdom comes from, externally or through your own ingenuity, each obstacle overcome...
Each challenge met...
Each trial passed makes you sharper...
Building Block 6: The Complication
In order for the hero to succeed, he will have to outmaneuver many adversaries.
These might be special interests that control the status quo and care very little about the pain and problems of the marketplace.
Or they might be an internal struggle that you have to overcome.
No matter what the complication is, it makes success impossible until it's overcome.
Building Block 7: The Transformation
The transformation is where the hero makes the shift into thinking like a hero.
The complication has changed you, forcing you to see the world differently. And the new perspective makes you someone everyone can admire.
Building Block 8: The Epiphany
Eureka! The hero has cracked the case... Figured it out...
Made the discovery.
Whatever your business provides, the seeds of it are discovered at this point in your story.
There should be energy or excitement here, a passion that pours on to the page as the hero finally figures out how everything he's studied, experienced, and experimented with comes together in a blinding insight or successful invention.
This is what you searched for, struggled for...
And now it's all worthwhile, at least for the moment.
Building Block 9: The Impact
Here's where the yoy and your audience get to experience the impact of the epiphany on some small select group of the marketplace.
If you were in the pharmaceutical industry, this would be the successful results of your patents or your clinical tests.
For me, this was my first 25 coaching clients that doubled their business in the first eighteen months. Building Block 10: The Challenge
Now that both the audience and hero are convinced of the impact...
It's time to ratchet up the drama.
Some obstacle emerges, introducing the very real possibility that the journey might end here. It might be that the you run out of money or get sick, a key partner bails-out, or some other calamity occurs that makes it possible for the you to call it quits.
This not only gets your audience more deeply involved in the story, it also heightens their desire to see the hero succeed.
Building Block 11: The Formation
Now it's finally time...
The initial steps of the startup.
During this stage, the business becomes a physical entity. It marks the birth of something magical, something that can grow far bigger, have far greater impact, and exist much longer than any human being can.
But in order to pull it off, the hero is going to face many challenges, undertake many risks, and make major sacrifices.
We get to witness how the hero's passion gets channeled to provide him tremendous energy. This provides him the resiliency to keep coming back after every wrong turn, failure, or setback.
Building Block 12: The Handoff
With the business now real, the hero sets his intention on ensuring the business itself will become the vehicle to deliver on the purpose of his journey:
To eliminate the problems or pains of his prospects
To create an atmosphere where others are richly rewarded for their efforts
To make a positive difference in the world.
The audience now realizes your underlying motivation. The business is being created because it alone has the ability to contribute to the marketplace. More than any single individual could in a hundred lifetimes.
In this stage of the journey the hero is passing the mantle. You won't disappear, but you want to fade into the background and let the new hero take its rightful place in the limelight.
And who is the new hero? Your business!
Because you're taking all the positive feelings the hero has earned from your audience, enlarging it, and then transferring it to the business.
Putting The Pieces Together
We've just touched on the basic building blocks of your story. They go much deeper than I can cover in this space, but these building blocks will give you a skeleton on which to flesh out your personal business story.
By following this simple blueprint, you'll hit all the high points of your personal story, and inject all the business elements too.
This way you'll keep your story as simple as possible, while building the beliefs that'll drive your business forward.
Remember, the blueprint is just here to serve you as a guide - not a straightjacket.
There are literally millions of different ways to combine the elements we've covered. And each way would have a different feeling and meaning. Therefore there isn't, nor could there ever be, one "right way" of creating your story.
As you begin to write your story, you might see other alternatives pop up. If you think they'll give your story more power, make it more compelling, or differentiate your business better... then follow your gut.
At the end of the day, let your story take you where it wants to go. Because if you allow the story to tell you how it should be delivered, in the end you'll end up with a story more powerful than could ever be planned out.
We grow by word-of-mouth so please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone whom you think might benefit from and enjoy it. Thanks so much! As always, feel free to share your comments and questions. And we love knowing whether you found this useful. Contact us via email.
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