One of my friends is a good lad, but boy-oh-boy does he see the glass half empty. You know the type: He’s the guy who wins the lottery and is down in the dumps because of all the congratulatory (aka: lend me some money) phone calls. He also owns his own company, and I cannot wait for him to win a MASSIVE contract so I can see the ‘but’ he comes up with.
I won’t name any names, but if he reads this he’ll know who he is. And don’t worry, I tell him to his face all the time, but I decided to dedicate a Blog Post to his pessimistic mind because even though he sees the glass half empty, and even though he finds the speck of negativity in a pile of awesome, his story is unique, special, and INTERESTING BEYOND WORDS.
I chat to Individuals, Entrepreneurs, Businesses, and Friends often about the importance of their story, and although most agree the world’s becoming more emotional and connected, and the premise of telling YOUR story is a good one, I’m usually met with the same old barrier:
“MY STORY IS BORING. WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT WHAT I HAVE TO SAY/DO/CREATE/SHOW/etc…”
Considering I write fiction, I’ll try paint you a word picture:
“Closing my eyes and rubbing my temples with finger and thumb, I exhale long and hard, muttering an indistinguishable sentence under breath. ‘It’s happened again,’ I think. ‘One day I’ll kill someone for saying that!‘”
EVERYONE HAS A STORY WORTHY OF EYES & EARS
This isn’t the exclusive response, but it’s the one I come across again and again, and each time it makes me want to go Mortal Kombat on their ass, yelling, “GET OVER HEREEEEEEE.”
Everyone has a story worthy of eyes and ears, the trick is to Discover the REAL story, Create something UNIQUE, and Share it with the right people in a way only YOU can. I’m not saying it’s easy, but whoever the person is or whatever the business sells, a story exists; and not any old story either, but a story with the power to move mountains.
The thing is, such results don’t come cheap – and I DON’T mean money-wise. For many people, the Storytelling process is free, or at least affordable. That doesn’t mean it’s cheap, though. It requires a great deal of digging and thought, and more often than not you have to ask yourself difficult questions, go down uncomfortable avenues, and open yourself up in a way you’ve never done before.
Of course, you could always half-ass it, but this is worse than doing nothing at all.
A HALF-ASSED STORY MAKES ME WANT TO FIND AND KILL FAIRIES
As brand storytelling becomes more popular in 2014, I expect to see more businesses ‘embrace‘ it. I say ‘embrace‘, but what I actually mean is they’ll like the idea, gloss over the details, and produce something terrible. This is what happens when a bandwagon rumbles and people dive on to it without care or thought.
I believe everyone, and every business, has a compelling story, but it only works if you embrace it with all your mite. Because Storytelling requires passion and emotion and the bare essences of WHO you are and WHY you do it, anything other than love produces a tired effort that achieves nothing at all.
Simply put, a half-assed story makes me want to find and kill fairies. Seriously, if I could, I’d fly to Neverland and hunt down Tinkerbell!
You don’t need a huge budget or special effects or a team of minions working around the clock, but you do need to embrace your story and love the potential it offers. You need to dig deep and search for your real USP, and if you do, you’ll have something that connects with peoples’ raw emotions, transforms their loyalty into advocacy, and sets you apart from everyone else. Even my pessimistic buddy could use his half-empty ways to develop an army, and all it takes is one simple step.
IT BEGINS WITH BELIEF
In business and life, people like to skip straight to the process of creation, because creating is fun and exciting, and you see real tangibles developments before your eyes. Whether it’s a product or an advertisement campaign or a story, the temptation to CREATE is all around.
HOWEVER, before you create, you must first DISCOVER, and when it comes to your story this is an unavoidable first step.
I love the discovery process, and it begins with belief. I suppose this is where my pessimistic friend struggles, because he must thrust his wary worries aside and BELIEVE his story is special… worthy… important enough to share with people. I’m not saying it’s easy, because if you think your story is boring and no one cares about it, believing otherwise is hard. But like I say, EVERYONE HAS A STORY WORTHY OF EYES AND EARS!
Discovering your story doesn’t happen overnight, and the process is different for everyone, but until you BELIEVE in your story, it’s difficult to move forward. And this is why half-assed attempts are worthless, because how can you believe in something if you don’t give it the proper respect?
IT ENDS WITH BELIEF, TOO
I love storytelling for many reasons, but one of my all time favourites is the power it provides. Considering the first step is belief, it’s safe to say your outlook on who you are, why you do it, and what you offer changes over time. It’s a light during dark days and a humbling sign when you’re on top of the world
Because of this, it ends with belief, too.
The story you share with people evolves, because you come up with new ideas, acquire wisdom, and mature into a fine human-wine. No matter who you are and how boring you may find yourself, there’s a story people want to hear. I have no idea what it is, but chance are you don’t at this moment in time, either.
But I ask you to believe in your story, because until you do you cannot begin.
Storytelling, especially in the business world, is growing fast and furious. This is great, but in time it’ll become diluted like most things do, because people WILL jump on the bandwagon, and they WILL produce crappy versions for the sake of it. But you don’t have to, and those around you will thank you for it. So, how about you start the process today.
Turndog – @turndog_million