Awhile back, I was at a conference in San Diego and met a young man who asked me what I did. I told him that I help people capture and share their stories. His face lit up and he said, “wow I really need someone like you, I know I have a great story, I just don’t know how to tell it!” As we sat and shared lunch, he told me his story. He fled Iran when he was 8 years old to avoid being drafted into the Iranian Army. His parents sent him to live in Germany with people he did not know. As he grew up he excelled in sports which led him to follow in his father’s footsteps as a gymnast. Then, he took it one step further and qualified for German Olympic Gymnastics Team. He then went on to share some amazing insights he gained from being an Olympic gymnast and how that shaped his business philosophy today. Oh, and did I mention that along the way, be became a doctor and performs free surgeries in third world countries at his own expense?
Great story, huh! That’s what I said. His challenge is the same one I see with many of my clients. They have done amazing things in their lives and are not able to connect all the pieces and put it into a cohesive story that will powerfully connect with the people they want to serve. His story is the basis of who he is today and what he does.
If you are an entrepreneur or business person you understand the power of your story to connect with your target audience. Your story of challenge to success is the corner stone of your credibility and why people want to work with you. And in today’s marketplace, storytelling has become an essential element in delivering your communication strategy.
Here are a few easy things you can do to start getting clear about your wonderful, one of a kind, unique story. Grab your notebook and
Start at the beginning - what did you LOVE to do in middle school, in high school? Where did you spend most of your time? You’d be surprised what this will reveal.
After high school, what did you do? Did you go to school, work, take some time to figure out what you wanted to be when you grew up? What made you feel good about that time?
What did you do after that? How did it relate to items 1 and 2?
How does this relate to what you are doing today?
While this sounds simple, it’s a great way to get started in figuring out the golden threads of your story. You will see themes emerge that will help you find your passion and purpose. It always so gratifying to walk someone through this process and help them find the nuggets of their story they overlooked or took for granted. It’s the aha moment of personal discovery that lets them understand their story and how it can help them take their business to the next level.
Don’t take my word for it, try this yourself and see what comes up for you. I’d love to hear how it goes for you. Happy writing!