Wanna stand out? Use your story
Today I want to tell you a story about me telling a story (pretty meta eh?)
A few days ago I shared the story behind my biz name in an online group.
This was an accidental share. It wasn’t planned, it certainly wasn’t articulated very well, but it made a big impression on the people who heard it.
Because what I said was new, it was pretty raw, it held my listeners’ attention and most importantly it tapped into something that they believed in — being true to yourself.
Wanna hear it? 👇
Until last week, my origin story was one seldom told; it’s referenced on my website and I’ve mentioned it at a few speaking gigs but it has never been more than a footnote.
But in retelling my story last week I saw something new, my tale came to life in a totally different way and I got the feely feels ✨
As I saw my story through the eyes of others I realised that this tiny incidental tale is actually HUGE…it underscores my whole business philosophy…
When you connect with yourself you can fully connect with others
So, what’s the point of me telling you this?
Simply, I want to help you find and share your story. And in doing so, perhaps like me, you’ll uncover something a bit deeper about you and the heart of your business.
You & I both know there’s a reason why you set up your biz.
You wanted to make a change, to stop the pain, create something new, to teach others what you’ve learned, or start something that lights you up
But do you ever tell this story, your reason for existing?
Is it on your About page, do you share it with clients? Use it in your bio? Tell it to investors?
There’s a very good reason to find and tell your story. Your story sets you apart, it makes you memorable, it has the power to influence and most of all…
…IT BUILDS TRUST
Y’see telling a story is like sprinkling pixie dust on your message.
Good stories told in the right way generate oxytocin in the listener, the love hormone. And what does that love hormone do?
It bonds, it builds trust, it makes the listener feel.
And when we feel something we do something — like visit a website, follow a page, tell a friend or sign-up to a newsletter!
So, the big Q is, where to find your story?
Firstly, don’t doubt yourself — every business has a story. It doesn’t have to be an epic tale, full of woe (mine certainly isn’t) It could be a simple tale of how you took something you loved doing and discovered that people would pay for it.
Here are three ways to unlock your story:
1. Go way back.
Dig into your memory bank. What did you love doing as a kid, is there a link between your childhood passions or experiences and what you do now? What did the grown-up you learn from the child within?
I love the story of local entrepreneur, Elaine. As a child, she used to spend summers collecting petals and flowers to turn into perfume to gift to people she loved. Elaine is now an aromatherapist and makes bespoke blends for women suffering from stress and anxiety.
2. There has to be a better way
What was the trigger behind your biz? What were you looking for that didn’t exist at that time? When did you realize that the way things were done was just not good enough? And why did you want to create a better way/?
My fave example of a company borne out of finding a better way is Warby Paker; the eyewear company started by a college grad who left his glasses on an airplane and couldn’t afford to replace them. Warby Parker’s mission is to make glasses affordable and accessible to all. (Plus they’re super cool)
3. Show the shadows
The journey to create anything meaningful is not all rainbows and sunshine, many a notable brand has been formed in the crucible of life. Think about the moments you were advised to ‘get a proper job’ or when everything was going wrong in your biz. The seeds of your origin story may well lie in your struggles.
Business coach Debbie Dooodah’s mantra is ‘you could die tomorrow’ and for good reason. Her drive and passion to create a life and a business on her terms came from single parenthood, living on tax credits, and a cancer diagnosis. (She now runs a 6 figure business btw!)
You can see how one of the easiest stories to tell is your origin story….but it’s also the easiest to forget.
We’re often so focused on the future of our businesses that we forget the importance of our past.
But there’s much gold and inspiration in the stories behind our why’s.
These stories can do so much more than entertain or amuse; they are a potent way to uncover what we stand for.
Once Upon a Time is not just for fairytales. Once upon a time is just the beginning. So grab a pen, paper and start jotting down your beginnings.
Your story is within you, m’friends. Take a chance and tell it.
I love to shine stories, spend an hour with me and I’ll help you winkle your why story out x