The process of telling a story never starts at the beginning…
We know that humans are primed to pay attention to and remember stories better than data.
We know that when one listens to a story they become invested on a much deeper level and that the best told stories can evoke a sense of love and loyalty in the listener.
And when used in business, we know that stories can be the difference between drowning in the noise of all the marketing out there, and standing out. They can be the game changer in growing a community of raving fans and lifelong customers.
As a vessel, your stories will close the digital gap between you and your audience.
But they never start at the beginning…
Well, the stories start at the beginning, but the process doesn’t.
A story is a journey of transformation.It’s that simple.
All stories exist to tell a tale of transformation and impart a lesson on the reader as a result of that journey.
The role of storytelling in business is to take your reader on a transformational journey that helps them uncover a new belief. They must understand this belief in order to enroll in your process and have any interest in investing in your business.
We can shove this new belief in their face and spend our time trying to convince them we’re the only ones with the right answers, or we can share our own story of discovery of this belief and enroll them in it while they self identify and uncover this new belief on their own. From there, the decision to invest in us remains their choice, and they will invest in us if their beliefs match ours or we’ve done a good enough job of creating the transformation in them.
But you cannot sit down to tell a story, thinking that “once upon a time” will serve your audience without thinking about the journey you want to take them on with your story. You have to know the end point first.
Like absolutely everything you do in your business, you must begin with an intention. Every story you aim to tell, has one lesson within it that you want to plant in the minds of your readers.
When you begin by understanding your audience, and then examine what they need to hear and present it through the vessel of a story….
So, before you begin to waste your breath, just start by identifying the intention of your stories.
You can start by answering these questions:
- What is the lesson or seed that I want for my audience to learn?
- Where does the thought, idea, or belief at the core of this lesson come from in my life?
- What was the single, tiny, exact, “ah-ha” moment for me in my life where I discovered this seed?
- What was life like before this moment?
- What was life like after this moment?
And therein lies your entire story.
At some point in your life, your way of thinking evolved from something that wasn’t serving you to something that is serving you.
And, without fail, those moments of evolution – those “ah-ha” moments – are the catalyst to the change in life that sets us on a journey.
Once you begin to think about your life and your business in terms of your evolution, and these moments of transformation, you’ll begin to understand how powerful your story is and which stories you need to be telling.
Once you start to practice this pattern of identifying the origin, and the transformative moments, behind each belief you want to share with your audience, you stop worrying about what stories you need to tell, and it’s just a matter of practicing the art of it.
Once you identify this, you can single out the one lesson that you want to impart on your reader that can be the catalyst for their own evolution. This boils down to one statement or opinion or thought that is enormous in it’s impact.
The practice of being intentionally critical of what you consume and what you create naturally reveals the stories you need to tell, as long as you are looking through the lense of “where did my beliefs or opinions come from?” to identify your own evolution.
Every story you tell grounds your opinions and beliefs in experience, wisdom, knowledge, and connects in a shared human experience.
But stories in your business aren’t created with the beginning in mind…
Instead, they begin by understanding the end point, the one thing that you know your audience needs. From there you work backwards to uncover your story.
No matter what you’re creating, promoting, doing, or thinking, getting into the habit of critically examining your own beliefs will help you understand what stories you need to be telling.