Five Ways to Unravel Your Story - Guest blog by Amy Morse
Humans are natural story tellers.
I’ve been writing all my life, and fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2013 when I published my first book, The Bronze Box, as Amy C Fitzjohn. Stories have always been at the heart of everything I do.
We tell each other stories all the time; when we’re chatting to our friends and laughing about something that happened; when we’re trying to bring someone around to our way of thinking or when someone asks us how we’re doing – we’re telling a story. In our personal, every day communication, we do it all the time without even realising it. Since the dawn of time we’ve shared our knowledge, experience and advice to each other through story; from sitting around camp fires, to our modern world of brilliant blogs, social shares, viral videos and inspiring images.
In business, however, it is often a different matter.
We stick to facts, figures, stats and data to make our case. We want to be taken seriously and be respected, so we create a persona of success and self-assurance. We wear a ‘uniform’ (a suit, for example) so that we can conform and fit in with the other business people in the room – much like our desperation to fit in at school, we’ve been institutionalised.
I firmly believe in the power of small business to change the world for the better and that enterprise should be accessible to all – let’s get real and find what makes us each authentic as a business!
The only thing you can absolutely, 100% guarantee, that’s unique about your business is YOU; and the thing that makes you YOU is your STORY.
No two people’s stories will be the same. Even siblings will recount shared memories in different ways because we are each effected differently and perceive things differently.
The story of your business is not just a sequence of events that got you from idea to market – customers want to know what’s at the heart of your business.
What compels you? What moves you? What was it that sent you down the path you find yourself on and where are your going from here? Was there a single inciting incident somewhere in your past that motivated, inspired, scared or encouraged you?
What is the story of your business?
If you’re struggling to find the answer to that, here’s five tips:
Listen. Listen to the stories other businesses share about themselves. Do you see any common themes? Do you share elements of their journey? It’s tough identifying our own narrative - work with someone else to help draw the nuances of the story out of your subconscious. Sometimes we need to listen to ourselves telling our story to someone else before it starts to makes sense.
Be brave. People want to see your human side, they need to see your vulnerabilities too. If your story is simply a list of successes and achievements people can’t to relate it. Share your challenges and the lessons you learned from them to build trust and rapport. It’s in the lessons you learned that value can be found, people buy into value.
Be different. Embrace your weirdness. It’s the things that make you different that make you special. We like to feel we have things in common with each other, but equally we are inspired by people who have done things a little differently or who have experience we don’t.
Share. By their very nature, stories are a two-way process between the teller and the receiver. Share some elements of your story with others and assess their reaction. What’s working? What are people interested in? Social proof is a great motivator.
Adapt. Communicate your story in different ways; in person, through writing, video, images and audio – story telling applies to every medium of communication imaginable.
Stories move us, stories inspire, stories engage, motivate, compel and persuade us. Storytelling isn’t something we ‘do’, it’s who we are. After all, people don’t just buy people, they buy stories.
Author and entrepreneur Amy Morse, comes from a background of skills training, business support and writing. As a published author, stories are at the heart of everything she does. Amy works with small businesses to help them tell the story of their business well in their own words; through 1:1 support, workshops, books and courses, Amy helps businesses write their way to success. www.AmyMorse.co.uk
The Bronze Box: http://bit.ly/Bronze_Box_eBook
Solomon’s Secrets: http://bit.ly/Solomons_eBook_2016
Gabriel’s Game, Part 1 - The White Queen: http://bit.ly/Gabriels_Game_P1_eBook
Gabriel’s Game, Part 2 - The Black Knight: http://bit.ly/Gabriels_Game_P2_eBook