Unlock the Magic in Your Story Now

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On Strengths

If a friend or colleague asked you to list their strengths, I’m guessing you’d have no trouble coming up several of their attributes.

But if they asked you to share a list of your strengths you’d likely hesitate.

Why is that?

We don’t spend a lot of time reflecting on our skills and talents, because we’ve been conditioned to be humble.

We largely focus on our ‘areas for improvement—the things we lack confidence and competence in, to the detriment of our gifts and our genius.

Of course, we can improve our weakness. But we can also amplify our strengths.

What do you already bring to the world and how can you do more of that?

Image by Annie Spratt

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Opportunity Knocks


There was a talent show on television when I was a child called, Opportunity Knocks. It wasn’t unlike some of the reality talent shows broadcast on TV today. It was lower budget and had a lot less glitz and glamour.

Prospective contestants wrote to the show’s producers via snail mail pitching to audition. I doubt anybody knew the criteria for being picked to appear on the show. I know I didn’t have a clue how to improve my chances when I sent off a letter to the address that flashed across the screen at the end of the show. Luckily my pitch wasn’t successful because I was equally clueless about what my winning act would be if I were chosen.

Opportunity is defined as—a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

It’s believed to be that fortuitous moment when the stars align. Conventional wisdom reminds us that the chance of success occurs when opportunity knocks. This implies that opportunity is a happening that’s out of our control.

The truth is we don’t simply wait for opportunity to arrive at our door, we invite it in. We start walking down the road to greet it, one foot in front of the other.

Image by Kelan Chad

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Say It Like You Mean It


Empathy is an essential skill for anyone who wants to make a living by serving others.
A big part of our job is to show those people that we see, hear and can help them.

But there’s a fine line between fake intimacy and genuine sincerity in a sales conversation. We’ve all been subjected to both.

The good news is we each get to choose which posture to adopt.

You can say it like you mean it, or better—you can mean it before you say it.

The integrity of sincerity wins in the long run.

Image by Adam Jang

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The Best Stories Are Lived

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m visiting the smallest branch of my favourite chocolate shop. It’s a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business, and it shows.
The enthusiasm of the assistants is palpable.

‘I’ve never worked for a company like this,’ the woman behind the counter says. ‘I’ve been here for five years, and I love it!’

When I ask why she talks about how much the owners care.

‘They’d do anything for us. They even get up on a ladder to change our lightbulbs. They remember our birthdays. They want the best for our customers and us.’

As the conversation progresses, ‘they’ becomes ‘we’.

‘We don’t export. We’re just proud to sell a beautiful Australian product at home.’

Storytelling is more than clever copy. It’s the act of showing up, with intention.
Your story is more than a tagline or a positioning statement—it’s not only what you say—it’s what you do.

The best stories are not just told, they are lived.

Image by Avant

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Better For Your Being Here


In our rush to make a living, we sometimes lose touch with the reason our work matters.

In our impatience to make other people care, we often lose sight of why we started.

In our eagerness to make an extraordinary impact, we forget it’s in ordinary moments that we leave the world better for our being here.

Image by Adrià Crehuet Cano

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Simple Questions To Ask When Your Marketing Isn’t Working


My marketing isn’t working.

This sweeping declaration leads us to draw (sometimes incorrect), conclusions that influence our future marketing plans and business strategy. We can’t fix our marketing when we don’t know why it’s broken. But where do we start?
Here are seven questions to ask when your marketing isn’t working as well as you’d like.

7 Questions To Ask And Answer When Your Marketing Isn’t Working

1. Why isn’t this marketing working?
Not necessarily why, in fact, but why do you think—what’s your best guess as to the reasons you’re not achieving the results you want?

2. Did we reach enough of the right people?
How many people do you need to resonate with to achieve the numbers of sales or attract the clients you want?

3. How clear is the message?
Does your message clarify how exactly you solve your prospective customer’s problems, unmet needs or unspoken desires?

4. How well does the message resonate?
Do you know enough about your ideal customers to craft a message that resonates with them and calls them to act?

5. Are you meeting our prospective customers where they are?
Did you use the right medium, in the right place at the right time?

6. Did you give it enough time?
Is the marketing broken, or are you impatient to see results?

7. What would you change given your response to the first six questions?
What one thing can you do today to improve your marketing?

All marketing is testing. Rinse and repeat.

Image by Tim Mossholder

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On Tipping Points


Life, as the well-worn adage, written on many a motivational fridge magnet, reminds us, is a journey, not a destination.

We know this. Yet we strive for our tipping point—that moment when the series of small steps we’ve taken towards our goal will be significant enough to cause the big breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

The truth is, there is no singular tipping point that makes us immeasurably better than we were the day before. Everything we do is work in progress, and we’ll encounter multiple tipping points by taking the next best step we can on our journey.

Image by Curtis MacNewton

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Why Should They Care?


The ‘For Lease’ sign attached to the first-floor window of the shopfront is one of half a dozen along Gertrude Street. And the sales copy on each of them does nothing to differentiate one premises from the other.

The signs give us dimensions, details about the facilities and ‘good natural light’. They don’t for a second help a prospective tenant to translate those features into the benefits they care about.

It’s not enough to tell people what they get as part of the transaction today. We need to show them how those features will become benefits that matter to them in the long run.

Image by Garry Knight

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Mass Awareness Vs. Minority Affinity


The ‘golden arches’ glow at me in the distance as I set out for the gym before sunrise. It’s impossible to miss the 24-hour McDonald’s at the junction no matter which direction you travel. The ‘golden arches’ don’t distinguish the right potential customer from the wrong one. And that’s the point. McDonald’s strategy is to target everyone, so they cast their net far and wide, creating mass awareness. Their ideal customer can be any peckish stranger who happens to be passing by. This strategy works for McDonald’s, but it’s unlikely to work for us.

No other restaurant or cafe along this same street has the luxury of the ‘golden arches’. Like most of us with something to say, serve or sell, they have to do a better job of speaking to only their right customers. They don’t depend on the footfall of mass awareness—they thrive on the loyalty of minority affinity, built one customer at a time, over time. They understand what their customers want, they make promises, then show up consistently, week in week out, without fail to keep them.

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. The tactics we use must align with our goals and the goals of the people we want to serve. How are you creating affinity with the minority of people who enable you to do your best work?

Image by Joiarib Morales

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Why This? Why You? Why Now?


Why This? Why You? Why Now?

Three simple questions we are often reluctant to answer.

When you sit with the discomfort of reflecting on them before you embark on a project, you’ll be clearer about what the world needs from you and why. You’ll also have the beginnings of the story your audience wants to hear.

Why do the people you want to serve need your product or service?

Why are you the person or the company to bring this project to life for this audience?

Why is now the ideal time to begin?

And the bonus question.

What’s the story only you can tell the people you want to matter to?

Image by Lilibeth Bustos Linares

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