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Only Human


Today you and I will pay $4 for a coffee when we could have paid a dollar.

We will take vitamins it’s claimed will improve our health, even though we have no definitive proof that they do.

We will eat too much and exercise too little.

We will distract ourselves with non-urgent tasks and fail to do the one thing we promised ourselves we’d get done.

All because we are only human—beings, who as neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor says, are feeling creatures that think, not the thinking creatures who feel, we like to believe we are.

Despite knowing this, we will still try to convince our kids, our colleagues or our customers to change their minds with facts and rational arguments alone.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that we are neither all head or all heart and act accordingly.

Image by Shane Rounce

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Believed In


The one thing all successful ideas have in common is that they spread. But why?

The essential ingredient for making ideas spread is trust.

We must trust something before we can believe in it.
When we believe in something, we stick with it and share it.

So the first question we must ask ourselves isn’t how to get our idea to spread—it’s how can we do or say something worth believing in.

*If you’d like to get your message believed, not just noticed, consider joining us for
The Story Skills Workshop today at the discounted rate for my blog subscribers. I’m looking forward to helping you to tell better stories.
Here is your link to join.

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The Story Advantage


How can we get more attention for our idea?
How can we increase brand awareness?
How can we make people notice our work?

These are the questions I am often asked by the people and companies in search of a message that will give them a competitive advantage.

I don’t need to tell you that getting more eyeballs on your work won’t get any easier. Every day new businesses are launched and more videos, podcasts, articles and books are published. There will never be less competition for people’s attention than there is today.

But I’d argue that getting attention and building awareness are misguided goals. Fulfilling careers and thriving businesses are built on more than being noticed. And that’s good news for all of us.

We don’t need to go in search of some elusive message that might gain fleeting awareness. We already have an inherent competitive advantage—our unique, true stories about our life and our work. Those stories, well told, enable us to share messages that build strong ties with the people we hope to serve.

Our goal must always be to do what it takes, not just to be seen—but to matter. We don’t have to manufacture a message to get more attention, we have to create more affinity by getting better at saying what’s true.

If you want to get better at telling your stories, please consider joining us for the upcoming Story Skills Workshop.

Image by Clem Onojeghuo

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Storytelling Is A Skill You Can Learn


Do you remember the first time you rode a bike without training wheels? You might recall who taught you and the street you were on. The colour of the bike. The exact moment you took off. The wobbling, the delight, and cheering as you pedalled away.

One minute you couldn’t do it and the next minute you were off. You had acquired a new skill and the confidence to keep practising—so you got better and better at it.

Learning to tell your story is a lot like learning to ride a bike. There are basic principles and tools you can use to get started, and the more you practice the better you get. Story skills are essential for people like you who want to make their ideas matter.

That’s why I’ve been working with Seth Godin for almost a year to create a workshop that will help you to discover, craft and tell better stories.

The Story Skills Workshop launches next week.
Sign up here to be notified when registrations open.

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Worthy


If you’re reading this post, it’s because it got past one or more of your filters. Maybe you were anticipating receiving it because you subscribed to my blog. Perhaps it popped up in your search results. Either way, you’re here because you chose to be—not just because I reached out to you.

The people you’re trying to reach and resonate with are filtering too. From the contacts you try to add on LinkedIn, to the clients you’re hoping to attract. They are deciding who is worthy of their permission and their time.

So the question for you and me is not just how do we get past the filters, but how do we become worthy of the limited time and attention of the people we want to matter to?

Image by JM Thomson

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Stand Out


When we think about standing out, we often think about how we’re being perceived at a given moment. But memorable people, places and experiences stand out because of how they make us feel over time.

Standing out doesn’t necessarily mean being the loudest, most visible person in the room right this minute.

You, your product or your company can stand out by changing how someone feels about themselves in your presence, not just today, but every day.

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The Value Of Discernment


Picture the scene. You’re at a networking event or a party. The room is buzzing—it’s packed full of people who you could strike up a conversation with.

Of course, you’ll never get around to speaking to everyone that evening. So you have to choose who to walk up to and introduce yourself. You don’t want to meet just anyone. You want to spend your time speaking to the people you can really connect with.

Now, picture that packed room as potential customers for your business. You can’t have a conversation with every one of those people. Who would you choose to speak to, and how will you know that person when you see them?

The better we are at discerning our right people the more shared value we can create.

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Exactly Who Do You Serve?


The most successful restaurant on the shopping strip close to where I live is a vegan taco restaurant. Other restaurants come and go, but the taco place endures. Rain or shine, day in and day out they’re always busy.

As you can imagine, every time I walk past I wonder why. Why has the taco place succeeded where so many others with bigger marketing budgets, fancier fit-outs, and more extensive menus have failed?

I think it comes down to the fact that they know who they’re for.

They can describe their customer with such clarity that they don’t have to second guess their menu, decor and pricing.

It’s easier to make room at the table for the right people when you know who those people are.

Who, exactly are you in business to serve?

If you’re not sure, my Story Strategy Course will help you to answer that question.

Image by Vince Fleming

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Immeasurable Success

The rows of business magazines in the airport scream the word ‘success’ from their covers.

Smiling founders who’ve ‘made it’ are profiled inside.
Their success reflected in the visible and the measurable.

When did being successful become about being seen to have achieved success?

We, the keepers of our culture, keep score.
We like to measure our progress. Come out on top. Be first. We like to win.

In our attempt to find a way to do that, we have learned to value and measure things in ways that are often disproportionate to their benefit to us collectively. How we keep score changes the stories we tell, the businesses we build and the societies we shape.

The stories we tell about success change us.

We become what we measure.
We are who we take with us on the journey and who we leave behind.

Image by Austin Distel

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The Power Of Owning Your Work

The assistant at the family-run pasta shop is giving me instructions about how to cook the fresh ravioli she’s wrapping up for me to take home.

She never once refers to it as ‘the ravioli’ during the entire conversation. Whenever she speaks about the pasta her family makes fresh on the premisies every day, she describes it with pride as, ‘my ravioli’.

‘You can’t fail with my ravioli. My ravioli doesn’t need an elaborate sauce to make it taste great. That’s why people always come back for my ravioli.’

She was signing her work with every word. The way she speaks about her product makes it better and more valuable to the people lucky enough to eat it.

How are you owning the work you’re proud of?

Image by Jametlene Reskp

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