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Build a Reputation

My friend Anna has been going to the same hairdresser for ten years. She’s never trusted anyone else to cut her hair in all that time. Now though, she has no option because her stylist just had a baby, and she’s on maternity leave.

When Anna sat in the new stylist’s chair, she was so anxious her palms were sweating.

Objectively, she had no proof that her regular stylist was more skilled than the new one. But reputation is built on beliefs and opinions, not objective facts.

Trust earned over time is a powerful differentiator.

Who do you want to be most trusted by and what for?

Image by AW Creative

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What Separates This From That?

When we’re not simply driven by price how do we choose what to buy?

We tell ourselves a story about quality, design, durability, or provenance. But often as we rationalise about the advantages of one product or service over another, the differentiator we perceive is the degree of love and care that’s gone into making or delivering it.

There is no place for love on a spreadsheet, ironically that’s what makes it invaluable. When we care it shows.

Image by Thomas Marban

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The Captive Vs. The Captivated

When people are given the microphone or stand on a stage, they have our attention, we listen. They have a captive audience for eighteen minutes, an hour or maybe a day—if they’re lucky.

Here’s the thing, you don’t need a captive audience to be heard. You need better true stories, well told. You don’t have to rely on luck to tell better stories, you can do it with intention and practice—by design.

The world is waiting, not to be held captive, but to be captivated by new voices—for the hopeful messages and stories, each of us has to tell.

You don’t need permission to take the stage. You need to find and practice telling stories that matter.

*Today is the last day to register for the current session of The Story Skills Workshop.
Here is a special link for my blog readers to join us.

Image by Tommi Boom

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Influence Vs. Impact

In a world where attention has become both currency and commodity, it’s tempting to believe there’s a direct correlation between influence and impact.

The modern definition of an influencer is someone who can persuade people with their recommendations. But it turns out, the people who have the greatest impact are not necessarily the people with the most influence.

Our impact isn’t only measured in crude metrics like attention.

Think about the people who have had the most impact on your life—a patient teacher, a caring friend or a wise mentor. These people likely made a difference, with something they continually did, not just something they once told you to do.

Change happens when more people seek to be less influential and more impactful.
We get to choose which matters most.

*We’ve opened The Story Skills Workshop again this week.
If you’re ready to increase your impact, I hope you’ll join us.

Image by Monika Kosub

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Are You Ready To Find Your Voice?

Eleven years ago, as I was pivoting my business, I began reading a new book. I was barely two paragraphs in when the following sentence stopped me in my tracks.

‘Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant.’

Those words, written by my friend and colleague, Seth Godin, over a decade ago still hold true today. They inspired me to find my voice, own my story and invest in becoming a better storyteller.

Eight bestselling books later and ten years after I first read those words, Seth and I built and launched The Story Skills Workshop. We’ve been blown away by the impact it’s had on the thousands of people who have taken it.

We’ve just opened the workshop again today. If you’re looking for a proven, effective, powerful way to find your voice and your stories, I hope you’ll join us.

My blog readers can register using this discount link.

To find out more visit The Story Skills Workshop and hear what others are saying about how the workshop impacted them and their work.

Are you ready to find your voice, own your stories and create the impact you want?

Image by Wonderlane

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What Does Being Successful Mean To You?

This question about success is one that members of the Right Company have been reflecting on this past week.

It seems like a question that should have a straightforward answer.

After all, if success is something we aspire to, we must know what our ambitions are.

If we don’t know where we want to go, how will we know which path to take?

What does being successful mean to you?

Image by Emma

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The Myth Of The Gifted Storyteller

Over and over again, we’ve heard people like Steve Jobs described as ‘a gifted storyteller’. We’ve come to believe that storytelling is an art reserved for the chosen few—that great storytellers are born, not made. How can that possibly be true?

What all great storytellers have in common is more than a talent for storytelling. They aren’t ‘naturals’ or ‘born storytellers’. What they are is ‘practised storytellers.’

Last weekend I was at an event where the legendary author Margaret Atwood spoke. When someone asked if she read fiction and why, she told the audience she reads to understand. ‘I want to know how they did that,’ she said. One of the best storytellers of our generation, a woman who has twice won the Booker Prize, whose books sell in their millions, reads other people’s stories to learn from them and make her stories better.

Storytelling is an act, something you practice—a skill you can learn and get better at.

*The Story Skills Workshop is back by popular demand. We open for registration on March 3rd. You can register for more information by visiting here.

Image by David Geller

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The Efficiency Paradox

The young woman got off the tram, carried along amid the throng on their way to the various law firms along Collins Street. She walked briskly, heels clacking, her big Beats headphones clamped over her ears. Two bags were slung across her body. One leather contained her laptop, the other made of cloth held a ball of the bright yellow wool trailing from the needles she held in her hands.

Her hands worked furiously as she walked—one plain, one purl, one plain, one purl. The needles continued to click in and out through the yellow wool as she knitted, listened and walked, walked, knitted and listened—without ever needing to stop or look down. She’d have a podcast and half a scarf under her belt before she reached the office.

This woman was making efficient use of her time, but I’m not sure that’s the same as making the most of it. Just because it’s possible to do two or three things at once doesn’t mean we should.

What are we trading for efficiency? What’s the cost to us?

Image by Ross Sneddon

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Promises Worth Keeping

While I was out walking this weekend I came across a sign on a shop door detailing the opening times. It read:

WEDNESDAYS—probably not sure Not SURE!


It’s easy for a sometimes probably, to become a maybe never.

What promises are you making to yourself and others that are worth keeping?

This is a photo of the sign.

Image by Richard Balog

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The Sliding Scale Of Ambition

There are many ways Leanne could leverage the success of her popular hair salon.

She could extend her opening hours or enter national competitions. She could hire more stylists and open more branches. She could create a line of hair products or franchise her business process and ideas.

But Leanne chooses to do none of these things—not because she isn’t ambitious, but because success for her is delivering the best experience in one exceptional salon, to earn the trust and loyalty of delighted customers.

We sometimes fall into the trap of shooting for someone else’s vision of success. We seize every opportunity because we can, and not because it’s what we really want.

Ambition is always on a sliding scale.

What does being successful mean to you? What do you want?

Image by Aw Creative

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