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Unlock the Magic in Your Story Now

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The Stories We Live And Leave

We care about finding our voice, our advantage, our unique value proposition.

We work hard to tell that story—never more so than in our digital world.

How much consideration do we give to the stories we live and leave?

In the end, all that will be left of us is the stories other people share about us.

How can we make those stories worth telling?

Image by NeonBrand

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Like The Weather

The weather is a favourite preoccupation of many people in the city where I was born.

‘Lovely day!’ Someone might say.
‘Looks like it might rain later, though.’ Comes the reply.

We’re all guilty of obsessing over the one thing we can’t control.
We can always blame the weather if the gathering we’d planned doesn’t go as we’d hoped.

But often the thing we can’t control distracts us, getting in the way of the things we can affect or change.

We can choose to be wet and miserable or we can wear wellies and pack an umbrella.

Image by Neon Brand

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Nurturing Growth

Most companies are founded to change something for the better. From Nike to Moo and Patagonia to Starbucks, the founding principle was grounded in service to a community of people with an unmet need—whether that was athletes, entrepreneurs, outdoor types or people who needed a place to get together over coffee.

It’s virtually impossible to think of building a successful business (or life), without having the intention to grow. But sometimes growth for growth’s sake can be a trap. What if instead of thinking about growing our businesses, our expertise or our influence, we considered how we could nurture them instead?

When we begin to think in terms of nurturing (protecting something while it grows), we are compelled to be more intentional about how we grow—and focusing on how makes all the difference.

Questions For You

1. Why is it necessary for your business to grow?
2. How does it need to grow?
3. What does sustainable growth look like for you?
4. What are you unwilling to compromise on to achieve growth?
5. What else should you consider before making your next move?

Every journey begins with two decisions.
We must figure out where we want to end up, but also and how we want to get there.

Image by Michał Parzuchowski

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Showing Value

Did you know that on average, a buyer spends less than half an hour in a property before deciding to buy it?

How the property is styled influences the price people pay, as much, if not more than valuations and comparable sales data. A good property stylist leaves room for prospective buyers to imagine themselves in the space—making them feel like it could become their place.

When we’re in the business of serving or selling, we are regularly required to demonstrate the value we deliver.

We need to help customers experience what buying from or working with us will feel like, often before a transaction has taken place.

We often do this with reason and logic alone, by competing on price, speed or some other hard metric. But it turns out that people don’t just want to know how much something costs. They want a sense of how their lives will be changed by our product or service.

We can all benefit from learning to show, not just explain the value we create. Marketing and sales appeal to the imagination, they are about showing and telling.

Image by Roberto Nickson

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On Finding The Right Customers

Building a sustainable and fulfilling business isn’t just about finding enough customers—it’s about finding enough of the right customers.

Here are ten questions you can ask yourself to guide your thinking about what kind of customers will enable you to do your best work.

10 Questions For Finding The Right Customers

1. If you could only work with a handful of customers, which would you choose?

2. Why are these customers ideal for you?

3. What do your ideal customers want from a service provider?

4. What do you want from your customers?

5. What story will you tell customers about why you are the best fit for them?

6. What story will you tell customers about why they are the best fit for you?

7. How will you price your products and services to attract only those ideal clients?

8. How many of these ‘right customers’ do you need to build a viable business?

9. Where will you find your ideal customers?

10. How will your ideal customers find you?

Customer-company fit is underrated.

Image by Cristina

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The Lost Art Of Storytelling

Your great-grandmother couldn’t send a text or an email, but she had dozens of life skills we don’t often use today.

She knew how to build a fire. She could knit and sew her clothes. She likely grew and preserved food. And she would have been a better storyteller than you and I put together.

Our ancestors needed to tell stories to gain the trust and cooperation of others. But not only that, they told stories to make sense of their world and to share that understanding.

We still need stories and story skills in the present, more than we realise.

I was at an event last weekend where two Australian authors were in conversation. They shared a lot of wisdom, but the things I remember today are the stories.

The story about being stuck on a lonely train platform after dark and the one about witnessing the giant branch of a tree crash to the ground, almost killing someone.

What stories will you tell today and why will they matter to the people who hear them?

Image by Les Anderson

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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.

Image by Eli Christman

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