Every once in a while, you'll be given the opportunity to tell a story that can change your trajectory.
Every single day, you’re given a chance to put on whichever disguise you choose. Every single day, you have the choice to unveil the story of yourself. The better you are at telling stories, the further you’ll go. You’ll climb to impossible places; you’ll float above the clouds. You’ll be able to sell your boss on the big raise, hire the big client, or even woo her to be your wife.
I don’t operate that way though.
My modus operandi is simple: do. But because I don’t spend time telling the story of what I do, I undoubtedly leave vast amounts of potential opportunities on the table.
I’m okay with that, but…
Perhaps once every year or two, there comes an occasion where the chance to tell a story becomes irresistible. This usually comes in a high-stakes situation. It could be a large business deal, new job prospect, investment opportunity, or other potential life-impact event. I take a lot of time drafting, formatting, reviewing, drafting, formatting, reviewing, and fine-tuning so that the story is unveiled just right. So far, this effort has never disappointed me; it has always yielded massive payoffs.
Story-telling is not about lying or masking truth. It’s about unveiling truth in the most convincing way possible. It’s deciding “what is important to tell” and “when to tell it” to ensure your audience fully understands your point of view.
In the business world, so much time is spent building feature after feature, product after product — and little time is spent telling others about the work. In practice, more time should be spent storytelling than building.
As a matter of fact, many products exist only because they are stories.
Take the quintessential example: Shreddies.
Back in the 1990s, Shreddies, known as the square-shaped wheat cereal, was phasing out of popularity. In an attempt to draw back consumers, they released one of the greatest marketing campaigns of all time by a simple 45º rotation: Diamond Shreddies.