Tell your story. Show your example. Tell everyone it’s possible, and others shall feel the courage, to climb their own mountains. ~ Paulo Coelho
I attended an event at The Refinery over the weekend for startups called Spark Tank. I expected it to be like Shark Tank where you share your business idea and get feedback from the experts, but it was more of a training event led by successful entrepreneurs and local business professors which was A-okay with me because learning is what I like best. I did feel a bit guilty with my entrepreneurial experience and leadership/marketing training that I was in the audience as a student instead of one of the presenters, but that was rectified when another participant approached me on the break for a possible collaboration with Project Leadership which is a program that partners with students to help them dream big and accomplish their goals. I couldn’t have planned it to go any better than connecting with the very group my new venture is on a mission to help. Everything happens for a reason!
What I found most interesting among the leaders and teachers was a common theme which was how necessary it is to move past fear to start and grow your business (it’s true for anything you want to achieve in life) and how important your STORY is to standing out in the crowd as you grow your business.
I have always heard “What’s your story?” but never thought about how BIG of a role it plays in differentiating your product or service. One presenter in particular, Thaddeus Rex, whose name reminds me of a super hero, drove this message home as he shared several creative examples of the importance of story.
T-Rex happens to be a gifted musician as well as a dynamic presenter. He reminds me of a young Mitch Meyerson, my Guerrilla Marketing mentor who is also a gifted musician and mesmerizing speaker. Rex combined his musical talent with his presentation skills as he demonstrated his storytelling points with songs. One song in particular stood out to me. In the song, he replaced a metaphor with an adjective. He said metaphors force your imagination to fill in the blank which makes you more interested in the story. Adjectives do not give that same sort of spark to a story. His example was a love song about a woman he referred to as a diamond, where diamond is the metaphor that forces our imagination to think of what it means to be a diamond such as precious, gem, valuable, bright, adored… Then he sang the same song using the adjective “great” which doesn’t ignite your imagination like “diamond” does. The whole time I’m hearing the super hero’s presentation, I can’t get over the irony of how much what he is saying about storytelling applies to business and writing, both of which I have a passion for doing.
Armed with this fresh perspective on the power of story to make a business be a pearl in a sea of fish, I am rewriting my business plan for Water Trio to include my story which would probably fill a book… Ah, see how that works?!