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Friday, November 30, 2012

Champion Company Cause Through Customer Bravery

Most brands are just beating their chests.

Bragging about their organic ingredients, posturing about their benevolent charity efforts, yammering about their innovative technology, posturing about their third round of funding and raving about their company culture.

Good for them.

But if they’re so great, whey don’t they make their customers feel great?

Smart brands champion their causes through other people’s feats and bravery.

Undroppable is a campaign and documentary that features students who graduate against great odds. These rock stars were given a media platform to share their stories, a chance to engage with the film as it was being produced and permission to change the conversation around education at all costs.

And by allowing their brand to become a witness to people’s lives and a stand for their greatness, the world stood up, took notice and took action.

Take that, Tarzan.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turning a Painful Process into a Pleasurable Practice

Riddle me this.

What do doctor’s appointments, getting haircuts, working out, tech support, taking pets to the vet, visiting the hospital, filling out forms, buying a car, sitting in waiting rooms and going to confessional all have in common?

These are experiences that most people have always hated.

And in every business, there’s a parallel experience. Some transaction, some activity, some part of the process that customers usually view as a hassle.

This is the golden opportunity.

Paddi Lund, a renowned dentist from down under, has completely redefined the patient experience. In his office, there’s no reception desk, cappuccino machines, fresh baked buns for clients, thirty varieties of tea in fine china, and an overall vibe of happiness unmatched by any dentist on the planet. His team members never leave and his customers are clamoring to buy his services.

He turned a painful process into a pleasurable practice. He gave people an excuse to spend more time doing something mundane. And he proved that the dental experience doesn’t have to be torture after all.

What if you found the activity that people previously avoided as a badge of honor and used your brand to make them obsessed with it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Good is Being Memorable for the Wrong Reasons?

If your word of mouth marketing plan is to put street canvassers at busy intersections to interrupt passerbys, verbally spam them with annoying questions about the cause and hand out pamphlets people are going to throw away ten seconds later, you missed.

Mindshare is a neutral entity.

Like tofu, it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce it’s immersed in.

And yet, organizations spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars generating word of mouth about their brand, when what they should be deciding is what kind of words they want coming out of people’s mouths.

Because when most customers think of brands, all they think of is how crappy they are.

What good is being memorable for the wrong reasons?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Creating An Atmosphere Worth Coming To

The best stores are temples to belief systems.

They’re places to enter into a fantasy world, practice our religion, worship objects of devotion, experience products that inspire fervor, humbly walk in reverie, soak up the ambiance, kibbutz with people who share our worldview, take refuge from everyday life, seek shelter from the winds of the world and feel something closer to love than simple convenience.

Which sounds like hyperbole, until you walk into a place like Trader Joe’s.

For the past thirty years, they’ve mastered the art of creating an atmosphere worth coming to, a second home where customers just happen to shop, an entire universe that people can become a part of, a place that feeds the heart and soul of everyone who comes into contact with it.

Is it any surprise that they have the highest sales per square foot of any grocer in the country? Is it any surprise that they have the friendliest, happiest and most helpful employees on the planet? Is it any surprise their customers are so loyal that many routinely travel to other cities to shop there?

Not in the slightest.

Because they’re not just a store that displays and sells groceries to people, they’re a temple that creates and holds a whole meaning system for people.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Power of the Middleman

A good chef doesn’t just cook the food, he connects the people who consume it.

My friend Jonathan, a chef who only makes things he hasn’t cooked yet, develops new recipes every week. Then, on the weekends he performs cooking demonstrations at his local farmers market. And not only is the food delicious, but his ingredients are available right there at the market, from his vendor partners, along with free samples and recipe cards for the guests.

The customers love it because of the healthy dish ideas, the vendors love it because it highlights their products, the farmers market loves it because of the community building, the bystanders love it because of the entertainment value, and the chef loves it because he has the opportunity to do what he loves.

And the food is only the beginning.

If you step back at see the genius behind this strategy, it’s all about the social function of Jonathan’s work. He is the glue that connects disconnected people, the knot that ties together all the parties of the supply chain and the middleman that helps all the relevant players get business out of the equation.

Food truly is life’s binding agent.

Are you cooking for your customers or connecting them to each other?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Think First, Then Market

Some digital marketing feels too close for comfort.

Instead of a customized, helpful recommendation, it feels more like an alarming, creepy intrusion. Instead of an enthusiastic engagement between the brand and the customer, it’s another opportunity for companies to use new technology to interrupt people more effectively. Instead of orientating the company around what the customer needs or wants, it’s another online vanity exercise about what the company does. 

Instead of offering to change the world on behalf the customer, it’s a patronizing attempt to control what meaning consumers take from the brand. And instead of creating a brand that gives meaning to our experiences and communicates our thoughts and feelings with others, it’s visual pollution on an already littered landscape.

Think of it as a litmus test.

If it’s right for your business and not for your customer, it won’t work. If customer frustration outweighs economic benefit, it won’t work. If privacy violations overrule convenience, it won’t work. And if it induces a shiver in the user, it won’t work.

Think first, then market.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Does the Act of Running Your Business Make the Funnel Bigger?

Toshi’s has live music every night of the week.

Which isn’t uncommon in a big city, except for one key difference.

The stage is catty cornered between two massive floor to ceiling glass walls.

This allows bystanders, tourists and other people passing by to get a perfect view of the stage. Some take pictures, some hang for a moment, some stand for a few songs, and some decide to come in to dance the night away.

But according to an interview with Toshi, his club has five or six hundred customers come through every night. Even on Mondays. That’s way more than the industry average.

Because the act of running his business makes the funnel bigger.

Without the huge window, without the generosity of a free show to anyone who walks by, it would be difficult to convince people of the club’s value. For all they know, it’s just another one of the two thousand bars in the city.

I wonder how much business you’re missing because future customers can’t see you in your element, doing what you do, the way that only you can do it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Design Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

A fabulous product always has a longer shelf life than fabulous marketing.

If your team is planning the creation of a new product, promotional tool, piece of software, tactile delight item, sharing device or social object, consider thinking like a designer asking a few of these questions first.

How could we make something people want to use? How could we turn the product into an object of devotion? How could we design the product so it gets better with use? How could we plug the design into natural human behavior? How could build interactivity into every part of the product? How could we build the product as something that entertains society? How could we create the product as an instrument for social enhancement?

How could we package the product as a form of theater that creates a story? How could we make the product so beautiful that people want to leave it on display? How could we use the product to make people famous, recognized and part of something? How could we build the product as something cool people talk about to increase their status? How could we design the product as something that invites fondling and makes you want to lick it?

How can we offer intellectual playfulness that demands active participation? How could the design induce a delayed response that creates curiosity and intrigue? How could we make something familiar enough to be understood but unusual enough to be engaging? How could we go beyond surface value where the more you look at it, the more it will repay you?

The point is, design isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. It’s not a veneer your company applies after the hard work is done.

Design is the hard work.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Does Your Company Need a Better Mousetrap or a Friendlier Welcome Mat?

If you look at the fastest growing companies and highest performing organizations in the world, they don’t rise to the top because they’re leveraging technology.

It’s because they’re learning new ways to fulfill the human desire to belong.

Do I stop by the same coffee shop each morning because of the espresso, or because of the feelings of familiarity and connection when I walk in the door? Do I practice yoga at the same studio every day because I enjoy torturing my body, or because I enjoy the camaraderie and community? 

Do I go to concerts to hear one song, or to speak in the universal love language that allows us to share our humanity with each other? Do I listen to podcasts nonstop because I need the information, or because I need to feel less alone while working in my apartment all day? Do I cherish my job because I love the work, or because I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I tell them where I work?

Duh.

The desire to belong is a basic human need, an expression of our humanity and a powerful trigger for making decisions.

If you want the world to beat a path to your door, don’t build a better mousetrap, build a friendlier welcome mat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thinking From The Thesis Of Humanity

Almost everything has changed.

The technologies with which we innovate have changed. The processes by which we execute have changed. The ecosystems in which we do business have changed. The platforms that connect us have changed. The knowledge that we gain has changed. The way we document and store that knowledge has changed. The systems by which we spread our ideas have changed. And the structures through which we support and fund the execution of those ideas have changed.

But the one thing that hasn’t changed, the one thing we can count on never changing, is human nature.

People are still people. People will always still be people.

And if we can stay in touch with that constant, forever thinking from the thesis of humanity, everything else will fall into place around it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Talk Doesn't Have to be Cheap

Language is the packaging of your brand.

It’s the single most underleveraged marketing hotspot, crucial to your company culture, essential to the way people experience your service and an ideal strategy for making the mundane memorable.
Photojojo, a website dedicated to insanely great photography projects, uses engaging, playful and memorable language on their website, newsletters, shipping materials, warning labels and product receipts. In fact, most their language is dinosaur related. And according to a host of online reviews, customers can’t help but experience feelings of elation and whimsy every time they read the words outside and inside of the box.
Costs nothing, changes everything.
To identify your brand’s trademark language, consider asking a few questions.

What words govern your questions? What are your favorite phrases to put in emails? What are your best questions to ask customers? What sentence would prompt someone to tweet a screen shot of your website? What words do you own in the minds of the people you serve? What phrases do you use that nobody else uses? What’s the one word the world will never think about the same way after buying from you? What language invites customers to share pictures of your packaging with their friends?
Talk doesn’t have to be cheap.

Brand your language intelligently, and it can be priceless.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How Does Your Brand Make People Feel Less Alone?

To belong is to feel at home.

And home, physical or otherwise, is the place where you are remembered, met with accepting eyes, welcomed with wanting arms and cherished for what you contribute; the place that embraces the weirdness you have to offer and gives you the freedom to use talents you might never exercise anywhere else; the place that makes you feel part of something most people can only dream of.

In short, home is the place where you don’t have to wonder if there are any other people in the world like you.

If you want to foster that sense of belonging with your employees, members, customers, users, or whoever else is conspiring to advance and influence your organizational ecosystem, here’s a formula worth exploring.

Our organization is a second home where people just happen to __________.

The missing word is your company’s primary service offering, whether it’s work, practice, worship, relax, drink, watch, swim or sweat.

But the key to this equation is the phrase just happen.

Because what you physically do is irrelevant compared to what you symbolically do, which is create a home, a center of human belonging, that helps us feel less alone.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Curb Appeal or Blurb Appeal?

First impressions are formed long before first encounters.

By the time people get to you, they’ve already verified your reputation from a variety of virtual sources. Thanks to online reviews, friend recommendations, price comparisons, smartphone apps, geolocating programs and social media conversations, curb appeal has been replaced by blurb appeal.

Consider the implications of this shift on your business.

Smarter buyers. Treating customers like idiots won’t work anymore. It’s not only disrespectful, it’s expensive. And when it happens, people won’t take it personally, they’ll just walk away.

Greater accountability. If your service experience violates the expectations people already have, they’re going to call you on the carpet. And when it happens, people will demand that you honor the online promises they came for.

Quicker transactions. When customers walk in the door toting papers, pictures and prices, they’re not browsing – they’re buying. And because they’re already sold themselves, you’re just the concierge.

It’s kind of spooky.

First impressions used to form in the first ten seconds.

But now, the interaction has inverted.

If you’re waiting until they walk in the door to make a first impression, it’s too late.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What's Your Something Else?

Masterworks creates art you can ride.

They build gorgeous, fully functioning wooden bicycles, handcrafted from start to finish, each with its own unique look and feel, using the finest woods salvaged from condemned city trees, each of which takes hundreds of hours to build and thousands of dollars to buy.

It’s a work of art that happens to be a bike.

And it’s a bike people ride to been seen on.

Why?

Because the company owners are driven by quality, not money. They have a lifelong love affair with all things bicycle. They care more deeply about the value of their work than anyone else. And they put obsessive amounts of creativity, passion, personality and generosity into everything they do.

They create works of art that happen to be something else.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Are Customers Working Too Hard To Do Business With You?

Companies can no longer get away with being hard to do business with.

If your business has inconvenient hours, long wait times, unaccommodating payment methods, low inventory, complex ordering procedures and outdated contact information, and when their employees are unresponsive to phone calls, unwilling to admit mistakes and unfriendly toward inexperienced customers, the accumulated friction will certainly destroy you.

Customers walk through the door hoping you would give some joy to them. They shouldn’t have to work so hard to do business with you.

They work hard enough.

If you want your business to be welcome oasis in the desert of corporate mediocrity, it’s not enough to lower the barriers to entry, you have to lower the barriers to everything.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why People Rarely Write Things Down

To write something down is to humble ourselves.

That’s why people rarely do it.

Writing things down means we don’t know everything. Or can’t remember everything. Or might learn something. Writing things down means we have to pause long enough to honor the moment and listen to people. Writing things down means we have to confront our own beliefs and drip a little blood on the paper. Writing things down means we might have been wrong about something, and god forbid, might have to be open to an idea that makes us squirm.

So we don’t.

We convince ourselves that certain ideas aren’t important, aren’t worth remembering and aren’t worth documenting. And we move on.

On the other hand, when we write things down, when we respect everything life has to offer and treat our ideas with deep democracy, even the ones that scare us, we start conversations that change the world.

It’s not a pen, it’s a lever.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Burn the Moment into People's Brains

Don’t hand it over, deliver it.

Whether you’re submitting a proposal, responding to a complaint, making a statement, giving an answer or telling a story, any time you can bring surprise and delight and love to the interactions that make up your day, it’s worthwhile.

The servers at Sidney Street CafĂ© don’t just give you the menu, they perform it.

Each of their items, from apps to sides to desserts, are perfectly memorized by the server and delivered with more showmanship, more care and more excitement than any restaurant you’ve ever been to.

And that’s why they’re always on the short list of best restaurants in the city.

Because we live in an experience economy, and if you’re not willing to invest a little effort in the art of showmanship, if you don’t deliver things in a way that people would be happy to have repeated, you’ll never burn the moment into people’s brains. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Are People Taking An Interest In What You Believe In?

It’s one thing to give tours of your office.

But the big question, the ultimate compliment in disguise is, have other companies taken an interest in what you believe in?

A riverboat casino in East St. Louis, who believes that health trumps all, provides the convenience of an onsite medical clinic. Free consultations, free medications, free disease management support groups, for every employee, and their families, forever.

And ten years into their innovative program, Dr. Ken Rybicki, who serves as the primary care doctor, says that other companies are starting to take an interest. They’re starting to model their own healthcare programs after the Queen’s.

Not just to emulate the casino’s brand, but to echo the casino’s belief.

Instead of the casino selling the world on the quality of their springs; they simply give others the chance to jump on the trampoline with them.

How many people are interested in what you believe in?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Are You Speaking From A Deficit Position?

If you want to become famous professional wrestler, it’s not about lifting more weights so you can beat the other guy.

It’s about getting Vince McMahon to like you.

Instead of hanging your fortunes solely on chance, you make friends before you make requests. That way, when the time comes to make your move, you’re not speaking from a deficit position.

You’re talking to people with a voice that’s anticipated, personal and relevant.

You’re not making a sale, you’re working to earn the privilege of a follow up conversation and the opportunity to reconnect over time.

Ding ding!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nudging the World in a Positive Direction

If we plan to earn people’s attention, we have to reward them for giving it to us.

After all, attention is the great commodity. It’s an asset to be protected, not a resource to be depleted. And it’s what every brand, every company, every organization, every website and every entrepreneur is killing themselves to obtain.

And because of that, because the chronic bombardment and high expectation for visual and visceral stimulation, customers are demanding that we justify their attention dollars every step of the way. That we repay them for participating in our brand.

But not in the typical way. This goes far beyond coupons, freebies and promos.

How are we helping people experience a joy that they don’t have in any other areas of their lives? How are we offering one time, limited edition, never before, never again moment that actually captures their imagination? How can we provide true exclusivity that they can get nowhere else? How are we, in a very small way, nudging the world in a positive direction?

Those are the real rewards.

That’s what brings people back.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kicking Your Addiction to Yourself

It’s the battle for enoughness.

Once you’ve gotten the beast out of your system, filled all your ego holes and flushed all the selfishness away.

Once you’ve earned enough attention, approval, applause, respect, validation, celebrity and popularity to make you feel worthy.

Once you’ve achieved and produced and executed enough to prove to the world that you can do it on your own terms.

Once you’ve kicked your addiction to yourself and your body tells you that the buzz won’t have the same effect anymore.

You can finally say, from a place of pure peace, honesty, gratitude and liberation, that you’ve done enough to be okay with yourself.

And from that place, the possibilities are goddamn beautiful.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Turn a Painful Process into a Pleasurable Practice

Riddle me this.

What do doctor’s appointments, getting haircuts, working out, tech support, taking pets to the vet, visiting the hospital, filling out forms, buying a car, sitting in waiting rooms and going to confessional all have in common?

They're experiences most people have always hated.

And in every business, there’s a parallel experience. Some transaction, some activity, some part of the process that customers usually view as a hassle.

This is the golden opportunity.

Paddi Lund, a renowned dentist from down under, completely redefined the patient experience. In his office, there’s no reception desk, cappuccino machines, fresh baked buns for clients, thirty varieties of tea in fine china, and an overall vibe of happiness unmatched by any dentist on the planet. His team members never leave and his customers are clamoring to buy his services.

He turned a painful process into a pleasurable practice. He gave people an excuse to spend more time doing something mundane. And he proved that the dental experience doesn’t have to be torture after all.

I wonder what activity, that people have previously avoided as a badge of honor, you could make them obsessed with?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

There is Never a Shortage of Competence

When you sell a commodity, you differentiate through the uncommon.

Language, purpose, emotion, education, interaction, technology, leadership, narrative, culture, platform, design, connection, interactivity, community, service, soul, support, responsiveness, honesty and humanity.

These are the features that distinguish your organization, these are the real reasons customers do business with you. Since there is never a shortage of competence, what’s scarce, and therefore valuable and remarkable, is this running imperative that drives your behavior, this nobility behind your work and the posture with which you approach your interactions.

Next time you’re thinking about beating the competition on price, try raising the value of your uncommon service.

Add something that cannot be bought or measured with money.

Otherwise you’ll just be another grain of sand lying on the beach.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Trading Analog Dollars for Digital Pennies

The web isn’t just a connection machine, it’s a cutting machine.

We’ve traded analog dollars for digital pennies, and the smart people and organizations who are taking advantage of this trend are seeing massive dividends.

We’ve lowered the cost of gratitude, which means saying thank you to people has never been easier. How are you using social media as a hearing aid to become a hero on a moment’s notice?

We’ve lowered the cost of sharing, which means making our ideas spreadable through people has never been easier. How does your content give people bragging rights and increased status when they share it?

We’ve lowered the cost of generosity, which means giving ourselves away to people has never been easier. How are you delivering a daily gift to the world that builds up a huge surplus of goodwill?

We’ve lowered the cost of communicating, which means taking a risk and extending ourselves to people has never been easier. How can you quickly identify unsatisfied customers and reach out to help them?

We’ve lowered the cost of collaborating, which means taking a risk and extending ourselves to people has never been easier. How could you bring your humanity to the moment and find a new voice together?

We’ve lowered the cost of production, which means if you own a laptop, you own the factory. How will your organization come to power through its creations of code, not its construction of steel?

We’ve lowered the cost of engagement, which means the emotional labor of doing something difficult with people has never been easier. How can you appease problems and do marketing at the same time?

We’ve lowered the cost of distributing, which means making our work available to people has never been easier. How could you implement a pricing strategy that would make the competition want to come to your office and choke you?

He who cuts the most, wins.




Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Purpose of Online is to Get Offline

We don’t even have to leave the house anymore.

Next time we want to watch movies, play video games, check out a book, do some shopping, attend a seminar, conduct a meeting, take a class, get a job, find a date, do some research, cast our vote, get in shape, eat a snack, start a business, prospect for clients, send a package, join a club or tune into the game, we just fire up our laptop, whip out the smart phone, slap down a tablet, and make it happen.

Unbelievable.

And yet, despite the unparalleled possibility that technology can provide, I’m still kind of wondering when our hunger for life beyond the screen will swallow our addiction to convenience.

I’ve said it a million times, the purpose of online is to get offline.

If we never endeavor to communicate beyond digital, if we never connect to each other by more than just pixels, we fail to experience the truest, highest form of human interaction.

Get out of the house.

Monday, November 05, 2012

When You Think Like An Entrepreneur, You Are The Powers That Be

Society flourishes when people think entrepreneurially.

When a natural disaster devastates millions of people’s livelihoods, the stories that touch my heart the most are the ones involving courageous people who don’t need permission to take action, the ones who don’t wait around for the green light from above to help those in need.

According to a recent article, The Red Hook Initiative was joined by about fifteen people from the Occupy movement who have set up infrastructure and logistics for running hot meal operations serving, hundreds of people every day, bringing in medics, gathering information and broadcasting calls for volunteers and supplies.

Real entrepreneurship isn’t about running a business, it’s about running the risk. In the words of Douglas Rushkoff, the biggest threat to the powers that be is anyone who occupies anything.

That’s the exciting part about thinking like an entrepreneur.

You are the powers that be.

It is that initiative, that instigation capital, that human will, and that desire to move forward, that make the world better.


Sunday, November 04, 2012

In Defense Of Digital

Social capital is built through the hundreds of little actions we take every day.

Every encounter builds trust just a little bit more, contributes to our reserve of personal bonds, enables fellowship, enhances reciprocity, stimulates community, nurtures our connectedness and increases our supply of social opportunities.

Of course, that’s face to face.

What happens when digital enters the equation?

A few years back, the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication conducted a study that examined if Facebook was related to attitudes and behaviors that enhance social capital. And although their research showed that online social networks were not the most effective solution for social disengagement, they still found small positive relationships between intensity of social media use and life satisfaction, social trust, civic engagement, and political participation.

Considering social capital affects everything from productivity to depression to suicide to juvenile delinquency to test scores to government response time to divorce rate, I’d say we’re off to a pretty good start.

It might be digital, but it’s better than nothing.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It

Netflix popularized binge viewing.

It’s a consumption model in which every episode of a show is released at once. Fans are encouraged to catch up on their favorite programs by completely immersing themselves in the universe of the characters, plowing through entire seasons in marathon sessions.

It’s cheap, easy, satisfying and completely reinvents the viewing experience. And as a result, Netflix now accounts for more than thirty percent of all web traffic during the week. That’s more than any other website in the country.

The genius of this strategy is, Netflix didn’t just give more options to their customers, they instilled new habits in their customers, and then positioned their offerings in alignment with those habits.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Platform Trumps Product, Or, Why I Love The App Store More Than Chocolate

God bless the app store.

It’s fast to download, seamless to install, easy to use, convenient to have, fun to explore, simple to navigate and priceless to own.

But what’s truly amazing, what most companies probably overlook, is that the app store has created nearly a half million new jobs since its inception.

That’s a platform, not a product.

And once more organizations accept that there’s no market for their scarcity, once they give people the privilege to become part of their history, and once they build a platform that makes it seamless for those people to express their truest selves, their brand will become a source of infinite opportunity for the people who matter most.

Next time you sit down with your team, ask a few of these platform questions:

How does this give people another reason to stop by? How can visitors browse an entire collection of experiences? How can we directly wire this into an existing online ecosystem? How do we make an event happen beyond the walls of the venue? How do we curate situations that bring discovery of cool new things? How can we give people a huge digital sandbox to play in?

How can we let people engage with the project as it’s being produced? How do we create a system that makes audiences equal members of the stage? How does this give users an addictive reason to keep revisiting and refreshing? How can we build a soapbox open to anyone and everyone as a place to speak their minds? How can we create a project that grows incrementally with each online interaction and reaction?
Surrender is the new control.

Let them express the magic in their hearts, not just spend the money in their wallets, and you’ll feel people power as wind at your back.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Are You Telling a Story People Enjoy Believing?

Storytelling isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

And you can buy all the books, read all the articles, go to all the seminars, take all the classes and hire all the coaches, but unless you tell a story that people enjoy believing, none of that matters.

People enjoy believing a story that validates their worldview, makes them feel powerful and frees them from something.

People enjoy believing a story in which they recognize themselves and that expresses what they can’t do, think, say, find and feel on their own.

People enjoy believing a story that serves a purpose, stands as a truthful metaphor for life and gives them hope about what they can be.

People enjoy believing a story that offers evidence of what they doubt and makes them proud to take the first step.

People enjoy believing a story that gives them the power to march forward and convinces them that their life is worth living.

People enjoy believing a story that lets them unconsciously process their own life, put their own nature into accord discover the journey they’re on.

People enjoy believing a story that they can lose themselves in, superimpose their own meaning onto and spread to the people they care about.

People enjoy believing a story that sucks them in, takes them to a place they don’t want to leave and makes them a necessary part of the narrative.

Before you start telling yours, make sure it’s enjoyable to believe.

Otherwise the story is nothing more than another annoying interruption.