Tell Compelling Stories: Bridge Gaps & Make Connections // Workshop 1

Part One

Can you tell your business’ story in a way that compels people to want to do business with you?

Do you feel like you’re able to communicate your story in a way that compels people to take action?

Do people want to do business with you before even seeing your work?

Are you able to connect with your audience with your business’ story?

Do you know what’s missing?

Do you leave a networking event having explained what you do concisely and clearly?

Do you know why people are confused as to what you do?

If I can be honest, I have often felt confused about what I do. I feel like there is so much going on in my head and I have so many interests that I tend to overwhelm myself and honestly avoid answering the question, “what do you do?”.

For years I have helped people get clarity with their businesses and their offerings. I have helped them claim their confidence because they are amazing at what they do. But for years, my clarity and elevator pitch has felt as clear as a mud puddle.

I was ashamed that I couldn’t figure this out for myself.

Pre-Workshop Lesson 1

Listen to the Pre-Workshop Lesson

In May of 2020, I took the first online a Story Brand Virtual Workshop. I paid a little extra to be part of a small group that would meet during the action segments and we’d work on their areas of their story where they were struggling or over-explaining.

I vividly remember helping people and having so much fun listening to where they were struggling and brainstorming with them. I was an active participant because this IS what I do.

But when it came to my turn I remember feeling so ashamed because I was not able to clearly state what my business did and asking the facilitator to move on to someone else.

The instructor was AWESOME and didn’t let me wiggle out of doing the exercise. He said, “no diane, you have been helping everybody, now it is time for us to help you.”

I almost started crying. I usually lift others, focus on them, and help them. But when the light got on me I felt like a mess, I felt unprofessional, and felt like a fraud.

This feeling did not leave me after that May day. It bubbles up quite often honestly, especially when I am trying something new, or when I am pivoting, or when I am staking my flag in the ground and saying that X is what I do.

I read a lot of books, well I listen to a lot of books. Sometimes if they are really good, I also get a hard copy. The book I have read that has helped me with this story conundrum is Kindra Hall’s Stories That Stick, and Choose Your Story, Change Your Life. And JJ Peterson and Donald Miller’s Marketing Made Simple.

From these books and many others I have a live workshop style episode planned for March 20 at 2:30pm ET / 6:30pm GMT / 11:30am PT. Make sure you don’t miss an email about this by signing up here:

If this sounds like something you’d like to participate in let me know in the comments below. I will be running more of these workshops. But this series is free.

This week is special, we’re doing something new. I opened up the workshop and asked for volunteers and some of you responded. Thankfully! There’s a live component, a worksheet, and a recorded component to this workshop. 

The worksheet allows everyone to follow along. I hope to see you at the live taping of the episode. 

This is part of a three part series and is breaking down your story. You tell a different story to different people depending on where you encounter them. 

I can’t wait to share what I have learned and help you to construct a powerful story that will connect, be memorable, and will resonate with your audience. So much so that even if you tell someone who is not your ideal customer, they will remember you, and your story when their friends need your services. Then they share you with them. 

I am stoked to see how this turns out for you. Even if you can’t do the live session with us tomorrow I hope you will let me know if you were able to complete the worksheet and prompts. 

Live Workshop

Listen to the Live Workshop

This is a live workshop where you are going to be able to learn how to hone your business’ story. 

When you are at an event or in line at the grocery you might get asked what you do. 

Do you know what to say?

We are going to work through the components of a compelling and effective story and how to make it memorable. 

A few people will be on screen but everyone is welcome to follow along. This is part of a three part workshop series where we learn, ideate, practice, refine, and do it again. 

Today we tackle one part of your business, but teach you how to apply it to different areas of your business. I am so excited!!! 

PDF Downloads & Affiliate Links

Amy Cuddy Ted Talk:
Amy Cuddy’s book Presence:
Stories that Stick by Kindra Hall:
Choose Your Story, Change Your Life by Kindra Hall:
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller:
Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller & JJ Peterson:


Transcript of Pre-Workshop Lesson 1

[00:00:00] diane: Hey, this is Diane Gibbs with Creatives Ignite, and this is Workshop one of a three part series. And this part is about telling compelling stories that bridge gap, that bridge gaps and make connections I am using. Okay. Information that I’ve gotten from life, my life, my experience, plus, um, StoryBrand, a whole bunch of StoryBrand books I’ve read, plus Kendra Hall, uh, which is Donald Miller, JJ Peterson, and then stories that stick and choose your story, [00:00:30] change Your Life with Kendra Hall as well.

[00:00:32] So we’re gonna jump right in, and here it is. If you’re like me, you have a ton of interest. Oh my gosh, my business says all these things. How am I ever gonna tell one story? Well. I don’t think you tell one story to every single person that you meet. This is a really important thing. I think people call it code switching a lot of time, but I am not gonna, if.

[00:00:56] I know that you’re interested in something. I’m gonna hone in on [00:01:00] what that thing is, and I’m gonna make a connection. Me and you are gonna make a connection. If I’m talking to a potential client, I’m gonna ask them some questions about their business and see how I can maybe help them solve a problem or somebody else I know could help them.

[00:01:14] So. I may not have, um, something for everybody, but if they’re a business owner and I’m meeting them, I’m gonna ask them about, um, maybe their marketing or their branding, or how their advertising [00:01:30] is. Or maybe it’s like Paul is a book designer and he’s making that, uh, he’s trying to help people make their books.

[00:01:40] So they might, he might talk to ’em about having a story. Um. So there’s lots of things, but today we’re gonna focus on one thing because it’s, I want you to have a story for our, for all these. Just like, I want you to have a landing page and a lead magnet for all these things, but you can’t tell everything that you do and I [00:02:00] can’t, and so I have to pick.

[00:02:01] It’s very difficult, but let’s just pick one and work through it. So, because it is overwhelming, that’s why we’re gonna pick one. It’s too much to think about. So we’re gonna tackle one story at a time, and we’re gonna start it right now. So I want you to think about one area of your business. If I was thinking about the all the things that I wanna do, the imagine number is something that I could, um, do this for.

[00:02:28] This is just one [00:02:30] part of my business. I could do it for the podcast, I could do it for web design. The, my web design clients, I could do it for, um. Uh, power station and, but that reaches different audiences. And so sometimes there’s crossover and sometimes they’re not. But here’s the thing. I think about these like entities on their own.

[00:02:50] So if Paul is working with a, um, a nonfiction author, that might be [00:03:00] one area of his business. Again, he can say in general book design, but I think he could have some better stories. If they weren’t so generalized. Amy, same thing with wine. Okay, so one area of your business. Because we’re thinking about all the things that we’re gonna make after, and these stories are gonna help us to tell the lead, use the.

[00:03:20] What we’re gonna do for the lead magnet, we’re gonna have one landing page, one presentation, maybe about that thing, one type of customer at a time. So again, let’s [00:03:30] pick one thing that you’re gonna do today. Paul doesn’t have to do what I said. Amy doesn’t have to do it. I said, um, this will make sense if you’re watching this later or you’re coming live, ’cause Amy and Paul will be there.

[00:03:41] Um, so why should we tell stories instead of listing benefits? So oftentimes it’ll be like, here’s the benefits. Compare these three things, right? We do this, we, we do this when we give a bid. Um, it is not that it’s bad, but it doesn’t create something that [00:04:00] is memorable and shareable. So features and benefits are important, um, but that’s not the thing that we’re going to remember and then share about.

[00:04:10] We’re going to remember a story. And we’re gonna share that story. If, if I’m in line and I’m possibly somebody’s customer and they tell me something and then I remember that, now I’m gonna be like, oh my goodness, you have got to work with Carrie because. Carrie [00:04:30] told me this story and you, this is totally a Carrie story, right?

[00:04:34] Like you need to talk to Carrie about this. Memorable and shareable. That’s why we need stories. So the components of a good story, according to StoryBrand, Donald Miller or Kendra Hall, there are is a ca transformational character. A character goes through a transformation. So we’re gonna practice this today.

[00:04:55] We’re gonna come, we’re going to. Um, in the workshop we’re gonna do some [00:05:00] exercises where we’re going to have some personal stories, some customer stories, some service stories, product stories so that you get an idea of how to do this, and then we’re gonna be able to do it for ourselves. So we’re gonna do it for things that are easier and then we’re gonna.

[00:05:16] Do the thing for ourselves at the end, or you may have to do that ’cause you may need a little bit more thinking, but sometimes when we are doing it together, it can bubble some more ideas. So to connect you need to paint the picture of what life was like before. If you don’t know who this [00:05:30] is, this is Amy Cuddy.

[00:05:31] She has a book that I love and I can’t remember what it is. I’ll remember it before I come to the workshop. But she also has a TED Talk and it’s about power posing and it is. Amazing. And she paints, she paints a picture of what she was like before, um, an event that was transformational for her. And what was life, [00:06:00] life was like after, and.

[00:06:04] This is a very powerful Ted Talk. She cries, she gets a little choked up. I have, I cry when I watch it. So she is connecting me. Why do I tell, why do I have a picture of Amy Cuddy in this presentation? Is because this story she told was so transformational. But here’s another thing that. Neither, um, Donald Miller or Kendra Hall have talked about, but it’s maybe [00:06:30] self-evident is that there is sometimes a second part to the story.

[00:06:34] Kendra Hall actually does mention it in either this book or the other book. I can’t remember. I think it’s the other one. I’ve read both of them so many times this semester. It’s a little, a little squirrely in my head, but she talks about Taylor Swift and when Taylor Swift in 2017 or 2018, she didn’t get any Grammys.

[00:06:53] And this could have been the end, the last part of her story, but Taylor was like, no, this isn’t [00:07:00] the end. But a lot of people, she’s had Grammys, had tons of Grammys, many years, she could have said, you know what, I’m not resonating anymore. This must be the end of my story. This is the end of my career doing this.

[00:07:12] But she said, no, I’m gonna make better stories. And whether you like Taylor Swift or not, she continues to win Grammys. She had one bad year, but this was just the middle of her story. Is this the middle of your story? Is this a pivot point? Is this the end of a story? So first we have to paint the normal.

[00:07:29] If you know Amy Cuddy’s [00:07:30] story, she was in a car accident. So much so that she really identified as a, um, as a, an intellectual and it. Took her down many different degrees in her IQ level, and it was so much so that she never thought she would even finish undergrad. And I think it took her seven years to finish.

[00:07:52] Um, that that was the, what they call, um, Donald Miller would call the transformation [00:08:00] event. Or, um, it could be a process, a transformational process. It could be a service, a product, whatever. Right. Um, so there’s the normal. This is how Donald Miller calls it, a transformational character and then Kendra Hall in stories that stick calls it.

[00:08:18] Normal explosion, new normal. I can’t remember what my slide is. Okay, so here’s a personal story. That’s me. I know. Chunky little arms. That’s my cousin Kathy and her dog. Early on I was introduced to [00:08:30] dogs. Okay? I wasn’t afraid of this dog. There was this dog. I don’t think this isn’t Rex, but. This was kind of like, I think this was dog’s name was Snoopy.

[00:08:39] He had a little bit of energy, but I was okay with him. I wasn’t deathly afraid. Again, I am small. Right. Um, at about this age, again, that’s me with the arrow over me. Um, the, an event happened that changed my life and, but it was about this [00:09:00] time. I might have been three or four. I don’t think I was five. I was three or four.

[00:09:04] I might be. Five in this picture, but I was always short, so you really can’t tell. This is what my dad and my sister looked like. The explosion happened when we went over to my neighbor’s house to, um, feed their dog. They were outta town. We were gonna feed their dog, and I had only petted the dog through the chain link fence.

[00:09:27] And this dog [00:09:30] was a Boston Terri. If you know these, these are small little dogs, but they have a lot of energy. Well, I did not know I, the only experience I had was maybe with my cousin Kathy’s dogs, who Rex was a lot bigger and the, that dog, Snoopy was a little bit hyper, but nothing like this dog next door.

[00:09:51] And the dog next door had never done anything, never tried to bite me, only licked my hands. Um, but we walked into the [00:10:00] gate. My dad, my sister and I, I obviously am the shorter one. He jumped on my, um, my, my whatever. My shoulders pushed me over and began to eat my face, or at least that’s what I thought I was screaming.

[00:10:20] My dad and my sister were laughing. I thought they were happy to see me die. Literally, this is what I thought. As a little kid, [00:10:30] they are laughing at me dying, and I am dying. From then on, I was deathly afraid of dogs. It didn’t matter if it was little or big. Um, it was until the fifth grade I went to my CA different cousin, um, my cousin Scott, my Aunt Joe’s house, and they had a chihuahua and a a, um, St.

[00:10:54] Bernard, quite a different in size there. And I said to my dad, I said, I guess I’m not, [00:11:00] I’m gonna stay in the car the whole weekend. And I was so, I was not getting outta the car, I said. Uh, I can’t do it. I mean, I was that afraid. My dad did not know I was that afraid. But for years, I’d been shimmying up, uh, mailboxes to get away from dogs.

[00:11:18] I was that afraid of dogs. Um, I did end up going inside. I was standing on my dad’s shoulders. My dad’s like six one. I was standing on his shoulders because I would [00:11:30] not, I was okay with the little dog. And I did get okay with Barnaby, the. St. Bernard later, but it took a lot. The fear was really, really big.

[00:11:40] This could have been the end of my story. Um, the new normal was that I was now, after that dog pushed me over, changed my life that I never looked at dogs. I, I was always afraid. I thought they were death traps. Um, but that wasn’t the end of my story. My [00:12:00] dad was actually super embarrassed, I think, um, because I was so adamant about being so scared that he said, we’re getting a dog.

[00:12:08] We have to get a dog because she’s, it’s too much. And obviously couldn’t go to the shelter and get a dog. That was big. ’cause I was already afraid of it, you know? But a puppy, so we got a puppy and. This is where if something isn’t serving you, obviously the dog wasn’t eating my face, but that is really, you know, nobody [00:12:30] talked me through it.

[00:12:31] So that’s really what I thought. I thought he was killing me and I didn’t know because I hadn’t had any experience. But it was so, uh, shaking to me that it changed the way of my life and for 10 years. And you think, ah, 10 years. But it was 10 years of my life. But that was not a true story, and it wasn’t a, I mean, it was true to me, but it wasn’t really what happened.

[00:12:58] Um, [00:13:00] you have to rewrite that story. So that’s why I tell you the Taylor Swift story, it wasn’t gonna be the end of her story. So the ones that aren’t serving you, you have to ask, am I really a terrible illustrator? Nope. I need to stop saying that. Can I learn to draw? Yes. Could I learn to write? Yes. Then I can learn to draw.

[00:13:16] I just have to keep at it. So the explosion was when we got. Um, my dog in fifth grade in, I think it was the, maybe the spring semester of fifth grade. And this is my dog that changed my life. Her [00:13:30] name is Sugar, obviously she’s not with us anymore. She only lived to age eight, and the one on the left is her at age seven.

[00:13:36] She died right before I went to Auburn for freshman year. So, um, love that dog. Changed my life. Not a small dog. About 50, 60 pound, um, English bulldog, um, mix. So. But a lot of English bulldog. So the new normal is now that I love dogs. I’ve had three dogs since, uh, they’re not all little, so [00:14:00] Jackson’s the one right here on the left, buddy was in our wedding.

[00:14:03] It does look like I married my dog. I did not. But that’s how important dogs became. Jerry was 120 pound dog, um, like a rottweiler something mix. Um, dogs have been such a part of my life that. That’s how important that I had it on my wedding day. So what I want you to do is get ready for a personal story.

[00:14:25] You’re going to tell a personal story. That’s exercise one. I want you to think [00:14:30] about a personal story that you could do, um, normal explosion. So an event or something, um, that happened in the new normal. Maybe you’re, you’re, you don’t need a rewrite explosion in the new normal again, but let’s, let’s work with this at least a normal.

[00:14:48] Explosion. New normal for personal story. This is transformation. The next thing we’re gonna do, just so you have are prepped, is a product story. I love this [00:15:00] lamp. I also probably $60 lamp. I love it. I have two of them. John has one. I have one. The other is this. Did I tell? Well, I did tell you how much that one cost.

[00:15:13] This, and I’ll tell you why I love that lamp. Um, for other reasons. But this Wacom tablet, um, is the second one I’ve had. I’ve had it for 10 years now, and, um, it helps me not have carpal tunnels. So it helps my health. It also helps me to draw [00:15:30] better. I can draw while I’m, it’s just a more natural for me. I don’t.

[00:15:34] I, I definitely have s suffered from carpal tunnel. But here the other thing is we are gonna be talking about a value story. And a value story is not just money. So yes, this was under $60, but I have never had to buy another lamp. And it is super flexible. I love that it can come. I love that it’s dimmable.

[00:15:55] Can you see it dimming And then you can put it, but it’s a quick on off and [00:16:00] then I can keep. Uh, making it, but it also has more of a daylight look, so when I’m on camera, it helps it to look better. This Wacom tablet was $125. The last one lasted me 22 years. I don’t know how much better, like it continues to get updated and they make a really good product.

[00:16:22] That’s a product story. Normal, new, normal. I was having carpal tunnel before. Right. We can, we can do this. I’ll [00:16:30] go into a little bit more when we’re together a service story, um, and you’re going to talk about maybe a service that you, uh, purchased. Again, this is you being the customer because we need, we’re gonna be talking to customers, so we need to have some customer stories, service story.

[00:16:47] And I’m gonna show you one of my customer stories again, because I was also a customer, but he, she is my customer, but she, um, this is, she also has a service based business, so [00:17:00] this was a very fast. One that I did for her for social media. This is an animated gif that there is another screen that has her information, but there was a before your dog is tearing up everything during your dog is during play care.

[00:17:16] This is how awesome your dog is. Um, playing with other, they’re getting all their energy out and at the end of the day, this is her customer’s real photo of their dog just. Sacked out. [00:17:30] Now that isn’t necessarily all about the customer, so this is the customer is having trouble with their dog. They have a dog that has a lot of energy.

[00:17:38] They want to keep their dog, they want to have a relationship with their dog, but they don’t have time. I’m busy. I’m a busy doctor. Maybe. I mean, I’m not a doctor, but whatever. They’re busy, they’re a mom or they’re working or whatever. They are a dad and they don’t have time to run the dog. They don’t have time to do this, so they [00:18:00] use walks and wags to.

[00:18:02] Have their dog be healthy, they’re cleaned when they get home and they are tired. They’re ready to be loved on. They don’t wanna tear up everything. They’re getting socialized. They’re getting trained. It is a win, win, win for the dog and win for you and win for your family. This is a customer story. So this is an example of a customer story, uh, in stories that stick.

[00:18:27] Uh, Kendra and her team came up with [00:18:30] four things that need to be part of a story, an identifiable character, a specific detail, authentic emotion in a significant moment. I’ve gone pretty quickly through these. We can break these down. Um, if you think about the story I told you with the dog, there was definitely authentic emotion.

[00:18:51] There were specific details, putting my hand through the fence, the dog coming, eating my ha face, my other, you know, cousin’s dog. [00:19:00] And then a significant moment in time when that happened and both explosions happened. I want you, no matter what story you’re telling, you’re gonna be thinking about normal explosion, new normal, but you’re also gonna be thinking, have I painted a picture of an identifiable.

[00:19:16] Identifiable character. Is it you? Is it someone else? Again, me as a somebody who needs a good light, um, that’s me. I am the identifiable character. But in the story of my customer, [00:19:30] um, I was talking about one of her customers. One of her customers is a busy working mom and um, she doesn’t have time to, they have this family dog.

[00:19:42] They love this family dog. They have to. Have some sort of exercise for the dog and engagement. So now it’s, it relieves the mom. The mom is now relieved. Did I tell you at all what that costs? It doesn’t matter because now the mom doesn’t have [00:20:00] to clean up shredded pillows and stuff like that. Right. Um, and I showed you some exam, some pictures.

[00:20:08] So we’re gonna have an example. We’re gonna talk about an example of a customer that. You know, when kind of thing. And then we’re also gonna have analogies. I, these are not two things that they’ve talked about in either in any of these books, but I use analogy a lot in class, as Carrie will know. And, um, you’ll maybe [00:20:30] if you’ve watched more of episodes in the past, you know, I have a lot of analogies, but I think analogies are sometimes good.

[00:20:36] So I want your stories for each part of your business to have. These, you have a story, you also have an example story, and then you have an analogy so that it helps everybody. And that’s it. That’s what our first lesson is gonna be about, and I’ll see you in a little bit.

Transcript of Live Workshop Part 1

[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode, a weird episode here today. It’s a workshop where I have some friends joining me. This is Creatives Ignite. I’m Diane Gibbs. I’m your host and okay, Brian Perry. Um, we are gonna get started. You can also download this fancy worksheet. I’m gonna put it in the chat.

[00:00:26] Hopefully. It’s the only thing in the chat, [00:00:30] uh, that plopped up. But there we go. If you wanna download it too, you can work along right alongside with us if, if you want to. Um, and we are going to get started first by we finally get to see what, uh, Brian Bundy looks like and regime looks like. Um, Amy Lynn’s been on the show before.

[00:00:51] Paul’s been on the show before. Um, it’s, I’m glad to have everybody in the chat too, and. So what I want you to do is just say who you are. [00:01:00] We’ll do the best we can. ’cause this is what we’re all about today. Who we are, where we are, and what one, one thing of your business that you do, what you focus on.

[00:01:08] Paul, I know you’ve done this plenty of times, so I’m gonna pick on you first. 

[00:01:12] Paul Nylander: Okay. So I’m Paul Lander. I’m in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and uh, my company is Illustra Design and my focus is on book design covers and interiors. 

[00:01:23] diane: Okay, perfect. Um, Amy, because you’ve done this as well, so that regime and Brian get a little [00:01:30] bit of pressure off to hear how somebody else does it.

[00:01:33] So Amy, you go next. Hey, everybody. 

[00:01:36] Amy Linn: Um, my name is Amy Lynn and I live in Napa, California, and I focus on, uh, packaging and branding for the wine and alcohol beverage sector. 

[00:01:47] diane: Awesome. All right, regime, how about you? For last. Brian, best for last. 

[00:01:54] Raijeim Douglas: Uh, hi everyone. I’m Douglas. Uh, my, um, [00:02:00] organization is, uh, art Auchi and it’s an art nonprofit focusing on, um, health and we, well, wealth, um, wellness, uh, art, creative, uh, projects awesome with the community.

[00:02:16] diane: Cool. All right, Brian. 

[00:02:19] Brian Bundy: My name is Brian Bundy. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, and I’m a graphic designer and artist. 

[00:02:26] diane: Awesome. Okay. We are. [00:02:30] And I’m Diane Gibbs. I’m your host, and we’re gonna jump right in. I’m gonna share my screen first and go through this. Quick thing to kind of give them and you an idea of what we’re doing if you’re just joining us, um, I have just copied and pasted again in the chat.

[00:02:50] Um, Amy, would you mind copy, you can hit the three little dots and hit copy and then when somebody else pops in, can you just plop that back in the [00:03:00] chat so if they wanna follow along, they can. This is a three part series that we are going. That we, me and I, you don’t, you guys don’t have to do it every week, but if you want to, you can.

[00:03:12] But me and whoever wants to join me is, uh, going through some. I just com combined a whole bunch of books that I have, um, read. And it’s also something that I really struggle with and I’ve seen other people struggle with. We’ve worked on it in Power Station [00:03:30] lots. That’s why I know Paul and Amy know how to do this.

[00:03:33] So, um, that’s why I picked on them first. But sometimes it’s, we meet people at all different places. We don’t really know what they need from us or want from us. Sometimes it’s networking and sometimes it’s just in line at Lowe’s, if you’re over the pond, then, uh, home improvement stores and where they sell wood and screws and stuff.

[00:03:56] Um, but. It’s important. Oh, hey Adrian. [00:04:00] He’s over the pond in Ireland. So again, we need some ways to be able to ask some questions to be able to do this. So I’m gonna share my screen. It’s hard to do all of it at the same time. So, um, so this is how you tell compelling stories, what they’re talking about in, um, stories that stick.

[00:04:20] Choose your story, change your Life. Both of those books are by Kendra Hall also, um, Donald Miller’s, uh, building a StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple Plus [00:04:30] a whole lot of other books. And then just other stuff that I have figured out on my own. I don’t really get through tons of bridging gaps, but.

[00:04:38] That’ll be the next session. Um, but this one is about telling stories. So maybe you’re like me, Matt. I know you said you were in, it just was overwhelming. I have so many things that my business does or that I am doing, and if I met Paul out on the street and I didn’t know him and he said, oh, you’re a graphic designer, what do you do?

[00:04:58] Or you. [00:05:00] You know, do stuff with in art and design. I really don’t know what to say and sometimes I can freeze about it, to be honest. Um, I have a friend, my friend Will, who some of y’all know, he always is like, you do the intros to too, Diane. And so I always struggle. So because this is something I struggle at, I have helped lots of other people because I see them struggle, but it’s also something that’s really important for me to work out for myself as well.

[00:05:28] So. We all [00:05:30] have all these things. Our business has multiple facets. We have to kind of figure out how to do that in, in these books. It’s saying that stories is a really important way instead of generalizing. So, um, let me see. I keep, so to avoid the overwhelm we are today, the five of us, or, and all of you who are in the chat are gonna pick just one part of your business, just one thing.

[00:05:56] You can go do all of them later, but you’re gonna do one [00:06:00] thing right now. So we’re gonna tackle one story at a time and you’re gonna analyze it. We’re actually gonna start with some. Stories that we know really well. Maybe not our business stories to just have some practice. ’cause I think practice is really important.

[00:06:14] So some of you, I know Brian’s done this, I know Paul’s done this. Um, I appreciate y’all doing this. So, um, imagine number is just one part of my business. It’s a creativity exercise that goes through the month of November. And so I could [00:06:30] do all of these questions, uh, today or this story breakdown. Just with imagine number.

[00:06:38] So think about, like for Amy, you could do it for the wine, wine makers or vineyards, or people who are doing beer only. You know, maybe it’s a brewery or Paul, you could do it for nonfiction authors instead. Or artists who are authors. Or you could just focus on children’s book [00:07:00] authors or illustrators. So think about.

[00:07:02] Like one segment of your business. Um, because from this you’ll be able to have lead magnets. You’ll be able to have landing pages, um, maybe presentations that you can give. And again, we’re trying to reach one type of customer. I. All right, so why should we be telling stories instead of just listing features and benefits?

[00:07:24] Can I, um, see a show of hands from y’all who [00:07:30] has listed out features and benefits? If somebody’s trying to hire you, do you ever list things out? Me too. I do. I have. Amy’s like, Mm-Hmm. I don’t do that. Diane, you and Paul are losers. ’cause y’all do that. I have like this. You can choose this one package. This package.

[00:07:48] I know she’s not saying that. Really? Which package are you wanting? And then it’s kind of comparing what is there. So for me, features and benefits and I can’t see in the chat. So if anybody’s saying, yeah, I do that in [00:08:00] the chat. Uh, Amy, maybe you can be like, yeah. Hey, so-and-so’s saying that in the chat.

[00:08:05] ’cause I can’t. Right now anyway, um, in features and benefits, it’s not very, uh, memorable or shareable. So I might say, um, something specifically about, um, how Amy, you know, she does blank, blank, and blank about her wine, or she does blank, blank and blank about, uh, the, you know, a [00:08:30] for a brewery or something.

[00:08:31] But those are just. Features and benefits, and we remember stories and we tell stories. So we need to come up with some stories that are around our business. So, um, what are some of the components of a good story? Well, both StoryBrand, Donald Miller and Kendra Hall, the stories that stick, um, talk about, well, Donald Miller talks about having a transformational character.

[00:08:58] And if you don’t know who this is, this is [00:09:00] Amy Cuddy. I don’t know her. I wish I knew her. She’s also a professor, I think at like Harvard or. Some real smart school and she identified, she has a TED Talk, which is linked on the page below. If you’re on watching on YouTube or whatever. I will share this link in just a second.

[00:09:16] But, um, she has a TED talk and she talks about a transformational time in her life. She actually talks a, her story has two transformational. Parts. She was in a car accident as like a freshman in college [00:09:30] and she identified as an intellectual, she identified with her IQ number and after this accident she had a severe head injury.

[00:09:41] And it took her like seven or 14 years, I can’t remember which it is, um, to finish undergrad even. And she like degrees down, many numbers down. Was her IQ after this, um. And you really do what Donald Miller does in, [00:10:00] when he does a StoryBrand. Um, when he talks about it with his workshops, he talks about that you really have to paint the picture of your customer before they interact with you.

[00:10:11] And in her, her. She is, the transformation was before. And then she has this event, the car accident, and then the after. But then she also has a, another, um, event, a transformational event. And then she has an [00:10:30] after, and now she’s a, she has a PhD in. Written books and she’s super smart and shares a lot of great information.

[00:10:37] Um, but we really need to be able to paint that picture of what the before and the after and the transf, um, and the transformational event is. So, uh, Kendra Hall talks about it being the normal, um, the explosion. The new normal. So I’m gonna share a story for you, a personal story, so you get the [00:11:00] idea, and then we’re gonna go through and do a personal story.

[00:11:03] Y’all are gonna do a per personal story. So early on, dogs were introduced. That’s me. See, I wasn’t a natural blonde. That’s my cousin Kathy, and that is her dog, Snoopy. She had like three dogs, but Rex was really big. Really low key dog. Snoopy had a little bit of energy, but I, at this point was not scared.

[00:11:22] This is, I don’t know, Amy, how old do you think I am? You’re, you’re, you and regime are moms here, so can you, do you have any idea [00:11:30] I. I think one and a half or two. Yeah, I think I’m pretty young. Look at those chunky little arms. Right? So, um, I am not visibly afraid of this dog at this point. Hey, Brian White.

[00:11:43] Um, but, uh, it’s coming. So then, um, there is no picture of the explosion event as Kendra Haw talks about, but I want you to know this was, maybe I was, I could have been five at this picture. I could have been four. I [00:12:00] believe this event happened when I was three or four, and it was so, um. It so shook me as a person that it affected the next 10 years of my life.

[00:12:12] So there’s really no picture of the event, thankfully. But I want you to know what my dad and my sister looked like at around this time, because I thought they were watching me die and they were laughing. That’s what I thought. And I, you know, it doesn’t really make sense as a kid, but that’s what [00:12:30] it was.

[00:12:30] The explosion was. This dog next door was a, um, Boston Terrier. They have a lot of energy, if you know, but they’re small dogs. I had petted him through the fence, um, many times, but I had never interacted with a dog. Like that, I guess. And we were going, my, the neighbor was out of town and me and my dad and my sister were going over to feed him.

[00:12:58] Well, I was always [00:13:00] vertically challenged and, um, the dog. Honed in on me and put his hands or his little paws, his front paws on my, um, shoulders, knocked me over and started, I thought eating my face. And my dad and my sister were just laughing as I was dying. That’s what I thought. Um, and it shook me so bad that I was deathly afraid of dogs until I was 12.

[00:13:28] I mean, deathly, [00:13:30] I would shimmy up mailboxes to get away from them. And when I was in fifth grade, my family went to my Aunt Joe’s house and they had two dogs, a uh, Chihuahua and a St. Bernard. Quite a range of sizes there, but um, the chihuahua was fine. I was okay with that because it was a little bit smaller in a cat, but I was like the.

[00:13:53] St. Bernard was huge. And I said to my dad, I said, I guess I’m gonna spend the weekend in the [00:14:00] car. I don’t even know what I was thinking about ’cause my bladder would’ve still exploded at some point. But I was not getting out of the car because I was that afraid of dogs. And my, my dad finally got me out, but I stood on his shoulders.

[00:14:15] He’s six one. I stood on his shoulders, not sitting, ’cause I knew that dog could get my legs if I. You know, if I was sitting on my dad’s shoulders and I’m, I went inside and I really didn’t, I did get [00:14:30] to be okay with Barnaby. He was a really, really sweet dog, but I still was very deathly afraid of, um, of dogs, and that was the new normal ever since I was three.

[00:14:42] Or four when that little Boston interior knocked me over. Um, the new normal was, uh, deathly afraid of dogs. I mean, really bad. So my dad said this was, um, this was not okay. I think my dad was very [00:15:00] embarrassed about, uh, what I was, how I was, and he had no idea that I was this afraid of dogs. Um. From that one event, and I’ve told Amy this already, but, um, in, in the, I think it’s the Choose your Story, change Your Life book by Kendra Hall.

[00:15:21] She talks about Taylor Swift and when Taylor Swift was, uh, in 2017 or 2018, I’ll stop this year. So you can see [00:15:30] in 2017 or 2018, she didn’t win any Grammys. A lot of times people will have a run and then they’re like, I guess it’s the end. That’s the end of the run. I’m not, uh, I guess I’m, you know, what I’m making isn’t what’s right for uh, people anymore.

[00:15:50] And they give up. And we’ve seen this a lot in the music industry. Right. Um. I, I, we have, it’s just how a lot of people, the mindset. Um, [00:16:00] but Taylor never gave up. Even if you don’t like Taylor Swift, I love the story. She was like, no, this is just the middle of my story. This is not the end. And I think that that is a, a powerful statement.

[00:16:11] So when things get hard. Where are you gonna let it just be the middle? And where are you going to, um, push through and keep going? So, um, was that the end of the story? If you know me, um, you, you know that I, my dog was in our wedding and so that was [00:16:30] not the end. But sometimes the stories we. Have behind us aren’t serving us.

[00:16:36] Um, so we have to rewrite them sometimes. Obviously that was not really what happened, but in my mind that was what was truth. Um, so I had to rewrite that story. Sometimes we have to write, rewrite that story. I know I used to say I wasn’t an illustrator, but now I say I am an illustrator and I think that that was a story that I had to rewrite.

[00:16:56] So the explosion was in fifth grade, we got a [00:17:00] puppy, uh, a. This was her. This is sugar. She was seven in the picture to the left, and I don’t know if she’s three or four in the picture to the right. She was about 60 pounds of slobber and she was awesome. She was super gentle. Um, sweet dog. She did rip my pants up to pass my thigh one time, um, when she was a puppy, but.

[00:17:25] It didn’t ever bother me. I was okay with dogs. The new [00:17:30] normal was that, so much so that I’ve had three dogs. They’re not all little Jacksons on the left here, buddies in my arms and my wedding dress. My dad was upset that I had my dog on my wedding dress, but um, and then I had 120 pound dog Jerry, so. It’s not just small dogs.

[00:17:48] It is any size dog. I’m not afraid of anymore, but that’s my new normal and the story continues, but it’s, I rewrote it. So what I’d like for us to [00:18:00] do is for us right now during this workshop to think of a personal story. So I’m gonna give you a little bit of time. Um, I want you to think, it doesn’t have to have a second explosion and a second, uh, new normal, but I’m gonna give you three minutes.

[00:18:18] We don’t all have to go, but, um, I’ve already gone, but anybody have. Wanna start us off so that I’m not just calling on you, [00:18:30] or I can just call on you and you can say, skip. Uh, that will be our, you can just skip if you’re like, I’m not ready, 

[00:18:38] Paul Nylander: I can go. 

[00:18:39] diane: Okay, great. Thanks Paul. 

[00:18:43] Paul Nylander: Uh, how exciting it is, but it doesn’t matter.

[00:18:45] diane: We’re, it’s just, we’re just practicing. Okay. But we know our personal stories better. 

[00:18:51] Paul Nylander: That’s true. Okay. So I, the, I guess the explosion moment for me is the potato chip eggs. I think you’ve heard this story [00:19:00] before, Diane, but 

[00:19:00] diane: tell, but tell the pre tell a little bit of the normal what it was before. 

[00:19:06] Paul Nylander: I would just say that that’s how I was thinking about was in terms of what that kind of pivot or crux point was.

[00:19:11] Mm-Hmm. So, so. Quickly leading up to, so, so I had made a mid-career pivot into graphic design, and I, I knew that’s what I wanted to do, uh, for various reasons, but I wasn’t quite sure what that meant or how I was gonna do it. But I was pretty sure it involved, uh, you know, working at an agency, doing a, you know, [00:19:30] agency kind of design, ad design work until, um, uh, one day I was touring an agency here in Minneapolis and, uh, saw all of their, you know.

[00:19:39] Beautiful skyline view and, you know, big giant IMAX and everything you’d ever want, you know, as a designer in an agency world. And they were talking so excitedly about this project they had, um, about, uh, redesigning this particular brand of potato chip bags. They had this $200,000 budget to do the graphics and everything, and they were just, they were just all so happy about it.[00:20:00] 

[00:20:00] And, uh, that was kind of the, um, I guess explosion point for me because I realized at that moment. I didn’t wanna design potato chip eggs, so I wanted to design, I was in this pivot, I was doing this, but it, um, it just sort of, the, the life got sucked outta me right then. ’cause I’m like, oh my gosh, what, what have I done?

[00:20:21] This is the future. And, uh, ended up talking to, uh, uh, you know, a friend at the time and, uh, what to do. And, and he was asking me, [00:20:30] well, you know, what, what do you like Paul? I don’t know. You know, I like, I like books a lot, you know, I like collecting books. I like looking at books. I like reading books. Um, so he was like, well design books.

[00:20:41] And that was, you know, it, it’s, it’s such a silly little moment, but at the same time, it, it literally changed the course of my life right at that moment. And that’s why a book designer today, so 

[00:20:53] diane: I love that story. 

[00:20:56] Amy Linn: Who’d like to go next? I don’t know if this is exactly [00:21:00] what you’re talking about, but I’ll, I’ll give it a shot.

[00:21:03] Um, so I was incredibly shy as a kid. I still consider myself to be fairly shy, but, you know, it was just, um, you know, I was quiet. I was, you know, a tiny little person and, um, you know, just wanted to blend into the wall. Well, um, in college. I went on like a summer exchange and made a [00:21:30] friend. And when I came back to, uh, our regular school, um, she encouraged me to, um, go through sorority rush and she was in a sorority and I, it had never crossed my mind, but I ended up, um, going through Rush and I joined her sorority and.

[00:21:53] Because I was, uh, in the sorority, um, I learned how to just kind of [00:22:00] do small talk and, you know, I had to do it because, you know, once I was in, then there was rush the next year where, you know, all the new people would come and want to learn about your sorority. So I just learned to, you know, ask them questions about themselves and to talk about my own sorority and.

[00:22:20] Um, you know, while it’s, uh, not, you know, still not super comfortable, you know, the way I can translate translate that to my [00:22:30] business is I do feel like I can talk to anybody now. So, and it was life changing. Public speaking is a whole nother thing. 

[00:22:37] diane: Yeah, it was life changing, I would say. Even something just as small as small talk.

[00:22:43] Um, and knowing, being comfortable to be able to do that was a huge thing. And then having your friend believe in you. Right. Okay. Regime, are you back? Do you have the audio? Joe, are we good on the audio? I’m just kidding. I’m [00:23:00] just pretending like Joe’s the sound guy. Yes. Um. 

[00:23:05] Raijeim Douglas: So, um, as a kid, I was the person that I was always drawing, um, doing something creative and teaching others.

[00:23:15] Um, but in my life around my parents, in, in that, I didn’t feel I had a voice. So I wouldn’t speak up on things or go against, uh, [00:23:30] what they wanted me to do. I actually went into those careers. As nurse and even went into the military. And, uh, after I got out the military, after I had my daughter, um, I actually, my, my dad had passed and I went to Chicago and one of my cousins, he created everything.

[00:23:56] And I’ve always been told that you have to pick [00:24:00] one love, one passion, and. I saw his house and he had created the blinds, the, the, his wife’s clothes. Um, he made, um, metalworking woodworking, and his house was like immaculate. I had to get to that point to then go back to school. So, um, the explosion I guess for me was even when I went to [00:24:30] school.

[00:24:32] I didn’t get my degree, and then I had to work through that. So then it was like, oh my gosh, I, I, I, I am a good artist, but this is is telling me I’m not. So I had to, um, work through that and I ended up the same year, I didn’t get my, um, degree. I joined the art [00:25:00] walk, the local art walk, and I thought, okay, I’m a volunteer.

[00:25:03] I’m gonna just do this. Well, four years after that, I ended up with the nonprofit and so I’m, I’m here now teaching and doing art and everything. 

[00:25:18] diane: That’s awesome. And 

[00:25:19] Raijeim Douglas: that’s it. 

[00:25:20] diane: So you were able, one, to see hope in your cousin. He debunked that you couldn’t do everything or you couldn’t be a maker or you had to choose just one, but also that, [00:25:30] um, you just volunteered and thought you were not gonna be in the role of artist, and now you are in that role as an organization, as an artist, and as that teacher.

[00:25:42] Yes. Awesome. Okay, Brian. 

[00:25:46] Brian Bundy: Um, well, I was thinking about, since you were talking about your dogs, I mean, I had 2D different dogs growing up. Um, but some of everyone’s other stories kind of sound [00:26:00] similar too. Um, 

[00:26:02] diane: but that’s good. Right? So, so in a way we’re learning that from, from that, um, we have. We are connecting, like you connected with me about a dog or maybe, um, about, um, being afraid of dogs or not afraid of dogs or being an artist or, um, being shy or realizing that you did not want to design a certain [00:26:30] thing.

[00:26:30] Um, there are all kinds of, that’s why we have. Why we tell stories and why hopefully you feel more connected to each other. So was there a time, uh, maybe it was just, again, it can be anything that you felt like you made a change or it was even just a mindset shift in that. Can you think of anything, Brian?

[00:26:55] Okay. All right. So you’ll be next then. So the next thing I’m [00:27:00] gonna go, I’m gonna share my screen and, um. I’m gonna plop in. So we’ve done a personal story. For those of you in the chat, hopefully you’re able to do a personal story as well. Um, maybe you have a product that you have liked. Um, a lot of times we think about products with those features and benefits, um, but.

[00:27:23] Is there a product that ha you tell people about, and it’s not just based on the [00:27:30] price of the product, um, but maybe on how much value it has brought to you? Um, next week we’re really gonna dive into the value story, but um. This week, the product story. I’ll tell you one of mine, um, I’m gonna stop the sheer.

[00:27:46] I love this light. It’s extendable. It’s dimmable. See, I’m getting lighter. And then you can turn it flat off. But look how the, this is just, I don’t [00:28:00] have any lights on in my room. I have a window and if I just had that window, it really would be too dark, right? Don’t you think? This is too dark and it’s cool.

[00:28:10] I never don’t. I never use this und dimmed, but. You don’t see it. It sometimes people have said, oh, I thought you had a window over here. So to me, I used other light for a long time, but I wanted, I love light. I need light. Paul has all these windows [00:28:30] in his office and I, Amy has all these windows in her office and I need light, like it helps me to think and have energy.

[00:28:38] So. For me, getting this lamp was a game changer. So if I’m standing up, I can just move my light up. If I’m sitting down or if I’m reading, I can do it like this. Obviously I wouldn’t wanna do it like that on a call, but, um, I have the ability to adjust and it have more natural, I didn’t want it to feel, um, too [00:29:00] yellow or whatever.

[00:29:01] So to me, this lamp. I remember, uh, Dustin Lee asking in a post one time. He said, what have you bought that’s under a hundred dollars? And I was like, this lamp, this lamp I would buy again. When my husband needed the dust lamp, I bought him this lamp. It wasn’t $60 anymore, but I love this lamp. Um, I also, one other story, maybe these will be a little faster, but Wacom tablet, it’s not Wacom.[00:29:30] 

[00:29:30] If you go to their website, they say, walk ’em. So anyway, um, but. I had, this one is 10 years old. I had my last one for 22 years. Uh, that’s a really good deal on value of $125 spread out over 22 years, or it was not even, maybe it was one 40 or something, um, now, or, I don’t know. It was not very much. But I love this, but not just for the price and that it lasts a really long time.

[00:29:58] I think that says something really good [00:30:00] about Whatcom, but. I don’t get carpal tunnel and I’m able to draw. I use this as my mouse. Um, and I, it helps my, I mean, we’re on the computer a lot, so to me that I don’t have to replace it every few years is really powerful that they’re making a good product. I really believe in that company.

[00:30:20] Clearly, my husband’s eating and my dog is crying, um, because he’s food. Focused, um, hopefully you can’t hear him crying, but [00:30:30] the, the normal would be what it was like before. And I, how I felt, how I felt. I looked on screen when it felt too yellow or um, too dark. It wasn’t. Helping me to be productive because the light helps me to have energy.

[00:30:48] Um, so then the new, the explosion was when I tried this lamp and I loved it. And it was functionally, it allowed me to feel [00:31:00] better, work longer. Um. It was a better functioning product for me. Whatcom tablet as well. I love that. I don’t have carpal tunnel. So the value, uh, hopefully you see the value in those two.

[00:31:13] If you were writing the same story for product explosion, new normal, it’s not really explosion. It was more like I bought it. This is what life was like before and here’s what you know, life after. Does anybody. Brian, do you [00:31:30] have a, can you think of, let’s just talk this out and not take any time. Quiet. Can you think of a product?

[00:31:38] Brian Bundy: Uh, I mean, yeah, I can think of something. I, it’s not, I haven’t had it for 20 years 

[00:31:42] diane: that’s, I hadn’t had this lamp for 20 years. I’ve only had this lamp for maybe four three. 

[00:31:49] Brian Bundy: What it is, is it’s a, it’s a ink. It’s actually for calligraphy. But, uh, there’s this group of artists that I have a meeting with every [00:32:00] week, and we all started using it to draw.

[00:32:04] It’s a, um, pilot, like, um, pilot, like calligraphy pen. 

[00:32:11] Paul Nylander: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:32:12] Brian Bundy: It’s in the other room, of course, when I have to talk, but I have the package, but, 

[00:32:17] diane: oh yeah. Okay. So what was, what were you using before and. And what, what? I 

[00:32:23] Brian Bundy: mean just, I would just use a regular pen, but using this to draw things, I mean, you can do thick lines, you can do [00:32:30] real thin, you can, it’s, if you push down really hard, it gets a lot of ink out.

[00:32:37] So you can do a lot of different things with it. 

[00:32:39] diane: So you, instead of bringing six pins around, if you went somewhere, you just really need this one. 

[00:32:46] Brian Bundy: Yeah. 

[00:32:47] diane: So how do you. Go ahead. It’s fun to use. 

[00:32:49] Brian Bundy: It’s fun to use and I mean, you have to refill it. Um, ’cause it comes with like two different inks. 

[00:32:58] diane: That’s cool. [00:33:00] So, but it’s changed.

[00:33:01] Have you seen that you are drawing more when you’re using this than when you were before? 

[00:33:09] Brian Bundy: Yeah. 

[00:33:11] diane: So that’s transformation. Right? That would be awesome for pilot. What a great customer story you have for them. Right? That’s awesome. Okay. Anybody else? You can talk through it if you want. It doesn’t have to be so formal.[00:33:30] 

[00:33:31] I have one. Okay. 

[00:33:32] Raijeim Douglas: Um, so for me, uh, uh, I had Androids. Only for budget reasons, um, as a single parent and for me the when I was bought a iPhone and the notes section and able, um, the ability to [00:34:00] save all my photos, my videos, my audio take notes. It just like. Um, exploded in my brain. I could, um, my a DD brain was like, what?

[00:34:17] I could just write this down and save it and go back. And it has, like, I put in there book titles. So I could just put the name of a book that I wanna write or, [00:34:30] uh, draw an idea, and it’s just right there. So for me, the iPhone and the iPad. Has been, uh, tremendous for me as an artist. That’s good. I mean, if they want to, if they wanna, um, endorse me, that’s fine.

[00:34:48] diane: Of course, of course. That’s great. Okay, so, um, I’m gonna, we’re gonna move on so that we can finish this little portion. So I’m gonna share my screen one more time and I’m gonna go through [00:35:00] the rest of this and then we’re gonna, but again, sometimes it’s easier if you’re telling something that is. It’s not connected to your business at first, just to get the practice of doing it.

[00:35:10] So we told a a personal story. We’ve told a product story. Um, you could tell a service story. Um, and I, I would also encourage you to tell a customer story, your customer story. So one of the customer stories that I wanted to tell is, uh, it’s also dog related. I was just going [00:35:30] with a theme today. I have a doggy daycare that I’ve, uh, I used to, uh, make a.

[00:35:35] Magazine called Alabama Dog with two ladies and one of them was this client. And I am end up, I end up talking about, Hey Dave Co. And hey Dee, I end up talking about, um, who her customer is. I tell my customer’s customer story, right? So this is a gift that I made for her to share during, [00:36:00] um, uh, like. On social media because, uh, a lot of her clients have, uh, labs or golden retrievers.

[00:36:11] That’s like her, uh, biggest client, I guess is that kind of dog. Um, but the before was these dogs are tearing up. Do you have this? And this picture told everything, right? I wish gifts would play in. In design, but they don’t. So then this is the before, [00:36:30] obviously the dog’s healthy, healthy, but they’re not happy.

[00:36:33] They’re very frustrated during playcare. So once you come to Playcare, um, doggy daycare and your dog is played with, they’re socialized. They get trained, they actually get a bath, um, before they go home every day. And then this is actually a photo of one of her clients. Dogs. This isn’t one that I had manufactured.

[00:36:57] The middle, the during and the after [00:37:00] are the real dog. That is the same dog. It’s name was Indy. Um, the other one was just one I had to find online as a designer, we have to be, uh, you know, we have to be able to find it. You can tell they’re different ’cause their nose, but this was the situation. They didn’t have time to run their dog every day and to do all these things.

[00:37:20] So just this simple. Before, um, this was normal. The explosion is the during and then the after. Now they have this dog that is [00:37:30] healthy, is trained, clean, and is great for snuggling and is part of the family. And, but now the dog is getting exercise and um, training and socialization. So this was a customer story, but the customer is really this woman who is.

[00:37:49] Um, a busy working mom and she, they love this dog. They just didn’t have time to do all the things that this dog had energy for. [00:38:00] So taking her dog to Playcare three days a week was a huge solution for this family that now she was able to give more time to her kids, give more time to her work, and not feel so stressed about what she had to do with her dog once.

[00:38:16] She got it home. So that’s a customer story that my customer, Cindy, could tell any of her other customers For me, this is something that I could tell somebody if I wanted to [00:38:30] do social media or if I was doing more ads. Um, we can tell some simple stories of these before, and this was in 2014. I made this, so this was way before I read these books.

[00:38:41] But we did a before, during, and after. Um. Here’s the thing in this, and you’ll notice this on the worksheet, it says, my shoe just got caught on my chair in a really weird way. Okay, I’m out. I’m free. It’s okay. No worries. Um, there are. Four little [00:39:00] boxes. So every story you write, I want you to write it and then you might have to rewrite it.

[00:39:05] You want to make sure you have an identifiable character. Are you telling enough about, Paul talked about him being a designer. He talked about him going back to school, him pivoting, and um, it’s just his second career or maybe third career. Um, but he went back and he thought this is what he wanted. And the, the.

[00:39:26] Um, explosion was the specific [00:39:30] details of walking through. They were doing a tour and he remembered that it was $200,000, you know, um, it was a big budget and that these designers were so excited. We know this. We identify with Paul when he is talking about that, and then we also identify like the authentic emotion that he shared without even trying, was that?

[00:39:55] There was maybe this disappointment, oh, this isn’t what I wanted. Have I [00:40:00] wasted this time? Have I, um, uh, you know, I can imagine, Paul, I don’t know if you wanna chime in, but like for you in that moment of, oh crap, I do not want to design potato chip bags. Is that all this is gonna be like, what would you, what were you feeling if you had to put a label on that as an emotion?

[00:40:21] Paul Nylander: Yeah, that was a moment of dread because I, I was making this change, which I was excited about, but the change wasn’t, it [00:40:30] wasn’t to what I wanted something. It wasn’t to something I wanted to do. 

[00:40:34] diane: Yeah. And you were maybe scared I. Uh, that, oh my gosh, I just made a bad mistake of I’ve spent all this time and money getting this second degree.

[00:40:45] I 

[00:40:45] Paul Nylander: had sold my old business and I moved, and yeah, a lot of changed right then to make this happen. So, 

[00:40:51] diane: so then significant moment, Paul, what, um, I can imagine or, um. Brian or [00:41:00] Amy or regime, can you think of what was the significant moment or a that you can see that was Paul’s, um, transformation? Can you think of like a specific moment in that or a significant moment like, I guess in his life or just, uh, verbalize what that was?

[00:41:21] Although he sort of already did Anybody, 

[00:41:24] Amy Linn: not everybody, like when the friend said, what do you like to do? 

[00:41:27] diane: Yeah, there. So [00:41:30] just that even he’s, he talked to that friend and told them, oh my gosh. Right. I think that that’s a really, um, that is a very significant moment. I don’t know if, um, that is, there are multiple moments in this, I think, but that is, that’s where the, it turned.

[00:41:48] He didn’t feel just dread or, oh my gosh, I’ve made a bad choice. Um. It being the end of the story, his friend gave him a option of this is just the middle [00:42:00] and or just the beginning. You’re just need to choose a different, uh, focus. So the little check boxes are there so that you can go, you write it once and then you can go back and see, oh, I need to add a little bit more in identifiable character.

[00:42:16] So I feel like when I shared my, the story about the lamp. It wasn’t, um, there maybe wasn’t a significant moment, but, um, can any of you think of something [00:42:30] that I could use as a significant moment for that story? Even if you’re just making it up, 

[00:42:37] Paul Nylander: being able to see something in your own work that you hadn’t noticed before, the colors maybe, or something.

[00:42:43] diane: Okay, perfect. So I think I got this like right before Covid, but I feel like. I was doing these, um, podcasts, I was doing more of these at home and it felt, um, so Covid would be something [00:43:00] again that would connect to everybody. And again, it’s a great story for that. Um, I’ll put a link in the chat. Five. It’s called P-H-I-V-E Lamp.

[00:43:11] Um, but. If there’s something you’re missing, again, you might need to have somebody else go over it with you, but most of the time we can see what is the identifiable care character. Sometimes it’s going to be you as the designer or you as the customer, or sometimes it might be. [00:43:30] A customer. Um, Paul, I can think about your, um, man who’s written a few books with you.

[00:43:37] He’s an older gentleman and he’s written about the war, right? Like he is, he wants to share his stories. Um, he, he is the identifiable character because he’s had this life and he’s made decisions and he is worked really hard and he has this loving family. So we identify with that man. So. With, [00:44:00] um. Again, think about identifiable character specific details.

[00:44:04] Usually it’s easy. You can always cut some specific details out what she learned, what in her research. Uh, even if you have only one of these, one of these four, that you will connect with more people and that it will be more memorable and, um, you’re telling more of a compelling story that. Even if you have one, but if you have all four people remembered and felt [00:44:30] connected to.

[00:44:30] I think this is why I love Amy Cuddy’s story because she tells her story. There is emotion. She gets choked up. Um, I. She has these two explosion, uh, scenes in it. And to me it’s very impactful. She had a professor that really changed, uh, another aspect of her life and um, and to me that was, I. It, I connected by it, giving me hope.

[00:44:59] Like [00:45:00] even though things aren’t super easy for me, I can do it. If Amy Cuddy can do it, I can do it. I hadn’t even had a brain injury, you know? Um, but like significant moment, authentic emotion. Um, I don’t know if you have to say the word emotion, but you have to express it. So I think Paul did a great job in telling his story without having to say I was.

[00:45:19] Or whatever, but if you have to say that, then say it. Um, so think about doing these and having those little check boxes going back through and writing the story, um, a little bit better [00:45:30] if you can. Um, in the, um, I’m gonna try to share my screen again and finish these. The last two things is one. Is to have an example.

[00:45:44] No, none of these people are talking about having an example. Um, uh, the, the, I mean, I’m sure Lord, everybody has examples, right? But they didn’t say specifically. What if you use a specific customer [00:46:00] example that you, maybe you have five different kinds of books that you make a children’s book, Paul, you do a artist book, you do like a textbook, um, and you do, um, maybe a fiction book.

[00:46:15] I don’t know what the fifth one would be, but maybe something that is in that, it’s in another language or it’s in an indigenous language. That could be another one. And you have a specific story that you’re able to tell of all five. So you’re working on five different stories [00:46:30] depending on who you’re talking to.

[00:46:32] And you talk about who they were before and who they were. After they met you and after, and then how proud they are of their book or their, um, their wine label or whatever it is because of what you, Amy’s doing. The wine labels, not Paul. I didn’t wanna get any, anybody confused, but, um. But I think that just even something simple like this, [00:47:00] doing these exercises of things I know you can do, because we do a ton of research on our clients, um, then it’s a little bit easier to tell the story.

[00:47:08] So if I’m thinking about an example of Imagine Number, I can think of how, what Paul said about it, um, the first year or, um, how. I’ve done things like that with my students where they’re able to compare and they, they don’t, aren’t thinking that they should be better at finding the blobs or [00:47:30] whatever, like they are happy to just have the experience.

[00:47:34] The other, the only other one I think is really helpful and I know Carrie’s heard this a ton just ’cause she’s been in my classes. I use a lot of analogies and I think some people really. Um, it really helps to have an analogy. Sometimes it breaks the, um, monotony or of just another example. Sometimes the analogy can be memorable because it’s funny [00:48:00] or, um, so have an example of a real client experience or have an analogy or have both so that you can use both.

[00:48:09] Because in when I, and that’s the last slide. When I’m in. When I’m teaching something, I will often have an example, but it’s not enough. So then I use, um, analogy and it tends to stick longer because [00:48:30] it’s, um. They, it’s memorable or it was unexpected and I think if you can just find some analogies. I do stuff with gardening or with bras or with all kinds of things.

[00:48:45] Today I had an analogy with diarrhea, so it’s all kinds of things. You can use analogies with. Um, obviously you need to be appropriate for the setting. I’m probably a little bit inappropriate in that, in poop and [00:49:00] brass, but it, it is memorable and hopefully helps to keep that, make that whatever you’re learning long-term.

[00:49:11] So those are the two things I’m adding to this. So use examples, real examples, not general. So when you’re thinking about your business. Break it down into all the things that you would want to. To be able to sell or tell someone about, because if you’re [00:49:30] at a home improvement store or at the grocery store, you’re gonna run into people that may or may not, um, be somebody that you would ever do business with, but you don’t know.

[00:49:41] But if you had a compelling story that talked about websites. I make websites, um, that made a difference. I need to really think about what the customer, if I was running a website for somebody like Amy, would be different than me talking to a website for [00:50:00] somebody who is, um, a, a baker maybe, or somebody who is, um, so somebody in the creative industry, not that a baker’s not creative, but um, somebody who’s like, has a.

[00:50:14] E-commerce business. I don’t know why baking would be e-commerce. That would be a really terrible e-commerce, that’s all moldy. Don’t do baking, e-commerce. But, um, but I need to think about these different kind of customers and then who I, when I might run into them, because then I’m able [00:50:30] to talk and have stories on the hand.

[00:50:35] Um, because just like what Amy was saying, when you were in learning how to be small talk. Not be small talk, do small talk. You kind of need like a arsenal of information. You need. You need some stories to be able to tell or questions to be able to ask. And I always, if I’m talk to somebody in line, I’m gonna be asking them questions first and then I’m, they might ask me something [00:51:00] about my business because I’ve asked them a few questions.

[00:51:02] I kind of know where to. How far I need to go about exactly what I do or what part of my business I need to do. I might not even tell ’em I do web design. I might just talk to ’em about imaginable, and that’s the awkward end of Diane’s story. Okay. Any, did this help you think about your story in a new way?

[00:51:23] Hopefully you say yes, but it’s okay if you say no. Any thoughts you could share? Paul, I see you. 

[00:51:29] Paul Nylander: I was [00:51:30] gonna say, yeah, something else. I was struck by, um, you know, talking about multiple customer stories. They’re, um, you know, they’re, they’re short and succinct. Um, but, you know, really connect with people. But the advantage of having multiples, I was just thinking like, you know, in a, in a networking setting where you’re, you’re meeting a lot of people, um, and you know, you, you, you maybe, you know, pony up to a couple people and, and give ’em your elevator pitch, and then somebody else joins the group and they’re like, oh, so what do you do?

[00:51:58] So, okay, now you’re faced with [00:52:00] having to give your elevator pitch again, but there’s already people there that just heard it, so you don’t really wanna do it. Verbatim. ’cause it sounds like, okay, now I’m scripted and this is horrible. But if you’re telling stories, you just pivot to a different story. It still has the same underlying idea.

[00:52:16] The message is coming through, but now it’s a completely different example. And, and the people that already heard the first one won’t mind so much hearing another story. 

[00:52:24] diane: Right. A different 

[00:52:25] Paul Nylander: story. 

[00:52:25] diane: And hopefully you’re telling that you have those, at least one of [00:52:30] them. There was a C client that had a I, they were the identifiable character.

[00:52:34] They had an idea for a book, or they had an idea for a type of bourbon or wine or, or whatever it is, a mural or, um. You know what I mean? Like I, I think if you have some on the hand or on the hand that I do write on my hand, but if you have some out ready, I think it makes you feel more confident to go in, [00:53:00] um, into those.

[00:53:01] And I love that you’re not repeating the story. I think that’s a great, uh, insight. Okay. Well, hopefully, um, I don’t know what the chat said, it, it, I don’t have the chat up, but hopefully, um, you got something out of it. Um, the next part is there’s a value story, a founder story, and one other that I’ve just lost because I had another workshop that was four hours long this morning.

[00:53:27] Um, but. I [00:53:30] hope that this helps. Next week we’ll talk and I will do a call out, um, probably on Friday if anybody wants to. Obviously, you four people are lovely enough to join. You’re welcome again next week. Um, but you don’t have to. No pressure. Um, now my dog’s trying to get back in the room. Um. Hopefully this helps.

[00:53:49] There will be another sheet and I will do better about getting it out. There is a longer video and I just appreciate you guys being here and sharing and being willing to [00:54:00] share some personal stories. 

[00:54:02] Raijeim Douglas: Oh, I’m happy that you, you done this because out of all the creative self I’ve gone to and all the people, the artists that I’ve sat and.

[00:54:13] Her talks and they’re like, oh, you should get out there. And I’m like, and I still hadn’t, it was this part of telling, finding the story. And I have so many things written down and so this is [00:54:30] actually, it needed to happen now ’cause now I’m going after some grant money. Yeah. So I really, I really need to get this story right.

[00:54:43] diane: That’s awesome. It helps us all. I think I’m, I suffer from this just as much. I can tell Paul’s story. I could tell Amy’s story. I could tell Brian’s story. I could tell Regime’s story. It’s hard for me to tell my own. So if I put it in my customer’s story or what my [00:55:00] customer’s got out of it, it’s, it, it revolutionizes the way I feel about telling my company’s story.

[00:55:07] I don’t feel. Sleazy. I know that seems weird, but I don’t, it just like, I don’t know. I don’t like talking about myself so. I can talk about y’all and I can talk about my cut clients. So I just need to focus on that and I need to focus on the ones that I wanna do more of. So anyway, the end and I will see you next week.

[00:55:28] And next week we’re gonna break [00:55:30] down the value story for sure, and hopefully the founder story. And, um, I’m gonna hit stop.

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