(Driven By Heroic Purpose)
This includes startup founders. Established business owners. And future entrepreneurs who will need to gain immediate traction, to launch their future product, service or idea, as a new business.
In the venture capital world, there’s a thing called an “Accelerator Program.” These programs, but more specifically, the curriculum, are put together by the world’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, who have become venture capitalists, and make their money by investing in other people’s businesses. If those businesses fail, they lose their money. If they succeed, hence the “Accelerator Program,” they get wildly rich.
The curriculum of the “Accelerator Program” focuses on two key areas: 1) Fine-tune the product, service or idea, through a series of iterative steps. And 2) on the process crafting a message to fine-tune the Story of that product, service, or idea, so that it captures hearts and minds. In a service-profession, the product is you. Your Character is you, made up of morals, values, beliefs, and convictions. If you can’t control your OPN: Own Personal Narrative, through the media you create and publish in, you’re doomed.
After all, trust – first and foremost – is a function of deep connection and affinity. Thus, compelling character-driven stories that communicate one’s true Character, how he’s different and how his beliefs, morals, values and ethics are superior, is how the service-professional achieves that. This means he should be a media personality, not a laborer. The money, influence, financial certainty, control and power, is in the audience and growing user-base, built by the Storyteller, not the actual product or service.
Which is not to say that the quality of the product or service doesn’t matter, it does. Especially when it comes to architecting positive feedback loops, for viral transmission.
But that comes later.
Being an Elite Storyteller comes first.
Become a StoryAthlete™
(Inspiration should come from the Leader)
If you’ve worked in corporate America, sadly, you know the truth about this. “The Executives” are supposed to be the inspiring leaders. “The Painters” of the Vision. “The Creators” of the Culture. But more often than not, these people in “management,” called “Executives,” couldn’t inspire their way out of a paper bag. They have politicked their way to the top. Not story-told their way to the top. The whispers and gossip behind their back, by the people they are supposed to be leading, reveal the secret truth of this fact.
Most Executives live by the flawed belief system that says, “I can bring in an outside consultant or motivational speaker (whose job it is) to tell a compelling story, that will rally, inspire, and cause my troops to come together, and fight harder, for the vision that I want the company to achieve.” Not only is that asinine. It is the antithesis of true Leadership. Imagine if Winston Churchill or FDR had called in a “ringer” to try to inspire their respective countries, against Hitler and Japan, to go out and to fight harder than they ever have. Do you think it would have worked?
Leadership should come from the Leader, not the hired hand.
And true Leadership that inspires, motivates, uplifts and creates a strong company culture, of Spartans, that have each other’s back, is conveyed through the tangible art of being an Elite Storyteller.
Business is a kind of war, and your employees better understand that the workplace is the trenches. But more than that, they must see that trench as home, as a place they want to be, willing to fight for something great. And meaningful. If you can’t convey that, you lose.
(No one likes high-pressure sales)
If we’re being honest, not even the most extreme extrovert likes the sales tactics taught to him and crammed down his throat.
Tell someone you’re a salesman, and no matter how noble your product or service or idea, they cringe inside and feel sorry for you. “Oh, you poor thing. What a miserable life.”
Then their defenses go up to be sure you don’t misinterpret them as a prospect. Nobody wants to hear that dreaded pitch. I know, because I was a salesman once. A real estate agent. And from more rejection than one person can take in a year, here’s what I learned. As a salesperson, because of negative reputation and stereotype: You are hated before you arrive. Distrusted before you speak a word. Which sucks. Because that’s an awful starting point to start from.
It’s like trying to win a football game where you’re not even allowed to enter the field of play.
In selling, trust is everything. And in order for someone to trust you, they have to know you. The problem, of course? No one, as I painfully learned, wants to waste their time getting to know the lowly salesman. “But I’m different,” goes the plea unheard.
If you could entertain them though and make them feel, they’d be happy to. Hence my phrase, “I never sell, I just tell stories.”
(The best Storyteller wins)
Through ImpactClub® we’ve seen indisputable evidence and demonstration of this truth. Stories, win! With the same predictable consistency of each day’s sunrise, the charitable presenter who has built the best StoryEngine™ (presented to Impact Club® membership) is the presenter who wins the majority vote. Earning member-donations, often in massive sums totaling $5,000 to as much as $30,000 to aid in the fight of their cause.
Who never wins? Data and fact-driven presenters. Neither do presenters who speaketh: “This is who we are.” And “This is what we do.” Don’t tell us “what you do” or “Who you are.” Make us “feel” what you do. So that “we can’t ignore” who you are.
And please, don’t tell us “about the thousands” you’ve helped. Just make us see “the face” of the one (child, victim or fighter) that you remember. Make me care about that person, their fight and journey. Convey to me their ‘before and after’ transformation. Help me to understand how, if we stand together, through the power of our voice. And how, if we choose to back you, through the power of our money, you and your organization can make an amplified difference that will solve that pain.
Prevent that tragedy.
Ease the burden.
Eliminate a family’s stress.
Or stop the suffering…
You see, people follow their heart when deciding to support your cause. So if you can’t make people feel, by bringing them to that point of heavy-emotional-investment, then people (who could support your cause) don’t support your cause, because you haven’t made them care about your cause.
And if people don’t care about your cause (on a deep resonate level) they won’t use their money or voice to join you in your fight. Instead, they will give their resources to the Storyteller who made them feel and led them to that deep-emotional-investment.
The good news?
Charitable founders, perhaps better than anyone, know the validity of this indisputable truth. No story = no funds. No funds = an extremely limited fight, and thus, a non-effective fight. Therefore, the only way to maximally fight for a cause (in a way that does it justice) is to become an Elite Storyteller.
The best message wins!
(Audiences are built through a shared Religion)
There are pastors and preachers who can fill pews that go on for miles. And are constantly needing to expand the size of their church. Then there are those who can’t. The former are called Storytellers.
Look no further than Joel Osteen. He is the ultimate proof. He reaches 20 million people each week and purchased the former Compaq Center, a sports stadium that holds 35,000 people, as his church each Sunday. He is, hands down, the best Storyteller in the religious game. Whether a religious purist agrees with his commercialized message or not, does not change the storytelling facts. Osteen is a phenomenal teller of stories that achieve a defined objective. The size of his congregation is the proof of that.
The funny thing is, Joel Osteen and Rush Limbaugh, aren’t really all that different. They both preach a religion. An ideology. Their topic is different. The main characters are different. The industry is different, religion vs. politics. But politics, in a very real way, is religion itself. It has values. Beliefs. Convictions. Isn’t that what Osteen preaches about, a doctrine of finite commandments?
And because Rush and Joel are both Elite Storytellers, for a defined-purpose, able to craft messages to hit their objective. Those who hear their values, beliefs, convictions, “Affinity of the mind” and say, “I like the way this guy thinks,” are drawn back to them through that connection, ideology, whenever those stories are heard.
“People buy what you believe.”
Those are the words of Simon Sinek, in his famous TED talk. This is the fastest path too, to build a large audience. This is why I encourage entrepreneurs, executives, charitable founders, podcast hosts, etc. to develop a Business-religion.
Religions are complete with X commandments, Y principles, a cast of characters and enemies. Said different, religions (and podcasts) that gain traction and sustain, are those that can be listened to like the great drama series or sitcom.
Choices lead to powerful lessons.
These lessons then become parables and talking points that subtly influence.
But how the religious leader or podcast host tells these stories, with structure and precision or clumsily with the skill of a crude amateur, dictates if they tell them to an audience that is large enough to fill the former Compaq Center. Or to a small empty house.
(To teach effective, speaking in story is required)
Many will reject this when I say it, because we’ve all been brainwashed to believe it. But it is my belief; the current education system is destroying the imaginative brilliance of young minds.
Focus on what others focus on.
Work hard to be successful in the “standardized” system. And if you’re not successful in that system, you are deemed to be “broken,” or ‘stupid,” or a “problem child,” that, more and more, “needs to be medicated.” The most successful people I’ve ever studied, as a whole, are the ones who did the poorest in school.
No. It’s just, unlike the other kids, something inside these “problem children” made them say to themselves, this set of “standardized rules,” no matter what my teachers are telling me, is the wrong set of rules by which to play. In essence, “They don’t work for me.”
Take the “Career Path” for example, which states: Work hard. Go to school. Get good grades. Major in a profession. Get a good job. Play by the rules. Then over time, you’ll be promoted. Eventually, you’ll earn a nice retirement. That was the fantasy of the 1950s. And that belief system, without a doubt, which has become the standard operating system of today, is the most destructive belief system that’s ever been created, regarding a person’s ability to adapt in a fast-paced ever-changing world. Because the idea of a “career path” forces a person into an identity, their profession, because they went to school and have worked hard for 15 years to become that “profession,” which results in them being defined and limited by it.
“I’m a nurse…” they say. “I’m a teacher…” “I’m a pre-med student…” Trust me, I know. That “pre-med student” was me. That was my identity. I worked hard for it, sacrificed.
My professional life was all mapped out too. I played by the rules. My career path was my yellow brick road. High GPA. Hundreds of hours of volunteer work. A medical mission into the rural-bush of South Africa. Then it happened, four straight years of rejection from 47 different medical schools. And now who was I? A pre-med student (the identity that I had worked hard for) without a medical school acceptance is just a failure.
It wasn’t until a decade later, after I learned the science Storytelling, that I realized the reason I got rejected all those times is that I couldn’t inspire the committee. I didn’t know how to convey my story to make them care, in a way that brought them to that deep-emotional-investment. No one had ever taught me. Fifteen-plus years of schooling, higher education, and every teacher I ever had, failed me.
Why didn’t I just teach myself? Because what you don’t know you don’t know.
Everyone knows what a great story is when we hear it. But sadly, very few know how to teach it. Even harder is to teach “the science and process” of purpose-driven storytelling to hit a defined objective. I desperately wish I would have had a teacher who could have taught me that.
But I didn’t.
And most kids going to school today, don’t either.
(Your child’s success is in your hands)
The ultimate success or failure of your child, to understand the importance of being a Storyteller – and, their ability to wield this power, as a skill, to build an army of support for their ideas, business, or other social cause, etc., rests with you. It is your responsibility.
You want the school system to teach your kids?
Fine.But be warned. School is going to teach your kids how to “play by the rules.” In the context of story, they’ll learn proper grammar. Punctuation. Proper MLA format, which no one even knows what that means. But what they will not learn is how to inspire, connect, or create. Or, how to distribute their crafted message to an audience that is eager to hear it.
Every day I ask my kids two questions: 1) Who makes money in this world?
And 2) How do we get power?
The answer to the first is, “ “Problem-solvers.” While the answer to the second, “By using our words.” I don’t care if my kids go to college or obtain a “degree.” A college degree is only needed if you want, and if your kids want, to “play by the rules” of the “standardized” system. There is this thing called “Amazon University,” where you can learn whatever it is that you want. You don’t have to pay tens of thousands in tuition for a glorified guide i.e. a professor, to walk you through the chapters.
Further, as a profession, if your identity is that of a problem-solver, are you ever limited? Nope.
Because the ability to solve a solve, to eliminate the pain and frustration those problems cause, regardless of the industry, is what leads to the development of new products and services. Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. And when you take those newly created ideas, that solve fundamental problems, and compliment them with effective storytelling, you create demand for your solution.
Demand for your solution = Control of your (professional) future.
Besides, by being a Storyteller first, for whatever secondary profession they choose, will amplify their success. Because they’ll know how to create demand for their chosen venture. Or idea. Or product or service.
Had I been a Storyteller first, pre-med student second, I likely wouldn’t be writing you right now. Instead, I’d be in the field of medicine, probably just stepping out of a long-operation as an Orthopedic surgeon. Looking back, thankfully, I got rejected. And, here I am.
The life of an Elite Storyteller, financial and freedom-wise, is far better than that of a surgeon.
(Elite Storyteller is the world’s highest paid profession)
Yes, kiddo, I’m talking to you.
And I hope your parents let you read this. Being an Elite Storyteller is a real profession. It is not a “starving artist” profession. And no, I am not talking about being a journalist. Journalists are a dime-a-dozen. So are novelists and creative writers. I am talking here, about building your own audience. It is your audience, with access to other people’s hearts and minds, through publishing, that gives you power. It makes you a Someone. Commanding respect and admiration…
But most of all, it gives you options and choices.
Need clients? Tell a story.
Need funding? Tell a story.
Need to sell someone an idea? Tell a story.
Need to inspire the committee? Tell a story.
Need to recruit an army? Tell a story.
Need to strengthen a relationship? Tell a story.
Need to meet an influential person? Tell a story.
Now, write this down. And never forget it. What separates the Level 3 Storyteller from the “starving artist” writer, or low-paid journalist, is our belief about why create content in the first place. We do it for influence. To connect. To create and gain compliance. But most of all, to convey the Character traits of our being, as a means to control OPN: Own Personal Narrative. This is how society will see you. Will judge you.
Your OPN is what creates your reputation;
What you’re known for;
And, is what dictates what other people believe about you before they ever meet or even talk to you.
So, write this down: “The reason we create content is to bring people to the accepted belief – about our Character, our business, our capabilities, and the quality of our ideas – that we need/want them to come to,” so that our thoughts and ideas can’t be ignored.
As Simon Sinek put it, “People buy what you believe.” But those beliefs first, must find their way into a well-structured story and be heard. Once heard, people can resonate with them. At that point, you are not alone. You become the Leader of Men, because Leadership, at its core, is nothing more than effective communication.
Know how to communicate? The world is yours. So please, add the profession of Elite Storyteller to the top of your professional ambitions.
Become a StoryAthlete™