"I'd like to share my personal story for my business, but I don't have anything interesting to share...nothing has ever happened to me!"
This is what my client said just before I reminded her that she had a memorable personal story. A very memorable one.
I share her story in today's video, but I also share the importance telling your personal story along with some tips and guidelines on how to create your story to tell.
We all know how easy it can be to get caught up in what we are doing and what we have planned to do. When this happens, we don't often stop to think about why we are here in the first place.
Surely, you are familiar with the concept of your big "why". Simon Sinek explains it beautifully in his TED Talk (link below).
Your "why" is the reason behind everything you do. It is so important to you because it helps to motivate and keep you driven, even when times are tough.
Your "why" is equally important to your current and prospective clients. It helps them relate to you and believe in your business. Basically, it is the backbone of the "like" and "trust" portions of The Know, Like, and Trust Factor.
Your personal story is such a big part of this and I want to share a few tips on how to create your story to share as a part of your business.
- Be clear and concise. Make sure there is a clear path from where you were to where you are. Don’t go off on tangents or be long winded. The goal is for people to clearly see how your story contributes to your why.
- Describe your transformation as it relates to the work you do today. This explains what drives you to you wake up to do what you do every day.
- Highlight your beliefs and values. They are what initiated and drove your transformation.
- Be authentic and tell the truth! Don’t embellish or lie. Don’t take someone else’s story (or part of it) and use it as your own. Remember, people smell BS a mile away.
You don’t have to have gone through something dramatic to have a valuable personal story to share. Here are a couple of other ideas to help get you started if you are stuck...
- Nothing motivates change and action faster than a necessity - maybe you can think back to the beginning where you had a need that motivated you to take action. Perhaps your business started because you were sick and tired of not being able to pay your bills.
- A problem or source of pain you saw in others. So, maybe your transformation didn’t start because of something you experienced directly. Perhaps it was something you’ve seen others go through. Maybe you are a financial counselor who has seen too many people you care about live a life of stress and anxiety because of their poor financial management, or maybe you're a health coach who has witnessed loved ones get sick because they've neglected their health and nutrition, or perhaps you are a relationship expert who got started in your business after seeing the painful effects of toxic relationships, and maybe you were compelled to help.
- Doing something better. Lots of business owners gain valuable experience while working for someone else, maybe even in the corporate world. Lots of business owners got started because identified a need and a way to improve what they were doing, by taking the leap and doing it on their own.
Your goal with sharing your personal story is not to be manipulative, and this is not a time for selling.
It is an opportunity for your clients and prospective clients to relate to you by getting a transparent view of your values, beliefs and ultimately your business.
Sharing your personal story in a thoughtful way as a part of your business will always serve as a reminder of your why for you and your clients and I encourage you to make it a part of your message today.
Now I want to hear from you. What are the values and beliefs behind your personal story? And, how have they shaped your business today? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep doing what you love.
PS - here's that link I promised. It's worth a watch if you haven't seen it.
Simon Sinek TED Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action