I was shaking and my brain couldn’t form a complete thought.
It was time to update my story. And make it current.
I teach about currency, after all. That is the energy you exchange with people. It has to be building and constructive energy (anabolic), and it has to be current, in order to magnetize the right people in your direction.
When it’s not current, it becomes stale. And stale energy is not attractive.
I’ve been telling the same version of my story for years… and as I up my game, I’ve got to up my level of risk, and currency, because that’s the kind of thing that has people stay with you and open up to you long enough to have what you teach sink in.
I’m a horrible practicer. And I truly apologize for that because it is one of those things I wish I could do better for you, but I believe in operating as designed rather than beating ourselves up for how we’re not.
Thankfully, I have learned to be good at some of the ‘secrets’ to engaging an audience that generally makes up for this that I’ll share today.
But today’s article wasn’t actually inspired by my story. Inspiration was all around this week.
The World’s Shortest Story
Your story is your moneymaker in business as entrepreneur. Whether you are a service or a product business, however unique your offering is, in today’s world we want to buy belief. The first thing I look for when I evaluate a website is ‘who are the people behind this thing and why do they care?’
In a client call last week we worked through the key points of her story that make her perfectly designed to do the work she does. (That’s the picture you want to paint). She was excited, and went to work.
When I received the recording of her story to review for feedback, I didn’t know where to begin. It was very short and to the point, almost reading a laundry list of things that happened. They were really cool things that could make sense, but the delivery was very off.
I took a step back to look at the big picture. Because to give feedback on the details wouldn’t serve her. Something was off in her BELIEF about telling her story.
I determined there were two things.
1) Be Willing to Take Up Space
Many of the entrepreneurs I work with have had some experience in their early life that caused them to decide not to take up too much space. To keep it down, that they weren’t important, that what they wanted didn’t matter, etc. Often we don’t realize that our experiences, when shared, are deeply fascinating.
She was making her story as short as possible, and I could see that was coming from a place of not wanting to take up space.
Let’s hurry and get to the content so I can make sure I overdeliver!
But people won’t even hear your content if you haven’t first gotten them bought in to why YOU believe YOU.
“People will never listen to what you have to say or believe what you have to say. They will always listen for whether YOU believe what you have to say.” – Larry Winget
This is why you’ve got to share your story.
I was moved by Jared Leto’s acceptance speech at the Oscars on Sunday, for many reasons.
If you missed it, it’s HERE
Talk about taking up space. In a time when most people rush to thank everybody, he stopped to tell a story about his mother. And we were all on the edge of our seats to hear about this pregnant teenage girl in Louisiana. And after talking about his mother, he then went on to talk about the importance of his role and the movie (Dallas Buyers Club).
It really didn’t take that long. And in that short time, we learned something. And we believed him.
There is no competition
I’ve seen lots of Facebook threads this week about competition – is it good, is it bad, how do we handle it, etc. When you take up space with your story, competition is irrelevant.
Your story is what makes you unique. It makes you, in the words of Joe Calloway, “a category of one.” I promise you, no matter how you judge where you’ve been and what you have and haven’t done, your story can make you millions. And when you own it, there is no competition for being you.
2) Be Present to The Story
The other piece of advice I gave my client was to be present to her story. You need to tell the story as if you are there.
When you are actually present to what was happening, you are seeing it and reliving it in your mind’s eye, that is the difference between engaging your audience in being there, and ‘talking about’ something to them.
This is what makes creating a new, or current, story, so anxiety-producing.
You must find the right combination of pieces of your story that allow you to really re-live that story time and again in your mind, and be moved by your story and the Truth of your own experience, without melting down, breaking down, or otherwise losing your cool. And you can’t be detached and be present. And this is why it feels so damn risky. And makes us shake.
And this is a good thing. And it’s also why practice is helpful, as much as I don’t enjoy practice!
When you know your 3 main points that build upon your story’s theme (we tend to think and remember in 3’s), and you can relive them in your mind and with your words, while feeling the experience of them and not breaking down, you’re golden.
Keep It Current
Don’t let your story be stale. Also don’t rethink and overthink so much that nothing ever really gets done. To create that magnetic currency, you want to keep it current.
One of the exercises we’ll do at Align It LIVE is to craft your story and create a safe space for you to practice the power of it.