M. Night Shyamalan was teaching English to a class that was getting bored to their skulls, when he thoughts of sharing the following statistic: "Word for word, I'm the highest paid writer in the world."
All of a sudden, everyone was paying attention.
A few days ago, I reached out to a couple of subscribers to the Premium Newsletter to ask if I they could provide a quote I could share with examples of the issues to give people who are on the fence about signing up an idea of its content and usefulness.
I receive pretty regular and honest feedback from a close circle of readers. On top of that, I am probably the harshest critic of my own work.
These busy professionals made the time to write back and that really touched me. You can see the content and sentiment of what they said here.
Power of story
Each of Shyamalan's movies has been informed by the life experiences he was having at the time#.
I found that to be true beyond movie makers and artists.
It's easy to see a powerful story at work when you look at the work of nonprofits, foundations, etc. and easy to forget that many businesses were also hatched because of a story.
Storytelling is an essential part of the way we make sense of the world. We all grow up with these meta stories, our family and various communities, that shape our identity and the way we think about our own story.
The broken cultural narrative
We're currently experiencing change at many levels: at work, in governing bodies, in awareness of what else is going on in the world, or the status on too many Facebook profiles.
Stories we used to hold onto are crumbling, and constant comparisons between other people's external stories with our interior environment are creating unhealthy tension.
It seems that everyone is listening, reading, and looking out for themselves and few are listening, reading, and looking.
I'm sure you've thought this about your customers. If only they stopped to listen, read, and look for others, their friends, work colleagues, CEO, etc.
Story as mindshare
My take it that when we talk about story in marketing and business, by and large, we're talking about packaging a set of or one creative idea into a compelling conversion point.
Grab share of mind, and you get share of wallet.
This thinking produces neat formulas that fit very well in the theory on reduction of reality category.
The question about mindshare comes up a lot in social networks where everyone is looking for their own megaphone and share of followers.
How do clients and customers find you?
The story still beats everything.
When your readers recognize how much value they can create for themselves if they will pass your work on to colleagues, CEOs, partners, etc. they will make their story a recommendation. That is an audience who cares with whom you can do great work.
You don't need millions of listeners. Just those who resonate and connect with your work and story.
One of the reasons why I started offering the Premium Newsletter was to help those who were looking for deeper thinking and resources.
Yesterday, I posted a deck with quotes from my 2011 yearbook to help those who want to have something tangible to save, read through, and share.
The most important story of all is the one that helps you keep a promise, so you can keep a better one, and continue to build value in your trade.
[poster of Ira Glass quote found here]