The Power of Story

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“Once upon a time…”

All of us grew up listening to stories. Many of you might have kids who refuse to sleep until they’ve heard a bedtime story. Why are we so attached to these tales?

We love stories because they’re powerful. They can impact what we believe about ourselves, others, and the potential of our future. When you listen to stories, you grow and develop as a business owner. When you tell them, you create a winning company culture and draw in new clients.

What makes narratives so powerful, and how can you use them? Here’s what you need to know.

Stories Carry Power and Potential

You may have heard of Roger Bannister. He was a British athlete in the 1950s and set the British record for the 1500 meter race in the 1952 Olympics.

He had a goal — to run a mile in less than four minutes. There was just one problem. It had never been done, and many people considered it to be impossible. In 1954 at a track meet in Oxford, England, he made his attempt.

3 minutes, 59.4 seconds. The crowd roared.

The record was broken just 46 days later. Why, when it was deemed impossible? Because someone else had done it, and everyone heard the story.

The story gave other runners the belief that it could happen. If Bannister did it, they could too. And they did.

This is just one example of the power of story to break through barriers. We love hearing tales of heroics and overcoming challenges because it helps us believe that we, too, can win.

Stories Help Us Learn

Aesop’s fables are famous children’s tales that have a moral for every story. Adults use these to teach children simple facts about life. Things like “Slow and steady wins the race,” and “Work hard when it’s time,” are lessons we get from those fables.

It’s not just clear-cut children’s tales that help us grow. As adults, we all learn from the stories of others. Hearing what happened to someone else allows us to gain the lessons without having to experience the consequences. That’s the basis of “learning from others’ mistakes.”

The lessons we gain through stories — whether about mistakes or triumphs — are just as powerful as if we had experienced them ourselves. A great narrative gets the audience emotionally invested and helps us feel like we were there every step of the way.

The reason we share our stories with you — and the reason we plan to bring on e-commerce guests to our podcast going forward — is that we want to use these tales to inspire you. We want you to know what’s been done before and what you can do going forward.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The stories we tell ourselves are some of the most powerful narratives in our lives. They can create success or hold us back for decades.

What we tell ourselves about ourselves shapes every decision we make. Am I a winner or a loser? Can I trust myself with my best effort? Am I able to follow through with my goals?

If you don’t set up your own internal story, you’ll inherit the one told to you by others. This is how generations fail to move forward. The good news is that you always have the power to form a new narrative and create change. Be intentional about controlling your own story and watch yourself break through boundaries you never thought possible.

What we tell ourselves about others is equally important. Those accounts form the basis of our relationships. If you look at someone’s actions through the lens of “they don’t like me,” you’ll have a very different outcome than if you look at it as “they like me and want the best for me.”

Try giving others — and yourself — the benefit of the doubt in your internal stories. You’ll see things change dramatically!

Stories in Business

So far, we’ve been talking about the power of narratives in our personal lives, but these lessons are just as applicable in business.

The right story about your company can forge a powerful internal culture. This culture can draw ideal candidates to your job openings and create a powerful sense of teamwork in your office.

A great story also helps to bring in customers. Even if you have similar products and services to other companies, your narrative sets you apart. A great story draws in new clients and encourages them to tell others about your company.

The key is that telling your story requires vulnerability. You have to be willing to share the low points and failures if you want to be relatable. Taking that risk and inviting others in can win you raving fans and loyal customers.

Are You Ready to Harness Your Brand Story?

If you’re ready to use your story to build your business, create new success, and improve your bottom line, we’re here to help. We’ve worked with hundreds of business owners to tell their stories as part of their marketing efforts.

These stories set our clients apart from competitors and give customers a reason to purchase from them over and over again.

If you’re ready to see that kind of success, contact us today!