The philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard said, “Experience is not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.”
So, here’s what happened to me.
A few weeks ago, I went to a branding seminar in a snazzy hotel. A lot of well-dressed people took turns telling their company’s stories at the mic.
“I’ve got a story none of you ever heard,” a man began slowly.
“I’ve got shot 52 times. I’ve had stitches covering 79% of my body. I died. I was announced clinically dead for 32 seconds. Crips tried to drown me, and they smashed my head with a crowbar.”
Some alien nervous laugh bubbled up in me and a healthy fear for something called my life. You could hear a pin drop in there. My mind kept thinking, So? What’s your point, sir? What’s your story? What’s your message?
Powerful messages come from powerful stories. All the incidents that happen to us, no matter how remarkable and obvious we think their meaning should be to others may make a helpful “About Us” on a website. But they fall short of what really matters—the “About Them.” Your audience. The people who buy.
I wanted to buy. I went up to this man at the break.
“That was quite an afternoon you described,” I said. He chuckled. I breathed.
He told me he was a Crip., a member of L.A.’s most notorious gang. But a few years back he quit. He was saved by being accepted into Homeboy Industries—a beloved bakery and company in L.A. owned and operated solely by former gang members. A one-of-a-kind story that started a gang rehabilitation movement around the country.
Now this man was ready to go out on his own.
“I’ve got a message to share with the world,” he said. My name is Felipe.”
The world likely needs your unique message. What is yours?
Felipe is on his way. He left me with a story about him to share with others. I met an actual Crip member. My friends would be impressed. I mean, what are the odds?
Now what he needs is uncovering the story—the context from his experience that opens both hearts and wallets.
It seems like discovering valuable context should be the easiest thing. Yet it can feel like it takes a crowbar to get it out of us.
I’m here to help you get simple, profoundly obvious and more profitable.
Are there specific tips you are looking for? Do you have a question you’d like me to address in a next blog?
Please let me hear from you. You’ll hear back from me. I promise.
Thank you as always for reading and sharing!