The Story Behind the Story

A lot of the business leaders we speak to like the idea of telling stories about their companies, but they don’t know what story to tell—and don’t have time to write down their stories, anyway.

I understand the concern, but I think most of them actually do have great stories to tell. And we can help with the time thing. Let me explain.

Mitch Long, also from KazSource, just posted this article about how he used to do business mostly over payphones. It’s a great story. Where did it come from? What’s the story behind the story?

It’s simple, really. Mitch and I had been talking a lot about the way business is done today versus the way it was when he started out. We had some back and forth, both in person and by phone, and we’d exchanged a couple of emails on the subject. In one of the emails, he happened to mention something about his roll of quarters and payphones. I’d heard that story before, but not in a while, and this time it just struck me as the perfect way to get across the ideas we’d been discussing about how business has changed. I asked him for a couple of related details, and he replied with a few lines at most. We then wrote the article.

The thing is, Mitch is a great storyteller, the kind of guy who can tell the same anecdotes over and over without ever getting boring. He can take a situation and shape it into a story that makes the audience act like a classroom of children eager to learn.

But Mitch isn’t a professional bard or anything like that. True, he does list Story Teller among his titles on LinkedIn—but, honestly, we put him up to that. Mitch is a great storyteller, but so many people are, whether they know it or not.

He’s not a writer, either. And we don’t really want him writing much anyway, because he is usually driving down the road to his next appointment. When he has to take notes, he either uses talk-to-text or he types on his iPhone, hits the wrong buttons, and leaves misspellings and grammar issues everywhere. We have fun with it. He’s great at building relationships, meeting with people, and coming up with solutions. He knows what to say and how to say it—but he has no time to write it.

So instead of pushing him to do something that is really not his strong suit, we write for him. It’s his idea, his story, but we write it and edit it for him. The result is his article, with just a little bit of help. Here it is again.

You don’t know what to write about? Neither does Mitch. So don’t write, just communicate as you do. The stories are in there; let us help you find them.

Is that a sales pitch? To be transparent, yes, yes it is. We want to help your business be better—help you find new clients and generate more revenue, without taking up any more of your time. Therefore, we are basically selling you time. Do you want some?


Image of “Tell your story” was taken by Damian Gadal under the Creative Commons 2.0 license