Recently, while watching the drama played out onstage during an episode of American Idol, it occurred to me that everyone enjoys a good story. The tales of challenge, setback, and success endear the contestants to us, because we connect with some aspect of their story. It is the connection that, for us, sets a contestant apart from the competition. This connection is what helps them deliver upon the unique promise of value: a stellar performance.
Similarly, your life and business are the stage where you communicate your own story. You have your own set of circumstances, experiences, strengths, and talents. Combined, these enable you to tell your authentic story in such a way that adds value to those who need it most. The blending of your authentic personal story and your rich internal qualities, when leveraged properly, will allow you to create a soulful brand that will magnetically attract clients and business partners. And one thing is for certain: to be known as the complete leader as an entrepreneur, you must lead with a compelling story that connects your value to your target client.
However, finding and defining your “authentic story” requires time and soul-searching. It’s a culmination of your life, from the good times to the bad, from the past to the present. What lessons have you learned throughout your journey? How have your experiences shaped your values, choices, and decisions? What are your core strengths as a result? When you know what these are, you can define your brand from the inside out, crafting a story for your brand that is based on your own experiences.
For example, Kody Bateman is the CEO of Send Out Cards, an online greeting card and gift company. Send Out Cards is “the largest first-class mailing company in the United States,” according to the company’s website. The vision for the eight-year-old company began with a life-changing experience for Bateman.
As he was about to move away from his hometown, Bateman saw his older brother, Kris, in a field and, although he felt prompted to run and give his brother a hug before leaving, he chose not to. Shortly after the move, he received the heartbreaking call that Kris had been killed in an accident.
“At that moment, I made a promise to my brother and myself that I will act on my promptings and act out my kindness to others—and allow others to do the same,” Bateman says. Today, Send Out Cards enables people to act on their promptings by providing an online service that sends personalized cards and gifts. Bateman’s story has created personal success and satisfaction while enriching the lives of others.
So how does this apply to you? You are the CEO of your life/business. Become your own hero! Make your personal brand magnetic by integrating your authentic story into it and watch your impact grow. What’s your authentic story? Take some time out of your busy schedule for some deep self-reflection. You will gain a keen awareness of your passions, mission, strengths and weaknesses, unique talents, and values. Then you can outline your story as it relates to your business.
When you’re ready to take your story to the next level, give me a call. I can guide you to develop a personal brand. You’ll position yourself as the complete leader who is activated by an authentic story – a story that transforms your leadership in business and magnetically attracts clients!