Business storytelling allows you to help yourself, your clients and other business owners. Stories are the perfect vessel for imparting your wisdom and spreading hope. They enable you to share cautionary tales and celebratory ones too. But this can only happen if you get a little vulnerable and share them all - the good, bad and the ugly.
Business storytelling isn't just for sunshine and flowers
There’s no shortage of success stories out there. But too many entrepreneurs are only showing the upside of working for themselves. As mentioned in my blog, 10 Ugly truths you need to hear about working for yourself, working for yourself does have its ups and downs. It can be really demotivating seeing these success stories and thinking that you’re somehow missing out or getting it wrong.
Because by sharing just the upside of the business, they’re portraying a really inauthentic view of reality. Working for yourself isn’t just sunshine and flowers. There are times when things will go wrong, you’ll make bad decisions, and you question whether you even want to be in business at all.
When you share your failures, you’re being authentic
If you want to be authentic in your business, you need to show YOU as a whole. You need to show who you are as a person, as well as a business. That’s why you need to talk about the less successful elements too. Things like what clients weren’t right for you to work with, what decisions you made, the wrong moves you’ve made and those lessons that took several attempts to get right.
When you need to own up to your mistakes and wrong turns, your audience gets to know that you’re human. You’re highlighting that you don’t need to be perfect to run a business - you just need to be open, honest and authentic.
It helps you to inspire and motivate others
It keeps the yardstick honest and helps others learn from your mistakes. Your shared vulnerabilities help inspire others and show they’re not alone. They’re not missing out or getting it wrong. Your journey is an example of a rite of passage that all business owners tread.
And when you open up to being less than perfect, you also permit yourself to drop the guilt and shame around it too.
There’s an excellent article over on the Success website, entitled ‘The Mel Robbins Guide to Screwing Up’. As Mel reminds us - failure is good for you, so why not share it more?
Failure is an essential part of moving forward, of learning, of being human. Mel Robbins
Your biggest learnings are often hidden inside those failures
You need to share your failures, not just because it helps others and makes you look human, but because it helps you. Your biggest learnings are often hidden inside of those failures. Failure often comes before your most significant breakthrough and before you make your biggest uplevel.
And those failures help shine a light on the fact that you’re human. You don’t have all the answers, and your path isn’t clearly defined.
If you knew exactly where you were headed, who you had to be to get there, and what you had to do to make it a success, life would be pretty flat. It would be uninspiring and demotivating, and let’s face it, it would be quite boring.
Because entrepreneurs generally thrive on a challenge. We love overcoming obstacles, and we love growing and learning. It’s why we decided to become an entrepreneur in the first place - to embark on the crazy journey it takes us on and to navigate the peaks and troughs along the way.
So share your journey. Be proud of your failures and be vulnerable in sharing those stories. Because it’s not only inspiring for us, it’s inspiring for every other entrepreneur reading and listening to them.
Need some help with sharing your journey and using business storytelling in your content creation? Check out this recent blog post - 33 Easy ways to add storytelling into your business. If you’d like to uncover the stories that matter to you, your business and your clients, check out my 1:1 VIP program - Soul Stories For Business™.
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