Good training, it turned out, for a future storyteller.
In college I discovered another level of words — what felt like magic at the time. I walked out of a class having had my mind officially blown. The class, Reasoning, Logic and Persuasion, taught me how to see behind words to dissect arguments; stripping away the BS and examining the story like you might peel away the layers of an onion.
Every day I got better at recognizing why a politician or preacher or TV ad did or did not persuade. Until one day I realized I enjoyed this more than my job. That was the day I sat in a little cafe in the middle of Iowa with a customer and I had my mind officially blown again. He thanked me, saying my advice of a couple months prior had worked. His company had…actually…taken…the…advice of a 26 year-old “kid”. And, I might add, good things happened.
The mind blowing part:
My advice had had a bigger impact on his business than all the expensive computer gear I was selling him!! Hmmm I thought, that’s weird. This happened again and then again. Hmmm I thought, this really IS weird.
And it really, really felt good. So good, in fact, that I quit my job at IBM, got an MBA, ran the marketing for two small companies and then declared myself a marketing consultant. That was more than 30 years ago. And now, here we are, you and I. My stuttering is all but gone away, I’m still chasing that wonderful feeling I get when I create results, and you’re here looking for some! Results, that is!!
What I Do Today
I find your story in and among all the things you’re saying about who you are and what you do. Rediscover your story, actually, is more accurate. Your story launched your business. It’s just gotten lost a bit since. Then we both work at making sure the entire customer experience reflects your story. And then I help you tell it. Clearly. In ways and in places your customers expect to learn about what you sell.
This’s what I do. It’s at the core of what I’ve done for the past 30+ years for small businesses in a wide range of industries, from the University of Phoenix and Jacoby & Meyers to many, many amazing companies you’ve never heard of.
Make no mistake, story isn’t some soft, “squishy” thing you can’t be bothered with because you have to grow sales. It’s your least expensive, shortest path between where you are now and growing sales. It is the thing that gets people’s attention long enough to hear your pitch. It’s the thing that’s probably missing from that new website, brochure or email campaign that isn’t working.