What’s the story of your business? As solopreneurs, it’s difficult to step back and tell our stories because we’re so close to the everyday workings of our enterprises.
So I’m enlisting the help of Emma Coats, a story artist at Pixar who has written a list of 20 story basics — guidelines you can use to create great stories.
From her list, I picked five that can be adapted to help tell the story of your business.
1. Tell Your Creation Story. This is playful and fun and gets you to begin thinking like a storyteller: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
2. Tell the Story of Your Customers. What’s most interesting to you, the business owner, isn’t always what’s most interesting to the people in your market. Place yourself in the shoes of your prospective clients. What are their stories, and how do you help them?
3. Tell the Untold Story. Discount the first thing that comes to mind about your business. And the second, third, fourth, fifth. Get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
4. Tell the Suspense Story. What are the stakes? Give customers a reason to root for your business. What happens if it doesn’t succeed? Stack the odds against you to heighten the drama.
5. Tell the Ending. Proclaim to the world what your business will become and what it will do!
You now have five story elements to play with. String the elements together for the long version of your business. Pick out two elements and combine them. Choose one element that best tells the short story.
Have fun with that, and let me know how it works for you.