Which version of these startup stories is better?
Version 1: By the time he was in his mid-50s, Ray was selling milkshake mixers to restaurants that they didn’t want them.
And then it happened. That fateful day that changed everything.
It was on that day when Ray called upon a customer and discovered a radical new way of doing business, one that he had never, ever seen before. He was so amazed that Ray committed himself 100% to working with and for the brothers who owned the restaurant. Before long, they gave in to Ray’s enthusiasm and cajoling and hired him.
Rags to riches.
Within 10 years, Ray Kroc’s vision for McDonald’s begat an empire of hundreds of stores, millions of hamburgers, billions of dollars, and spawned an entirely new industry: The fast-food business.
Version 2: Middle manager Ray Kroc joined McDonald’s in 1955 and helped grow the restaurant into a global chain of fast food restaurants, now serving approximately 70 million customers daily.
Or what about this one:
Version 1: Jeff had an enviable, cushy Wall Street job that he probably would have stayed at for years had not fate intervened.
One day, Jeff’s boss gave him the assignment of analyzing a new industry. Jeff was amazed by what he learned, namely, that it was growing at an unbelievable 2,300% per year. He had to be part of it. Jeff quit his job and he and his wife packed up the car. While she drove West, Jeff pounded out a business plan to sell goods – first books and later everything – over the newfangled internet.
Five years later, Jeff was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
Compare that to this stoic version of the same facts.
Version 2: Amazon.com is an e-commerce company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 and based in Seattle, Washington.
I am illustrating these two versions of the same facts about the same businesses because far too many entrepreneurs think of their venture’s story as the latter, i.e., practical facts and dry data, when they should be sharing the former, namely a compelling story, interestingly told.
People love startup stories
You love stories. I love stories. We all do. People love hearing, telling, and sharing stories.
What’s your story? Stories create emotion, emotions foster bonding, and bonds begets sales.
Movies are stories. What about books? Stories. And what makes for a good tale told ‘round a campfire? You bet, a good story. Stories engage people. They draw them in and make them want to know more.
As the New Yorker put it in a review about Jonathan Gottschall’s book, “The Storytelling Animal,” “Gottschall’s encouraging thesis is that human beings are natural storytellers—that they can’t help telling stories, and that they turn things that aren’t really stories into stories because they like narratives so much. Everything—faith, science, love—needs a story for people to find it plausible. No story, no sale.”
Your brand needs an origin story
For the small business, few things are better than a good origin story about the brand or business. It humanizes your business. Think about Jeff Bezos’ tale. Wasn’t the history of how he came up with Amazon far more engaging, and humanizing, than the Wikipedia-like recitation of Amazon.com facts? So, too, your business.
You have a good story to tell, you know you do. Maybe it’s about how you cobbled together the money to get started, or your early lean years, or how you landed that big client. Whatever the case, I want to encourage you to tell it. Make it part of your marketing and social media.
Post it, tell it, share it.
Because, after all, remember: “No story, no sale.”
Source from www.usatoday.com