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  • Heather Mistretta

Your Once Upon a Time…Revised

As a child, we all remember stories beginning with, “Once upon a time…,” followed by a climax, a resolution and then a happy ending–all wrapped up in a tidy package. Well, life isn’t quite so tidy, says Captain Obvious.

It might explain why telling someone else’s story is so much easier than unraveling your own. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down to start my memoirs only to be cut short by my superego, that fear of exposing my inner thoughts and feelings. That third-person perspective provides the buffer zone that most of us need, that sense of space most of us crave. But it doesn’t have to be so scary nor do you have to peel away every single layer. Realize that many of the elements in your story are shared by others, and that sense of belonging winds up being comforting.

So, I challenge you today to tell your story. Shout it from the rooftops or quietly scribble away in your journal or tap away at a thoughtfully-crafted blog post—however you choose to tell your story is up to you. And remember, it’s the right way no matter which way you choose because you are the only one with that exact story. The more natural, less contrived approach you take, the more genuine it’s going to be. Statistics are great, and testimonials provide a piece of mind for many, but raw stories from the person where the company’s inception began are priceless.

It might seem elementary or even trite to say, we’re all human…but it’s true. People are generally curious at what drives someone, what motivates them. Without the backstory, the company story seems kind of just two-dimensional.

You might be surprised by the positive reception you get. Not to mention, you might put someone else’s mind at ease in the process. Be proud of your strengths AND your weaknesses, flaws, or whatever you like to call them—own them, they’re yours. They are all part of who you are and the influence you have on others. Allowing your audience a peek into your story will eliminate the layers of doubt or uncertainty they may have in approaching your business.

One good way to tell your story is through blogging. And it’s a great way to tell your story gradually if the fear of telling your story all at once is paralyzing you. Send out a series of weekly blog posts, featuring a different idea each time and lace it with a teaser at the end of each one so your reader is compelled to return.

And remember as you approach blog writing, take the advice from writers like Hemingway, Twain and King that less is more. Tell your story as simply as possible, resisting the urge to use empty words like very. The result is an authentic one instead of a contrived, superficial one. Your readers will appreciate it.

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