When you start a business, whether it’s because you have a unique idea or solved a problem that affects you every day, there is one skill you have to master before you do anything else. You have to be able to tell a compelling story.
Chances are, you’ve already told the story a thousand times. After all, your imagination has been captured by this idea. You can’t help that your mouth wants to tell others what you’ve seen. Tell me if this sounds familiar:
- You discover something amazing
- You tell your nearest friend
- You want them to feel as excited as you are so you try expanding
- Then you try using different words
- Add some facial expressions
- Move on to the next nearest friend
What’s cool about this, regardless of whether or not you’ve convinced your friends is that you’ve already started down the path of entrepreneurship and you didn’t need a task list or an adviser or an investor. Telling a story is the one thing humans can create without any resources. It’s also powerful. A story can sway minds. It can convince other people to work towards a common goal. And yet, it’s the most underutilized aspect of running a business.
I started 2 businesses before JOOC Media. They were tech startups and I went in alone. After calling it quits on the 2nd one, I knew I needed a team that could dominate social media. One day, at a client’s place of business I walked by a graphic designer and a photographer working. If you could see their screens at that moment, you’d understand why I was mesmerized. The graphic designer was meticulously branding these beautiful photos the photographer had poured his talent into. The finished products grabbed my attention so ravishly. I wanted my audience, whoever they were and for whatever purpose I had their attention for, to be as entranced as I was at that moment.
So I started a conversation that eventually led to me painting a picture with words about how their work could be used as a social media agency. They latched on to the idea of how their purpose could be fighting the scroll by capturing the best moments of life or posting the most intricate designs. A few months later, we were all three fired. This website launched and being as beautiful as it is, word got around to the owner who felt intimidated by what we could accomplish. So I guess stories are also dangerous. But it didn’t matter, all three of us had seen this story called our future and it captivated our hearts so fully that the current circumstances were meaningless.
Now, we start our work days off in a meeting designated entirely to storytelling. After all, we gotta stay fresh in this endeavor to tell your story and present it in the best light.