February 4, 2014
Telling the story-
Each Monday afternoon about 4pm, I sit down at my keyboard with very little idea what I’m going to say on the Monday webcast. I typically have a topic that I randomly selected the night before and sent out to the entire team. So, I know the realm of my subject matter but have no idea of the details. As I sit down, I am faced with lots and lots of decisions. What do I talk about that will be the most meaningful topic for a diverse crowd of SOC distributors for the week? As I’m writing things out, I am consciously aware that my message will stick and people will be more likely to remember the message if it’s told in a story. The reason Beach Money has been such a hit is because it touches people at an emotional level. It’s just a bunch of stories. People connect with stories. The reason Steve Schulz’s book is so good is because it is laced with stories. The reader can relate. There is little specific “how to” training in the book, however it’s a great how-to book because the lessons are in the stories. I try and spin a story that is compelling, fun, relevant, personal, emotional, dramatic, fresh, etc.
One of the things I do is keep a file on my computer called NCC’s. NCC stands for “National Conference Calls”. When a story that is engaging pops up on FB or in a blog or email, I create page and put it in my file called NCC’s to use on a Monday night call. I always give credit for the story.
I’m going to start with an example that you may have seen on FB. I received this message yesterday morning while I was in LA:
Message from Paula Foeller:
“Hey Jordan, I have no idea if you will get this message. I just saw you on FB. I saw you at an event years ago at a Mastermind event. You were on stage and you told the story of how you wrote your story (in your journal). That you had put it (the journal) away because you were frustrated with it. Then years later you pulled it out after moving and read it. That everything you had written had happened in your life. I am sure that was about 5 or 6 years ago now. Well on the flight home I wrote my story. My husband had just left me. I was in an MLM but not making a lot at the time. I had no idea how I was going to support myself. I wrote about what it would feel like to be with a man who treated me right. I wrote about how my kids were. I wrote about what my business was doing. I cried as I wrote it. I wanted you to know that you were the person who set a whole course of events into action in my life. I am with a man who is exactly like I wrote about. My kids are doing amazing and are so happy in life. In the last 3 years I have made over $700,000 in personal income in my current MLM. I want you to know that your story changed my life and you have impacted the lives of my 3 children. Not only that, you have impacted the lives of every generation who will follow after me. Thank you. I only hope that this makes its way to you and not into your spam.
It’s funny a few days ago I wrote a new story. It occurred to me that I had accomplished everything in the original one. Don’t ever stop sharing your story. Every time you impact a person’s life, they in turn will impact others. My prayer for you is that what you gave away to me will be returned back to you 10 fold. I in turn will keep sharing it with others. I look forward to meeting you in person someday.”
I want to share a couple of things about this. Paula was compelled to write out her perfect life because of a STORY I told on stage at the MLM Mastermind Event. IF I HAD JUST TOLD THE GROUP WHAT TO DO, SHE PROBABLY WOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT. Because I shared my personal story and the impact it had on my life, she was moved to take action. The story was meaningful to me and many people in the crowd connected with it. She tried it out and created her own personal story that she shared with me in a post. Now I have shared that story with you.
The story is in Beach Money, Chapter 3. It’s called “It rained on my dreams that day”.
I was at a low point in my life. Nothing was working. I was feeling so depressed, discouraged and broken that I decided to walk the railroad tracks behind my rental on Mill Ave that I was living in. It was raining and cold. I wasn’t going to take any desperate action but was trying to figure things out.
I had remembered reading in some books the importance of writing out your perfect life as if it had already happened. I had never done this. The next day I took the day off work at the airline and I went to the Grand Canyon. I had never been there. The beauty of the canyon inspired me. (You get the idea. You can read the whole story in Beach Money).
When Paula heard me tell this story it moved her to want to do the same thing. The next day, she took the same action that I took. Just over 3 years later, her life and the life of her kids were transformed forever. Do you see how I’m stealing her story here? (With her permission). People remember stories.
Let’s talk about some of the components of a good story. You don’t need all of these things in a story to make it good. 2 or 3 of these components will create a great story.
1. Share the DRAMA.
2. Make it PERSONAL.
3. Stimulate all 5 SENSES.
4. ALIGN and CHALLENGE.
5. What’s THE POINT?
6. Use METAPHORS.
7. AMAZING but TRUE!
8. MEANINGFUL to you.
9. RELEVANT to the listener/reader.
I ask questions of myself like;
“Is this relevant?”
“What point am I trying to convey?”
“Can I give an example that will help people see something they may not have seen before?” (Metaphor)
“Am I emotionally moved by the story?”
“Am I stimulating the senses so that the listener/reader can EXPERIENCE what I experienced?”
Let’s quickly go through each one of the components of a good story:
HOW DO YOU CREATE YOUR OWN STORY?
When I first got started in SOC, I sent out 81 cards in 2 days on dial-up phone service (There was no high speed internet in the mountains in AZ) – Can you hear the story in this statement? What components did I use just in this one phrase?
1. A little drama (I sent 81 cards on dial up!!)
2. Its personal.
3. What’s the point? (I took massive action!)
4. 100% Relevant to my audience!
What happened because I sent out so many cards is I CREATED a number of stories that I was able to tell others!
For example (get ready, here comes another story);
I pulled a business card out of a box. I had no idea who the guy was. I know I had met him because I had his business card!
His name was Mick Fetty and it was a pest control business card. I wrote in the card to him:
“Mick, I have no idea who you are but I know we have met because I have your business card! I would love to reconnect with you when you have moment. Please give me a call sometime!
My Phone #.”
I put my picture inside the card on the left panel.
About a week later he called me and said he remembered meeting me. He said I was in the lobby of the Embassy Suites Hotel on Rural Rd and the US60 in AZ. He said I was wearing a suit and talking to another guy. He came over and handed me his business card (over 3 years ago) and said, “Here’s my card. You might need this someday.” He then walked away. Well, we had a nice conversation 3 years later after I sent him a SendOutCards, card and 2 weeks later he became one of my representatives! I have used this story many times. Can you FEEL the leverage you create by creating stories and telling them?
So let’s go over each component and talk about specifics:
1. Share the DRAMA – People are riveted by drama!
“She has never experienced success in network marketing!”
“He was in 11 companies in 10 years and never signed up a single distributor!”
“She took the bus to work for 3 years because she couldn’t afford to fix her car!”
2. Make it PERSONAL
“I didn’t have the money to sign up, so I had a garage sale!”
“I sold my TV which was the best decision I have ever made!”
“I received a check and I knew that it would work!”
“My whole family told me no!” (There is drama in this one too!)
3. Stimulate all 5 SENSES (Venice Beach Story)
When I wrote this, my intention was to stimulate your senses so you could experience the FULL DRAMA of the moment:
If you haven’t been there, Venice Beach is quite a unique and unusual place. Last night at 5:30pm, something happened that had us speechless, moved and in awe. I’m not even sure I can describe it. As the sun was setting an intensely cold wind started wildly blowing the palm trees around. In moments the weather went from warm and calm to cold and windy. The strong, gusty wind was filling the cold air with dust from the beach. The sun was faded and orange as it made contact with the ocean. Two homeless men, one on a grand piano and another on a guitar soulfully and loudly played “Hallelujah.” The air was intense and electric. A crowd of about 500 people gathered around some sort of event on the boardwalk that had attracted four police cars and what seemed like the entire Venice Police Department. And as all of this was occurring, a loud helicopter hovered in a few hundred feet off the ground circling the whole event. We experienced the deepest feeling of life upon us as a mixture of music, weather, machine and humanity converged in a moment of intensity like neither of us had ever witnessed. We stopped and just looked at each other and said, “whoa . . . what was that?” I guess you had to be there!
4. ALIGN and CHALLENGE – I like to align myself with the listener or reader so that they know I am just like them. I have found people to be more engaged and related if they feel like I know them. I also like to challenge the listener/reader with new ideas or concepts.
“I felt discouraged and defeated. None of my friends were supportive of my decision.
Every business I started failed. I bounced 10 checks that week and was wondering if
I was going to lose my job. ”
“I decided that the plan I had been working for over 10 years wasn’t working. The model that
I had been taught in high school and in college was a complete flop. I just began to study those people that had college degrees and had been working jobs for 40 years. Their lives were a financial mess.”
First, ALIGN with the reader/listener then CHALLENGE their way of thinking.
5. What’s the point? Ask yourself, “What message am I trying to convey?”
For example: My story needs to convey that A STORY IS THE BEST WAY TO GET MY MESSAGE ACROSS!
For tonight’s call, I wanted to do 2 things:
1. Convey that a story is the best way to get a message across.
2. Describe what components can help to make up a great story.
6. Use METAPHORS – Metaphors are examples that are similar in meaning.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object or subject.
“Your business grows like an oak tree grows. It starts as an acorn. And not all acorns germinate. If you sow enough seeds and the ground is fertile, a few will take root. Some will turn into giant oak trees and others will wither and die. With enough sowing, you may end up with a forest. You can count the acorns in a tree but you can’t count the trees in an acorn!”
7. AMAZING but TRUE! This one is similar to drama. When you experience something amazing, share it. People love “amazing but true” stories. The formula Ron Howard uses to determine if he is going to do a movie is an “amazing but true” formula. I heard him in an interview and he said he holds focus groups with young people that don’t know the true story he is thinking about directing.
If they tell him the story sounds too good to be true, then he directs it. If it’s not believable, then he feels like it will be dramatic enough to take on. (For example; Apollo 13 and Rush.) These stories seemed so unrealistic to the young people that didn’t know the real story yet they were true, Ron felt like they would make great movies. Amazing but true always makes for a good story!
8. MEANINGFUL to you!
If a story is meaningful to you then you’ll have passion for it. Passion is always a component of a great story. When something MOVES ME, I share it if it’s relevant to the person or people I want to share it with.
9. RELEVANT to the listener/reader: If I tell a group of young people that SendOutCards is a great vehicle to prepare for retirement, that’s not relevant to them. But if I tell them that SendOutCards is a great way of retiring before they hit the age of 26 years old so they don’t have to be in a rocking chair before they can enjoy life that may be more relevant! Consider your audience when you are telling a story!
I want to finish with a story, SURPRISE!!
I figured out a way to get people to lean forward before I tell a story. Do you want to hear it? Seriously, would you like to hear how to get people to stop what they are doing so they are fully engaged in your story? You will not even believe what I’m going to tell you. It will blow you away. You’ve never heard anything like it. Ready?