The quickest and easiest way to get to your why, core message & story is to answer these questions (I have another task below to help jog your brain into action should you struggle to answer them so don't worry):-
1. What is the transformation you want to see in the world and why?
Try and be super specific, if you write down 'to see everyone achieve their dreams' that's way too generic... let's replace the word everyone with who you're really talking to and describe what the 'dream' actually is, because that is different
for everyone! When you write down why, think back to stories that have led
you to wanting others to experience the transformation.
2. If you were asked to stand up in front of 50,000 people and share one
message with them what would you say?
Bearing in mind you are able to choose the type of people in the audience, who would they be, how would they be moved by your message (what action would it inspire them to take) and why is it so important to you to share it?
3. It's all about intention, so think about (in the context of your purpose and business purpose) what do you want people to know, think, feel and do?
Align Your Story
One of the biggest issues with uncovering the 'right' brand story is the fact that it can sometimes seem so far removed from our business and unaligned. And the reason this issue is caused is because we can start with the story first instead of focusing on what we're passionate about now. You end up trying to pick from a pool of stories that we think matter, but actually whilst they have contributed to who we are, they aren't directly related to our mission as it stands now. The best to find your brand story that's aligned with your mission, is to start with your mission first.
What are you most inspired to help people with NOW. Focus on the present and what you want to do in the future and then trace back the story/stories that bought you to this inspiration and mission that you want to take forward.
That way you'll be pulling out what matters to the future of your ideal clients and your business.
Helen Packham, Public Speaking & Thought Leadership Coach, says your story is a vehicle to providing the elixir that helps those that need it most. And I totally agree! Your story and message is like the beacon that attracts and helps your tribe.
I see it as kind-alike inception. At some point in your journey there were ideas and beliefs that were planted in your head from the experiences you've been through. It's about finding clarity in the now and then working your way back to find your story.
Below you'll be diving deeper into your stories but you may want to read all the way through once so that you can gain more clarity on your inspired mission and perhaps a bit about your message and then repeat with the second goal of uncovering your stories.
Dive in Deeper to Your Core Message to uncover your story
The gold is sometimes in the small stuff so don't disregard ANY story! Also remember that nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it, so your stories are incomparable to anyone else's.
They are what they are and they meant what they meant at the time. Write without judgement and accept them for the moments in time that they were and the significance they had on you regardless of anyone else's perception of them. This is not a time to criticise or compete with who has the biggest story... the GOLD is usually in the SMALL and seemingly NORMAL stuff!
This can be quite an emotional task to undertake so make sure you're
somewhere quiet, perhaps with tissues, and even perhaps make sure you have
someone you can talk to afterwards.
▢ Get two pieces of blank paper and you are going write down 2 - 3 stories on
each from your past that made the biggest impact in your life to date, these
are usually some of the most memorable and can have arisen at any age.
▢ On one sheet write down the stories that have left a positive impact and are
fond memories to loom back on. For each story, write down the lesson you
took away from those moments.
▢ On the other sheet write down the stories that perhaps might be a bit difficult
to think about because they perhaps had a more negative impact, HOWEVER
it's important to note that these events have still made a huge impact on you
and they form part of who you are today. The most important thing to do now
is determine the positive lesson from each of those stories. We can learn
from those moments we don't have to be defined by them. So make sure you
write down the POSITIVE lessons learned from those situations.
▢ Make sure that you're being as specific as possible about those
memories/stories and write down how they made you feel, the details and
what specifically about those moments impacted you the most.
▢ Once you have your stories, it's time to pull out the common lessons learned
from those moments. If you're struggling to find a common thread, ask a
trusted friend/colleague... it's important that they don't know you too well
because I wouldn't want them to skew the perspective of your stories too
▢ Once you have your common positive lesson that you'd want to share with the
world, ask yourself how you'd like others to specifically take action on this
lesson/message? What would you like to see them achieve in their lifetime
using this message? This is your core message.
▢ Your core message must be something that you feel truly passionate about
and connected with. It must have context to make sense to the people who
you are talking to and to make the biggest impact. It is something that you
should truly be excited for someone to take action on.
When defining it, have this in mind... what do you want people (a particular type of person not just everyone) to do with your message? What action do you want them to take?
▢ It might help to revisit the shortcut questions at this stage!
Now lets create your why/mission statement...
Your mission statement will sound something like this...
''To.... so that...''
Mine is: To (insert action) empower ambitious entrepreneurs with the
means to CREATE their success so that (insert outcome) they can
make epic impact , epic income, and leave a true entrepreneurial
Try and make your statement as specific as possible and try not use words that
are too vague. It's fine to start vague. but drill it down. You might have to write
this down a few times before you get it right.
Revisit the story part again after you've got your mission statement if you're still feeling unclear.
Making Your story Stick
Getting clarity on your core message and your story is one thing, but getting it to stick in the minds of others as an idea that they remember, understand and assimilate is another.
Your story is a great way to communicate your 'idea' / core message and compels action in others when you do the following the things...
- Get your listener/reader to pay attention by opening with something unexpected.
- Bring context and specificity/detail to the story to raise it's credibility and add an element of solidness to for the audiences minds to latch on to.
- Amplify the credibility of your story by using a case study where perhaps someone or you experienced the negative effects of not heeding the core message you're trying to get across and describe the consequences. Or perhaps a case study where by heeding the core message actually yielded beyond belief results.
- People will only remember and act upon your story/idea/core message if it's simple, based around one strong idea and just as important - that they care. People care about a story that brings them on an emotional journey with you.