Looking back on your business journey, you know how you got started, you remember the highs and the lows, and you know the people you met who influenced you the most. Every detail and bump in the road creates your story and positions you as the perfect person to do what you do.
Keeping founder stories private is a mistake many entrepreneurs make, but entrepreneur and author Mark Leruste is on a mission to turn that around. As founder of Ministry of Purpose, award-winning host of The Unconventionalists podcast, keynote speaker, and author of The Light in the Darkness: How Sharing Your Personal Story Can Change Your Business and Your Life, Leruste inspires people to have the confidence to share their personal Experiences tell personal stories in authentic and empowering ways.
Most people don’t share their stories because they think it’s boring. They think no one cares and they don’t see the benefits. Leruste knew they were wrong. “People are so close to their stories that they don’t see the mountain of value they’re standing on,” he said.
Here are three reasons why sharing your personal story can change your business and your life.
story to watch
“We’re wired to pay attention, engage and retain stories,” Leruste explains. “Since the first primitive language-like systems emerged more than 2 million years ago, storytelling has been an essential part of sharing and retaining information to survive and thrive as a species.” Your biology needs you to do it, and everyone else It is natural to want to hear what you have to say.
Leruste describes storytelling as the “ultimate skill” for capturing attention and making sales. But why is it so powerful? Obviously, it depends on neuroscience.
In his book, Leruste explains the research of Princeton University neuroscientist Uri Hasson, PhD, who studies how we tell and hear stories. A study explains how an effective story can get two brains in sync. “According to Hasson, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments showed that, initially, the brainwave activity of the storyteller and the listener was different, as you’d expect. But when the storyteller shared their story , the MRI showed that the listener’s brainwaves began to match those of the storyteller.”
Leruste’s research, including Hasson’s findings, led him to believe that storytelling is “the oldest and most powerful tool in the entrepreneurial toolbox,” because telling your story creates a connection between you and your audience. It helps them understand your hopes and dreams and understand where you are coming from. They relate to you, they sympathize with you. They will be inspired and persuaded by your message.
Your story is your only truly unique selling point
Almost everything in your business can be replicated. Competitors can figure out your recipe, copy your content, products and services, and copy your sales tactics, but they can’t copy your founder’s story. That’s only yours, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.
“In today’s noisy digital world, people buy from people they know, like and trust,” Leruste explained. “Personal storytelling is the best way to create an emotional connection and engagement with your audience, building a sense of trust with you.” Leruste knows, “People connect far better with another person than with an anonymous brand or logo.”
How often do you read the “about” page of a website and read the story of the couple who risked everything to create a product and build a business? The reason these stories are popular with savvy business owners is because they work. Even as these brands grow and are acquired, the stories live on. Despite being bought by Unilever in 2000, Ben & Jerry’s still tells the story of school friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield who opened their first spoon shop in a Vermont gas station in 1978. The same goes for Quaker Oats, Spanx, Cadbury and Starbucks. The story is remembered long after the business changed hands.
“It would be crazy if you didn’t use the most valuable asset you have to stand out from the crowd,” Le Roust said. criminal, almost. You won’t waste your profits or keep your best team members from working for your business. But when you hide in the shadows, you’re leaving cash and influence on the table.
Sharing your story heals you and inspires others
Leruste highlights the work that comedians do when they speak openly about “their flaws, their imperfections, their moments of embarrassment in a very public setting.” That’s what built their tribe of superfans, he said. “Kevin Hart drew more than 50,000 fans to his Sunday stand-up,” because “we all crave that sense of relief that we’re not alone in our mundane struggles.” Leruste believes that hearing someone else Talking about their flaws reminds us that we’re not as bad as we sometimes think we are.
“Most people don’t realize that there’s a tremendous gift in owning and sharing your personal story, flaws and all,” says Leruste. When you do, “you will experience the ultimate freedom, which is when you have nothing to hide and no one can hurt you.”
In his work with entrepreneurs and business leaders, Le Roust has encountered people who fear what the world will think or say if they discover who they really are. “God forbid anyone knows that you sometimes take a day off, or that your life isn’t as perfect as your Instagram feed, or that you don’t figure it all out,” he challenged.
When someone fully owns their story, it’s engaging and compelling. “The reason we’re drawn to people who unabashedly own their stories is because deep down, we too want to let go of the mask and just be who we are, especially in a professional or business setting.” See Others Doing so allows us to show up.
Step into the spotlight and change your career and your life
Leruste wants you to choose. “Do you spend time and energy hiding and controlling what people think of you for a sense of security and a false sense of control?” Or do you choose to spend the same amount of time and energy, “Finding out what inspired you in the past, resonated and An unforgettable moment for you?”
The latter, he says, means you can impact your own and the lives of others in the most positive way possible. By sharing your journey with your network, prospects and customers, get people on their feet to listen, leverage your true USP and help others become better versions of themselves.