Let Your Story Cut Through the Noise and Clutter

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

On January 5, 2007, I was sitting out on my lanai looking out at the lake and golf course in Ft. Myers, Florida. I was officially and unexpectedly in between careers and jobs, living in a town where I literally knew one person. I had made a voluntary career transition in August 2006 and decided to embark on yet another adventure in my life–one that did not turn out the way I had anticipated.

I was stunned, uncertain and yet strangely excited. The question came into my head, “What do you really want to do, not what do you have to do?” I really wanted to start my own company using all of my gifts, talents, passion and expertise to help others and do what I do best: teach, guide and train. On February 4, 2007, I launched Train with Shane. I just celebrated 4 years in business.

That defining moment on the lanai led me on the most exciting, nerve-racking and challenging ride of my life.

Story Telling Technique

My storyline?

“Deborah Shane is a tenacious ‘career revivalista’ who has transitioned through several careers. She has transformed herself from a rockin’ singer, published songwriter, teacher and award-winning radio sales professional to a gutsy author, entrepreneur, speaker, radio host and expert.”

We know that stories are the most powerful way for people to connect with each other. We all love stories because we all have them and can relate to them. The plot, the characters, the setting, the conflict, the resolution, the moral is the oldest from of telling and sharing experience, wisdom and history that we have. Today, storytelling is one of the most effective approaches to use in brand recognition and development.

Telling a story to drive home a theme or point is so powerful and lasting that it can cut through all the noise and clutter to grab someone’s attention very quickly.

Consider:

  • The courage and perseverance of Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind adventurer to summit all seven of the planet’s highest mountain peaks.
  • The innovation and vision of Ray Kroc of McDonald’s to revolutionize fast food.
  • Sara Blakely getting over her fear of sales to make Spanx the success it is today.

There are thousands of these stories that come out of the lives of real people that drive home the lesson, principle and moment of clarity that come when we take that leap of faith to do what we are driven to do.

Here are 3 ways you can build a story and your brand connection with people at the same time:

1. Identify your life shapers and turning points. We all have specific moments in our lives when things shifted and changed–moments that shaped our ideas and were turning points in our lives. Think about five of those moments in your life and what lesson came out of each that makes you who you are today. Use that to craft a story.

2. Think of random situations or occurrences you were involved in or witnessed that greatly moved you and why. Craft a story around what you saw, thought, felt or learned.

3. Talk about things, issues, causes that you are passionate about and why. We all have charities, causes and things that we want to be a part of and align ourselves with. Craft a story around how these led you to do something.

What’s your story? Find it, tell it, share it and celebrate it.

More in: 12 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media catalyst. Deborah hosts her Deborah Shane Toolbox blog and her Top 100 Small Business Podcast 2013, Deborah Shane Metropolis. She writes for national sites including Forbes, Monster, Personal Branding Blog and Small Business Trends. Her book, "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

12 Reactions

  1. Great post, Deborah!

    it’s empowering (and a little scary) to NOT work for someone else.

    Stories. I think I’ll start telling more of them.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Very inspirational Deborah. I sold a business in 2007 and started a new business in 2008, in a completely unrelated field I had zero experience in. But I was passionate about the new business. It built up in 3 years to what took 10 with my last business. I think experience makes us see the short cuts we need to take to succeed quicker and passion helps get us through those dry times we all hit, whether its a dry period of passion or financially.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    Deborah,

    Inspiring piece! I will quote you when I conduct a speech at Junior Chamber International in Gothenburg, Sweden, on social media and personal branding.

    Is lanai the Hawaiian word for patio / balcony?

  4. Joel, it is scary but much more exciting! Go for it. If not now when?

  5. Mark, passin is the spark, experience and wisdom are the inspiration and motivation. We just kind of know and if we trust we are being led, we are! Thanks for the comment.

  6. Martin, thanks so much! Which part are you quoting? Just curious. Yes, a lanai is a patio/balcony, usually water view.

  7. Hi Deborah – I’ve just been reading through all your bios and how interesting that your story is on Small Business Trends today. I’m noticing that with today’s presentation technologies – video, dynamic slide presentations like Prezi, etc. Knowing how to tell a good story is EVERYTHING. I’ll be trying out your tips!

  8. Ivana, great to meet you and let me know how some of these work for you! Love to know your story more.

  9. Citrus Collective-Get in front of your brand and build trust, engagement and authenticity.

  10. Me and my small marketing agency is all about Cutting The Noise! In fact, that is our slogan. I think it is important to make sure your message is clear and heard by the right ears. There are many ways to do it, but not all of them are always right. Understand what works best to reach the audience you are trying to engage!

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