We tell stories to make sense of our non linear career paths. We tell stories to see ourselves in each other-- so that together we can build and create. Some of these stories draw people and resources into our vision, while others inadvertently turn people away. We all have control over the story we tell and as an entrepreneur your story is critical to helping you attract the resources you need to run your business.
Below are three short exercises that will help you explore, elaborate and ultimately finesse your founder story.
- Find Your Truth
In a time when we are bombarded by advertising messages, individuals have a greater ability than ever before to sense authenticity. There is no shortcut to finding your authentic voice. As an exercise, take ten minutes and free write for yourself. What is the unvarnished truth of why you started this company? Who were you spending time with? What were the motivations and conflicts that you were dealing with? Forget about the media story and simply write for yourself. Review the resulting stream-of-consciousness and look for the interesting moments of truth and stories that you can weave into the final polished version.
- Change the Tone
Try to tell the story of your founding the company in different voices. Change the language and the details that you choose to highlight but keep the overall story arc intact. As an exercise, try to rewrite the story using the following three voices: a motivational speaker, a copywriter for an ad agency and as yourself speaking with family. Review all of the different versions. How do they feel? How could you combine the best of each voice to perfect your everyday story?
- Moment of Obligation
As our business ideas evolve and change over time, we can easily forget about that one moment when all our learning came together to create what is called your 'moment of obligation'. Think back to before you started your business: what were the original reasons why you started your company? Once you know your moment of obligation, make a note of what you saw in the world at that time, and how it made you want to act. A strong moment of obligation will make your business stand out and give your story a human/emotional element that will connect people to your vision.