Humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. One of the most important stories you will ever tell is your entrepreneurial story. Your ability to do this well will have a direct impact on your success.
When we say “story,” we’re talking about much more than a progression of events that leads to an outcome. Your entrepreneurial story isn’t a timeline, it’s a culmination of key moments, lessons learned, pivots, motivation, frustrations, and successes.
TOMS is the keystone example of turning a spark into an entrepreneurial journey into a story that sold. Blake Mycoskie traveled the world, discovered the devastating reality of children in a small village, and had an idea to help. Once executed, his idea not only provided children around the world with much needed footwear, but rallied stakeholders around the cause, and made TOMS a household name.
Everybody has an entrepreneurial story. And every successful entrepreneur must be a storyteller.
It might not come easy to you at first, but as with any entrepreneurial tool, with practice, trial and error, and refinement, your entrepreneurial story will become a powerful weapon in your arsenal. And it will prove invaluable time after time.
Persuasion of Prose
When people invest in your company – either their time or money – they are investing, at least in part, in your story. Companies aren’t just snapshots in time, they are positioned within a narrative. How people perceive that narrative will influence how they will perceive your progress and your potential. Even a very early-stage company can win customers if their narrative illustrates a compelling future that they want to participate in.
Externally, stories can help persuade key stakeholders – employees, investors, and consumers – to invest in your company.
Read the rest of Robin’s post on Forbes here.
Robin Weekley Bruce, CEO of The Acton School of Business, published this article as Part I in a three-part series on Forbes last week on the importance of storytelling in entrepreneurship. Stay tuned for Part II and II in the months ahead