People often think your story has to fit perfectly with your business. My business has nothing to do with football and I often share stories from my past, which is sports and football. I recently chatted with my story structure coach Mary Kincaid about this very topic because we both get asked about it all the time.
Bo: Say you’re a financial advisor; does your story have to line up with finance?
Mary: No, not at all. But I do find that you have lived the stories that will serve your business. I feel like the stories find you, you don’t find the story. If your business is heading in a certain direction, you’ve lived a life that sent it down that path so the story is there. It’s just a matter of making the connections in a way that makes sense and is meaningful for people.
There is always, always a way to do that with whatever story you’ve lived in your life and whatever business you want to build. There’s going to be a connection there. There’s no way there can’t be.
Bo: I work with a lot of people in the financial services industry and they always want to make it logical and make it line up perfectly with what they’re offering potential clients. It doesn’t have to. Their clients don’t want to know about finances. They want to know who is going to be handling their finances.
What cloth are you cut from? That’s the trust. That’s the co-creation with another human being that is lost in our world of information. Those people need to know who you are so hearing about your adventures in Little League or at the prom, that’s how they get to know you.
There’s this study from CEG Worldwide that says 84 percent of high-wealth individuals are right-brained. They don’t connect to figures and percentages. They’re creative. They connect with story because it’s emotional. If you say you can make me 20 percent more on my money, I don’t really know how to process that, but if you tell me about your dreams as a 9-year-old, now I’m in. I’m connected and I trust you because you’ve shared yourself with me.