Kindra Hall is a Speaker, Author and Storytelling Advisor.
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Hi there—I’m glad to be back, I hope you are too. Today I want to discuss the biggest storytelling mistake entrepreneurs make and hopefully, by watching this video, you can avoid it—because it’s a really expensive mistake. First, as an entrepreneur, one of the great things about you is: you are totally immersed in what you do. You eat, think, breathe, sleep your business, and while this is a huge strength, it can also pose a significant challenge… because when the time comes to tell other people about what you do, you often focus, because you’re always focused, on your product or the service that your provide. When really, that’s not what people care about. What they care about, you know what I’m going to say, is your story. The problem is, your “story” doesn’t sound like a STORY to you—it just sounds like life. We under value the story and end up skipping it all together. Huge Mistake. In fact, you’ve likely seen this phenomenon in action… have you ever watched the smash hit television show “Shark Tank”? The show where entrepreneurs come in and pitch their business or their products to a room full of millionaire and billionaire shark investors? The entrepreneurs come in and they’re SO excited about the product they have to offer, they commit this start up CRIME!. Perfect example; there was a young woman who created hand-made baby moccasins. She came in. Talked about the moccasins. How she acquired customers. Whatever. They talked about the price to make, the price to sell, yadda, yadda, yadda…. It wasn’t until she told the story of how her company started that the sharks REALLY became interested. It wasn’t until she told them that, in order to raise enough funds to start her company she spent a summer breaking the glass out of aluminum window frames. Once the frames were cleared, she brought the aluminum to a scrap yard where they gave her $200. She took that 200 bucks to buy fabric for her first few moccasins. When the sharks heard THAT story, it became a feeding frenzy. Because yeah… there are baby moccasins everywhere, nobody cared about her baby moccasins, what they cared about was her story. Now her moccasins are everywhere; Nordstrom, on my friends’ babies at preschool pick up… And don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s all an act for television. A recent interview with an investor in Tiny prints, Hotwire, and pinterest said This is the number one storytelling mistake entrepreneurs make—NOT telling the story. Those are the pitches that don’t resonate. When someone comes in and reads an analytic report, or discusses the data pointing this business decision, not only is it boring, but it leaves the investor to wonder if some other guy with a similar spreadsheet could create the same product or business. No story, no money. Got it? Now, I want to give you a little break. I feel like I’m being kind of hard on you. The truth is, this is an easy mistake to make. It is SO easy to tell your story… that it’s super easy to FORGET to tell it. But you’ve got to realize, by overlooking your story, you are going to be overlooked. Take a step back, if we connected at an event where you saw me speak, go back through your notes and look for the stories that came to mind when we were discussing this. If we met online, go back through the videos where I teach you which stories you need to be able to tell. Too often we think that people don’t have time to listen to our story… when really, it’s that we don’t take the time to tell it. Whether you’re in the Shark Tank pitching to billionaire investors, or have a sales meeting later today, do not overlook the power of your story. They want to hear it and you need to tell it. It’s always great spending time with you—if you know an entrepreneur with a story they’re not telling, pass this on, and I can’t wait to see you again soon!