A story authority is someone who can convincingly and authoritatively tell their own story; or, I should say sell their own story.
All the great successful people have their own story; in fact, we don’t call them “success stories” for nothing. The power of the narrative intrigues people because we feel a sense of connection to those stories and they serve as mental road maps for the equally ambitious.
I got a bit tougher-minded reading the story of Cornelius Vanderbilt, I gained more of a sense of duty reading the story of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, and I definitely gained insight into the culture of unabashed power and wealth reading about the medieval Plantagenets!
Here are 3 tips to becoming a Story Authority, someone who can tell their own story in such a way that others will not only remember you, but will want you on their team. You can use this technique to do everything from joining the weekend softball team to gaining access to great amounts of wealth by imbibing the right connections with the story of you.
3 Tips to Being a Story Authority!
1. The power of stories as a mnemonic. Telling stories triggers our memory capacities to retain what we’ve heard. Facts and stats about a person can only go so far, it’s the story that wraps those facts up that make them relevant. For example, I can tell you that I ran a multi-million dollar project for 2 years; however, if I then add on a story about how our project was almost a year behind and I had to spearhead the renovation of an entire building floor to house the project and bring it to spec because we were about to be audited, now that’s a story! I actually did that, and to make the story even more juicy, they didn’t even tell me about all of that until the day I signed my contract.
2. Write YOUR wealth story. If you have a goal to be wealthy, wright that wealth story now, while you are on the path to making it. Imagine yourself wealthy in the context you would enjoy it and unravel all of the story lines that got you here. Those story lines could include your wonderful spouse, the great deal you made, where you’re living, how you travel, how you tell your story to your friends when you unexpectedly invite them to a paid vacation to hang out with YOU. It really is an exercise in visualization.
3. Now, taking the energy and acclaim of your wealth story, go back into your own past and cherry pick great success stories that you already have. I have a story about a multi-million dollar project in my arsenal, what are your stories? Think about them, write down a list if necessary, talk with your friends or spouse about remembering those cool and successful moments. After you’ve done that, practice telling them and use them when you describe yourself to people that are going to help you on your career path or build your wealth – people you want to make an impression on!
So here’s my caveat to the last item on the list: don’t brag about yourself!
Tell your story but do it in a way that is a bit self-effacing yet confident in establishing your identity. It’s how others see you that is the important thing about being a wealth story authority; you are trying to make an impression on someone else so that they remember you and want you on their team. The role of the storyteller is not to make him or herself feel better, but to project success, to make an impression.
In other words, think about your audience when telling your story!
Again, stay humble, don’t brag, don’t come off as an a**hole! Even when you’ve made it and have achieved your wealth story, stay humble. I have met some very wealthy and influential people in my time and the common thread among the people I have met is that they were all very humble, very genuine, and courteous enough to give me a moment to chat.
The other thing I’ve come to realize about wealthy and successful people is that they love wealth and success!
What this means is that they love to hear success stories, they thrive on it. I remember a time when I was talking to the CEO of a giant oil company and related a personal success story to him. I was probably trembling and I distinctly remember thinking to myself “what the hell does this guy care about what I’m saying, this probably sounds really insignificant compared to what he’s accomplished!” I was still in high school.
Well I’m glad I did because it sparked a bit of respect between him and I and that was important to me back then. The other neat thing about telling your story is that now that person has the chance to reciprocate! I got to ask him about his career path because through my story I looked extremely interested and credible to him. It was a fantastic learning opportunity! I got a chance to read a chapter in his book of success.
Go out and be a story authority today!