Can storytelling help you? Yet it can help you get results. But in most cases, we are good at telling stories about our experiences, what we do, our relationships, our business and more.
But there is one genre of storytelling we hardly do well which the marketplace is demanding more and more; that is storytelling about who we are.
So, who are you? Think about it. If you see this question in an examination hall, what will you write: your name, qualifications, profession/job, interests, and more, the usual stuff we all put in our CV’s. This info merely shows your identity and not really who you are. You are more than your identity, and when situations and circumstances demand that you tell who you are, you may not do a good job of it because you never really thought about it.
If you do not know who you are, how can you tell a good story about yourself to get that job, get what you want, scale that interview, get that admission, clinch that consulting business, or take your romantic relationship to the next level.
Many professionals tell the story of who they are and what they did in their early and middle age, in biographies and autobiographies. Many do so probably in their 60s or 70s. But you don’t have to write a book or wait that long to be able to tell the market who you are, what you can do or what you have done. The time to do it is now and regularly too, as circumstances demand. Your bio story should take you through life, help you to soar, and should not be your benediction when you are retiring from active service.
And you may ask me, Who are you? I am Eric Okeke…. author, business writer, editor, storyteller, media consultant. These are my titles and job positions. So what? If that is all I can say, even if brevity demands it, then I cannot really sell myself well in the marketplace. I need to add something in the active voice, a good strategy for storytelling.
What about this rider? I unleash the power of storytelling to add value to your life and business. That’s more like it. It gives you an idea of what I can do for you. How I do it can come later. If brevity does not allow you write the rider, you can at least say it. The theme of who you are should reflect your strength, talent, what you can do, and how it adds value to others.
Everybody faces the challenge to tell the story of who are you? If you have not, it will confront you one day. You are the best person to tell the story about who you are. You can condense it in 200 words, maximum. I call it Bio 200. Then do a shorter version of say 50 words that will serve as your bio, and another in 5 words that you can put under your name as mine above. If there is space, plug in a rider as I have done. Anybody who reads it will clearly understand the solutions you can offer.
Today’s marketplace is saturated with titles and job positions. Nobody is interested in them any more. What the market wants now are solutions to ideas, innovations, problems, challenges and desires. Kept these versions of your bio handy and always use them when appropriate. If you cannot tell the story of who you are, concisely and quickly, you can miss life changing opportunities. You should always be ready with your story. It should influence how you define your business.
Tell your bio story to show your vision, the strength, talent, and core competence in you and how it can be a solution to the needs in the marketplace, or how it can add value to people’s life and business. That is the secret. If you can distil your Bio 200 into one sentence, then you are a winner.
You want to write yours? Follow this guide which I developed. You will be amazed at the result. You will ultimately discover yourself which is the greatest miracle of all times. Don’t just say it. Write it and re-write it until you perfect it. Storytelling helps you to discover who you are. That is power.
You want to unleash this power? Here we go.
1. Who are you comprises your
- Mistakes and regrets
- Interests (likes and dislikes)
- Values you can exchange/transfer
2. Reasons for doing this
- To build self confidence, selling power and staying power
- To create the right identity in the marketplace and build trust and customer loyalty.
- To avoid heartaches. For example, me and my wife are of the genotype (AS). It means we have the potential of having sickle cell children of genotype (SS). But it did not happen because I knew about our genotypes and took action before the birth of our 4 children. None of them is SS.
- To live a fulfilled life. A colleague in the university changed his course from Medicine to Political Science, a subject he had passion for. When he did that, people taught he had a brain wave. Now he is so fulfilled as he teaches in Ivy League universities in the USA.
- It propels you to be ambitious and to get what you want.
- It empowers you to overcome all odds and to succeed. You discover the Rod in your hand, the tool that will help you get to your promised land. Remember the biblical Moses.
You develop inner strength
- It leads you to channel your energies to what you have passion for. You begin to work with passion irrespective of your circumstances.
- There are many examples of people who discovered the rods in the hands and became famous, wealthy, or fulfilled: At early age: … Bill Gates, Chief Software Architect of Microsoft; at middle age: …. Chinua Achebe, African celebrated storyteller; Nigerian novelist and best selling author of Things Fall Apart, who just won the Man Booker Prize for literature; at old age…Cornel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the USA.
3. The Benefits
Those going through life without discovering who they are live below their potentials and are unfulfilled. Why do you have to discover who you are? Many reasons.
- Your life will change for the best.
- It is question that will propel you to discover your talent and to put your strength to work.
- It is your personal ultimate search to discover the treasure in you.
- You get direction and focus
- It enables you to build your vision
- It defines your unique selling proposition
- It helps you tap the power within you so that you can accomplish and soar above your limitations.
- Impossibilities become possibilities.
- You move on the path to your promised land. But it may be rough and distant.
We shall continue our series on who are you in the next edition of the Great Storytelling Network. Remember to write your Bio 200 and share it with other subscribers reading this newsletter.
Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com