036: Why Your Personal Story Builds Your Business
How much of your personal story are you really bringing into your teachings and what you do to help others? Did you know that as a personal brand your stories are not just a nice add on, but they are absolutely fundamental to making a difference in people's lives and to getting yourself out there in a way that's going to cut through and make a success of your business?
Today, I'm going to share about how that journey is going for me along with a few tips about how you can do that for you too. Come on, let's dive in.
Here’s a question - why do you enjoy listening to my podcast? I love helping people create their perfect offers, I talk a lot about productivity, but why is it that you want to learn those things from me? Listen to me talking about them? Because others teach this, but it's my message, my stories, the way that I relate these to you that perhaps interests you and makes you want to listen to my podcast, to perhaps follow me on Instagram or even work with me.
I am not going to lie, I am so far out of my comfort zone, being vulnerable and sharing my spiritual journey. It was only a few weeks ago I decided that talking more openly about the things that I'm embracing now as a human and an entrepreneur - being on a spiritual journey, learning things like trust, following ideas like law of attraction, getting immersed more in Kabbalah, understanding that energy is everything - and talking about this on my podcast, which I initially set up in order to simply share tools and hacks to help you build your online business, has been a bit of a departure from where I expected to be.
I spent 40 plus years in what I now recognise as struggle, striving, doing, and I've had to learn to trust the outcome, trust in my own intuition, be kind to myself and prioritise having a high vibration and feeling good - only that enables me to take inspired action.
I’m putting my happiness first so I can be in flow for perhaps the first time in my life - so I can create results, yes, but also so I can live a happy life for myself and for my kids.
Are we aligned? Are you interested in this message? Perhaps what I'm saying is really attracting you, but if it's repelling you that's fine too. In the past I would have minded if I'd have said something that would make you feel alienated from my message, that would make you want to walk the other way, but I understand now that you can't build a business full of people that feel ‘meh’ about you - you have to have people that really, really resonate because that's how you're going to sell and, vitally, that's how you're going to transform lives.
You have to cut through and resonate and what you say has to be meaningful.
Only a couple of years ago I think I'd have been turned off by my own message. If I'd have heard somebody else talking about being aligned and their spiritual growth, I would have been marginally interested, but I wouldn't have necessarily felt that they are the person I would want to learn building my online business skills from. Perhaps I would have sought out a different business coach who was focused one hundred percent on the practical applications and not pursuing the spiritual aspect too.
Ultimately, teaching skills can be something that many people can do, but it's the blend of how we teach that makes our students best able to get their transformation from you.
I truly believe that it's this blend of skills and interests, passions, struggles, life lessons, and personal experiences - our stories, right? - this unique message, that makes all the difference. It’s being bold enough to articulate our unique message and to blend those different qualities in a way that is literally unique to you.
A couple of good examples - perhaps you're familiar with Jenna Kutcher. She's an outstanding business coach and photographer, but it's also her struggles with her weight and her body positivity combined too with her fertility journey, that has made her so incredibly relatable. Gabby Bernstein too talks a lot about her journey towards having her first baby and waiting a very long time to do that, even though she's a manifestation coach. Now that's relatable. Her struggles are universal. Whilst we may not be pursuing exactly the same desires and outcomes, we understand what it's like to not get something that we want so, so, desperately, but to keep the trust and to keep moving forward with positivity.
It's being relatable, it's resonating and being you that makes all the difference. The irony is that at first, we feel like it's going to detract from our message, but the opposite is true - it actually enhances what you teach. I've been embracing that and I've shared a lot of personal details about nearly dying in childbirth and my surrogacy journey. I'm also talking more and more about my struggles with having very high expectations of myself, perfectionism, feeling that only I can do it, not taking help and support and how I'm having to lean towards gaining new levels of trust and how that's helping me as an entrepreneur. Ultimately, it's these stories that are becoming more central to my message and how exactly I help new entrepreneurs to level up their business.
It's because I have these skills, this knowledge, this life experience, and I'm educating myself more every single day about the spiritual aspects of personal growth and building your business, that I'm starting to feel an incredible intuition to share this more. I'm one hundred percent committed every single day to moving myself forward and helping others do the same. I'm putting skin in the game, doing programs about manifesting, trying to understand more about spirituality because that's what interests me - and if I'm feeling lit up and vibrant about it, I just can't help but share.
A few weeks ago, I said that I am not ready to teach this, and I still feel that. I'm not ready to be a person that can stand up and say the spiritual path is the way to enlightenment, and this will make your business a success. I'm not ready to do that, I'm far too insecure, and I do not feel that I have gone far enough on my path yet to have that message - but I do have a message nonetheless, and I don't feel that I can suppress it. It's coming up in so many conversations with my clients who have come to me, not consciously for this message, but for simple help with building their online business. Yet the challenges that they are talking about require me to share my knowledge and the path that I'm on.
The amazing thing is that it is truly allowing me to help them to unblock their resistance, to trust despite the uncertainty they feel about their future business and to take the inspired actions that they need to take.
And whilst of course, I'm helping with the practical skills too, it's that understanding that you can't take the action and do what you need to do if you're not aligned with it; if your vibration isn't in the right place.
Now I'm able to fuse those two elements, my message is so much more powerful, and my students are taking so much more action. Truth be told, I feel guided. I feel excited. I love that hit of inspiration when it comes that I have to follow this path. They say that when you're on the right path, synchronicities come, and in the last few weeks - since I've started recording more episodes like this – I’ve been getting more feedback about my podcast. Some emails, DMS, and people are saying that they love me sharing my spiritual journey - that it’s really resonating and it's having an impact. I did not anticipate this to be the case, but I am just thrilled that some people are inspired by this exact topic.
I'm somewhat surprised because at first, I assumed that people just wanted to learn practical skills from my podcast. Now, this does not mean that I'm going to stop recording podcast episodes that teach more about the practical skills of building your online business, because actually episode 21 - which is ‘Nail Your Niche - is still one of my most downloaded episodes. So, I'm not going to stop that, but I do want to bring more and more of this authentic vulnerability into my podcast.
It's not that hard to do because right now I am all alone in my daughter's closet and this is just joyful. I don't have to think about the fact that these words are going to go out in the world and other people are going to listen to what is actually really personal stuff for me - but I know that it has to come out and I have so much appreciation that you're enjoying this and that you are finding it helpful.
But this episode isn't about me - this episode is about you.
You might be so interested in following my story, that you haven't even realised that this is about you and it's about your stories.
Are you being authentic and vulnerable? Are you sharing what comes from your heart, from your painful experiences, from the learnings you've had in life? When you work with your clients; when you create content and share on social media?
Just yesterday, I was speaking to a coach who inspires me greatly. She's a phenomenal person who has overcome so much in her life, having been born differently to other people. I know her business is going to be phenomenally successful, but I had noticed that, although she's absolutely expert at teaching people what to do, she wasn't sharing authentically about her journey and what life's been like for her. I truly believe that in lacking that resonance, she's missing an opportunity, not just to allow her business to grow faster, but to create transformation in others so much faster, because I know that they are so incredibly inspired by her.
Are you also falling into a similar trap to this? Are you so dedicated to the single-minded nature of what you teach, that you have forgotten how important it is that it's you that's teaching it? Are you holding yourself back and have you forgotten the power of stories? Storytelling since the dawn of time has been what human beings want to hear. That's how we used to share teachings and how we were entertained around the campfires - and it's still true today.
Storytelling is an art that everybody has the ability to do.
We do it naturally every single day, but all too often we forget to do it when we're building our businesses. Dean Grasiozi, the successful entrepreneur and author, tells us that you have to tell a story before you have a teaching moment. It brings it to life so much more. The stories, whilst they can be incredibly deep and vulnerable, don't always have to be. They can simply be a story of yours that's personal and that exemplifies a point.
Let me explain. He tells a story of how he and his friends went white water rafting one day and as they were going down the river, it became extremely rough. They were really concerned that their boat was going to capsize and at one point they were heading towards an incredibly large rock. Everyone was staring at the rock, shouting, and saying that they were going to hit it, when the instructor said, ‘turn your eyes to the main flow of the river, look that way and paddle hard’. And they did just that. At the last moment, their boat turned, they avoided capsizing and they were able to continue their journey down the river.
His teaching is simple – know where you want to go and look in that direction. Put your energy and focus there, not at the things that could go wrong.
Then he moves on to this teachable moment about how to apply that in your business. It's powerful and it's engaging. It's a personal story and it's a teachable moment. That's just one application of how you can use personal stories to really make a difference.
What I encourage my clients to do - and I'm going to share this with you today - is to get out a piece of paper and start recording your stories. This does not have to be writing a memoir - this is simply putting some bullet points down. You could just say, ‘oh yeah, there was that time when’. So, for me, I could write the story pf when the doctor told me we were expecting twins. I could write about becoming obsessed with researching surrogacy every night for six months, I could write that I got burned out six months into building my business and I didn't know how I could go on until I changed the way I approached things dramatically.
Then next to that, simply write what the moral of the story is - what the lesson you've learned is. For me, I could write, this is where I learned to trust. This is where I learned that I had to change my approach and follow flow and inspiration instead of hard graft and painful doing. Write your own stories and please don't worry if they don't come to you when you sit there with a piece of paper, because stories have a way of evading us when we try too hard.
What I suggest is you get this piece of paper out and you drop a few stories in there that you can think of. Then just allow that paper to sit there on your desk or on your kitchen counter and as you're going through daily life stories will pop into your mind. You'll be talking to a friend and suddenly you'll say, ‘oh my God, that story is transformative. I'd forgotten that. 10 years ago, that happened and that was a big deal at the time. Actually, if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't now be doing X or I wouldn't now believe Y’. That's a story - and what did it teach you? What was the moral?
If you keep doing this, you're suddenly going to find that as you move through building your business, creating content, building your program, and coaching your clients, there's going to be moments where those morals are going to matter. That story is going to make all the difference to the person hearing it. They're going to allow you to teach in a way that has already resonated so they're ready to hear you.
They're going to be listening. You're going to cut through and start to call in those people who are going to be compelled to learn from you.
This is me on this podcast episode, doing exactly that - being vulnerable, sharing my journey, sharing where I’m at, talking about stories, encouraging you to do the same.
I have a request of you too. My podcast downloads right now are modest, and I want to grow them so much. I love it when I'm standing in this closet, thinking that one day my message will be heard by many. One day I'll get the opportunity to help others move through their resistance, to build their businesses in trust and in flow. If this resonates for you, I would be so appreciative if you could share this episode with your business besties your pod, on your social media and just encourage others to also share their stories; to be more open and vulnerable. That would mean the world to me. Thank you so much if that calls to you too.
Now as always, I'm going to wish you an inspired action week. Drop me a line if this resonates and if you too are starting to share your stories. Have a good one. Take care.