Friday, December 7, 2012

Tell Your Story

I love people and I love people's stories. I love hearing them and I love telling them. If I am introducing someone to another person, you can often hear me saying, "They wouldn't tell you this about themselves, so I'll brag on them."  This is why I love social media so much -- when it comes down to it, it's not about the technology or the next big thing, it's about sharing and connecting with other people. I am not a super techy person (I have other brilliant people I use for all things tech), I just believe that everyone has a story and that it's a story worth telling.

One of things I find in getting to know people is that the most fascinating parts of their stories (be it personal or career-related) often don't come up until later in a conversation. Then, they are often embarrassed to share it because they think of it as mundane. If it's an accomplishment, they are often reticent to share it because they don't want to come across as bragging.

This is a fair point and a valid area of concern, however as my friend and colleague Sean Low says, "a closed mouth gets no credibility." While there is certainly a fine line between arrogance and confidence as well as bragging and stating the facts, you won't get any business if you are keeping your story to yourself.

At the end of the day, people do business with people they like, regardless of the economy. You have a story and you are the best at being you. Tell the world.


Originally published February 2010

13 comments:

Joy Nudd said...

I love this post!!!!!!!

Crystal Adair-Benning said...

This is a perfect Thurs thought. Midweek and well into the onslaught of phonecalls and paperwork it's important to remind ourselves that our stories and who we are matter just as much as a great image or brand. Great post!

The Broke-Ass Bride said...

So right on, Liene. I'm often worried I tell too much of my story, but I'm always rewarded with great comments, new friends, and other people sharing stories with me... kind of like when we both wrote our health care stories around the same time :)
Sometimes one needs permission to share a story, and each time one of us does it, we open the door for another to share their's as well!

Latrice of Bridal Opulence said...

So true & I totally agree!!

Alexandra said...

Thank you for reminding me that it's good to toot my horn every now and then.

Marni Gold said...

I recently took this advice and re did the "about" section on our website. I made it more personal and told my story..the whole story about me.

How else do you suggest getting the word out?

Wendee said...

I brag about you daily.

Hannah Stonehouse Hudson said...

YES! Thank you - our businesses are so personal, but sometimes we forget to add our story because we have explained it verbally a million times, and we think others don't want to hear it again... but they do!

Denise Cornell said...

This quote (source unknown) was recently passed on to me. It speaks directly to your point.

"You have a strong desire to thrive in business which means that you must be seen and known by LOTS of potential customers. However, being “invisible” is a fundamental survival skill for most of us as children and teenagers! So much so that it becomes a familiar and safe pattern that we carry forward to our adult years. Now you are an entrepreneur and you need to be seen and known – even publicly admired – in order to thrive."

For a lot of people this requires a fundamental pattern shift and focused effort!

Phyllis Cheung said...

Thank you Liene! Very well said. I'm proud of my business and where it's gone in a very short time, but by nature, I'm fairly quiet and shy. Thank you for encouraging us to pat ourselves on the back and let everyone else know about it.

Denee said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have spent over a year trying to NOT use my 'authentic voice' for fear of what others would think...that my story would be irrelevant. But in my heart, I've always believed it was a compelling story. I don't want to be a role model....I want to be someone others can 'relate to'...and if that inspires or encourages someone then it will be because of my honesty - not because I tried to be perfect or present myself as anything other than who I am. WOW...I'm feeling empowered! Thank you!

julianne smith (@gartergirl) said...

did you write this for me?!! thanks for all the support and motivation!

Manuel said...

I thought this was an interesting post! I always find it hard to express myself but then realized after reading your post that I already do that too much! I love to share stories and this is a great one! Thanks for the interesting read! Keep up the great work!