story triangle

Tell the story that’s true to you, not just easy for the crowd

Tell the story that’s true to you, not just easy for the crowd #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyYesterday, I had a chance to share my Story Triangle webinar (you can watch the recording here). During my morning preparation I expected to spend time perfecting the way I presented my storytelling e-course (we all need to sharpen our sales skills, right?). Instead, I ended up lavishing my attention on what seemed like an innocuous little story about St. Patrick and his teaching tool, the shamrock.

To tell the truth, I’d always felt a little disingenuous about this part of my class. I chose the story because I wanted to talk about the power of three. Trotting out the tale of Ireland’s patron saint helped me do that while highlighting my personal story as a student of Irish literature. Plus, just about everyone has a kindly association with March 17 and the wearing of the green and all that, right?

Well, not everyone.

Just this week, someone responded to a video I’d posted earlier this spring about What to do when content you loved writing doesn't get read. I recorded this commentary because I was bummed because some St. Paddy’s Day related content I’d created hadn’t gotten much attention. As a former “professional Irish person” I guess I felt like the world needed to heed (and tweet) my green-tinted writing advice.

After offering some kind, supportive thoughts about how important it is to be seen for our creative contributions, someone who goes by “Wonderfeel” had this to say:

I can't help but mention that St Patrick is someone who would have made the Westborough Baptist Church look mild-mannered. He was a fanatic who violently trounced Earth-based faiths in Ireland. He 'chased out the snakes'. Like most violent individuals he had a backstory that made his cruelty more understandable, but still he was a person who deeply injured the soul of Ireland. Maybe we could wait till April 13 and celebrate Seamus Heaney's birthday?

That was a wake up call I didn't know I needed

I don’t know who Wonderfeel is or whether they’ve followed me enough to know that my interest in Ireland has a lot more to do with Heaney’s poetry and triple goddesses than it does with the Christian trinity. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Perhaps the universe picked this person to remind me to tell stories that are important and true to who I am, not just those that seem most likely to appeal to a crowd.

No matter what, I’m deeply grateful.

Like my mysterious friend Wonderfeel, I don’t have a particularly warm view St. Patrick. I know that “salvation” happened as the result of a lot of devastation. There are many other examples of the power of three that I could have used that wouldn’t have made me feel like a fraud for telling the easy story rather than the story that was true to me.

What’s so important about one tiny story?

Would revising one minor example in an hourlong presentation have made much of a difference to the overall outcome - teaching therapists, coaches, and others in the transformation business about the relationships that help them tell stronger stories? Probably not.

But I strive for integrity and it’s my mission to align every story I tell with who I am and the interests of those I hope to reach. Telling a story that pulls me off that course is a disservice to my community, myself, and the Story Triangle I hold so dear.

You can watch the Story Triangle presentation now. (Try to check it out before midnight on Friday, June 3 because that’s when the special early action bonus expires for new You, Your Stories, and Your Audience enrollees.)

Sometimes, you'd prefer a soapbox in the town square

Sometimes, you'd prefer a soapbox in the town square #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyAn ideal client becomes a match made in entrepreneurial heaven when she meets a tech mishap with "well, it is Mercury Retrograde..." If you're not familiar with that concept, you and I can still be great friends, of course. And if you're wondering, Mercury Retrograde happens three or four times a year. The planet seems to move backwards for about three and a half weeks. During that time, things here on earth seem to go a bit haywire. Communications are garbled. Travel is difficult. Technology refuses to cooperate.

Standard astrological advice has it that you should avoid signing contracts and launching new endeavors. And every stargazer since the dawn of time recommends that you absolutely, never ever ever offer any webinars.

Today's Story Triangle webinar was a tech dis-AAAAA-ster. (But that's ok.)

I can't guarantee that 20 minutes of tech hiccups at the start of today's webinar will teach me to heed the ancients and stick to contemplatively "taking stock" during Retrograde. Nope, I'll just mutter about why everything seems so hard and retroactively check the calendar over at MysticMamma like I always have.

No, what I learned was that when you consistently deliver value to the people who need it, they trust you. And they'll stick with you when you frantically enter in the chat box "please bear with us, we're working on it!"

I am deeply grateful to the members of my community who reminded me to breathe and stuck around and told me "Thank you Marisa! Such helpful information to finding my voice in story..."

But I do fantasize about that soapbox

Once upon a time, when you had something to say, the only technology you needed was a loud voice. If you wanted to get all fancy, you borrowed a soap box so the crowd could see and it could become a "multimedia" presentation.

But, since you probably aren't going to be able to make it to Main Street in New Paltz, NY for the next Story Triangle session, I guess I'll stick to the internet.

I checked the calendar, and Mercury Retrograde ends on May 22. Let's do this thing again (perhaps with a more reliable webinar platform). Join me on May 24, will you?

Reserve your seat

In Case You Need One More Reminder: Yes, Your Story Matters

Maybe by telling you my story you can better tell yours which is the only way home, Mary Karr #365StrongStories This line is wrapped up in a longer sentence in the prologue of Mary Karr's memoir Lit. To say that she had me at hello is a terrific understatement.

In this case, she is speaking to her son when she says "Maybe by telling you my story you can better tell yours, which is the only way home," but I think it is true for any relationship.

In a family, in a friendship, at work, or in the relationship between storyteller and audience, everyone is freer to speak the truth when someone is brave enough to tell their story and invite others to do the same.

Come with me as we explore the relationships that make strong stories. Sign up for the free Story Triangle class that's live at 1 PM ET on Wednesday, May 11.

Reserve your seat

Use the Story Triangle to Tell Stories that Work

Use the Story Triangle to tell stories that work #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyIn some forgotten magazine, I once read a lament about how little fiction is written about the world of work. When historians look back upon this time they might think we live in an age of passionate romance, of hideous crimes, of sweeping wars, and occasional zombie plagues and vampire infestations. They won't be able to look to that cultural signifier we call the novel to understand how many bloody hours we devote to emails and preparing reports and fiddling with "easy"  tools like the LeadPages system.

That said, these people from the future might be able to go to server farms to comb through our Gmail accounts to understand our daily preoccupations, but what will they really understand of our everyday lives by looking at all those alerts and notifications we skillfully dismiss and ignore?

I'm hustling through the completion of a major project. Ironically, though it's all about storytelling, I find that I'm having trouble living my own story through the haze of "busy." That's what happens when you hunch over a laptop perfecting copy and worrying over image selection and praying that all the intangible tech pieces will place nicely with one another.

Even though all this minutiae isn't in itself the stuff that legends are made of, the stories that I am empowering others to craft do have infinite potential. They can mean something to the storytellers and the audiences they're made for.

The everyday tasks of running an online business don’t lend themselves to become great stories. In my case, however, I hope that my own stretch of "mundane" work will empower you to tell stories that matter.

Join me for the next free Story Triangle class that is coming up on May 24. Who knows? The storytelling tools you learn to deepen your connection with clients might enable you tell the great story of what it means to run a business in the 21st century! Reserve your seat

Storytelling Is About Relationships

Story depends on relationships. Relationships depend on story. #365StrongStories by Marisa Goudy Is this your fantasy too? You get to be the person with the space, the time, and the luxury to simply write. Uninterrupted days are lavished on your own ideas without a care for the reader or the marketplace.

Well, that is certainly my fantasy, but we all know I have an incurable addiction to words and sentences. Maybe your fantasy is that you'd never have to write another word again! Maybe you pray that you'll be able to build a solo business or practice without creating online content and telling your brand's story.

Whether your a born writer or you're someone who needs to be tied to the keyboard to get the blogging done, we all need a reality check:

Stories depend on relationships and relationships depends on story.

Next week, in the Connect with Readers & Clients: Discover the Story Triangle we're going to explore how stories build relationships and how stories depend on relationships.

We go a little in today's Facebook live video (below). Be sure to sign up for the free webinar to learn how to make these relationships work in your own writing. Save my seat!