- Storytelling is the key to success in business and life
- A new system to Give you a place to practice
- Change the world by impacting others who then impact others and so on...
This is day one of my new storytelling boot camp program.
It's a first step in improving my storytelling skills. I'm tired of my kids telling me, “Dad, get to the point.”. The first step of any self-improvement is acknowledging that one has a problem. So I admit it. I'm a bad storyteller. I drone on and on and take a long time to get to the point.
Two years ago I stumbled upon the website of Ryan Fletcher. His premise is that success in business, and life in general, is about inspiring people through storytelling.
He has a multi-faceted program to help real estate agents position themselves as trusted professionals instead of sleazy salesmen. I don't know all the details of his program because he requires an in-depth application process before you even get to find out exactly what it's all about and what it actually costs.
Being the do-it-yourselfer that I am and not wanting to piss away thousands of dollars on another training program that I might not follow through with, I never went through his complete screening process. I think I had made a half-hearted attempt at his application and I never heard back from him. It kind of ticked me off. I didn't make his cut. Well, who needs him anyway! I figured I'd just take what he was putting out there for free and fill in the pieces myself.
He sends out a daily email that I never miss. He always writes something that informs or connects with me in some fashion. I always wondered how someone can consistently write good stuff every single day. Each email would probably take up most of my day to put together.
But on top of that, he has a library of over 100 podcasts. He has many videos. It's more than I can really keep up with, let alone create and do my regular business.
The more I soaked up his free material, the more I connected with him. He's just like me with hundreds of books on his shelves and hundreds of binders of printouts of information and ideas he has. Every time he mentions a book he's reading, I order it and find it to be a great read.
I've never been a great writer. In high school and college, I dreaded having to write reports and essays. One of the reasons I went to Penn State was because they didn't require an essay for their application. I took the easy way. But I've thought about how my life might have been different if I would have been a more confident writer and applied to better schools. I think of Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront”: “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody” instead of a lowly real estate agent, which I am. Let's face it.
Over the years I've practiced my writing on blogs and for I while I was doing a monthly client newsletter. I found that I really enjoy writing. If nothing else, it cleared my mind and crystallized my ideas.
But I needed something to push me to get better. I always thought that it would be great to have a group of like-minded people who could help each other improve their writing.
Which brings me to my main point.
Ryan Fletcher has now created a platform called Impact Club that combines storytelling with charity. Impact Clubs are local groups of around 100 people who meet quarterly to combine their individual $100 donations together into a big $10,000 donation. Three charities each have 5 minutes to tell their story to the club. The members vote and the winning charity gets the $10,000 prize. It's winner take all.
Take the time to watch some of their videos. They are kind of like short versions of TED talks.
Since there are no local Atlanta Impact Clubs up yet, Ryan has opened a “Virtual Impact Club” for anyone to join and participate. I saw the great opportunity and signed up. I was finally able to be a part of his program in a small way at no cost, other than a donation to charity.
As part of the process, he has set up a platform for members to practice and improve their storytelling skills. Each day members are given an outline to write what he calls an IOD (Impact of the Day). The categories are Mind, Body, Business and Relationships.
You're supposed to post it on Facebook and get feedback. I'm also going to post a version of each day's "Impact of the Day" here on my ActiveRain blog.
Thoughts that stay in one's head really don't have a chance to make much of an impact on anything. But if you put it out there, maybe, just maybe it might resonate with another person and help them in some little way. Who knows?
Ryan's mission is to help members become better storytellers who inspire others to tell their stories which then creates real impact across communities worldwide. Or something like that.
He has a big vision. My vision is to just get better at telling stories so my kids don't chastise me to get to the point.
Ryan says that it's CrossFit for Storytelling.
So this is day one. This post was four days in the making. I'm feeling sore already.
Yes, I know this was a lot of words. I'm sure I just embarrassed Benjamin and Rebecca.
I'll try to get better tomorrow.