Since the beginning of time story telling has predominately been the way mankind shared and passed down to generations life skills. The oldest civilisations used stories to share the past, present and predict the future. Scratching’s, etchings and paintings in caves, pyramids and on rocks share stories of a life long ago.
Why stories, because they evoke your imagination, they evoke emotion and just emotion alone lends itself to creating memories. I am sure you may even remember your first book that you read at school. Books full of stories never grow old, just the way we consume them. So what do books and etchings on a cave have to do with business? Just about everything!
Human beings are natural story tellers and we also love to consume and listen to stories. You may have heard the saying “Stories sell, Facts tell”. When we listen to someone talk about their business in statistics, facts, figures and percentages our brain we just hear language. When someone shares a story our brain can’t make the distinction between reading about an experience, hearing it or doing it real life. Annie Murphy Paul from Articulate “When someone describes a singer as having a ‘velvety voice’ our sensory cortex lights up.”
Imagine when sharing about your business and what you do you have the listeners sensory cortex light up as opposed as to ‘hearing language’.
Sharing stories about successes with clients, painting the picture of how your business solved someone’s problem with a story will stay in the mind of the listener far beyond a percentage or fact.
To create a good story and develop a succinct story there are three components to the story, the beginning, the middle and the end. The beginning is short, sharp and a quick intro, the middle makes up the bulk of the story, the meaty part to the story and finally the end is where you wrap up the story with the conclusion and how the problem or issue was solved.
Thinking about your story, what can you create around your business, product or services.
Watching any sport you will notice the coach will call for a team member to move to the interchange bench. This is the time the team member comes off the field, catches their breath, re-hydrates and takes a moment to gather their thoughts. This may happen over an hour play four, five or even six times to the same player. The coach knows playing the player hard for the entire game will not get the best out of the player. By then end of half time their energy is spent and they are not as focused, their speed slows down and so do their reflexes.
Coaches, players and trainers know calling time out for rest, relaxation and focus is imperative to the success of the game.
So too, with business we as business owners need to be aware when it is time to call time out and hit the interchange bench. Calling time out can be as simple as scheduling in a mid-morning break to take your cup of tea or coffee outside and sit in fresh air for ten minutes. Working from a home office it can be tempting to bring your lunch into the office and keep working as you eat. Taking time to sit and enjoy your food will allow it to digest more easily and gives your brain some time away from the morning’s work.
Some business owners use the Pomodoro Technique which is setting a time for a certain period of time to work on a project.
Time is a valuable resources that once spent can never be returned, yet taking time out can be an asset to your business productivity and creativity not to mention your mental health.
Finally, taking time out can also be about finding the right tools, resources and people to work on projects that zap your energy and aren’t really part of your business ‘game plan’. Looking after yourself with healthy choices and a good vitamin regime can also assist in playing a good game. Utilising breathing exercises and meditation in times of stress can assist in refocusing the energy into a more productive energy flow.
Taking time out to restore and reflect is beneficial to you, your business, your loved ones and all those you are connected with. It allows you time and space to reflect on past, present and future, gain clarity and change the energy flow.