Without a story compelling enough to make you stop, remark upon it & pass that remark on to somebody else, you’ll get nowhere.
Whether you’re building a product or building a personal brand, at some point you’ll realise that people just don’t care. There are 7 billion of you milling about the world, all thinking their lives are the most important thing that’s ever happened.
Fuck the Industrial Revolution, the World Wars, the invention of TV, the Twin Towers, the internet.
What about that fucking guy at the checkout aisle last week that pushed past me? Why can other people not understand how big a deal that was?
Because, as I said, there are 7 billion of you. No-one does — nor should they — give a shit.
So, to become noticed — to deserve to be noticed even — you must tell a compelling story that resonates with them.
You must tell a story that aligns with the stories they tell themselves.
Let’s take an example:
Imagine you write a quality blog about how to recycle better. You send it to a group of environmentalists. They’ll read it & they will listen.
Send that article to a right-wing, oil industry lobby group, however, and it’s going straight in their junk mail.
That’s because the stories you tell, your ideas, align with the stories the environmentalists tell themselves. A story of preserving the planet, of limited resources.
The oil industry lobby group, on the other hand, tell themselves a different story. A story of infinite resources, of the supremacy of financial gain, of protecting their vested interests.
Back to the drawing board
So when I sat down to write, thinking about what story I wanted to convey to the world, I realised I must tell one that clicks with my audience.
It could not be one that was self-indulgent, ego-driven & irrelevant for an outsider.
It would be a story of injustice. Of getting fired. Of having principled that would not be swayed. Of standing up to a fraudster.
I don’t know in which theatre that story will be played out, how each act will unfold, where it will take me even.
I just know that I stand by one primary belief:
That life is too short to not seize every opportunity, to go on the attack, to pursue your dreams.
That you have 4,000 weeks in your life to do something you love with. Something that gets you out of bed in the morning. Something that makes you look forward to each day.
That you can make all the excuses you want, but you’ve got the same 4,000 weeks as everyone else, so don’t go & waste them.