Let me start by making my point: a good story well told can move the world.
Lately, I have been wondering about the many stories I have come across on how some of the most profitable companies in the world began.
Just think about it. Almost every successful company in the world has a compelling “how it all started” story.
I am sure you have come across the story about Colonel Sanders and how he stepped back from the desperate intersection of writing a will and calling it quits, to starting Kentucky Fried Chicken with under $100.
What about the Apple Inc. story about how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak put together Apple’s first computer at Steve Job’s family home garage?
Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, is also said to have founded the world’s largest online bookstore, Amazon, in his garage in 1994; and used an old door as his first business desk.
Examples abound of today’s multi-billion dollar businesses that started out in humdrum places such as home garages. Hewlett Packard is one of these.
Google, the largest search engine in the world was once a research project of two Stanford graduates who were only interested in graduating with honours. Today, the Google stock is valued at over $1,000 per share.
Warren Buffet, with a 2017 net worth of $85.2B started investing at age 11 when he bought his first stock at $38 apiece.
The giant Windows Company, Microsoft, was started by Paul Allen and Bill Gates who would skip classes to hibernate for hours in their school’s computer room from where they managed to hack the school’s computer.
Instead of being expelled from school, they were allowed even more time in the computer room with the condition that they help the school improve its computer’s performance.
The above stories are so compelling that I am at times tempted to think they are too good to be true. Or could they be a by-product of genius marketers who understood the lasting branding impact of a good story?
I am not saying this to discount the stories, but the KFC one about Colonel Sanders that has been doing the rounds on the Internet for years strikes me as the work of a very clever marketer.
Consider this. KFC’s follows only 11 people on their twitter page. These are the five Spice Girls, and six other regular guys named Herb; apparently in a genius reference to KFC’s famous 11 Herbs and Spices!
If these guys could pull off such a genius social media marketing trick, I won’t be surprised if the other Colonel Sanders story was strategically planted as well.
The point I am making is that behind every great company or person, there is a compelling story behind them; whether those stories are factual or whether they are a concoction of marketing geniuses is a different story altogether.
What is your story? What is it that is uniquely you that you can use to thread a compelling story that will act as a springboard to your success?
One thread running across all the success stories I have enumerated above is the fact they all reflect very humble beginnings. None of the companies started out with hundreds of thousands of dollars. They all started out with a good story; ranging from humble origins in a home garage to an investment of less than $100!
You may already have a compelling story that is uniquely you. But that story won’t help you until you wrap it around your purpose and strategically use it to propel you into success.
Each one of us has something, or an experience, that sets us apart. The difference between the success cases I have given and you is in most cases the recognition by the former that the world loves underdog stories.
Perhaps it’s time you turned the spotlight on yourself and allow it to highlight any of your many unique abilities that could potentially turn out to be the basis of your unfolding success story.
To succeed, you need to discover your most unique storyline. Then tell it as compellingly as possible. Be purposeful and strategic on how and where you tell your story. Very soon the wired Internet world will pick it up and viral it into yet another success story.