Someone asked me tonight what my “story” was – and I always wish for a better answer to that question. After all, I spend a good part of my life telling stories and helping companies to tell them as well. Tomorrow I will be spending an entire day at an event called the Future of Storytelling. Every night I read a story to my kids at home. And I write stories almost every day.
Most of us are the same way. We live surrounded by stories and yet when we are asked to share ours … we pause. Why?
I used to think that it was because my story wasn’t good enough. It couldn’t be told in the length of an elevator ride. It wasn’t dramatic enough. It wasn’t … well, a story. But over the last few years, as I spend more and more time talking people at events and on stage – I have realized one thing:
There is a difference between a story and a pitch.
A pitch is a short description of something designed to influence your listener to believe in something or to do something. A story doesn’t need to do that. All a story needs to do is move you in the moment. Whether or not you do something differently isn’t really the point. If you were entertained in the moment, that’s ok. If it changes the way you treat people and impacts your life, that’s ok too.
So my story isn’t a pitch.
But it does have ups and downs. And it takes exactly 25 minutes and 8 seconds to tell. At least it does in the video below – which is one of the most human and honest talks I’ve given in the past few years … all about how I launched a startup, failed, moved to Australia, got fired, and wrote a best seller.
I hope you like it …