Bo Eason went from NFL footballer to Broadway star on the strength of his personal story (plus the brawn and gumption of a pro athlete). I was lucky enough to attend his Personal Story Power event last weekend and wanted to share my takeaways.
As Bo says, “your personal story and perspective of the world is the most valuable asset you have.” There’s no other training you need to build your global brand and get your message out there. But first you have to embrace your story – to speak it and fight for it everywhere you go, because it’s what brought you here to this moment in time where you can really make a difference.
Bo talks about the transformational age, the dream society that we live in, where the winner is she who can tell her story the best and impact people emotionally with her life.
If you’re not willing or not courageous enough to share your story, you’ll be outsourced or replaced because there are hundreds if not thousands of people who can do what you do. However, there’s only one person who can do it in the way you do it with the perspective you have. (Yes, that’s you…)
Your story forms the core of your message and brand. When you master your message, people line up behind you. You can lead a movement with your personal story, your brand story.
We all get stuck about telling our stories because we think it’s not dramatic enough or that no one’s going to care. But that’s just part of the process. We don’t need confidence in our stories, we just need the courage to express them.
Through the specifics of your life – revealed and exposed in all its rawness and vulnerability – you tap into the universal, the timeless, the true. Your brand becomes bigger than you.
Here are the top 6 tips from Bo Eason to craft your magnetic personal story:
- Start With One True Sentence – Write down one sentence that’s true to you. That grabs and makes an impact. This is the spark, the conversation starter, the piece that captures the soul of the whole.
- Cut to the Chase – You don’t need to say everything. No one cares about the details, the backstory, we want the meat and potatoes and we want it now. Get to the action right away. Start your story as late as you can with as little explanation as possible.
- Speak in Present Tense and First Person – Even if your story happened when you were a child and you’re now in your fifties, speak as if this is the first time you’re telling it. Speak as if it’s happening now. This makes your story more immediate and real – for you and your audience.
- Get Muddied Up – People want the real you, not the beautiful polished writing, not the safe, protected version of you. Rehearse like crazy, then forget what you learned. People don’t care about the words, they care about you, who you are and what you want. Take a risk, stretch outside of your comfort zone, give yourself permission to suck. Your rawness makes you interesting and magnetic.
- Physicalize the Action – Emotions live in your body. Your body is part of your story and it’s even more important than your words – it speaks 75-85% of your expression. If you’re not connected with your body, people aren’t going to get, remember and be moved by what you’re saying. Movement relaxes you, grounds your story in a deeper level and provides an access point for you and your audience.
- Transform in Front of People – When you transform, your audience transforms. You can heal people with your story, if you give it all without holding back – without being a censor or a critic. Don’t apologize for yourself and your expression. Whoever you are and whatever you’ve gone through, don’t be a victim of your life. When you come out the other side, you bring others with you
Love your story. Fight for it. Express it. It made you who you are today. Love the failures, the pitfalls, the moments of weakness. Fall in love with your life and your pain. You have truly earned the right to tell your story. And the world wants to hear it.
As part of the event, Bo has invited me to send a 3-minute video of my story for him to critique. I’ve never publicly shared this story in this way and it still feels a little raw, but I’m going to post it here in my blog (along with his feedback) in the next month or because I’d like you to see the process of working through your personal story. So stay tuned!