How I found my true self by spending time as someone else.

new story of you coaching gear

In my last post I mentioned that I struggled academically during my earlier years at school.

I was at an English private boarding school from age 8 to 12. Not a fun place to be, particularly if you’re shy and have zero self-confidence.

At that particular school, after the first couple of years, they divided everyone between three academic streams.

At the very top was the scholarship stream, followed by an academically competent stream, and at the bottom was the “don’t even bother to try harder” stream.

I was in that last stream.

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Are you really the author of the story of your own freelance business?

Are you the author of your own life story

There’s a scary question for you.

Who IS the author of the story of your life and career as a freelancer?

It’s tempting to immediately answer, “It’s me, of course! I’m the author, protagonist and hero of my own story!”

But is that true?

Truly, honestly, I think most of us are secondary characters in other people’s stories.

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The New Story of You should have a purpose beyond just money.

Story of you with beer

We all have to make money to pay the bills.

But when you work just for the money, and no other reason, your life can become a little thin and unsatisfying.

To illustrate this point, let me share a story from my own life.

About 20 years ago I was a decade into my career as a copywriter and doing very well. But I wasn’t that happy about my work.

One evening I was having a few beers with a friend of mine, Mike. He was a friend first and foremost, but he was also a client. He was a small business owner and I had done a copywriting job for him a few month before.

After a few beers I told him I was feeling kind of crappy about my work.

More or less, here’s what I said…

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If you don’t like the story of your freelance life so far, rewrite it.

rewrite your story typewriter

Stories are a ridiculously powerful force in our lives.

For example… when you were young, which kind of kid were you?

The clever one? The slow one? The sporty one? The geeky one? The troublemaker?

Other people told those stories about what kind of person you were.

And those early stories about “who you were” maybe stuck with you for decades.

Perhaps they still have an influence over how you feel about yourself today.

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No, that demanding client of yours is NOT your boss.

freelancer's demanding client

If you’ve watched the opening video on my coaching page, you’ll already be familiar with the backstory of why we so often defer to a boss… even when we don’t have one.

Basically, it’s build-in, hard-wired.

Right from the start, from the day we were born, there has ALWAYS been a boss in our life.

Our first bosses were our parents.

Then our teachers and coaches at school.

And then our managers and bosses at work.

We have barely gone through a day in our lives when we haven’t been paying attention to the directions of a boss.

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3 Things you have to get right when selling with stories.

Selling with a good story

Recently I’ve been seeing a surge in the number of companies jumping on the “story” bandwagon.

A few days ago I was traveling back from the UK. At the airport I saw three references to story. One on a poster, one in a duty-free flier that was thrust into my hand just after I got through security, and the one you see in the photo above, on the pages of an in-flight magazine.

All mention story, but not one of them actually told a story.

It’s as if the writers believed that just using the word “story” would make some kind of difference.

It doesn’t.

If you want to tap into the true power of storytelling in your marketing, you have to actually tell and share a real story.

And to give your story power, it has to get three things right…

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