People write to me with gentle challenges like, “Hey Nick, I love your enthusiasm for stories. But honestly, I don’t see how simply changing the story I tell can improve my future as a freelancer.”
OK… so you doubt the power of stories to influence your life?
You don’t think stories have the power to create change?
Let’s try a short experiment…
Imagine for a minute I’m able to reach into your mind and remove stories from your memory… one by one. I can just pluck them out. You’ll no longer remember those stories, or that you ever had them.
Ready? Let’s get started.
First, I’m going to go way back to your early childhood when your parents told you bedtime stories. I’m going to remove them all, all the way up to the age when you started reading stories on your own.
No more hare and tortoise. No more Jack and the beanstalk. No more cautionary tales or adventure stories. No more of those early heroes or villains. All gone.
And it’s not just the stories that are gone. You’re also going to lose everything you might have learned from hearing those stories. What makes a hero good? What makes a villain bad?
I’m going to take all the stories you heard at school as well. Stories from books you read for class. Stories told by teachers and friends.
Oh… and every history lesson too. All those stories you learned about the history of your country. They weren’t objective day-by-day records. They were stories. I’ll take them too.
And I’ll take the memory of every book you read as a teenager. All the movies you watched too. And the TV shows. And the lyrics from every song you ever loved. They were all stories.
Sports fan? I’ll take every story you ever told or heard about your sports heroes and the achievements of your team.
And just in case we forget, let’s remove all your family stories too. The stories you told around the dinner table during the holidays. You know, all those stories you shared that created bonds of memory and affection between you and everyone else in the family.
We’ll work our way through to the present… removing every story from your mind.
I think you’d be lost. You’d be empty. Maybe insane.
You’d have no idea who you were, where you belonged, what you believed.
By taking your stories I’d have taken away everything that enables you to make sense of the world, and your place in it.
OK… end of scary experiment.
Just make no mistake… stories have incredible power in our lives.
Every story you ever heard in the past has impacted your life as it is today.
In the same way, the stories you tell about your work today will profoundly impact the future success of your freelance business.
Which is why you’ll want to start telling new and better stories, immediately.
NOTE: If you’d like some help or guidance in unpacking your past and creating a better story for yourself, check out my one-on-one coaching program for freelancers… “The New Story of You”
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