Storytelling Is Not Self-Indulgent: Here’s Why Storytelling Is So Important Ms. Hater.
Last week, I received a nasty message from someone we will call Ms. Hater. I posted a photo of why I believe in volunteering to help those in need and to rally people to do the same.
In her message about the post, she accused me of something I’d never heard of – “Story Porn.”
For starters, I hate the word porn and that entire industry but let’s leave that for another day. Her gripe with my post was about the act of telling stories on social media.
She made the fundamental mistake of believing that I – and others I collaborate with like Joel Brown –are trying to be influencers and build some kind of BS personal brand to inflate our own egos.
Anyone who reads my stuff knows the following:
– have no time for personal brand and don’t believe in it
– believe that our ego is one of the biggest blockers from achieving success
– am adamant that influencers are the same as everybody else and there’s no such thing
– am certain that storytelling is one of the main ways we can change the world
When thinking about Ms. Hater’s comment, these questions spring to mind:
Would you rather me fall into line and live your vision of the world?
Would you rather me shut up and not tell you’ve what I’ve learned?
It’s easy to criticise and be negative, but my question out loud is simple: “What value are you bringing to the world?”
Here’s why storytelling is fundamental and not porn as Ms hater says:
People are motivated into action through stories.
Stories are not about enhancing yourself and your brand. The reason I tell stories and want to inspire others to do the same is because it’s how we create more action.
“There’s a lot of dreamers and not enough doers. I can’t change the world and solve all the problems of Planet Earth all by myself. Stories are how I recruit more people to pick up the metaphorical hammer and build things that solve these challenges for all of us”
Stories are personal and our fellow human beings can relate to them because we are all made from the same stuff, and come from the same place.
We all are deeply rooted in good and have unlimited potential to do things. Our mind is manipulated by our environment and positive, uplifting stories are how we disrupt this destructive series of thought patterns.
My storytelling on social media is not about me or my ridiculous ego: It’s about inspiring others through entrepreneurship and personal development to go out there and take action. There are too many nice ideas that force us to be perfectionists and never take action.
I want to inspire people to fail lots and attempt things they never thought possible as I’ve done. I want to be the example in the stories I tell not the focus of attention.
Vulnerability through storytelling is how we grow. Vulnerability through stories is the real story.
Storytelling is how we get better at sharing our experiences and over time I’ve learned that it helps us be vulnerable. It’s in the vulnerable moments of our life that the inspiration to help others is created. If I hadn’t hit rock bottom a number of times, then I wouldn’t have any stories to share.
My toughest moments in life have created the best learnings that I can share through stories on social media. Ms. Hater has accused me of Story Porn but the truth is that it’s challenging to share stories. It requires you to dig deep and say things that you might be scared of saying.
There are so many stories out there but the ones that stick are the ones that are vulnerable. It takes guts to be vulnerable and it’s not easy for me or anyone trying to share stories like me, to do so. It’s hard work and it takes an emotional toll on you after a while.
The reason I tell these stories like the one that Ms. Hater said was no good is for the opposite reason of what she has said. I tell these stories to take the focus off me and to focus on what other people can do to better their life and career.
It’s through a deep belief in helping others that I tell stories and want others to do the same. I’m not trying to sell you anything and I don’t need anything from anyone. I have an email list and I’ve never sent one email to anyone on it so far. I’d rather focus my time on sharing stories because it requires me to be vulnerable.
“Vulnerability is how we all grow and if we’re not growing, we’re dying”
It’s easy to be a critic.
Spending your limited time on this planet being a critic and producing negative energy will not produce any value. The energy that you waste being a troll and leaving negative comments on people’s social media is far better spent on storytelling.
It takes confidence and often good communication skills to be a critic and tear people down online. I’d encourage people like Ms. Hater to use those valuable skills to tell stories and help to solve the problems that threaten the human race.
Don’t take the easy option. The hard choice is putting yourself out there and telling stories that can help people to find what they’re looking for in life and achieve their goals.
Without a story to inspire, people can’t get a different perspective.
The story I shared of why we should volunteer, that Ms. Hater said was wrong, is how we give people another view of the world. Storytelling takes us out of our own head and takes us away from our own experiences so that we can see a different perspective.
Sometimes all we need to hear is someone have the same battle as us and produce a different result. That different result could be the lightbulb moment that changes humanity. I’m happy to risk my reputation, life, money and everything I have to serve that worthy cause.
Nobody will ever stop me telling stories because I’ve seen the power in them and what they can do to help the human race. I’m never going to give up because stories are fundamental. You should consider doing the same.
Stories validate the strategy.
I can share blind strategies and advice with you all day long until the cows come home but without stories, you’ll never believe me. Telling stories is how you validate the strategies and advice that you offer to everyone out there.
I could never get you to believe me when I say that personal development and entrepreneurship are so crucial if I didn’t share actual stories with you that demonstrate this. Your logical brain would just tune me out the way you record your television and cut out the ads in between.
“Stories are the evidence we need to believe something is true and works”
If telling stories to inspire others is a crime then arrest me officer because I’m guilty of wanting to help serve the greater good. I’m guilty of the very ego driven behavior that Ms hater demonstrated to us all when she referred to my stories as “Story Porn.”
Porn is wrong. Stories are not. WE. MUST. HAVE. STORIES.
Stories are memorable in tough times. Raw information isn’t memorable.
When the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan and your life goes out of control at a moment’s notice, stories are how you remember things. Raw information like the stuff they dish out in the traditional education system is forgettable and is not remembered when it’s required to be put into action.
That’s why so many people forget most of what they learned at university after they graduate and join the real world of business.
I tell stories so you remember what I say so that when the guaranteed tough times hit, you’ve got an arsenal of weapons that you can fight the battle with in the form of stories. Stories create permanent memories in your brain.
Stories make things real.
I witnessed, last year, several people get run over by a car right in front of me. One of the victims was a small baby less than one year old.
After this incident, I met the woman whose sister lost that baby through sheer coincidence. Hearing her story of that same day that I saw with my own eyes made me remember one thing: Never forget how precious your time alive is. Never forget the ones you love or take them for granted.
Had this young girl not shared this story with me, I would have gone on living each day with no gratitude and no respect for how far I’ve come.
I knew this advice to be true beforehand, but this story of losing a young baby made it real and memorable.
It’s time to use stories for the good of everyone.
In summary, I’m never going to give up storytelling even if Ms. Hater wants all of us to. The truth is that I don’t need anything from anyone. What we need is more stories and more people to be leaders. We should never ever be ashamed of our stories because stories are who we are.
Stories are the lifeblood of the human race and they will always be part of our DNA. I’m going to keep telling you stories to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development. All I ask is that if one day something I say helps you, I’d love an email from you to hear the story and then celebrate with you.
I don’t need any validation Ms hater and storytelling is never going to be porn in my eyes. If you don’t agree with me, then that’s cool. I’ll probably be wrong some of the time and I’m cool with that. Perfection is the enemy of a storyteller like me.
I just want us all to be optimistic and positive about the future and I think stories are a key part of this idealism that I hold for each of you reading this.
Don’t ever stop telling stories.