How my Client Overcame a Dreaded, Business-Crushing Disease


“I don’t have an interesting story,” Elizabeth said.

Her shoulders slumped. She stared at her shoes. 

Elizabeth was a client. We’d discussed how storytelling captivates prospects and inspires them to act.

She understood and agreed. But then she told me she didn’t have what it takes. 

“There’s nothing about me worth telling. My story is boring,” she moaned.

“Oh no!” I thought. “Poor Elizabeth is infected…

…with Origin-osis.” 

It’s a terrible disease, afflicting countless would-be storytellers.  

The stricken believe that storytelling is all about THEM. 

They believe they must craft a brilliant origin story – all about their rise to glory –  and share it with the world. 

And then the Originosis strikes and comes on strong. 

Common symptoms include a heightened sense of inadequacy, frustration, anxiety, and hopelessness. 

I broke the news to Elizabeth about her condition, and assured her: “This is NOT your fault.” 

Countless goo-roos spread the Originosis bug with their wacky take on storytelling. 

I heard one recently — a business school professor who calls himself a “storytelling expert.” 

When asked to share an example of great business storytelling, the Professor Goo-Roo cited eyewear retailer Warby Parker and its origin story. 

The best storytellers begin with “who they are and why they’re doing what they’re doing,” he declared. 

I used to believe that. I suffered from originosis. I used to think storytelling was all about me, all about my origin story. And I got stuck.

I know better now. I know…

It’s not about YOU. It’s about your prospects and clients. 

You don’t have to gaze in the mirror. You don’t have to conjure some brilliant origin story. 

Here’s the cure for originosis…

Shine the spotlight on your prospects and clients. 

Discover what makes them tick. 

Craft stories that reflect journeys your prospects they take. 

Tell their stories. 

Have you noticed that I’m doing that right now? 

This is a story about Elizabeth – about her frustration and fear around storytelling, about her journey from stuck to unstuck. 

After I told her about Professor Goo-Roo and how he has it perfectly backwards, she began to feel better. 

We discussed systems and processes to discover what makes her prospects tick, to discover their stories. 

And she was cured. 

And here’s the really cool thing: The more we talked about her clients and prospects, the more she recognized overlap between their stories and hers. 

When you start with your prospects, when you discover their stories, you find yourself in their stories. You discover your own stories. 

Then you can connect the dots between your stories and theirs.

Did you notice how I did that above, how I mentioned that I used  to suffer from originosis?  How I mentioned that I know better now?

The bottom line: client-attracting storytelling does not begin with your origin story. It begins with your prospects’ stories. 

As you discover and tell their stories, you’ll find it easier and easier to weave yourself into the narrative. 

And then prospects will be really captivated and inspired to act. 

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.