Have you noticed that people who tell better stories get better lives?
I'm Nick - host of the rough and ready StoryHacker podcast. In 2018, I sold my digital agency. Now, I help leaders craft epic stories around their business, brands and belief. These short, daily podcasts cover story, strategy and copywriting.
Subscribe to join the family, find me at www.storiesmeanbusiness.com, or text @WhatsApp+447976836506.
At the heart of your story – and the main value to others – is the thing that you've learned. The THING you can teach.
We all want stories that help us understand, navigate and master the world.
So let's hear your insight.
#business #building #strategy
To massively oversimplify ... there are two ways to start a business.
1. Create a fantastic product that your customers love and share.
2. Create a fantastic sales engine that successfully sells average stuff.
Of course, you want both. Fantastic product and fantastic sales. Me too. But there’s a problem - limited time, money and bandwidth. Business, like life, is all about trade-offs.
Of course, no startup is purely one or the other. It’s a spectrum.
But knowing which one you’re aiming for can really simplify your life when the going gets tough.
#dothework #commit #strategy
In yesterday’s post I talked about the value of going deeper, but WHO AM I to talk about that?
What am I doing to eat my own dog food?
It’s a good question, and the answers in today’s podcast. It’s linked in the comments … I you listen you’ll be a witness 😉.
A big goal in 12 months.
This type of thing is easy to understand once you realise that the StoryHacker podcast is as much for me as anyone else.
When I challenge you – like yesterday – I’m mostly challenging myself.
#creativity #resistance #strategy
Yesterday, I came across the story I started in 2001, after my son was born.
It’s good - a rhyming picture book about a kid called Max Loaf, with a runaway imagination.
But, I didn’t finish it.
In 2004, I worked on it some more, and even got some illustrators interested.
But, Nothing really happened.
In 2018, I literally had an illustrator living next door- and he created fantastic designs for the whole book.
BUT still - when I came across it yesterday, it was just files sitting in a folder.
So, what’s the point of this post?
Most of us are great at starting stuff. We love the rush, the excitement, the dreams of what might happen.
But FINISHING is where the value is, and FINISHING is hard.
As Steve Jobs famously said, “real artists ship”.
I’ve spent hundreds of hours on Max Loaf, but until I publish the story they may as well never have existed.
What value are you sitting on? What do you need to finish?
Do yourself a favour. Take a break from kicking anything off today - finish something you’ve started.
Over the past year, I’ve had the luxury of designing a new business.
It’s still early, but one of the wonders has been the chance to start from first principles.
I spent twenty years running a web agency with clients around the world, but I never had the clarity that I have now.
The podcast below is (beta thinking) about this, but I might also summarise in 9 words.
Building business from first principles tells a better story.
Sometimes we can look at a complex problem and the solution falls right into place. That comes from experience.
Other times, we encounter something new and it doesn’t fit with our preconceptions. That comes from experience too.
This the challenge we face everyday. To retain the insight and let go of the dogma.
Go do that 😉
Four weeks ago I stopped watching the news.
No bulletins, no bloggers, no citizen journalists.
It was a hard choice to make, but necessary.
I needed to take back some mental real estate.
But now, I’m coming back.
Your Bad Transcript
Hey there friends. It's Nick. It's episode 265 of the story hacker podcast now yesterday I suggested that you create like a sketch map of your digital content
and it's okay.
I know listen. I know you didn't do it don't worry,
but I know you didn't do it, but I want to talk about the principle why it matters,
you know, and this if you remember is in service to the ran I had a
couple of days ago about how how easy it is
for us to mistake.
The the technical solution to a problem for the solution and how content has become devalued.
And why that's nuts. Remember I went on a bit of a rant about that.
Anyway, she's me I want to talk about the principle behind creating this sketch map
because it's a principle that goes out Beyond content
and storytelling what have you
and that and it sort of the principal is I guess kind of visualize your work.
now if you listen to this podcast
for a while, you'll know that I'm sort of weirdly fascinated with lean
manufacturing it given given that I've never had a job in manufacturing
or indeed or indeed been very lean,
but I'm really interested in how those all those companies do efficient work.
I got interested when I was running the agency and we were struggling.
Oh my God, we were struggling
so much trying to trying to get everything done
and done well and done on time
and all those kind of things and One of the big challenges is of course that you know,
if you're building a car, for example,
you know and Toyotas always brought up
as the company that kind of came up with with lean the lean kind of
methodology which is really about getting rid of waste.
But if you're building a car is a known process and you know,
you're building an X number of these things and you know,
you can work out what the best order is to do each part
and you can gradually get If the waste from each of those processes not just the physical waste,
of course the waste in terms of things like inventory that you don't need in
terms of time in terms of motion in terms of you know,
all kinds of different different things. There's
seven or eight waist depending on who you talk
to but it doesn't work so well in knowledge work
or the kind of thing where every website is different every,
you know web page. It's got different content on it.
The story is you know is always different for everybody,
right? But but there is there are principles that we can take
and one of them is this massively important one which is visualize your
work and some of you may remember the edge of your seat Cliffhanger episode where I reorganized
my shed and but you know,
one of the things about that one of the things about that process is if
is if you're real good losing all your stuff.
You want it ordered and you want it visible
Yesterday, I was annoyed, but not that helpful. Doing better today.
Here’s your Bad Transcript...
Hey there friends, it's Nick. It's episode two, six four of the story hacker podcast. And so yesterday going into a bit of a rant, didn't I particularly a rant about content and how, because technology seems hard when we come across a platform that allows us to do kind of link a to B to C to D to E or whatever. I think there's a tendency to mistake that solution for the whole thing. Whereas of course it's the content, your content that is really moving people down your funnel, not the slickness of it. Of course that helps, but I got a bit frustrated.
But um, that content was just seen, seen as something you kind of slap into this web page or that web page or that email because we know it's not, you know, it's not because you don't respond to to stuff that isn't relevant to you and you know, it doesn't, doesn't make you feel that you can trust the person that he's saying it. All those kinds of things, you know, it matters. And one thing I didn't really do yesterday, which I should have done properly is start to talk about how we can, we can have a solution to this because the problem is real. And I think one of the difficulties is for most of us it's very hard to hold in our heads all the different touch points we have, all the different bits of content we have around, um, you know, our brand or our business or her individual funnels.
And one of the things that I find really helpful because I struggle with that struggle with that too, is to build maps. And of course when I was working with the agency and building, we were building websites. We always start with a map first, just rectangles, just named rectangles. But I still do it now, you know, obviously I have a website, but I also have email sequences that go out. I have the novel side of my business. I have the, um, this, this story hack, a podcast process. You know, I, I've got, you know, I've got maps for things because I want to remind myself constantly what the process is that my, my, you know, users, my prospects, um, you know, those people are going through. And I think if you want to do one really simple thing today to start to get asked since start to get a handle on this, this content stuff, you know, draw a map on the back of a piece of paper or use the front, here's the front of the piece of paper.
It's easier. Um, but draw a map of, you know, that starts to to just sort of sketch out all these different places that your prospects can land. Because that's the first step isn't it, to to creating something bigger like a board in your office that is a printout of the webpages or the emails that allows to follow the process to see where people are going, just to make sure that that content is consistent and doing the two things we needed to do. Remember we needed to speak with one tone of voice, speak with our brand, and also move people on to the next thing or bounce them off to something else. This is one of the ways that we help make our stories mean business. Thanks for listening.
They say that up to 65% of our brains are involved in vision, but where does that leave us StoryHackers.
Answer: In a fantastic place.
I love images, and weave them through my work and business.
Starting Is Hard.
Whether you are having trouble telling your story or trying to take action, there’s always a reason to wait.
Too … not ready.
In this podcast I talk about starting StoryHacker, fighting perfectionism and cutting my own hair.
START listening now 😉