There’s one thing everyone likes: a good story.
A strong story can move the masses. It can inspire a generation or change your life forever.
Storytelling is also one of the most important tools we can use in business. Good storytelling can take your business to new heights.
There is a secret to good storytelling: make other people the hero.
If you’re the hero of your own stories, you sound conceited. Instead, make others the focus. If you want to take it to the next level, make your audience the hero of the story.
To dive into the power of storytelling, I wanted to bring back an interview with Donald Miller for this episode of 5-Minute Friday.
Donald unlocked the power of storytelling and quadrupled his business in no time. Then he started to get calls from the biggest companies, like Pantene, Ford-Lincoln and even the White House!
Learn from the grandmaster of storytelling, on Episode 654.
Lewis Howes: This is 5-Minute Friday!!
Welcome, everyone, to this very special episode with Donald Miller. We really dive in a little deeper about the power of story, and really, how our own story is important, but really, in our businesses and our lives, making other people the hero of the story is the most important thing.
Donald Miller: Writing a movie about yourself and working with very good editors to find out what’s interesting, is something everybody should do. If you get a chance, don’t pass up the opportunity.
So, I studied story in order to figure out how to live a better life, and then, studying story, to me, was like discovering how to compose music, how to compel the human brain, how to captivate people’s attention, how to teach moral lessons. All of that happens in story.
And it is the most powerful tool in compelling the human brain. The average human spends 30% of their time daydreaming, unless they’re listening to a story. Stories hijack the brain. So when you’re at a movie, your brain…
Lewis Howes: Uhuh, it captivates you.
Donald Miller: They captivate you. The movie is actually doing the daydreaming for you.
Lewis Howes: You can’t really think about anything else, yeah.
Donald Miller: You’re plugged into the Matrix. So, I knew it was a very powerful tool, and then I actually took the elements of story and created a marketing filter, a communication filter, using them, filtered my company’s messages through that filter. So we came down to very simple, bite-sized, compelling statements about what we do, why it’s important to our customer, what kind of life they could have if they engage it, and we quadrupled our revenue.
And then my buddy said, “Man, you’ve got to take this program and share it with other businesses.” And so I kind of put feelers out there, saying I was going to take some plumber through it and Pantene called, Procter and Gamble called, and then Ford Lincoln called, and then Chick-fil-A called and then Berkshire Hathaway called, and then the White House called.
And pretty soon I realised, I think, suddenly I’m a brand story consultant. Stories are all about ‘what ifs’. So I used to do this experiment when I was writing, if I got stuck, I would say, “Well, let’s go and put 25 ‘what ifs’ right here. What if the guy got pulled over and he had something in his car? What if a meteor hit the earth? What if…”
And usually, with one of those ‘what ifs’ I would go, “Okay, I’m going to write that one!” But the cool thing is, it works in life. You know, you’re having a bad day, and, “What if I quit my job? What if I went camping this weekend? What if I asked that girl out? What if I sold the house? What if…?” And one of those, you’re going to go, “Man, that’s piqued my interest!”
Well, let’s pay attention to that! Because that’s a story guiding you somewhere, right? There’s a story that’s just been so inspiring to me, and so hopeful to me, I’ve fallen in love with the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the Israeli people and Palestinian people. I don’t know why, I just love that region of the world. And I’ve been over many times.
And on one trip we met with the Israeli guards, or Israeli Generals and members of Knesset and also members of the PLO, on the Palestinian side in the West Bank. And, you know, there’s a lot of tension there. And I came away thinking, this might be a hopeless situation. They just can’t seem to compromise on any of this stuff, and with good reasons on both sides.
And I read the story in the New York Times about some… One of the things we kept hearing in the West Bank is, “We just wish we could go to the ocean,” because they’re locked in, they’re not going anywhere. “We just wish we could see the ocean. It’s just right there and we can’t get to it, because of the walls the Israelis have built up.”
And there were these Jewish women in Jerusalem, I mean, just like our wives, your girlfriend. Jewish women who kept hearing these Palestinian women say they couldn’t go to the ocean, so they drove in to the West Bank, these women, and they started befriending Palestinians, and got to know some Palestinian women, and kind of dressed them up in costumes, and because they were Jewish, they didn’t get stopped at the checkpoints, and they got them out of the West Bank and they would literally just take them to the ocean.
They’d all just go swimming for the day, put them back in the car and take them back home. These women just started going in there, finding women who wanted to go swimming, and taking them to the ocean.
And I just thought, you know, beneath our leaders, who are doing a decent job, keeping us all safe, there’s this heart in human beings that wants to break through that conflict and compromise and I just always have thought, down at the core, problems really can be resolved. If you find the people who are tender and willing to take action and do something.
So, I just love that story. I think it’s the only story, if I could only tell one story, I’d probably just go around telling that one.
Lewis Howes: Hey, guys! If you enjoyed this inspirational clip from a past episode of the show, then you’ll love the free book I’m giving away right now. It’s called The Millionaire Morning. It includes some of my best tips for starting off your day with a millionaire mindset. Get your free copy at themillionairemorning.com and just pay shipping.
Again, check it out right now, themillionairemorning.com.