One of the first questions I normally ask people in deciphering their story is to describe their earliest memories growing up.
One of my earliest memories is fighting with our dog underneath the dining room table. I used to climb into her space, and she would grown this low threatening growl at me. Apparently my parents were unconcerned enough to photograph it.
So here’s the question. Is this story useful from a marketing perspective?
The answer often is ‘not always’. This particular example may work as a Facebook ad because of the image. Children and pets do attract attention – the challenge then is to link to your message.
As you write down these memories you need to avoid judging whether or not they will be useful. Writing out your stories is an expansive process. Selecting stories is a form of reduction. They’re best done separately. Just keep writing (or talking), and decide what is useful later.
I hear a lot right now about mindfulness, or ‘being present’. And while that’s important, it’s also important to get lost in your past from time to time. A lot of the time we shut out the past, without realising how it impacts our current perspective. Western culture doesn’t really permit daydreaming about the past. You’re supposed to be making progress and moving forward.
Sometimes you have to take one step back to move two steps forward. The key parts of your story won’t always emerge at the first pass.