I’ve come to realise that your most engaging stories are the ones you don’t want to put out into the world.
Which is fine. You shouldn’t put your entire story into your marketing, and certainly not in one go. But on the flip side, it can be overwhelmingly tempting to tell safe stories that directly relate to your product or service.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that sort of story, but at a deeper level it doesn’t communicate who you really are and what you stand for. Only a painful story can do that.
I asked Megan Macedo recently about this. Her most recent print newsletter caught my attention, because in it she talks about her experience of birth and miscarriage. Which must have been agony to write about, but it got my attention.
In Megan’s words:
There probably are stories I have avoided altogether. And probably some of them will come out in time. That’s something else I’ve found to be true – every story has a time. You might know it’s there waiting to be told for a long time and then one day you look up and notice that it’s ripe. I think people can feel a lot of pressure to tell as much of their story as quickly as possible but forcing it like that is always a mistake. The most important stories don ‘t respond to hustle.