Last week we started our fifth financial year in business. I usually use moments like this to reflect on the progress we’ve made. I could easily fill a blog post (or fifty) on my first four years in business, but that feels a bit self-indulgent. Instead, I want to use today and this post to share the vision for the future of The Story Edge.
The business I’m building isn’t the same as the business I started. When I started, I didn’t really know where I was going or what the hell I was doing. In short, I had no vision. OK, that’s not strictly true, the vision was one of survival. That was it. No great insight. No great master plan.
Now I do have a vision, and today, I’d like to share it.
We see a future where organisations communicate and grow through story. The stories they share with the World helps them attract more of their ideal clients. And, the stories they tell each other helps create engaged and successful teams.
Our ultimate vision is to see organisations build their success on a foundation of storytelling.
The Story Edge exists to change the way organisations communicate. We teach and inspire people to become confident storytellers. We give them the tools to sell products and services to their ideal clients. And, we give them the tools to sell ideas and new ways of thinking to their team, managers and partners.
The exact words of both our vision and the mission might change, but the intent won’t. We’re committed to this path.
There are still a lot of people that have a knee-jerk reaction when they hear the word ‘storytelling’. They think it’s fluffy and irrelevant in the world of business today. We believe they’re wrong.
There’s scientific evidence that shows how our brains react to stories. And, there’s evidence that shows we remember stories much more than we do facts and figures.
In a noisy world, we believe stories endure. They cut through the noise and they build trust with potential new clients and with our own colleagues. They create commercial success and better places to work.
As well as building our business on storytelling, we’re also story evangelists. We want to influence change in how organisations see and use storytelling. Elevating story from ‘tactic’ to ‘strategy’ drives us.
What does that mean in practical terms?
The mission we’ve shared won’t happen unless we focus on it. It’s about having intent. There are two core things that we need to do to make it happen.
Teaching storytelling is the best way our little business can make a big difference. Creating an army of self-sufficient storytellers is only possible by being a business that has education at its heart. This is about teaching all aspects of storytelling. It’s about finding the stories to tell, crafting them and then making sure they are shared with the right people in the right way.
Here are the story education services we offer:
Crafting and telling your own stories is absolutely the best approach to storytelling for you and your organisation. You’ve lived the stories, so you’re best placed to tell them. There’s one specific type of story where having a degree of independence can help though. That’s the creation of client stories. It’s the only pure writing service that we deliver.
Here are the story creation services we offer:
The observant among you will have noticed something. In my posts to-date it’s always been ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘I’ – but in this post, apart from the opening paragraph, it’s been very much ‘we’.
This business and the mission we’re on is bigger than one person. It’s time to bring in reinforcements. This year that will mean working with freelance writers and communications specialists that we’re calling ‘Story Associates’.
The first of those, is Evin O’Keeffe, a very talented American who calls Cork, Ireland, home. Evin met Kevin (yes we know!) way back in 2015. We’ve kept in touch and while Evin worked for software company Teamwork as a Content Writer, we had the opportunity to train her on our client story method.
It means she’s the ideal first Story Associate for The Story Edge.
OK, yes, the real reason is that ‘Kevin and Evin’ sounded too good to be true!!!
We’re thrilled to be working with Evin. She’s going to be helping initially with some content writing but the plan is that she’ll create client stories and deliver workshops.
This is a pretty big deal. This business started being about one person. I was, and to a certain extent still am, petrified at the prospect of managing and supporting a team of people. I know this business can make a big impact, but I also know, more than ever, that I can’t do that on my own.
We’re focused on the next 12 months, but it’s fair to say we’re looking beyond that. Eventually, we’re going to have a team of Story Associates who will help deliver workshops across the galaxy. Yeah, you read that right, we’re going interplanetary! Makes sense that we start with Earth – one step at a time and all that.
We’ll look to cement what we do in the UK first, but the ambition is absolutely to grow this overseas, and with Evin being based in Ireland, that will likely be the best place to start.
We shared a blog post where I said ‘if you’re bloody good at what you do, it’s time to put your hand up’. This is us putting our collective hand up. After delivering over 25 Storytelling Workshops and, making improvements after each, we know that they’re bloody good. For the next three months, our business development efforts are going to be focused on promoting our half-day storytelling workshops. They’re for teams of up to 20 people.
We’re looking to deliver these workshops to:
If you know any organisations that fit the bill, we’d be really grateful if you could share this post with them or make a personal introduction.
Getting to four years is something we’re proud of. The support from family, friends, clients and partners has been incredible. Many of you have followed The Story Edge story since day one. Like any story, it’s had its highs and lows. Luck has played a huge part, but having the grit to stick it out and the resilience to bounce back from the setbacks have helped. We’re grateful to everyone who has supported us.
Our story continues.
I'm a storyteller, case study specialist and the founder of The Story Edge. I want more people to tell more stories. I write stories, teach people to do the same and generally encourage people to use storytelling in their business.