I couldn’t get to sleep. I’d drift off for a few minutes then wake up again. Each time the same question jumped into my head. I tried ignoring it. Three more days – three more fitful nights. Sleeping. Waking. Sleeping. Waking. It wasn’t stress. I’ve had that before. No this was different. The question that consumed me was this –
Am I building the right business?
The fact I was even ASKING the question, gave me my answer.
I knew I needed to make a change. Not a dramatic change, more a resetting of course.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”A (Very Brief) History Lesson” orientation=”left”]
Phase 1 – Marketing Consultant
It’s a year since I won my first piece of business for ‘Square Tree Marketing’. That was special. A defining moment for me. I’d registered the business in October 2014 when it became clear that I would be leaving D.C. Thomson. But the truth was – I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was in a weird and unhappy place. So I called myself a ‘marketing consultant.’ It was a logical step. I’d worked in Marketing for the best part of 20 years. It seemed the right thing to do.
Phase 2 – Writer
I worked for a number of clients, initially producing marketing plans. The work that gravitated to me most often was copywriting. I’d bestow the virtues of Content Marketing before being told that they either didn’t have the time or inclination to write. In August 2015 – I finally came out – I admitted to the World that I was, in fact, a WRITER. And that’s exactly what I am. Or so I thought.
Phase 3 – Storyteller
I love to write. It’s my business, and it’s my hobby. In that sense, I’m lucky. But something just didn’t feel right. This sense of building the wrong business was something I just couldn’t shake. Here’s what I realised – I’m a storyteller first and a writer second. I believe in the power of stories to entertain and to make connections. My new direction was staring me in the face. I just didn’t notice it.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”‘The Story Edge’ Story” orientation=”left”]
Here’s why I’m doing this. As a writer, I can only help so many people. Think about it? I can only write so many words. My time is limited. But my ambition isn’t.
Here’s what I now know was driving my ‘building the wrong business’ question. Four unfulfilled ‘wants’ –
- I want to help more people.
- I want what I do on a daily basis to matter.
- I want what I do to count for something.
- I want to make a difference.
As a storytelling coach I can tick off all four of these personal wants. And at the same time I can build a business I am completely invested in, and proud of.
I can help organisations of all sizes tell better stories. This will sound arrogant, but I’m good at telling stories. Whether it’s in my personal life or professional life I’ve always had the ability to find, write and share the story.
Now, more than ever, organisations need to tell more stories. And, they need to tell better stories. Each of the stories they write should add value to their audience and their business. And, much as I’d like to, I can’t tell every story. But I can be an educator and a teacher of the craft of storytelling for businesses.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”The How?” orientation=”left”]
Everyone learns differently, so the plan is to share my storytelling knowledge in as many different ways as possible. Here’s how that will eventually look.
- Free Resources
- Blogs, videos, Downloads and email courses.
- In person, live workshops – where I deliver practical and fun training sessions.
- Online Courses covering storytelling and writing topics.
- 1-1 Coaching
- Tailored storytelling and writing coaching sessions
- And yes, I’ll still be writing. If you need to outsource your writing, I can help.
It’s going to take me a while to get everything the way I’d like it, but I’ve already started the process by launching a free email course – ‘The Case Study Code’.
That’s just for starters. I’ve got a lot of exciting ideas for the future of The Story Edge – but I’ve got more than enough to be getting on with. For starters, I’ve got a list of 122 blog articles I want to write and the course material isn’t going to write itself.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” orientation=”left”]
I’m sad that I need to fell the Square Tree. But it needs to be done. Time will tell if it was a stroke of genius or an epic fail. But, it feels like completely the right thing for me to do. I feel like I’ve got a mission to stand behind and a vision to follow.
I’m excited about adding ‘teacher’ and ‘coach’ to my business and I’m looking forward to helping organisations set their stories free. Although there are some admin related activities to get sorted – I’m proud to declare that The Story Edge is very much, open for business.