It was summer of 2009. I was crawling my way out of a divorce, had just lost a business, and was, how shall I say…financially [email protected]#$d.
I also just met a woman and fell in love.
And I started to write a book.
Think July in New York City. Hot as balls. Other than braving the humidity once in a while to meet my new girlfriend, I holed myself up in my apartment, window air unit cranking, calling up food delivery every day. Just me, my laptop, and a white-board with a cut-out image of a raging fire on it.
Oh yeah, and a bag of dark chocolate the size of my ass. (You know, the Trader Joe’s turbinado sugar and sea salt almonds—the ones that taste like crack?)
Something was bubbling up inside of me. I had to get it off my chest.
When I looked around me, I saw a bunch of people living inside a smaller story. I knew that I was living that smaller story too, and that’s why my previous business didn’t make it. (Heck, maybe that’s why my previous marriage didn’t make it.)
I realized that storytelling was much bigger and deeper than most of us were willing to admit. Especially in the business world. That the people trying to convince, persuade or sell others had it wrong. They were leaving their human selves behind. If they were telling a story at all, at best it was a bland, boring, over-rationalized shell of a story. No connection, no heart, no fire.
I kept thinking…
Imagine if we became more conscious of the hidden layers of stories, and how they shape and interact with us.
Storytelling, so I realized, is all about human spirit and grace. About the willingness to really go there. To look at yourself and who you are, and how your business, your organization, your cause, your purpose, whatever it is you’re trying to do here…is merely a reflection of your bigger story.
And that most of us aren’t aware of, much less sharing, that story.
90 days, 15 extra pounds, and 27-bags of dark chocolate almonds later, a book was born. I called it Believe Me: The Storytelling Manifesto for Change-Makers and Innovators.
Get the 2nd Edition on Kindle – Free for 48 Hours
Believe Me, with its 15 storytelling axioms, has become a touchstone in my life and work. It’s one of those timeless books where, even if you’ve already read it, you can open it up on any page and get a provocation, a prompt, for where you are right this moment. It’s a fast read—you can go cover to cover in one setting, and revisit it over and over again.
After a ton of requests, I’m excited to bring you the 2nd edition of Believe Me in a brand new format. Grab your e-reader: the Kindle version is here. And it’s a gift to you for the next 48 hours. (After that, it will be available for a small fee on Amazon).
Tens of thousands of people have read this book already, and told us how it’s inspired their own journey into innovation and storytelling. It’s incredibly heartening and humbling, and I want to share it even more widely with others.
Share the Storytelling Manifesto with Your Tribe
Please feel free to pay this forward. Send it on to your friends and colleagues, and share it on social media. Think of anyone who would benefit from knowing how to tell a bigger game-changing story.
- Tweet this: Your story big enough? Read the Storytelling Manifesto on Kindle free for next 48hrs http://amzn.to/1hbk4IO #storytelling [Click to Tweet]
- Post this: Want to change the world? Change your story. Read Believe Me: the Storytelling Manifesto for Change-makers and Innovators. Free on Kindle for the next 48 hours. Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/1hbk4IO
Want to Say Yeah! Post a Review on Amazon
If you’ve already read the book in the pdf or print form, there’s no greater compliment or thank you than posting a review on Amazon. (As you may know, the Amazon algorithm treats books differently when they have more than 25 reviews. We just need 11 more to make it happen!) So if inspired, please share a few words. It would mean a lot to me.
What I want more than anything is for this book to stoke the storytelling fire in people. To validate your instinct that there IS a bigger story to be told about your life and the work you’re doing in the world.
You don’t need to be on the fringe, a heretic or a hermit. Telling your story is not some far out thing that others will call you crazy for. People are ready for your story; they are craving it, and they will think you are awesome for it. As long you as you’re not a jerk about it (don’t worry, the book teaches you how to be more mindful).
You don’t actually have to believe me at all. Just try it.
Launch of Storytelling University in May 2014
If you want more support on how to tell your bigger story, be sure to check out the content for my forthcoming book, which I’ll unveil as part of Story University—starting with a live event in the San Francisco Bay Area this May 17-18 and NYC on June 28-29.
Click here to be the first to find out about it.
This storytelling manifesto was about me putting in a stake in the ground around the transformational power of storytelling at the heart of business and culture. I think it’s as relevant today as it ever was, both for me, and for those who read it. Let me know if you agree.
What stake are you putting in the ground lately? Drop me a comment here and let me know.