Tell stories that include conflict

conflictMining stories from your life is one of the best ways to find fodder for your content. Rich, conflict-ridden stories are often the best.

In a writing exercise I do in my Biz Strategy Workshops, the participants get a chance to write to a prompt. They mine their memory banks for situations, experiences, and consulting sessions in order to satisfy the prompt. I ask them to tell a story and what they write is nothing short of beautiful.

** The bookkeeper talks about auditing her clients’ books and discovering all sorts of ways to save the client thousands of dollars and correct a handful of blatant bookkeeping mistakes that their current bookkeeper is woefully unaware about.

** Or the photographer who described the process she takes to create major photographic projects for her nonprofit clients and how one was so well received that the nonprofit added a new layer: having the project travel the state where it was viewed by thousands of people to rave reviews and who would not have seen it otherwise.

** And the healer who described her early childhood, growing up with an emotionally distant mother. A mother too busy running a business and entertaining her guests with a flourish to take time to read to her sensitive daughter. She was told she was loved, but felt her mother’s actions did not match the sentiment.

Her mother’s distant nature pushed this client to do work that demonstrates for her clients their worth in the world, their place, and that they are infinitely loved always.

These three brave women didn’t hesitate for a moment to share their narratives. Their stories.

I told them these were blog posts.They looked down at their writing, a little startled.

I told them to post their stories on LinkedIn. “Really?” they said. They looked incredulous.

“These are business stories,” I told them. “They’re great content that needs to be read by others.”

I told them to write another when they got home. And another after that. And tell the stories in their elevator pitches at networking events (I heard the bookkeeper do this already and she was terrific and engaging.), and add them to their About Me pages as demonstrations of the value they provide their clients.

Stories—we tell them every day. Every single day. To ourselves (do you ever daydream?). To our friends (ever gossip?). To our clients and potential clients (via LinkedIn, via newsletter articles, via blog posts).

What story are you pulling from the dark recesses of your memory? The one with conflict that may also include redemption? And where are you telling your story?