The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell
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Each episode brings you the brightest storytelling content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to make your story marketing stand out.
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One of the most fearful words that has ever existed is “failure”. It hinders even the most ardent dreamer from pursuing their dreams. This fact made me thoughtful of an important question: if we remain fearful, will our dreams ever come true?
Before recording this week’s show, I was reminded of an old dream of mine to become a Spring DJ for KUGR radio in the 1980s. It was the craze back then before the internet came into existence. When I was asked to audition, I chose not to. To me, not trying at all was a better approach than trying and failing.
This fear made my dream of becoming a Spring DJ unrealized. It was only later on when I realized the lesson out of that experience. And we do things like this every single day.
Conflict and failure are in the heart of every story we tell. So if you’re avoiding it, you’re choosing not to take the journey that can change your life for the better forever.
My guest on this week’s show, Andrea Waltz, co-author of Go For No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There, shares how to reframe your story about failure so you can gain more confidence in pursuing your dreams.
Andrea is an expert at fun, fabulous failures. Yep, that’s right. Failing doesn’t always have to be scary. Andrea will teach us how to turn our stories of failure into stories of success. Starting with the mindset, she will change the way you think, feel and respond to failure. Then, you’ll be liberated from the fear of failure and rejection. Once that fear is gone, only then you can unleash your most extraordinary story.
My goal with this episode is to help listeners understand the important role of failure in the attainment of success. Today, find out why embracing failure and rejection is important in crafting and telling your story. Learn about the 5 levels of failure, how to deal with these levels, and how to combat the fears that are hindering you from telling your stories.
Now, who has a connection for a college radio station that needs a new DJ?
In this Episode, You’ll Learn
- The 5 levels of failure (and how to embrace and overcome them)
- Why humans love hearing failure stories
- How to fail with grace and come out a better person
- How failure of vision impacts the stories we share
- How perfectionism and it’s evil cousin, procrastination, are your greatest antagonists that fan your fear of failure
“Failure is anything that’s getting you closer to your goal.” — Andrea Waltz
“We kind of learned to avoid failure because we cared so much about what people think.” — Andrea Waltz
“All of our lives, whenever we go to achieve anything of significance, the universe is going to punch us in the nose just to see how badly we really want it.” — Park Howell
“Failure and success are not opposite sides of the spectrum. They are sides of the same coin.” — Andrea Waltz
“The action and the activity is what matters. Not whether it’s perfect or successful.” — Andrea Waltz
“Failure is totally egocentric.” — Park Howell
“Our desire for perfection is the root of why we fear failure.” — Andrea Waltz
Mentioned in this Episode
The actual aesthetic of our voices is something many of us have worried about at some point or another. We’ve all seen or heard a recording of ourselves and thought, “Is that really what I sound like?”
The good news is that perception can be changed. Yes, we can even change how we hear our own voices through simple exercises and mindset changes. And more importantly, we can change the way others hear and understand our communications through vocal awareness.
In this week’s show, we’re diving into how to use our voice as an instrument to become a better business storyteller.
Richie Prynne, a young street performer (also known as a busker), formed the British Blues-Americana band CC Smugglers in his early twenties. He knew it was hard to make it as a band these days, and that they’d have to get creative with their marketing to really stand out.
Their big idea? ‘Guerrilla Busking.’ They’d pop up and play to queuing crowds waiting to go into similar shows. The long list of targets included the fans of SeaSick Steve, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Devil Makes Three, Jools Holland and more. And it seemed to be working. Crowds would congregate to listen to them play, and then they’d tell their friends about it. The strategy instantly became fundamental to their innovative brand promotion.
As a business storytelling speaker, a customer relationship management (CRM) system is pretty important for me to organize my prospects. But I find my relationship with the CRMs I’ve tried to be frustrating, cumbersome and not particularly effective.
I recently heard about another up-and-coming CRM called Nimble and decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to use. Yet I wondered what their story was. How were they able to stand out among the other CRMs? I thought I’d challenge Nimble’s CEO to see if he could use the Story Cycle System™ to define his core advantage and humanize his technical offering.
I love wordplay. You’ve heard me say things like, “storytelling is the Velcro of collaboration” or “an anecdote is the antidote”.
Robert McKee once told me that our conscious mind is simply the P.R. department for our subconscious mind, where all of our real decisions are being made.
In the advertising world, we know we buy with our hearts and justify our purchases with our heads. We tell ourselves emotional stories as to why we need to buy something, and then we create nonfiction in our brains to counteract any buyer’s remorse we might experience.
Storytelling is so highly relevant in elevating the skills and competence of professionals in their respective fields. Yet, why is no one in business has taught how to use storytelling to their advantage?
There has always been a distinction between a commander and a leader. A commander gives instructions, delegates tasks, and implements orders. A leader has a more serious responsibility – that of influencing people and making the critical decision to choose what kind of influence he will be.
As the Kavanaugh hearing underscored, the Democrats still lack a focused, cohesive narrative on which to build their platform. We bring back narrative consultant, and scientist-turned-filmmaker, Dr. Randy Olson, author of the landmark 2015 book, Houston, We Have A Narrative from University of Chicago Press. He last visited us the morning after the election to explain how Donald Trump has what he terms “narrative intuition.”
His episode became our most popular. Now he is putting together the pieces of the bigger picture for the Democratic party — spotting the trend starting with Obama in 2012 conceding his failure “to tell a story to the American people,” connecting to Hillary Clinton in 2016 failing to have a clear story for her presidential candidacy, and now the failure of the Democratic senators in the Kavanaugh hearing to tell a story to the American people.
Lack of a story is clearly a recurring theme with the Democrats, and our concern is (drawing on the legendary proverb “for want of a nail”) that they are running the risk of losing everything some day — all for want of a story.
“One of the most important commodities in our industry is truth.” In a world where almost everyone’s personal struggle revolves around the approval from others, it’s always been easier to say what we think people want to hear instead of what things actually are.