5 Minutes, 45 Seconds
Written By John Marx
I constantly read from experts that get upset over the phrase “Content is King”. Is the phrase over used – yes, to a degree. That doesn’t make the phrase any less true. Your life and your business has a story and that story should be told. We remember stories not only because they are easier to remember than facts but because they resonate with us.
We work with businesses that are on day one and some that are on year 30 and have never marketed their business. They don’t feel they have a story to tell, that it isn’t interesting, or something that others will relate to. I look at every day as a story that has the potential to be told. Today I am going to tell you about a story that recently happened. To some it will be sad and to me it will be funny. The point of the story isn’t the story itself. The point is to share with you, the reader, that you do have a story and that it doesn’t have to be a sales push. I shy away from selling at all costs.
The day started off like every other day, at 4am, with the alarm going off so loud the neighbors across the lake could hear it. It’s loud as I am a hard sleeper and when you only get five hours of sleep per day you need that extra encouragement from a loud and obnoxious alarm clock. It’ll go off for ten minutes before my mind even acknowledges its existence. On top of that is it’s at the other side of the room forcing me to get out of bed, stand up, and smack the snooze button. Sometimes I’ll go back to bed for that extra, and wonderful, nine minutes of pleasurable sleep. Most times it’s flicking the switch so that it’s ready for the next day, and I stumble downstairs to the shower.
With the shower done, groomed to whatever level I feel like for that day, and it’s out the door by 5am, normally about 4:40am. I get to the office to write a blog (or two) which I rarely publish but I have them in my archives. I catch up on emails, go over the agenda for the day that was written out the night before, put it all on the whiteboard to lock it into my mind, and start attacking my daily list by 6am.
Often is the case I have my first meeting before 7am but somedays fortune happens, and I have no meetings or phone calls until 9am. This day was one of those days. I was able to work remotely and avoid meetings in the office. Always a good day. Not as productive as other days as I am stuck behind one laptop screen rather than three screens but always a great way to break up the mundane.
As the meetings went on, all job interviews, for our newest content writer I was having a meeting with one of our developers who needed to talk about a problem they had run into. We went over it, wrote up some usable code, and right at the end of the conversation was told that my car (my wife’s actually) was towed. Oh boy, how to tell the wife this one. Thankfully I had nowhere to go until home in a few hours’ time. And, no, I wasn’t parked in a bad spot. In fact, I was parked right where I needed to be. Only there was a jerk who had the same colored and style of vehicle that my wife did that I got towed. Oh, the irony. I texted the wife and her response were “WTH” which was appropriate under the circumstances. We talked and I explained. She was a bit calmer and I was laughing over the entire situation as getting angry just doesn’t solve anything.
I was able to get a ride to my car, the misunderstanding completely cleared up, and off I go to take care of my first after work item – getting orange juice. I pull into the grocery store, which is on the way home, and boom – they’re closed. No power, broken computers (again), and a complete failure on my first item of the day. But I was driving and not walking in the rain so it’s a good start to the night and just accept and head home rather than hitting the next grocery store (owned by the same chain) and risking a double failure.
At home I explain my day, we laugh, we talk, and we go over everyone’s crazy day (I won this one if you want to consider it a contest!). After cooking up some spaghetti for dinner, finishing up the last of the orange juice, and getting ready to jump back into writing some code I get the call that our daughter is dying. Not literally but is in need of some help! Her roots are showing, and she has prom this weekend (and next weekend). Off to the store to get some glow in the dark red hair dye as we wouldn’t want to go to prom without our head glowing and being seen for miles around.
We talk on the way to Wal-Mart, laugh, talk about hair styles, Rail Cats baseball (we love it there), and of course – prom. We get there are greeted, a small chat with the greeter because what else are you to do when you’re a Dad and picking out hair coloring. We get our one and only object and head to the register. A half dozen stops along the way and we checkout with a half dozen items I had no clue we needed. I think prom is truly a war as we now have enough make up to truly cover our face a hundred times over. As we head out, we talk about next time dying my hair and that will truly be an interesting story (stay tuned I think).
We get back to home an hour later with everything we need, and hair coloring is now in full swing. I’ve missed my development window and it’s time to start creating the agenda for the next day as it’s my only “free” day which means emails, lots of phone calls, and getting things ready for the next round of interviews on Wednesday.
Not every day is like this one day. I chose one that had a small story and wasn’t the most exciting but some interaction and fun. Your business has the same story to be told. You can talk about the latest food or drink trends, latest gifts a business can give, talk about your employees or customers, and let people see you are more than someone wanting their money. You’re a business and everyone already knows you want their money. Instead, bring them into your world and get them to learn who you are. They will appreciate it, laugh, and sometimes cry and the stories that you tell. It’ll give you something to talk about as well.
Blogging, articles, or as I always call it -- storytelling is something unique that helps tell about the culture and work ethic of your business. You have a story and it should be told. Not every story will be read, well received, or cared about. But it is your life, your business, and it has a lot to say about what you are doing in your local community.