MVS: First Draft

This is a teaching resource for Day 6 of Your Origin Story.

It’s the shitty first draft of the MVS that appears on the About page.

When I did my reading out loud, the highlighted sentences stood out immediately as too long, too wordy, or too dumb.

The Origin Story – first draft

Back in nineteen ninety-seven, I accidentally started a website development agency. I knew nothing much about business, but by 2015 – without really understanding why – we had clients around the world. I was one of those “success stories” … but I was also laying awake at 2AM in the night wondering whether this was all there was.

On the one hand digital had started to seem repetitive and manipulative, on the other … my father had been ill. My daughter had been in hospital. And the lady who’d sold me my life insurance had dropped dead at fifty … at her desk.

I was forty-six, and it felt like my life was narrowing before me.

We managed to squeze in 5-days away for a family holiday, but I struggled to get my mind off of work and the feelings that were bubbling up.

It felt like time was running out to do something brave.

So in 2016, I promoted one of my guys to run the business, took a long step back, and began writing thrillers.

It was tough, challenging and creative, but that wasn’t all…

The more I studied the art and science of storytelling, the more and more obvious something became.

I started with the story theory and slowly drilled down into the psychology, the neuroscience and the behavioural economics. Suddenly, I was looking at the world in a whole new way. And the biggest insight was about my own life.

Storytelling was how I’d built my business.

In all those years, I’d never made a cold call, placed an ad, or hired a sales team… but we’d never stopped telling stories.

Not just in what we said, in how we said it and what we did the work.

And the clients we worked for had done the same, spreading our stories for us.

That’s when I had by Gru moment. Lightbulb!

And right there, at that moment, I had this thought that changed everything.

People who tell better stories get better lives.

I decided to sell my agency and start something new – Stories Mean Business.

Almost five years on, I’ve consulted for founders around the world, written three 5-Star thrillers on Amazon, renovated a 16th-century cottage to use as my writing studio, and hosted over 700 episodes of the Stories Mean Business podcast.

And I never wake up in the middle of the night.

Note: Refer to Email 6 for commentary.