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How the power of story can help you stand out as a business owner with Terry Rice

💡You are your superpower

Today’s episode is a reminder that you are your superpower. Business development expert Terry Rice joins us to talk about the power of leaning into your gifts and proudly sharing your story.  Our stories are powerful and Terry demonstrates how leaning in and inviting people into his journey has paid off for him and his business. 

The best way to stand out as a business owner is to fully embrace who you are and Terry gives us tangible tips on how to do that. Listen in as Terry walks us through some of the hardest moments in his life and how that has shaped him into the business owner he is today.

Trigger warning

Before we dive into today’s episode, please note that this episode contains conversations surrounding child loss. If you’re not in a place to listen, we truly understand and encourage you to skip today’s episode.

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Turning loss into purpose

Terry spent the first ten years of his career as a corporate consultant for companies like Facebook and Adobe. However, he never felt like he fit into the corporate world. He went out on his own and became a digital marketing consultant in 2015, and eventually started helping other solopreneurs build their businesses. 

In 2017, Terry’s life changed when he lost his son at birth. He lost a sense of purpose in his career, but continued to hustle to distract himself from the pain. 

Eventually, Terry started sharing about his experience with loss at speaking engagement and saw how much it comforted people and connected with his audience. He realized that sharing his story was his true purpose and highest contribution. 

How to create your story

It’s normal to feel like your life isn’t interesting enough to tell great stories about. Maybe you feel like you need to go through difficult things to have a great story to tell, but that isn’t the truth. The way to create great stories is to be mindful about your life and pay attention to your day-to-day interactions.

For example, Terry shared a funny story about the time his young son pulled his pants down in public and what it taught him about regulating his emotions. After sharing the story on LinkedIn, a major parenting blog reached out to him for an interview. 

Another roadblock to storytelling that many people experience is the belief that you can only start telling your stories when you’re successful. However, in Terry’s experience, telling his stories has contributed to his success. The more he’s shared, the more people have connected with his business and invited him to speak at events.

How to feel confident about sharing your story 

Terry admits that sharing about difficult moments from your life is not always comfortable. However, the way to feel confident about sharing about dark times is to remember the impact that it has on your audience. Additionally, you get to share about the impact that getting through that season has had on your life.

For example, Terry used to have a drinking problem and gave up drinking around ten years ago. Since then, he’s lost 40 pounds and works out five times a week. He talks about his dark past with alcohol to inspire his audience that they can change and meet their goals just like he has. 

Many people suffer in silence, and you give them a voice when you share about your own past struggles. 

Sharing your story online in a truthful way

Many business owners have used their pain as a marketing ploy, or made up painful backstories that turned out not to be true. As long as you stay true to your story, you will connect with others that resonate with your truth because you are your own unique differentiator. 

When you share your story, you honor yourself and what you’ve been through. When it connects with other people, it’s like you’re getting rewarded for surviving what you’ve experienced. 

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to share every story from your life or share things you aren’t comfortable sharing. Your story does not always have to be a big event. You could simply share about what you’re reading or watching on TV. The point is to share things that make you unique and help you stand out from others in your niche.

To evaluate how much you are or aren’t storytelling, take a look at your last five posts. Ask yourself how many of them could have only been written by you based on your unique experiences and perspectives. The more personalized your content is, the more you will get recognized for who you are instead of only what you do. 

You can still use AI tools like ChatGPT to help you create content. For example, AI can write a framework for you and you can insert your own perspective to make it personal.

Additionally, if you feel like your personalized content isn’t connecting with your audience, it could be because you are taking too long to get to it. Audiences today are not very patient, so you need to start with something sensational and get right into your story to keep their attention.

The biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Terry believes that the biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail is vision. When you have a strong enough why, you’ll find your what and how. 

Important sections of the conversation

  • (1:39) Turning loss into purpose 
  • (8:39) How to create your story
  • (14:04) How to feel confident about sharing your story
  • (17:00) Sharing your story online in a truthful way
  • (30:05) The biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

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