Telling stories is a great way to connect with your audience, and for life coaches, business stories illustrate the struggles and successes we all share.
It doesn’t matter if you are on stage, teaching a class, writing an email to your list, recording a podcast or writing a blog post. Business storytelling could and should should play a big part of your content creation and marketing strategies. But how do you come up with those stories in the first place? Here are seven tips to help you keep the business story ideas flowing so you can find just the right one for just about any situation.
Share A Recent Encounter
Often the best story are happening to you and all around you. Think about a client who is successful in her achievements? Can you tell her story as an example to newbies? What is the best coaching conversation you ever had? Or which complement from a client meant the most to you? And why was that story most meaningful?
Recall A Conversation
Conversations offer great story ideas. Without going into too many details or sharing too much information about the person you were talking to, what was the underlying message of the conversation in your storytelling. Example: One parent, who called me, was frustrated her their three-year-old daughter was always singing, dancing, and seemed “overly” playful. The daughter was a total contrast to their eldest daughter, aged ten, who mom described as most like the parents. Parents and older daughter liked to read, study the stars, read science-type magazines. The younger child shared few, if any, interests with the parents and older sister. I shared with the parents how there are different temperaments, and because the older sister was an intellectual, didn’t mean that the second child would be of the same temperament. No, the younger child was the talkative, creative, dancing ballerina.. They got it, and I didn’t hear from them until ten years later. Now older daughter is thirteen and younger daughter is six. Mom called to share how the knowledge of temperaments changed their lives. They started offering the younger child outlets for her dancing body and creative brain, as they offered the older child classes and experiences in which her strengths could flower.
Dig Deep and Share A Childhood Memory
Childhood memories are another great source of story ideas. The memories that stick with us from way back when are often the ones that taught us a valuable lesson or had a significant impact on who we are today. Think back to what you remember from your childhood and how you can tie those memories into what you’re doing today.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Stories are going on all around us. Pay attention to the situations and conversations people have around you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many story ideas you’ll get just by paying attention your surroundings. Example: I went to the hospital when I felt sharp pains crackle cross my chest. Heart attack? Not sure! Go to bed or go to the emergency room? Go to the hospital. Over five hours, I was admitted, assigned a bed, tested, and the doctor finally arrived in the early morning to tell me the news.
“You have a pulmonary embolism.”
“And that is….?”
“You have a blood clot in your lungs.”
Carry A Little Notebook
We’ve established that there are conversations around us from which we draw a story theme. as you observe those stories, which are memorable that would be a good fit with the content or product. Stick a little notebook and pen in your purse, briefcase or jacket. Keep it with you and jot down short notes about ideas, thoughts, conversations and situations that have storytelling potential.
Listen To Your Family and Friends
Pay attention to your loved ones. They are sharing stories with you on a regular basis. Listen to your kids when they come home from school. Sit down for an after-school snack, and ask them about their day. You’ll have an almost never-ending supply of storytelling material. Listen with rapt attention to feel their emotions and exemplify those feelings in your story, as they are genuine and believable. Keep looking for new ideas and keep telling those stories to grow your business, connect with you readers and make the sale.
Emotional resilienceenables you to bounce back after difficult experiences. Fortunately, this is a skill that you can develop to get through stressful times with greater ease.
Here are some of the benefits of becoming more emotionally resilient and a few strategies for developing this very helpful skill.
The Benefits of Becoming More Emotionally Resilient
Experience greater happiness. Adversity is to be expected but you can control your emotional reaction. By putting the best face on things, you’ll see the opportunities for learning and growth that come with challenging situations. A positive attitude will also help you recover from disappointments more quickly
.Make progress towards your life goals. Complications will arise throughout your life. Being flexible makes it easier to accept and surmount the obstacles that arise in your path. For example, if one scholarship fails to come through, explore other options for financing your college education.
Strengthen your relationships. People are naturally drawn to happy people. You’re likely to have more harmonious relationships if you can keep up your spirits. By contrast, depression often makes others feel like withdrawing.
Boost your self-esteem. Becoming more adaptable helps you accomplish more. In turn, those accomplishments and healthy relationships make you feel more confident.
Act responsibly. Under pressure, you may feel tempted to get angry or hurt or act out. Emotional resilience helps you to keep your composure and makes you less prone to saying something that you might regret.
Cultivating a calm mind helps your immune system keep you healthy. Studies show that managing stress can even help you maintain your cognitive functions as you age.
Methods for Becoming More Emotionally Resilient
Know your purpose in life. It’s a big endeavor, but discovering your purpose in life is fundamental to your ability to navigate challenges. A mission motivates you.
Set realistic goals and make specific plans. Some things are beyond your control, but smart planning can enhance your stability. Set goals you can achieve and break them down into easy steps.
Be aware of your emotions. If you can be mindful of what you’re feeling, you can give yourself permission to evaluate the situation before reacting. Moreover, deep breathing provides some time to see a constructive solution before getting angry, hurt, or being irrational.
Practice patience and persistence. Make a commitment to yourself to see things through even when difficulties arise. For example, if you get declined after one job interview, transfer your energies to the next opportunity.
Slow down. Sometimes you get more done by slowing down. Lack of sleep or perpetual multi-tasking can cause stress and irritating tension. Give yourself a break to refresh your brain and your body.
Act happy. Just trying to appear happier can help you lift your mood after a setback. Treat yourself to a funny movie or call a friend who helps you laugh.
Learn to ask for help. Make it easier for your loved ones to support you. Practice asking for help in a respectful manner while being specific about what you need.
Be generous. The more you give to others, the more likely they are to reciprocate in your time of need and the better you’ll feel about yourself.
Emotional resilience is a powerful asset for accomplishing more in life.
If you feel like something in miising in life, you are not alone. I felt that way until 2000 when I died in the hospital after receiving an overdose of pain medication the doctor administered.. The brief death was a sacred experience. Moreover, returning to life brought me strength and resolve to get on with “my work.”
Have you discovered your life purpose yet?
If you haven’t, don’t feel alone.
I didn’t know what my work, my calling, or my choices were around “working with parents and families.” I had already been a teacher, a counselor, a therapist, and an author with parenting books.I expected my purpose to manifest easily as if someone walked through my door and presented me with options. You are right if you guessed that it didn’t happen that way.
Don’t feel alone if you have not yet discovered your purpose. The reason is likely due to the fast pace of everyday life. When do you have time for yourself…to think about changing jobs, or even going it on your own and working from home? It can be easy to find yourself going to a job that you don’t like and feel meaningless at times.
The first step to discovering your purpose is taking some time for yourself. When you turn inward and take time to ponder, write, meditate, or review your options, you open feelings associated with passion. One technique I used was to state my intention aloud:
I want to know without reservation how I can best earn a living by loving what I do!
Living your life in a way that serves your purpose is extremely important if you wish to be happy. There are several ways you can attempt to discover the meaning of your life:
- Describe your ideal day. Project yourself several years into the future and imagine that your life is virtually perfect. How would your life look? Are you working? What type of work are you doing? What do you do all day? Who is in your life?
Now that you know what the end looks like, what can you do today to take the first step in that direction?
2. Try austerity. Go camping in a remote place. Take time to enjoy nature and sit with yourself. When you’re alone and have clear intention, sometimes the answer become apparent.
3. Volunteer. Find an organization in your community that interests you. Doing something worthwhile can be an excellent way to discover your purpose. Even if you come up short, at least you’ll have done something significant.
4. Assume you can do the impossible. When anything is possible, what would you do? Take action to bring your dreams to life.
5. Write. Perhaps the most efficient way to discover your life’s purpose is to spend an hour writing. At the top of your paper write, “My life’s purpose.” Now spend the next 60 minutes writing whatever pops into your mind.
I did this exercise and wrote from a stream of consciousness as opposed to focused topic. I learned that my purpose hasn’t changed from my twenties. I still like to teach as well as learn. I love to care about others and offer counsel. This stirs up positive feelings. Moreover, I can see myself doing it.
6, Investigate a new hobby. We all have at least one activity we’ve been putting off until a more convenient time. Doing something new exposes you to new ideas and thoughts. Now is the time to jump in and get started. You might be surprised what you discover.
7. Do something that terrifies you. Skydiving? Public speaking? You might find your life’s purpose during the process of conquering this fear.
8. Spend a day inspired. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, attempt to spend every moment inspired. The right books, music, and movies can help you maintain an inspired mental state.You’ll believe you can do anything. What would you do?
9. Ask yourself what you would do if you had $10 million. How would you spend your time? Can you figure out a way to make a living doing one of the activities you would be willing to do for free if you had the time?
Keep revisiting these tips until you’ve found something that really excites you. When you see your purpose, there will be no doubt. Avoid spending all of your life thinking and planning. Get busy living.
Finding your life’s purpose adds meaning to your living.
In interviewing Elizabeth about being a parenting coach, she asked, “But who would listen to me? What if I can’t connect to a client?”
Her questions were valid, and they also revealed low self-worth. This thinking could keep Elizabeth from achieving important goals and becoming all that she desired to be.
- Do you feel that you’re not good enough for people to pay you?
- Do you underestimate that your insight could have a positive influence on others?
- Have self-worth issues affected your friendships or personal relationships?
Many of our unworthy feelings might come from what we experienced in childhood or from negative life experiences as an adult. Have you dealt with low esteem at some point in your life? Or have low self-worth issues affected your choices? Upset your relationships? Then to improve your self-worth and gain confidence as a parent coach or a family consultant, try these three steps.
Step Out: Visit with a friend, who is also a parent, and ask his or her permission to speak up. Tihs is your practice session:
- “I’ve observed Ian’s behavior, and I have a suggestion to increase your results in getting him to sleep. Does that work for you?”
- “I’d like to suggest that…”
- “Can I practice coaching you as a parent…”
How much is an in-depth coaching session worth to you?
You Can Change
Why do you feel you don’t deserve a fair price for your work efforts? You can change that mindset. You can overcome your doubt. One way is to create new habits like these, for instance:
- Practice offering suggestions to friends several times a week. They key is to ask their permission or to ask how you can help?
- You can mentally reprogram those negative voices with positive ones so that you feel worthy of earning and gaining wealth.
Don’t I Have To Be an Expert?
When Elizabeth asked this question, she explained that she felt a lack of coaching experience. This problem is common for many of us until we get our feet wet.
Like Elizabeth, we have to remember which urgent feeling inside led to the place of wanting to build a business. The typical answer is that we are here to help others, provide connection and communication that serves the higher good.
Over time, Elizabeth felt assured that her listening skills would carry the coach-client conversation until she thought to add her two cents. And she was a patient listener, who learned to speak up and ask more question,s when she felt the client needed insight. At last, she had moved beyond feeling unworthy and needing to prove herself.
Sometimes, like Elizabeth, an entrepreneurial coach has a desire to learn and a passion for helping. Being honest with people who seek advice is another virtue that entrepreneurs need to cultivate, rather than advise or guess at answers. Or, offer to find solutions, which is how Linda grew in her confidence.
Grow Into Your Confidence
We want to feel good about ourselves. When we are confident, we feel better emotionally and mentally, and this reflects positively on our behaviors and improves our quality of life, from personal relationships to our professional endeavors.
Thus, whatever helps boost our self-confidence is good for us. One of the best ways to do this is by exercising regularly. Exercise is not only good for self-assurance but has excellent health benefits.
So how can exercise boost self-confidence? Try these steps, perhaps one every other day, to have a new experience of confidence.
A Step in Building Your Self Confidence
Your confidence is the accumulation of all your reactions to the experiences that life brought you. Many factors contribute to the personal understanding of confidence.
One determining influence is how right are the circumstances of your life. Do you tend to fall into the trap of creating unrealistic expectations? In the process, the losses could become too painful, and you eventually suffer the effects of lower self-confidence.
On the other hand, if you rely more on playing safe and creating more achievable goals that are easier to attain, then you act with confidence. Also, achievements add to the development of self-confidence.
People, especially those with low self-worth like Elizabeth, benefit from knowing that they are somehow capable of doing well. They should strive to gain the confidence.
You may already have heard the phrase, “It is all in your mind.” The statement is true for some psychological and emotional conditions that have mental roots. Thus, the antidote might as well come from the same source.
You can always condition yourself to feel the way you want or to feel the way you don’t want. You can suppress emotions, and in the process, you help feelings materialize. To deepen your confidence, watching your thoughts and the words you say are how you grow in awareness. What you speak are not mere words, but concepts that dug deep within and integrated into your being. If you believe in these phrases, then there is no way that you won’t understand their direct opposite expressions.
Central to building self-confidence is one’s belief about self, much like Elizabeth’s honest statements. Whatever you set your mind to believe will all be taken as factual. The motivation to change must come from you. You start with talking to yourself using positive statements. Self-talk research shows that you do not have to believe in such statements. However, saying, thinking, or reading the statements do sink in and have a positive effect.
You, the confident, can change your perspectives and live a different life that looks forward to better things.
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.” ~ Meryl Streep
Get Paid For Your Talents
The ability to resonate with another person on a deep level is the talent of a parenting coach, and all coaches for that matter. Such resonance is achieved through empathy, the ability to feel with her client, not to feel for them or about them. Resonating with clients is a striking intuitive knowing which enables you, as a parenting coach, to predict their needs and provide an unprecedented quality of caring.
The ability to resonate with others is the character strength of a person whose core temperament is Interpersonal, adaptive, or supporting. You are a natural in being supportive and caring in your responses to others. The mottos of the Academy for Coaching Parents International are focused around this concept of empathy:
“To empower and sustain loving relationships” and
“To make a difference.”
The first thing a coach does is establish a loving relationship with the client, who may be a parent, grandparent, caregiver or anyone who has hired a coach to help them better parent or serve as a more effective guardian or caregiver to children.
Parent coaches assist, help, inform, inspire, and educate. They provide clarity, reflection, and reality checks for parental illusion, and support a parent’s intuition. They are responsive and responsible as they provide frameworks and structures for conversations around sensitive issues.
A parent coach may serve as a coach for a parent’s personal confidence, or is involved with family relationships and parent/child issues. A parent coach is a mentor, not a doctor, minister or therapist. A coach is a friendly person a parent can call with everyday problems. A coach provides encouragement and expertise, coaching and challenges, all with the foundation of empathy. Through empathy the connection is made.
Are We Born With Empathy?
- Empathy is more than feeling pain; it is also connecting to one’s struggle, emotional intention, as well as feelings of joy and celebration.
- Babies demonstrate empathy in a global sense. If other babies cry, then babies respond with crying.
- By the time a child is 2 ½ years old, he or she has developed a self-identity and understands the feelings of distress belong to his playmate or parent or sibling.
- You will see preschool children empathize by reaching out to alleviate another’s distress through words or touch.
- By age 8, a child understands the human plight of birth, death and vulnerability.
Children depend upon the demonstrations of responsiveness, warmth and empathy from the people in their world to continue cultivating connection and empathy within themselves… or their ability to remain empathic is up for grabs.
A parent coach is the model for empathy, helping a parent to learn the use of empathy through modeling. In turn, a parent who feels successful will model responsiveness with their children. AND…we will have succeeded in making a difference – the truer mission of a parenting coach.
Let your genome make you successful:
Now you think have an empathy gene? Would you like to use it for making a difference in the world and at the same time get out of this rat race and be financially successful at the same time?