But it's true, we've all got millions of stories. Every experience we've ever had is a story. So how do we decide which ones to use in our business?
Here's my best advice: Use the story your audience wants to hear—their own.
In other words, tell a story from your own life that's so relevant to your audience, that resonates with them at such a deep level, they'll feel like it could be their own. It doesn't have to be the same story; it only has to trigger the same emotions.
So they'll say: "OMG, that's just like what happened to me!" "How did you know?" "That's exactly how I felt!"
And that's how you know you're telling the right story. When you tell your story, and your audience hears it as their story.
True confession: I held back in telling my own deep story for a long time. Why? I was afraid it wasn't deep enough! I was afraid if I shared what I'd learned through my own life experiences, I would offend people who'd been through tougher stuff.
Finally one day, I just did it. I shared my story and what it taught me. And what do you know? Someone in that audience who had in fact traveled a much harder journey than mine, sought me out and thanked me. "I felt like you were telling my story," she said.
So think about that target audience of yours, your perfect prospects, your ideal clients. What's their story? What are they struggling with that you've already overcome? What problem of theirs can you solve? What need can you meet? What pain can you heal?
Now think about how you know all that. Odds are, you learned the hard way, by struggling with your own challenges, by searching for solutions to your own problems, by finding out how to meet your own needs or cure your own pains. Those answers didn't come overnight.
It was a journey, and that journey has now become a story. Your story.
That's the story you want to tell. The story of how you met adversity head-on, stumbled for a bit as we all do, but then overcame it, even turned it inside out and shook it to find a silver lining.
That's the story your audience will hear as their own. That's the story that will inspire them, give them hope that they, too, can overcome their struggle, and persuade them that you're just the person who knows how to help them do it.
Of course, there's a knack to telling a good comeback story. No problem. I can help you with that part. The important thing is not to hold back, not to keep your stories to yourself.
Don't feel embarrassed that you had to struggle. We all do. Besides, your struggle IS your success.
There can be no inspiring comeback stories without first experiencing something you have to come back from. And the longer you keep your comeback story to yourself, the longer those you could be helping will have to struggle on their own.
So tell your story. The world is waiting.