Tag Archives: story coach

Recipes for a Whole Story Lifestyle

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Consciously choosing to live a balanced and rich life requires us to choose to listen, read, and tell a rich variety of stories. In this final article in this Junk Story series we will explore the elements necessary to build and maintain a Whole Story Lifestyle.

Let’s go back one more time to our food analogy to understand what is needed in each healthy story we consume as well as our overall story diet. Although there are tens of thousands of recipes for any given food type, each recipe will share basic elements. So, let’s say you want to bake bread. The recipe will require a leavening agent such as yeast, sour dough starter, baking powder, etc. You’ll also need one or more grains like wheat flour, rye, cornmeal, millet, and so on.  We can’t forget a liquid; it can be as basic as water or we could add milk, orange juice, beer, or something else. Include seasoning and/or flavor and the bread is ready to be made, baked, and eaten.   The types of ingredients will vary for different types of foods, so basic ingredients for a soup or a salad will be different than the ingredients for a bread.   Obvious, right?

Same applies to the stories we consume.  Ask yourself, are you enjoying stories from different groups and do they have the basic elements.

Each type of story requires basic elements. Stories need a beginning, middle, and end. Stories that jump to the middle are confusing. Endless stories are unsettling and can lurk in your memory without resolution. Historic stories need accuracy not only in general facts but also in details. News stories and stories with philosophical concepts need balance. Folklore and mythic tales need to honor their core.

Remember to consume a variety of stories.  If you are stuck in one area, consciously add different types of stories and media forms. Limit the amount of junk stories you take in every week.

Share stories by becoming a listener, talking about the shows, books, movies, and tales you enjoy.  Become part of the chain of stories by telling and passing down family traditions, experiences, and ideas through oral stories.

As a story coach I not only help you find and create your stories, but I also make suggestions and guide you in your exploration of stories in all forms.

Finally, become aware of toxic stories and avoid them.  Since stories are the stickiest form of communication, when we take in toxic content, it lingers in our brain and causes harm.

Living a whole story lifestyle has a dynamic impact on all aspects of your life. Opportunities and awareness will increase as well as your general feeling of well-being when you actively vary and choose the stories you consume.

 

New Series: Toxic Tales

 

Tell Your Story for Crowd Funding Success

By Rivka Willick

It’s hard to believe that Crowd Funding has only been around for a little over five years.  Kickstarter, the superstar of crowd funding sites launched on April 28, 2009 and set off the internet trend of raising money through online campaigns.  The first crowd-sourcers focused on innovations and artistic projects. Some projects are modest, like a pre-school teacher seeking funds for art materials for Jackson Pollack-like canvases. Others are large and ambitious such as funding for a film or complex video game. Other platforms soon followed offering charities, individuals in need, entrepreneurs, inventors, and just about anybody with a project a place to pitch their need or idea.

Here’s how crowd funding works.  A person posts a project and asks the public for financial support. Some sites, like Kickstarter, require the poster to meet their stated goal, if they don’t raise enough money, they don’t get any.  Other sites like Indiegogo and Rockethub allows you to keep the money you raise (minus their fees) even if you don’t reach your goal.

Sounds great…and it is for some, but many people set up projects and raise little if any money. There are some wildly successful campaigns; The Veronica Mars Movie Project raised $5,702,152 and Star Citizen Video Game raised $68,549,471 on Kickstarter and Ubuntu Edge a “high concept” smartphone raised $12,814,196 on Indiegogo.  Unfortunately most crowdfunding campaigns fail.

Robert Strohmeyer reported in PC World Sept 26, 2013 that only 44 percent of Kickstarter projects and 34 percent of Indiegogo projects meet their goals. Those are sobering statistics, but I haven’t found any stats that examine the success rates of projects that do the ground work and launch with proper preparation and those that don’t.  If you do the ground WORK, and I really do mean work, your chances for success will greatly improve.

Promote your crowdfunding project everywhere you network and speak.

Promote your crowdfunding project everywhere you network and speak.

Improve your chances for Crowd Funding Success.

  1. Research and choose the platform that fits your project. There are dozens of crowdsourcing sites and the biggest is often not the best. Some crowdsources (like Kickstarter) will only give the funds if you meet your goal.  That makes sense if you can’t do the project without the set amount AND you have no other means of getting the balance. Other sites will release the funds raised even if you don’t reach your goal, but they will often take a higher percentage.

Each platform attracts different groups of backers.  If you have an innovative business project you’ll probably want to pass on Kickstarter and Indiegogo because neither have a category for business innovation or ideas.  Rocket Hub does.  There are platforms that appeal to specific groups or causes like Jewcer (Jewish Projects), help individuals and organizations raise money for a cause like FundRazr, and match projects to investors (not supporters) like Onevest.

  1. Tell a Compelling Story – Most projects post a short video and have a brief write up, so you need to connect with possible supporters in less than 3 minutes. As a storycoach I can help you find and form your story and write it up as video script.  Remember, just because you think your product or idea is great doesn’t mean anybody else does. You’ve been developing and dreaming about it for a long time, others haven’t gone through that process.  You must share your enthusiasm and concept in a compelling way—Story is the most powerful and effective means of communicating and connecting on both an intellectual and emotional level.

Your video story can be told with images and music, animation, or verbally.  I’ll be happy to work with you to find a format that will fit your project.

  1. Create Your Own Crowd before the Project Launches – Update your email list and contact friends, family, and fans. Get active on social media and let people know.  Blog about it, pass out flyers at networking events, tack a flyer about it on the company cork board, talk about it when you do presentations, mention it at parties, and talk about the project on your website.  THIS IS ESSENTIAL.  You won’t attract strangers if your friends and fans don’t care.  Early and continual funding keeps projects high up on many platforms.  It also draws attention.  After all, it’s only human nature to be curious in success.
  1. Create an Exciting List of Donor Gift Categories – We all like stuff. It’s fun to be part of art, innovation, or exciting ideas, but it’s even more fun when you get something out of it.  It’s a good idea to set up low, medium, and high price gift categories.  The perks vary each project , try to tie them to your story.  If you are offering products, make sure you have the ability of deliver them In a timely way.  For example, if you’re raising money for a new fashion line and you are offering items from the line as perks, make sure you’ll have the manufacturing capacity and capital to deliver each item in the time frame you post.
  1. Be willing to commit real time and some money to make the campaign a success.

If you’d like to find your story and create a compelling video script for your next crowd sourcing campaign, drop me an email and ask about my crowd sourcing package.  Rivka@simplyextraordinarytales.com

Getting Unstuck: Taking your Art to the Next Level

We all get bogged down, stalled, blocked. Musicians, painters, writers, performers: all artists get stuck.  It often happens after a success and a burst of productivity. Other times it happens after a well deserved break or vacation. We tend to stall right at a time when we’re ready to surge forward.  That’s when things stop.

It’s a lot like driving a car and getting stuck in the mud.  You’ve been zooming along, making good time when the tires get swallowed by soft, supple mud.  It’s wet and unformed.  If it was in a farmer’s field you might call it fertile land, but it’s part of the road so now it’s a major headache.  You spin your wheels in an attempt at freedom, but you just sink deeper. Maybe you get out of the car and get the shovel from the trunk, (I always carry a shovel in my trunk) and try to dig yourself out.  Unfortunately there is a lot of mud.  Whatever mud you dig out is instantly replaced by other mud.

Finally you decide you can’t do this alone.  You need help. The first person to walk by just got their driver’s permit. They suggest gunning the motor.  Now you realize you not only need help, but you need help from somebody who knows how to get out of the mud. You look around and find somebody who lives in the area.  He tells you he’s been stuck in a similar mud hole just down the block.  He puts cardboard under the tires and tells you to gently move back and forth and then he pushes. It doesn’t happen right away, it takes some time but together you move out of the mud and return to the road.

It’s the same for artists.  We often get stuck when things are fertile and we get frustrated. Sometimes we work really hard, {spinning our wheels} and just get more stuck.  Maybe we’ll go for the shovel and logically try to move forward,but if you don’t know how to handle the mud, more will just replace it.

So, you got to find somebody to help, somebody who knows about being stuck. I suggest a story coach.  She knows how to listen and guide you through the story that’s build a wall around you.  Maybe a new story will open the door, or maybe owning the beginning or end of the story will move you forward.  A story coach will also listen to the process of your music, painting, sculpture, dance, or performance. As the story unfolds, your art will not only move forward but rise to new levels.

Story coaching can be done in person or online through Skype or Google Hangout. If you are ready to embrace your art and get back to work, please give me a call.

Learn more about story coaching or schedule a session with me at Rivka@SimplyExtraordinaryTales.com.  862-268-4989

Mention this blog and receive $50 off a 3 session package.

Branding is Personal so Own your Own Brand!

By Rivka Willick

I often work with business professionals that struggle with branding.  They work hard on improving their products, skills, and services, but are often lost in the crowd.  They will pour buckets of money into logos, titles, taglines, and web designs only to step away looking like everybody else. Others will spend months or years writing books or creating expensive content rich videos only to turn around and see their slightly altered information promoting another business a few months later.

Why does this happen and why is it so common?  It happens because most people don’t infuse themselves into their branding. Each individual is unique and therefore interesting.  As time passes we become 10,000 stories, each tale making us a bit more complex and intriguing. These stories are an amalgam of life experiences, personal heritage, family legends, imagination, and a wild mix of the culture to which we are constantly exposed.

We are our stories….and that’s a good thing.  Stories are the stickest of all spoken or written communications.  The story format is easy to remember and often hard to forget. It’s the natural branding tool.  Stories also turn bland easily copied information into one-of-a-kind content that will be associated with you and your business.

Let’s say you’re writing an information rich book or video about your area of expertise. Maybe you’ve spent years researching and writing it. Once it’s printed it will only take few minutes to copy and ‘spin’ the contents so it’s technically a different text but has all the same information.  (This can be done with any information thick content). Now let’s say you’re writing the same book or video but you infuse your stories into it.  This not only improves the content by making it easier to comprehend, fun to experience, and memorable but it also infuses your story DNA into the content. It’s easy to recoginze and tough to steal.

This same logic applies to webpages, printed brochures, company names and logos, and marketing materials. When you weave your stories into your content, you will own your brand.

By now you’re probably nodding your head and agreeing, but how do you find the stories?  You can make something up, or maybe dig up a high school essay, but you know that’s not right.  If you are a natural storyteller you might be able to create content on your own, but most professionals know the wisdom of seeking out experts for best results.

I’m a story coach and I help people find their stories.

When they find their stories everything tends to come together. Their branding stands out, writen and video content pops, and communications in general greatly improves.

Story coaching can be done in person or online thorugh Skype or Google Hangout.  It’s time to find your stories so you can stand out from the crowd.

Learn more about story coaching or schedule a session with me at Rivka@SimplyExtraordinaryTales.com.  

Mention this blog and receive $50 off a 3 session package.