The Story and the Sourdough.
I don’t know if you know what sourdough starter is, but it’s something that many people have been experimenting with over the first month of the 2020 confinement.
Sourdough starter is a way of creating a jar, like a mason jar, full of naturally occurring yeast that are magically gathered from the air while the jar is sitting on your countertop. You use that jar of bubbly yeast0filled ooze to then dump (start) into a larger bowl of flour to create a very particularly tasteful dough. Every starter has it’s own flavor profile. This sourdough starter can live forever and some people have ones that they’ve passed down for generations, like a family pet.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever made a sourdough starter, I have recently in the last several months started something. And with that sourdough starter, I’ve made a fantastic pizza dough, which I adore, or I’ve also made cinnamon rolls, which were not so good.
I’ve got an analogy for you wrapped in an anecdote.
Why tell you about this sourdough starter? Because of this very important fact, the story that you create creates you. The stories about your business, your nonprofit organization, your personal life, these are the “starters” of the stories that people around you will tell about you. “You” here is your business, your nonprofit organization, your company, whatever it is that you are doing. You being the entity that you’re doing stories for it. Your “sourdough starter” is the stories that you create to tell your company’s work. The truth is: if you don’t create your stories then somebody else will.
But, as with sourdough starter influencing bread, I get to influence the organization that I make. With the stories that you first work on for your organization, you will direct the stories that will be told about you by your customers, your clients, those people associated with your organization.
Storytelling is important. You get to decide how people will view your organization.
So, give them some starter. Take the time to create stories that talk about the truth of the company, the organization, that you have. Take the time to tell the stories about the struggles that you’ve had, tell the truth. Talk about the struggles, and maybe even the failures that you’ve had. Talk about the successes that you’ve had.
The story that you create, creates you, much like a starter that’s sitting on your counter that therefore can create good baked goods in the future. The story that sits in your organization, the many
stories, the stories of success, the stories of failure, the stories of struggle, the stories of new products, the stories of how you began.
Here’s the deal: your customers are going to tell stories about you if you like it or not.
All of those historicity stories are so important. These stories will create the fodder, the starter, for how people will talk about you in the future.
Don’t let people create stories without your influence, because they will create the stories about you. Don’t let them do that without your influence, having heard your starter stories to get them moving.
Don’t underestimate the power of this.
If you don’t put yeast in bread, it does not rise. If you don’t put your starter in your flour, your pizza doughs won’t rise, your cinnamon rolls won’t rise, your bread won’t rise.
If you don’t put good stories into your organization, into your clients, you’re going to have flat results, or worse, you’re going to have something that other people have told about you that is simply untrue because they’ve n
ever heard your story.
You will create some stories that hit (like my pizza dough) and some that aren’t so good (like my rolls), but you won’t know until you put those stories out to the world and your clients.
So, the stories that you create, create you.
Sean Buvala helps you create compelling stories for your business or nonprofit organization. Contact him for a phone call to get started.