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What's Inside Your Suitcase? Unpacking Your Signature Stories:

I think we can agree we all of us have stories that we carry with us through life. And these stories have the potential to connect us to each other and make a huge impact.

The problem is most of us don’t even know what our stories are. We sit on them, just as though we were sitting on a stack of old, dusty suitcases. We don’t peek inside or unpack what could be useful to us or to the other people in our lives.

But remember, life’s a journey and as travelers we’re not meant to stay in one place forever. Those suitcases we’re sitting on? What’s inside is meant to equip us for what comes next, providing us with the tools and wisdom that will guide us through the next challenge we face.

Now, I realize that not all the stories we carry around are meant to serve us. In fact, in Episode #5 of the Power Your Platform Podcast, we talked about the Stories We Tell Ourselves, and discovered that some of the stories we carry with us through life do more harm than good.

But once we’ve sorted through the dirty laundry in our suitcases, it’s time to consider what else lies inside. Because inevitably there’s always something tucked away in a corner pocket that escapes our notice at first – but which could actually be of vital importance. Something small that goes unnoticed for a while –– until we need it.

When it comes to unpacking our signature stories, we need to do the same. We need to do a thorough search through our personal baggage and see what we might have missed the first time or thrown carelessly aside.

So what exactly is a signature story? And why do we need them when building a story brand? Your signature story is the message you’re best known for. Ideally it stems from your personal experience, expertise and insights.

Not only should your signature story have a personal connection, however, but it should also have a universal application. The story of Malala and her encounter with the Taliban is an example of a signature story.

Signature stories are powerful for three reasons:

1. They clarify why you do what you do.

2. They reveal the values behind your brand.

3. They can shape your company's culture.

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