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Find Your True Story
February 12, 2010
By Howard Mann

There is a lot of talk about businesses discovering their ???story.??? What I don???t hear much about is how to decipher your true story from your false story.

When I say ???false story,??? I am talking about the lies and rationalizations we tell ourselves to prove ourselves right or wrong about things that happen to us in life. That false story is really the filter that we run every experience through to fit into the world as we want to see it. This story is the result of years of old and often incorrect thinking which simply serve to protect us from some painful truth.

Businesses are prone to false stories too. How could they not? Businesses are run by and comprised of a whole bunch of people that each has his or her own set of these false stories. A business???s false story might be comprised of reasons why they won or lost a client, reasons why they are not making enough profit, reasons why their competitors stole that client away, how the customers are all a pain in the neck, are never happy, etc, etc.

All Stories. False ones.

If we are honest with ourselves, perhaps in a private moment, we might recognize such stories as the excuses they often are.

If your competitors were really as bumbling and awful as you are convinced they are, how is it that they are not only still in business, but are competing with you so well? If you were really right about your story, you would have more business than you could handle.

What if you told yourself that you lost a piece of business because some of your competitors, right now, really are better than you? What if you admitted to yourself that you really didn???t pay proper attention to the personalized service you touted during the sales process? Would that be so bad? You wouldn???t have to close your doors or fire the staff. But you would have the chance to find a different way. Owning up to your false story allows you to find your true story.
Only your true story provides a solid jumping off point to take aggressive action and effect lasting change.

Practice drill: Lose your story, find your truth

Think of the last three to five clients you lost or the last few prospects that chose your competitor over you. Write down the reasons you told yourself and/or everyone else why you lost. Look for your false story.

Now write down what the truth could be about each situation.
See how much easier it is to see how to take action from the truth list? The false list lets you sit idly by ranting about how unfair business is. A waste of time and opportunity.
Now write down the first action you can take. Turn those actions into initiatives in your business and real changes will occur in the culture and feel of your company. Quickly.

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