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Tell a Story, Don’t List Benefits – How the Science of Storytelling Will Transform Your Business

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If you’d like to learn how to tell amazing stories so you can influence people to act, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


In 2009, a man bought 200 objects on Ebay for $129 and sold them for $8000. How did he achieve an increase of 6202 percent? He did it by adding a story. He commissioned 200 writers to tell a story about each object. This experiment proved: the power of storytelling is real. 

How can anyone justify wearing a pair of sneakers that costs at least four times the manufacturing price? The purchase is not rationalized by some extra rubber or innovative material, nor by a special fit or an extraordinary energy boost. We all know the truth: a sneaker is a sneaker. But by wearing a 100 Dollar sneaker you become part of a story.

At an auction, someone bought a Nike sneaker for $475,500, and it was not because of some rational benefits. It was because the buyer became part of a mythical sneaker history, where the shoes were made by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, who used his wife’s waffle iron to create a new kind of running shoe. It’s like owning the Mona Lisa. 

Why doesn’t GoPro advertise the cool technical features of its camera on the front page? They could have said, GoPro has an unshakable HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization and built-in mounting. Instead, they say, GoPro helps people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others—to celebrate them together. Of course, they list the benefits. But first, they tell a story. 

Many start-ups and entrepreneurs make a fatal mistake. They start with listing the benefits. The result? In a world where everybody is competing for attention—a limited resource to give—their business drowns in the noise. If you want people’s attention, you need to start with a story. Not just any story, but a compelling narrative with three ingredients.

The neurochemical “angel’s cocktail” you need for a good story

Paul Zak did an experiment where he showed people two types of short videos:

  • a sad story about a father and son that had an intriguing start, a climax and a compelling ending
  • a person walking about aimlessly during the video

The brains of the ones who watched the first video produced two neurochemicals: Cortisol and Oxytocin. Those people also took desired action—they made donations. The second video didn’t engage the audience’s brains in any way. 

In a related experiment, people infused with oxytocin turned out to be 80% more generous than others when splitting money. David JP Phillips adds another hormone and calls it the “angel’s cocktail”—the mixture of the three chemicals you need for a compelling story

“Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.” – Joe Lazauskas & Shane Snow

Dopamine—the attention hormone 

“We discovered that, in order to motivate a desire to help others, a story must first sustain attention—a scarce resource in the brain—by developing tension during the narrative.” – Paul Zak 

The release of dopamine motivates us, helps us focus and sustains memory. If you want to stand out from the noise that has become abundant in this world—and will increase in the future—you need this hormone. 

In storytelling, dopamine is produced by creating tension and using a cliffhanger. Here’s an example: “You better not tell nobody but God” is the first sentence in Alice Walker’s masterpiece “The Color Purple”. It raises tension and questions you need answered. This way, it triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. We’re instantly paying attention. 

Oxytocin—the bonding hormone 

Empathy is the key to a story that inspires action. In a brand story, the hero is always the customer. Never make your brand or product the hero. This is a fatal mistake that has cost many businesses and products their existence. 

To make the customer the hero, you need to understand him. What is his or her desire? What keeps him awake at night? What are her greatest problems and fears? If you know the answers, you can create a story that evokes empathy—that shows that you understand the customer and releases Oxytocin to build trust and form a bond. 

 “I’m obsessed with giving the audience something they don’t see coming.” – Jordan Peele

Endorphin—the happiness hormone 

There is one ingredient added to the angel’s cocktail. One that explains why we love the Late Night Show, sitcoms and plain entertainment. Research firm PwC anticipates revenue from media and entertainment will reach an estimated $2.2 trillion by 2021. 

Why do we spend so much money on being entertained and not informed? Because of endorphins that are released in our brain when humor comes into play. When your story makes the audience laugh, they feel more relaxed and creative. You need this desperately to combat the stress and anxiety of everyday life. 

Start with an image 

Stories are the pathway to engaging our right brain and triggering imagination. Start your story by creating a powerful image that both grabs the customer’s attention and will be remembered for a long time. 

Find an image that triggers the angel’s cocktail by adding tension, empathy and entertainment. Let’s go back to Nike’s campaign: Equality isn’t a game. But achieving it will be our greatest victory.

It raises tension by asking: How can we achieve equality? And will we? It triggers empathy by creating a common cause that matters to the customers: equality. And it provides entertainment by the comparison between sports (‘game’) and a political cause. 

Never underestimate the power of storytelling. A compelling story can increase the value of a product by over 6000 percent. If you want to stand out from the noise, use the science of storytelling. 

But remember, the story has to be authentic. Storytelling in marketing is not about manipulation because sooner or later, your audience will discover a fake, and it will ruin your company. The power of storytelling means using a privilege and telling a brand story that provides your customers with a value they wouldn’t have found without it. 

What do you think about storytelling? Is it something you’re good at & have seen the benefits? Share your stories with us below!

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How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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