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You've got to hear this story

Think. Write. Lead.
You've got to hear this story
By Diego Pineda • Issue #4 • View online
Sup? Here I am again with a new issue of Think.Write.Lead.
I bet you don’t remember what last week’s issue was about. Hey, maybe you didn’t even read it. That’s fine, though. Here’s a link to it if you need it.
In that issue, I promised I would teach you about storytelling… and here we are. So keep reading, my friend. 

The first thing that draws you to Jaime is the big smile surrounded by the biker beard.
Knowing where he’s now (a published author and the owner of a successful 7-figure business), you’d never imagine what he’s been through.
Some years ago, Jaime served in the US Army as a paratrooper. But being away from his family for long periods of time was affecting him deeply. So he decided to quit the army and go back home.
But the day he arrived, his wife told him she wanted a divorce. She was seeing someone else. Not only that, but he could not go back to their home.
He ended up homeless, without a job and with no family.
Thanks to some friends, he was able to get a job at a restaurant. Later he got a corporate job, and a few years later he started a business and met his new wife.
It’s a story about facing uncertainty and making it through tribulations. It’s a story of transformation.
“Being able to share your experience creatively through storytelling differentiates you from everybody else,” Jaime told me.
Why do I tell you this?
Because to write like a thought leader you must be able to write compelling stories of transformation (your own and others) that illustrate the results of putting your ideas and frameworks into practice.
Storytelling is a superpower you must acquire a.s.a.p.
The good news is that I’m here to help.
So, let’s pretend for a second that we are in a creative writing class…
Have you seen the Captain America movie?
If you're not a Marvel fan, you may not get it.
If you're not a Marvel fan, you may not get it.
If I asked you what the movie is about, you’d say something like this:
“It’s about a young guy called Steve Rogers, who wanted to enlist in the US army, but he was skinny and weak. Until one day a scientist gave him a serum that turned him into a super soldier. With his super strength he was able to fight the Nazis in World War II.”
Basically, you:
  • Introduced a character (Steve Rogers)
  • Who had a goal (enlist in the army)
  • But there were obstacles in his way (his physique)
  • So he undertook a transformation (with the serum)
  • That allowed him to accomplish his goal (fight the Nazis)
In other words, every story you tell must have certain elements to be compelling (and in a certain order).
Here they are, illustrated with Jamie’s story:
  • A character (Jaime)
  • A motivation or goal (Be with his family)
  • A conflict or obstacle (His wife asked for a divorce)
  • A character arc (from homeless to entrepreneur)
  • A new reality (new family, new career)
Without character, there is no story. Just random thoughts.
Without conflict, there is no story. Just an anecdote.
Movies and novels can get a bit more complex and include elements like a mentor or guide, a villain, a calling, and more. But the above are the basic ones you need to tell a great story.
Can you do that?
  • Reflect on your own story and identify the elements of storytelling we just reviewed.
  • Do the same for your one or more of your clients (you may need to interview them).
The most important thing is to have a strong character arc. It can be a physical change like Steve Rogers’ transformation, or it can be a change of character.
For example (now that we are talking about superhero movies), think about Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man). At the beginning of the saga, he was a selfish, rich brat. But he becomes a hero who sacrifices himself to save the universe (literally). 
1. Write an outline of your story and just tell it in big strokes, as if you were writing a LinkedIn post.
A couple of examples are this post I did not long ago, or this Twitter thread by Justin Welsh.
2. Write a more detailed version of your story within an article where you teach some lessons you learned along the way.
For example, read the story of how I was a Christian pastor in South America and how it almost destroyed my life. I use that story to teach my readers how to reinvent themselves.
Business leaders that have mastered the art of storytelling include Phil Knight, Richard Branson, and Brian Chesky.
They’ve told the story of their companies and have captured the attention of many, who now retell their stories everywhere.
So, tell stories worth retelling.
Captivate your readers with stories of transformation and results.
That way, they’ll believe that if it was possible for you (or your clients), it will be possible for them.
Because your story can also be their story.
See you next week, cap!
See you next week, cap!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Diego Pineda

Write like a thought leader: tight, sexy, and elegant copy that stirs emotions and changes minds.

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