Branding

Ep 20 with Brad Burton

Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor

Welcome to the Story Mill podcast series – Thriving Beyond Stress & Burnout.  In this episode, Claire Taylor talks with Entrepreneur and Motivational Business Speaker – Brad Burton.

Brad was born in Salford, Manchester and was brought up by his mum Brenda after his father left the family home when he was very young.

During his school life Brad was the class clown and, in his own words, achieved nothing, getting Es, Fs and Us in his GCSEs. Brad had one main interest at this time – computer games.

After school Brad joined a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) working on a computer support desk for a company in Salford and then he secured what was, at that time, his dream job working in a computer games shop in The Arndale Centre in Manchester.

Later he was offered an opportunity to work with Jason Dutton, then editor of Computing Magazine in Macclesfield. In spite of the fact that Brad wasn’t a good writer he got the job and built his reputation as a games writer and reviewer and even took part in a television series.

Brad mixed with the wrong crowd, upset some unsavoury people and this culminated in someone attempting to shoot him in 1995.  Terrified, Brad fled to Somerset where he got a job and went on to meet a local girl whom he later married.

In our conversation, Brad shares how he walked away from his job, to set up his own business, despite having a baby on the way.  In building his business Brad went down the business networking route.  To his horror he found himself being ejected from the very first networking event he attended.Brad-logo-orange-300x200

Why?  Because he offered similar services to another networker.

That day changed everything for Brad. He had been running for 11 years and decided that he’d had enough and was going to plant his feet.

The action he took changed Brad’s life and that of many other small business owners too.  Brad created 4Networking – a huge UK wide networking group disrupting the model that existed at the time. Aimed at small business owners. Brad describes it as the New Labour of networking.  Since it’s inception just over ten years ago 4Networking has transformed business networking in the UK.other3

Building a massive business network eventually took a toll on Brad’s health and his personal life and let to burnout.

The photo on the left of Brad with his friend and colleague Terry captures a pivotal conversation that inspired Brad to hang in there despite the immense pressure he was under.

After plenty of soul searching Brad began to re-evaluate what was most important to him and re-prioritise things in his life.

Brad has since written four books – available on Amazon, the lastest is called Now What.  Brad_Burton_CrowdShot-300x200

Brad’s current mission is disrupting the world of personal development and being the UK’s No1 Motivational Business speaker.  You can find out more about Brad’s mission and story in our podcast conversation below!

To follow Brad’s work check-out  www.nowwhat.biz.

Meanwhile, you can find out more about business storytelling on www.thestorymill.co.uk

Enjoy!

Claire

Co-founder – The Story Mill

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You’re Much More Than A Brand – People Connect With Your Essence

I was chatting recently with Lindsey Reed, founder of Glows Coaching, when out of the blue she asked if we’d make a film that tells her story and captures a sense of who she is and how she helps people.

Most of the films we make are corporate story based films that capture the essence of larger businesses – however, there’s something magical about making films for professionals like Lindsey too.

You can watch the video we created of Lindsey here.

Below you can discover more about how capturing your essence on video could be the best way to get yourself into the world.

You can contact us on [email protected] to talk about your video.

Here’s why sharing the real you is so important.

While it often looks like people want to hire you for skills, qualifications and experience the real reason people choose to work with you is that the chemistry works.

During the early naughties, the idea of branding yourself became popular.  But it’s always jarred with me.

Why?

Branding is a way of applying human characteristics to inanimate objects so that humans can connect with them.

In contrast, branding yourself means packaging yourself into a product that offers a consistent service and creating stock messages to share with people you meet.  Of course, you need to tell people whether you can help them with their marketing, their accounts or their plumbing.

But you’re not biscuits on a conveyor belt.

You’re already human with a unique way of being.

The more messages, catch-phrases and cliches you add to yourself – the more diluted your essence becomes.

You’re so much more than a brand.  People engage you because they enjoy how they feel when they’re with you.  They trust you.  They hire you for tons of intangible reasons that are as hard to describe as the taste of chocolate.

When people hire you it’s because they have connected with you.

Your essence is different from you as a brand.

Fancy buzz words and clichés don’t do you justice – they under sell the aspects of you that people truly value.

Coming back to my conversation with Lindsey – we created the film above which hopefully you’ve had a chance to watch.

You’ll hear no cheesy cliches because this is Lindsey simply being who she is – sharing her own stories and talking about how she helps people.  Her passion and her unique essence shine through the screen.

Films are a brilliant way to capture your story and your essence.  People get a sense for what it might be like to work with you.

Our approach to making these ‘story and essence’ films is aeons away from traditional promotional videos.

Here’s what Lindsey said about her experience.

“What a great experience. Thank you, Claire and David, for creating a great video for my website which captures the essence of who I am. You ensured that I felt welcomed and relaxed, that the environment was right and blended into what I was wearing, the ambience of lighting and your intuitive questions. The whole process from start to finish was smooth and you are both a joy to work with. I am thrilled with the results. Big thank you.” Lindsey Reed, Glows Coaching.

Working with Lindsey reminded us of how much we’ve enjoyed creating films with people running smaller businesses as well as our corporate clients.

So, we’d love to make more of these engaging videos.

If you’re a business leader, consultant or solopreneur and like what we created for Lindsey – you can get in touch with us on 01295 724568 or on [email protected] about creating a film that captures your story and your essence.

Ep 14 with Tania Elfersy

Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor

Welcome to the Story Mill podcast series – Thriving Beyond Stress & Burnout.  In this episode, Claire Taylor talks with Tania Elfersy – Author, Publisher and Founder of The Wiser Woman Project.

Tania worked in a busy corporate role playing at the top of her game and travelling the world.  She was already at the point of burnout when she became pregnant with her first child.  Her workload got even bigger as she pregnancy continued.

She struggled to have a meaningful conversation with her employers about her needs as a heavily pregnant woman and her aspirations to balance her career with child rearing after her maternity break.

Tania took an extended maternity break, never returned to the corporate world and three children later, she decided to collate stories from other women about their experiences of balancing motherhood, relationships and career.

Together with a co-author, they conducted research and within nine months they had collated several stories from women about their experiences of motherhood.  They discovered that women find it hard to talk about motherhood.

The result of their research was an award-winning book, Purple Leaves, Red Cherries.Tania Elfersy profile a1

Then, as Tania moved into her 40’s, she found herself in a new dilemma with a collection of baffling physical symptoms.  Tania realised that she had reached perimenopause (a period of change of up to 10 years that precedes menopause) and at first she thought her fluctuating hormones were at the root of her symptoms.

However, as her research continued she discovered something else that changed everything.  Tania’s intriguing discovery has led to the work she now does with The Wiser Woman project.

Listen to our conversation below to hear Tania’s story and more about her work with women in their forties.

You can follow Tania’s work on www.thewiserwoman.com

Meanwhile, you can find out more about business storytelling on www.thestorymill.co.uk

Enjoy!

Claire

Co-founder – The Story Mill

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Ep 13 with Karen Miller Williams

Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor

Welcome to the Story Mill podcast series – Thriving Beyond Stress & Burnout.  In this episode, Claire Taylor talks with Karen Miller Williams – Three Principles Nurse & founder of New Perspectives Services.

Karen worked in a hospital intensive care unit.  Despite the busyness of the ICU, Karen didn’t consider that she was stressed.  The back stabbing, snapping, griping, complaining and lack of helpfulness that sometimes happened between the nurses was just how things were.  However, they all found it unpleasant.

The nurses invited a psychologist who was helping their patients to also work with the nursing team.  Through this work, Karen discovered a paradigm called 3 Principles that shed light on the human operating system. FullSizeRender

She realised that most of us have a misunderstanding about where our experience comes from.  Our experience is created from the inside-out rather than outside-in.

Seeing the inside-out nature of the human experience changed everything for Karen and the other nurses in the unit.

The new understanding had a profoundly positive impact on how they related to each other and to their patients.  Stress levels plummeted and the ICU became a more supportive and warmer place to work.

Karen has continued to delve deeper into the inside-out nature of the human experience and has for many years taught this simple but powerful understanding to her clients.

Listen to Karen’s inspiring story in our podcast conversation below and you’ll feel her serene energy.  Karen also talks about the 3 Principles understanding that changed everything for her.

You can follow Karen’s work on www.threeprinciplesnurse.com

Meanwhile, you can find out more about business storytelling on www.thestorymill.co.uk

Enjoy!

Claire

Co-founder – The Story Mill

 

 

 

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Ep 11 with John El-Mokadem

Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor

Welcome to the Story Mill podcast series – Thriving Beyond Stress & Burnout. In this episode, Claire Taylor talks with John El-Mokadem – a Breakthrough Coach.

John worked in IT for a corporate Management Consultancy.  He shares how he experienced life as stressful and at the time attributed it to his work.

Despite being young, fit and healthy he succumbed to chronic fatigue.  The illness overshadowed his life and relationships.  He tried umpteen ways to get well with marginal effect. IMG_7962

In time, John discovered a profound understanding regarding the inside-out nature of life.

He found that being in resistance to life and wanting to control everything can be at the root of ill health.

John recovered from a seven-year cycle of ill health.  He now works with others to help them to break through debilitating life, relationship and health, problems including chronic fatigue.

John is also working on a study (in people with chronic fatigue) to create data that shows how simply understanding the inside-out nature of life can transform people’s relationships, wellbeing and happiness.

Listen to John’s incredible story below.  You can follow his work on www.breakthroughthat.com

Meanwhile, you can find out more about business storytelling on www.thestorymill.co.uk

Enjoy!

Claire

Co-founder – The Story Mill

 

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How To Tell Powerful Strategic Stories Like Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a visionary entrepreneur. While Musk isn’t the most polished speaker in the world – he tells powerful strategic stories with passion and authenticity.

Listening to Musk talking about Tesla Motors or Powerwall, Tesla home battery, we’re grabbed by the stories he tells. He begins by identifying the problem as he sees it. He tells us what he believes will happen if the status quo is maintained. We’re floundering in the darkness of the bleak future.

But then, Musk shows us the light at the end of the tunnel.

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8 Ways To Make Your Message Matter

Storytelling is a great way to communicate complicated things simply. Science and technology are two areas you need to simplify, simplify, simplify, to make your message matter to your audience. They’re not stupid – they’re just not into the details. They might have other priorities or a different focus to yours.

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St. Patrick Was A Storyteller

“Did you get any shamrock?” Granny fussed as she donned her best coat, hat and shiny shoes to go to Mass. She was delighted when my father presented her with a corsage of the three-leafed botanical and after grasping it carefully, she pinned it to her lapel.
It was St. Patrick’s Day and although Mass didn’t excite us kids, the promise of a trip to watch the parade in town afterwards and eating green ice cream did.

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How John Lewis’ Blip Created Aldi’s Christmas Gift

Goodness gracious! Have you been following all that shenanigans with retailer’s Christmas advertising campaigns?

John Lewis spends £7 million on a tear jerking Man in The Moon story. It’s about elderly folk being lonely at Christmas. They even got Age UK involved.

And as we’re blinking back our tears we spot what looks like a mini version of it. But no! Instead it’s a cheeky spoof by budget retailer Aldi. Unbelievable! And uncomfortably funny, right?

I worked in retail advertising many moons ago. So I can imagine how gutted the John Lewis marketing team must be. That’s despite dubbing Aldi’s satirical advert as flattery.

To add insult to injury Aldi’s parody has been given the thumbs-up by most folk. It’s lauded as an excellent competitive coup.

Aldi’s play could have been seen as churlish. But it wasn’t. It’s attracted tons of positive write-ups.

Why? Are we thirsty for retailer rivalry? Do we love to watch them sock-it to each other. Or is there something else at play? And what, if anything, could John Lewis have done differently?

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Why Story Hacking Leaves Me Cold

Have you noticed that since the resurgence of storytelling there are two camps of people?

Story Enthusiasts
These folk genuinely embrace storytelling. What they don’t already know about storytelling, they take time to learn. As a result they move people by telling great stories. Be that about brands, strategies, innovations, culture, life lessons and so on.

Story Hackers
These people know that storytelling is in vogue. They want the benefits but not the effort. They pay lip-service to it. And seek short-cuts. The most common hack is thinking that the power of story is in the word. Story, like love, peace or joy is much more than a word. Here are two typical story hacks.

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