Which version of the following story is the most interesting?
Two hundred metres from the finish line, I collapsed. I had covered nearly 167km at the BVRT (Brisbane Valley Rail Trail) 100-mile ultramarathon, and my body had gone into shock. I’d been on the trail for more than 29 hours, chasing the cut-off time of 30 hours while battling intense fatigue, freezing temperatures, nausea, and failing legs. My body had clearly had enough. I lay on the ground, shivering uncontrollably. The race director helped me to my feet. I limped those last 200m for what seemed an eternity. I crossed the finish line in last place with 20 minutes to spare. I’d finished my first miler – barely.
I crossed the finish line of the BVRT 100 miler feeling as though I could have kept running. In the 21 hours it had taken me to cover 167km, I felt great the whole day (and night!). Sure, there were times later in the race when I felt tired and sore, but overall, everything went to plan. I even finished third!
I know which version I prefer – version 1!
In fact, both versions are true. The first version was my reality in 2018 at my first BVRT 100. The second version was my reality in 2019 and again in June this year (I finished in 21 hours and placed third female both those years!).
Now, reading and living those above versions are two very different things. I much preferred living the second version, but the first version makes for a much more interesting read! The only way the second part of my story is interesting is if I open up about my first near-failure.
Let’s face it, a perfect race is boring. So is a perfect business story. There’s nothing to learn, nothing to be surprised by, no “hook” in a perfect journey.
What makes an engaging story? Hardship!
Sharing your business story – in your book or through blog posts and social media – is important. It gives people an insight into you “the person” rather than just you “the business”. The key is to keep it real.
Your business may be a huge success, but did your success come easily? If you’re like most people, I’m sure it didn’t! People want to know about the bumps in the road, the challenges you faced, the mistakes you made. They want to see you aren’t perfect. Because if your words paint you as an overnight success, your audience can’t see themselves in you. They will struggle to relate to you and trust you.
When writing for and about your business, be honest. By all means, talk about your successes – but also own up to your failures. It’s not easy to do. But remember: we learn by making and correcting our mistakes. Your audience will learn by reading about your mistakes, too.
Your failures make you interesting! So, don’t be shy – tell us about them!
If you need help writing or editing your next book, blog post or article for your business, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I’d love to help you. I also offer Strategic Chat Sessions if that book is burning away at the back of your mind but you need help getting it out into the world!