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E43: Storytelling for Business Success

by Frame of Mind June 20, 2017

Paul SmithPaul Smith, one of the world’s leading experts on organizational storytelling, discusses why and how business leaders should tell engaging stories.

Paul also shares his own story of leaving a corporate job and becoming a speaker, author and storytelling coach.

If you like what you hear in this episode of Resilience Radio, please rate, review & subscribe on iTunes!

To assess how to leverage your thinking to overcome your obstacles, click here.

Show notes:

Kim: Welcome, this is Kim Ades from Frame of Mind Coaching and I am the host of Resilience Radio where my guests are professionals who are experts at crushing the tough stuff.

Today, my guest is Paul Smith.  And, it’s been interesting for me to be talking to him today because he’s one of the world’s leading experts on organizational storytelling.  He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach and best-selling author of the books Sell with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and Lead with a Story already in its eighth printing and available in seven languages around the world.  Paul is also a former consultant at Accenture and former executive and 20-year veteran of the Procter & Gamble company.

Paul, are you there?

Paul: I am.  Thanks for having me on the show.

Kim: So, you’re telling me you were this highfalutin executive and then left all that to go into the world of writing and coaching?

Paul: Yeah, you probably think I was just crazy as my dad thought it was.  Yeah, I admit it doesn’t sound like a very likely trajectory.  But yes, that is correct.

Kim: So, that’s very interesting because I have a lot of executive clients who are in the throws (ph) of their career or maybe even at the height of their career and are keeping themselves up at night wondering what’s next.  And oftentimes, their what’s next is to start something new that is you could say a risk in their minds but it’s a very big departure from the safe, secure, corporate environment.  So, how did you do it?  Why did you do it?  What was your thinking around that?

Paul: Yeah.  Great question.  That’s exactly the case with me.  So, I was probably 45 or 46 years old, probably.  And as you said, after 20 somewhat years in the work world, probably at the height of my career but yet too young for retirement and all that kind of stuff, and still with a couple of kids to put through college.  And, I decided what I really wanted to do with my life is to be an author and a writer, and a speaker and trainer.  It’s the kind of thing that I loved to do on the side doing my day job as much as they let me get away with doing it.

And quite literally, I got to the point where I ended up writing the first book Lead with a Story nights and weekends because I wasn’t quite frankly brave enough just to say, “You know what, I’m just going to quit all this and take a chance at it.  I have no idea what I’m going to write but I want to write a book someday.”  I mean, that was just a little bit too risky for me.  So, I got my idea and I spent nights and weekends for a couple of years working on it and wrote a book, and it got published and then I just waited to see what would happen.

And, quite frankly, I got lucky.  Like you said earlier, that first one is now in its seventh or eighth printing and it’s in several languages around the world.  And, I started getting a lot of phone calls from companies to come help them in their leadership be better storytellers.

And, when I found that I had enough kind of client base and interest like that that I can see my way to a career path, that’s when I left.  So, I did it in a fairly safe order but yet it was still quite a big risk to take to leave at that time but I did that in an informed manner.

Kim: So, I want to pause you for a second because you said something very interesting and I think very misleading.  And you said, “I didn’t have the courage to just leave and go do this.  I do it on the weekends.”

And, what I want to say is that that’s not necessarily a courageous move.  So, a lot of people are in a place where they want to maybe start their own businesses and they believe that they have to turn off the tap completely in one domain and turn on the tap completely in the next.

And what I often tell people is, you don’t have to do it that way, you don’t have to jump off a cliff and go into a vast dark hole not knowing if you’re going to have a parachute there in order to switch your course.  You can transition.  And so, I would say to you that you did it strategically and intelligently and that that was already courage in and of itself.

Paul: Yeah.  So maybe it was courageous but not stupid.

Kim: There you go.

Paul: Maybe that’s what I avoided but I definitely needed some level of courage I think that I didn’t have and I honestly didn’t get that until I got a letter from my dad.  He was 83 years old at the time and he’s hard of hearing, so I have to write him letters now instead of call him on the phone.  And, I told him my predicaments, “Oh gosh, I’d really love to go do this with my life but I’m kind of scared.”

And, I thought he would just tell me what to do but he didn’t.  He wrote me back a letter with a story about himself as a kid that really it got me to make that decision.  In fact, he said — and I’ve never heard it before and neither any of my siblings, he said, “When I was five years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”  He said, “I wanted to be a singer,” like Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett, that’s his genre.  And he said, “And I knew that on the first day of the first grade, I get there and the teacher asked any of us if we have any special talent.”  And he said, “Well, I can sing,” despite the fact that he’d never sung in front of anybody but his mom.  And, of course, she immediately does what after he says that.

Kim: She brings him up to the front of the class to sing.

Paul: Of course, “So, little Bobby, well fine, stand up and sing us a song.”  So, a little five-year-old Bobby stands up and he bouts (ph) out his favorite song.  And he said in this letter, “I nailed it!  I got all the words and all the melody right.”  He said, “I’m so proud of myself and the teacher, and the other students stood up and they applauded me.  My first time to sing in public and I got a standing ovation.”  He said, “I knew then that that was what I wanted to do with my life.”  And he said, “Unfortunately, that wasn’t just the first time in my life that I sang in front of an audience.  That turned out to be the last time I ever sang in front of an audience.”

Kim: Wow!

Paul: Yeah.  He said, “I never had the courage to go through it.”  And he said, “You know, someday, you’re going to wait.  You’re going to be 80 years old like me and you’re not going to have pursued your dream, and it’s going to be too late like it is for me.”  And he closed the letter, I kid you not, as if that wasn’t enough.  He closed the letter with the words that said something like, “I love to see you achieve your dream.  But that doesn’t mean in your lifetime, son.  That means in mine.”

Kim: Wow!

Paul: And, oh my gosh, like tick-tock.  So, I literally, two days later, walked into my boss’ office and quit my job to do this for a living and it’s absolutely was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Kim: Wow!  Wow!  That’s amazing.  It’s amazing that your dad had the wisdom to lead you down that road.

Paul: Yeah.  And it was just another piece of evidence to me of the power of storytelling because I mean, he could have told me, “Oh, yeah, you can do it, son.  I have faith in you.  I believe in you.”  And that would have helped a little but that story really, really did it for me.

Kim: And it’s also amazing that he had the memory at 80 years old.

Paul: I know.  Yeah.

Kim: To remember his experience at the age of five.

Paul: Well, because it had been weighing on him for the 75 years in between.  He said, “There’s not a month goes by that I don’t think about that, that mistake of lack of courage.”

Kim: So, your focus is on storytelling and it’s that because your dad was a great storyteller because clearly he is, like where did that come from?

Paul: If I was a psychologist, I probably could probe inside my own mind and figure that out.  I don’t think it was my dad was — I mean, obviously he was.  That one absolutely is one of the most important two or three stories I’ve ever heard in my life in terms of its impact on my life and career.

But I don’t remember that growing up that that was necessarily it.  I think I got the idea more in my first 10 or 15 years in the working world just watching the leaders that I most admired and wanted to work for and wanted to be like when I grew up in the company.  I noticed that they just have this gift of being great storytellers and compelling, engaging stories and yet, they didn’t teach me that in business school and they didn’t teach me that when I joined the companies and the new hire training college.  And, in fact, it was nowhere for me to really learn and I had to learn from watching those people do it well, so that was my thing.

Kim: So, as a consultant, what were you doing?  Were you teaching people to tell stories or what was your job, what was your role?

Paul: When that was going on?

Kim: No, before.  Before you ever wrote a book.

Paul: Oh, yes.  So, I had a pretty typical corporate career path.  I was a consultant for a couple of years at Accenture and then got an MBA, and then came to Procter & Gamble and spent my first eight or 10 years as a finance manager in various levels of leadership.  And then moved into consumer research and was consumer research leader, and left as the director of research for one of the $6 or $7 billion business units there.

So, I had a pretty typical career path that really had nothing to do with storytelling per se but it was the storytelling as a leadership tool to lead the organizations that I was in charge of, which where I found my interest in storytelling.

Kim: So, okay, so you’re the director of research at Procter & Gamble and you have an interest, so you’re paying attention to the way some leaders tell stories.

Paul: Yeah.

Kim: And how those leaders are captivating people.

Paul: Yes.

Kim: So, like, I mean, tell me how that unfolds.  Who did you notice first?  Where did this become something that you really paid attention to?  I mean, you’ve heard people speak.  Why was it something that was so big in your viewpoint?

Paul: Well, a couple of things.  I mean, there are a few — I remember the CEO at P&G at the time, John Pepper, was just a particularly good storyteller and just everybody wanted to come listen to him.  They’d sit in a room and listen to him talk for hours if they could.  He’s just one of those types of people.

But I’d also read a book about that time called Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.  And one of the findings that they had in their book was that one of the six things that makes ideas really sticky and engaging is that they’re communicating in a form of a story instead of just in facts and bullet points, and logic and arguments.  And, those two authors and myself ended up forming a bit of a partnership and I kind of became the first corporate trainer for their ideas.  And so, that got me out into the community teaching courses on this and I got the idea that I’d like to write my own book someday.

So, there were a number of things that led up to it for sure.

Kim: So, is there a way that someone should tell a story that makes a bigger impact like is there a storytelling strategy?

Paul: Yeah.  Absolutely, yeah.  The worst thing you can do is say, “Well, story, I’ll just go wing that,” which is what we normally do.  We, for some reason think that storytelling is unlike most other skills that we have.  If you wanted to learn to play the piano, you wouldn’t just buy a piano and just wing it.  You’d go take lessons from somebody that knew how to play the piano.

It’s the same with the storytelling or like marketing or sales or finance or whatever, you go learn it first from an expert or take a class in it and then you can practice it.  And yes, and storytelling is the same.  So there’s a structure of stories, you should use the right emotional components and the element of surprise is good, and adequate use of dialog and detail and length.  We can talk about any of those in detail that you want but there definitely is a structure and a set of components that makes great storytelling and differentiates it from poor storytelling.

Kim: Now, as I do a lot of public speaking and I bring a lot of story into my public speaking, is that something you do with your clients who are in front of an audience and need to kind of polish up their storytelling abilities?

Paul: Yeah, that’s one reason why people hire me is they know they need to do some public speaking but it’s not the most common reason.  Actually, the most common reason people hire me is because they just know that they want to be either better leaders or better salespeople in the normal course of their day.  So it’s those hallway conversations with your people or it’s in the team meeting with 15 people or the one-on-one sales call with the buyer.  Anywhere that normal leadership or sales is going on, storytelling can be of use.  It doesn’t have to be on stage in front of a thousand people but obviously it can help you in that situation as well.

Kim: Okay.  So, let’s get more specific.  If I’m a leader, where exactly would I apply storytelling?  Is it for the purpose of influence?  Is it for the purpose of sharing a vision?  Give me an exact example of story that I might use as a leader for my team or for a bunch of incoming clients.

Paul: Yeah.  So, let me share kind of the times and places where you would want to tell a story and then I’ll be happy to share an example.  But you mentioned a couple of them already.  If you need to set a vision for the future, if you need to inspire the organization, if you need to build commitment to goals, if you need to lead a big change in the organization or just to establish the culture and values that you want the organization have.  Or if you want to get people to collaborate with each other better or teach them how to do their job better or get them to be more innovative and creative.

I mean, those are all things that most people would say, “Yeah, that’s part of what leadership is.  That’s what leaders do.”  Any of those situations would be a situation where a leader could tell a story and be much more effective then without telling a story.

So, I’ll give you an example.  In fact, this is from one of those CEOs of Procter & Gamble that kind of inspired me to want to do this. It’s Bob McDonald who now I think is the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the administration.  When he was, gosh, 40 somewhat years ago, he was a freshman cadet at West Point, the Military Academy.  And he learned in that first week that there’s only four answers he’s allowed to give to any upperclassman or officer that ask him a question and those four answers are, which I’ll admit sound rather sexist 40 years later.  But yes sir, no sir, I don’t understand sir, and no excuse sir.

And he said, “So for example, if the whistle blows and I got to run outside, and that’s a line in dressed formation, and somebody runs in front of me and steps in the puddle and splashes mud all of my trousers, and some upperclassman comes and gets to my face, and says, ‘McDonald, why is there mud all of your trousers?'”  You know what he says, “I got to go through those four questions in my head.  I could say, ‘Yes sir,’ well, that doesn’t make much sense.  I could say, ‘No sir,’ well, that would be denying the obvious and probably get me thrown out of the academy.  I could say, ‘I don’t understand sir,’ well, that would make me look like an idiot and I was doing a good enough job with that all in my own that first week.”  And so he said, “I’m stuck with the fourth one, ‘No excuse sir.'”

And he said, “It turns out that’s the most powerful one of all.”  And he said, “It’s one that I’ve used throughout my career both myself and to teach others that that’s what leadership is, is taking responsibility for things even if they’re not your fault but you’re keeping the accountability to get it fixed.”  And he said, “That not only helps the person who’s in trouble, like me, the cadet, but it tells the boss what they need to hear, which is I am still committed to fixing this problem and getting it done right.  And, it spares me, the chewing out because after you say no excuse, I’m still on this, there’s really nothing else that they need to tell you.  You don’t need to be admonished any further.”

So, that’s an example of a story that he would tell to help build commitment to goals and hold people accountable for their goals.

Kim: So that’s an interesting story.  And so, he would tell that and how would it impact his team for example?

Paul: Yeah.  So, it would get them to realize that next quarter when I didn’t make my numbers and I’ve got my meeting with the CEO, I’m probably not going to come in and say, “Hey boss, I know I didn’t make my numbers this quarter but the competitors did this and the economy did this, and blah.”  Because I know he’s just going to shake his head and go, “I don’t want excuses, A, I want results and B, I want to know that you’re still signed up for this result next quarter.”  What he wants to hear is, “No excuse sir.”

So, it definitely influenced the behavior of the people around him.

Kim: It’s interesting because as I’m listening to you, I think to myself, “Boy, I could use a few good stories.”  Now, do you help someone like me craft the stories in order to achieve a specific goal?  Do you understand let’s say the challenge on a leader’s plate and then help them kind of dig into their arsenal of the stories and apply the right story for the right situation?  Like how do you actually work with someone?  What’s the process like?

Paul: Right.  Yes.  So, a typical engagement for me is more I think of a one-day executive training course.  And as part of that course, I’ll be asking them, I’ll be sharing with them, “Here’s a list of the 21 different types of situations leaders find themselves in when they need to tell a story,” and it’s the kind of things that I told you earlier like when you’re trying to set a vision or lead change or something.

But then, we’ll spend some of that day, an hour of it, brainstorming — them brainstorming, what are the six or seven stories that I really need now like this month, this quarter, whatever, that will really going to help me move my leadership or our company’s goals forward.  And then, we will spend time in the afternoon working on those few stories.  But along the way, what they’re learning is how do I craft any story, not just these six but any story has the same structure, they’ve got to answer the same eight questions in the same order, they all have to have like I said earlier, some emotion, a surprise, et cetera.

So, they’re learning the process of how to craft a story and they’re practicing it on some actual stories that they know they need.

Kim: Interesting.  So now, I want to know the eight things.  I don’t know if we have time to tell us.

Paul: Yeah.  Sure.

Kim: Like I almost want to just take notes and write it down so that I can go and craft my stories as soon as we hang up.

Paul: Well, you should.  Yeah.  So, the eight questions all your stories have to answer are these.

First of all, why should I listen to the story?  So, these are the questions you need to answer for the audience because if you don’t answer that question right away in the first two sentences, your audience might not listen to the rest of your story right.  They could mentally —

Kim: Well, give me an example of how I answer that question, like usually you just say, “Let me tell you a story.”

Paul: Right.  And that’s an awful, awful way to start a story.  Most people, unless you’re talking to a bunch of kindergarteners, right, if you’re talking to adults, they usually don’t want to be told, “All right, boys and girls, gather around now.  It’s time for me to tell you a story.”  So, the best way to do that is just to say, for example, if somebody has asked you a question and you want to answer them by giving them a story, you might say, “You know, I think the best example of that I’ve ever seen was –,” and then start telling your story.  That’s it.

That half a sentence is all you need to get them to realize that, “Oh, if I listen for the next two minutes, you’re going to tell me a story that is going to answer the question that I’ve asked you.”  Instead of, “Let me tell you a story.”  So now, I have no idea if what you’re about to say is relevant at all to anything that’s interesting to me.  So, that’s how you answer that question.  So, the first question is, why should I listen to the story?

The next questions are, where and when did it take place?  Who’s the hero and what did they want?  What was the opportunity or the problem that they ran into?  What did they do about it?  And how did it turn out in the end?

Kim: That’s all number two?

Paul: No, sorry.  That’s through number six.  Yeah, sorry, that’s questions one through six right there.  And then you’re done.  We can go back and talk about this if you want but I think it’s instructive to hear them all the way through because you can see how that’s the flow of a story.  Where and when did it take place?  Who is the main character and what did they want?  What was the problem they ran into?  What did they do about it?  And how did it turn out in the end?

Now, it sounds pretty basic and simple but it’s amazing how often people don’t tell their stories in that order.  For example, the where and when did it take place?  Oftentimes, people won’t even mention that.  And if I tell you a story and tell you like Bob McDonald 40 years ago at West Point Military Academy, you already know that it’s a true story or you’re assuming it’s a true story, and it was by the way.

And if I tell you once a upon a time in a land far away, of course, you know that it’s a made-up story.  But if I don’t say either of those things, you really don’t know if I’m telling you a true story or a made-up story and if it’s a really fabulous, fantastic story, you’re probably skeptical.  Like you’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, where was this?  When did this happen?  This isn’t real.”  But as soon as I tell you where and when it happened, all that skepticism, most of it, just goes away.

So, it’s important to answer these questions and in this order because if you don’t, they’ll nag at your audience until those questions get answered.  They can’t listen to the rest of your story until they know the answer to the question before.

So, that gets us through six, the last two or after you’re done with the story, which is what did you learn from the story and what do you think I should do now?  This is your chance as the leader or the salesperson to recommend some action.

So, those are the eight questions and in that order that most stories really ought to answer.

Kim: So, go back to the last two, what did you learn as in the listener?

Paul: No.  Yes.  So, it’s the question from the audience to the storyteller, what did you learn when that happened to you or when you first heard that story?  And now, you of course can turn that question around on them because what you want is them to be able to answer that question themselves but you need to be prepared to answer.  There needs to be a good lesson at the end of the story.  Otherwise, you’re just entertaining people.  And, leadership and sale stories are not for entertainment purposes.  They’re to get something accomplished.

And then, in the same thing to what do you think I should do now is the question formed from the listener to the storyteller.  Okay, what do you think I should do now?  You need to be able to answer that question to give them some recommended action.

Kim: I see.

Paul: Now that you’ve heard the story, here’s what I think you should go do.

Kim: Okay.  I wrote them down.

Paul: All right, very good.

Kim: I have these questions and guess what, I have a speaking engagement on Friday and I have, I don’t know, how many stories in that speaking engagement and I’m going to go line up all of these questions with every single story, and see if they work.  And, I’m already kind of racking my brain going, “Uh-oh.”  That’s what’s happening in my brain right now.  I’m experiencing a little panic to be completely honest.

Paul: Yeah.  Probably most of them are answering your stories already if you’re an experienced storyteller but there might be one or two that aren’t.  And, my guess is if you go back and answer those questions in the order, you’ll find it’s a more effective story.

Kim: Wow!  I have a question for you.

Paul: Yes.

Kim: Do you ever work with individuals one-on-one and just — for example, if I said to you, “Look, I have one or two stories I’d like to just get better at.  Would you do that with someone like me over the phone or on a Skype call?”

Paul: Yes.  So, I’ve done that as well and that’s just like one-on-one coaching time that I typically — yeah, we’ll do it just for one person at a time.  Well, that’s a specific story that they want to work on.  Yes, so that’s not atypical either.

Kim: Okay.  So, I mean, before we move on, how do people reach you?  I think it’s really interesting what you’re doing and I also want to talk a little bit about what the outcome is of better storytelling.  But how do people reach you first?

Paul: Yeah.  Thanks.  So, probably my website is the easiest way.  So, it’s leadwithastory.com, which is just the name of my first book, Lead with a Story.  And you get all the links to my training and books, and stuff like that and my contact information is all there.

Kim: So, can you give us an example of where one of your clients perhaps used the art of storytelling and achieved a different outcome or a goal that they were after?

Paul: Yeah.  So, I mean, it happens every time.  I’d quit what I was doing if it wasn’t working or I would say my clients would quit me if it wasn’t working.  But yeah, so I’ve got a major pharmaceutical company that I’ve done training for a number of times.  And one of their goals was to reduce their drug development time from 15 years to five.  I mean, it’s a radical change, right?

Kim: Wow!  Yup.

Paul: And, they had to change all kinds of their processes and protocols, and things in order to make that happen.  You can imagine how big of a change that would be.  And so, what they hired me for was to help them deploy all of these changes internally to the company to the tens of thousand of people that work there.  When they’ve been through things like this before and they didn’t necessarily work, and so they knew they needed a better internal story or set of stories in order to get this change adapted in the company.

So, I spent a couple of days with them.  We ended up developing not one story but three.  One story to help explain the people why there’s a problem and we shouldn’t be satisfied with our 15-year development cycle today, so in other words, the case for change.  Secondly, a vision story, what is our vision of our future?  What do we want our drug development cycle to look like?  And then thirdly, a story to help convince everybody that this time, it’s achievable.  Now, we’ve tried it several times in the past and it’s failed but here’s what’s different this time.

And so, we ended up splitting into three groups and developing three totally different stories to address this.  And, they ended up liking the output so much that they ended up hiring I think a Hollywood movie producer to come to town and turn everything we’d written into a script and get actors, and they ended up turning it into these short films.  One of them was even animated, which is really, really cool because the main character in one of those was the drug, a chemical.  It wasn’t a human being.  So, they ended up making these cute animated versions of these pills.

But anyway, yes, so those three stories ended up helping them be much more successful at affecting these changes.  Now, it will take five years before we’ll know if the whole thing worked or not but they’re deploying that, which was my goal with them was clearly more effective using storytelling than if they just said, “Okay, here’s our new process.  Get after it.”

Kim: Wow!  That’s really, really interesting.  So they did in fact manage to cut down their development from 15 years to five.

Paul: Well, that’s what I don’t know.  It will take five years to prove that right.

Kim: Right.

Paul: But they think so.  I mean, I think it will work up to the point that —

Kim: Wow!  Even if they cut it in half.

Paul: Right.

Kim: Even if they cut it in half, that’s a pretty big accomplishment.

Paul: Right.

Kim: That’s amazing.  So, what is the biggest challenge you are working on right now?  You run a company, lots of our listeners are entrepreneurs, they’re coaches, they’re out there doing their own thing, they have their own idea that they’re growing.  Where do you experience challenge?

Paul: Yeah.  I’m sure have many just like everybody else.  Figuring out my ever-evolving business model is one of them.  And the way my business model works now is that I spend 75 percent of my time researching and writing the next book that I’m working on and only 25 percent of my time with clients doing keynotes or training events or one-on-one coaching.

But my income is just the opposite.  I’m sure I make 85 percent of my money, like my income from the speaking engagements, only 15 percent from book royalties.  And it’s fine.  To most people, that probably sounds bizarre.  I like that and that works well for me but I’m constantly struggling with should I take on more clients and the more I do, the less I get to write.  And if the less, if I don’t write books very often, then my long-term speaking engagements will probably suffer.  And so, it’s this constant long-term, short-term battle that I’m going through.

Kim: Well, it’s an interesting battle because as I see it from a coaching standpoint, it’s really a reflection of how you see yourself.  So, my experience is this, is that.  What you believed to be true about yourself is how you express yourself.  And so, the question is, are you a business owner or are you an author?

Paul: Yeah.  And so, if I answered that, I’m a business person.  What would that suggest to you?

Kim: Well, it would indicate to me that your focus would naturally be more around the idea of building a business and generating revenue, and reaching more people and creating a system that allows you to teach what you know to maybe a larger crowd or a more sophisticated crowd or whatever.  But it would be focused on building your business and the systems that go along with it.  If you answered you’re an author, then you’d be spending more of your time researching and writing your next book, and kind of the rest would be an aside.

Paul: Right.

Kim: So, really the question is, how do you see yourself?  Who are you in this world?  And, how do you want to make your impact?

Paul: Yeah, and that’s a very good question.

Kim: So, for me personally, I do a lot of public speaking but I’m not a public speaker.  I own a coaching company. And, what I do is I want to impact as many lives as I can through the process of coaching teaching people to coach and having, let’s call it a many army of coaches who are skilled and developed, and certified in the Frame of Mind Coaching method.

And, speaking allows me to reach larger audiences but I am not a speaker.  I’m not one of those motivational speakers who earns most of her income through speaking.

Paul: Yeah, that’s a great question.  I don’t know that I have the answer for myself but I’m glad that you asked it.  So now, that’s my homework to go and answer that question for myself.

Kim: And, if you want a little gravy on top of your homework, you just answer it in writing.  So, one of the things we do with our clients is we get them to journal.  And, a lot of times, just when you ask yourself the question and answer it in writing, you will also discover a whole bunch of thoughts, beliefs, perspectives that exists underneath the surface that maybe we’re never even aware of.

Paul: Yeah.  Okay.  So, the question again that I need to write down an answer is, how do I see myself as an author or a businessperson?  Yeah.

Kim: Yeah.

Paul: All right, I like it.  Thank you.  I’ll do that.

Kim: You’re very welcome.  Any other questions for me?  I know that the interview is for you but hey, you’ve got a coach on the line.  Any questions?

Paul: No.  I think you did it for me without me even knowing it was going to happen.  So, yeah, that’s the question is how do I manage my short-term versus long-term business model conflict, and you just gave me the solution, so I need to go think about that question.

Kim: Well, Paul, I’ll tell you this.  If at any point you want to have a conversation where we trade, you can help me hone one of my stories and I can help you work this out, I’m in.

Paul: All right.  Very good.  Very good.  I’m going to take you up on that.

Kim: Okay.  Paul, thank you so much for spending this time with me and I honestly have these eight steps right in front of me and I’m taking them with me tomorrow on my trip.

Paul: Lovely.  Good luck with them.

Kim: Okay.  Once again, how do people reach you?

Paul: Yeah, www.leadwithastory.com.

Kim: Awesome.  Go find Paul.  Thanks so much Paul and I certainly hope to stay in touch.

Paul: Great!  Thanks for having me.

Experience the Frame of Mind Assessment Interview Kim Ades

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