“The path to a purpose-grounded life is messy, muddy, rock-strewn, and slippery.” Jerry Colonna – Reboot
No comedian was born funny.
The comedian Kevin Hart is the highest paid comedian in the world today. Hart breaks down his approach to comedy in a methodical way. He refines his material over a 2 year timeline.
Year one, Hart regularly tests new material at small off-beat comedy clubs to sharpen his game. The feedback he gets from this more authentic and raw audience connection allows him to tweak his narrative.
Year two he rolls up the material into a "set", fit for a Netflix special or a stadium gig.
What appears effortless on stage os the result of hundreds, if not thousands of hours of practice in an agile manner.
Agile Storytelling means to make a habit of getting up on stage and facing that moment of truth.
Validate Your Story. Keep talking. Good stories stick. You’re going to through a whole bunch of stories at the wall to see what sticks. And only other people know what sticks.
Agile Storytelling means you’re laying the bricks. Start your podcast, writing, video or linkedin posts. Whatever medium you choose, commit to doing it regularly and commit to validating your ideas with the audience.
What matters is facing the "Moment of Truth", that means getting "on stage" and sharing your material with a real live audience. Only by facing, learning from and overcoming rejection can you grow. By contrast, a life spent within your comfort zone posting social media updates will do nothing to sharpen your story. Actively practicing something is very different from passively learning.
Today, if you’re on the wrong side of 30 like me… you probably have a lot of random dots in your journey. And that's fine.The best stories don’t add up. The best Stories aren’t written, they are lived and they are very much work in progress.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus never set out to disrupt microfinance in South Asia. In his own words, he found a woman weaving a wicker chair that couldn’t afford the payments to her material supplier. Every chair she made just about paid off the loan on the last one. He found by lending her money, she could afford to buy her own tools and materials, freeing herself from bonded slavery. Microfinance was born, not out of a grand vision, but out of the need to solve one person’s problem. Like, most changemakers, the “why” is often discovered as a post rationalization of the journey.
As Danish philosopher Soren Kirkegaard wrote, “life must be lived forwards but understood backwards.” You won’t understand the book until you read the last page. Better to start telling your story by living it rather than waiting until you have a “why” to justify it. You don’t need a finished book to have a story worth telling.
You don’t need a finished book to have a story worth telling. LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman says that “if you’re not embarrassed by the first iteration of your product, you shipped too late.”
Dear Storyteller, after 2000 podcast episodes here’s one piece of advice I’d like to share with you. Stop “finding your why”. Find your “start”.