The Journey Is the Goal

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

Dear Persuader,

I had a dream about shoes last night.  Shoes have always been sort of an issue for me because I have large feet and it hasn’t always been easy to find ones that fit me (especially before the internet existed and before I had the means to have custom made shoes).   This dream was about a quest for the perfect pair and it began with the frustration of never being comfortable, having blisters, feeling exhausted at the end of the day, having to loosen the laces after a few hours, really being miserable on a daily basis because my feet hurt like the dickens.

And then finally I experienced the excitement of finding a pair that fit perfectly and comfortably.  Like Cinderella and the glass slipper, I went through ups and downs in this dream and it put me in mind of the Hero’s Journey and how anything we struggle with can be put to good use in the stories we bring into our persuasion.

It boils down to inspiration and relevance.    What does your topic have to do with your business?  What does it have to do with where you are today?  Do you feel passionate about it?  Is it topical and interesting?

My dream was very detailed.  The shoes I eventually found molded perfectly to my feet and it felt like I was walking on air after I put them on my feet.  There was no tightness or pressure.

I started out by telling you how much pain and frustration was involved and moved into the pleasure and satisfaction of finally finding a good fit. This outcome became more important because I started out by telling you about how uncomfortable my feet were at the beginning of the journey.

With your stories, your journeys from darkness to light, from poverty to affluence, from sorrow to happiness, from instability to security, you can give your prospects and clients glimpses into who you are and where you’ve come from to create the person you are now.  A very useful side effect of this is that these glimpses into your inner workings create deeper rapport and an almost instant trust (if crafted well).

Did you become a financial advisor because your father died at a young age leaving your mother to struggle to support your family?  Did you get into real estate because you grew up with a friend whose family lived in a small apartment?  Did you make mistakes you’re not proud of but which taught you valuable lessons about honesty and integrity?  Fill your stories with emotion and personal revelations and all those things which did not kill you, but made you stronger and more powerful and I can guarantee you that not only will they connect you deeper to your prospects, but they will connect you deeper with yourself.

Come up with a few stories and polish them.  They can be one minute long, two minutes, five minutes, and they can be touching or humorous.  The key is to link them back to you, your product, and your service.

Be sure to post your thoughts and comments… even your journey on the blog below.

Here’s to the hero in all of us.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Dr Bill Toth - July 19, 2010

Kenrick – love the Nietzsche quote – have it on a plaque on my wall as a reminder to be Bold. Short well written example today….and I would love to add …the shorter one’s story – and contextually relevant to the situation – the more powerful it is as a persuasion tool because ultimately the person listening is tuned to WIFM radio.
You’re awesome,
Live With Intention,

Cliff Cannon - July 19, 2010

Kenrick – Your “shoes” metaphor was a pang straight to the heart. Those of us who aren’t yet following our proper lifework are wearing those ill-fitting shoes on our entire life: feeling the discomfort and strain every day. But I can well imagine (and remember from the times have felt it) how well our work will “fit” and bring us (not take away) energy when we’re doing what we’re meant to do! Thanks for your great ideas and persistent encouragement of so many people!

Shel - July 20, 2010

The good news, Cliff, is that it’s never too late to find that metaphorical perfect pair of shoes.

Looking back, one of the best things I ever did was decide, in my 20s, that I was going to have a happy life. Each decade since then has been better than the one before. This decision means that when a situation mixes positive and negative (as so many do), I choose to dwell on the positive.

I had a friend who took up yoga and became a vegetarian at age 70. She lived her last eight years or so in greater harmony with her vision for herself. When I met her, she was 75 and a force to be reckoned with.

Turning from metaphorical to literal: Kenrick, I have wide feet and also have a tough time finding shoes. But I’ve been working with a highly skilled Alexander Technique practitioner for a few years, and it’s made an enormous difference to my posture, comfort, ease of movement, etc.


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