One of the things I help business owners understand is how to tell their story (and why they should bother).
Sometimes, business owners don’t have a story, or at least, they think they don’t. Yet when you ask them, it’s a rare person who doesn’t have a tale that answers “How’d you get into this business?”
Many times, the work people do is a means to an end, or at least it seems that way on the surface because they just haven’t thought about it as their story.
Sometimes they got there by happenstance or by being in the right place at the right time. A family tradition leads others into a line of work after a parent sells or leaves them a business they didn’t even consider being in. Some folks “grow up” in the business and follow in their parents’ footsteps – even if that requires years of college.
For others, a business might have come out of something they’d done forever and decided to turn that activity into their way of making a living – say, a serious fly fisher starting a fly shop or a fishing guide service business.
More often than not the story is rooted in their passion for the work, for solving the problem their business solves, or the people they work with while doing so.
Your story is what sets the stage for a well-worn quote: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.“Â (Attributed to everyone from FDR to a soccer coach from UNC to John Maxwell)
It does that because how you got to where you are today says a lot of about the “how much you care” thing.
But sometimes, the answer isn’t so exciting. Or so it seems.
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Only 2 things in all of that give you any idea what they do: “cycling” and “outdoor activities”.
I can buy cycling gear in a lot of places, including WalMart and Amazon.
I buy it from locally-owned stores for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that I want access to someone who can do more than just hand me the bag with my stuff in it. I want access to an expert who will base their answers to my newbie questions on their 27,438 miles of riding.
I have a lot of wants, just like people who play Warcraft, brew their own beer, restore mid-1950 Chevys or manicure Bonsai trees.
People who do those things don’t want to buy stuff from someone who doesn’t know anything about those things – and they sure don’t want to buy them from someone who doesn’t care about those things.
Something like this (which I just tossed together) tells people why you care:
We’re cyclists. The finest moments of our lives are memories of eating dust on single tracks only we and the bears know about, getting air at BMX events, leading the Tour de Hometown (even if only for a moment), riding in the kiddie seat on the back of our parents’ bikes during a trip to France and sharing the same memory with our kids right here at home.
Every bike, component, accessory gear and clothing in our shop is tested and personally approved by our staff. We don’t just hire salespeople or mechanics. We hire cyclists. We know you want help from someone who’s been where you’re going – or wants to ride along.
When we aren’t on our bikes, we love to use our combined 74 years of road racing, BMX, trail riding and cross-country touring experience to help you get the most out of your ride. We can’t wait to meet you and talk bikes.
If they know your story, they’ll know why you care.