My wife and I were fortunate enough to take a few days in the final stretch of tax season to attend the Inc Magazine GROWCO (Grow Your Company) Conference in Nashville, TN. My preconceived notions of the potential benefits were quickly blown away as we attended the sessions. It was so much more than I expected.

While we listened to the many successful CEOs and energetic business leaders talk about their start-up days, successes, failures, near-bankruptcies, and recoveries, I was enthralled. Not just because some of these folks had only existed in the pages of my favorite business magazines up to that point but because I was struck with the stories. 

You can read any number of articles out there on how important your “story” is to your customers. The way to drive that point home is to listen to someone’s story and feel this twinge in your gut because you remember how it felt to be there. 

You can remember exactly how it felt to get that first paying customer;

You can remember the fear of opening bills you had no money to pay;

You can taste the first bottle of champagne you bought to celebrate a major victory;

You can feel the handshake from the customer that thanked you for advising them against making a huge mistake.

I love telling our stories, and I thanked every attendee at GROWCO who chose to share theirs with us. I could see the evidence that stories matter.  They matter to those who lived through them and they offer hope for those who haven’t yet reached your plateau. They show a human side to what can seem like superhuman success. They form this common bond in arenas where no other discernible bond exists. They give us built-in empathy, and who doesn't benefit from our relating to them at such a visceral level? The story is the ONE thing we all have.

Great people have said that customers don’t buy what we do until they buy why we do it. We all win when we share our stories. 

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