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Why we need Small Business Stories. Lots of them.

by | Jan 7, 2020 | Latest, Stories

Over the holiday downtime, I watched a bunch of shows with the family. One thing really jumped at me; where are all the stories about people starting businesses?

There’s 27,000,000 entrepreneurs in the USA. We all know at least 1 person who’s starting up their brand.

And we’re going to continue seeing a lot more.

But when you Google small business movies, the top 10 include ‘Wall Street’ ‘Jerry McGuire’, and ‘The Social Network’.

Only one of those is actually about someone building a small business.

I remember a year back, I was chatting with a life coach. And he shared with me that he was struggling with his promotions, because he didn’t have any credentials to his name. We fell to talking about his story, and he wanted to brush past it.

You see, he’d been homeless, stuck in truly terrible housing situations, and day by day, worked himself back off the ledge and away from despair. Today, he’s recovered, of sound mind, and enjoying healthy success in life. It was from that interior place that he wanted to share his lessons, but was afraid his story wasn’t appropriate to share.

I was convinced that his story was the most interesting thing he’d told me, and it inspired me to believe that he had the experience to understand what others were going through. Many with degrees don’t have life experiences like that.

His story could become the cornerstone of his credibility.

But no one thinks like that, because we don’t see these stories.

Every time we start marketing or advertising, we look to the best practices of the big dogs in the industry.

We need to change it up.

We need more real life stories of real people, with their honest-to-goodness struggles and breaking points and bright successes.

Most of all, we need new examples of people making it work in today’s online and offline world.

Kind of like ‘This is Us.’ (I need to watch it too.)

For example:

  • The middle-aged mother, who’s kids are all flown the coop, and she’s picking up where her career left off – this time with a ton of experience.
  • The dad with 4 kids who was just fired, and decides to strike out on his own.
  • The retiring grandparent who realizes there’s a gap in his community that he can fill.
  • The young millenial, still in college, and teaming up with friends to start something new.

Each of them having something they can share and learn, because we’ve never seen business cultivated and created in a world like ours. The tools are all so new. The human part remains unchanging.

What do you think?

I’m thinking of taking 2020 to focus my Linkedin account on sharing the scars and stories of people and their small businesses.

Then pulling it all together into a magazine.

What would you call a project like this?

Do you have an interesting story you want to share?

Know someone you can tag?

Let’s have a little fun here. 🙂

So what do you think? Leave a comment.

PS: Who’s one person you know would like to read this post? Can you share it with them? Thanks!

Dominic de Souza is a novelist-turned-marketer. He believes that passionate small businesses should stop with ads and funnels, and get back to the human roots of business: clarity, excellent service, and building a community. Everything you’re already good at.  Meet Dominic →

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