Do You Know This New Kid in Town?
Just about every new school year that was me.
The “new kid.”
In fact our family averaged a move every two years growing up.
Gypsies, vagabonds, bedouins.
No, my dad wasn’t military. He was a banker...and that’s just how his career arc worked out.
Now, there’s some advantages to moving around a lot.
Like getting super awesome at packing a moving box and achieving ninja status with a tape gun. Or, being adaptable, flexible, and becoming adept at making “friends’ quickly.
There’s some disadvantages, too. Like never feeling like you fit in, or not knowing where you stand, or never developing deep, long-lasting relationships...or knowing how to.
I felt all that most keenly in jr. high and high school. I definitely felt lost, uncertain, and like I didn’t have a whole lot to offer.
But a kind word from an unexpected source changed all that my sophomore year.
I had “been volunteered” to tell some jokes at our youth group’s “Valentine’s Dinner” - you know, where the kids “hosted” a nice dinner for the adults (who did most of the work, right?)
Anyway, I copied some jokes out of a joke book and pretty much made fun of married couples for about 7-10 minutes. I don’t remember much about my time “on stage.”
But afterwards, a sweet older lady grabbed my hand, shook it vigorously, and looking me square in the eye said, “Scott, you were fantastic!” (I was pretty certain she was just being “nice.”) But she went on…”You have a gift with words, young man. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see you using that gift to change many lives!”
With that, she tousled my hair and she was gone.
I kind of just stood there, transfixed to the earth in the church parking lot.
“Mary C.” had done something significant for my life in those three simple sentences.
She spoke light, hope, and direction where I had none. I had pretty much been marching through life as if in a fog.
I would hearken back to those words many times over the next 30 years, none more significant than about three years ago.
You see, my early career arc was in education and ministry. I was either a full-time teacher / part-time pastor; or, I was a full-time pastor / part-time teacher. For 25 years I was impacting lives...by the spoken word.
But all of that came crashing down around me about three years ago.
I was burned out. Fried. Isolated. Living a life based on others’ expectations. Just going through the motions. Lacking deep friendships (this is difficult for pastors in general, and I particularly sucked at it).
I had to pull the plug...for my sake, and for my family’s.
It was easily the most difficult season of my life. The crushing sense of failure. Shame. Isolation.
I was back in the fog...lost.
I had no idea what to do with my life. I had let my state teaching credential expire while pursuing full-time ministry.
I felt stuck.
I dabbled in a few ventures: Google business photos, coffee roasting, high-ticket back-yard sales in the SF bay area, life insurance, even pest control sales!
None of them were much of a fit.
But then, it dawned on me. There were other ways to impact lives with words. It didn’t have to be in front of a congregation or in a classroom.
So I went to Craigslist and found a local business that needed help with their email marketing. I knew I could help them write emails. Then I connected with an author who wanted to market his book. Then it was a film-maker.
So I started studying this thing called copywriting.
It was a way to impact lives with words.
Mary C’s words proved once more to be...a light in a dark place.
Now, through Facebook & Craigslist I’ve been able to partner with an incredible variety of business owners (SaaS, biz op, personal dev., fitness, health, military, local service, direct mail, travel, education, etc.) and help them...with their words.
And this is where the inspiration for story templates has come from.
Almost every business owner, copywriter, marketer I know understands the inherent value of telling stories in their marketing. Whether through emails, sales letters, or face to face sales calls.
But most are unclear, uncertain, or lack confidence knowing what kind of stories to tell, or how to tell them.
Enter Adventure Story Templates. Every business owner is on an adventure to represent their product to their audience, right? Story templates help.
They provide a framework (template) ANYONE can follow to impact their audience...and lead to more sales.
The first template is up. It’s the David & Goliath “underdog” story template.
You just read through my “underdog story.” Did you even notice it was a template, a framework?
Probably not. That’s the power of stories. You get pulled in, you travel along, then reach a destination.
Here’s the destination of this piece. Get YOUR copy of the David & Goliath story template here: templates.scott-mills.com.
It will help you tell YOUR story to YOUR audience in a way that builds credibility, likability, and trust. AND, it WILL lead to more sales.
PS - here’s that link again: templates.scott-mills.com