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Whiteboard Wednesday: The Power of Storytelling S2E10

Storytelling | How it Relates to Business whiteboard-wednesday-episode-10

 Watch the replay here:

What’s your story?

Today’s topic is what is your story? This is really important in business today. This has been a really crazy week for me. Sometimes people just catch you off guard. It could be in a good way or in a bad way. Thankfully this week has really been a great week for me. It’s been a great week for pretty much everyone that I know. I have a feeling that most people are having a great week. And I think it’s because it is post-election and people were just so negative and wound up on both sides about Hillary, Trump, Gary Johnson and all the other stuff floating out there. I’m going to let you in on a secret – “it doesn’t matter.” You are in control of your future. No one else – you are in control. I know it sounds really bizarre right but you are the one who is in control of your future and thank God  for that.

00:02:58 What is Story Telling?

Storytelling is really about telling stories. No! What?? Telling stories? Yeah that’s what it’s about? All of you have a really cool story. We’ve all been somewhere. We’ve all had challenges. We’ve all conquered them. There’s so many different stories that all of us encompass that we can tell the world. I have close to 90 clients right now and I’ve helped hundreds of clients through the years. I’ve  managed teams in the hundreds as well. It’s interesting because everyone has such a great, unique story. It’s so important that all of us are able to share that story successfully. I think that that’s one of the challenges that everyone faces including myself. I feel like I am not great at composing stories but I think I’m good at telling stories. You know we all have fun stories that we like to tell.

The Outsourcing Typhoon and Liz Benny Collaboration

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I was just talking about a story of one of my clients Liz Benny  who I flew out to Idaho to help her on one of her projects. Funny enough, we started talking about my projects. We both found out that we had a very happy medium in the middle to where both of our projects kind of intertwined. We raised the interest level for both of us on our own things. And I think it’s so important what I’ve learned about storytelling. When I told Liz about what I do and (actually this goes to a lot of people) how I process things and how I try to get you know more work done or the cliché phrase I use is “I help people work on their business and I get people out of working in their business.” It’s so cliché. That’s something that I that I do say a lot. While I was talking about that she was like “Oh that is so boring.”

I started talking about stories, like I talked about how it’s like in the Philippines or the different people that have worked for me or I tell stories about my clients and how we’ve worked together with them. She’s like, “That’s it. See I would buy from that guy. I like that guy. I don’t like the guy who’s sitting there boring me with how you’re going to solve all my problems.” So it got me really interested in reversing my psyche and I was ‘mind blown’. My brain was not ready to suck that all in. I’ve been in the project management side, the corporate world, I even worked for the government at one point.

The value of Storytelling

If I could wrap up a story and why it’s valuable for you to tell one to draw people in is literally just to gain interest in yourself. That’s it. Everyone has that Uncle who is a great storyteller. “Uncle Joe told me that story about the bear.” Everybody loves scary stories and you circle around to listen. It’s the same exact type of thing in my business.

The Quickbooks Story

A funny story with Liz. We were at a restaurant and we were working on a project together at that dinner. The waiter came and gave us our bill. And after I had got the receipt back I took a picture of it. I took that receipt and I literally threw it away. She’s like, “don’t need that receipt for your business? What are you doing right now?” I said, “I have a system in place so that all I have to do is send a picture to my accountant and she takes care of it. It gets put into my Quickbooks online. It’s taken cared off. I don’t do my own accounting. I haven’t done that for  the past two years.” She was like, “I am soooo freaking jealous of you.” It’s so funny because in my mind I’m like, “I take so much for granted.”

Creating your Story

I have a plethora of 42 people that work for me right now so resources is not a problem that I have. I used to have the same problem as my clients in my own way. My delegation skills are really great but there were so many things I chose not to delegate. I think that’s something that people have a problem with. I’ve been using a couple of different tools. I will share a link for you guys on this video (here is the link http://ityurl.com/funnelscripts). It’s something called Fun scripts. It’s something that I was playing around with yesterday and made like a 20 – 30 minute live video about how you can develop your story. Where do I start with my story? Where can I even begin? There’s so many things that have happened in my life.

Food for thought

  • Pick the biggest one
  • What is the biggest struggle that you’ve gone through?
  • What can people really relate to?
  • If you haven’t had a whole lot of struggles in your life, God bless you because that’s great. You know what, Fantastic!
  • Maybe you can talk about someone else’s story.
  • I have a feeling that there’s not a single person on this God’s green Earth that hasn’t been through some sort of trials or tribulations in their life and can’t actually turn that into something that’s useful for their business.
  • Everyone has one.

00:09:38 The J Hunter Story?

Mine is so easy. I just want to give you an example. I was an I.T. Administrator for a school district. I did that for five years. By the way, I’ve always loved all my jobs so that’s never a problem. I’m kind of a workaholic so I went and I actually got recruited by Philips. I was a Project Manager for Philips for four years. In 2013, I was in the top five Project Managers in the country. The year afterwards, 2014, I was also in the Top 5 every single month of the first quarter. I’m an overachiever. I think most entrepreneurs are. They’re just not happy until they just tackle that task. That’s the mentality right? Entrepeneurs are like “Do it! Do it! do it! Go! Go! Go! Get it done!” But reality though I was really burning myself out. I was working 10, 12, 14 or 16 hour days. I started to lose my own marriage. I felt like I never spent enough time my family. I actually moved up to the Portland, Oregon area for that job. It was really a stressful job and strenuous job.

My first encounter with a Virtual Assistant.

I actually came across a virtual assistant. This is kind of how that idea formed. I didn’t even know what a virtual assistant was. It came to me as a resource as a project manager. We are always looking at people from resource perspectives. It’s something that I realized really quickly that I was able utilize the same type of skills that I had in my project management life and delegation. I was able to carry that over into delegating and working with a virtual team. In the beginning it sucked. It was so hard to manage a virtual team. I had no idea what I was doing. I looked up to people like Chris Tucker who owns virtual staff finder. He’s a great guy. I’m actually part of his Youpreneur group. It’s really cool if you guys want to check it out.

There’s so many cool resources about outsourcing but there was really never a solution to the problem that I found. The problem was that if you wanted to have a “real VA”, you had to really hire someone full time, all the time. That was all fine and dandy. What you find is that VA can’t actually do everything for you.  So if you want a web developer, graphic designer, someone to do your emails and someone who runs your social media. There’s not one person who knows how to do all that stuff. So that’s how I started VA Staffer. I realized really quickly – “wow.”

The formation of VA Staffer LLC

What if I created a service that was able to do all of these different things for most online businesses. We all know the things that every business has to do. Literally every business.

What would take care of 99.9% of all their needs?

  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Social Media Management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Email Management
  • Calendar Management

These are things that every entrepreneur has to do. It’s something that everyone faces. What if I built a team and train each person for those specific skill sets. My clients were able to leverage them to get the work that they needed done. But they didn’t have to hire a full time person for each one of those roles. I was mind blown at myself. Of course I lost a lot of money in the beginning. I had to hire people until I had enough clients to suffice having that many people working for me. I think I had about 12 at the time. Afterwards, I landed my big first corporate startup client DOMO.com. At the time we had 8 to 12 people working for them all the time doing some really awesome projects on their account development side. That catapulted me miraculously. I went from a small team to literally doubling my team within that one account.

Making the tough decisions.

I’ve been through that struggle. I’ve been developing my story on how to tell the struggle from my overburdened, overdone life. I’ve managed my way into finding a new avenue of using my project management skills. I just left my job (this wasn’t for the story but just happened to be in the story) on Leap Day – February 9th of this year. I took the leap from my corporate job (my cushy six figure job) do my own thing. I moved back to California and packed it up. I had my grandfather who was passing away who I never got to spend time with. My son never even got to see him except for a few holidays we’d fly down. He was 93 years old so he couldn’t come visit us. I wanted my son who was named after my grandpa, Jesse, we called him “papa”, to have time with him before he passed away. He was a huge influence on my life. It’s time I knew I would never get back. I put in for a transfer at my work, they denied it. I probably still would be working for Philips. I loved it. I guess I’ve always been very blessed that every job I’ve had I’ve loved. From I.T. Admin to Project Management – I just love it. I love being stressed out. I know that sounds crazy but I do love being stressed out. So as you can see here guys I’m trying to show you an example of how you can build some storytelling. So this is a totally off the cusp. I’m giving you scenarios.

00:15:45 Storytelling – Where do I start?

Now what’s really cool is you can take the story, in the link http://ityurl.com/funnelscripts you can actually download the software and it will ask you questions.

Creating your own story:

  • What is a hurdle that you face in your life?
  • What is something that helped you achieve it?
  • What were you able to do?

It asks you all these questions and then it blows out a script for you. It literally creates a script for you for so many things. There’s an origin story, video sales letters, webinar, slides and so many different things. For me I didn’t even know where to start. I’ve worked with copywriters before. An inexpensive copywriter that’s really good at he or she does – you’re looking at like a $100 USD per hour. It could probably be more than that depending on what type of service you need. If you really want to put something of really high quality get really good marketing person here in America.

To me, there’s just some things that you shouldn’t outsource. I think that your voice is so important. The value that you actually put out there and  your communication with your audience is so important. So you don’t want to outsource that to a non-native English speaker. It’s your voice. You don’t want outsource relationships. That’s my main thing. I encourage you guys to think about how you couldn’t use storytelling in your own business. I know you have some amazing stories out there. I know because you guys literally tell me all these amazing stories. Even my clients who come to me and they tried other virtual assistant services have great stories to tell.  Even those who haven’t used a VA before and they’re just overwhelmed.

When to start Outsourcing?

That first “aha” moment when they realize that 90 percent of the things that they do for their business aren’t actually doing a whole lot. They’re just repetitive things. They’re not they’re not generating new revenue. They’re not bringing in new business. These things are critical for your business but it’s not critical that you do it.

Imagine if 90 percent of your day is spent doing repetitive things:

  • Lead Generation
  • Spreadsheets
  • Copy/ Paste
  • Online Research
  • Booking a flight

Or whatever it is that is keeping you away from that 10% percent.

For me, my 10 percent is:

  • Content Creation
  • Being creative in general
  • Working with my clients
  • Coaching
  • Putting together packages
  • product creation

These are the things that I love to do.

I can tell you what I don’t like doing:

  • Recruiting.
  • Inbound Sales Inquiries.

It bothers me. I want to focus on my clients. I have a process in place for my team to handle all incoming inquiries. I get anywhere from 70 to 80 inquiries a month to work with me.

Working with the VA Staffer Team

I know it sounds crazy to think about this but my business has gotten to the point where I can hand-pick the people that I work with. All my clients that I have right now have been hand chosen. I believe in what they’re doing. I’m passionate about what they’re doing. If they’re not passionate and I can feel that then I don’t want to work with them. I try to do big disclaimer when we do discovery calls or Initial Process Assessments. I try to understand what’s the story. I want to be intrigued by somebody. I want to feel the passion. I want to feel really motivated. I have my team all over the world be motivated about the work that they’re doing. That’s why I’ve been so successful in my life.

I’ve been to the Philippines seven times. I just came back. I brought my whole family over there. My three year old who’s now four and my wife we were over there the entire month of May. We were busy developing relationships, recruiting, restructuring the company and hiring. I mean it was just phenomenal. These are things that I want to spend my time on.

This is a story that literally everybody has:

  • Where you started?
  • The challenges you faced
  • Why it was challenging?
  • How you overcame them?
  • How it’s applicable to what you do?

You have the solution somewhere in there. Something that you do or sell or a service that you offer is answering a problem everyone else’s pain points.  I guess I take this for granted but as soon as I start telling people in my own life about the things that I don’t do in my business they’re like “Dude that is so awesome. You’re so lucky you don’t even do this”.  Well first off I’m not lucky, I planned it.

The 90-10 Lifestyle

Living the 90 10 Life is not easy. If you don’t know how to plan it. You have to put the structure in place to replace yourself in your own business. That is really difficult. You know Tim Ferris, he wrote “The Four Hour Work Week”. Let me tell you – that’s a lie. There’s no such thing. You’re still going to be working. Instead of doing that 40 – 60 hour work week doing the 90 percent of the minutia, now you get to spend all your time on that 10 percent that’s really valuable to your business. How valuable is that? If you know that 10 percent of your business is driving all the revenue, how valuable would it be to be able to spend all week on that 10 percent? Like that’s ridiculous right.

Things you can now focus on:

  • Content production
  • Creation
  • Coaching calls

You can do all sorts of things that you want to do. Maybe your goal in life is to have less time working. Maybe your goal is to be able to go to the gym or to be able to go take a vacation. Maybe you’ve already achieved a personal status where you are comfortable with it. So anyway that’s a little bit about storytelling. I tried to give you a little bit of examples of my own personal storytelling. Hopefully that was helpful for you guys.

When you’re ready to start working on your 10% and delegating your 90%, don’t hesitate you give us a shout. Start living the 90-10 lifestyle today and start doing the things you actually like to do.

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Jeff J Hunter
Jeff J Hunter
CEO & Social Entrepreneur at VA Staffer
Digital Marketing Strategist with background in Information Technology, Project Management, and Business Process Outsourcing. An expert in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and dependent on Virtual Assistants to survive.