• Adam Whittaker

Time to tell your story

I know…there seems to be a week or a day for everything now. National Squirrel Appreciation Day, Odd Sock Day blah blah. Some definitely stretch the parameters of commemorating an event or occasion or identifying a period where we are quite rightly encouraged to step back and understand work in a charitable or medical field.

Some of these days do have a resonance across sectors that they may not have been intended for. This week is such an example. National Storytelling Week when the Society for Storytelling continue their valiant efforts in its admirable ‘mission to promote the oral tradition of storytelling, the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination’. (Their words not mine)


Such a sentiment isn’t necessarily restricted to telling our children bedtime stories or weary monologues over a few beers. It is also a vital part of marketing, communication and PR. We all have a story to tell and so does every business whether a multimillion-pound corporation or a sole trader. How we have got to where we are, what drove us to set up our business and where we intend to be is an invaluable narrative in itself. As Simon Sinek says in his excellent ‘Start With Why’, people buy why you do not what you do.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that you should bear your soul in every blog or social media post that you put out. Potential and current customers don’t necessarily want to hear how a life of misery has prompted you to set up a Health and Wellbeing practice. However, brief reflections and reference to how you have dealt with life’s challenges creates empathy with your prospective clients and they will be drawn to you. Or, if as a single Mum you struggled to strike a decent work/life balance, juggling the kids and a 9-5 and in doing so recognised a gap in the market for single Mums running their own businesses and your wellbeing guidance could prove essential to them, then your story is most definitely worth telling.

Many great orators, whether being interviewed or delivering motivational addresses, will often pepper their speeches with references to ‘when I was growing up’ or ‘when I met’ or ‘worked with’. This isn’t just some fond reflection or celebrity name dropping, this is a reminisce of learning and development, of moments of inspiration, a key point in their journey to the success they are now enjoying. They are telling their story, and in doing so are drawing you in to the reasons they have become what they are.

My background isn’t littered with incredible highs and devastating lows, but I still have a story. My excellent (and some not so great!) experiences working within the public and private sectors, coupled with a desire to follow my own ambitions and dreams, led me to set up my own consultancy. I don’t expect Danny Boyle to be calling anytime soon, desperate to play out my life in some gritty Channel 4 drama but I know that my career so far and my future plans, resonate with prospective and current clients.

So, don’t be shy. If your lifelong passion has resulted in you becoming a self-employed accountant or your experiences within a charity role has led to your establishing a counselling practice, you have a story to tell. Tell it!

Need help telling your story – Contact Me