In 2016, the CHRI staff decided to invest in Donald Miller‘s “StoryBrand” course. From a business perspective, it was probably the smartest thing we did all year! We now filter nearly every team decision through Miller’s “storybrand framework”. Given how excellent the course was, many of us have also now started listening to Miller’s (business & leadership coaching) podcast. Here’s a link to his 2016 “best-of” episode, incorporating the 10 most helpful takeaways from last year’s episodes.
It’s been a wonderful year here on the Building a Story Brand podcast. I want to say thanks to everyone for listening. We’re trying to keep J.J. in line as his newfound minor celebrity status is starting to go to his head. But we have learned a ton from our guests, and I hope you have too.
If you’re traveling over the holidays, this is a great way to find helpful episodes you may have missed or revisit your favorites for fresh insight.
Listen to this week’s episode for select clips and takeaways. I’ve also summarized them for you here with links to each full episode. Enjoy!
Takeaway #1: Your customers are the hero, not your brand.
The Canlis Brothers of Seattle’s legendary restaurant, Canlis
As a fine-dining restaurant, Canlis is in the business of relationships — not just with their customers, but also with their staff. And relationships aren’t transactions, they’re actual relationships. Learn how to instill a focus on the customer in your entire culture, including how you hire and treat your employees.
Takeaway #2: Let customers drive your business, not your product.
Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer
Ryan reminds us that we have to think in terms of the value we bring to our customers, not simply the product we sell. Otherwise, you’ll get so focused on your product that you’ll lose sight of what people really want. (This advice might have saved Blockbuster and Blackberry!)
Takeaway #3: Keep giving your customers more and more value for their dollar.
David Salyers, VP of National and Regional Marketing for Chick-fil-A
Many businesses try to take as much money as possible from their customers. But they’re missing an important part of the equation, which is detrimental to their success. If they focus instead on adding value for their customers, they’ll up their loyalty, diminish their advertising costs, and have more satisfied customers. Chick-fil-A does this intentionally, and we can learn a lot from their perspective.
Takeaway #4: Be clear about how you help your customers succeed.
Dave Ramsey, Personal finance author, TV host, and entrepreneur
We all love a good story. Businesses that communicate clearly succeed. Dave Ramsey and his team have been doing this intuitively for more than a decade. They break down their personal finance plan into baby steps, which enables their customers to understand exactly what their lives will look like if they engage with Dave and his products.
Takeaway #5: Your clothes are a part of your brand.
Toi Sweeney, award-winning stylist from QVC and executive image consultant
Before we ever say a word, people make big assumptions about us simply from how we’re dressed and styled. Minding your appearance is a part of your brand’s story, and Toi Sweeney explains what we communicate when we wear particular colors. Our clothes are telling a story about us and our brand. Listen to Toi and make sure it’s the one you want to communicate.
Takeaway #6: Time is a resource to be invested.
Rory Vaden, Founder of Southwest Consulting
We all get the same 168 hours in a week. But some people seem to do more. Why? Because they’ve learned how to invest their time wisely so it comes back to them in surprising ways. If you’re constantly overwhelmed by the volume of work you have to do, Rory’s radical perspective on time management will be a game-changer for you.
Takeaway #7: You can accomplish more by doing less.
Claire Diaz Ortiz, entrepreneur and author, one of the first employees at Twitter
One of my favorite books from this year was Design Your Day by my friend Claire Diaz Ortiz. She and I talk about the importance of focusing your time and attention on the 20% of tasks that give you the greatest impact. It’s a great reminder that saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to several others.
Takeaway #8: Take time away to get clear on your vision.
Ken Blanchard, leadership expert and author of The One-Minute Manager and other bestsellers
One of our biggest challenges as leaders is to rally our staffers around a big vision. Most of think we’ve nailed it, but when we ask our employees to articulate the vision, we find they’re not as clear on it as we thought they’d be. You’ve got to keep articulating it to them and refreshing it for yourself, which is what Ken and I dig into in this episode.
Takeaway #9: Develop habits to make incremental progress over time.
Ben Crane, professional golfer on the PGA Tour
A lot of the successful people I meet seem to have healthy routines and habits. The make a plan and then execute on that plan each and every day, never allowing themselves to get derailed. As a professional golfer, Ben knows that there’s no “silver bullet” to his success. Just great habits that add up to it. You don’t have to be a golfer to get inspired by his perspective on pursuing excellence, no matter what business you’re in.
Takeaway #10: Outwork everybody.
Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold medalist, figure skater, and philanthropist
Scott offers so much wisdom and inspiration in our conversation, but one of my favorite takeaways is simply to outwork everybody. It’s not always the most talented person who succeeds. It’s the person who is committed to doing the work each and every day. It’s an encouraging word for us, as business leaders, that our hard work and determination can give us an edge on the competition, too.
I hope the Building a Story Brand podcast has helped you (and your business!) grow this year. We’ve got a TON of fantastic guests lined up for 2017, plus more stories of how real businesses like yours have cut through the noise, clarified their messaging, and seen a big growth in their bottom line.