In September, I’ll once again have the opportunity to share several days with some of my most creative and brilliant friends at STORY 2018. Having been at numerous previous STORY gatherings, I know I can’t begin to imagine the ideas, insights and new relationships I’ll have upon leaving this year’s conference.
But there is one emotion I know I’ll have—one regret and it’s this, “Our lives, business, country, whatever, would be so much better if more people could have experienced what I just experienced.”
It’s almost a creative remorse. Why can’t more people be like the group I just left? Why must we settle on the mundane status quo so many of us live? We don’t.
But just in case you aren’t sure why you should go to STORY 2018, let me share with you the
TOP 10 REASONS WHY YOU
SHOULD NOT GO TO STORY
10 – Your idea of a good conference is boring slides and monotone speakers
I’ve literally been to hundreds of conferences of all sizes. Like many of you, I’ve wasted countless hours trapped in the middle of a row, listening to a speaker drone on about something of no interest to me (and apparently to them), all the while looking for a way to escape. If you like this kind of setting, don’t come. The people who share at STORY are credible and passionate about their craft. They are humble and approachable. They offer unique insights that can’t be found elsewhere. For me, STORY is by far, the best conference I have EVER attended. In fact, it’s less of a conference and more of a purpose filled gathering.
9 – Your story (or your business’ story) needs no improvement
If you or your business have all the attention you need, if your message resonates with your audiences and they are inexplicably drawn to you, then you probably don’t need to come. But I know from being in the business world, there are very few personal and business storytellers that are nailing it every time.
8 – You think sameness is the spice of life
If your office has a framed version of “Whether it’s broke or not, don’t fix it” you’re not likely to enjoy story. I’ve been in business for decades. I would have thought I had it figured out. Each year at STORY, I walk away with not one, but dozens of immediately business applicable ideas and tips I can use. I can look back on my presentations and messaging and see the change STORY has made year to year.
7 – Smiling makes you freak out
You may not believe it, but humor makes ideas memorable. It’s not that STORY is a comedy club, but some of the most rewarding moments I can recall are surrounded by transparent emotion. Sometimes it was a laugh and other times it was a heartfelt reflection brought on by a passionate story being shared. If you don’t like being around people smiling, laughing, reflecting and just feeling…you’d probably have a better time if you spend these two days in a sensory deprivation tank.
6 – The only color you like is gray
Just look at the website. Look at the images from previous STORY gatherings. Everything about STORY is color and visually exciting. Gray is good, but I think it serves to accent the world of color around us.
5 – You don’t like surprises
Every year I try to imagine what I’m going to learn at STORY. My first year was like any business conference, I went with a well-defined set of objectives and a clear target for what I was going to learn and how I was going to apply it. While knowing where your gaps are is good, I’ve learned it’s best to come with a blank sheet of paper (actually a whole tablet) and be open to what is given. In the evenings and after the conference, I’ve found I could reflect on what I heard and experienced and the applications of that knowledge jumped out at me. I look forward to the surprises.
4 – You don’t want to change
STORY will change you. Enough said.
3 – You don’t care about yourself or others
Everyone at STORY, the participants, staff and speakers can best be described as having a servant heart. Every time I speak with Harris and his team, I am amazed of their humility and clear sense of responsibility to serve others. This message carries through to the entire conference. This is not one of those “compete and be better than everyone else” kind of gatherings. You’ll certainly be lifted up, but in the process, you will be lifting up others.
2 – You’re not human
STORY is about the most human aspects in all of us. It’s about the potential and spark that lives in each of us. It’s about something bigger than us as individuals. It’s about humanity.
1 – You’re dead
Extend your right forefinger and middle finger. Turn your left palm upward. Gently press your right outstretched fingers onto the upper-middle of your wrist. Do you feel any beating? If you don’t, move your fingers around a little bit. Feel anything yet? If not, don’t come to STORY. Seek medical help.
If you don’t identify with these Top 10, then I would encourage you to go to storygatherings.com/story2018 and reserve your place. I look forward to seeing you there.
As for the rest of you who won’t be there, I’ll be lamenting for you as I leave STORY this year.