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January 9th, 2013 posted by David Finkel (Taxloopholes.com Advisor)

Today I wanted to share a very powerful concept that every business owner not only needs to know about, but also needs to use.

It’s called creating your “Core Story“, and it’s the single most important way for you to give your employees, your clients, your prospective clients, and your market place a clear, coherent context in which to fall in love with your business, and to understand your core branding.

Every Business Has a Core Story

Your core story is the story of how and why you started your business to begin with. It’s told with one purpose in mind: to quickly and powerfully share your defining branding in a story that speaks to your listener emotionally.

We all know stories have the power to communicate so much information and emotion in a short, tight way.  They allow you to tap into deep symbols and give context and meaning to your employees, customers, and market place.

Maui Mastermind’s Core Story

Let me share what a Core Story is by giving you our example.  (Click here for a VIDEO version of this core story on our site.)

In 2003, I was part of a mastermind group of 4 very successful business owners.  We each wrote best-selling books and had training programs for business owners and investors.  2-3 times a year we’d meet in a city for 1-2 days and mastermind on ways to help grow and expand our businesses.  And boy did it work.

My mastermind team helped me generate an extra $10 million of sales and to triple my net profit in less than 24 months!

During one of these mastermind sessions we were all griping about how at the average 2 hour training class we gave so little happened.  Sure we might have 500 or more people in attendance, but sometimes it felt like only 1 or 2 ever DID anything with what we taught them.

So we asked a powerful question:  What if we were designing the perfect business workshop, what would it be like?

We brainstormed answers like, “It would need to be in a beautiful location and a 5-star resort…”   “It would need to be over an extended period of time not just one day…” And most important of all, “We would have to pre-qualify every person who attended to make sure they were absolutely committed to playing full out and USING the ideas they were learning…

At first we were just talking hypothetical, but I said let’s do this, pull out your calendars and let’s schedule the event right now.  With a big gulp that is exactly what we did.

That first year we sold out the first ever Maui Mastermind Wealth Summit at a luxury resort in Maui.  The response was so powerful and the feedback from participants so positive we began holding this $30,000 week-long business owner and wealth retreat every year since.  Considering that over 60% of our graduates pay to come back year after year after year we must be doing something right.

That event became the foundation of the Maui Community of business owners with these super-successful entrepreneurs and the Maui Advisors “paying it forward” to the next generation of business owners by sharing with them the things that made a difference in their businesses and lives.  Collectively the Maui Advisors have started, scaled, and sold over $2 billion of businesses.

We’ve carried over this tradition of successful entrepreneurs sharing the best of their real-world experience with our Business Coaching Program.  To date we’ve helped hundreds of coaching clients add millions of dollars to their business’s bottom line.

Your Core Story Shares 3 Key Elements

  1. It pulls in your listener and captures their attention. Didn’t you find yourself imaging who actually goes to that $30,000 event and what it would be like to hang out with them for a full week in Maui?  Weren’t you curious what happens at Maui to prompt over 60% of the participants attend year after year?

    That’s the point of the story, it captures your listeners attention and pulls them into your business’s world.

  2. It defines the key branding elements of your business in a symbolic and emotionalized way. The key branding elements for Maui Mastermind are the community aspect of business owners who mastermind together to help each other take our businesses to the next level.

    Also the elements of the exclusivity, the top-of-the-line, best-in-class get communicated through our core story.  These are essential to the Maui brand.  We never wanted to be a “guru”-driven, “just-like-everyone-else” company.

    We’ve always staked our claim in the fact that the greatest contributors to the Maui Community are the successful business owners we attract who are paying it forward to the next generation of business owners.  Our Core Story also highlights our Maui Advisors who have personally built and sold over $2 billion of businesses. This fact establishes both the credibility and differentiation of our community–it is filled with entrepreneurs who have succeeded on a massive scale and can share from their personal experiences.

  3. It Gives your listener a clear context within which to immediately understand what your business is and if it is in fact something that they may want to engage with.

    For us, any business owner who hears our Core Story who has an ounce of ambition is immediately pulled to find out more about us and how they can leverage the Maui Community to grow their business and become a more successful business owner.  Also, mega-successful entrepreneurs are intrigued with the concept of our flagship event, the Maui Mastermind Wealth Summit, and often want to explore ways they might participate or contribute.

    A great Core Story speaks directly to the dreams, desires, and frustrations of your target audience.  More than that, it gives them the simple languaging with which to quickly and easily understand your business.

Your Next Steps

While I’m gratified that you found our Core Story interesting, and that you now understand the concept of your Core Story, I need you to do one more essential thing… I need you to craft your business’s Core Story.

It’s not enough to passively read our weekly business success eletter, you need to take action and apply what you’re learning.

Take 5 minutes right now and outline your business’s Core Story.  Remember you are not writing your Core Story for yourself, you are writing it to inspire your employees, your clients, and your market place to better understand you and your core brand elements.

How do you know if you have your Core Story right?  Try it out on some of your prospective clients.  If they don’t light up with curiosity, or instantly connect and relate to your business, or feel the desire to engage with you, then go back to the drawing board.

Good luck writing out your Core Story and using this key concept to make your business more successful.