Title: Storytelling: The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism
Author: Rudy Mazzocchi
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
The value of any new venture or sound new idea needs to be developed out of the nothingness of silence, ignorance and darkness. It ignites and illuminates the world only when the great storytelling entrepreneur lights the flame. “STORYTELLING: The Indispensable Art of the Entrepreneur” shows, with startling clarity and practical know-how, the process by which wealth and other things of exceptional value can emerge into the world literally out of nothing—nothing, that is, but the Art of Storytelling.
STORYTELLING takes you on a journey which reveals how the development, progressive modification and adaptation of your story is the golden thread and foundational core management practice which ties together all the others: building, focusing and motivating your management team, navigating through troubled times or excessive growth, maintaining positive momentum with investors and Boards of Directors and positioning the venture for a potential exit.
Award-winning author and entrepreneur, Rudy Mazzocchi, exposes his greatest secret of success and provides an enormous amount of “experienced-based” illustrations and nuts-and-bolts practical advice. He reveals how to create and evolve the story of your new venture in a way that energizes and breathes life into what may have started out as just an idea.
Everyone can benefit greatly from reading this book—whether or not you envision yourself as an entrepreneur. STORYTELLING: The Indispensable Art of the Entrepreneur applies universally to ventures of all types and is an essential element in the fulfillment of any dream—dreams which depend upon capturing the interest and sustaining the highly-motivated commitment of others.
Nearly thirty years of doing this and my leg was still nervously vibrating like a jackhammer. I rolled the laser pointer in my fingers like some gambler would roll a poker chip, over and over in my fingers. While contemplating the two glasses in front of me, one with vodka, the other water—both brimming with ice—I rehearsed my opening comments in my head. A long draw on the vodka provided a warming sensation that calmed the jumpy leg. The second speaker was wrapping up his presentation. Within minutes I’d find myself at the podium!
It was a tough, intimate crowd of approximately thirty highly-specialized and wealthy surgeons with a sprinkling of spouses and administrative personnel. Due to the content of my presentation, I would be the third and final guest speaker that evening, sandwiched in between the cocktail reception and dinner—a “symposium” held each quarter at their exclusive country club. My audience was already fidgety, as the prior two stories had been cluttered, complex and confusing. The three of us—all early-stage CEOs—were there to solicit funding for our ventures from this wealthy group of physicians, but any sympathy I had for my two predecessors evaporated as I advanced my first slide. Immediately differentiating myself further, I stepped to one side of the podium and then took a single step towards the congregation before me.
My heart rate gradually returned to normal as I presented my enticing bait to this hungry audience. Key words would hook many of them, but I held back just enough to relieve the tension on the line. It was important not to come across as being too pushy—too slippery—like many of those faceless salespeople who littered their busy offices during the week. I had something special to provide… it was not only a revolutionary product, but also an invitation to embark upon a journey only a select few might be privileged to take with me… an exciting excursion that could provide them with something to supplement their current wealth.
Following my talk, there was a coronal discharge that filled the room, like the buzzing of electrical lines; many pushed aside their tempting desserts to join me near the massive fireplace in the adjacent room. They’d heard my story and understood its value; appreciated what was needed and asked if they could participate.
As I waited for the valet to bring my car around, I calculated the commitments I’d received during the past hour… at least $900,000. Over the next ten business days, that dinner presentation pulled in a total of $1.4 million—in the bank, with stock certificates issued and mailed out to seven new qualified investors!
To be an accomplished entrepreneur, you must be able to tell your story properly. The twisted road to success—your success—will be filled with enlightenment, dread, exuberance, fear, joy and desperation. Without exception, the journey will be long and any deviation from the path may well place you in danger. If it’s of any comfort, when you do wander off that yellow brick road, you won’t be alone, but the longer you stay there, the tougher it is to get back on track without starting over. This book is based on personal experiences and designed to provide you with certain “guardrails” to help you stay on that path… and to avoid those damn flying monkeys.
Remember the story of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum? How many times did Dorothy tell her story to others along her treacherous journey to the Emerald City? Her mission began when she explained herself to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, after her house took out the Wicked Witch of the East. She refined her story when meeting the Munchkins, and it became stronger and more powerful each time she encountered a new companion—the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. Dorothy then put a different spin on things when telling her story to the Wicked Witch of the West. How many times did she have to explain herself to whomever would listen—convincing others to help or join her on the journey? By the time she reached her key objective, her story to the Wizard was fine-tuned, well-rehearsed and crystal clear. Not only did she achieve her goals and those that defined her journey, but others who believed and supported her story along the way were provided a handsome return for their efforts.
Dorothy was a storyteller supreme. The storytelling necessary to become a successful entrepreneur is not much different. In the beginning, along with the idea—the vision—the story we tell is all we really have… and yet it is the most important tool in our bag. If not told properly, we are doomed to constantly deal with evil flying monkeys and the possibility of utter failure.