[Ep#408] Debunking Buzzwords & Finding True Fulfillment

Debunking Buzzwords & Finding True Fulfillment

What’s the real POWER of an origin story?

Storytelling in business isn't just about telling what happened but creating a story that connects with people on an emotional level. As entrepreneurs, we can use storytelling to create powerful stories that do more than just share what the business does—they let people see and feel the business's culture and values. This is especially important today when there are so many businesses out there and standing out is more difficult.

Today, we have a compelling conversation lined up with life coach Carrie West, who utilizes her extensive background in the entertainment industry to enhance personal and business storytelling. Carrie, who is also the author of the forthcoming “Memoir of an Ordinary Person and the Stories That Changed Her Life,” shares her expert insights on the transformative power of origin stories for both personal development and business success. She shares how these narratives emotionally motivate us, and their crucial role in connecting with investors, attracting customers, and influencing corporate culture.

This episode is filled with valuable lessons for anyone looking to refine their storytelling skills or simply inject more authenticity into their business dealings. Expect to learn how to craft an engaging elevator pitch and why embracing your unique path is vital.

Entrepreneurs who can share their journey in a way that shows not only what they do but why they chose this path and how they feel about it, can really make an impact. This episode reminds us that in business, personal stories that connect with people on an emotional level are crucial for building lasting relationships and inspiring others.

Here are three key takeaways to enhance your storytelling in business:

  • Rebuild & Engage: Transform and rebuild your business’s origin story to engage your audience effectively. Find compelling elements in your story that intrigue and connect on a personal level.
  • Authentic Delivery: Focus on honest and authentic communication when sharing your story. Avoid overly polished narratives that may seem rehearsed. Authenticity creates trust and builds a deeper connection with your audience.
  • Embrace Imperfections: Don't shy away from admitting communication flaws; instead, partner with someone who complements your storytelling style. Realness in your approach can significantly attract and retain interest from investors and customers alike.




Jump straight to these golden nuggets:

05:14 Understanding the origin story shapes our culture.

08:27 Film industry experience, passion for storytelling. Entertaining.

12:05 Characters and challenges as foils and antagonists.

15:19 Consider pivoting if your original idea fails.

17:15 Effective storytelling shows evolution and positive change.

22:12 Unaware lunch with famous investor leads to misunderstanding.

22:52 Naivete and honesty attract business partners.

28:08 Business must have a personal, impactful story.

32:04 Reflect on experiences, use for storytelling impact.

35:51 Virtual fireside chats foster empathy and connection.


Topic: Role and Impact of Origin Stories

  • Importance in businesses and personal growth
  • Influence on connecting with investors and customers
  • Example of Facebook's cultural impact on tech companies

Topic: Elements of a Good Origin Story

  • Discussing pivotal incidents and authenticity
  • Importance of emotional motivations and themes
  • The art of honest and engaging storytelling

Topic: Communication and Storytelling Techniques

  • Advocacy for authentic and open communication
  • The value of simplicity and honesty over polished deliveries
  • Tips on being an effective communicator or partnering with one

Topic: Carrie West’s Expertise and Contributions

  • Background as a life coach with entertainment industry experience
  • Upcoming book: “Memoir of an Ordinary Person and the Stories That Changed Her Life”
  • Focus on rebuilding negative underlying stories for success

Topic: Interacting with Competitors and Characters in Business

  • Competitors as antagonists or foils
  • Representation through employees, customers, and clients
  • Themes and motivations tied to the business mission

Topic: Crafting Personable and Effective Presentations

  • Avoidance of over-rehearsed presentations
  • Emphasizing personality, humor, and unique personal elements
  • Crafting a compelling elevator pitch based on the origin story

Topic: The Significance of Self-Understanding and Empathy

  • Knowing the personal “why” behind business choices
  • Embracing individuality in storytelling
  • Connecting on a human level through shared experiences

Topic: Action Steps and Practical Advice

  • Encouraging unscripted, comfortable storytelling
  • Being open to pivoting in business strategy
  • Encouraging engagement and offering support through Carrie West’s resources


Lessons in Leadership: “Power corrupts. Tough lessons make us stronger.”

— Carrie West 00:04:1900:04:25

Impact of Origin Stories in Business: “Once you know the why, it is so easy to see the culture that comes out of it. And the culture is directly related to your origin story.”

— Carrie West 00:05:5600:06:06

Embracing Challenges in Startups: “I came up with this idea because I came up when I started this one business, it wasn't my idea, but I had been in a writing class at UCLA, and somebody said, can you create this website that does x, y, and z? And me, being a poor college student working on a novel, said, sure, I can do that. Had no idea what I was doing. Brought together a team of people. We built this website.”

— Carrie West 00:09:0200:09:26

Impact of Minimum Wage Increases: “So a lot of franchisee owners who have fast food restaurants are struggling because they can't cover the minimum wage that they're now being legally forced to cover.”

— Carrie West 00:12:2400:12:31

Entrepreneurial Strategy: “You need to pivot. How many times have we said to our entrepreneurial clients, it may be time to pivot?”

— Carrie West 00:15:3300:15:44

Navigating Business Changes: “So you either change your product, you change your staff, or you change your customers. You may realize that the customers that you thought would be interested in your product weren't interested, but you have a better mousetrap that these folks over here really want. And you hadn't thought about that before. So the key is to be open to what your product and what your story is telling you.”

— Carrie West 00:16:4700:17:14

Impromptu Business Insights: “I'm sorry to ask those questions. I said, no, I don't have a problem with it. And I told him, and I was very honest about it. And he said, you do realize I'm thinking of investing with you, right? That's what we're here for.”

— Carrie West 00:22:3000:22:40

Entrepreneurial Advice: “So being yourself, not being afraid to say, I don't know. Not being afraid to say, I hope we'll be at this financial level, because they always say, well, how much money are you going to make? How many customers do you need? Tell the truth.”

— Carrie West 00:23:2600:23:46

Authenticity in Business Presentations: “Tell the truth and tell them that this is based on information that you've researched, and you've seen what other people have done. But don't try to make stuff up to try to impress or to try to win people over. They've done this a hell of a lot more than any of us have. And they know when they're being b's, they know, they can feel it. So when you, when you have a good story, stay true to yourself and to your story, and it'll, it doesn't guarantee that the person will be interested in you, but you never know that they might introduce you to somebody who would be interested in you and your product, because they, they have a set of products they want to invest in. They know that before going in.”

— Carrie West 00:23:4600:24:36

Inspiration Behind Innovations: “You know, sometimes the reason why you get into a business is because, you know, I know, I know people in the health industry will say, you know, my mom died of cancer. So I've always wanted to find the thing that was the most difficult for her was getting around because she was very weak. So I created this product that made it easier for her to get around or easier for her to communicate on a phone.”

— Carrie West 00:28:2500:28:53

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