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  • Why these M&A advisors are smiling (500% increased deal engagement)

    There's a very good reason these M&A advisors are smiling, and it isn't the delicious tacos we had for lunch that day. Together, we used sell-side video tools to sell a manufacturing company with $7+ Million in adjusted EBITDA. The results were a 5x increase in deal engagement and the business sold for millions of dollars more than the owner anticipated. "We had over 660 some-odd potential buyers that saw the teaser and the teaser video," said John Kaminski, who worked as director of One Accord Capital Advisors on the deal (John is also founder of 10zing Advisors). "We. had 65 sign the NDA to review the full CIM, and that's a huge response. Typically we would expect 2% considered good. Anybody in digital marketing says that is phenomenal. A 10% response rate is huge." On this deal the investment bankers tried something different. They worked with Story on Purpose to create sell-side video content. The teaser video below accompanied their pdf teaser. Of the 65 potential buyers that signed the NDA, 25% of them put in term sheets. Those engaged potential buyers received a traditional CIM accompanied by a 5-minute CIM video that showed a detailed visual layout of key equipment and facilities, highlighted the fact no one-customer makes up more than 10% of the business, and introduced a self-sufficient management team. This accelerated interest from the right buying groups and eliminated wasted site visits and management meetings from the wrong groups. The strategic buyer, who the owner always expected to buy his company, put in an offer. But that initial offer was 50% less than a handful of others. The number of higher offers forced that buyer to drastically increase their offer. The video production took two days onsite and maintained the confidentiality that the business was for sale. How? Story on Purpose also produced an effective marketing video for the business that they started using immediately with great results. The project was introduced to employees as a marketing video, which is accurate. It's also a valuable sales/marketing asset in the off-chance the business never sold. When Story on Purpose engages to help sell a business, we work with the selling business owner and the M&A advisory team. We have experience in helping to sell businesses, so our team is educated and knowledgable on the deal side beyond the video production expertise. "The Story on Purpose crew was wonderful because you helped us pull out the relevant pieces we would want to highlight," Kaminski said. "You know what you're looking for. You know the right questions to ask to get the right information out. Then you handled all the interviews, the video. Everybody felt comfortable with the process and usually people are a little bit nervous about getting on camera. They universally said 'okay, this was easier than I expected, it was fine.' The product that was produced was exceptional." Tell your M&A stories with Story on Purpose to increase and accelerate interest from ideal buyers and eliminate wasted time with the wrong ones. Email john@storyonpurpose.com to see if your next deal would be a good fit. See more sell-side video content here.

  • Pivotal Lessons: Low Fuel, Painful Guitar Strings, and AP Awards

    Aside from the incorrect grammar (should be 1 Mile!)...I take a strange amount of pride in this. It made me recall lessons from a pivotal exercise that led to confidence in pursuing my entrepreneurial journey. Stick with me, but it involves painful guitar lessons, falling dozens of times while trying to land a backflip on a wakeboard, hitting a game winning basket in 8th grade, and making $7/hour as a tv reporter. In 2019 I left broadcast tv after a 17 year career that included stints in Omaha, Paducah, Charlotte, Dallas, St. Louis, and Seattle. I was searching for clarity on the right steps to what's next. For 10+ years I wanted to transition out of tv, but I could only tell people what I DIDN'T WANT to do. Thanks to learning directly from the Microsoft Chief Storyteller, Steve Clayton, I saw how my passion and skills could add value in the business world. A friend and business mentor who I now have an ongoing business relationship with, Kyle Frederickson, helped light the spark of entrepreneurship. In 2019 I was taking steps toward that, but I didn't want to have blinders on if a full-time job in a totally different industry was the right answer. I lined up meetings with old friends who had successful business careers in various fields. One of those pivotal meetings was with John Kaserman and Trevor McNeill. Trevor encouraged me to take the "Best Stuff Exercise" which he had gotten from the Hunt Family, owners of the KC Chiefs. It's a simple but powerful exercise and I'm happy to share it with you. Shoot me an email if you'd like to try it, john@storyonpurpose.com. The exercise has you list out the accomplishments in life you're most proud of. Here are a few from my list: Leading men in an authentic weekly prayer group (that I desperately needed) Winning Best-Reporter by the Kentucky Associated Press in my first year as a reporter Learning to play guitar despite a slow, painful process. Embarrassingly I once asked a friend if my strings were okay because they hurt my fingers so much. He said, yep, they're normal! Landing a back roll on a wakeboard after dozens of painful failed attempts. Being named honorable mention for the Nebraska High School Baseball All-State Tournament team (yes, I was that marginal of a player!) The exercise guides you to then analyze what you wrote. Here were my takeaways: Common Threads Across My Accomplishments / Experiences: Hard work and determination Recognizing my talents and pursuing Courage, to risk failure Love of being in public eye Relationships Taking risks Achieving a great accomplishment that didn’t come easy Love of being used in God’s kingdom Storytelling skills Adventure My Gifts Seem to Be: Intensity- ability to focus Courage to put myself out there Relationship-building Ability to learn and adapt Leadership Public speaking, capturing an audience Planting seeds and harvesting the crop This exercise helped me see that I had the fortitude to dive into the roller coaster world of entrepreneurship. I'm beyond grateful to everyone who's helped me on the journey!

  • When a sales tool is "priceless"

    The word "priceless" came out of our customer's mouth recently when discussing a strategic video story. While it's a huge compliment, the journalist in me needed to know why! Circular by Shapiro is looking to accelerate interest from CNC manufacturers who would be a great fit for their patented Fluid Recovery System. Part of the challenge is that they're introducing a new product that customers aren't searching for because they're not even aware of the solution it provides. We used our Instant Clarity framework to boil down how to tell the story of the Fluid Recovery System to the audience it can help. The most effective way to tell any product story is through the mouth of someone it's helping. It needs to be authentic and not forced. We all can tell when someone is rehearsing a canned line. Story on Purpose identified Orizon Aerostructures as a great case study. Our team communicated with the St. Louis plant's leadership and they graciously allowed us to come see the Fluid Recovery System at work. Jack Schroeder, Orizon's Process Improvement Specialist, showed us the system at work. He gave us "soundbite gold" when he said the Fluid Recovery System is helping Orizon save its "liquid gold." We had a series of strategic questions that led to a powerful story that speaks directly to CNC manufacturers. This is the sales video tool that resulted. The Shapiro team has been using it to land and close deals. "It takes two steps out of the Sales process," said Judy Ferraro, Shapiro's Marketing Director. "There isn't a sales tool I could buy that would be better than that video."

  • Best Storytelling Framework: From Mystery to Epiphany to Your Brand Story

    I'll never forget how clueless I felt sitting in that Seattle bar with three business people who were generously brainstorming ideas for my new storytelling business. One was an executive at a global marketing firm, one worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and was about to go on a global tour with Melinda, and the other was an experienced marketer at Microsoft. I left TV in 2019 to start my business with eyes wide open that there was A TON I didn't know about business. Seventeen years as a news anchor/reporter helped me sharpen my storytelling skills, but the TV broadcasting world is its own weird, little bubble. That's not to say other broadcasters were clueless about business. But I felt like a high school freshman sitting at a table with a bunch of Harvard Business School professors. The Microsoft marketing guy said, "You need a good framework. I love frameworks!" I took a sip and nodded as if I knew what he was talking about. I didn't. The three of them proceeded to talk about favorite frameworks they use in business. I felt a sudden longing for a teleprompter. I had a follow up meeting with the Microsoft marketer in an attempt to better understand the framework concept. I wish I could say it clicked for me right then, but in reality it took many more business books, podcasts, and conversations with mentors. The framework epiphany came from a business concept around something in my wheelhouse, storytelling. Through relationships with a few other people at Microsoft, I got to meet Steve Clayton, who at that time was Microsoft's Chief Storyteller (he's now Microsoft's VP of Global Affairs). I got to have a pint with the very down-to-earth British man at a pub in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood. I studied everything I could find of Steve's online, including this TEDx Talk on Storytelling. At last, a framework that easily resonated with me: The Hero's Journey. Now I started to see The Hero's Journey pop up in other business conversations. Shane Meeker, Procter and Gamble's Chief Storyteller, was gracious to do a few zoom calls to help teach me. Guess what, he has a TEDx Talk on The Hero's Journey as well. I found Donald Miller's Story Brand content with more use of The Hero's Journey framework. And then I started to use it. At first I used the framework to help craft the story outline for brand videos. It worked. The clients were happy and felt like it positioned their brand perfectly to reach ideal customers. It allowed them to tell their story in a way that focused on the customer and to authentically share their story in that context. Then I started to use it in workshops. What seemed elementary and obvious to me was creating epiphany moments for seasoned business people. The "aha" moments I saw with each team led me to call the workshops "Instant Clarity Sessions." We saw it lead to deeper messaging clarity and team alignment with CMA Global, a team of clinical psychologists who help companies navigate complex people issues. We saw it lead to product innovation and new sales collateral with Gasket and Seal Fabricators, a manufacturing company that...you guessed it...makes gaskets and seals for other manufacturers. We saw it help solar panel experts at EFS Energy understand and apply the story framework to three very unique target audiences. You don't tell a different story to different audiences, but you do tell your story differently to maximize their engagement. We used the Instant Clarity framework to help the National Alliance on Mental Illness create content targeted to a specific audience; employee engagement committees at large St. Louis employers. What is the Instant Clarity framework? Glad you asked! It's the best storytelling framework we've found. Check out the infographic below. (Reach out if interested in a similar infographic for your business objectives)

  • Outside the Box Strategic Storytelling

    This may seem like a simple video, but this is an example of outside the box strategic storytelling. One of the benefits of being a morning news anchor was the opportunity to give air time to friends and people I knew doing big things! While it was fun to do, strategic storytelling was at the root of it. I couldn't just put anything on air. This was a great example. The military records holiday greetings and then makes them available to local tv stations where those service members are from. You've likely seen them on your local news. I had been texting with my good friend, Brandon Dubuisson, who was on a deployment to the Middle East as a C-17 pilot. We were both "working" that Thanksgiving Day, so I told him to send me a cell phone video with him and another pilot who were stationed at JBLM in the Seattle area. This was not the US Military sanctioned greeting, but it checked all the boxes for both the Military and for our local Seattle news coverage at KIRO 7. Both Brandon and I knew that our bosses would be totally fine with us doing this "outside the box" collaboration. And my co-anchor, Michelle Millman (a great strategic storyteller herself), was fully onboard. That's what I love to do professionally. Think outside the box on how to use strategic storytelling to create win-win-win scenarios.

  • Beware of Bogey Impact, Empty Impressions

    A TV news coworker of mine was once celebrated for adding tens of thousands of facebook followers. Our social media consultants touted the achievements to the corporate TV news big wigs. They used it as proof for their effectiveness in consulting. That coworker of mine was very humble and very authentic. So much so, that coworker was quick to point out that almost all of the new followers were from another country and outside our target demographic. We were a local TV news station that made its money selling advertising to companies trying to reach people in key demographics in our region. The thousands of followers who lived outside our area, let alone outside our continent, did nothing for our TV news station's strategic goals. I recently saw a similar situation in business. Solar power company, EFS Energy, worked with Story on Purpose to get clarity and alignment on telling its authentic story to ideal residential homeowners. Together we identified that EFS can best serve middle-income homeowners who are likely in their 40s or 50s with plans to own their home long-term. And we helped create content specifically targeted to that audience. Meanwhile, a digital marketing company (who shall remain nameless), was touting results to EFS of a social media campaign with thousands of impressions. The problem was that many of those impressions were with 18-28 year olds who were not likely to own a home or benefit from what EFS Energy offers. EFS recognized the issue and promptly fired that company. Beware of "bogey impact" or results that do little or nothing to further your strategic goals. I've heard a similar story from many business owners. Would you rather have a thousand likes and impressions on social media from random people or 10 social media engagements from people who could directly benefit from your product or service and have capacity to buy? Here's how you turbocharge your marketing, recruiting, and sales story. Get razor sharp on WHO you need to reach. Then reverse engineer the story to make them the hero, address their known challenges, and how you help them overcome the challenges to achieve their desired outcome. Here are some of the Instant Clarity results from EFS Energy working with Story on Purpose: Homeowners dealing with rising energy costs use EFS Energy's free solar feasibility analysis which helps determine the best custom solution for their home. These homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint, save on utility bills, gain long-term peace of mind and increase their property value through EFS Energy's customized solar solutions.

  • Lesson in Being Blackballed: Scarcity Mindset

    I recently found out I've been blackballed from leadership positions in two organizations geared toward manufacturers. True story. In both cases, digital marketing/branding agencies viewed Story on Purpose as a competitive threat. So, they blocked me. I don't take it personally. It's simply the scarcity mindset on full display. I had previously met with owners of both agencies. Both meetings were presented as a networking opportunity to get to know each other and possibly pursue collaboration. In both cases 90% of what they offer customers is different from how Story on Purpose works with customers. I was told one of the agency owners said "he's fighting for the same marketing dollars we are." The only obvious overlap is that we all help customers with messaging clarity and strategy. The rest of their offerings greatly differ from how we help customers at Story on Purpose. Often times both agencies outsource the work that Story on Purpose does to others. The scarcity mindset says "there is a finite amount of business out there and I must do everything possible to get a bigger piece of the pie." The abundance mindset says "there are ample amounts of business out there and collaboration can build a bigger pie to create win-win-win scenarios." Let's be clear. Competition exists and running a business isn't easy. Burying your head in the sand and not trying to stand out against competition is a recipe for extinction. You might be wondering what an example of abundance mindset and collaboration looks like. Take Shapiro and the separate work Sean Stormes and Alan Andersen have been doing with the company leadership for the past year plus. Both Sean and Alan work with executive leadership teams and I know firsthand they have some crossover in how they can work with customers. Yet, they are both zeroed in on different core offerings they are delivering with Shapiro, and they don't feel threatened by each other! I know because I've been in those leadership meetings. I've been a part of conversations with Alan and Sean in which both leaders showed an abundance mindset. The same applies to how Andrya Allen with The Nine digital marketing agency, Judy Ferrero with Shapiro marketing, and my team with Story on Purpose are working together to tell the story of Circular by Shapiro. There is crossover between all three of our areas of expertise. Sure, the skeptic would point out that Shapiro COO Bob Alvarez has brought us all in and identified how he wants us to help Shapiro achieve its goals. But just because people are working on the same team does not mean they work with an abundance mindset. Just this week, a business leader told me how he left a company because the top executive approached everything with a scarcity mindset. A book that I recommend that's helped shape my abundance mindset is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I've been exposed to many great leaders (tagged below) who truly lead with a selfless, abundance mindset. If there's an opportunity to provide everything a customer needs, they jump on it if they can truly provide the best outcomes. If there's someone better for a specific component, they help build a bigger pie by bringing in that expertise. They also seek ways to add value that in no way really benefits them. This is often in the form of making connections, referrals, and free insights from their expertise. The leaders who approach business with an abundance mindset most often have an air of confident humility. They don't use false humility when it comes to their expertise. They deliver with excellence in their area of genius and they are humble enough to know they don't know it all. You can read more about confident humility and the book that inspired me to pursue it here.

  • A Story of Abundance Mindset

    This is a story about two businesses and leaders I've seen collaborate beyond their core offerings. Both approach business with an abundance mindset and not a scarcity mindset. CMA Global, a team of psychologists who help companies with complex people issues, trusts Matt Skarin and Skarin Insurance Brokers to handle its complex insurance needs. Jami Wolfe, Managing Partner at CMA Global Inc, notes that the relationship goes far beyond insurance. Skarin Insurance Brokers' consultative approach and connections help CMA achieve its business objectives. When I met both Jami and Matt two years ago they were already doing business together. At an ACG St. Louis event I overheard Matt asking Jami about her business and offering input and connections that had nothing to do with insurance. That's what I mean when I talk about helping customers beyond their core offering. This is a fun, authentic story to tell because I've had a chance to work with both organizations through our Story on Purpose Instant Clarity process. In a 5-part online course or a half-day workshop we identify, clarify, and simplify how to best speak to ideal customers and partners. Speaking directly to your target audience about their issues is the most effective way to get their attention and build trust. Both of these leaders and their businesses do this well. When you listen to Jami's video below, you'll hear the Skarin Insurance Brokers story from the viewpoint of an ideal customer. That is the most effective way to tell your story! Make them the hero. I used the outcome of that Instant Clarity from both organizations to create this post. It clearly speaks to both organization's ideal customers; CMA helps companies with complex people issues and Skarin helps companies with business objectives beyond handling their complex insurance needs.

  • The Most Pivotal Moment in My Entrepreneurial Journey

    Okay, story time.... HUGE significance tied to the Zoka coffee shop in Kirkland, Washington (outside Seattle) and my meetings this week of 8/22/23. In 2019 I left Broadcast TV to start my business. And surprise, surprise...I learned some tough lessons right away. Mason Buckles had asked me to put together a #videostorytelling proposal for his very successful Mortgage Brokerage (thanks Brianne Joseph). I felt great about it and had a mentor, Darran Littlefield, review it for me. Well...I got beat out on the bid. Mason was VERY gracious to tell me he went with Brandtegic instead and why. Around that time I had a coffee networking meeting with Jeff Culpepper at Zoka Coffee Roasters. He told me about a younger guy, Austin Schneider, who was doing something similar to me for real estate professionals on Seattle's Eastside. Jeff connected us and I looked up Austin's personal website. It said he had left a sales job at KING 5 News (I came from KIRO 7 News). Two BIG STRIKES! He was in sales and I was in news. He worked for our big competitor. Then it said he's the founder of Brandtegic. Oh, and he's about 10 years younger than me. STRIKES 3 AND 4!!! I was FURIOUS! This young, punk sales guy from my competition had beaten me out on what was supposed to be a project that helped launch my business. My pride was more than just hit, it was like a one-two punch from Mike Tyson. After sulking for several minutes I noticed that he was open about his love of Jesus on his webpage. I worked to swallow my pride...which was like swallowing a bowling ball. I thought maybe this young entrepreneur would share with me how he's building his business. So, I emailed him asking to meet. And he was OVER THE TOP gracious with me. He shared how he was building his business and charging what he charged clients. We talked about faith and he told me about KIROS, a Seattle Christian business network. He also said, "see that sharply dressed bald guy over there (Alan Andersen)? He's part of the KIROS group and I'll introduce you two." I met Alan briefly at Zoka and then we got together a week or so later in more depth. Well, that intro set off a chain reaction that has only snowballed since. First and foremost Alan quickly became a dear friend, praying for me and supporting me through a very difficult season personally and professionally. Alan always leads his intros with "the best thing that happened to me was getting fired from my job, having our house foreclosed on, and finding out we were pregnant...all in a matter of days." Alan proceeded to teach me key business principals, as he had been an entrepreneur for 8+ years at that point. He pointed me to key business/life books and gave me his template for writing proposals. (He and I both now do work for Bob Alvarez and the awesome Circular Economy team at Shapiro). That was January/February 2020. Fast forward to this day of August 22nd, 2023. Here's what transpired that day at Zoka Coffee: I met with Jeff Rogers, an authentic mentor who Alan introduced me to back in 2020 right as my family moved to St. Louis for my rockstar wife's job with Boeing. Jeff is the co-founder of KIROS. I met with Alan Pablick, an Emmy Award winning storyteller who I had worked with at KIRO 7. Alan is part of the Story on Purpose team now. He's been instrumental in building out the Instant Clarity Online Course, which we built for sales professionals and small business owners. I had lunch (just around the corner from Zoka) with the One Accord Capital Advisors team of John Kaminski, Tyler Beutel, and Jeff Rogers (James Anderson not present). We were discussing a business that Story on Purpose is helping them sell with our sell-side video storytelling. Matt Skarin talked to me about this business two years ago. Here we are 2 years later. I learned in that lunch that the deal had a 500%+ increase in engagement over a typical deal they send to prospective buyers. And thanks to my team led by creative director Tom Herbig, the sell-side video content is getting GREAT feedback from the interested buyers. I took a zoom call from Zoka with Matt Skarin, Bill Rochfort, and Andrew Markell about our progress building out CornerstoneSecurity.com, a total digital sovereignty solution for family offices and nation states that delivers them intelligence agency and military grade technology solutions, previously unattainable outside of 1st world governments. I had a dynamite meeting with Chris Hare, founder of The Storied Future. Chris has been equally as gracious as Austin Schneider in opening up his playbook on how he's taken his experiences at Microsoft and Amazon to build a successful storytelling business that helps CEOs succeed through strategic narrative. Chris will be a keynote speaker at the Tom Hill Eagle Summit in October. I connected him with Sandy Waggett and he's going to bring an awesome presentation to a group of successful entrepreneurs. I wrapped up my time in the Zoka/Kirkland area with a $33 parking ticket on the car my good friend, Shon Albert, let me borrow. But hey, you can't win 'em all! (I'm going to pay it, Shon...settle down) So, you can see that Zoka Coffee is more than just a building to me.... Oh, and great friendly service there!

  • 3 Lessons from a Diversity Breakthrough in Cosmetics

    One of my favorite podcasts these past 4+ years is "How I Built This with Guy Raz." It helped fuel my entrepreneurial fire as I was looking to exit broadcast journalism in 2018. Every entrepreneur has unique components of their story that look different than ours. There are also business lessons we can learn from each of those unique stories. Melissa Butler is the founder of The Lip Bar, an all natural lipstick brand inspired by her love for all-natural bars of soap. She has made major waves in the cosmetics industry, which is historically very hard to break into. She's a proud black woman who brought tenacity and a few key moves that led to her breakthrough. Here are 3 lessons that stood out to me from Melissa's story: Focus Messaging on Audience's Outcomes: I love the story of how Melissa got Target to carry her lipsticks. It highlights the fact that your story needs to be told differently to different audiences. It's not a different story, you just tell the same story differently. Melissa had no connection to any buyers at retail stores, so she started searching LinkedIn for "Target buyer," "cosmetics buyer," etc. Melissa emailed one Target buyer and focused primarily on what The Lip Bar could do for Target, rather than what Target could do for them. Brilliant! She told her story, but she highlighted that her customers aren't shopping at Target for makeup. Carrying The Lip Bar products would attract new customers to Target, and make that buyer who brought in the Lip Bar products a HERO! This is a point that is often overlooked by most businesses...yes, mine as well at times. You need to customize your story to your specific audience's world. Make them the Hero! This is why salespeople and organizations use our Instant Clarity online course and workshops. The process gives you a framework to work through for each of your unique audiences so that they want to engage with you. Target is a strategic business partner, not a customer who needs/wants lipstick. Remember, Melissa didn't sell Target by just listing out her product details, quality, etc. She sold Target because she helped them see how she could help them become a hero. Creative Collaboration: Before the Target breakthrough, when she was just getting the business going, Melissa decided take the makeup counter directly to customers. Her ex-boyfriend helped convert a shuttle buss into The Lip Bar Truck. They took it on a tour and quickly learned she needed a permit to park it on the street. So, then she had the idea to partner with stores in different cities to park the truck in front. BINGO! Her most successful partnership was when Urban Outfitters in Washington D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood hosted the Lip Bar Truck for a day. That is creating a WIN-WIN-WIN. Urban Outfitters and the other stores benefited by having the flashy truck attract people in with a product (lipstick) that didn't compete with their offerings. Customers of those stores benefited by being introduced to a new product. And Melissa and The Lip Bar clearly benefitted. That is creative collaboration. Instead of "how can I get more of the pie," the thought is "how can we together build a bigger pie that feeds us all more!" Your Story + Excellence = Results: Melissa has a great story and prominently displays that The Lip Bar is a black owned business. She ultimately, however, doesn't expect or want that to be why her business is successful. In the podcast she said, "As a black business owner I don't want you to support my business. I want you to shop my products because we make it easy for you to understand what products work for your complexion, not because you feel bad about something. Our goal is to have lifetime value with our customer, and a more than transactional relationship with our customer." Boom, mic drop.

  • Do I Miss TV News? No, Here's Why

    I often get asked if I miss being a TV news anchor/reporter. I'll answer that in 3 different ways. 1. No 2. At the gym this morning (BioFit Stl), I painfully heard a BBC News report on Brittney Spears getting backhanded by a security guard. This was at 7am. The time is important because stories in the first 10 minutes of each half hour are "lead stories." The news anchor from London told how Brittney Spears was in a Vegas hotel lobby when she tried approaching the #1 NBA Draft pick, Victor Wembanyama. Apparently his security guard backhanded her. The BBC anchor talked for about 90 seconds, referencing a social media post from Brittney about it, and they played a soundbite from the NBA player. Then they brought in a correspondent sitting in a New York newsroom to discuss. The reporter proceeded to share nothing new. The anchor and reporter had about 2 more minutes of back and forth, essentially saying that there's no other information available. Then they moved on to the next story, a live report from Pamplona, Spain about the running of the bulls. There was no news angle that I heard, just a reporter there saying bulls get released and people try to avoid being gored. The news anchor asked "how safe is it?" Thankfully my workout was done and I left. Here's the thing, I'm very proud of most of the work my fellow journalists and I did while I was in broadcast journalism. My dad, the original John Knicely, is still doing great work as a news anchor/reporter at age 72 in Omaha! He's always been and continues to be my biggest inspiration in storytelling. He and I also both LOVE the movie Anchorman. Ask me about the time my old school news boss compared me wearing a Ron Burgandy mustache in a Twitter photo to dressing up as Hitler...true story! I'll save that full story for another post. Standby... The Brittney getting backhanded lead story on BBC World News immediately me think of Panda Watch! The mood is tense! I have friends in the news business still doing great work. The ones I've talked to recently also say it's gotten even harder to do quality stories that really matter. There's a long list of reasons why that I won't get into here. 3. Most importantly, however, I don't miss TV news because I LOVE the work we get to do at Story on Purpose. Here are a few examples of stories we get to tell that help businesses meet their objectives and families preserve their legacy: Natural health and wellness company, who's owners built and run orphanages in 3rd world countries: The Kassebaum brothers slept in their minivan on sales trips across the country...for years...as they built Cosmos Corporation, which is now an international leader in natural health, wellness, and care wellness products. The 4 brothers, who own the company, brought in new leadership, Landon Hobson, to run Cosmos a few years ago. Instead of living the yacht life or summering in the Hamptons, the brothers are still heavily involved in Gifts of Love, their nonprofit that runs orphanages and leadership training in Guatemala and Haiti. Using blockchain, data-driven solutions to reduce landfill waste and turn it into recycled material at a profit for customers: Shapiro's circular solutions are helping manufacturers lower their carbon footprint and maximize profit from their waste streams. In one year at a Georgia manufacturing customer, Shapiro helped reduce their trash pickups from 409 to 57 total loads, eliminating 352 loads annually. This saved 303 tons of trash from the landfill through the “Waste to Energy” program. Shapiro helped recycle 100 extra tons of cardboard and created an additional revenue stream for the manufacturer. This saved over $150,000 in waste cost and led to a $1 Million+ profit for that manufacturer on its waste. Caring for families through job relocations when that help didn't exist: Laura and Mike Herring continue to say a daily prayer they started saying in 1969, "Lord help us to make a positive impact on the lives we touch today." That prayer inspired the name of their business, Impact Group, which helps care for families when a spouse goes through job relocation. As an executive for Johnson and Johnson said to Laura in 1980s Their daughter, Lauren Herring, initially joined the company out of college in 2001 to be close when Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer. Laura is now healed and Lauren has grown the company. Impact Group now empowers employees worldwide with career coaching through relocation assistance, outplacement services and leadership development. I will continue to draw on talented journalists and storytellers from TV news to deliver value to customers and help grow Story on Purpose. Most recently, Emmy Award winning producer Alan Pablik has joined Story on Purpose as a collaborator. A story he just shared with me will help you see why I reached out to him to work together. Alan came on as a young, new producer when I was morning anchor at KIRO 7 in Seattle. Last week Alan told me his approach when he started at KIRO 7 was to quietly deliver and exceed on what was expected of him. He never said that to me at the time, but you better believe I took notice! Yep, Alan is a good fit here at Story on Purpose! The rest of you expert storytellers...we're coming for you!

  • For Lasting Impact, Profit First

    Profit must come first. I can feel the annoyance from many of you at that statement through the screen! The seasoned business people are likely thinking "DUH!" The people-first crowd and environmental impact crowd are likely thinking "NOPE!" Now, before you lump this in with Gordon Gecko’s "Greed is Good" speech from Wall Street, hear me out. I'm not saying profit is most important or that obscene profits must come first. When I got into business in 2019 I was skeptical of the reality that profit must come first. I spent 17 years as a broadcast journalist focused on truth first! Yes, I worked for a business where profit was necessary to keep me employed, but in the newsroom the focus rightfully wasn't on profit. One investigative story I did as a reporter in Charlotte, NC highlighted misdeeds of a company. In retaliation to that story, the company pulled $1 Million+ in advertising from our TV station. I’m the guy who started and runs a business called Story on Purpose where we love to tell authentic stories of businesses focused on making an impact beyond the bottom line. Us creative storytellers ultimately want to just tell awesome, compelling stories…but profit must come first. Without profit, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for a business to achieve its objectives for any sustainable time, no matter how altruistic, loving, and ambitious they are. The business will implode without profit, and the impact it aimed to make will be halted and potentially reversed. As the owner of a business, it's something I have learned by necessity. I happen to be reading the book "Profit First" by Mike Michalowicz, which focuses on a money management system to ensure your profits. But here's the thing. Yes, profit must come first, but it doesn't mean profit is MOST IMPORTANT. I’m a partner in the growing business collective called, The People Centric Movement. Here’s our People Centric moonshot goal: We believe… that if 3K business leaders commit to conducting business with a “people-centric mindset” by 2030, relationships will strengthen, financial poverty will begin to recede, and people will transform and flourish. And no, that's not a bunch of corporate B.S. (as one of my seasoned business friends suggested it sounds like). The People Centric Movement includes highly profitable businesses who are proving its effectiveness. See Cosmos Corporation, Cambridge Air Solutions, Duvari IT staffing, Undivided Wealth Management, and State Beauty Supply to name a few. The leadership of those companies get together with us as the People Centric Movement on a regular basis to discuss how we can better serve and love our people. Reach out to me if this feels like a good fit for your business. Here’s the thing, profit must come first. And all of those People Centric companies know that. They also know that profit does not need to come at the expense of its people. I’m currently working as Chief Storyteller for a startup with very authentic and strategic goals of empowering people in 2nd and 3rd world countries through business, health, and trauma healing. I hope to be able to share more as we grow. Our Chief Advisor has been putting us as a team through the financial ringer. This guy has decades of experience running global operational organizations in some of the largest financial institutions in the world. And I’ll tell you what, he’s been taking our whole team to the preverbal woodshed as we are on the verge of getting some serious funding. You see, he knows the authenticity the mission and the team's collective ability to achieve it. BUT… he also knows that profit must come first in order for any lasting impact to be made. No matter how you slice it, in business profit must come first…whether my purpose driven soul, people first heart and creative mind want it to be the case. Once profit is established and repeatable…purpose driven businesses can fulfill their mission. At Story on Purpose we believe storytelling is a key component to generating business, maintaining it, and multiplying the impact of the stated purpose. Profit, purpose, people, and impact can all harmoniously work together! But, profit must come first so the impact can last.

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