There is one thing that every “Creative” does well that makes the rest of us just sit back and marvel. This one thing makes the rest of us shell out our hard-earned money to buy their music, see their movie, go to their concert, read their book, buy their products, or pay for their consulting services. All good creatives capture our imagination by telling us a Story. It doesn’t have to be their story, but it is a compelling story, and it makes us stop in our tracks and take notice. It ties everything together about their “brand” or inspires us to dream with them and become part of their story.
Many times we may not know exactly what it is that draws us in, but we recognize something about it that rips through the clutter and generica we are constantly bombarded with and becomes mesmerizing and memorable. There’s a reason that Pixar has put out one blockbuster after another. There’s a reason Bono and U2 keep selling out stadiums around the world. People are inspired by their great story telling and want to be drawn into that world with them again.
You may not have the platform to reach as many people as Pixar or Bono, but in your sphere of influence you can still tell amazing stories in your work. Whether you are training your newest employee or trying to market your company’s newest widget to the public, there are creative ways to weave your story into the DNA of everything your company does.
If you are looking for inspiration and fuel for your creative alter ego there is only one place you should plan to be on September 20-21, 2012. That place is the Story conference in Chicago. Started just a few years ago by my friend Ben Arment, Story has grown into a world-class event highlighting some of the most creative and influential leaders in music, film, culture, and ministry who are using their creativity to impact the world for good.
If you haven’t visited the Story website yet, you really have to check it out…just make sure you view the Flash enhanced version (not from your mobile device). Designed by the insanely creative husband and wife duo, Gary & Kaysie Dorsey of Pixel Peach, you’ve never seen a website like this.
You may think that you are not creative, and that therefore Story is not for you. Most people think that creativity is something you are born with, and that if “you ain’t got it, you ain’t gonna get it.” But like any other art, creativity can be learned through training and hard work. Obviously it helps to have “natural” talent, but one of my favorite inspirational sayings is, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”
If you’ve always dreamed about releasing your inner Creative, then take a chance. Be inspired. Head to Story this year and fill up on fuel for the creative class. Then come back and share with me what inspired you. For those of you who have been before, why not share your favorite “stories” from past Story conferences by leaving a comment now, and help inspire the next class of Story creatives.