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“The only way to change someone’s story is by replacing it with another one.”
—Yuval Noah Harari
We all have stories that we tell ourselves. Stories that formed during childhood, after a couple of bad breakups, or repeated failures in business.
It’s in our nature.
This list could go on forever.
Everybody has a list of stories that insulate them from the truth. Members of your audience have a few of these stories in common.
And this is why I don’t like writing tactical content full of tips and tricks.
It works against human nature.
What good is a list of the 5 best ways to grow your audience when you secretly believe the story that rich people are snobs and you don’t deserve to make money?
Here’s how it plays out:
You write down the tips and get excited to try them.
But you self-sabotage yourself every step of the way, and ultimately…
You confirm your story.
Self-sabotage results in failure which serves as another example of why the story is true.
You can’t make money….
And all these successful people who you secretly envy are a bunch of snobs. They must be, right? Just look at them...
The stories we tell ourselves become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Which is why the quote above from Yuval Noah Harari is one of my favorites. It’s also why I love this quote from Derek Sivers:
“If information was the key, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”
These quotes highlight the problem that your content should aim to solve.
Your reader doesn’t need more tips or formulas or tactics or whatever bite sized pieces of advice you can give them.
They need to change their story about the problem they can’t solve.
And they need you to inspire them to do it.
Tell them a story that replaces their old, outdated, and flawed worldview…
And give them the courage to take the leap with you into the new, better future that you are guiding them towards.
This is how you write content that motivates action.