You have a story to tell about your financial journey and it matters. Do you know what it is? Do you know how to tell it? Do you know how to tell it in a way that makes people care? It’s important that you do.
Because when it comes to money, we need Christians to share their stories about where they've been where they are and where God is leading them.
You’ve probably heard this analogy: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. (who knew horse analogies would still work so well in a non-agrarian culture!)
Although I have no experience with horses, I can understand this analogy and I bet you can too. It means that horses are stubborn and they only drink when they want to. Right?
The idea is that people (like horses) can be lead where you want them to go. But you can’t make them do what you want them to do by force. You have to learn how to encourage them to do what they (and you) want to do.
Another way of saying this is to say: If you want your horse to drink, you better learn how to inspire horses.
Your story is your inspiration to help your horses… I mean, other people that you care about…to drink what you’re selling.
Here are some ideas on how to do just that.
Don’t Poo-Poo Your Story
Your financial journey and story is unique and different from mine and everyone else’s. That means that your story will reach and inspire people who can relate to you.
That’s a great thing!
All too often, though, I see and hear people talk and act is if their story doesn’t matter. They act like it has to be a dramatic or heroic type of story to count. This simply isn’t true.
Don’t poo-poo your story or downplay it as if it doesn’t matter. It does. But to make it resonate with your horses, you have to give it some structure.
Here's one way you can do that.
Start with "Before"
Regardless of the products you sell or promote, you have a “before” story. Start here.
Explain to people what you were feeling, thinking, doing, or going through before you began your journey to connect your Faith with your Financial life.
The Before portion of your story is crucial. Be very thoughtful here.
This part of your story or financial testimony is the emotional connection that will resonate with people and give them a reason to keep listening. It is the connecting point to their own story and will help them to see themselves and their story through yours.
The powerful part of your “before” story is that it creates tension. This is exactly what you need if you want to inspire others to move. As human beings, we hate to live in tension. So we are always looking for relief or help from it.
As you share the tough times and reality of your financial journey, guess who else may see it as a solution to their own problems and tensions that they are facing? You got it, your horse!
At the end of the day, your tough situations and the faith that it took you to overcome your obstacles has grown you and lead you to where you are today.
Help people to feel the tension and see what God has done in your life as the solution to where getting where they want to go if they'll start today. If you do this, I guarantee that you'll have a captive audience.
The setup of your story begins with the Before. It creates the tension.
The opportunity to change your story begins today and is thought of as possible because they see what God has done in you. Your change becomes their hope.
The future, of course, is your opportunity to help them envision a better tomorrow.
Help people see the potential of life without the tension. Not based on what they can do, but what God can.
What is amazing and so important to understand here is that telling your financial story - all of the good, bad and ugly - isn’t so much about how great it is for you (although that’s ultimately true).
But what people feel when they hear your story is their own tension, their own need for solutions, and their own preferred futures. That’s the power of a great story and structure.
So use what God is doing and has done in your story to help people see the potential for a better future. Who knows, maybe your horse may want to drink the same water that you are and will find God's amazingly good news to be true for them as well!
One more thing:
Remember this: “How you say what you say is as important as what you say!”
Practice telling your story! Rehearsing God's faithfulness is a great exercise for you and for all who hear of what He has done.
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