The Power of Storytelling: From Hauling Trash and Addiction to Stardom

It’s obvious I’m passionate about helping people identify and tell their superhero story in a compelling way. And everyone has a superhero story waiting to explode onto the scene.

Including YOU.

Good stories connect us with one another. They uplift and inspire. And in our professional lives, good stories are indispensable. They’re essential to success and standing out.

This isn’t just the case for entrepreneurs, but for job seekers, too.

“Why are you interested in this job?”

How’s that interview gem make you feel? Having relevant talents and skills is important, but a story that combines the powerful, compelling details about who you are and what drives you is the key that makes a difference.

An excellent and inspiring case in point is Chris Rene’s audition for Simon Cowell’s talent show, The X Factor. This video has 8.6 million views (and counting). Check it out below.

How amazing storytelling and musical talent took Chris Rene
from hauling trash and addiction to stardom –  quite literally overnight

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Love the guy. His video has way more views than other contestants who went through, and the key differentiating factor is his story.

Chris tells his superhero story with passion and the killer combo of truth and love. He’s interesting, interested, and makes himself stand out because he knows how to tell his story.

My question to you is this – what’s your superhero story?

Why Character Trumps Credentials

Chris has zero fancy credentials I’m aware of. He hauls trash for a living. And yet, he’s inspired us with his heroic story, one he probably wasn’t even aware he had to this extent.

And this can be true for your story, too.

What affected you growing up? What challenges did you overcome?

Make a list of them. They can be about anything: A painful break-up. Addiction. Abuse. Getting bullied at school. Losing a job or losing a loved one because of an accident, cancer, etc. If you’re uncomfortable talking about it, chances are it’s something valuable – something that’s worth sharing.

Your self-definition matters. And it’s about more than an expensive piece of paper.

It’s time to start working on your bio.

How to Ramp Up Your Story Mojo

I keep receiving requests for 1-on-1 coaching these days from folks who want to tell a more compelling story to have more business opportunities, get clear on their passion, support their reinvention, etc. Unfortunately, my schedule is jam-packed, and I no longer have the time or availability. But if you want to ramp up your story mojo, you can get my course, “The New About Me.”

So for those of you who are interested and who’ve asked, don’t wait for more 1-on-1 coaching slots with me to open up – don’t let that be an obstacle. Get the course and start working on your bio today.

Thanks again for watching and happy learning!

28 thoughts on “The Power of Storytelling: From Hauling Trash and Addiction to Stardom”

  1. Hey Michael, you are so right about Chris Rene and his story!  I remember seeing this performance broadcast live on TV for the first time.  I was deeply moved not only by his story, but by his joyful presence, and his ability to be in the moment and alive with passion in his singing. Being is the presence of that joy and passion can have profound effects, as we saw in the faces and bodies of the judges and audience. Even watching it now, I started moving in time with his rhythm. In the Fall/Winter 2011 of The Noetic Post, Jason Norris describes how effective sound is as medicine in The Power of  Sound to Heal, because sound is more than auditory; it resonates in the cells of our bodies. In the same issue, Dean Radin, Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences reports on strong mental or physical reactions that can occur when in the presence of a someone who has achieved some level of spiritual mastery. Reactions that appear to result from arousal of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  Chris Rene’s power comes from his life story, well told, with passion, truth, and love.   

    1. Hot damn, Clarissa. I like how you roll. 🙂 Did you know that the latest research studies show that when you tell a story that resonates with your audience, mirror neurons start firing and aligning between the teller and the listener. Totally reinforces your points.

  2. Beautiful. Being seen, being heard, being noticed. Some of the most powerful validations we get as human beings. Especially when that human being isn’t used to garnering the attention. Good for him. And thanks for calling out the connection to storytelling. A wonderful, albeit misty eyed way to start my day!

  3. His story is powerful, but I don’t think it has longevity enough to support an entire career. People get bored of hearing the same story over and over again, but of course there is the posibility of evolution. 

    1. Borther Kim, why are you judging his entire career, when its not even begun yet? 😉 Of course, we all need to keep adding chapters to the story. And I have no doubt that Chris Rene will keep the story evolving, or if he doesn’t the media will for him.

  4. Wonderful and powerful story well told with passion,honesty and humility. Thanks Michael for pointing out this perfect example of the power of storytelling.

  5. Hey Michael, Even though I saw this on the X Factor, watching it again brought me to tears. You are not only a master storyteller but a great curator of story and experience. Very powerful example, really brings home the message of how telling the right story is a magnet for opportunities that resonate with who we truly are.
    Great post!

    1. Thanks! Can’t take the credit for choosing the video though. While I watch my share of guilty pleasure TV, it was my team that brought this story to my attention, specifically Amir Ahmad Nasr of Rabbit Hole Marketing, a master storyteller in his own right.

  6. Wow – don’t see that he’s a hero.  He’s trying to overcome his self-imposed addictions which is great.  But a hero?  My oldest son severely wounded in Afghanistan and my husband who is a retired Marine and current firefighter are heroes because they put themselves on the line to protect and defend those they don’t even know.  As far as I can see he hasn’t even been able to protect himself from himself – yet.  I truly hope he finds his strength to be a good father and citizen.  By the way, he won’t be able to even stay on as a trash collector if he goes back to drugs as they are required to test at random.

  7. Yes they did a great job of telling this story. Tough to know whether or not it is true, but they did a great job of selling the show with this story I am sure their ratings will soar if they can propagate this video!

    1. Fair point Blazman. Thought when it comes to entertainment, we want a story wrapped in a bow. Not sure whether its just a case of fine editing. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter. It felt real and was emotionally moving. Truth (with a capital T) usually trumps truth (lower case T). That’s why in Hollywood, its always “based on a true story”.

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