In our memoir-writing unit, we’re talking about “signature stories” that work well, not just for friends and family, but in professional settings.
We watch a short video by Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at the Stanford School of Business. She invites us to stop telling certain stories about ourselves and start telling new ones–ones that change us and others for the good. Maybe there’s a story you should stop telling. Maybe there’s one you must now tell.
A signature story is a story you tell about yourself that changes how others view you. It’s a story that you keep telling because it’s somehow important to you. It’s a story that perhaps has shaped your identity most of all or reveals something essential about you.
We talk about stories we keep telling ourselves and others. Aaker challenges us to “populate” our portfolios with great stories that showcase who we are, what we value, and how others change from our narratives. In class, we’ll be crafting a signature story full of sensory detail that brings a reader on an emotional journey with us.
All day, I’ve been wondering about my “signature story.” I think about my journey in faith, my belonging to neighborhood, my recovery from depression and anxiety, my encounter with God in Ephesians 2, my experience as a mother, or my decision to blog daily here. Maybe, just maybe, it’s all the same story. If I whittle it all down, might each story be the one where I am changed by God? Once this, now this?
This month, I’d like to work on my signature story–the one I keep telling because it changes us both.