Paddy: [00:00:17] Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to the StoryMatters podcast with your hosts Patrick Ney and Sam Cook.
Sam: [00:00:20] Paddy, great to continue this amazing, let's call it drinks with addy and Sam talking about great stories, none of which are totally true, but let's hope that they're useful.
Paddy: [00:00:36] So I'm excited about today because we're launching our four-part storytelling series, where we're going to talk in depth about storytelling. So, Sam can you just quickly tell us what it is that we can be covering over the next episodes?
Sam: [00:00:49] Yes, so the way the StoryMatters podcast is structured is, we're going to do this a little bit like House of
[00:01:43] Every medium in the digital age has its different purposes. Video can be quite formal and educational and instructional, but in
So [14.2] that's like the first [00:02:22] I call it a gateway to entry if you don't believe that fundamental concept then this probably isn't the right show for you to learn storytelling how to apply it to business and life for whatever kind of influence you want to achieve. [12.8]
But if it does matter to you and you'd you do intuitively understand why
[00:02:55] But I want to go into why then at the end of the show after this bit of a rant on the history of storytelling we'll go into the future storytelling so if this is the history of storytelling where do we stand right now in this continuum of history. [15.4] And then that's going to finish up today's episode or the episode that you're listening to right now because you could, in theory, listen to all four of these episodes and one day.
The next episode right after this one is going to be the core foundation of storytelling is: who is your hero. Everyone, when they learn about storytelling, gets excited about telling their story and I believe that storytelling should be a bit different.
So [00:03:43] when you think about your story as a business owner or your story as a leader or your story as anyone who's trying to influence other people. I would submit to you that they're far more interested in their own story than your story. And they only become interested in your story when it relates to how it can help them. [22.5]
So for example, the first podcast that we did, Paddy, we actually probably broke that principle little bit, when we when we told our stories on the podcast and I think the reason we broke that rule is simply if you
You might as well start out knowing a little bit about our beliefs and what shapes us as we launch into teaching in this very intimate medium story time. But generally, you need to really start out with your own avatar or your own hero's story. And the greatest works, and I'll talk about this a little bit today, [00:04:46] the greatest works of influence ever produced always intuitively understand and connect with at a very deep level that audience. If you know who you're writing for, or you know who you're helping, tell their story. You can have a massive impact on that group of people or even just an individual that you're working with.
[21.8] The third part of the story matters construct after finding out who is your hero is understanding what your hero's journey is. So for example, [00:05:21] if you understand who your hero is they are living a story and they have a story that describes their life and they have a story that describes different parts of their life they're living multiple subplots within their life. [14.6]
They have a health subplot, they have a family subplot, they have a work subplot. They have all these different threads and stories and these stories are separate but they're also interconnected and they add up to this meta-story that people tell about their lives. And we all tell about our lives. [00:05:50] And most people, if we're honest with ourselves are not totally happy with where we are in life, not because we view ourselves maybe as a failure we're self loathing or anything like that, although many people actually the vast majority of people in my experience do live in a place of a bit of despair in at least some areas of their life. [22.0]
But even if you're comfortable with where you are in life, you have this heroic construct of what you want to accomplish in your life. And [00:06:20] paradoxically some of the most successful people have the biggest gap between where they are and where they really wish they could be [6.5] just because what drives people to be successful is this idea of a heroic journey in their life and we'll talk about their hero's journey construct in detail and how that construct can be used to give you a framework as an influence or to help people imagine a better way to live their life and everyone has this heroic journey potentially that they want to
And how do you marry up people's aspirations with the pathway to get them there? So that's the third part of this series. And then the last one is what I call mapping your heroes digital journey. And today we're going to talk about the timeless principles of storytelling. But the reality of the situation which we'll touch on at the end of this podcast is we're in the digital age. And the digital age, the [00:07:20] irony of the digital age, is it's never been easier to get your story out there. It's never been easier to tell your story. You don't have to be literate, you don't have to be able to write.
[00:07:29] You don't have to go through a publisher. You don't need anything. You just need a cheap smartphone the prices of which keep going down and you can instantly connect to over a billion people on the biggest networks in the world,
But if you tell someone a story about their life it's never been harder to get them to care. And [00:08:06] that's the great struggle and why so many business owners have come to us and why we ended up launching this educational initiative StoryMatters is to teach people how to tell better stories that connect with people, that inspire people, that grab people and get them to actually listen in the first place. [16.9] And we're going to talk about some of the things we've learned as of 2017 when this podcast has been recorded. And I have to caveat when we do this especially when we speak about technology because everything I say right now in August of 2017 will be out of date in six months from a technological perspective.
Which is one of the reasons we don't want to get too much into technology on this podcast, we want to talk about the interaction of technology with storytelling. But understanding that any specific tactics tricks techniques that you learn about storytelling
[00:09:40] You know just as a small aside. [00:09:42] It always strikes me when I'm sitting on the bus and I listen to people talking to each other. They're not talking about art or anything highbrow. What they're doing is telling each other the stories of their lives. [10.6]
Paddy: [00:09:53] We're talking about the stories of other people that they know and [00:09:56] it never ceases to amaze me that in this technological world much of our communication is about the people and the relationships we have. And we are all from that point of view expert storytellers because we're constantly telling each other stories. [11.3] There's something innate in us which absolutely is in tune with the history of storytelling that we're going to talk about now. So maybe that brings us back to go back home way back in time and talk about how storytelling has evolved over the past couple of thousand years if it's not too big an order in a 45 minute,
Sam: [00:10:28] Well, please don't put a time limit on this because we never know how long this will go. But storytelling is is something that has fascinated me through my entire life and if you listen to the first podcast we got a bit of our life story is you know why this was ingrained in me because I very early on learned that storytelling was my way to connect you know an issue with my family specifically my father but I became good at it. And that's the way I impress people and connect with them.
"It always strikes me when I'm sitting on the bus and I listen to people talking to each other. They're not talking about art or anything highbrow. What they're doing is telling each other the stories of their lives." -Samuel P.N. Cook
[00:10:59] So when I went to West Point the United States military academy to study I knew that the next nine years of my life were going to be pretty intense. First, as a cadet studying and you know as a cadet at the military academy you're working really really hard waking up early do military duties and then you go to class. And then after that as an Army officer. And I I remember when I made the decision on what to study I just was sitting back thinking well, I'm going to get paid for the next nine years I pretty much know what that's going to be. I might as well enjoy some part of this and so I'm going to study history even though I had better marks in physics and math. And I started what was just a magical journey deep into European history.
One of the reasons people asked me, so why do you live in Poland of all places when I could live in America where I'm from there and also half British. And to me, the answer is very simple. I studied German history at, focused in European history, but mainly on German history and undergraduate at West Point and then in graduate school I studied Russian history and I taught Russian history to the cadets at West Point and Pullens in between. So I get to see the aftermath the result of the clash of these two great cultures that are in the heart of Europe.
But more broadly Europe like Disneyland for historians I mean I can go walk down the street and find a bit of history here in Poland. I can I can hop on a flight or take a train somewhere and very quickly find some completely different culture and history and story. And to me, it's like a never-ending journey, but it all started, my love of history really started actually with a guess that we're going to have on the podcast my favorite class at West Point.
[00:12:52] From all the military history classes and all the cool things I learned was actually a story about ancient Greece and the professor was a major Chris Kolenda at the time and he'll come on this podcast and he's since retired colonel. [00:13:07] And I learn something very very powerful about history from him which was history's really a battle of ideas. It's a
[35.3] And the really interesting part about storytelling was before the written word Homer's Odyssey, [00:14:13] no one actually knows who wrote
And what people got when they heard these stories was a common language through which they understood how they lived their history, their heritage. [10.3] And this really bound people together and created this
Where people were able to write something down and take it from the oral and document it. And when that happened, was
Plato's Republic I [4.4] remember Chris Kolenda had us read this for 10 out of 40 lessons. We were just reading Plato's Republic because he said you need to understand the ancient world through the eyes of what they believed. [00:16:04] And Plato's Republic was the foundational text and come to find out as I studied all my other European history was British, you know, the great British leaders all refer referred back to Plato's Republic, American founding fathers basically constructed the American Constitution off of the ideas of Plato's Republic [21.5] and then later on Ciceros Republica and the philosophers of the ancient world really were successful in taking this mythology and then moving it a step beyond when the written word comes to a framework for understanding ethics, society, and they tell these great stories and the famous story the Plato tells is the cave analogy where you're sitting in a cave. And it our perception of truth as humans is is as if you're sitting in a cave with a little fire in the corner and in what you see as are actually just shadows on the wall dancing whereas truth would be outside looking at everything and it's it's full, you know, detail and everything like that.
And he said our understanding of truth is
Not much has changed in terms of our understanding of what is actually the reality. [00:17:41] Plato ended up influencing obviously Aristotle who created some more concrete scientific texts, which guided western thinking for next 1500 years. So Socrates taught Plato, who taught Aristotle. [17.6] And you get this moving from mythology into philosophy. And then [00:18:04] the Romans the great entrepreneurial warfighters that they were realized that while these Greeks really have the intellectual stuff figured out.
Now we can beat them on the battlefield, but if we want to create an enduring society let's just take all the Greek Mythology, rename the Roman Roman to Greek gods let's take their philosophy. [22.5] So you know all the great Roman philosophy actually grows out of Greek philosophy they shamelessly stole that Cicero in his classic text De Republica, which Chris also had us read in this course, Chris Kolenda, was actually a much more specific, okay how do we take what played a role from a philosophical level where he talked about Guardians and, you know, wise kings and
And that a very solid form of government until the empire comes about. And that was solid for different reasons. But [00:19:31] the expansion of Rome was really built on a very practical application of these ideas that came from the Greek world. And all that educated Romans spoke Greek. [10.4] And that was still the language of the intellectuals in the Greek world.
And a very interesting thing happens during this time as the rise of Christianity. Now I happen to know a bit about this subject if you listen to the first episode because I grew up as the son of a church being a minister. But when I went to Chris Kolenda's class I really understood why Christianity took off. And what [00:20:05] why Christianity took off, it was really struggling in the beginning, you know, you had this historical religious character Jesus who died he had this fanatical band of followers.
It was really struggling. [13.5] In fact, they're being persecuted by the Romans who viewed this as a threat. And [00:20:24] the great break in Christianity was when this guy Saul actually gets converted on the road to Damascus to becoming an apostle. He becomes the Apostle Paul. He writes most of the New Testament in a series of letters. [16.7] And why did Paul become the most influential apostle, even though he didn't know Jesus personally in his lifetime is because [00:20:48] Paul wrote in Koine Greek and he was an intellectual and he was able to translate very very powerful ideas like Plato [10.3] was not talking about the Greek Gods, [00:21:02] he was talking about one unifying idea which was called logos which was
And first John, the first chapter of John most famous verses of the Bible, I remember my dad's favorite, is, in the beginning, was the word in English, that's what it says but in Greek it says, in the beginning, was the Logos. In the beginning was
The power of the ideas which Paul wrote about where he was speaking to the Greek intellectual class, but also the power really of stories. I mean,
And they actually embrace it because they realize this thing's not going away it's so popular. And we're gonna embrace it. [00:23:08] And actually that helped to sustain the Roman Empire after a while for another couple hundred years when Constantine did embrace Christianity because he had latched on to something rather than trying to suppress it. [12.9] Something that was very powerful popular and that gave credibility to a declining empire. And when Rome fell to the barbarians officially it crumbled over a couple hundred years, but for 476 when Rome was officially sacked and kind of given up on, the eastern part of the empire survive in Constantinople which is now Istanbul in Turkey focused on the Greek part of the Roman Empire.
That idea of Christian Christianity became, especially in Western Europe, the only force to organize things around. And the Pope became tremendously powerful and is as Europe fragmented into many different worrying kingdoms. [00:24:06] The Pope basically became kingmaker and everyone had to pay homage to the Pope and [5.2]
It's because the church became the custodian of ideas. They became the storytellers. The storytellers in chief. [7.9] And they weren't publishing news stories every day they weren't thinking of new things to think about. They were just taking these great stories from Christianity and, you know, what was the most influential position in the church, the most revered, the most looked up to is the monks. The guys who go out and copy the Bible and keep that tradition alive over many centuries. I mean, information distribution was very very hard. Most people were illiterate. To have the attention to detail and the literacy and the discipline to copy an entire book like the Bible and reproduce it, with high fidelity, without changing things was a huge undertaking. And
And all over Europe
And it just became massively influential. That goes on you know in ebbs and flows, obviously, from the fall of Rome up until the 15th century and then you have this monk, a German monk, named Martin Luther who basically goes to war against the church. But [00:26:30] Martin Luther was not the first monk to act up and say things are a little bit corrupt and we need to reform things. But what was different about Martin Luther versus some of the other ones that preceded him who weren't successful was the printing press had happened. [15.0] Gutenberg in Germany had invented the printing press and now the [00:26:50] Catholic Church no longer has a monopoly on monks, who are the only printing press that existed for a thousand years. [7.3]
And people can now take something like the Bible and reproduce it very very quickly and then more and more people are getting access they start reading the Bible and they start saying, well the ones that are literate, saying oh wait a minute what this says versus maybe what society is doing or
"Why did these two churches, east and west, the Orthodox tradition, and especially the Catholic tradition, become so powerful? It's because the church became the custodian of ideas. They became the storytellers." -Samuel P.N. Cook
And Martin Luther just basically used the fact that the gatekeeper, [00:27:22] the first great disruption in information production since the written word had been established and this industry around
For example, [00:27:50] the King James Bible in England, still to this day revered as like the world's greatest language as all the other translations of the Bible in English don't stand up to the King James Bible, [13.5] and and Shakespeare and the great way in which English was communicated during that period is still like the stuff of legend in the English speaking world. Every child studies Shakespeare who's really a product of that time when said, OK, this is what English means because we're going to take the world's greatest stories and put it in our language. [00:28:24]
I mean, [00:28:27] German as a language gets established because that whole area of Europe was never politically unified it was completely fragmented and they get their own Bible. [9.5] And then you get these different, and then the French do the same thing and [00:28:40] you get these different cultures you start to get this awareness around their own language which they never had before because the Bible is no longer in Latin it's in their own language. [8.0]
And this causes a huge struggle you have the counter-Reformation, where the Catholic Church comes back and really reinvigorates its intellectual foundations. The Jesuits come in and they clean up some of the corruption in the church around some of the ideas where you can basically buy salvation through the Catholic Church which basically gave the Catholic Church a lot of money and they realize, OK that's probably not a good story to have out there about us. And [00:29:14] they clean that up and really reinvigorated the ideas around which the church was originally founded and got a little bit back to their roots of being a much more positive, less corrupt church and pushed back and Catholicism survived. [17.4] And then you had this the Pope's backing the
And France has a, you know, large Protestant minority. So there's
And a great example for the Americans who might be listeners or Brits who don't have amnesia about this is the American Revolution which really grew up around the fact that printing press was like a blog. Everyone had one in their in their town or you know the neighbors had won and there were all these pamphlets coming out saying, hey the way the Brits are ruling us over here in America is corrupt.
And [00:30:52] American Revolution is very famous for these great ideas and great thinkers that come in. And it's because for that period from the Protestant Reformation all the way until the late 18th century, early 19th century no one had managed for 300 years to control the distribution of information. [20.6] And kings couldn't get their arms around it. And it was really really quite disruptive in reordering all that you go from kingdoms and all the way to starting to emerge different nation states that starting to get this consciousness.
And [00:31:30] the big European leaders started to get smart and said, OK we need to start controlling this printing, this idea of media. We need to start getting control of this. And there was this big war to consolidate control of information. [12.4] And one of the brilliant things leaders in Europe did
We have this food. We have this culture. We have these songs now songs really are a product of nationalist flags. [14.7] Everyone starts to invent their own flags which in
And they did
Germany, as we know it today, did not even exist until 1871 and they got a late start in unifying. But boy when they mastered nationalism they got really good at it. [11.4] And any German today will tell you nationalism is not a good thing, but the Germans were late to it because they're powerful economically. They got really good at the storytelling side of things. Got everyone in the German-speaking world on their side. And as we know this-this trend towards nationalism and storytelling created this massive consolidation in Europe again.
During the [00:33:40] Industrial Age, something else starts to happen, which is mass produced newspapers. You start to get the industrial scale applied to information against. You start to get some consolidation around publishing houses big newspapers grow up, puts a lot of the small ones out of business. So the gatekeepers start forming and then governments are getting stronger they're regulating newspapers a bit. [24.9] And then you have this [00:34:06] massive clash of national stories which basically in Europe becomes the 20 or 30 years leading up to World War One [12.2] was you had this sense in Europe that, boy we've been a peace for a while and we're all very competitive.
Europe's are going all over the globe, colonizing things. And [00:34:29] everyone knew that there's great competition between these national ideologies and stories. And the knew it was a matter of time or they were scared that it was a matter of time before something would happen. And that
And this innocence, this romanticism everyone who had lived through the last great war under Napoleon, obviously was no longer alive, and then it was kind of like a loss of innocence for Europe in World War One as everyone knows in Europe was a massive tragedy. In fact, Europe was the most well off continent by far, way ahead of everyone else. And really Europe over the course of war one and then World War One ended and then there was this 20-year truce between World War One and Two basically committed mass suicide, as a civilization. These stories that European nations have been telling themselves got so out of hand that there was this massive competition and to come out on top, I mean, technically Great Britain won World War Two was on the winning side but was completely spent as a result of it as a world power. And [00:36:11] what rose out of World War Two was a new world order. And one of the really interesting
And one of the reasons that that happened
I mean Napoleon Bonaparte kind of did, but he was an officer and he'd been educated and lead. [00:37:19] Hitler was a corporal in the Austrian army who had no pedigree or no training whatsoever to rise from obscurity to lead a great country like Germany and eventually conquer most of Europe. And it's because of these great new powerful mediums of storytelling that the Germans mastered and also their great adversaries, the Soviet Union, the Russians mastered and the Bolsheviks who came out of World War 1 and 1917, were expert mythmakers and storytellers through great filmmakers. [34.0] And in fact, Dziga Vertov's filmmaking around the Russian revolution and the story of the Bolsheviks and the October, 13 days of October was was
Anyone who's been to film school to this day will tell you how great the first filmmakers were the Soviets. And why was that? Well, it was a matter of like [00:38:17] survival because
And if you watch Hitler speak, whether or not you speak German, whether or not you agree with them, which you know thankfully most people don't know. He was
And they felt like it wasn't their fault that they'd lost and their pride was wounded. [30.2] And Hitler just understood better than anyone, because he came from that those ranks. The pain of his audience and the story that they wanted to hear which
You have great filmmaking and World War II, propaganda films that really have a big impact. [9.3] Hollywood, the film industry in America, grows out of a American recognition that they needed to get into this information warfare game, this idea, a battle of ideas and the great film industries, there's so much technology involved in these things, you know, perfect weather needs to be there, you need good lighting, you need hugely expensive equipment, and only great nationally sponsored and subsidized film industries can produce works of art that connect with people. So you actually a lot of the consolidation of power during this time and bigger and bigger countries comes from this information dominance that, you know, [00:41:20] England is never going to have a great film industry compared to Hollywood or America because one, there's there's a wealth issue, but to like the weather is never good in England and you know you can see why America rose up as this great cultural imperialist, I guess the great purveyor of ideas it is still is today through its movies and other things.
And this is really just a reconsolidation, which had been a long march in the industrial era of reconsolidating in control of
[00:42:05] Then you see the Industrial Revolution reconsolidate it. [15.5] And that [00:42:08] remains with us in the in the Cold War after World War 2, you have the Soviets and you have the Americans competing for this great two ideologies left standing out of World War Two. [14.8] Obviously national socialism had lost in between the idea of communism and democracy. [00:42:29] There are two great ideologies left that divided the globe in terms of influence and depending on what part of your view you sit in right now or what part of the globe even you know which side that your country fell in this battle of ideas which is capitalism and democratically organized societies, free markets versus like centralized control, classless societies, Marxist ideology and which one of these was a better organizing principle for society.
[32.4] And as we know in 1989 the Berlin Wall fell here in Poland. You know, the first free elections were held really Poland was instrumental in breaking up the Soviet Union's grip on Eastern Europe and then we get to this period of great freedom, you know, that the world is now free and everyone's going to come democratic and peaceful. And as we know that hasn't happened. [00:43:30] And one of the great sources of turbulence now in this era has been what I call the second great disruption in information history which is we've killed the gatekeepers again. And you and I sitting here on this podcast without having to go through CBS or NBC or BBC to publish a radio show and reach out directly to our audience is emblematic of the fact that the internet has absolutely destroyed the gatekeepers. [30.2] And that's caused a huge amount of turbulence. First of all, blogging rises up and anyone can publish anything and people can find it. And if you have an idea that's worth spreading, it will get shared.
And the [00:44:13] rise of Facebook and social media has only amplified the ease with which great ideas only, great stories
And the gatekeepers, the publishing houses are dying, the print publishing houses are dying. The radio stations are having a hard time keeping up with all the different podcasts that are moving out there. And
Paddy: [00:46:26] This that's why this podcast does have a health warning.
Sam: [00:46:30] If you do not like history, please don't list this podcast.
Paddy: [00:46:34] That's one of them. And then if you do like storytelling you intend to use it for evil then please also because you will learn some dark. And Sam I've let you riff on this cause cause cause I really enjoy listening to you and I think many of the people listening right now probably came to a StoryMatters through our Facebook ads. And if they thought that if they had a suspicion, oh here's another American marketer to just copying someone else off a blog post he read, you know, it doesn't really know anything about stories and if they thought that then I think they can now rest assured that this is something that you spent quite a lot of time thinking about. And I've really enjoyed listening to.
Sam: [00:47:11] Well, Paddy one of the things that I never set out to be a professional marketer. I joined the Army at 18 and, you know, imagine for a while when I left the army I might teach history and
Paddy: [00:48:27] So just thinking about maybe what some of the listeners might be thinking about right now. OK, so we've we've we've traveled through time quite literally over 2000 years of history and storytelling. What does this mean for me the listener or business owner or a marketing manager right now for the future?
Sam: [00:48:40] Well there's there's a couple of things that I think everyone should be aware [00:48:44] of. If if you are committed to influencing through storytelling is you are a small vessel or even person on a surfboard in a big ocean, and the currents of that ocean you can't control. The the the historical wave that you're surfing right now is what it is. And before you create a strategy as a business owner, understanding the waves that you're surfing and the currents that you cannot control, I think gives you a chance to influence your your destiny as a business owner and that's that's why I like to start out with the big picture and zoom back in. [43.1]
A great book about this, and then in fact where I got some of these ideas from, is a book called Ryan Holiday's by Ryan Holiday called Trust me I'm lying Confessions of a Media Manipulator and he starts with not such a grand scope of history that I just described in terms of like taking it all the way back. But he does talk about the recent history of storytelling and he describes why the Trump phenomenon, for example, happens and [00:49:59] why
I mean, [00:50:25] Donald Trump came out of nowhere as a provocateur real estate tycoon celebrity television personality to become president the United States. [9.4] That would not have happened 20 years ago. That he
So first of all, you are competing with big forces that are competing for information for your, the people that you're trying to influence online. So [00:51:01] if you're just a small business owner you need to understand the big currents of what's at stake. OK. Because when you understand what's at stake, you can understand how you fit into it and where people's attention is going and what the great forces that control information, where people where they want people's attention to go. [19.2] And I can't predict history, in fact, that the thing I love about or I can't predict the future and the thing I love about history and people ask me well was the Iraq war a good idea, because I was there twice. I said, well give me give me 50 years and I'll tell you, you know when all the generals and people made all the decisions are dead and everyone can speak honestly about what they observed.
But at the risk of making a [00:51:43] few predictions one of two things is going to happen. [2.9] Is [00:51:47] there's going to be more and more disruption and strife as a result of the disruption of the gatekeepers. And that could have huge geopolitical consequences [12.2] even so that's something to be aware of as a business owner is if war happens as a result of this trend in terms of information disruption and revolution, I mean for the first time in my [00:52:11] lifetime it looks like civil strife could potentially happen in America. [3.7] It's quite scary to watch. Certainly, you see what's happening with Russia trying to influence European elections and American elections and things like that. So there's there are huge trends that could influence you as a business owner.
Whether you want to think about our own geopolitics matters especially when things are not going well and I've been in situations and seen it where society is not working it's not peaceful and that's a whole new reality for business owners. Everything will change if that happens. That's that's one possibility. [00:52:47] The other possibility and the more hopeful one and the one I'd like to participate in is the last great information disruption 350 years before the information revolution. [10.2] It took a long long time for publishing houses and responsible sorters and purveyors of information to grow up.
And these became governments and obviously to use it all that responsibly when you think about some of the wars that started as a result of it. And we have a great disruption and the question is, [00:53:18] when is the consolidation going to start to happen again? When our digital publishing houses going to start to come together and create stories that are so compelling that people just don't listen to all the noise out there. Because you know people are so frustrated, [16.2] I know I personally am so frustrated about all the news sites out there that I don't know if I can trust, I don't know where this information came from, that I only read a couple very trusted sources of information; the Economist magazine is my favorite.
Sometimes I read some other, you know, very well respected publications where I know that these editors are checking facts and that there's something responsible and considered and not just totally one-sided. [00:53:59] Now, you have to know that every newspaper has an agenda and always you know that agenda starting out. Which ones are responsible versus completely irresponsible and inciting things in. [9.2] And for a consolidation to happen where these forces that are out there, that are disrupting society.
"It's a war, it's an arms race to tell better stories that make people trust and connect with you as a storyteller." -Samuel P.N. Cook
[00:54:16] It's a war, it's an arms race to tell better stories that make people trust and connect with you as a storyteller. [7.7] Whether you're a publishing house that's publishing great authors with great ideas or you know you're a newspaper or you're a brand, that just wants to really connect with your audience. I mean, [00:54:36] there's a huge consolidation happening and there's only going to be a couple of big players standing I think when what I what I believe is a great consolidation in digital publishing and digital information gatekeeper's happens. [13.8]
And there is a great disruption and a great consolidation that will start, and I believe is starting, in
So you have to surf that wave and stay ahead of this demand this craving for better stories, better authenticity,
And to me the great consolidation in every industry, no matter what industry you're in, if you're in a local business market or in a global market it's going to become down to who can tell a better story. And the [00:57:00] ones that survive in the publishing world are certainly going to be the ones who become the trusted places where stories are great and curated and stuff that's dishonest and harmful and not useful is is really thrown to the side. [16.6] And then you know even in your industry no matter what an issue is it's going to be a battle of stories and everyone can tell their story right now and if you don't tell a good story for your business or whatever you do and someone else will. They'll listen to the podcast and figure it out. And they'll tell their story and I think that's what's coming.
Paddy: [00:57:33] So I'm listening to this thinking myself as a business owner, thinking cor blimey, this is a bit much. I just want to sell my stuff to people I do care about. But I kind of don't want to reinvent the wheel and I've been doing the same thing maybe 10, 15, 20, 30 years. Is there a way forward for me?
Sam: [00:57:52] Well the good the good news is, I don't want to I want to come out of the clouds a little bit and there is hope [00:58:00] and I don't think small businesses are going anywhere. [2.6] I mean 90 percent 80 90 percent of the [00:58:05] economy will remain in many ways small businesses, but they're going to be massive consolidations in certain industries, like transportation other things that you're seeing. [8.7] So [00:58:14] be aware of those
"Look for stories, great stories that are being told. Understand the impact those could have on you." -Samuel P.N. Cook
But in Europe, you've got all these national markets. So if you can take these ideas from the great innovators in storytelling and marketing and the intersection of those and English, move it down in your national market. You've got a bit of a comparative advantage.
Paddy: [01:00:17] Yeah so often telling people I'm the number one British guy who speaks Poland and vlogs in Polish, in Poland, what I normally fail to mention is the fact I'm pretty much the only one.
Sam: [01:00:26] Yeah, I mean Paddy, you've won you've managed to pick a great field to dominate because you've got this shirt that says what, you know, my superpower is I speak Polish or, you know, what yours? I mean that alone is just a huge barrier to entry.
Paddy: [01:00:41] Yeah, it's pretty niche. So all the way from ancient Greece to Paddy's t-shirt. I think it's probably time to end this show before we go deeper into my satirical habits. Sam, what's coming up in the next episode?
Sam: [01:00:54] Yeah, Paddy I think that's quite a journey that we just two people on was to figure out a T-shirt about what your superpower is in Polish. So yeah what's next. Well first of all just to summarize what we what we just spoke about. OK so we've now finished the history and future of storytelling and I think that's enough to digest for now and the next episode we're going to go into the second of this four-part series which is, who is your hero? And we're going to go into really what do you need to do to tell a great story and the first, most important step, is get out of your own head. Get out of your own story as it will. Forget about your own story really and learn about your hero. And learn about how you can really think and put yourself in the shoes of the people you're trying to influence. And that to me is is the absolute differentiator between great storytellers and people who tell great stories that no one ever listens to because they never thought to think of who cares about my story.
Paddy: [01:02:08] So that's a great note to end on. We'll see you in the next episode.