Autobiographical Story – What’s behind your Business?

Do you think your products and services are not personal?
Or deeply personal?

Often, we shy away from being personal in business.

Say that it’s not relevant.

Think archetypes don’t touch your business? Think again.

Your business is an expression of a deeper you, and so are your products and services

This fabulous quote about Joseph Campbell, famous for his book (and many others) ‘Hero of a Thousand Faces’ touches into why this is so.

“Campbell explains how ancient myths were designed to “put the mind in accord with the body, and the way of life in accord with the way nature dictates.” As one example, Campbell explains how myths bring humans to understand and accept birth, growth, and death.”

If you want an excellent read into the nature of myth, story, and archetype, I highly recommend him. Other than Jung who broke the barrier on archetypes and psychology, Joseph Campbell was a world authority, the original thinker who made clear the hero’s journey, from which most other material about myth and story has emerged. Highly recommended (click here to know more) 

Archetypes are powerful because of our shared human experience

As the quote above says, as humans we need to understand the greater cycles of our life. I would imagine that most people have asked themselves the following questions (or similar), at least once in their lives.

Who am I?

Why am I here?

How does it all work?

The reason we do is simple. We are a part of nature and its cycles. It’s not what we are taught in school, it’s not what has been sewed into our minds through religion or authority (quite the opposite), history, or our evolution as a species. It’s been sidelined – but it is a reality.

On the right, I show my crib sheet of story ideas – not just from me, but also the other course participants on the Autobiographical Storytelling course I attended at Emerson College (link).

You can see the themes (link for the typed pdf version) we tapped into, gaining access to the memories we carried. These we would later turn into stories. How many do you relate too? Would love your comments.

(Small disclaimer – Did you notice the ‘bad’ word – manipulation in there? You didn’t or did? Manipulation in this context isn’t the underhand, exploitation thing, it’s about adapting, flexing and transitioning a memory into a well-crafted story).

Tapping into archetypes that touch all of us

We are all touched by archetypes. But what are they? Archetypes are a collective of inherited instinctual symbols, that are universally accepted to be a part of a human psyche. They come alive in our dreams and we become more aware of them at points of crisis or heightened awareness.

What does this have to do with you and your business?

It might all seem worlds apart from what you do and how you operate your business. The thing is these instinctual symbols are at work all the time. They connect us to the greater cycles of our life. They connect us to nature’s cycles, and we live them unconsciously most of the time.

Re-purposing your business in terms of looking at autobiographical storytelling and therefore myths and archetypes means coming from the inside out. This will not suit everyone, but for those who seek greater meaning and wish to put that meaning into action in their business, this is relevant.

Like the oracle in Delphi had over the entrance to the temple, ‘Know thyself’ we too can live a richer life. Create greater depth and meaning to all we do. Once you understand that we are all tapped into a greater source than ourselves (I am not talking god, but consciousness or Life) that connects us all, it becomes way easier to understand how story connects us.

Crafting Personal Stories

You certainly can craft personal stories or personal stories about your products and services that convey more than a wooden surface, that have the kind of depth and personal touch that is meaningful to you and your potential clients.

It might surprise you to know your products and services stem from an archetypal quality inherent in your nature.

Oh yes, they do!