In this episode, I’m giving you a personal look into the three things I had to let go of to grow the Story Engine Agency. We’ve all heard the saying, “You need to get out of your own way if you want to succeed.” Discover three things that can hold you back from growing to your desired place of success and how to overcome them.
3 Lessons We Learned From This Episode
- [8:51] the first move I made was to bring somebody in to help me with managing my projects, the details and the day to day stuff at The Story Engine Agency
- [10:54] As I start to let go and allow [my copywriter] to take on more of the copywriting work, the opposite of my fears have proved true. Her processes have delighted many of the clients and enhanced the strategic and presentation work that I was already doing
- [12:51] I allow the systems that we’ve developed to guide and navigate us and find our principals at The Story Engine Agency
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Kyle Gray: (00:08)
Let’s get started. So these past six weeks have been wild for me and I’ve come to a lot of really interesting realizations and insights.
On this episode I want to share a little bit about what these last six weeks have been like for me as I’ve begun to grow The Story Engine Agency. I want to share some lessons I’ve learned and how I’ve begun to let things go so my business can begin to really grow. There are three key things I let go of that are allowing expansive growth.
I’ve spent a week helping teach two signature talk workshops over two days in Milwaukee. I worked with around 20 entrepreneurs, marketers and influencers and help them craft their stories for the stage. This work is a really thrilling for me because I get to be in one of my zones of genius.
It requires a lot of presence and focus with the individual I’m working with. You’ve got to listen carefully as they describe who they are, what they do, and listen to what’s behind what they’re telling you they tried and experience what the problem they’re trying to describe feels like when it’s solved.
Kyle Gray: (01:48)
Even to me,it feels like a magic trick. Being one-on-one with somebody and listening carefully and then just being able to describe something that they’ve been struggling to say. Often when I’m working with people in this sense, I recommend that they record our conversation while they’re getting this coaching from me.
Because I tend to say things that are emotive and exciting for both of us, but often we get caught up in the feelings and by the time it comes time to write it down, we have forgotten it. Itt feels weird to say that sometimes, but I also know exactly how it feels on the other end because it’s the same effect.
Pat Quinn is the head coach of those workshops and the real brilliance behind them. Uh, he’s also been a guest on this podcast that’s one of the most popular episodes.
Kyle Gray: (02:39)
So I’ll link to it in the interview with the show notes.
Not only was I teaching workshops on speaking and storytelling, but I got to speak at a health conference in San Francisco called microbiome medicine 2019. Which was an amazing homecoming because I really loved that community.. I had my very first opportunities to present here and now I’ve gotten to see two students that I’ve coached, both thrive throughout this past year, but especially through their presentation and for this event. I was awarded the opportunity to see them thriving both onstage and offstage and in their business. But it just all came together at this event, which was very, very magical.
Finally, I also spent a week in Scottsdale with Yuri Elkaim and 200 other health coaches and entrepreneurs at Healthpreneur live, many of which I have been coaching myself.
Kyle Gray: (03:53)
I’ve spent the week helping these people work on their story, help with their message and get to know them more on a personal level. And there’s are few things that really give me a smile, like being able to speak in coach in front of a large group and answer questions and helping the whole group get clarity in a really short time. It feels really good to kind of be in that zone of genius. I get to use my expertise and a little bit of performance, have a little bit of fun, and in the process get some laughs going.
Although I am extroverted, the energy it takes to be highly engaged, to be creative and to be able to share my magic and connect with people in many different ways at events like this is immense.
Kyle Gray: (04:47)
I’m not going to lie. By the end of September I felt pretty sore across my entire body and craved my own bed. I was very grateful that I had some a Zen blend.
It’s a really interesting mushroom based coffee supplement that helps you stay a little more clear and focused and avoid some of the crash of just having a coffee. I definitely swung for the fences over this last month, but this is also an area where I thrive and create big results.
The connections I made at these events will grow into collaborations, clients and speaking opportunities in the coming year for my business, The Story Engine Agency. Presenting, performing and connecting. What I’ve been doing is one of my zones of genius and it would not have been possible without a brilliant team behind me, which really created the opportunity to swing for the fences like I did while I was off meeting new people and fully sharing my gifts.
Kyle Gray: (05:48)
My team at The Story Engine Agency, was helping current clients of mine, create proposals for new leads, develop email campaigns for my list, keep podcast episodes published each week and all the while working out new ways to do everything more efficiently and better. Yet the Zen blend was from a happy client that was able to sell a lot of his product with a sales page that was written and designed by my team. I honestly can’t even believe a lot of this is possible right now because, it all started with three connections that I’ve made since April, which wasn’t that long ago.
This year. I always thought growing a good team would be challenging, that I would have to tell each one of them specifically what to do all the time and bringing them in would just create a ton more homework for me.
Kyle Gray: (07:00)
So with beliefs like that, it’s probably unsurprising that I started this year with a wide array of talents and value to offer the world, but was really limited in terms of how I could offer it without any support. I would have great vision and ideas, but most of my time and energy was just trying to keep the business open. I could not act in my zones of genius because I wasn’t even sure what they were. I keep saying zones of genius by the way. And to give you a little more context of that, it’s when you’re really performing at your very basket gifts, you’re very high intelligence and what you really feel like is your true gift to the world. The very best of what you have. If you want to learn more about that. And where I learned about that is a book called the big leap by gay Hendricks.
Kyle Gray: (07:48)
So to spend more time in my zone of genius, I needed other people’s help, but this also meant I had to let go of certain things in my business and let’s explore the three of them now letting go number one of being the manager through a lot of work with great coaches over this last year like at Jeremy Ginsburg and scale naturally. I began this year with a lot of self examination of where my zones of genius lie and what really energizes me and one of the most paradigm shifting insights I discovered in this process was that managing as in making sure all the details are lined up, project management tasks and keeping all of our documentation organized with something that thought I was decent at, that super drained my energy and that’s where most of the mistakes and setbacks happened and the projects that I was working on was in the activities that were actually draining my energy.
Kyle Gray: (08:51)
I would always blow pass to these things in the early stages of working clients to focus on what was more interesting to me working on their story or helping them take action and get results right away. But once I realized this, the first move I made was to bring somebody in to help me with managing my projects, the details and the day to day stuff in my business.
Again, the limiting beliefs that I would have to come up with all of the processes to manage my business myself and then delegate them one on one before anything could happen on my team kind of ballooned on me. And uh, I wasn’t sure if, again, signing on with somebody would just mean having a ton more homework to do. But I’ve found the opposite was the case. Once I had someone on project management, everything started to light up. Instead of me having to spend tons of time getting really clear on everything I did and all of my business systems, they would find ways to dramatically improve them without having me having to do anything.
Kyle Gray: (09:51)
But there was also more room for my other team members who had ideas to improve the business to get what they needed and to actually make the impact they wanted to make. Okay. Letting go.
Number two of being the copywriter with clarity on my zone of genius being a connector and more of an influencer from the stage, I also had to start to find the courage to let go of other things that lie outside of that zone of genius and this includes things not only that you’re bad at and I’m draining your energy, but some things that you’re actually pretty good at. So earlier this year I began working with a copywriter. I’ve had help with a few copywriters on projects before, but for a long time this was the skill I was known for and really identified myself. For me, it’s been at the core of much of the work I’ve done with the clients I’ve worked with up to this point, but copywriting is also something that deserves a great deal of respect, time and research.
Kyle Gray: (10:54)
And I wanted somebody to be able to fully focus their brilliance just in that area. To create results for them and by an amazing stroke of luck. I found a writer who compliments what I do really well using the magic of bringing their story forward with excellent research on the customer experience. I feared admitting this to the clients I worked with that I had another writer working with me because I imagined them saying, “Oh, well, if we’re not working exactly with you, then we’re going to go to someone else.” Once again, as I start to let go and allow her to take on more of the copywriting work, the opposite of my fears proved true. Her processes have delighted many of the clients and enhance the strategic and presentation work that I was doing. So instead of the clients being upset that there’s another writer on the job, they are delighted by him letting go.
Kyle Gray: (11:56)
Number three, letting go of proposal design. Being in an agency means a lot of putting together proposals and plans for clients. This was also a painful process of figuring out all the small details that would make for a completed project. All the boundaries that needed to be maintained and what a reasonable timeline would look like. For me, this was a tedious process that was actually getting in the way of results for people. I would have trouble with the pricing though I was charging high prices. There was no profit model or any kind of framework behind what I was doing. I would be more of a gut judgment from the work required estimated on my part and the value it would create on the client’s part. But that could be influenced by how I felt at the time or how I felt about the work or maybe the person I was working with.
Kyle Gray: (12:51)
But with new team members on board a more thoughtful pricing structure was necessary. We now have assessments and processes to get clear on the work being provided and who is responsible for the different deliverables. It gives us a solid framework to work with to consistently develop the right prices for what we’re doing so we don’t have to make new decisions or make things up.
Instead of feeling very responsible for all of the pricing, I allow the system that we’ve developed to guide and navigate us and find our principals. So in conclusion, growing into a place where you are really in your zone of genius, being able to make the impact that you really want to make and getting the support that you deserve in your business and your vision requires letting go of some things, some things that you don’t like and actually surprisingly will still be challenging to let go of for some reason. But relaxing and allowing that trust to settle in. This will free up the time and energy for you to focus and be in your very best area. So I hope that this has been useful for you and I hope that you find the courage, insight and exactly the knowledge of where and what you want to let go of to create the best results for you and your business. Thank you for listening.
Kyle Gray: (14:31)
Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.