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  • Writer's pictureMark Franklin

Once upon a time... a story of business bravery

A cartoon wizard in a cave stands next to an unfurled parchment that reads "Once upon a time... A story of business bravery".

Recently I introduced some workshop attendees to my friend "Kram", a short, vaguely charming and oddly familiar wizard*.

Kram shared an enchanting but powerful story of business bravery which, I am going to repeat for you today. (Grab a pen and paper as this is interactive and you'll need to fill in the blanks).

Are you sitting comfortably (for a story of business bravery)? Then I'll begin...

Once upon a time... there was a brave & brilliant business owner called [your name]. As brilliant as they were, they were struggling with [your main challenge].

Their greatest business wish was [write down your wish]. But whenever something (that could grant that wish) came along, they were too worried about [what] to act… and so their business [what happened].

And this made them feel [describe that feeling].

Then one day, a wizard named Kram appeared. He said, “I am going to set you three challenges. If you are successful in each, I will grant you your biggest business wish.”

[Write down your biggest business wish one more time]

“Very good,” said Kram. “The first of the three challenges lies within this cave. By being brave enough to enter the cave, you will have completed the first challenge. Do you dare enter?”

[Your name] had no idea what was waiting for them in the cave but, having said their wish out loud, it felt a little closer to being true and so the cave challenge was too tempting not to try.

The cave was empty except for a small table in the centre, with a jigsaw puzzle on it – the pieces were scattered in the box and there was no picture to follow.

“You have bravely passed the first test without hesitation”, exclaimed Kram. “You must now finish the puzzle to complete the second challenge… You have 10mins.”

As [your name] looked at the pieces, they realised that, when complete, the puzzle would form a picture of their biggest business wish. The picture was now so clear in their mind that they quickly set about organising the pieces.

[Your name] found the corners first, and then all the edge pieces. It was a simple process and made perfect sense. Slowly they filled in the centre until finally, the picture was complete… and with plenty of time to spare.

In that moment [your name] felt [describe the feeling].

Kram clapped his hands. “You have completed the second AND the third challenges”. Not only did you finish the puzzle, but you found a way to do so that was helpful, sensible and productive” (Because Kram loved a bit of process mapping).

“You accepted my challenges. The picture you had for your biggest business wish was so clear in your mind, that it became easier to avoid hesitation and be braver. You knew exactly what you had to do, and found the best way to do it!”

“Now, I’ll let you into a secret“, he continued slightly sheepishly, “I cannot actually make your business wish come true. It is not within my power… BUT it’s okay, because you already have!”

And with that, the picture in the puzzle suddenly came to life.

[Your name] stepped inside the picture, looked back and waved at Kram, and then wandered off, to live happily ever after…


The moral of the story

Okay so on the surface, it’s a fun fairy tale… BUT – let’s reflect on what we have just learned (every story has a moral):

  1. You have just shared your biggest business wish out loud… and you have described it in detail – now we have something to work with. That is the crucial starting point - knowing what you REALLY REALLY want. We have just had our first look at that together

  2. In the story, just as in real life, the secret to making your wish come true, already sits within you – it is the decision to try (or not) that could be getting in the way; a decision that becomes easier to make if and when the reason for trying is both tangible & tantalising

  3. Your business wish cannot be granted by someone else – it can only come true if you take action yourself. Kram showed you the door but you had to open it and walk through.. You had to solve the puzzle (in fact only you could because only you knew what the picture looked like. You found the way…

Your biggest business wish is right there in front of you.

Get waving that magic wand!

(*Any similarities between Kram and me wearing a witches' hat stolen from my daughters' old dress-up box are purely coincidental.)

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