Once Upon A Time

Why do we pause when we hear the phrase “let me tell you a story” or as children say “once upon a time?” We stop what we are doing and prepare ourselves to engage in listening. We want to be captivated, inspired, and fearful and be taken on a journey of high adventure. Why do we love storytelling? It takes us to places we have never been. We can be touched by a story about a boy and his dog or we can experience going to Mars to build a new world. Storytelling can make your heart beat faster or bring a tear to your eyes.

We connect emotionally and intellectually to the art of storytelling. In Retail, we strive to connect our story, our product, and our culture to our customers. By storytelling, we can relate our story, services, and product to their adventures. They can talk about the great shirt or a new rod that they fished with in Montana, or see the joy of a dog getting adopted at an event and having a forever home.

We also have to listen to their stories. It is a story of how and why they embrace and use our products. It is also the reason they share our story with others. Storytelling builds a bond with our customers about us, our product, and who we are culturally. When you hear how your product, your store, and the people in it enhanced their life or gave them an adventure, or when they share photos of their new puppy you become part of their story. That is the true meaning of customer service.

Point Of View:

As a child, I grew up on front pouch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell stories. I was captivated and always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. They were good listeners as well. They smiled and nodded at the right time when I tried to create my own stories. I connected to those people and told their stories to my children.

Imagine if you would if the stories we tell to our customers about who we are and what we provide were powerful enough that they would tell their children about us and the adventure we helped them create.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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  1. I learned from my mother in my family business the importance of relationships and to build relationships, you share stories. You build trust with people through your shared stories and they remember you and your products/ services. She was right about a lot of things, including this. Great article Larry.

  2. Thanks for the good post, Larry! Such an important and difficult aspect to achieve in corporate life. I was recruited to a consulting agency at one point, and when they took me around the premises – my management guide told me the story of the company and the founder connecting it with the objects and rooms around the building. It was so powerful that I later incorporated that idea into a branding concept for one of my customers. For some people, storytelling comes naturally, for others it takes time to learn. Wonderful story cradle you had at home :).

  3. Story telling, when given a natural touch, creates bonds of kinship. Building great relations with total strangers, in foreign lands and in demanding situations helps ease challenges. At the same time, we also need to be aware of Chris’ statement referring to the unwanted politicized stories that only end up wasting both our time and energy.

    I especially like the idea from Aldo about ‘story telling to story living.’ It is the instrument that carries a lot of weight by itself.

    Thanks a lot, Larry Sir, for this wonderful ‘story!’

  4. Make storytelling means creating narrative universes that, through a series of communicative activities, can help the company to excite and engage audiences. The purpose of those who use storytelling is to turn a simple tale into emotions to establish a deep relationship with the public: it is not just to inform, the primary goal is to involve it actively, to establish a trusted relationship with the referring public. The strategic essence of corporate storytelling lies in the ability and will to stage the company’s cultural, professional and operational heritage by giving it a soul, not just using obsolete communication mechanisms.
    There is, however, a change (from storytelling to story living) to which attention has to be taken: the Millennials, in fact, want to share their experiences, not just their stories.

  5. We need storytelling. That is why Marvel is making their billions with their movies. But, the sort of stories you will run into are those that are just plain nasty. “Did you hear that Nancy and John had a randevú in the stairwell?” Why would you want to hear that? especially at work?

    Those that are telling stories today are telling ones that make blood boil. Trump and Russia. Trump and Russia part Deux starring Don Junior. It’s been a few years where I heard a good and positive story in either my personal or professional life. It has been a while.

    It just motives me more to tell good stories.

  6. I’m getting more and more comfortable telling stories while share advice. I don’t use the story as a sugar coating for the advice. I use the story as a base line on my position and how I wish I did things differently. My stories often end with “you have a decision to make”.