I am a business storyteller. And as you can guess, I guide people and corporates in discovering and crafting stories that make business alive. But imagine what happens when a storyteller loses the plot and gets caught in a serious conflict.
For all these years I convinced myself to believe that I am a back-end guy, who plots. Sounds like The Chanakya, isn’t it? However, as a protocol, I would surface right at the beginning of a pitch when my job was to set the context of our version of any campaign, narrate the concept and take clients on a tangential voyage of hyper-imagination, until, I convinced them. Once the contract was bagged, I used to get back to my religious cocoon of mobilising the creative team to visually construct the content for the proposed campaign or event. This has been my precise KRA throughout my career with agencies.
I was the happiest man on earth, both appreciation and money-wise. The context was well set, and I was cruising. But as it happens in every story, believe me, in every story, you can always check it back with your own story as well; as I progressed, I didn’t realise I was heading towards the biggest conundrum of my life!
After an illustrative career, I shred my baggage of the fancy designation and after-parties of the agency life and switched on the ignition of a solo voyager’s off-roader. Wow! It was freedom! It was thrill. Now imagine, a back-end guy jumping the queue to lead! I was in the front line. Little did I realise that the bullets are hard to bite.
My challenge was simple; I was handicapped with the self-destructing attitude of a creative director and was convinced that the world is eagerly waiting to follow my orders. I was more like Keanu Reeves in Sweet November. Watched that 2001 Hollywood love story?
The same guys who used to spend hours discussing briefs and project plans with me, those guys whose mandate was Roy during every meeting, suddenly started rejecting me! All of them, one after another. It rocked me hard and it seemed as if I was negotiating the swinging deliveries on the Australian pitch. Inning after inning, I brought ducks back home.
Just about then, two events occurred in succession. First, my wife convinced me to take up a course of Angel therapist Mr. Nitin Mohan Lal. Let me tell you, I have been an atheist and I secretly cherished the concept of Illuminati. However, I forced myself to absorb Mr. Lal’s principles I learnt in his program and started practising it. I did it because all my so-called proven tracks led me nowhere!
I discovered few secrets through this practice. And my prayers were answered. Mystically? I don’t know. But it happened. This led to the next episode. It was destined to be an exciting journey. I met an amazing gentleman by the name of Mr. Amit Chawla, my business clarity coach.
I never believed I do have to have a coach till I met him. Thus, our journey started. He attended my business storytelling workshop and he started handholding me through my journey of clarity. I got access to his intriguing tips. In one such session, he said ‘Change your story and see the world change for you’. Gosh!
Imagine my state! A storyteller was confused in his own plot till the time a guiding light came and rescued him!
First, I changed my script, what you often refer to as the sales pitch. Then, I changed my relationship mantra, what you love to refer as PR. And then, I narrowed down on my strategic Gantt chart. Finally, I restarted my off-roader. Broom!
This reminded me of an incident long, long ago, when I was just a 7-year-old, intolerably pranky boy. I always had uncomfortable and curious queries just about everything in life. One day my mom took me to a temple. It was a vast area with so much to see and do. One had to travel few hundred meters to visit different idols housed at different zones within the campus. A monkey by the tail, I was the last soul to settle. I jumped around till I found an old priest seated beneath a huge tree. He was quietly observing me and smiling. I almost landed on his lap as I jumped on the cemented pedestal. I asked him, ‘Who is God?’
Jesus Christ, my curiosity must have had limits!
The priest said, ‘imagine, you are lost in a pitch dark tunnel, nothing you can see, not a soul to hear your cries… you are desperate…stumbling every time you are struggling to inch forward… you are losing your zeal to find the way out… fear is gripping you with its gigantic tentacles like an octopus… just then, you feel someone hold your hand with a tight grip… he assures you and takes you along… you can’t fathom how he looks… after some toil, you see the sunlight you were so desperate about… you scream in joy and turn back to thank your saviour… but, he is gone… not even his voice can be heard… that saviour, my dear child, is God… your guiding light…’
Without doubt, I understood nothing back then… what I did instead was, I can safely assume given my nature, I jumped back on ground, gave back a monkey-face to that gentle priest and hopped away… but somehow, his words got stuck in my subconsciousness… only to reveal itself like the phoenix after so many years hence…
I was still seated in front of my clarity coach!
So, what’s your story?