#146: StoryBrand Framework: Success and Failure Build Desire for Your Offer


Welcome back to the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast. This week we are going to continue our exploration of the StoryBrand framework, and we are going to focus on the success and the failure piece of that framework. Now, up until now, we’ve been talking about things like what your client wants. We’ve been talking about the problems that they’ve been having or experiencing. We’ve been talking about the plan that you have that you can put in place so that they can experience a change in the problem so that they can have that transformation.

This is all fine and dandy, but if you don’t paint a picture of what their life can look like with your plan in place, it’s going to be really hard to help them see that positive future. Today we are going to talk about the importance of discussing success and failure, including it in your messaging, and how to make sure that it does not approach the concept of, “oh my gosh, you got an A.” “Oh my gosh, you got an F” on a test. It’s not, that’s not what we mean with success and failure. 

Defining Success and Failure

There was this college professor that I had in undergrad, and he gave multiple choice tests, and some of you might be thinking, Ooh, I love a good multiple choice test. No one loved his tests because they had 26 options for every single question, and it might be letters A through L, and then the other remaining of the 26 would be combinations of A through L. In other words, it was really hard to succeed.

It was really hard to show what you know on that test. And as a result, many of us were worried about failing the class. In fact, I think that was part of the lesson, as he wanted us to understand we weren’t perfect, and many of us got failing tests back, got failing grades back on our tests. However, we weren’t failing because we were still learning the information.

We were unable to show it adequately on the tests. So he graded on a curve and everything kind of-ish worked out. All right. But my point in bringing this up is that when we talk about success and failure, it’s not like when we talk about grades in school, we don’t want to talk about, oh my gosh, you failed at something. That’s not what success and failure is here.

It’s not a, oh my gosh, an A through C. Is success a D and an F or failure? Nope, not at all. So what point does talking about success and failure in our StoryBrand framework have? Well, in my mind, it helps to raise self-awareness. 

A lot of times when we are in the thick of a problem, it’s really hard to see that anything could change, and especially if we’ve tried before to do something. And so when you as the guide, you, as the course creator, the coach, the membership owner, show your clients what success looks like, they realize that it’s possible, and they also start feeling a little bit more motivated because that success looks really good. They are excited because they don’t want things to stay the same.


When we talk about success, we have to be very specific. This is one of the biggest challenges that I see when I am reviewing StoryBrand frameworks, is that they aren’t specific enough in the success. And today, I want to give you a process for creating that specificity that allows your clients and your potential clients to really embrace this message that you’re putting out there as their message, as their future, as their reality. Here’s what I like to do when thinking about success, and then we’ll talk about failure in just a minute. For success, I’d like you to create a grid of some kind. I want you to put down the words thinking, doing, and feeling. All three of these things. And then we are going to approach thinking, doing, and feeling from three time points in your client’s journey. 

The first point is going to be very quickly after they start working with you. So if you have a course, it’s after they’ve maybe gotten through the first module in the first week or two. If they are working through a coaching program with you again, first week or two probably they’re starting to see some changes.

If they’re in a membership, starting on that member journey and taking a few steps forward, the key is we want to start highlighting that success early and often because the big stuff that they’re looking for might be a year away. And we know based on motivation research that if we can help someone see those steps early, then it helps boost motivation to keep going through the hard work to get to that end point. That might be a year out from now. When you are doing this, you’ve got that, that short term success, what are they thinking, doing, and feeling? And thinking might be as simple as maybe this is actually possible this time I’ve tried in the past, but I could see how this is different. So maybe it’s just an acceptance of the possibility that life can be different. The transformation is truly possible. 

What are they feeling? Maybe they’re feeling hopeful. This is a great place when you’re thinking about the feeling stuff to pull out an emotions chart, and Google has plenty of them where there’s hundreds of emotion words, and we can think about what that person is actually feeling, and then what are they doing? So instead of waking up in the morning and dreading that first meeting of the day, you are now realizing that that first meeting is just the start of a day of interactions where maybe you get to make a difference, you get to help someone. So it’s a shift in what they’re doing when they roll over in bed, they’re no longer dreading the day they’re actually starting to look forward to it. Maybe they’re not there a hundred percent, that might be a little further out, but they’re starting to feel a little bit more confident and comfortable with the day. Maybe it means that instead of sitting down and reading or scrolling Facebook for 30 minutes, they decide to go for a 30 minute walk because they already have that time set aside to do something, and they put a podcast in their ear. Instead of scrolling on Facebook right away, what are they thinking, doing, and feeling? What are some changes that are immediate? 

Like I said, the changes are going to be small, but when we can help a client see those small changes right from day one or week one or two, it’s going to boost their motivation and their inclination to continue moving through your coaching program, your course, the membership that they have signed up for with you. 

Now, we want to take it a step further and think about where your clients are at kind of in that midpoint of working with you, so maybe three or six months out. Again, we take the thinking, doing, and feeling approach and be as specific as possible here. I don’t want you to say, well, they’re waking up happier. No. Instead, they’re waking up with energy because they got to bed, and now because of that energy, they can tell me what they’re doing in their day with that extra energy, or they wake up no longer dreading, fill in the blank. Maybe they’re feeling more content with their life as it is than they have in the last 10 years knowing that they are still making progress and it will continue to get better.

I want you, like I said, to be super specific here, because what happens is, like I said, it’s hard to come up with these examples on your own when you’re in the middle of the problem. Now, you may have been in their shoes at some point, so you remember what it was like. You’ve been now to this other side where the problem has been solved, so help them see what that really means. And when you do this, you’re raising that self-awareness, you’re raising the motivation. So we keep going. 

We want to go out to the long term thinking, doing and feeling, what does success look to look like? Maybe it’s six months. Most likely it’s closer to a year for this long term success. Now, it means that their business is generating revenue on a monthly basis. It means that they are starting to look for opportunities to mentor other people. It means that they are feeling at ease by taking a week or two off each month or each quarter and just enjoying time with their family. It’s that ease that they feel. Okay, so you get the point here.

What we’re doing is basically creating and building our client’s ability to future cast. So when you are using your messaging framework with the success piece in mind, you can say things like, all right, so imagine that you sign up for the course today, and in two weeks you have been through module one, and you’re starting to see that some of the things you were doing in the past weren’t really helping, and you’ve already swapped out one of those things for something you learned in the course. 

Obviously, you’re going to put in these specifics here. What exactly did you swap? What exactly were they doing? But you get the point, and because of that change, you’re already feeling more confident that this time the change is going to stick. Now, imagine you’ve been, we’ve been working together for three months now, and you wake up in the morning and instead of feeling tired and frustrated and already dreading the day ahead, you are waking up knowing that you’re solid in your purpose, that the meetings you have today, while they might create some frustration, they are not going to undermine your peace and balance. Again, be really specific.

I’m coming up with some more generic things that might work for many of you that we could definitely make more specific, and now imagine you’ve been through the whole course and you’ve been implementing it. You’ve been really consistent in your efforts, and it’s a year since you signed up for the course. We’re coming up on your one year anniversary, and today you realized and fill in the blank, what are they thinking, doing, and feeling? You can see the power of using this kind of language in your messaging because what happens is now your client isn’t left to guess what their life might look like. You are saying, here it is. This is what your life can be as a result of the transformation that I am going to help you walk toward.

That’s the success. It’s not an A, B, or C in a classroom. It’s not, oh my gosh, you got a 92% and I got a 97%. It’s not that at all. It is about the future casting and helping the person see that their life today does not have to be what their life looks like in two weeks, in three months, in six months in a year. The change is possible, the transformation is possible, and here are the results of it. What does your life look like?


If you’ve been listening carefully, I said, this is the section where we talk about success and failure. Failure is not doom and gloom. Let me say that one more time. See, failure is not doom and gloom. This is not where we scare anyone. This is not where we make them feel bad. It is not where we put anyone down. It is a level of awareness that if nothing changes, nothing will change. If your potential client, if your client chooses to do nothing today, nothing will change in what’s happening in their life, the problems they’re experiencing, the wants that they have, the pain points that they’re expressing to you, none of that changes. That is the point of helping someone. That is the point of including failure when we talk about success. 

And so a lot of times the way I like to talk about it is through that thinking, doing, and feeling, and we can think about the short term, medium term, and long term, and choose just one or two of those with success. We want to be very, very detailed. We want to really paint the picture of that journey that they’re going to experience because then they know it’s not all rainbows and unicorns on day one, that rainbows and unicorns might be a year away, and so we paint that picture of growing success with failure.

We don’t want to linger here because it’s just going to make someone feel bad, feel anxious or nervous, and if that happens, they shut down and they’re no longer in a place where they can say, yes, I’d like to work with you, because they are so beyond overwhelmed by the fact that all of this bad stuff is still happening, that they can’t think, so we don’t want to do doom and gloom. Doom and gloom causes shutdown. Shutdown means they cannot accept that help that you’re offering through your coaching program, your course, your membership, what have you. So what do you do with failure? You talk about the fact that you know, some of you might not be ready to change, and that’s okay.

What you might find is that three months from now when you wake up, you’re still feeling that dread about the day, about the meetings that you’re going to experience because you know that it just leaves you feeling drained at the end of the day, and at that point, maybe you’ll think about the fact that it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe you’ve noticed that not everyone feels that way and you’re ready to make a change, and you know what? I’ll be here when that’s when you’re ready. 

You just incorporate it in, in very natural ways, to talk about the fact that you know, if you’re not ready to change, that’s okay, but I want you to be aware you’re still going to wake up in three months feeling that same dread. Nothing changed. It’s not about, oh my gosh, your life is going to be awful if you don’t do this right now. That’s that fear tactic, and the fear tactic is not often successful. 

Here’s the one time that it is kind of successful, but this is not going to apply to most of you. The one time where we can go doom and gloom with failure is when we are talking about serious health issues, and this is when we can say, okay, if you leave your cancer untreated, these are the outcomes. This is what happens. As a result, most of you are probably not developing courses, memberships or coaching programs where we need that doom and gloom, so that’s why I just wanted to touch on it. There is a time and a place for doom and gloom, but for most of you, 99.9% of you, that is not the case. 

We want to keep the failure more along the lines of, if you do nothing today, three months from now, nothing will have changed. You will still be experiencing this, and in fact, it might even get a little bit worse because now it just, you go to bed dreading it, and you wake up dreading your next day of meetings or your next day at work or with your kids or whatever it is. Nothing changes. 

I hope that this explanation of success and failure has been helpful because it is a critical part of the framework in that it ties all of this together. Otherwise, we just have a list of problems that your clients are experiencing or a plan that your clients can engage in and see something happen, but we don’t know what they see happening, and we want to paint that picture for them. We want to make it very clear because oftentimes, when we’re in smack in the middle of those problems, it is very difficult to know what’s possible as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, it is important to develop that mindset where we are making things really clear, not as a way of usurping our client’s story, but of helping them see their story with more clarity sooner. Okay? 

I know a lot of people sometimes say, but what if that success isn’t the success they experience, and that’s okay. The point is to get them to dream and to think about the possibility that a change is possible and that their life can be different a year from now, six months from now, three months from now, two weeks from now, even in small ways, some big ways, and that’s the point that change is possible and your plan, your offer is going to help them get there, to make that transformation from where they are today to where they want to be, helping them get to that identity that they want to be in.

Action Item

Your action item for today, if you don’t already know, I’m guessing you’ve probably already guessed it, is to make your grid for success and failure and planning it out carefully, short term, medium term, long term for both success and failure, and then thinking, doing, and feeling for both success and failure. 

We’re going to hit on more of the details and share more of the details from that success grid, but you’re going to pull some poignant and important points of the failure grid to round out that conversation, saying things along the lines of, you know, we’ve all heard that if nothing changes, nothing changes. 

If you choose to continue kind of handling things the way they are today, in three months, you might still be feeling X, Y, Z, you might still be doing X, Y, Z, but if you don’t really want that to be your truth in three months, if instead you’d like to experience and you fill in your success grid, then let me, let me share a little bit more about how we get there, and you can see it comes back to the plan again, and so it just really wraps that conversation up very nicely.

You can use these grids that you’re creating in your social media. You can use them as hooks, you can use them as the main content, as pieces of the content. There are so many different ways that you can use this information from the success and failure grids that you’re creating.


Next week I am actually going to talk you through different ways to use the StoryBrand framework because although it seems very simple, very minimalistic, and it is, you can use this over and over and over in an umbrella format, but also then create little mini StoryBrand frameworks for just about anything that you’re doing in your business. 

From website wireframes to your about page, to an offer, to a sales page, to social media posts, to podcasts, to your lead magnets, your weekly emails, pretty much everything, and we’ll talk through that a little bit more in depth next week as we wrap up our StoryBrand framework series here on the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast. 

That’s all I have for you today. Thank you guys so much for listening in. I can’t wait to see those grids from your StoryBrand framework, so I have two options for you today to get some feedback.

The first one is go ahead and fill out your framework. Finish filling out your framework on www.mystorybrand.com, and send me that shareable link in a DM to Instagram or Facebook @DigitalCourseCreatorGuide. 

Or if you just wanted to send me your grid of success and failure ideas, go ahead and do that. Snap a quick picture, send me that DM again on Instagram or Facebook @DigitalCourseCreatorGuide, and I’ll take a look at it and give you some ideas. 

Either way, if you do that, also send me a few sentences about what your business is about, because we all have such unique businesses, and I want to be able to provide specific feedback for you. All right, next week we’ll wrap up this series. Like I said, talk about all the different ways, well, not all of them, but a lot of different ways you can use the StoryBrand framework.

I will see you back here next week for another episode of the podcast where we are focusing on mentoring community and implementation so that we can remove the overwhelm of building a successful and profitable business and add in a little dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.

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