Your transformation PODCAST

Creating Synergy Podcast

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Ep. 3 – The Art of Storytelling: What kind of story am I telling?

Intro:

Welcome to Creating Synergy where we explore what it takes to transform, whether you are transforming yourself, your team, your business, or your community. We’ll connect you with insightful and challenging leaders who share their stories of successful transformations to give you practical ideas for your own journey. Join us for another insightful episode of Creating Synergy.

Daniel Franco:

Welcome to episode three of Creating Synergy. Today we have a really great guest of ours, is also someone who does a lot of work with us. Andrew Ferguson, his name is, but more commonly known as Ferg. He’s really only Andrew to his mother and the tax office is what-

Andrew Ferguson:

True story.

Daniel Franco:

… is what is written here, which is great. Ferg is a communication specialist with over 20 years of experience as a writer and an editor, designing and implementing business information solutions for clients in a wide range of industries. This is including writing policies, procedures, preparing tenders, proposals, developing and delivering training. He may also be familiar to some listeners around Adelaide as a singer/storyteller, Fergus Maximus, and it’s the storyteller part of the description that we’re going to talk about today.

Daniel Franco:

We’re really, really interested in hearing how your brain works, number one, and yeah, just the art of storytelling and how we should actually train and educate people and really help people through programs, training software, whatever it might be, through the art of training, and even from an influence perspective, the art of storytelling and getting [crosstalk 00:01:43] views across. So welcome.

Andrew Ferguson:

Thank you. It’s good to be here. Thanks, Dan.

Daniel Franco:

Excellent. We’ll start off with the first question. How would you describe storytelling in simple terms?

Andrew Ferguson:

The simplest way, it’s to do with a fundamental human condition. We want to know what happens next. We have this hunger for narrative and we want to know what happens next. This is why Home and Away still exists because even though it’s predictable, you still want to know what happens next and people tune in every night to find out what happens next, even though the ads tell them before they get there.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. Well, given current events right now, we absolutely want to know what’s coming next. The world’s gone into panic.

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s right. Storytelling is about finding out what happens next and telling it and ideally telling it in an engaging way.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. When you say engaging, what’s engaging?

Andrew Ferguson:

If people are going to listen to a story, then they need to care about the outcome. For it to be engaging, they need to feel as though they have some investment in it, that they’re emotionally invested because they’ve met this character and this character has some meaning for them maybe represents some hope that they have. And so what happens with that character matters. If what happens to that character doesn’t matter, they’re not going to listen to the end of the story. They don’t care what happens next.

Daniel Franco:

Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, there’s a general theme to all stories. Are you sort of aligned with that way of thinking?

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, there’s seven basic plots in the universe and everything fits into those.

Daniel Franco:

What are those basic plots?

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. Well, I happened to have brought that just in case you asked that question.

Daniel Franco:

That wasn’t planned, by the way.

Andrew Ferguson:

No. I was just thinking about it this afternoon. The general categories into which all plots can be placed, if you believe that narrative, overcoming the monster, so your protagonist has to defeat some evil.

Daniel Franco:

Yep, COVID-19.

Andrew Ferguson:

Indeed. Yeah. Maybe that’s the current narrative.

Daniel Franco:

Absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

The rags to riches story, so you’ve come from nothing, you end up being wealthy and usually along the way you lose it and get it back. There’s the quest where you have to go and achieve some goal. There’s the voyage and return, so you go somewhere and your experiences somehow change you and when you come back you’ve learnt something from that voyage. There’s what they call comedy. It’s a happy ending story. So it doesn’t have to necessarily be funny to fit into that category. Most romances fall into that category. It’s the story with the happy ending. And then there’s the tragedy, which is kind of the other side of that, which is the story with the sad ending. And the characters, we care about them enough to care that they have a bad ending. And the last one is the rebirth. There’s some transformational event in someone’s life and they’re transformed and changed. Those are the basic ideas of plots. That stuff will come out of [inaudible 00:04:58] psychology, which was really trendy when they wrote that book. It’s now kind of out of favor these days.

Daniel Franco:

It’s a hard read.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. And so the idea that there are only those seven things, you can argue with that, but it’s a useful framing.

Daniel Franco:

As you’re reading through them, you can basically pick off every book or movie you’ve ever read, the tragedy, Shakespeare, for example, the journey, The Alchemist or something like that, so there’s-

Andrew Ferguson:

The Hobbit.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, The Hobbit. Exactly.

Andrew Ferguson:

Which might be a quest. I don’t know.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah [crosstalk 00:05:32].

Andrew Ferguson:

Everything falls into those general categories. People can quibble and argue about it, but I think it’s a useful way of thinking.

Daniel Franco:

It’s a good framework, anyway.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, that’s right.

Daniel Franco:

Whenever you want to write a story or tell a story-

Andrew Ferguson:

Exactly.

Daniel Franco:

… you work on one of those sort of themes.

Andrew Ferguson:

And because of that, storytelling in business needs to recognize and understand those kinds of things. What kind of story am I telling? That’s the fundamental question before you start telling the story that you have to ask yourself. What are we trying to say?

Andrew Ferguson:

I was reading an article on Forbes which talked about some key aspects of storytelling, and I really liked the parameters that they set out. When you’re going to start to tell your story, who’s telling the story? Why is this the story being told? When and where is it taking place? Who are the people in the story? What are the people trying to achieve and what challenges are they facing? You need all that information in order for a story to be meaningful.

Andrew Ferguson:

Storytelling in business is a really trendy thing. It may have actually reached its climax and we may be just coming down the other side of it and people are saying, “Storytelling is not as cool as it was last year.” But actually, it’s a really powerful thing in a whole variety of contexts, so people use it. One of the key elements in storytelling in business is for a leader who has a vision, they try and communicate that vision to the team and get them involved and get them to grab ahold of that and come with them, and so-

Daniel Franco:

It’s inspirational also.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. And so telling a story in such a way that people buy into it and they want to be part of what happens next, that’s one of the functions of storytelling in business. One of the other functions is around-

Daniel Franco:

Well, that’s … Sorry, just on that, that’s purpose, isn’t it really? If you can sell the purpose of the business, you can get people onboard, and you can actually really achieve some great results.

Andrew Ferguson:

Absolutely. Yeah. No, it’s an incredibly powerful tool and I think that the people who discount it are missing the point, because it works. It matters and it works.

Daniel Franco:

Absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

One of the other reasons that people use stories is for marketing, so it’s, “Okay, well, how can we tell a story about our business so that our customers, they respond to it, they relate to it?” And there are a lot of different ways of doing that, but ultimately [inaudible 00:08:03] into this thing, what are the challenges that are being faced? So if we were writing a story about our customer, we have to think about them. The story is not about us as a company. It’s about the customer. What are the challenges that they’re facing and how is it that what we do, what we make, what we produce can help meet their need, can help solve their problem? That’s fundamental to using story in that context.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. So would you say that these are some of the benefits? Obviously business, there is benefit in storytelling, as you pointed out. You’re into music, right? You play every weekend, you’re a writer, you’re a storyteller in all your music that you write, because you do poetry as well?

Andrew Ferguson:

Some.

Daniel Franco:

Some? Okay. Do you always aim to tell a story? Do you use the seven sort of-

Andrew Ferguson:

Not consciously, but yes, probably. Yeah. Everything’s about narrative as far as my songwriting is concerned. It’s all about telling a story. And songs usually come out of a question for me. One of my favorite stories, I was on my way to work one day and I saw this woman racing down the street really fast, but she was hobbling because she had something in her shoe and she stopped and tried to get it out, but she didn’t have time, so she just hobbled down the street. I never saw her again, but I wondered why she was in such a hurry that she couldn’t stop to get whatever it was out of her shoe. And so I wrote a song to try and find out the answer. I would never recognize her if I saw her again. But now I have this story that’s about some woman inspired by that one and her experience and why she can’t stop.

Daniel Franco:

How present are you in that moment to notice that? That’s amazing.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yes. It’s very much a … That’s why my Instagram handle says, “I notice things.”

Daniel Franco:

Well, absolutely. That’s amazing. People are going about their daily lives worrying about how much pasta and toilet paper they can buy, and you’re noticing someone having probably a little pebble in their shoe. That’s fascinating.

Andrew Ferguson:

The world is fascinating and everywhere we go, there’s things that are with being interested in.

Daniel Franco:

It makes you wonder how much you’re potentially missing out on by not being-

Andrew Ferguson:

Absolutely.

Daniel Franco:

… present in the moment.

Andrew Ferguson:

Totally. There’s a myriad of things that we miss out on because we’re not paying attention.

Daniel Franco:

Benefits of storytelling for people. Is it a way of influence? Is it a way of getting your point across, getting people onboard?

Andrew Ferguson:

Absolutely.

Daniel Franco:

What do you feel are the key benefits of storytelling?

Andrew Ferguson:

If you can tell the story in such a way that people want to know what happens, then you’ve got their attention and they will keep listening to what you’ve got to say. Whatever the message is that you’re trying to communicate, if you frame it in such a way that it’s a story, they’ll listen. They want to know. So you keep people’s attention. That’s one of the key benefits.

Daniel Franco:

Sorry. Is there any tricks to keeping people’s attention?

Andrew Ferguson:

Yes, I guess there are. Terry Pratchett’s one of my favorite novelists, and I remember someone asked him what are the messages in his work. He said, “At the bottom of every page there’s a hidden message, and the message is read the next page and at the end of every book there’s a message, and the message at the end of the book is buy my next book.” The messages are not necessarily clever, but the idea of writing is in such a way that you get to the end of the page and you want to know what happens, so you read the next page or you get to the end of the book and you want the next story because that was great.

Daniel Franco:

You can feel your heart starting to pump in some of these stories. Yeah, it’s exciting.

Andrew Ferguson:

When you’re talking, even in a business context, story is a really valuable tool for helping communicate ideas, for helping to communicate information. If you’ve got a presentation that you’re doing to a group of people, you could give them a chart that shows them all the details, or you could tell them a story that is illustrated by the chart, and they will remember the story. They won’t remember the chart.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

They might remember the chart because of the story, but it’s only the story that’s actually going to grab their attention.

Daniel Franco:

Because the story’s repeatable, isn’t it?

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah.

Daniel Franco:

They can then go and educate others on the same story-

Andrew Ferguson:

Exactly, exactly.

Daniel Franco:

… theme that the story is based around.

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s right. And that’s one of the glorious things about stories, they’re changing the telling. And so, I mean, historically human beings, we’ve gathered around campfires and the story’s been told, and the same story would be told over and over and over and over again. And it grows and develops with the telling. I mean, we’ve got the stories written down of The Iliad and the Odyssey. But those stories, every village storyteller knew those stories and would tell them with his or her own flavor and you’d end up, people would gather around the ones who told the story better.

Andrew Ferguson:

This is why romantic comedies work. It doesn’t matter if you know what the ending is going to be because if the story is told well, you want to listen. And so it’s a romantic comedy, we know that they’re going to end up together and if they don’t then that’s a surprise, but actually it’s going to be for the best. So we know there’s going to be a happy ending of some description, but we don’t care because the story’s engaging.

Daniel Franco:

There’s laughter and fun on the way.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, that’s right. We’re listening to [crosstalk 00:13:37] the story of the story of Hercules and how he got captured and then he escaped and all that sort of stuff, and I know this story because last year at the same time, under this Full Moon Festival or whatever it was, we heard the same story and it was different storyteller telling it because it was the traveling one who came from village to village. But now I’m interested to hear how you tell the story.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, that’s right. Well, it’s no different to watching the same movie twice really, or three times or-

Andrew Ferguson:

Or the remake of the movie.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, exactly, or in my case, if it’s Back to the Future, something I’ve watched 20 times.

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s right.

Daniel Franco:

In the world that we are at the moment, crazy times. Panic has sort of set in, and potentially people are telling themselves their own stories. What benefit can storytelling be to the people right now?

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s a really useful one because actually, one of the things I didn’t talk about is the role of story in our own psychological wellbeing. We tell ourselves stories all the time. I’m too fat. I’m not tall enough. My hair is too short, whatever. We’re constantly telling ourselves stories and then we act in response to those stories. So our behavior actually gets impacted by the stories that we tell ourselves.

Andrew Ferguson:

Clare Bowditch just released her first book at the end of last year, and it’s called Your Own Kind of Girl. It’s a brilliant story. It’s her story. And she talks about this idea of the stories that we tell ourselves and the fact that actually we need to start telling better stories because the stories that we believe about ourselves are often not true. And so we-

Daniel Franco:

It’s based on one perception.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, yeah. Well, and a skewed perception, too.

Daniel Franco:

Correct. Yeah. And possibly more harsh.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, yeah, that’s right. This aspect of the stories that we tell ourselves is actually really important now because the truth is that the shelf in the supermarket, it doesn’t have the stuff on it that it had yesterday or two weeks ago. What’s the story that we’re going to tell ourselves in response to that? Are we going to say, “That’s a disaster and my life is at an end and there’s nothing I can do and I’m helpless,” or are we going to say, “Okay, well, maybe this is about resilience and about the community pulling together and helping each other and working together and finding solutions to these things”? The same fact doesn’t have to have necessarily a dismal outcome if the story that we’re telling ourselves about it is different. Story is used often in narrative therapy with the psychologists and the idea that the way that I respond to certain situations could change if I reinforce a different story about the way that I respond.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, absolutely. I’m reading a book at the moment called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. Have you read that one?

Andrew Ferguson:

No.

Daniel Franco:

And so it’s a story of overcoming adversity, really, so very relevant in today’s current events, but it’s more every example and story that he tells to sort of emphasize his point is based on perception. Every person, whether it was Ulysses S Grant or whether it was Steve Jobs, whoever it might be who he discusses, it’s about in that moment the story that they told themselves to then overcome that problem.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah.

Daniel Franco:

It’s powerful. It’s powerful. When you’re telling yourself the wrong story, the chances are that everything will go with that. So yeah, it is very [inaudible 00:17:12].

Andrew Ferguson:

And as an organization, that happens too, so what’s the story that we’re telling ourselves as an organization or that we’re telling about ourselves as an organization? It’s often not spoken, but we act as though we are disorganized. We’re slow to respond to drama or we don’t communicate. These are the unspoken stories [crosstalk 00:17:40], yeah, the unspoken stories about how we perceive our business. And actually, maybe they’re not true. Maybe they’re based on some examples, historical examples where that happened, but it actually doesn’t characterize the organization as a whole, and finding a way for the organization to actually recognize, “Oh no, actually, that’s not who we are, or it’s certainly not who we want to be. This is who we want to be,” and telling that different story as an organization, change management, this is what we do.

Daniel Franco:

Absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

Finding ways to help people understand, “Okay, well, these are the things that have been happening and we acknowledge them. We don’t deny the truth of them, but we say, ‘Okay, well, this new way is how we want to be as an organization. What can we do to work towards that?'” Refocusing. One of the key elements of dealing with toddlers is redirection. And so toddler is upset because the toy is broken or the food is spilled or whatever it is, and my wife is an expert at this. She’s a speech pathologist who works with kids all the time and she would just talk about something else, and suddenly she’d be talking about the teddy bear or whatever and suddenly the child’s attention is taken away from whatever it was it was obsessing about.

Daniel Franco:

It’s a disruptor, isn’t it?

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, it is. And so this totalism business is not that different. We need to learn to refocus and allow ourselves to be refocused.

Daniel Franco:

Absolutely. Well, I think it’s very relevant for us as a business right now, without going into it too much, is that there’s some challenging times ahead.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, absolutely.

Daniel Franco:

We need to refocus and figure out ways of the new world. I mean, I think every business is going through the same sort of-

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, that’s right. Yes.

Daniel Franco:

How are we going to work in this virtual world? How are we going to manage the people who are not near us? So these are all sort of difficult things that we need to now focus and change our stories.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, because there’s no point howling over the spilled toy, broken milk, whatever.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. What would you say are some of the challenges that people face when trying to … You mentioned before the people around the campfire. One year they heard the stories of Hercules and they listened and the next year they heard it and they’re probably more engaged from a different storyteller. There are some really bad storytellers. When I say bad, less effective storytellers, and some really effective storytellers. What are the challenges of telling a story and actually helping people understand the message?

Andrew Ferguson:

One of the challenges in the business world is actually getting people to recognize the value in everything. It doesn’t come with numbers attached to it. You can’t measure it in the same way, or what’s the impact of that. The metrics do come over time. Change management is like that. If you can find ways to help a company reorient itself and become better at what they do and a better place to work and all of those sorts of things, then the other metrics follow, but the actual … It’s a bit soft and fuzzy around the edges when you’re doing it.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. Storytelling’s kind of like that. People go, “Ah, yeah, but what are you doing? You’re just telling stories.” It’s like, “Yeah, I’m telling stories because actually it helps change behavior. I’m telling stories because it helps us connect with our customers,” and partially it helps us to think about our customers as more than just numbers, because if we’re thinking about our customers as humans who have concerns and issues and thinking about ourselves as someone who might be able to help our customers with those concerns and issues, we’re reframing the relationship between the business and the customer, because customers and businesses need each other. Customers can be inconvenient, but if we don’t have customers, we don’t have businesses.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. What’s often forgotten by businesses, that they need to understand that their customers are humans, really.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, absolutely.

Daniel Franco:

It’s such a forgotten art. Yeah.

Andrew Ferguson:

Also, businesses tend to forget that their employees are humans too.

Daniel Franco:

Absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

And that we as humans, we need to learn how to interact as humans rather than as cogs in a machine. And the idea that we are just cogs in the machine is unhelpful to the health of the organization.

Daniel Franco:

If you could give some advice to the people listening and me especially, who are facing a state of uncertainty right now, I guess advice on how to handle that and what’s … You were talking about the stories that we’re telling ourselves. What advice regarding storytelling would you give to people right now?

Andrew Ferguson:

I think the most important one is to actually be genuine, to be authentic, to be honest and to be real. At a time like this when people are genuinely afraid, we can’t pretend that they’re not and there’s no point pretending and just telling them, “Just suck it up and get on with it.” I’ve got friends who’ve lost their entire income for the whole year. They have nothing in front of them. There’s no point in saying, “Oh, you’ll be all right.” Yeah, he’s not going to be all right. I don’t know what’s going to happen. So I’ve got to be honest, we’ve got to be real and acknowledge that people are feeling afraid and feeling totally out of control. In our businesses, people are feeling dislocated and uncertain, and we have to be truthful about that, but we don’t stop there because there are things we can do and there are possibilities.

Daniel Franco:

We are in the middle of one of those events.

Andrew Ferguson:

Exactly. Yeah, yeah. We’re in the middle of the crazy part of the story.

Daniel Franco:

Correct.

Andrew Ferguson:

And maybe we’re in the rags to riches story where we’ve just lost it all again.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. There’s [inaudible 00:23:50].

Andrew Ferguson:

It’s not the end of the story.

Daniel Franco:

I love children’s movies because my two children watch all the cartoons, Disney stuff, whatever, but there’s that movie Sing. I’m not sure if you’ve seen it. You should be. You’re in music. [inaudible 00:24:05] Sing is about this koala. But he goes on this story and he says this comment which has stuck with me and the comment is, “The beauty about rock bottom is that there is only one way, and it’s up.” It’s just such a positive viewpoint on everything that was happening in his life and the world was crashing around the immune. It’s the, “It is what it is,” comment I guess and you just got to keep moving and you can’t give up.

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s right. And we will get through it somehow and our communities will, and eventually we’ll be stronger for it, eventually.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah. It is a hard time. And I think being empathetic with people who are going through this time. You don’t necessarily need to give them advice or show an example of where you’re suffering, too. The problem is you can’t even put your arm around them and comfort them in this time as well, but it’s-

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s right.

Daniel Franco:

This social distancing, it should be more … It should be physical distancing, not social distancing, because we still want to [crosstalk 00:25:15]. Absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

You’re asking for some advice. One of the people that I follow is a guy called Michael Margolis. His organization’s called Get Storied. And in a recent email around this whole issue, one of the things he said, “Everyone is a leader. While you may feel like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders, this is a time to create space for everyone around you to lead alongside you. I continue to be amazed by how people on my team and in my life are stepping up in response to the heed, the call, the invitation. Our response to COVID-19 is an opportunity to democratize and distribute leadership. I’m learning to trust my people and myself and give up control in ways I never have before.”

Daniel Franco:

That’s [inaudible 00:25:56].

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, he’s great. I like him a lot.

Daniel Franco:

I just wrote it down.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, I recommend his stuff. He’s good value. Great storytelling. He’s in the change sphere as well, so you guys would align. Yeah, each of us has got an opportunity to be an influence to someone else. And if that’s just … I sat down with my son last night and we talked about disease vectors, talked about symptoms and these are these the symptoms. Someone that you know is sick, they’ve got a runny nose, they’re really, really unlikely to have COVID-19. That’s very, very low on the list.

Daniel Franco:

It’s an understanding as well, educating yourself-

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. That’s right.

Daniel Franco:

… getting the facts, which is-

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, actually getting decent new information. But we can help people to maintain a positive attitude. We can encourage people to get good information and to do the sensible things. Wash your hands. Cover your face when you sneeze.

Daniel Franco:

Do the right thing.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, that’s right.

Daniel Franco:

We all know what we need to do.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. I saw a tweet the other day from, I think it was Titus O’Reily. He’s an Australian comedian.

Daniel Franco:

I love Titus.

Andrew Ferguson:

He’s great. He said, “Something I never thought I’d see, men in a hotel bathroom washing their hands.”

Daniel Franco:

Brilliant. So moving into the last question before we go to rapid fire, can you just give two practical tips for our listeners that they might be able to take away and build some stories around?

Andrew Ferguson:

The point of the story is the important thing. Why am I telling you a story? Because if I don’t know that, then the story is not going to be very interesting. So if I’m telling you a story because I want you to grab a hold of an idea, the vision that we’re casting for the business, I want you to grab ahold of that and get behind it, then the story needs to appeal to that part of the human being that’s listening as something that they actually aspire to.

Daniel Franco:

So understanding your audience is [inaudible 00:28:07].

Andrew Ferguson:

Absolutely, yeah. You got to know who you’re writing for and you have to pitch the story for your audience. If you’re talking to your four-year-old, you tell a story that’s in language that they understand.

Daniel Franco:

[crosstalk 00:28:17] yeah, absolutely.

Andrew Ferguson:

If you’re talking to a bunch of university professors, then you pitch your story at a level that makes sense to them and doesn’t condescend. You want to know your audience. You got to understand what it is that you want to say, who you’re saying it to, and then structure it in a way that you actually get your point across. But you use the narrative vehicle exactly as that. It’s just a vehicle. It’s not an end in itself. I’m not trying to write a story because the story’s the thing. I’m trying to write a story because I have something that I want to communicate.

Daniel Franco:

There’s an underlying message.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. There’s a message that I want to communicate. And maybe it’s as simple as Terry Pratchett’s, “Buy my next book.” But in a business context, usually it’s we need to change the way we’re doing things and this is the goal and this is what we’re aiming for and so I’m telling a story about that, or if it’s to do with my customers, we’ve been observing the marketplace and we could see that people are really struggling with this, and actually that’s something we’re really good at and so we want to find ways that we can help you with that because we can actually make your life better.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, add value.

Andrew Ferguson:

That’s right. I’m not sure if that’s two, but that’s close enough.

Daniel Franco:

That’s good enough. Yeah, it’s definitely going to be helpful for our listeners, which is great. We’re going to finish off now with some rapid fire questions. I’m going to pick out of these. I’m not going to ask them all. The first one would be if you could put something on a tee shirt or a bumper sticker, what would it say?

Andrew Ferguson:

Oh goodness. My favorite tee shirt that I ever saw that I never bought, I would like to bring that one back. It said, “The internet, instant answers to your stupid questions.”

Daniel Franco:

Beautiful. Love it. Good job. Next one. Being in the music industry, this one is fit for purpose. If you could choose a soundtrack or a song for your life, what would it be?

Andrew Ferguson:

I like to think about these kinds of questions.

Daniel Franco:

Rapid fire.

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah, that’s right. Soundtrack to my life. It would probably end up being The Joshua Tree by U2 because I just love that album so much and it has been a soundtrack to my life. The first thing that came into my head is actually a song by a band from Boston called Gusta and the song’s called Amsterdam and I love it because it’s so totally different to anything I could ever write. I’ve got a special edition of that album and they had the original scratch vocal on this thing and in that, it was just random words thrown on the page that all sounded interesting.

Daniel Franco:

It’s a bit like Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin.

Andrew Ferguson:

And there’s no coherent thread to it and I could not write a song like that. There is a story in the actual song once he sat down and figured it out but to write a song that didn’t have any story to start with, I don’t know how you’d do that. So maybe-

Daniel Franco:

That’s art in itself, isn’t it?

Andrew Ferguson:

Yeah. Maybe that’s the … I don’t know if that’s the soundtrack to my life. It’s the opposite of the soundtrack to my life.

Daniel Franco:

What are you reading right now?

Andrew Ferguson:

I read lots and lots of comics online.

Daniel Franco:

Oh, do you?

Andrew Ferguson:

An impossible number of comics.

Daniel Franco:

And why comics?

Andrew Ferguson:

It’s a fantastic storytelling medium. It’s very closely aligned to movies. You’re telling stories.

Daniel Franco:

Well, I’m the world’s biggest Marvel fan, so yeah.

Andrew Ferguson:

Oh, there you go. Well, a Marvel zombie.

Daniel Franco:

Yeah, there you go.

Andrew Ferguson:

Comics, they tell stories in ways that are different to what you can do in a novel and different to what you can do in a movie. They kind of have elements of both. I love movies. I love novels as well. I have a pile of 30 odd books next to my bed, all of which I’m reading and haven’t finished any of them.

Daniel Franco:

It’s funny because we ask that question a lot and for me, reading a book is about getting a piece of information out of a book at a particular point that you need it as opposed to reading a book from cover to cover. Yeah, it’s an interesting one. All right, last question. What is your best dad joke?

Andrew Ferguson:

I come from an absurdist humor background, so my favorite joke is what’s the difference between a duck? Its left front legs are both the same.

Daniel Franco:

Oh, that’s horrible. It’s my favorite joke.

Andrew Ferguson:

I mean, it’s surrealist comedy.

Daniel Franco:

Thank you very much for joining us today. It’s actually been really enlightening. I’ve definitely learned a few things, which is great and how to tell a story.

Andrew Ferguson:

Thank you.

Daniel Franco:

In the sales world, you can always use a couple of stories to try to get you [crosstalk 00:33:12].

Andrew Ferguson:

Absolutely.

Daniel Franco:

So it definitely works, which is great. But yeah, thank you very much for joining us and yeah, hear from you soon.

Outro:

Thank you once again for joining us here at Creating Synergy. It’s been great spending this time with you. Please jump onto the SynergyIQ Facebook page where the discussion continues after the show. Join our mailing list so you’ll know what’s happening next at synergyiq.com.au. And of course, don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast and if you really enjoyed it, please share it with your friends.

Meet our Host

Daniel Franco

Daniel Franco

Daniel has a passion to help people shift their lives and businesses to another level, regardless of their current success. His pure enthusiasm and joy for creating long lasting relationships is paramount to the success of our Clients and SynergyIQ.

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