Ever put your foot in it – and wished the ground would swallow you up?
Like, you’re so embarrassed, you think you’ll have to go live in a cave for the rest of your life?
Yep? Me too.
Till now, I’ve kept this quiet. The only other person who knows about it is Kylie Minogue. But they say confession is good for the soul, so what the hell…here goes.
As you might know, I used to work in London’s Theatreland – including a 3-year stint on that rollerskatey musical Starlight Express.
And one night, Kylie ambles in.
Real actual Kylie.
This was huge. Till that night, the biggest star we’d had in was Ian Beale off Eastenders. This was KYLIE!
Back in ’89, when she was the world’s favourite mini-popster.
Anyhoo. The manager wanted to meet her in the interval, so he invited her to his VIP suite.
(Ian Beale never got in there…he even had to buy his own ice cream).
So…the boss needed someone to escort Kylie up the stairs.
I bribed and blackmailed my way to the top of the list. Promising I’d do all kinds of icky stuff that I’d never have wanted my mum to know about.
So yeah – I got the gig.
Interval time, and I’m doing my escort thing. Making small talk on the 90 second walk to the boss’ lair.
And suddenly, my brain switched off.
I ran out of polite witty banter.
Say something. Anything!
Then it happened.
Just before the VIP suite, you walk past the Gents’ toilets. So…I don’t know why…I blurted out:
“Shall we just nip into the Gents first?”
Cue that moment, a split second later, when your brain shouts “No!!!!!!!”
But it was done. It was out there.
Kylie looked at me, and said “Er no, it’s fine…thanks”.
And that was it. The boss appeared and whisked her away – leaving me to cringe every day for the next 28 years.
Now look – I’m not saying that some better chosen words would have made a difference. It was only a fleeting, meaningless encounter anyway. But at least I could have lived with myself.
So if you’re reading this Kylie – soz. No seedy come-on intended.
And the moral…?
Well if you’ve read this far, it’s because stories work. Whether they’re invented, or real stories like this, they’re the best way to hold attention and help your customers get to know you.
Especially through email.
So, an exercise for you this week:
Work back through your life, and jot down all the big moments. From school and college. From jobs and business ventures. From family and friends.
What are your dinner party anecdotes? Your painful secret memories?
And, how can you relate them to the work you do? By drawing a lesson, that helps your readers to solve a problem or follow a dream?
Then share your stories in emails. Not every day or every week…mix them up a bit with other tips and “how to” stuff. But drop them in every now and then…I promise you, it works.
Why? Because you’re letting people into your life. Not putting yourself on a pedestal, saying “Look at me, I’m amazing” – you’re admitting that you’re frail and human, and a little bit crap at some things.
Most people respect that. And that’s why I’ve shared this tale.
So go for it – try the exercise.
And if you see Kylie near the Gents, don’t ask her…she’s not interested!