Why? Because when he finds your…you will lean forward, and your entire demeanor becomes animated.
In nearly 20 years of work in Field Sales, Product Marketing, and Business Development in a variety of industries, Jason has found that finding someone’s Firestory is few and far between. Instead most sharing spreadsheets, death by powerpoint or a corporate mission statement.
That’s why he has committed, for the rest of my career, to helping people discover and share their FireStories. In a world that is overrun with information and people trying to be heard, what we truly need is UNDERSTANDING. We don’t need to know what you do or how you do it. We need to know your WHY. Your FireStory provides your WHY.
Learn how to find your Firestory in todays episode and watch everything change in your business!
Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation. Welcome to another episode of public speaking secrets. I’m your host Victor Ahipene, super excited to have you here and we’ve got someone who’s going to fire you apple got Jason Jordan who is the founder of firestory.com and he has a plethora, I really liked that word of life of, of sales marketing, business development experience that he has combined with an MBA and combined with finding a niche, uh, between generationals that has allowed him to launch his dream career as a professional speaker. And I know a lot of you out there on that road as well. So I’m super excited to have him here and welcome to the show.
Jason Jordan: Thank you victor. Thank you for having me.
Victor Ahipene : It’s a familiar story. Where did the name come from? What does it symbolize? Uh, how did you kind of get to that point?
Jason Jordan: Well, fantastic question right out of the gate. I, um, as you know, and as you mentioned before, I had been doing a lot of work with generations and one of the things that I found that really tied all of them together, whether they’re, um, I don’t know if you guys have the same sort of generational divide, Sarah and Australia that we do, but we’ve got baby boomers are kind of the older people and then generation X is my generation. And then the youngsters are the millennials. And, uh, really what connects all of them effectively story. And so I started doing some research more into story. And, uh, I came across this book that was talking about, uh, the Kalahari bushmen and some of the earliest examples of human culture on the planet. And, um, the way they, the archeologists think it happened was that long time ago, you know, before we fire all communication was very tactical in nature. We would merely describe where, where the food was, where the action was, where the enemy was, whatever that. Um, and then as soon as the sun went down, we had to seek shelter, right way to seek shelter for warmth. We had to get away from predators way to protect ourselves or whatnot. And then, uh, when we learned to control fire, the day got extended, people could stay out later. The fire provided warmth that provided a common meeting place for, for people to gather. They could cook their food, they could, um, be protected from the nighttime predators. And so it was around these fires that people began to discuss more than just tactical things. They started to talk about ideas and visions and new things that they wanted to try and accomplish. And uh, they say that it was around these fires that the first human culture started to develop. And so fire stories is a bit of a non to these ancient round the fire talks where people, where we as humans really kind of learned to connect and share for the first time that I believe that continues even today. Uh, I don’t know if he ever go out camping or something like that, but there’s nothing more fun than gathering around a fire with some good friends and, uh, you just relax and, uh, all of a sudden great ideas start coming out. And it connects us in pretty profound ways.
Victor Ahipene : And with that, what does fire story do you know, what do you do within fire story and what does your business I guess self.
Jason Jordan: Okay. Um, so as far as buyer story goes, the fire, uh, fire stories, a name I give for something that is more than just a normal story. It’s more than just one of those funny stories that, that we share. A fire story is really a story about change. And most businesses were founded around a fire story. It was if you’ve ever started your own business, you know how hard it is. You know what a struggle it is. Um, you know what a risk it is, you know, a lot of great people and giving up a regular paycheck and, and some of the stability there to go off on their own and take a big risk. And they do it because of something they believe. And it’s almost always a story that gave birth to that belief. And it’s a story that there was core few gathered around and they shared regularly and things got going in a business around this story. But then all of a sudden the business takes off and it starts to grow and you start acquiring new people and you start acquiring different divisions. And this is the business development guy. This is the marketing guy, this is the finance person. And and as it grows, these people become more and more distant from that story. And next thing you know, you’ve got a whole company full of people who are just, they’re exchanging their hours for dollars. There’s no real connection to the cause. And so we started getting together these ideas of like mission statements and statements of value and core values and things like that. And none of those was really, in my opinion, capture the essence of what drove the story fundamentally what drove the business. Um, at the level with chip people, they’re all and sacrificing at a base level to fight for a cause. And I really believe that sharing that story among, uh, among even some others as the business develops is key to keeping that close knit feel and that cause and bringing the right people on board that are willing to fight for you, that aren’t willing to leave just because somebody offers them, you know, a couple of extra dollars per hour more or this or that benefit. They’re willing to stick it out long term.
Victor Ahipene : No, I love that because I mean, yeah, you look at say a Zappos for example. Yeah. They create the environment of, hey look, we’ll pay you to leave the company if you don’t think it’s working out. Um, they hit their head of the driving factors and it might not be about money. It might be about learning more, uh, within your job, where it might be progressing in certain ways or developing yourself as a person. And, I mean, I know those aren’t necessarily a story that drives it, but as that overall culture that, you know, I, I know it can be, I’m a trained physiotherapist and people will, you know, there’s not a lot of difference between one job as an another because a lot of your earning is capped on how much, how many patients you can see. So you go to another place, you’re going to see the same amount. But I’ve worked at places that have had that, you know, a lot more than that, a mission statement, which gets forgotten. It’s a, it’s a thing that I see. You’ve done your MBA, it’s like, okay, we need to do a mission statement and we need to do a swat analysis. Like, yeah, it’s almost a buzzword at times.
Jason Jordan: Uh, particularly punchline at times, you know.
Victor Ahipene : and you see, you see these companies. One place I worked, we got, we didn’t, we weren’t the most highly paid, but they ticked off core things that a lot of physiotherapists looked for. Like we had a lot of training. Um, and there’s a lot of Alpha personalities that want to know more within the IT industry rather than necessarily earn more. Yeah. We, we weren’t getting underpaid by any stretch, but it was you’re going to enjoy work more if you’re continually challenging yourself every week rather than chasing five. Yeah. An extra hundred bucks a week. Um, you know, for going somewhere else. And it was kind of the thing that the more we knew the bidder we could make our patients, the more of those patients would come back to us. The more would have a bit of clientele and it all really fit in. So, I mean, I love what your company’s all about when it comes to, I guess getting that or developing that message because storytelling is behind everything. You know, you watched the best talks online storytelling, you watched the, this, you know, political races and it’s who can tell the best stories, sometimes true or not true, but it’s the ones who can develop the best story and lead people into your future paced ideal or something that’s going to be for benefit of everybody. Have you got, I guess, frameworks around how you look to develop these, these stories that I guess get people cross-generational and things all on board together?
Jason Jordan: Yeah, it’s a, it’s often a challenge because surprisingly we, we tend to hide some of these more compelling stories and um, you know, it’s, it’s no surprise all social media seems to have caught on to this idea that storytelling is so key. Uh, like Facebook, you know, if you look at the top there, it says, oh, such and such has added to their story and that turns stories thrown around so often. But you know, if you’ve spent any time on Facebook, you scroll through hundreds of people and all of their stories seem to be pretty much the same. It’s everything is Hunky Dory and my, here’s my 2.5 children and my beautiful husband and fantastic wife, and here we are in Fiji and everything’s just magical. And as we know that there, that’s not the truth, that’s not the real story. And stories have conflict, right? Stories have challenges that people have to overcome. Otherwise, it’d be a really boring story if it was just perfect all the time. And so oftentimes what I find is that I literally have to pull it out of people. I have to sit down as part of, um, sometimes one on one coaching, sometimes corporate coaching. Uh, there are some companies I work with and I won’t work with a company usually on an individual basis and system working with the entire company because I want every body experiencing the story as it starts to come out. And it takes some polling and you’ve got to break down barriers and these silos and these walls that we build up over time. But as people feel safe and they start talking about their experiences, what they’ve done for customers, what they’ve done in their divisions and the challenges that they face, people start feeling more and more connected, more open. And I mean, great things happen when you can break down those barriers and reach those people. But man, you, you, it, you got to tear down the wall. If, uh, if you follow my meaning, you got to break through.
Victor Ahipene : And I think that’s a really good point that a lot of people misunderstand with, uh, with stories is, yeah, like you said, they’ll, they’ll tell the perfect story and the regards of everything’s perfect. This is great. Yeah. This is what our company strives to do. Or, and Barry, they’re not differentiating themselves. Like, look, we started out doing what everybody else did and getting the results everybody else got. And it wasn’t until we made the shift, which took a lot of heartache and turmoil and blah, blah, blah. And, and now we’re at this place where we can do this. Or you know, that, that, uh, yeah, the hero’s story where they have success and then have failure and then have success. People can buy into that and relate and join that roller coaster of emotions. And then, you know, they want to fight for your team. They want to, whether it be a customer or a staff member, they want to be behind something that’s more than just, yeah, fluffy words, you know, put together nicely that says, we’re great. Yeah, we can do everything you want.
Jason Jordan: Yeah. I mean, when you look at the history of take a, a pretty common company that everybody knows, like Apple, right? What do people connect with? Eh, they look back to the Steve Jobs days and they talk almost with fun-ness about the time when Steve was fired from his own company, right? Um, overcoming those early boundaries of, of reaching out and he reached out to the, I guess the CEO or CEO of Pepsi and told him that you want to make sugar water or do you want to come change the world? And then you came on and, uh, they ended up getting rid of Steve, the guy who founded the company crashed and burned. I remember you coulda got Apple stock for eight bucks and a, you know, then this magic little white box came along that would hold your music. And, uh, they, they started building from there and fighting against all of this. I mean, I think we’ve reached a point now where Apple is reached such a level of success that people can’t connect anymore with the struggle. And I think competitors are starting to capitalize on that. They don’t have that compelling visionary leader anymore. And so the story has gotten watered down. I remember when people used to tune in to see Steve Jobs pitch the next product that by God you were going to buy whether you had the money or not. And now it’s just oof. Bunch of talking heads out there and talking about Pixel density and uh, the amount of memory and it’s one 10th of a millimeter thinner, but it’s gonna Cost Ya 1200 bucks. Oh, thanks a lot guys.
Victor Ahipene : That’s a, you got like, yeah, what was it, 500 songs in your pocket or whatever. Like yeah, he sold, he sold a, um, a solution to people who were staff rather than everyone else was selling MP3 players. He was selling 500 songs in your pocket. Um, yeah, and that was, yeah, I mean I, I’m not an Apple F or I don’t own anything Apple, but I’ve, I love Steve, his auto biography. I love following the stuff that he did and watching his presentations and things like that because you can see the masters in it. I spoke with one of another guest the other day who was talking about, we’re talking about competition in a, and you know, we got to the point that I like, I don’t think that there’s many companies out there that truly have competition. Ethel’s probably one of them. They’ve got, you know, Samsung and it’s uh, yeah, not necessarily a 50, 50 split, but that competing directly on the same product. The majority of us aren’t. We, we’re never going to be able to service the world as a, is that as a whole? So there’s an abundance of, of clients or customers or whatever you want to call it for us with, let me dive into it for, I used the speakers out there. You said you go into companies and corporations and you work with the teams. What are the steps? I mean it might, it might be at a point now where they come to you, but we’re, when you were first starting out, how were you getting that foot in the door with some of these companies? And how were you proving that the problem you solve was other solution you offered was a problem that they had? Cause I, I mean, uh, uh, stories, it’s not arbitrary, but it’s not a, we’re going to decrease your costs by 20%. Like, yeah, this is a lot of intrinsic value in it, but it’s not necessarily something, I guess easy for a lot of companies to see particularly, you know, even five, 10 years ago.
Jason Jordan : Yeah, man, you’re absolutely right about that. And I came from a sales world where everything was ROI driven, right? And let me sit down with you, Mr Customer and show you ROI in hard dollars. You buy our product, we’re going to save you x amount of dollars. And now I’m in this very sort of nebulous world where I’m selling, Something that has value but you can’t put a number on it and you can’t put an exact value on it. And that is a challenging scenario. It really is. Um, all of the evidence is there. When you look at the levels of satisfaction that people have with their work, with their career, with their companies, the amount of turnover there is these days, the amount of time that millennials, that youngest generation will actually spend with a company. All the evidence is there pointing to a big problem that people are not connecting with you, whether it’s internal or extra mile. It’s ton of competition out there. And so it’s easy to compete on price just going on Amazon and be the cheaper guy. Yeah. Um, so when the evidence is all out there that people want to connect, um, but you know, like anything else, I have to put myself out there. I have to talk whether it’s paid or not, I have to make my case and make my argument. And some CEOs will get it and some won’t. Some will say, you know, where’s the hard dollar evidence? I said, you know, some people will try to make stuff up for you. I’m not going to do that. If you don’t get it, that’s all right. I’ll move on to the next one. But you start off with that first one who gets it and we’ll give you a shot and you go ahead and blow them away. They’re people super happy. Make there people ecstatic to be a part of it and get some, some, I mean, I’ve had people at companies who have handed me their letters of resignation, like they were on their way out the door and they tore them up in front of me saying, you know what? I think I see now what’s what’s happening with this? And a, you start collecting those bits of data and I mean like a little snowball rolling down a hill. It, it starts to pick up momentum and pickup speed is as people just start to see what it can do. I wish I had a hard ROI that I could show people, but in the end it’s a kind of take a leap of faith.
Victor Ahipene : Yeah. I think that’s a very good lesson for a lot of people was getting. Yeah, just not, not overdelivering just delivering to somebody who’s willing to give you a shot, like whether you believe in over delivering or not, but yeah, whatever you say you’re going to do, do it really well and show them, hey, there is a benefit. This is going to shift your company and then leverage off them and say, look, I’m going to, I mean I’ve heard of people set up, I’m going to come and speak to your company at a discount or free. Um, what I’m going to do though is I’m going to deliver everything I say at the end of it. What you’re going to do is you’re going to recommend me to three other companies and you’re going to give me a glowing testimonial on the proviso that I do deliver. And Yeah, if you can get that, then it, it helps in space. Obviously, if you can prove that direct ROI and drop their cost by 20% net then certainly helps as well. But I mean, I think for a lot of speakers out there, they’ve got, you know, if you’re a motive, inspirational, motivational mindset, uh, you know, a lot of those things do create change within a company. But it’s, yeah, it’s like going to the gym for a day. You don’t necessarily see it. We don’t see it after the first day, but yeah
Jason Jordan : not after one day. No. Yeah, you’re, you’re right. And it does get to be a challenge in some respects and that those early customers who, who believe in you and give you a shot and you enter into an arrangement with them at a lower price, the challenge that you have is as you start to pick up momentum, uh, and pick up more customers and you start to command higher rates and higher dollars for what it is you do, uh, those early guys still have a tendency to value you at the discounted level that you engaged with them. And, um, so you have some tough decisions to me. Do you owe them a, in which case you, you keep going at the price that they’re willing to pay or do you say, Hey, uh, I’m sorry, but this is, this is what I’m commanding now and this is what it’s going to have to be. That’s a tough decision to make.
Victor Ahipene : Yeah. And with your, like you go into a, a organization, a company, you help them help them crafts and certain things initially out front. What do you have for like a decision models or continuation of working with those companies? Um, you know after say the first period that you’ve worked with them?
Jason Jordan : Yeah, so it’s great that you bring that up because I, for a long time I was a keynote or you know, I would get up in front of conferences or companies and I get people really jazzed up for the length of that conference. And the tail was, was really short. It would last for a couple of days. That enthusiasm, that momentum when only lasts for a couple of days and a then people would be right back doing the exact same thing that they’ve always done. And so I kind of made a decision at that point that what I was looking for was less of an upfront, less of a 10,000, $20,000. Keynote and more of a, okay, I want to, let’s spread that out over a year or something like that because I want to work with your people consistently, like every week, every week. Give me a chunk of your company and cycle these people through because I want to chip away at their paradigm, their whatever ideas that they have over time and break through those shells and break through those barriers and open them up basically. And it takes, it takes time. And so that was a decision that I made for my business. What I do takes time and um, so mostly what I do now, I used to do some private coaching, but you can’t $200 an hour for private coaching or whatever that is. Um, people can’t get a lot of your hours and the, they’re looking to cut that very short. And so I made the decision that I wanted to work with larger groups of people for longer periods of time and just chip away at it gradually. But I think it depends on what you’re offering. You know, if you have a solution that is, hey, make this change and you’ll get this result, go for the keynote. And mine just happens to take longer.
Victor Ahipene : Yeah, and I think from a lot of speakers that I’ve talked to, I think that’s a big shift that a lot of them have had as the keynote. A lot of people, I am for the keynote to be the end of the journey, like trying to get a keynote presentation where you know, a lot of highly experienced speakers have spoken to have said, it’s the first step. Yeah, it’s a cool, now we’ve delivered to this corporation, now we can start offering training, offering different, different solutions in the longterm. So it’s, it’s really good to be able to get like, you know how you’ve managed and developed to do that. Because I think one of the problems that we all have is we have a lot of expertise. We jump up on a keynote presentation and we want to regurgitate as much of a doubt as we potentially can. And like you say, people get their stuff and they get too much of the, how they become overwhelmed and yeah, we tightened the Tall Cup, but you know, you can’t, you can’t put 12 months of time where you have to do work in between it and to a day or, and to two days. And being able to offer those things on an ongoing process and having potentially multiple product offerings so that once they transition through one level, they can, you know, once I’ve done sales, they can move towards leadership. And once I’ve done leadership, they can, we’ll do yeah. Towards marketing, whatever it may be. You can come through those different layers. And I think it’s something that a lot of speakers potentially lack as, yeah. They say, oh, I can go and do 30 keynotes throughout the year and, and I bet you I don’t love sitting on a play go and yeah.
Jason Jordan : no, not anymore. I’ve got a 10 year old and a 12 year old and um, you know, they like having dad around and I kind of enjoy being around them right now. I’m sure one day here in the not too distant future there’ll be teenagers and they’ll looking for, for dad to not be around as much. But uh, I love being around them. And so yeah, the, the keynote road warrior thing,
it’s not what I’m after anymore.
Victor Ahipene : Now. I think that it’s Cohen on that note, I think. Oh well we’ll round it up now and we’ll let you go and spend some time with their family of yours. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on and just want to welcome you to our speaker nation family. If people want to find out more about you and check out what you’re doing, where can they go and what can they do?
Jason Jordan: Oh, I’m sorry. Um, they, uh, they can hit me on Twitter is an easy one, which is @yourfirestory. Um, that’s an easy one. Also, firestory.com is my website and uh, I’m on most of the other usual suspects. Facebook and Linkedin and all those, but Twitter and I’m just going to the website and connecting with me directly are probably the easiest. And Victor, I’ve got a challenge for you sir. I would like to know and at some point I think you should share this with your listening audience if you haven’t already is how you are. I’m s I’m sorry your uh, what you told me what kind of therapist you are, but I’ve also like a physical therapist, so a physical therapist, physical therapist, get into running a podcast on speaking. There’s a story there. There’s a story there that I can sense and I think that would be a fascinating thing for everybody to hear.
Victor Ahipene : Oh, take it out. Next episode, my back story, we’ll ah, we’ll go into it and if not, it’s all written. An awesome book called publicspeakingsecrets.com that you can pick out is exited until segue. You can pick it up for free. You cover, you cover the shipping. I’ll cover the book and we’ll also have all the show notes that we’ve talked about, all the links to fire story. If you’re on the road and can’t pick them up, and that’s at publicspeakingblueprint.com so thank you so much, Jason. Been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to either you coming back to Australia or touching base on the other side of the world with you.
Jason Jordan : My pleasure of victory at one of these points, I’m going to drag the entire family out there and it’s going to be awesome to visit your country again.
Victor Ahipene : Oh, awesome. Thanks mate.
Jason Jordan : Thank you.