StoryBrand Framework: Marketing Strategies Rooted in Ancient Knowledge

Marketing budgets eat up an enormous amount of company money. We all know that.

What is another thing we should all do well to remember? Websites don’t sell things. Words do.

When brands attack a marketing strategy, they often fail to see the one main underlying factor that is going to give the campaign the drive it needs to succeed: the story.

What’s behind the story? The words used to tell it.

All great stories are rooted in survival. How to survive. How to thrive. Over time, it was the sharing of success stories that ultimately kept humans alive. (Eat this, not that. Do this, not that.) We’re all hard-wired for stories; it’s in our DNA. When your company is working on branding your products and materials, the inherent message shouldn’t be rocket science. Instead, it should be rooted in narrative.

Building a StoryBrand

Soundview offers time-saving summaries and reviews of the latest business books, as well as exclusive access to webinars with top authors, and much more.

Having a story at the true center of your marketing strategy is the secret weapon that will continue to grow your business.

Ensure your strategy introduces and addresses these three crucial questions:

  1. What does the hero want?
  2. Who or what is opposing the hero getting what she wants?
  3. What will the hero’s life look like if she does (or does not) get what she wants?

As your marketing department connects back with the essential elements and foundations of stories (character identities, the problem the character is trying to solve, the guide, the plan, a call to action, how to avoid failure, and an end to the story rooted in success), your marketing campaigns will take on lives of their own.

Instinctively, consumers and potential customers will relate to the story that is being shared on a subconscious level. As these individuals connect with your story on a deeper plane, they will feel drawn to the products and services your company is trying to provide.

Let the ancient form of story be the key to your company’s survival in this modern day and age.

About the Writer

Sarah Dayton is the Editor-in-Chief at Soundview. This post was inspired by the ideas in our Executive Summary of the book, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

New Summary: Digital @ Scale by Jürgen Meffert and Anand Swaminathan

61pYjiQ3W+L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ Everybody talks about digital. But few talk about scaling a full-blown transformation and what it takes. This is no longer about how to quickly grab the attention of the customer or clean up the back office. Organizations need to unlock the full value of digital to reap its true benefits. Jürgen Meffert and Anand Swaminathan, along with some of the top experts in the field, have put together a practical guide to embark on your digital journey and scale it successfully. In Digital@Scale, the authors and contributors walk you through the three pillars of a successful transformation: (1) reinventing the business model, (2) redesigning business architecture, and (3) evolving the foundation of business and the organization with technology. Digital transformation is necessary across every industry, and will change the entire working ecosystem, including the addition of new positions such as the Chief Digital Officer and the Information Technology department. This is your digital playbook as you navigate through those changes.

• How to build a three-stage structure to help prioritize strategic and operational tasks that will digitize your company.
• To understand the roles and importance of new technological positions, such as the IT department and chief digital officer.
• To set digital milestones to track your progress as you transform the company.
• To rethink traditional business architecture while redesigning an agile organization

New summary posted! The Leading Brain by Friederike Fabritius & Dr. Hans W. Hagemann

readinglist_leadingbrainOur understanding of how the brain works has radically shifted, exploding long-held myths and fundamentally changing the way we interact and succeed in the workplace. In The Leading Brain, neuropsychologist Friederike Fabritius and leadership expert Dr. Hans W. Hagemann present simple yet powerful strategies for sharpening focus, learning and retaining information more efficiently, improving complex decision-making, cultivating trust and building strong teams. Based on the authors’ popular leadership programs, which have been delivered to tens of thousands of leaders all over the word, this clear, insightful and informed guide will help both individuals and teams perform at their maximum potential, delivering extraordinary results. Effective leadership is a science, which shouldn’t be dependent on buzzwords or slogans. It should be based on a bedrock foundation of our understanding of the brain. Thanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience, we no longer have to merely speculate on the behavior of our brains. What we’ve learned from rigorous scientific studies has the potential to radically change the way we lead and succeed.

• How understanding neurochemistry can help you achieve peak performance.
• How to retrain your brain to sharpen your focus and regulate your emotions.
• How to develop new and better habits.
• How to harness the power of unconscious decision-making.
• How to improve the learning process for yourself and your team

New summary posted! Lifestorming by Alan Weiss and Marshall Goldsmith

Image result for lifestorming Alan Weiss and Marshall GoldsmithLifestorming is your practical guide to becoming the person you want to be. You will discover what it takes to redesign your life, friends, behaviors and beliefs in order to move closer to your goals. While change is not easy, it is possible. You will discover a new way to think about your goals — why you chose them, how you can achieve them and (critically) how they can evolve over time to reflect your changing priorities. Lifestorming will help you assess your current state in concrete terms and determine your ability to change and adapt. Then, you can purposefully identify the people, actions, habits and beliefs that either support your personal and professional growth or hold you back from reaching your goals. Outlined here are six building blocks of character that will help you to challenge your belief system, develop a leadership mindset and overcome the stumbling blocks that keep you from success. You’ll map out an action plan and learn how to continually move forward at work, at home and in everyday life.

• How to set the course of a personal evolutionary journey while being aware of outside forces that can influence the journey along the way.
• To recognize when changes in your behaviors are needed and how to evolve them into aspiration-appropriate behaviors.
• To build character in a way that allows you to reach your full potential and create the future you desire and deserve.
• To understand that legacies are created day by day, and how your behaviors and decisions are building that legacy.

New summary posted! Victory Through Organization by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockband

51DipQ1XeyL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_For the past two decades, business leaders and human resources professionals have been consumed with the war for talent, investing vast sums of money to bring in and manage people. The groundbreaking research in Victory Through Organization reveals that winning the war for talent requires more than managing people; it requires an organization that turns individual people into organizational capabilities. Data from more than 32,000 people in 1,200 businesses reveal that an organization has four times the impact on business performance compared with individual talent. Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank, who are professors and advisers to hundreds of companies, have studied the competencies of HR professionals for more than 30 years. With new insights from David Kryscynski and Mike Ulrich, their team collected data from more than 32,000 respondents to determine how HR can deliver both individual competence and organizational capability to add tangible value to key stakeholders as well as to short-term business results. Through this framework, you’ll focus on the workplace as much as on the workforce, on process as much as on people, on organizational capabilities as much as on individual competencies. Victory Through Organization is ideal for business and HR executives charged with building a more effective HR department and HR practices, and it is an essential guide for any HR professional committed to creating value.

• How to upgrade your HR professionals by determining which HR competencies have the most impact on personal effectiveness, stakeholder outcomes and business results. • To recognize the key ingredients of a more effective HR department with a focus on assessing business information and offering integrated HR solutions.

New Executive Summary posted: No Limits by John C. Maxwell

nolimitsWe often treat the word “capacity” as if it were a natural low of limitation. Unfortunately, most of us are much more comfortable defining what we perceive as off-limits rather than what’s really possible. Could it be that many of us have failed to expand our potential because we have allowed what we perceive as capacity to define us? What if our limits are not really our limits? In No Limits, leadership expert John C. Maxwell identifies the abilities and choices that make up our capacity. Some are things we all already possess, such as energy, creativity and leadership. Others are things we must choose, such as attitude, character and intentionality. Maxwell examines each of these capacities and provides rich insight on self-awareness as well as clean and actionable advice on how you can increase your potential. He teaches you how to identify, grow and apply your critical capabilities. Once you’ve blown the “cap” off your capabilities, you’ll find yourself more successful — and fulfilled — in your daily life.


• To become aware of the possibilities that can increase your capacity and make you better by recognizing your value through self-awareness.
• How to identify and develop the capacities that are already within you and understand how each capacity works together to improve you and your life.
• To make smart choices that allow you to reach your fullest potential

Guest Blog: How to Create a Solid Team by Daniel Milstein

Image result for teamThere is generally no such thing as a successful “lone wolf.” Talent might win the game, but it takes teamwork to capture the championship. Nearly everything I have accomplished so far has been the result of a group effort. From my work at McDonald’s as a teenager, to becoming the founder and CEO of the Gold Star Family of Companies, I was always aware that my success wouldn’t have been possible without the other team members’ support. If you want to succeed, you must depend on the cooperation of co-workers, business colleagues, family members and friends. Here’s how:

Build your team. You may not have a formal team to support you. However, you still have a group of people with whom you work—even though you may all have equal standing. Consider colleagues and associates as team members who can help you reach your job-related goals. Include them in your planning process when appropriate, and listen to their suggestions. You can also help them reach their goals. If you are self-employed and work alone, you still have family and friends who can provide a strong network of support for your business. Bounce ideas off of them, ask them to help spread the word about your work, and collaborate with others when necessary. Even an artist or writer doesn’t work alone. They need readers, printers, art collectors and reviewers to truly be successful. Build your team well. Fill it with those willing to support you. You cannot expect to lead a positive life if you surround yourself with negative people.

Be willing to collaborate.  Don’t aspire to be the best on the team. Aspire to be the best for the team. Many people feel competitive when working with others, and try to get their ideas heard above the rest. I’ve been in meetings where ego gets in the way of production. People get so caught up in figuring out who gets the credit that nothing gets accomplished. Sometimes things even go into litigation over ego issues. If you are simply trying to be the best on the team, you don’t leave much room for other people to grow and to lead. Don’t be a spotlight-stealer. What you build together will be stronger than what you build alone.

Create more leaders. True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. That’s why we at Gold Star look for new employees who have the potential to become leaders; they can continue helping us grow while they develop their careers. The great ones want to be coaches and get better every day. If you give people the opportunity to lead, they become more invested in the company. As their ideas become reality, they aspire to have even more contributions. It feels good to succeed. Teach the beginners, help them grow, and your company will thrive.

Value every team member. There is no one person on a team that should be underestimated. Everyone is important. The automobile is a great example of teamwork. In order to build a car, someone had to make the tires, someone had to build the components, someone had to mine the copper mine for the wires, and someone had to make and drive the trucks that hauled the copper ore. It takes so many people to make a car, and no one can say that the tire is more important than the copper. The car can’t run without all the parts. Every member of the team is essential.

Teamwork is the key to success. It is often said that if service is beneath you, leadership is beyond you. Someone is sitting the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago. Success is like that—it takes many steps to accomplish your goals, and a lot of hard work. As I always say, success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.


Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing, and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.  Learn more at

New Summary posted! The Future-Proof Workplace by Linda Sharkey and Morag Barrett

111928757XNobody can really be sure what tomorrow will bring — what game-changing technology, history-shaping demographic shifts or unanticipated market forces will emerge or how they’ll impact the way we work and lead. But, what we do know for certain is that the future will be different from what we’ve known; it’s already taking shape right before our eyes, and if we don’t prepare for it now, we can surrender any hope of our organizations surviving or thriving tomorrow. In The Future-Proof Workplace, you’ll discover how emerging technologies and advances in neuroscience research are toppling 20th-century organizational paradigms and transforming the way we work. And you’ll find out how yesterday’s biases are being replaced by tomorrow’s values, culture and relationships. In addition, you will learn to look deep into the heart of your company to determine if it’s ready and willing to adapt to the purpose-driven business paradigm of the future. You’ll gain powerful insights into the new organizational models that are coming into being at the most successful, forward-thinking companies worldwide. And you’ll learn to identify and seize the bold, new opportunities that 21st-century organizational structures will offer.

• How to assess and reshape your company for tomorrow’s challenges, today.
• The six factors of change that must be addressed to remain competitive.
• How to adjust your leadership style for the 21st century.
• How to embrace technology rather than shying away from it

Friday Book Review! Trap Tales by David M.R. Covey & Stephan M. Mardyks

51qWN3zM3TL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Through the fictional narrative of a man struggling through financial problems, marital problems, dissatisfaction with work and career, and raising two children, consultants and leadership trainers David M.R. Covey and Stephan M. Mardyks highlight in their book, Trap Tales, what they’ve identified as the seven obstacles to success, which they describe as “traps.” These traps, they write, are seductive, deceptive and sticky — in other words, they lure you in, give you momentary gratification that turns into long-term pain, and like quicksand, refuse to let you go. As a result, the authors write, “A trap holds you back from progressing toward your goals.”

For example, the Focus Trap is a universal problem in the 24/7, anytime-anywhere digital age. The authors lay out the clear reasons for the Focus Trap:

  • No filtering of the constant flow of incoming information and entertainment and, thus, no focus on what truly deserves your energy, time and attention.
  • Nonstop connectivity, clogging people’s lives with distractions and “thin things — time wasters — leaving the thick things of true substance on the back burner or forgotten entirely.”
  • Demand for instant gratification, failing to realize that the best things in life take time.

The conventional approach to the Focus Trap is to learn how to juggle better. The authors disagree, arguing that a more productive approach is to realize that we cannot do it all, to filter out the unimportant from the important and to learn…(click here to continue reading)

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Guest Blog: Five Easy Steps to the Brighter Future You Deserve by Daniel Milstein


56677-Don-t-Stop-BelievingSuccess isn’t reserved for a select few. It’s out there and available to anyone who wants it. It’s available to me. It’s available to YOU. And I’m here to tell you where to find it.

Is there a job you’ve always dreamed of having? A business you’ve always wanted to start? A career you thought could never be yours?

When I found out that sales was the field I wanted to work in, I went above and beyond being a loan officer and opened my own financial lending business. Then, years later, realizing my other passion was hockey, I thought of a way to be surrounded by what I love. So I started Gold Star Sports Management and we now work with players who are household names, such as Pavel Datsyuk, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings- now with SKA St. Petersburg in Russia, Artemi Panarin with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nikita Kucherov with Tampa Bay Lightning, and Nikita Zaitsev with the Toronto Maple Leafs, among others.

My dreams were big—so big that I was hesitant to share them with my friends—but I didn’t let that stop me. Instead, I went for it, giving it all I have.  In my new book, Rule #1 Don’t Be #2, I explain in detail the lessons I learned on my way to success, and what I do every day to stay there. Here are my top five to get you started:

  1. Begin With Your Dream – What is it you really want to do? We all have a dream. For many, it’s to own their own business and to be their own boss. Some want to be the best athlete or musician they can be. Others want to write a best-selling book. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s your passion. It should be something you can’t wait to get of bed for in the morning and never want to take a sick day from. Every success story began with a dream. So write yours down and put it in a place where you can see it every day. Walt Disney once said, “All of our dreams can come true, if we just have the courage to pursue them.”
  2. Give it Your All: Dreams don’t work unless you do. I’ve observed our athletes winning in what sometimes seem to be insurmountable odds, but the one thing they have in common is they give it everything they have. They rarely make excuses and do everything possible to avoid stopping short of the finish line. The same is true for business. If you want it bad enough, you will work for it. The key is to give it everything you have, every time. I’m not satisfied at the end of each day unless I know I gave it my all. You will have to do the same, but it will be worth it. Pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever. Work so hard that your signature will one day be called an autograph.
  3. Pick a Good Team: Part of your success can be attributed to collaboration with others. None of us can go it alone—at least not very far. There is generally no such thing as a “lone wolf.” You must depend on the cooperation of co-workers, business colleagues, family members and friends. I am the author of several best-selling books, but I didn’t do it alone. I had an editor, a cover artist, and a publicist to help me come up with a publishable product and get it in the stores. While the books were my dreams and the results of my hard work and determination, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without the help of those colleagues who had knowledge and skills in different areas than I do. Also, surround yourself with positive people. Naysayers will only bring you down. Part of having a good team is having people who look for solutions instead of problems. You can do amazing things if you have the right team.
  1. Don’t take shortcuts: We all want to get “there” faster, hoping to take a more direct route in reaching the finish line of success ahead of the rest. Most times success is a road you have to travel. Sometimes you will need more training, but often it’s more time. Malcolm Gladwell says that “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness” whether it’s playing the violin or shooting hoops. I always say an overnight success usually takes ten years. Do your homework, plot your course and eventually you will get there. When things don’t happen right away, just remember: it takes six months to build a Rolls Royce and 13 hours to build a Toyota. There are no discounts on the price of success.
  1. Stay Positive: Failure will happen, but don’t let it get you down. Instead, learn from it. Part of achieving your dream is being able to deal with less-than-positive results. I remind myself that in every challenging situation, I either succeed—or I learn from the unsuccessful outcome. But I am still committed to the win. Stay strong and never give up. Choice, not circumstances, determines your success. I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.

Those are my rules for staying on top of your game and achieving the dream you have always wanted. It won’t be easy, and in most cases it won’t come quickly or without a lot of hard work. But it is possible, and you can reach the success you deserve.   As I always say, success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day. Keep working hard and I will see you at the top.

Daniel Milstein is the CEO and founder of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing, and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. He is a best-selling author and shares his other strategies for success in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2: You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.  Learn more at