12: Christie Ruffino on Your Signature Story: Elevate Your Brand and Attract Clients with Your Message
Our stories can break us or they can shape us to follow our purpose and live our best life. – Christie Ruffino
Christie believes that mastering our stories is the key to everything we want in life. Our stories can either hold us back, or they can propel us to great heights. Once we master our story, we can identify our real purpose, step into our power, and help other people change their story by sharing our wisdom and guiding them to accomplish their goals.
In today’s episode, Christie shares 3-Key Principles to help you master your story so that you, too, can enjoy a business and life of true significance.
Meet Christie Ruffino
Christie Ruffino is a serial entrepreneur and a #1 Best-Selling Author with 13 books. She has had a very purposeful journey since her first entrepreneurial effort as the Top Girl Scout Cookie Seller to starting her second six-figure business, the Dynamic Professional Women’s Network, Inc., over 17 years ago where she has helped thousands of women increase their business revenue through clarity, strategy, collaboration, and increased visibility. She also went on to create the Overcoming Mediocrity Book Series and Podcast.
All this experience has come together in a way that now serves her clients at the highest level. As an Irresistible Brand Strategist, Christie guides her clients through her process to build their irresistible and profitable brands.
She has been featured on Inc.com, WGN Radio, and The Morning Blend TV show. Christie is a Certified John Maxwell Coach and has studied under a long list of business icons such as Bob Burg, Jack Canfield, and Larry Winget.
On a personal note, Christie is a student of human nature, avid reader, serial smart ass, closet rebel, and a proud grandma of the two most adorable kids ever!!!! (And she has thousands of photos to prove it.) Christie loves ideas but loves idea implementation, even more, can roll her tongue, swears she will NEVER skydive but is addicted to triple-digit speeds down open country roads on her 2013 Harley Davidson Streetglide.
When I interview our guests, the first thing I ask them is, what is your story? How did you become the expert at what you do right now? And what’s funny is many of them look at me and say, I’m not an expert. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. But what I see with so many of my guests and the clients I work with that the challenges that they face in their life, in their journey, set them up perfectly to be where they are now.
I am like some of our guests where I went through something traumatic. I’m not going to go through the traumatic part of my journey in detail. But I will say that I went through a pretty difficult divorce. I came out on the other side broke, and not knowing how I was going to be able to feed my family. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to support my children. But in the end, I was able to find a great job in the mortgage industry which set me on the path to start the Dynamic Professional Women’s Network as the means or a tool or resource for me to get clients. Then 17 years later we have a thriving organization, and then on that journey, I was asked to share my story.
Now I was five or six years out of it, and I did not see how my story was relevant. I hear that all the time with the women that I talk to or interview, that their story isn’t important. We don’t see how sharing our journey could help other people. Sometimes our stories are difficult and are pretty fresh. We don’t want to necessarily go back there. We want to keep moving forward. I like to learn from my mistakes. I like to learn from the past, but then I like to find solutions to move forward. I think that’s very true of successful people as we learn from our mistakes. We realize that we can make a decision to stay stuck in our problem, and to wallow in our misery, and to use that challenge as an excuse, instead of using it as the fuel to go to the next place.
I was in that situation where I had to decide to move forward. Once I decided to move forward, and it was very challenging to navigate through, I had many times on that journey where I didn’t think I was going to get out. I didn’t think I was going to ever get out of my financial situation or deal with the divorce or manage my children. We have many obstacles on our journeys, and I had to figure it out on my own.
When I was asked to share my story, my first response was no. I had to take a step back. The person that invited me to share my story was our guest on day two, Michelle Prince. And her book, Dare to be a Difference Maker was my first step into this journey. So many great things came out of my messy divorce, and the Overcoming Mediocrity Project is one of those blessings. Michelle asked me a simple question, she asked me, if your story could just help one person, wouldn’t it be worth it? I had to step out of my shoes and think about it from that perspective. I was so wrapped up in my problem. I was in a depression, very deep depression, where I wasn’t getting out of bed for days. When my mom took my kids away that woke me up. I decided to do something about my situation. It was a slow journey. But I was able to share my story. Not only was that experience transformational for my business, because I believe my business blossomed after that, but it was because of the visibility I received as a new author. But I think it was my mindset. The whole process of taking my story and writing it down and refining it and getting feedback and realizing that other people are going to read it was something that helped me get out of my shell and look at things from a different perspective. My mindset completely shifted, because now I’m an author. It transformed me personally, as well as professionally. Then someone reached out to me and thanked me for sharing my story. She was in a dark place, and she read my story. She shared with me how my story helped her and that right there made it all worth it. That was the reason why I started the Overcoming Mediocrity Project. At that point, I had this thriving organization. I had a bunch of members all over. I had a community of women that were supporting each other, and I was constantly trying to find resources to help them and I thought, well, heck if this experience helped me, why would I not share that? That was when our very first book, Overcoming Mediocrity, Volume One was birthed. I had an amazing lineup of women in that book with some very powerful stories.
I didn’t necessarily know how to navigate a co-authored book project. At that point, I was new, but I was fortunate that Michelle Prince helped me. I learned from her and she mentored me, and I had another great friend who helped me. I was able to figure it out. My project 10 books later is completely different. We take our clients through a whole process of how to write a book and how to find their story and how to deliver some amazing teaching points. We give our clients a lot of exposure. We’ve got a whole program to help them build their profitable business.
When that first book was done, like a baby, we enjoyed that little bundle of joy. Even though you don’t sleep a whole lot, you enjoy it, and you think maybe I’ll have another baby. And then time goes on, and the baby gets a little easier, and you start sleeping a little bit more. And you think, oh, this baby is so cute. I love it so much, I need another one, and that’s how it was with the Overcoming Mediocrity book. We got on the other side of producing the first book and I saw how the women were just loving it. So we put together our second book, which was the Overcoming Mediocrity Courageous Women edition. We went back and re-branded our first book to be the Dynamic Woman edition. Every book has a subtitle. When I get a team of women onboard for each volume, I let them decide what the next book is going to be. I’m now bringing women together for book number ten.
That is the story that brought together our Overcoming Mediocrity project. It’s a way to help women find their stories. We have things in our life that happened to us, but what is our signature story? What is the story that we’re going to share with the world so we can make a bigger impact? How are we going to use our story to connect with our prospects and to build loyalty with our clients? How are we going to use a book to get more visibility? How are we going to be able to use a book to build another profit center in our business so we can not only sell books, but we can increase the offerings we provide our clients. Maybe we can increase our offerings by providing other avenues to support our clients. Maybe we’re just writing our story and sharing it so we can leave a legacy so other people can get to know us and our journey.
My mom is amazing, but unfortunately, we lost her this year during COVID. I will say one of the blessings of doing this project is that I was able to have my mom’s story featured in one of our books. She wasn’t really up for writing her story, so I had someone interview her and put together her story. That is a legacy that I will have forever. I wanted to share that because there’s a lot of reasons why people join our project. And there’s a lot of reasons why people want to share their stories. That is my story. That is how I got on the journey to help women share their stories.
How Can Mastering Your Story Be the Key to Everything You Want in Life?
I believe that everybody has a story to share. I have seen over and over again that our stories can either hold us back, or they can propel us forward. And once we’re able to master the story of our lives, we’re able to help other people change the story of their life. I feel my purpose is to help people step into their power, live their greatness, share their stories with other people, and build a very successful business based on their story. It’s honestly more than our story. It’s about our purpose. I am a woman of faith. I believe God put us on a particular journey to be able to allow us to experience what we need so we can do something very specific. You’ve seen in some of our guests, and I’ve seen after talking to hundreds, if not thousands of women, how their journey, how their story, how their biggest challenge in life has brought them to a place that they feel they want to build a business around that.
Your story is what people connect to. Nobody wants to buy your product or service as much as they want to buy you. Let’s say you are shopping for insurance agents. There are many insurance people out there that have great products. And there are many insurance agents out there that have very similar products. I bet you the reason why you chose your insurance agent is because you connected with that person on a more personal level. There was something about them. How they treated you, how you got to know them, how they got to know you, maybe you were referred to them, but there’s something on a personal level that allowed you to decide to work with that person. If you were faced with two insurance agents, and you realize that this insurance agent gets me, they understand the problems that I have or that I could potentially have and they’re going to support me. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to work with that person? Of course, you would.
Let me share another story about another client who has a journey that is completely different than what she does now. The principles that she learned on her journey has allowed her to become an expert at what she does. This client has an amazing story of her journey as being an equine trainer, a horse trainer. We were trying to figure out how to take her story and leverage it in her business because it is not working with horses. The principles that she learned on her horse journey, the system that she created for herself, is something that she learned that she could transfer and correlate to an outside perspective. She does the exact steps but in a different industry.
As professionals, we need to recognize how our stories are meant for us to become skilled at something very specific.
#1 – Understand Your Purpose
What is your purpose? What is the journey your life has? What is the journey that you’ve been on that has set you up perfectly to do something very specific? Be able to leverage your story and be able to build a profitable legacy business by identifying your true purpose. When you have your purpose, everything will become easier. You will not be beating your head against the wall. You’re going to be crystal clear on your direction. When you’re in that position, you have this presence about you and this energy around that makes you attractive to other people. People are going to be drawn to you when you start living your purpose, because you’re living your life with abundance and ease, and people are going to see that and they’re going to want to be a part of it.
#2 – Focus on Your Income
Money is important, but money is not the most important thing. In business, money flow is energy flow. The more money that comes in, the more energy that comes in. The more energy you can give to your clients the more money you have to create more freedom in your life. The more money you have, you can become bigger and better at what you do. Wherever you are, whatever you’re trying to do, the money will allow you to expedite your results. Money can give you the freedom to take Friday’s off, take a week off, take a month off. It gives you the freedom to do nice things for people. It gives you the freedom to make decisions that you couldn’t make if you were broke. Your purpose will bring you to the money if you have the right systems in place.
#3 – Have Systems in Place
You have to have the right systems in place to make it happen in what I call continuity. You can’t be building your business by grasping at straws. There is a simple step-by-step process for you to build out a profitable business model that has an evergreen, scalable offer. You start small, grow it, make it bigger, bring your right people into it, support them, help them, get that machine operating well and then go to the next level and keep building it out. Be very clear on who you serve, how you serve them. Know the solutions that you can provide to your clients to get them great results. If you don’t know how to do it, you’re not supposed to know how to do it.
I have an amazing masterclass that I put together. It is a step-by-step plan to help you ensure that your story will attract your clients. Not only attract your clients but solidify the relationship with your clients so they build loyalty with you.
If you sign up, you will be the first to get the invitation to my free masterclass that is going to be debuting in January.
Mentioned in This Episode
Signature Stories That Convert
7-Steps to Ensure Your Story Will Attract and Convert a Steady Stream of Your Ideal Clients.
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