do whatever you can to stop worrying about what other people think. For me, it's more specific, We're getting into that sort of core thing and that is stop worrying so much about whether other people will be upset and instead just focus on doing the things you really want to do that, you know, would be a value. Here's the question, what's going on inside the minds of top achievers that caused them to make extraordinary breakthroughs both personally and professionally. My name is tim sure. And I invite you to join me as we take a deep dive into the unconscious mind and discover how to transform your biggest dreams into a reality. Welcome to the how to be mesmerizing podcast. Everybody welcome to how to be mesmerizing its temperature and oh my gosh, we've got an exciting legend in the house with us. Michael Hague is here, Michael, Welcome to the program. Thanks for having me. I've been looking forward to this. Oh, I'm so happy that you're here. So Michael is our resident Hollywood script consultant. This guy is in L.
A. Working with the big shots and he has spent his whole life teaching people how to be profitable through storytelling and now he's taken all of the wisdom that he's gained from working with Hollywood filmmakers and scriptwriters and now he's coaching business consultants and leaders and teaching people how to tell more profitable stories. He's got a six step process, we're going to dive in now. So Michael before we talk a little bit about how you help people to make their storytelling more profitable. What would you say is your personal secret to success always do. What's fun for me, Any success I've had has never been because I'm skilled at being successful are looking for success any time I've tried to do the traditional things networking and mixers and doing whatever, those never seem to have worked out, but anytime I did something that just I thought this would be fun to do, this would be valued, I would really enjoy doing this.
Those are the things that have really paid off, which is in one way I suppose kind of sad because it's like any success. I had just fell into my lab or fell into my arms from the sky. But on the other hand, because I was doing things that were fun, I created things that paid off in that way. So uh some time ago as an example, there's an associate of mine who's who's also a Hollywood script consultant, has a great book called The Writer's Journey, his name's Chris Vogeler, he and I have been friends forever. And one time I said we should do something together. And so he said, sure. And so I put together the seminar, this was, I don't even, well the internet was around, but this is where we could still be on stage. So I said, let's get together and do a lecture in L. A. And do it again in SAN Diego. Just for that, we'll do it all day seminar with just the two of us talking about our separate approaches to story because he takes a mythical approach and minds more, I guess minds more about psychology and the inner journey of the character and sign.
So we did this. Okay, now my brilliant was at the last minute I thought maybe we should video this three together. Somebody who made a video and did an audio of it. And that video became a product, it's called the Heroes to journeys. And because of that, that was the reason that Will smith got ahold of me and said, I would like you to consult with me on I am Legend. And eventually we worked together a number of projects that I was put on retainer. It's also how I met Russell Branson because he had seen that video and then invited me to talk to him. You know, he's the creator of click funnels is probably almost everybody knows. And as a result we got to be pals and he did sort of dedicated a whole chapter of his book, Expert secrets just to my story process and how he's used that. Now, if I had set out to say, you know, I'd really like to meet Will smith, I'd like to know the biggest movie star in the world, whatever I would have purposely done what have failed, there's just no way to do that.
But that has generated introductions to a number of other people and clients and so on. And it was all because I said, Why don't we do this? This sounds like fun. And I think people would benefit from this. So that's my secret. Just go and buy fun. I just mean you're fully 100% into it and excited about it. I mean, I would guess, I don't know if you use these words when you created the legends event was just spectacular. My guess is early on you, you were thinking not, how do I build my list? How do I make a lot of money? It's like, wow. Wouldn't it be fun to be able to get these people together and get them all talking about how to be successful or build your business. So you might not use that word, but you seem to operate on the same principle to me, Michael. I love what you just said. It's absolutely brilliant and I'm 100% convinced that what you said is genius. I so agree.
And so if we think about it energetically, when you think about having the network or how to build your list or how you're going to put all this together and then are you going to get past the gatekeepers? It comes with a lot of tension, a lot of stress, a lot of pressure and that pressure just seems to attract more situations that lead to feeling pressured, right? Or stressed yet when you're having fun. I've said for years, the more fun you have, the more successful you become because you're excited, You're creative. You're innovative, your boulder, you're more confident, right? That fun is contagious. Other people want to have fun too. You know, when I was reaching out to Les Brown or brian Tracy or even to you, if I would have been like, well we're gonna have this event and I hope you come and I'm sure it's gonna be okay and you're gonna like it and you know, we're gonna build your list. You would have been like, you know, but when I show up going, oh my gosh, we're gonna have so much fun. You're gonna be hanging out with your best friends, we're gonna be adding value to people around the world. You're gonna be laughing the whole time. It's gonna fly by, You're gonna wish we had more time and that's exactly how it unfolded, right?
So the fact that you are enjoying yourself, you know, sometimes it seems so magical that that could actually happen, that it does make us feel like we have to somehow, you know, fortified by saying or validated by saying, I guess I just got lucky it fell in my lap. But I don't think that luck had anything to do with it. I think that because you tuned into that energy and you were focused on what you would love to have happen. That's what brought it about. You still had to do the work, you still had to show up, you still had to win when will smith hired you or Russell Brunton hired you and I'm sure you know Russell would love that we're talking about him and will smith in the same sentence because I know Russell, I've got his expert secrets book on my shelf and now I know that you know that's coming from you which is awesome. Right? So but the fact that you showed up to work with them and then you delivered so much that will smith put you on retainer. So you still had to do the work, right? So you were coming from a place of joy, fun and work if you're doing something you love finding how to do the things you love is paramount to me.
But it doesn't work. And fun to me are not synonymous necessarily. But I guess you'd say it it doesn't feel like a job. Maybe that's what it said, it doesn't feel like a chore now as far as the stress and the nervousness and so on, that will still be there. But what you can more depend on is let's say you're getting ready for a presentation or let's say you're writing a book and you're worried about how that might come out. That knot won't necessarily go away. You'll still feel that. But what you can trust is once you're doing the thing you're nervous about doing, you're going to be fine and the nervously smoke disappear because now you're doing something you love and you know, you're giving something of value and you're having fun because most of the time when we're having fun, we're not also feeling nervous nervous, you know, and I'm not saying every day is like giggles and grins. I'm just saying as a principal go with the thing you feel passionate about that you can serve people with.
Absolutely. That's so good. So you know, the first thought I always have when you mentioned someone like will smith is, what was that like work? I love that movie. I am legend. What was that like that experience for you? Working with him and You know, working on a big movie like that. I always wish there was a part two. But if you know the ending of the movie. Okay. Yeah. Well we can talk about that. You know what I'm gonna do. You're probably not supposed to do this in a podcast, but I'm looking at my thing and we're looking at my ceiling. So let me see if I can adjust this. You can keep this in if you want, but don't get busy. I'm gonna try moving this down. So there that should be a little bit better. Okay, perfect. Working with will smith if there were a few just magical moments. He has always been just wonderful to work with if you've ever seen him on talk shows, especially like I remember once a few years ago Oprah had him and his family on the show who he is, who he is.
It's not like, oh here's will you know on a talk show. But then when you hang out with him, you know what a ground or what, what an introvert or whatever. He is always that way. He is extremely gregarious and outgoing. He's extremely gracious. He has a very clear understanding of where he sits in whatever you want to say, the hierarchy. He doesn't shy way does SEo sharks, not me, but he doesn't broadcast either. He doesn't depend on that. I remember the first few times you talk was on the phone, he was working on, I am legend up in Canada. I was here, I e mailed it to him and then he wanted to have a conversation. I didn't even meet him when I first gave my notes but then he wanted to have a conversation. The first time I met him was sometime later, we'd already consulted on that and on Hancock and then the first time I met him in person was actually when I was coaching Jada Pinkett smith and I had said it would be really good if jane and I could meet together.
So I got to go to their house and it was just there and it was just, it's very easy, he's fun to work with. He is whip smart. But then he said, well we're now shooting warm cock the thing that I had given him some feedback on why did you come to the set. So it was a very boring day on the set because they were doing green screen green screen, which now everybody sort of knows because we have one zoom. I'm not, this is not my real office. This is, this is really good. I don't have. But you know when you see people sitting in front of the Golden gate bridge or Hawaii, they probably have a green screen. It's just a special effects and it was a scene where Hancock slang so he's up on a wire going around. It's just dull as dishwater because you're just looking at a guy in front of a green screen. You know, there's no special effects at it. But when I got there it was between takes and he was just mingling. And as soon as I got there he came, he gave me a big hug and then he introduced me to every single person the director and the screenwriter was there and co star was there and so on.
Now I've been on movie sets before because my wife was a publicist in Hollywood and if you ever want to feel like a potted plant, go to a movie set when you're the husband of the publicist. So almost not expecting this, I thought I would just sort of sit in the corner. But no, he just immediately greeted me and said everybody, this is a guy who does not have done and that's just how he is, he really unites people and he's just fun to work with. He loves to laugh and it's just been terrific. That's wonderful. Wonderful. What a great experience to have life is all about, having these remarkable experiences. So, okay then. So what got you involved in deciding that you were going to become a story master right, that you're going to make your living helping people to tell incredible stories? Well, as we touched on before, I don't have some master design, I had one goal way back in the day and that was, I had dreamed probably on some level since I was four or five and saw my first movie.
I just always loved movies when I was a little kid. My dad's business was, he owned a candy store and they sold candy and baseball cards and popcorn and caramel corn. And it was right down the street from, it was right down the block from the major movie theater in Salem Oregon. And so he would make the popcorn for that theater. And then because they didn't make it on site, you know, I guess for whatever reason, so he'd have these giant bags of popcorn that had to be taken down to the theater. So I got to carry him down so I could get in and see the movies free. I was just talking. But it was, I I always thought Hollywood working in Hollywood, I had no idea what I wanted to do, I knew I didn't want to act, but I wanted something to do with all that. And so but that was to be a pipe dream, you just don't do that. So, and I never told anybody. Some of my friends eventually knew that, you know, that was someday where I wanted to be and someday wasn't coming.
So I got a master's in education, I taught preschool for three years, but it just reached a point where I thought, okay, I'm either I better do this and just see what happens and you know, I was single and didn't need a lot of money, so I just jumped on the turnip truck and drove to Hollywood knowing nothing. But I found a film school was non credit non graded, you could just take what you wanted. And one of the classes I took was in called Story analysis, how do you read a script and then write a one page synopsis. So agents and producers don't want to read all those bad scripts get too short handed and I was good at that. So I started doing that. And then after I got my first job paying $10 per script to write a synopsis, it took about a day. So I was pulling down $10 a day, which even back this very much money, but then that agent had a client who wanted me to do some Synopsys for him and then he promoted me. And I got into working with other writers and then I wanted to go back into teaching grown up.
So I started lecturing about it and it became very clear that I was not somebody who really wanted to or had a talent for writing scripts myself, but I was very good at telling other people and guiding other people through story. And so that's where it started. And eventually I was just an independent consultant to, you know, screenwriters and producers, directors, stars, studios. But I started lecturing around the country. And when I started doing that and wrote my first book about it, then I had found my calling. Yeah, that's extraordinary. You worked your way all the way up to being on the board of directors for the american screenwriters association back in the day and I mean all kinds of incredible accomplishments. So all right. So when you have a master storyteller with us, people are going to be like, all right, well how do I use stories to become more profitable. So I know you have a six step outline and it comes right from your book, storytelling made easy, which I love this book. Right, gotta get there.
We are storytelling made easy. Right? So persuade and transform your audience buyers and clients simply quickly and profitably by Michael Hague. It's an awesome book. I love this book, you can find it on amazon or you go to story mastery dot com and grab yourself a copy, but you have a six step process and you're actually giving away free this process too. If you go to story mastery dot com forward slash success, you can download Michael's six step chart for free. So thank you for offering that, I appreciate that. So you want to go through and tell us how to make our stories more profitable. How long is this podcast? You know, you've got five minutes now that book, I had written two books about screenwriting or about writing for screenwriters and the second was pitching stories, both for novelists and screenwriters. But when I started getting invited to talk about my process for speakers or for business people, when I heard from Russell brooks and that was the first time I had been contacted about internet marketing, which I knew nothing about but stories story.
So then as I started doing more and more consulting with business leaders and marketers and speakers and entrepreneurs and so on. I wanted to kind of modify or streamline the process for people who were using story to persuade people to take some kind of action so their products or be inspired to go change their lives in some way and so on. So this book is designed for anyone who is using it in that way. Anyone who is not necessarily a screenwriter or whatever but is an entrepreneur wanting to have a greater impact. So the, what I designed that's based on the process I developed for screenwriting and what I discovered and molded as far as how scripts are structured, it's based on that and I've divided stories are into or I've identified the six key steps that the hero of any story has to take in order to make that story achieve the number one goal that the story has to have.
And that is to create an emotional experience. If you're telling a story, you got to elicit emotion. If people don't feel something when they hear your story, none of the other things you want to happen are going to happen. But when they do have an emotional experience, you have a greater connection with your audience or your readers or people are looking at your blah bands blocked by your blog. Sometimes it may seem like a blob, but eventually looking a blog and so on. So you want to create that connection, you want them to get to know you, you want to verify your expertise and you want to show that you are trustworthy and stories can do that very quickly. So I'm just gonna railroad through the six steps if I may and then you can ask me questions about how to go deeper into this. But here's the element you want your story to have. First step is your hero has to have, you have to have a setup where we're introduced to the hero. The hero by the way is not someone who's Iraq most of the time the hero will be an everyday person who becomes heroic perhaps through the course of the story.
But we want to meet the everyday person. Even a superhero movie has an origin story. So Spider man started out as Peter parker before he got bit Okay that's because that's who your audience is going to connect with, that's who they're going to empathize with. If you introduce that character and we feel sorry for them in some way or they come across as likable or they're about to lose something of value that will increase the empathy. So you set them up then step two is something has to happen that never happened before. I refer to it as the crisis although sometimes I call it the opportunity or sometimes it's the tipping point but something happens if you're telling your own story, maybe you'll last a job, maybe you've got a medical diagnosis, you didn't like maybe something good happened, you've got a promotion, you got an opportunity to work with a big client and you were scared to death. You inherited a bunch of money but now you don't know what to do with it. So in that opportunity in that crisis you're going to be asking questions about what should I do and then you're usually going to find a mentor or you're telling the story about someone who found you as a mentor and at the end of that crisis in reacting to that, you have to define a goal, you have to decide what specifically do I want?
And it's very much like real life. If you're watching this in your coach, I bet there have been times when you were approached by a client and they would say things like I just want to be a success, I just want to be rich, I just want to be healthy and you're gonna say, okay, that doesn't tell me much. It doesn't give us a finish line. We don't know what the end point is, We don't know what the pot of gold is. So what does that look like? So you want to create a goal that we can picture? So not, it's when your hero wanted to get rich, it's the hero needed to raise $30,000 in a month to make their house payments or to pay their taxes or they want to take their son to college, they want to put them through college or it's a father with arthritis who wants to be able to walk her daughter down the aisle and so you give it a specific goal. So all of that is the second step. The third step is pursuit.
That's what the steps are you took to achieve the goal and step for, which is intertwined with that? What's the conflict? What are the obstacles you had to overcome or your hero had to overcome? And that's critical because if your goal is to create emotion, emotion grows out of conflict. So if you're telling a story, the bigger the obstacles that the character has to overcome, the more emotionally involved your audience will be and the more emotional they are. And as well as the more they see how your process or your principles that you're giving them in your book or your speech where help that character overcome these obstacles are helped you do it. The more they're going to want to experience that same thing, the more likely they are to follow your suggestions and then step five is the climax. It's just when the stories are, did you achieve the goal or did you not usually in a success story, you're going to achieve it? Occasionally you might have failed because you, but you learned a lesson or you might have realized going after money was not what I really needed to do.
I learned in the process that if I just went after passion, if I just went after having fun, then other things we do, I didn't realize it, but when I was telling you the story about, well I was going through these six steps, not because that's how stories work, Not because I planned that. Okay, so there's the climax and then the last step critical if you're telling a story for business is the aftermath, you need to show the new life this character is living after they've gone on this journey. And if you're telling a story for business or to inspire someone, the picture you deliver the image you create of the new life that character is living. You want to match the life that your audience wants. Not specifically, I mean, it could be that this is a story about somebody who made this money and was able to take around the world cruise or bought a boat and there are few people who think that's a good idea.
Most of them are not yet boat owners, but anyway, so it doesn't mean your audience wants to take a cruise or wants to buy a boat or wants to be on vacation at the ocean. It means that those pictures are pictures of someone who has freedom and some degree of wealth. And so if you're giving them, if you're offering a process for people to become wealthy or more likely to, because a lot of business are just burdened with so much to do, we just like, oh God, I just like to have enough money. So I could take some time off or do this thing I dreamed of, That's the picture you want to create. And if you've done all those six steps, then let's just say you have now elevated your story into certainly the top 10% of stories that are batting around or people trying to tell because if you follow those six steps, you know, it's going to be emotional and, you know, it's going to take us on a journey and, you know, you're going to give your audience the emotional experience, the subconscious of experience of actually doing what your hero does in the story, because that's how stories work.
When you go to the movie, we're not just looking at avatar saying that's interesting, those people are blue, it's because we become on a subconscious level, the character who is going on that journey and now you've given your audience, sort of, the experience of what it's like to work with you or what it's like to follow your process and achieve that conclusion in that aftermath. I said that would be quick, but it was, I can't help get him to it. So good. It's so good. I mean, the way that you've mapped it out is just so good. You got everybody, you really got to go to story mastery dot com forward slash success and download Michael's process because he's given it to you this chart and I have it in front of me right now, and it's just extraordinary because if your story is not working, if you have an offer that's not converting, if you have a sales pitch or a proposal for a company or a script for a movie and it's not working, take it through Michael's checklist because this is so good, I'm already realizing that there was parts of the stories that I've told that we're missing pieces, You know, I know that we put ourselves in different situations.
You know, if I want to take you back to high school, I'll start telling you about a time when I will remember walking through high school and I was a freshman and I was going through in the lockers and it just seemed like there was lockers on either side and it went forever. And as soon as I start talking about my story of of lockers in high school, all of a sudden whoever's listening to me start thinking about their high school, I've been going into lockers and so I understand how to get people in that space and I understand the pain, intensify the pain and then have the breakthrough, right? So you're talking about the conflict and then the climax and then but I always miss the aftermath. And I've really talked about that part and that's brilliant because once you have the transformation, it's like, all right now, you have this, what happened afterwards? What what happens when King Arthur became King Arthur? You know what happens? You know, Superman now wins the day and you know what happens next, You know, and and that kind of part of it is something that I think is what causes people to get so confused about what success really means because we think it's all about having that big check that we get or that big breakthrough, that big promotion or that big gig and then you get it and then what happens after that.
And I think that a lot of people don't really know the answer to that. Most people aren't very clear on what their climaxes. It's a simple question to ask. You know, what's your endgame, what do you want to have happen ultimately? But it feels like for so many people, it's a very difficult question to answer. Yeah. One of the things that's critical to do, I think is if you're thinking of telling a story, you want, what may be the first or when it's solid enough that you think, oh yeah, I could tell about my day in high school. You want to ask yourself why why is this, what is it you want to convey? What's your lesson here? What's your message? What is the action you want your audience to take when they hear this? Because the lockers in high school, that could be the lead into numerous stories. I mean it could be about how you, you know, it could be that you were the subject of some kind of humiliation in high school and if you weren't, you didn't go to high school because I don't know anybody who didn't have those moments.
So how do you bounce back from that? How do you become independent as opposed to only worrying about what people think, how did you make a touchdown by doing whatever it is? But if you know what that message is, then you want to think about, you've got to end the story. So we see what the possibilities are if we follow that lesson. So it's like, it's nice if you tell the story and you made the touchdown but, and that's okay because we've had the experience of winning. But if you learned a lesson and we see what that meant to you, you know, a week later, a month later or as a grown up, you know, sometimes we tell stories about, you know, when I was in high school, I didn't realize at the time, but this thing happened to me and it reminded me of this that happened in high school and I realized, yeah, I don't want to do what I did back then I've learned something different. So you want to, if you start with that lesson and if you make sure that your story is about the pursuit of some goal.
See that's another thing. All stories don't follow this model. Sometimes it's just an interesting anecdote or sometimes it's just a glimmer. But even if you're putting little vignettes in your book or in your speech to reinforce the idea that your product will work or your process will work. Even the vignette is going to include. So and so started out there build their business was failing and then they bought my my app for changing the way they scheduled and now they're in profit and they actually doubled their profits in the last year. I mean that's sort of the basic internet market kind of story, but you can do that one sentence. Character has a problem, decided to do X, which you're offering and the result was now they're wealthy, mm more specifically the wealthy, you know, they have this much money or whatever. Do you help business leaders or coaches? Um, if they are trying maybe not, well, I don't know, maybe a business leader, but if you're a business owner or an entrepreneur who is trying to develop their elevator pitch, you know, are saying 60 seconds or less, you know, the value they create, should they try to encapsulate some of these story elements into that.
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. It's still, even then you want to be able to convey this is the problem that I, my product or my process will help you overcome. This is the problem I can solve for you with whatever it is. I'm trying to get you to buy into, buy with money or buy with belief or by with action or whatever. So a story will do that. Now, the thing about an elevator pitch, yes, you can add these story elements, but elevator pitches are a bit too brief to be really emotionally involving, You still want to convey the aftermath because if somebody can think, yeah, I'd like to have that aftermath there emotionally involved. So yeah, I coach people on pitching and those kinds of things, but most of the clients I get, I want to know how to tell a story that is going to build that you're actually going to show an entire journey to achieve some specific goal.
So it's speakers or someone who's doing a webinar and trying to which needs to be persuasive in some way. So how do you create a story that is emotionally involving and goes into enough detail and is vivid enough empathetic enough with the character that it's going to move people to change. So it's usually more about somewhat longer thing and it's in a way it's easier to start there and then when you get time to the elevator pitch now we can take that story, we could pull it down into a sentence. It's also the same principle you want to use when you ask for a testimonial, this is just an added thing. When you're asking for a testimonial, the best way to do it is to say ask if the person and usually when you ask people are eager to help you out if they have worked with you and been successful. But if you just say that the testimony you're going to give is going to be something like, well yeah, Tim is a great guy or tim is amazing and it's so much fun working with him and I so benefited from it.
You want to work with tim Okay, well that's good. I mean that's fair in saying tim doesn't know what he's talking about. You don't want to use those testimonials. But imagine instead of if that testimonial simply said when I first called him, I was desperate because I was just never able to connect with my audience and I wanted I wanted so much for them to get my advice. But because of working with Tim I not only was able to get a standing ovation in the next presentation, but after that I was invited to speak to some much bigger place. Okay, it's still conveying the same thing but now people are into it and a bigger lip now okay, now I get what tim will do, tim will make me a lot more persuasive when I get on the stage or whatever whatever it is you did for that person. So what you want to do is when you ask for the testimonial, say and if in the testimonial, if you could just slip in these things where were you before you started working with me?
What was the result? And how has your life changed since that's how you get that aftermath. That's why I said and I was you know, they made the speech that's the endpoint and then in fact I have a testimony like that I could somebody on his speech they were like a high net worth financial advisor. They've been invited to give a talk at it was sort of I don't think it was a contest, but everybody was going to give a speech and they all had to be about courage. And the guy came to me, he says, I don't think about courage, I thought it was going to be a speech how you invest during a downturn, you know? And so we found stories for his speech that exemplified courage. Now he had no design on getting any clients out of this. It was like Fortune 500 executives that all met once a year for this kind of event think tank, whatever it was. So that he never even mentioned that, but he said he gave his speech, he told those stories and then afterwards people came up and said how much they enjoyed the speech and they want to know how can I work with you, even though it wasn't a pitch for anything, any financial advice he ended up signing, I think he said $150,000 worth of business as a result of that now.
So I said, cool, would you be willing to write, write that down? And so he did and then, and then you edit it down or another thing you can do if you're willing or if you have the courage to do it or you're feeling they'll feel at all uncomfortable. Say now if you really don't want to do this, I'd be happy to write something for you and send it to you and then you can just put it in your own words. People love that. They don't want to write anything. You know, writing is hard and then when I do that, then, you know, you're going to get what you wanted to say and generally speaking somebody say it's great ways is or no, I wouldn't change one little thing. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. That's so true. And feel confident about that because, you know, when you're writing something for someone to say about you or a script for a testimonial or even an endorsement for your book, you know, it's heartfelt and people be like, yeah, that's what I would have said if I could have thought of that, you know, and and so yeah, that's really, really important to lead people through those steps.
I think that's great. Is there a part, I mean, you've coached a lot of people over the years. So is there one particular challenge that you find that a lot of people always seem to struggle with? Well, it's hard to narrow down to 12 come to mind instantly. The first takes place before they start the story. And that is the belief? Well, there's two beliefs. They're very closely tied one, I'm no good at telling stories, but even more common. Nobody would want to hear about my life. It's boring. I'm nobody special. You know, I'm nobody special. I had, I didn't, you know, climb a mountain, I didn't overcome some, you know, rare disease. I haven't been an astronaut. I haven't been decorated for someone just you know, shabu is that okay? So and that's what and the answer I have to that is as far as I'm not going to telling stories. Yeah, you are or if you're not, it's easy to become good because you can follow these things, but you've been telling stories your whole life.
I mean from the time your parents said, what do you do in school today? You have to tell a story. So you're talking about, I'm not saying this is how you master differential calculus, which you've never done in your life. It's something you've been doing your whole life. It's just a matter of honing what you already know how to do and making sure it hits certain beats. If you believe you don't have any stories because you haven't been somebody you're nobody special. Okay. Those are not the special. Those are not the stories we want to hear now. Sure if we're going to hear some decorated person or Oscar winner or or Captain of Industry. Yeah, we enjoy hearing, you know what they did, but the emotionally involving stories are about ordinary people. That's why movies always when even with superheroes always have an origin story because it's because you're nobody special that we will identify with you and you are, I mean I know yeah, we're all special, but you know what I'm saying.
Okay, it doesn't matter. They've never won the Nobel prize. But if you have because what we empathize with, what we want to know is has this person struggled with the same struggles I have and that means they connect on the level of emotion. Okay. Yeah. Maybe you weren't rejected in high school, but we've all been rejected. Maybe you didn't score a touchdown, but we've always had something important to us that we were desperate to achieve that we didn't think we'd be able to. That's so those are all the psychological games we played a sabotage telling good stories once you've decided to tell a story without question. And this has been true since I started with screenwriters. It's true and novelists it's true with speakers and whatever stories too complicated. It's too complicated a story stories, you can have complex characters in a story, but by complicated, I mean it meanders around and we're not quite sure what the point is. And then new characters come in.
I often say that writers all seem to have a motto and that is or storytellers have a motto that has somehow been engraved. I don't know how and that is when in doubt add plot. So the story will begin way too soon back with the childhood and you know, backstory instead of getting right in right before the moment that that crisis occurred and then it will go off into tangents we like and then this happened, you know, I mean, you know how it is when you're hearing someone in everyday life, we do it all the time and they'll be telling a story and then they say, oh that's right, and I forgot this happened, I'm guilty of that all the time, because I would go all over the place. But when you prepare a story and the way you avoid that, it's really fairly straightforward, if you have a clear specific goal for your hero, then the litmus test every idea you have for this story you add, and now when you do the first draft, just let it be as long as you want, put all this stuff and that's fine to get it out.
But once you're looking at what you've got the litmus test is is every single thing that happens in this story, every character, every line of dialogue, every piece of action, does it either move the hero closer to that goal or does it create more obstacles to that goal? If you have anything in the story that isn't connected to whatever your heroes visible finish line is, then you gotta jettison, save it for another story or just no matter how funny you think it is, or sexy or romantic or exciting or tragic or whatever, it doesn't matter, we are on a journey to achieve that, to reach that finish line and that's what your audience, that's what your reader wants to stay with and if you stay focused on that there goes all the meandering and all the complicated things, and then what I say is more storytellers make the mistake of making them broad and shallow, it's all over the place and what happens, but it doesn't really go about become about much, it's not emotionally gripping, but what you should do is create stories that are narrow and deep, you know, it's just a story about a specific goal.
But then if you're not going all over the place and it's very streamlined now, you can go deeper into the character and get at the really most powerful level of storytelling and that is what's the heroes fear. Because when you tap into and in stories by yourself, if you are willing to be vulnerable enough to say, I was terrified of this, I would do anything as long as it didn't embarrass me. Everything I did was to get my father to love and respect me whatever whatever it is, because now you're getting into that universal level and you're getting to the number one conflict we all have when we want to achieve our own goals, and that is we're afraid we're afraid of something, we're afraid of not being good enough, we're afraid of being too big for our britches. Were afraid it won't look right, we're afraid of loss, were afraid of being abandoned doesn't matter. But if you go that deep, which you can with a simple, straightforward story now, you're going to connect with people at a much deeper emotional level and that's those are the stories that have the greatest impact.
Yeah, it's there's something kind of sad about a guy that says, you know, don't go all over the place. It takes 10 minutes to your question. Is there one thing you can tell us that is are you kidding me? Do what I say? Everybody don't do what I do. That's so funny. No way. I was on the edge of my seat. I feel like I just sat through an incredible master class. I mean, Michael, that was awesome. Who is so powerful. I got chills because you are giving a very clear answer to a question that so many people struggle with. Right? So, I mean, it was just a very clear you give a a simple path. You know, I have a friend, Dove, Gordon? Who likes to say that you have found the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity. All right. You've taken something very difficult and made it seem so simple that I could actually do this. And I love your process. And I love the idea that how important it is to go there to go to those places.
Don't shoot yourself down, be vulnerable. Tell stories the best stories of our everyday people because it's relatable. I can't quite relate to Superman, although I'd like to write, but I can relate to somebody, you know joe over there who has had struggles and insecurities and faced his fears and then had some extraordinary experiences and you know, I often tell us a story about who the hero, how the hero rises up does the right thing and at the end of the day, never really considers him or herself the hero. They just had to do what had to be done. And that is what actually made them the hero. They stayed ordinary and just had extraordinary experiences instead of feeling like they had to be extraordinary. And I think those are Oh yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, once extraordinary enters our mind then in any when they're in the middle of the pursuit, then that's probably not going to end. Yeah. We really can't connect our other directed when we say that it means to other people think I'm extraordinary.
No, it's you know, this is what I want, this is why I wanted, this is what stands in the way. And this is why those obstacles become fearful for me or this is why my I stand in my own way. Yeah, by the way, I really like I've never heard that quote by Doug is that would Yeah. Yeah. Dove, he's a friend of mine in Israel Yeah, I may steal that the simplicity on the other side of complexity because that's what I'm talking about in your story. Yeah, it's like keep it simple and that's simple is more powerful and simple. Deep is more powerful still. Yeah, so good. All right, So and you know, you said something else that was so powerful to that, I just want to reinforce it and restate it again, you know, don't slip into worrying about if other people think you are extraordinary, you just keep focusing on your story of what you were experiencing and what was going on for you. Because I think if we start worrying about what the critics are going to say, if people are going to judge you, then, you know, it stunts your ability to be authentic.
Yeah, absolutely. Why did the first thing you asked when you mentioned about will he would be someone I regard as extraordinary. I think he's a great actor, he's achieved. You know, he was the biggest movie star in the world, still has one of the world's biggest movie stars. But what did he have? 10, 10 consecutive years, He had, you know, a box office hit In the top 10 that made more than $100 million dollars and so on. And personally, I think he's extraordinary. If I think to me he understands that it's not that he says, no, I'm not an extraordinary, but it's not like it's not a calling card if you know what I mean? He's not out to prove his extraordinary, he's not out to deny it. It's just okay, that's you know, if people think that that's fine, but it's got nothing to do with me in a way that's what's got to do with me is I love telling stories, I love connecting with people. I love what I do, and I think to what use his words, this is if you go to the website, the tim mentioned, you'll see an interview.
I was interviewed once with Will talking about story, and it's extremely fun because it's just so funny. I had a great time to talk about having fun doing it. It was cool and it was fun because we knew each other so we could tease each other a bit so on. But what he says about story, there was just so valuable and he, one of the things he's asked why our story is important, and he says because stories tell us how to live better, and it's just that's what he cares about. He wants to always be living better and do whatever you can to help other people live better and have fun. Wow, that's extraordinary. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Hague, wow, Michael this, you just absolutely, you know, the definition of mesmerizing, this was so great, so impactful. One of my favorites ever. You just really have delivered so much great content and this in itself is a beautiful story, right?
And because at the end of the day, you're telling people that you believe in yourself and your stories matter, and everybody has a story within them, and I just think that's beautiful. So with all the wisdom that you've accrued over your life, if you could go back and give 12 year old Michael Some advice, what advice would you give him? Well, it wouldn't be great advice because it's like telling somebody not to be afraid, but the advice would be do whatever you can to stop worrying about what other people think. For me, it's more specific, We're getting into that sort of core thing. And that is stop worrying so much about whether other people will be upset and instead just focus on doing the things you really want to do that, you know, would be a value. Oh, that's a great distinction worrying about other people being upset. Now, it's not a great rule to have when you want to be successful in Hollywood because if you're thin skinned, although having to thinner skin probably doesn't help in any situation.
But that's it. The reason I said, it's not very good advice and I probably end with this is and here's advice for storytellers and that is don't tell your audience you need to be courageous. Which is kind of like the advice I said, I was giving myself, we know we should be courageous. The question is how do I be courageous? How do I find the courage? And lots and lots of speakers and authors, it seems more from the stage though. Said, you know, I did this and I realized I just had to be courageous and then I could win the day and it's like, so, okay, I know that. But if knowing to be courageous, made you courageous wouldn't have any problems at all. And when you tell a story, we need to know what was the action you took that allowed you to find that courage in yourself and instead of and so that's what you want to convey, its like, we want to take that journey.
But you've got to tell us the steps to take. You can't just say, well, I was afraid to leave my job because I needed the security. And finally, one day I thought now I should really leave my job and I did. And now I'm a millionaire. All right, that's good. Happy for you. But it doesn't get me anywhere because I'd still be stuck in that job unless you showed me how I could look at things differently or steps I can take to do that, wow, Very good, very good. Michael, thanks so much for being on the program. What a great way to end the show. Yeah, this was fun. I enjoyed this a lot. See it was fun. Just like I knew it would be and we had fun. So yes, people enjoyed it. But it's long. It's all about us too. That's right, That's right. And I know everybody else did. So everybody that's listening or watching this. Oh my gosh, Michael Hague amazing Michael Hague dot com, You can go to story mastery dot com forward slash success and check out his sixth step chart.
That's gonna map this process out for you. You can get a free copy of that and then of course his masterful book storytelling made easy. You can find that at story mastery dot com or amazon dot com or wherever books are sold. So apply what you've learned. You need to take this one and share it with your friends. Go through it over and over while you've got a pen and piece of paper because you're going to have to go through it over and over again to be able to pick up all the golden nuggets and all the wisdom that Michael just laid down for you. So, so take this one. Seriously, apply it in your life and make your life mesmerizing. And we'll see you next time. Hi everybody. Hey, would you like more free tips on how to be a mesmerizing leader then check out mesmerizing leadership dot com. And also hang out with me on facebook facebook dot com forward slash tim. Sure, thanks so much. And make your day a sure success. Hey, it's tim Sherwood. You like to learn my best secrets for how to be mesmerizing. Then head over to www dot surviving to thriving dot me.
That's www dot surviving to thriving. Got me. I'll see you there