Rags to Riches

Rags to Riches

What is the Rags to Riches story tactic?

Cinderella, Rocky or Steve Jobs-it's the same story.The rise to success from humble beginnings.

We love success stories because we hope to follow them. The moral of this optimistic tale is "you can do it!". It also makes a great sales story: you've got a problem, we can make things better. But you don't have to promise wealth to tell a Rags to Riches story. These tales are not about money-they're about value.

If this story sounds "too good to be true", move on to No Easy Way.

How to use the Rags to Riches story tactic

A Rags to Riches story arc hits these beats:

Rags to Riches chart

Beginning: Hidden Value

The hero of the story is in a bad place (physically, emotionally or socially). But there is something inside them or their situation which is valuable, even though nobody else can see it. Think of Cinderella, a loving child treated badly; or Rocky, a small time boxer in slums of Philadelphia.

Middle: Trigger and Struggle

Something happens that makes the hero want to change. Cinderella hears about the Ball, Rocky gets a shot at the Championship. They get outside help at first, but ultimately they're on their own.

End: Deserved Recognition

Cinderella wants to find love, not just live in a fancy palace. Rocky actually loses his Championship fight (sorry, spoiler). But now everyone can see their hidden value: Cinderella is kind and loving, Rocky is a fighter.

a. If this is your story, what's the hidden value that drives you onwards?

b. If this is your user's story, what role do you play? (Hint: you might be the Fairy Godmother). Use Hero & Guide.

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Rags to Riches is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

Ditch dull presentations and tell great stories that influence and inspire your team, stakeholders and customers.