The Golden Benchmark Team recently attended a talk hosted by StartUp Grind Fremont titled “Learn How to Build Your Startup Story” given by Ritika Puri. I hobbled in front of the EFI building at 7:45 after circling a dark parking lot for about half an hour. Dumbarton Circle becomes pitch-black at night, and I, missing my glasses, could hardly see the addresses on the office building. Getting lost in a Fremont office park was not how I envisioned my evening going,
I rolled in, see the sign that says “call this number to open the door”, and after bothering someone to open the door for me, I sat down next to Emmi and start listening to Rikita answer audience questions. Most of the talk’s content came from audience questions and answers. We listened to these founders talk about creating their narrative, a coherent story they can use on their website, in their content marketing, and in some cases, in their funding pitches.
Seeing these start-ups talk about their stories and journeys reminded me of how, in the world of insurance, we write our fair share of narratives. As insurance agents, we gather details about our clients and submit those details to the insurance company as ACCORD forms. When the occasion calls for it, we write “underwriting narratives” to submit to carriers when our clients’ stories become a little too complex. Everyone seeking insurance is looking to protect something—it is our job as insurance professionals to convey to the carrier why they should take that risk.
The story of a small business may not be as important or as impressive as the epics the larger enterprises may weave, but a local broker like Golden Benchmark cares deeply about where our clients come from, where they are now, and where they believe they will go in the future. Exchanging stories is a way of familiarizing ourselves with the client. As a service provider, we do what we can to preempt the clients’ needs to create a seamless service.
While I was impressed by some of the stories and challenges I heard at the Startup Grind event, I felt inspired after listening to these ideas and the stories behind them. After the event, Emmi and I spoke at length about the power of stories, about the significance of the journeys people take in life, and how lucky we are, at any given moment, to cross paths with the people in our lives today.
The short answer to the long string of questions I have posed is, really, that our stories matter. Whether we are trying to build a business from the bottom or if we are trying to find a new insurance carrier for our clients, we lean on the power of storytelling more often than we realize.