8 steps to a great story, with Michael Hauge.

Episode 184

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Michael Hauge has been one of Hollywood’s top script consultants, story experts, and speakers for more than 30 years. He coaches screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, professional speakers, internet marketers and corporate leaders, helping transform their stories and their audiences using the principles and methods of Hollywood’s most successful movies. Michael is the author of “Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds” and the new 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book Writing Screenplays That Sell. He has consulted on films starring – among many others – Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman, and has presented lectures and workshops to more than 70,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, “No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.”

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Could have ruined your business – but now – an invaluable learning experience

Michael got a mediocre rating in a big magazine — and Michael tells the whole story here.

Most critical skill you think business owners need to master to be successful

“The ability and willingness to incorporate stories in any communication.”

How to create a good story

  1. Identify the hero of the story — who is the main character?
  2. Create a setup — describe the life the hero was living before the story began
  3. Present the hero with opportunity (and create empathy in the process)
  4. Put the character in a new situation based on the opportunity
  5. Create a clear, visible goal with a clear finish line in the end
  6. Create conflict
  7. The climax of the story — paint a picture of what success was like
  8. The aftermath — paint a picture of the new life because of making the journey

The three kinds of stories business can tell

  1. Autobiographical — the story about you
  2. Case study — take someone who has benefited from your product or service and talked about how you and your product or service has changed their life
  3. The “Wise Man” story — repeat a story and how you or your audience can learn from their lessons

Most influential lessons learned from a mentor

  1. “The seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”
  2. “Don’t get it right, get it written.”
  3. “You’ve got to reject rejection.”


Final Round – “Breaking Down the Recipe for Success”


What one strategy or “recipe” would compound into big wins for business owners?

I ask myself if whatever I’m going to try sounds like fun — and if it does, I’ll try it.

What strategy would you recommend new business owners focus on to best ensure success?

  1. Don’t be afraid of telling stories
  2. Ask yourself where you draw the line — and then take small steps toward confronting you fear

How best to connect with Michael:


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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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