A Tale Dark and Grimm (and you)

This last Saturday, I took my daughters to a bookstore for an American Girl event.  We entered the youth section and for the next hour or so they played games, talked, and had a great time playing with the characters they love.  I, of course, waited.  How did I wait, you wonder?  I looked around at the books and eventually picked a couple to look through.  One is our inspiration for today’s education moment.

Adam Gidwitz wrote a book that is the perfect book for me to read to my girls.  Well, if they would allow me to read to them.  My wife seems to have taken over the duties of reading to my girls.  Dad, they say, makes weird voices when he reads.  Gidwitz’s book is about the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales from a long time ago with a twist, of course.

Let us see what or message is today.

“Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.

I know.  I know.  You don’t believe me.  I don’t blame you.  A little while ago, I wouldn’t have believed it myself.  Little girls in red caps skipping around the forest?  Awesome?  I don’t think so.  But, then I started to read them.  The real, Grimm ones.  Very little red caps in those.

Well, there’s one.  But she gets eaten.

“Okay,” you’re probably saying, “If fairy tales are awesome, why are all the ones I’ve heard about so unbelievably, mind-numbingly boring?”  You know how it is with stories.  Someone tells a story.  The someone repeats it, and it changes again.  Then someone’s telling it to their kid and taking out all the scary, bloody scenes – in other words, the awesome parts – and the next thing you know the story’s about an adorable little girl in a red cap, skipping through the forest  to take cookies to her granny.  And you are so bored you’ve passed out on the floor.

The real Grimm stories are not like that.

Take Hansel and Gretel, for example.  Two greedy little children try to eat a witch’s house, so she decides to cook and eat them instead – which is fair, it seems to me.  But before she can follow through on her (perfectly reasonable) plan, they lock her into an oven and bake her to death.

Which is pretty cool, you have to admit.

But, maybe, it’s not awesome.”A Tale Dark and Grimm

So, our question today is about your message.  After repeating it over and over, is your message still true to the punch of its original design?  Can others repeat who you are looking for as clients and easily identify the core desire of your request?

If not, someone may tell your story to their kid and taking out all the scary, bloody scenes.  In other words, taking out the awesome parts.


About Christopher Hessenflow

Christopher Hessenflow is a financial planner in the Chicago area. He works with all sorts of people who are much more interesting than he is. He enjoys his career which lends him time to think and, sometimes, be creative. Chip was born bald.
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