Monday, 8 February 2016

The Power of Personal Narratives: the Successful Potato Farmer
It is a classic triumph over adversity tale. A humble potato farmer from Herefordshire, dismayed that supermarkets rejected potatoes that were not 'cosmetically perfect', finds a lucrative niche in the market for posh crisps and high-end gin. The serial entrepreneur is now a multi-millionaire but it wasn't always so.

In a narrative that storytellers would salivate over, the engaging elements of local hero William Chase's tale include: a versatile vegetable, a messy divorce, bankruptcy, running far far away to exotic lands (well Australia), and a triumphant return.

The underdog then risked all in the form of a substantial bank loan, took on an evil giant (aka Tesco), and won- a la David and Goliath, and now his gin and crisp businesses reach towards the stratosphere.

Such stories can have a powerful motivating impact on others. Referred to as recovery narratives in mental health care, personal stories convey hope by demonstrating how individuals can move from trauma and despair towards their goals.

One of our goals is to assemble a multi-dimensional, multi-media repository of 'success' narratives that will illuminate the concept, explore what works for whom, and involve the public in telling their own stories. 

As Mr Chase says 'People love stories, the real stories behind things'.

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