108: What If I Don’t Have a Rags to Riches Story?

PoP episode 108_quote

Oh, the allure of rags-to-riches transformations! We see this genre of messaging everywhere. Perhaps we’ve even surrendered our own histories to the template, running modest career moves and hard work through the wringer until we’ve disappeared from the subsequent tale. Ouch.

I’m here to tell you that the point of your story isn’t just to shock someone. It’s to connect, and to humanize, and to build trust. You don’t have to contort your narrative into a wildly provocative origin story to improve credibility. Sure, rags-to-riches storytelling captivates; it’s glossy, and it’s ubiquitous. But to what end?

In this solo episode, I debunk its seductive but ultimately unsustainable charms and offer ideas to help you craft more relatable messaging.

In this episode, I cover:

  • The unsustainable allure of rags-to-riches narratives,
  • Using “micro-moments” to connect with your audience,
  • Disentangling your story from a belief that your life’s purpose must be linked to your work,
  • Abandoning the need to prove your professional capabilities ad nauseam, and
  • Questions to help you craft a more convincing and relatable brand story.


Here are few starters: 

Retrain your brain. You don’t need to weave together your life’s purpose and your work for your business to help others. 

Don’t explain your life’s calling; share micro-moments. Micro-moments are the specific occasions that inform your trajectory rather than your entire story. To find them ask yourself, “When did I first consider doing this type of work?” “Where was I?” “What season was it?” “Who was with me?”

You get to say who you are. You get to say what you do. You’re under no obligation to back up your expertise or justify your experience. You simply have to deliver on your promise. Do you think clients believe you could serve them better if you had the same experiences as them? Maybe. More likely, they trust your guidance because of your training, empathy, approach, and team. 

That’s it. Leave the shocking tales to someone else; your story is already valid.


Copying the rags-to-riches template often negates your experiences and removes you from your narrative.

Sharing micro-moments alleviates the impulse to detail every single aspect of your journey.

You needn’t experience your client’s exact same challenges in order to be of service to them. Simply share why you’re invested in what you do, what it’s like to be your client, and what you care about and believe in. 


“The point of sharing your story isn't just to shock someone; it's to connect and to humanize and to build trust.” - Kim Wensel 

“Sharing our story is much less about explaining and expressing our life's calling and much more about sharing micro-moments.” - Kim Wensel 

“We don't have to put all of the pressure of the world on having that perfectly curated founder story to be really good at convincing and carrying through our credibility in our brand messaging.” - Kim Wensel