Twice a month I sit down at the hospital with new expectant daddies. While their pregnant wives watch videos of breast feeding, perineum care, and post-birth issues, I take the guys out in the hallway (yes, relegated to the hallway like the second-class citizens we are) and sit around a table to talk about the stuff the pre-natal classes don't cover.
We talk about their role in all of this having-a-baby stuff. We talk about becoming invisible, about winning the Super Bowl, about earning triple brownie points, about protecting their wives' sleep, and about all their fears and concerns.
Did you know that one of the top ten concerns of expectant fathers is whether or not they will get the time they want with their baby? (according to the Father's Forum)
These guys share with me funny stories about the crazy food cravings like one guy getting out of bed to go to Meijer's at 2am just to appease his wife's hormone-driven diet. They tell me about wild mood swings like the time one daddy found his wife crying at a Budweiser commercial - and not one of those Clydesdale tear-jerkers, either, one of the funny ads. They tell me about the lost keys one wife had left in the refrigerator for three days.
In return, I show them how to change a diaper, swaddle (the daddy way), and deal with a crying baby. I prepare them for their role in taking care of wife and child. I teach them how to communicate better and how to get the help they need.
The class is a full two hours.
Take out all the parts where they do the talking (and the changing, and the swaddling) and there is about an hours' worth of solid advice (medically accurate, too, according to Jenny Wren, who asked me to teach this class).
And the only way you could get it was in the class.
A friend of mine, who lives out of town, wanted the info from the class for her husband. I wrote it down. She loved it! More importantly, he did, too. In fact, I get a ton of positive feedback from the guys in the class and their wives. One wife called me the day after the class to ask me what I did to her husband, who was now far more interested and excited in the arrival of the new baby. One dad came out of the dishroom at a local restaurant to thank me for the advice he got from the class three years earlier.
Getting feedback from written content was a bonus. So I kept writing until I had a book. It was easy. It is simply what I say in the class. All the stories. All the jokes. All the advice. All in 108 pages that you can read in about an hour.
Now I'm sharing that book with the world.
The book came out in January and within two weeks I had convinced 21 stores across the country to sell it for me. One gal reported that she sold one before they had even put it on display. Another store owner said she will be using it as part of the Daddy Workshop her store is hosting. It is also available online here. If you know someone who is expecting, this book is a valuable resource that the dads will actually read.
I'm telling you all this for two purposes. First, I want to sell more books (and if you are a bookseller or baby products or toy store and want to sell this book, contact me for wholesale info). Second, I want to show you the power of stories.
This is a long blog post. You're still reading. Somewhere along the way I hooked you with an emotional story that touched a nerve enough to keep you reading. Emotional stories don't have to always end in tears or laughter. Simple smiles, a chuckle or two, and nostalgic memories are just as powerful.
My book tells stories. Readers love it. Your business should tell stories, too. Your customers will love it.
There ya go. Two-for-one today.
PS Go back and read this post and count how many small anecdotes I shared. Some are so subtle you may have to count twice. Stories sell.
PPS Did you find seven? How about eight or nine? Anyone find ten or more?