Well today is National Fairy Tale Day. “What does that have to do with running a business?” You might ask. Every great business has a story. It is what differentiates one business from all the others. So, I want to give you a challenge – write your story as if it was a fairy tale complete with “and they lived happily ever after” at the end.

First, you need a hard luck story. What “dragon” was vexing the citizens of the realm? Describe how down and out things were. Then you need to come up with all sorts of ways that things went even more wrong from there. But wait! Along comes the hero to save the day! Describe how the hero solved everything. And follow that up with your happily ever after. Remember, you can be the hero in this story, or even better, how about making your business the hero in this story?

Here’s an example:

Once upon a time in the far, far away kingdom of Northern Colorado lived a young girl and her children. Cinders made lanterns for going into the woods at night. She was collecting gold every time she sold a lantern, but could not understand why she kept bouncing checks. “There should be money in the bank” Cinders mused, “After all; I just got paid by my favorite client.”

Cinders decided she had to do something. She just had to get help. So she called on her fairy god mother (who just happened to be a Certified Public Accountant) who taught her to balance her checkbook and to read her financial statements. Cinders fairy god mother showed her that she was spending more gold to make her lanterns than she was charging her clients. So with a wave of her magic wand, Cinders fairy god mother helped her increase her prices so she would not only cover her expenses but she would have some extra gold to put away for later.

Cinders favorite client still loved her lanterns even though they cost him more; especially when her fairy god mother advised her to put some of her profits into research and development; and she came out with a new lantern that re-charged off the light of the moon. He placed more and more orders, and he eventually realized he loved not only her lanterns but he actually was ordering so many of them just to give him an excuse to talk to her. Soon they fell in love.  The two married and expanded the business into the neighboring kingdoms, and with the help of their fairy god mother who continued to make sure they read their financial reports and balanced their checkbooks regularly; they grew the lantern business to over $10B a year and never had to worry about bounced checks again. And of course, they lived happily ever after and their checkbook never bounced again. Not even a little.

So what is your story? Tell it here for all to see. And don’t forget to read it to your children tonight.