22 Sep 2022 | BY Karl Pontau

There are 4 kinds of stories your business can tell…

…those that build credibility…

…those that entertain…

…those that reveal your humanity…

…and those that inspire.

Today, we’re going to explore the third kind I mentioned.

Those that reveal your humanity.

First, we should cover why these are necessary.

Growing up, we’re taught through social interactions to wear armor and not be vulnerable.

Mean comments, bullying, and ridicule make us feel that we can’t be ourselves.

But, by not being vulnerable, we are unable to form the deep relationships we need to live happy, healthy lives.

And, we mistakenly associate being vulnerable with weakness.

When nothing could be further from the truth.

Because, dear reader, telling these third category of stories requires being courageously vulnerable.

These stories are all about our inner demons.

The constant worries, fears, and anxieties we all wrestle with.

Imposter Syndrome? Check.

Fretting about things you can’t control? Check.

Depression? Big Check.

Here’s an example from my life.

Before I started my business, I had a number of side jobs to pay the bills.

One of them was at a local bank. It was a big step up from the retail jobs I had been working before.

I thought maybe I could just make the jump over to that and make that my career.

But, I was not good at that job. I kept making mistakes. And, they ended up letting me go.

I was devastated. So much so that on the drive home I thought about pulling over the overpass going from southbound 680 to westbound 580 and jumping off.

But, instead, I talked things out with my parents, did a lot of introspection, and got myself on the path I’m on now.

I learned from the mistakes I made at that job.

I got better organized. I improved my networking and social skills. And, I work harder and smarter than ever before.

Working to understand myself helped me clarify the kind of impact I wanted to have on the world. 

How empathy and the relationships that got me through two brain tumors are something that everybody deserves to have in their life.

And, I would be damned if I ever gave up on myself again.

These stories rarely make people laugh. But, they can pack a punch, right in the feels.

The most powerful ones inspire you to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Even if you don’t share them often, knowing what they are will give you a huge confidence boost, and show you just how strong and capable you are.

And, that will make overcoming the challenges life throws at you way easier.

Until next week,


Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

Build your confidence and trust quickly with clients here

Learn how to create authentic stories to promote your business here.

Work 1:1 with me to optimize your brand story and attract more of your best clients.

Recent Posts

Convincing Investors with a Compelling Story: 3 Tips and Tricks
Convincing Investors with a Compelling...

31 Jan 2023 | BY Karl Pontau

5 Ways to Use Storytelling to Grow Your Business
5 Ways to Use Storytelling...

25 Jan 2023 | BY Karl Pontau

How Listening Makes You A Better Storyteller/Leader/Human
How Listening Makes You A...

17 Jan 2023 | BY Karl Pontau

Fast Brand Traction Made Easy
Fast Brand Traction Made Easy

06 Jan 2023 | BY Karl Pontau

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

28 Dec 2022 | BY Karl Pontau

Client Testimonials

They not only stuck with us through some of the project's twists and turns, but also did a stellar job turning over quality work quickly.... Read More

Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

Brandon Wasserburger

Creative Director, Fire Tribe Inc.

We engaged Karl to create animation to explain difficult investment concepts in a way people can understand. We were very pleased. The process was easy,... Read More

Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

Keley R. Petersen

Founder and CEO | Global Wealth Management | Investment Advisor

I came to Squash and Stretch on behalf of a client who needed to explain the superiority of a new life safety system for firefighters.... Read More

Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

Debra Hall

Debra Hall Consulting

Working with Karl and his team was fantastic! He managed the production process on his side effectively and was extremely prompt with communication and delivery. Read More

Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

Harry Litvack

Owner, Lit Digital Media

Why Squash & Stretch Productions?

icon image


Be part of something bigger than yourself or your company. We’re bringing together heroes like you who want to make the future better for people around the world. When we collaborate, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished!

icon image


By becoming a Future Guide, you’ll gain access to exclusive content, offers, and connections that will be valuable to your business. Not just anybody can join. So, visit the Community page to learn more!

icon image

Charitable Donations

You get more value and make a bigger impact by working with us. For each minute of animation you invest in, we’ll make a donation in your name to a charity of your choice.

You have the potential to improve the world.
Let us help you tell your story!

Get 3 Ways to Use Animated Stories or image 925-386-2274