The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell

Feedspot.com just named the Business of Story the #1 business storytelling podcast for 2022.

Hosted by Park Howell, known as the world’s most industrious storyteller, the Business of Story is ranked among the top 10% of downloaded podcasts internationally.

The goal of the show is to help sales and marketing leaders excel through the stories they tell.  Each episode brings you the brightest storytelling content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to craft and tell compelling stories that sell. #StoryOn!

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Ty Bennett

#447: The Formula for an Influential Story

#447: The Formula for an Influential Story

When was the last time you blew away an audience with your statistics, your charts, graphs and numbers?

Perhaps you looked out on the crowd and saw them dozing off or staring out the window.

And then you inserted a seemingly insignificant personal story that grabbed their attention.

You were surprised by their reaction, especially given that this was a little anecdote that delivered a powerful punch.

In this conversation, Ty Bennett, author of  The Power of Storytelling: The Art of Influential Communication, discusses the power of storytelling in marketing, leadership, and sales.

He shares personal experiences and insights on how storytelling can engage and move people. Ty emphasizes the importance of struggle and solution in storytelling and provides a formula for influential storytelling.

He encourages individuals to be aware of storytelling opportunities, capture stories, and record themselves to improve their storytelling skills. Ty’s book, ‘The Power of Storytelling,’ offers further guidance on mastering the art of storytelling.

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Jim Oliver

#446: How Your “Rags to Riches” Story Builds Trust for Your Brand

#446: How Your “Rags to Riches” Story Builds Trust for Your Brand

Famous American author Kurt Vonnegut said that the most powerful story in the world is…

“A man gets in a hole and a man gets out. It doesn’t have to be about a man and it doesn’t have to be about a hole. People love that story.”

That’s why your “Rags to Riches” story is always the most compelling one you can tell to build trust.

But you might be thinking, “That’s great, Park, but I haven’t achieved my riches yet, so I don’t have that story.”

If not, take Vonnegut’s advice: it doesn’t have to be about “rags” and it doesn’t have to be about “riches.”

I’m sure your origin story – why you do what you do – is filled with plenty of conflict that provides the juice in your tale.

Our guest today, Jim Oliver, author of Make Bank Without the Bank: The New Rules of Money, revolutionized his financial planning business called Create Tailwind when he started sharing his story.

From a challenging upbringing in the foster care system to working in a casket factory at 13, Jim turned his life around, becoming a leading expert on the Infinite Banking system to create astounding personal wealth.

In this episode, Jim exposes flaws in the traditional financial system and highlights the value of income-generating assets. Dive into the concept of Infinite Banking, where you become your own banker, freeing yourself from reliance on traditional banks.

He underscores the power of education and learning from others for achieving financial independence. Jim also delves into the evolution of retirement, now seen as financial independence, and shares valuable insights into getting started in real estate investing.

Discover why Infinite Banking isn’t widely known, and the crucial role of financial education in taking control of your financial destiny.

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Bob Burg

#445: How to Activate Your “Know, Like & Trust” Storytelling Flywheel

#445: How to Activate Your “Know, Like & Trust” Storytelling Flywheel

If you’re a business storytelling practitioner, then you know how a singular compelling story will move your audience to action.

But storytellers aren’t always as effective as they could be because they lack a story-connecting strategy that leads your prospects on a journey to quickly becoming life-long customers.

Have you heard of the Flywheel Effect popularized by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great and then detailed in his monograph called Turning the Flywheel?

The idea behind the Flywheel Effect is to create a virtuous cycle of connecting with strangers who turn into prospects that lead to customers who become promoters of your product or service.

Those promoters in turn share their experiences with people who have not heard of you but need your offering (strangers) to become prospects, customers and promoters…

…and your Flywheel builds momentum taking on a life of its own to help build your business faster and easier.

The Business of Story Storytelling Flywheel

It occurred to me that business storytellers could achieve the same effect with a storytelling flywheel strategy that helps them become better known, liked and trusted.

  1. You activate your Business of Story Flywheel by using the ABT (And, But, Therefore) agile narrative framework to make your brand value proposition crystal clear to your ideal customer. This is what helps you become better known for why you do what you do to help you stand out in our crowded, noisy world.
  2. Then you build your likability as you use real-world stories that illustrate the impact you make for your customers. This builds momentum for your Business of Story Flywheel as you apply the Five Primal Elements of a Short Story for Big Impact and the 10-step Story Cycle System™ to focus and humanize your presentations and long-form communications.
  3. You become immensely trusted when your customers return as repeat buyers and maybe more importantly share your brand story with their worlds, which, of course, makes you even better known, more likable and trusted.

To test my hypothesis on the potency of the Business of Story Flywheel, I invited legendary sales guru, Bob Burg, on this week’s show. After all, Bob coined the popular sales sentiment of…

 

“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.”

 

For over 30 years Bob Burg has successfully shown entrepreneurs, leaders, and sales professionals how to communicate their value and accelerate their business growth.

Although for years he was best known for his sales classic, Endless Referrals, it’s his business parable, The Go-Giver, coauthored with John David Mann, that has created a worldwide movement.

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Skot Waldron

#444: How To Unlock Your Brand of Leadership In 8 Minutes

#444: How To Unlock Your Brand of Leadership In 8 Minutes

Happy New Year!

2024 is upon us and you know what that means. Time to make resolutions that will seem near impossible to keep.

It’s a habit thing. Some *experts* suggest that it takes 66 days to ingrain a new behavior through deliberate practice.

So what if you could transform as a leader with easy-to-understand and do micro-moments of learning?

Fifty-two of them to be exact.

You’re in the right place. Because our guest, Skot Waldron, a highly accomplished creative director and communications strategist, shares his new book,  Unlocked: A 52-Week Guide for the Intentional Leader. 

For the past 20 years, Skot has worked for clients such as J.P. Morgan Chase, CDC, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sesame Workshop, The Home Depot, and The Coca-Cola Company has included national and international communication programs.

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Ross Weisman

#443: Using Storytelling to Hire Epic Managers For Your Business

#443: Using Storytelling to Hire Epic Managers For Your Business

The beautiful thing about crafting your brand narrative using the Story Cycle System™ is that you grow your storytelling chops in the process.

Just ask Ross Weisman. We helped Ross and his family create the brand narrative strategy for their start-up franchise called Current Meditation, the “modern” mindfulness experience.

What he learned about how to craft and tell compelling stories that sell he has applied to his new venture called Epic Managers.

They help recruit, train and retain top managers for franchisees using business storytelling as their strategic communications model.

Even the name Epic Managers came from Ross’ immersion in the Business of Story process.

On today’s show, Ross shares his experiences in the franchise world. He discusses the importance of creating a brand that is accessible and modern, and how the concept of mental fitness became a central theme.

You will also learn the process of developing your brand personality and the nine one-word descriptors that guided your storytelling flywheel.

Finally, he introduces Epic Managers, a company that recruits top talent managers for franchise businesses and applies storytelling principles to help franchisees find and retain quality managers.

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Dan Heath

#442: Why the Best Storytellers are Slow and Curious

#442: Why the Best Storytellers are Slow and Curious

The one thing I hear all of the time when I’m teaching and coaching our Business of Story mastery course is this:

“Park, I’m not a good storyteller, I don’t have any good stories to tell, and besides, no one wants to hear my story.”

Is this you?

Are you using this popular triumvirate of excuses as to why you’re not sharing your stories?

Today’s guest demonstrates that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has important and interesting stories that people want to hear.

Dan Heath is a four-time New York Times bestselling author. His books — which include Switch, Made to Stick, and The Power of Moments — have sold over four million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages.

Dan launched a new podcast in October 2023 called “What It’s Like to Be…”. In every episode, Dan profiles someone from a different profession (such as MYSTERY NOVELIST, HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, and STADIUM BEER VENDOR).

The show hits Apple’s Top 25 Society & Culture podcast lists in its first week. Dan is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who are fighting for social good. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Peter Brooks

#441: Are We Being Seduced by Stories in Business and Politics?

#441: Are We Being Seduced by Stories in Business and Politics?

The wandering bands of storytelling Sapiens were the most important and most destructive force the animal kingdom had ever produced,” according to Yuval Noah Harari in his remarkable book, Sapiens.

Harari, an Israeli author, public intellectual, historian and professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says that we Homo sapiens are essentially storytelling monkeys.

We are the only organism we know of that thinks, plans, organizes and acts in story.

Think about it. If you have ever bought a car, did the salesperson try to get you to picture what it would be like to own that car, to have it parked prominently in your driveway?

They, essentially, are getting you to form a mental picture, a fiction at the moment, of what a brighter tomorrow will look like in your spiffy new car.

Politics is no different. President John F. Kennedy painted a remarkable picture of placing a man on the moon and returning him safely home within the decade. His science fiction story led to the $24 billion funding of NASA and winning the space race against the Russians.

But are we too reliant on narratives that brands and politicians feed us daily?

Today’s guest, Peter Brooks, thinks so. He is the author of the new book, Seduced By Story: The Use and Abuse of Narrative. 

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Justin Michael

#440: How to Heat Up Your Cold Calls With the Superpower of Storytelling

#440: How to Heat Up Your Cold Calls With the Superpower of Storytelling

Who adores cold calling?

Not me!

But what if we had a proven way to connect with that cold prospect to heat up their emotional center?

It’d probably make sales a lot easier AND even more comfortable for you cold sales callers.

We talk all of the time about how emotion can move people when they can picture the positive outcome.

We’ve proven this works in storytelling, especially when you build your stories on the chassis of the ABT (And, But. Therefore) agile narrative framework.

It works because the ABT uses the three forces of storytelling including agreement, contradiction & consequence. Our primal pattern-seeking, problem-solving, decision-making buying Limbic brain appears to love this three-act structure to story because it easily orchestrates meaning, evening with the most complex sales messages.

I have spent well over a dedicate researching how our brain is a story processor, not a logic process, as American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt so aptly describes us storytelling apes.

You can see my research for yourself in my curated library of storytelling resources.

Today’s guest, Justin Michael, has found similar findings of how “Our brain yields helplessly to the pull of story,” according to another brilliant storyteller, Jonathan Gottschall.

But his work is in cold calling emails and even phone calls.

Justin is the author of the new book, Sales Superpowers: A New Outbound Operating System to Drive Explosive Pipeline Growth.

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Joey Coleman

#439: How to Leverage Business Storytelling to Eliminate Employee Churn

#439: How to Leverage Business Storytelling to Eliminate Employee Churn

You know how invaluable committed employees are to the success of your brand and the growth of your revenue.

But do you know the cost of losing a colleague? Studies show that it will cost you 150+ percent of a middle manager’s annual salary to replace them.

If they’re making $80,000 per year (which is extremely conservative), it will cost you in the neighborhood of $120,000 to replace them.

Click on the image to go to the attrition calculator.

It doesn’t sound right, does it?

You can quickly run the numbers of those people running out your door with the new Business of Story Attrition Calculator.

See for yourself what it costs you every time you lose an employee.

It ain’t pretty. And it’s extremely expensive.

So how do you retain your top talent?

Start by crafting and telling compelling stories that they will buy into and prosper from.

Joey Coleman, Chief Composer of Design Symphony, helps companies keep their customers and employees.

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Park Howell

#438: How to Craft Your Origin Story Using the Hero’s Journey

#438: How to Craft Your Origin Story Using the Hero’s Journey

Looking at Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey alongside my Story Cycle System™, it’s like comparing classical mythology to a modern business strategy.

Campbell’s approach, the Hero’s Journey, takes storytellers on a grand adventure through archetypal stages—trials, mentors, battles, and self-discovery. It’s the stuff of timeless myths, ingrained in our collective consciousness.

Now, contrast that with my Story Cycle System—a pragmatic guide for crafting narratives that not only resonate but also drive results in the boardroom.

I mapped the Hero’s Journey to business communications guided by my 10-step Story Cycle System that has grown brand by as much as 600 percent.

It’s less about the hero’s mythical quest and more about strategically weaving a story that captivates and delivers real-world impact.

Campbell’s central character may be wielding a mythical sword, but in my world, the protagonist brandishes a narrative crafted to cut through the noise of a crowded marketplace.

It’s a different tune, one that blends emotion with a keen business edge.

In essence, Campbell and I bring different flavors to the storytelling table. He taps into the timeless human experience, while I strike a more contemporary chord, emphasizing the practical power of narrative in the business realm.

Together, we invite storytellers to embark on a dual quest—honoring ancient rhythms while strategically leveraging storytelling in the modern landscape.

In this episode, I show you how my origin story can be naturally outlined following every step of the Hero’s Journey and how you can use this ancient storytelling artform to guide the crafting of your origin story.

Or, better yet, you can use the Story Cycle System™ for the same purpose but with an eye to creating compelling business narratives to connect with and convert your customers.

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