The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell 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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Amy Jacobs-Schroeder & Sean Schroeder

How Storytelling Through a SaaS Platform is Revolutionizing Autism Care

How Storytelling Through a SaaS Platform is Revolutionizing Autism Care

All of us parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and family friends want the children in our lives to be happy and healthy.

But autism is on the rise and some suggest in epidemic proportions.

In 2021, the CDC reported that approximately one in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

And as doctors, clinicians, and therapists focus on providing better outcomes for the kids struck by autism, historically there hasn’t been a ton of help for their parents. They often find themselves overwhelmed and under-educated on how to not just cope, but how to help their kids live fulfilling lives.

Happy Ladders helps expand your child’s potential with its digital autism therapy platform.

To ignite the growth of Happy Ladders, Amy Jacobs-Schroeder and Sean Schroeder summon the power of storytelling to elevate their impact in the world.



Jason Stanford

#402: Forget the Alamo: The Revisionist History That Built This Texas Brand

#402: Forget the Alamo: The Revisionist History That Built This Texas Brand

Who doesn’t love the legend of Davey Crockett as groomed by Disney? Coonskin cap. Ol’ Betsy, Davy’s rifle that he presumably killed packs of “bahr”.

His bravery at the Alamo.

And what about the American lore of the Alamo itself? For 187 years, the Alamo has represented the fighting fury and independence of long tall Texans everywhere.

But what if the story of the Alamo is just a long tall tale? A complete fabrication?

What if everything you knew about Crockett, Jim Bowie for which the Bowie Knife is named, and Bill Travis, the leader of “The Defenders” is total hooey?

And what does this all mean for your brand story?

Jason Stanford, co-author of Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth, corrects revisionist history in his book written with Bryan Burrough and Chris Tomlinson.

Jason’s bylines have appeared in Texas Monthly, the Texas Tribune, Texas Highways, and the Texas Observer, as well as many publications that have nothing whatsoever to do with Texas. Jason also publishes a Substack newsletter called The Experiment.

As former communications director for Austin Mayor Steve Adler, in 2018 he was named by Austin Monthly “Best Man Behind the Curtain.” A former political consultant, Stanford often contributed to the Austin American-Statesman, Politico Magazine, Talking Points Memo, and MSNBC.


Allan Rienstra

#401: How to Use Ultrasonic Storytelling in the Manufacturing Industry

#401: How to Use Ultrasonic Storytelling in the Manufacturing Industry

You have an amazing product or service and are pumped to share stories about how you’ve revolutionized your industry through your innovation.

But few people seem to care. Why?

Because you lead your communications with logical arguments and reasoned rationale when what your audience really wants is the emotional pull of a story.

One of my favorite videos that humorously demonstrates this insight is found in this engineer’s jargon-laced presentation about the Entabulator.

I believe we can all learn a lesson here, and that is people don’t buy what you make but what you make happen. Outcomes trump your offering every time.

No one knows that better than today’s guest, Allan Reinstra. He is co-owner of a 50-year-old technology “startup” headquartered in Brussels, Belgium called SDT Ultrasound. His primary role is director of international business development overseeing sales and marketing in all countries outside of Europe.


Park Howell

#400: Learn From My 10-Year Journey With The ABTs of Storytelling

#400: Learn From My 10-Year Journey With The ABTs of Storytelling

In 1995, I opened our ad agency Park&Co in Phoenix, Arizona. Back then, we focused on traditional advertising methods including TV, radio, print, outdoor, direct mail, public relations and events.

Our advertising clients owned the influence of mass media.

But then the masses became the media with the onset of the internet, e-commerce and social media. All of a sudden it seemed that our traditional approaches to branding, advertising, marketing and sales no longer worked the way they had.  Storytelling started to become a buzzword in our world.

So I went in search of an answer. I wondered what Hollywood knew about effective storytelling that we could use in business. That’s when I learned about Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or Hero’s Journey.

The Hero’s Journey struck me as an amazing storytelling framework to craft more compelling brand narratives. I mapped it to business and created the 10-step Story Cycle System™.  We’ve used the Story Cycle System ™ to grow brands like Adelante Healthcare by more than 600 percent. The Story Cycle is a terrific guide for long-form communications and presentations. You can see it in action in my TEDx Talk.

That’s why I wrote Brand Bewtichery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand, to help you easily use this proven storytelling framework for your communications.

But these multi-step storytelling processes can be complicated. People often get lost along the 17-step Hero’s Journey. Blake Snyder’s 15 Beats to Storytelling outlined in his famous book Save the Cat is another powerful framework but it can bite you.


Ken Oliver

#399: Improving the Narrative for Ex-Cons Through Fair Chance Hiring

#399: Improving the Narrative for Ex-Cons Through Fair Chance Hiring

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of our family’s favorite movies for its harrowing injustice, revenge, and overcoming all odds.

But I never thought I’d interview a modern-day Edmond Dantès.

Ken Oliver was sentenced to 24 years in a California prison for joyriding in a stolen car. Seems like a long time for a short ride.

If that wasn’t enough, he was also thrown in solitary confinement for over eight years for reading Malcolm X. Apparently the warden thought Ken would become an activist inmate so they tossed him into a dungeon the size of a large dog kennel.

Over his first five years in solitary, Ken read all of the law books he could get his hands on. Then he filed a civil rights suit against the state of California that got the attention of Stanford University Law School as well as a prominent international law firm that helped Ken escape his confinement.


Justin Rende

#398: How Hollywood Storytelling Can Humanize Your Hi-Tech Selling

#398: How Hollywood Storytelling Can Humanize Your Hi-Tech Selling

We all relish what the internet does for our lives. It’s a whole other virtual universe we live in that did not exist a few short decades ago.

But our online world is fraught with bad actors who will go to extremes to hack your accounts, seize your data, introduce worms into your operating system and generally turn your virtual world upside down raising havoc in your real life.

As a digital denizen, having your online presence buttoned down is a necessary evil to protect yourself from the worst of intruders.

But the cybersecurity industry itself is confusing, scary, and not particularly known for its open, human touch.

So how do you grow a cybersecurity firm without defaulting to arcane communications that make your customers shutter?

You use what today’s guest learned by spending five years working with Hollywood A-list celebrities to humanize your hi-tech storytelling.

Justin Rende, Founder and CEO of Rhymetec Cybersecurity Solutions, has watched the cybersecurity landscape change dramatically over the past 20 years, even as he spent five of those years working for Robert De Niro and Tribeca Films.


Erik Ewers

#397: How to Move Your Audiences Using the Ken Burns Storytelling Formula

#397: How to Move Your Audiences Using the Ken Burns Storytelling Formula

You know how important narrative frameworks like the ABT (And, But, Therefore) are to compelling storytelling, especially in leadership communications. Without proper structure, your stories are a jumbled mess.

But even if you have narrative structure down, what are the other components that will make your stories irresistible, like triggering emotion?

We explored that question on this episode of The Business of Story with Erik Ewers, Senior Editor and Co-Director with Ken Burns at Florentine Films and Co-Founder of Ewers Brothers Productions.

Erik’s latest film, Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, is a production he co-directed with his brother Chris Ewers in conjunction with Ken Burns that premiered on PBS in June 2022.

Erik has worked at Florentine Films for 30 years joining the company in 1991, weeks after the epic 9-part Civil War series premiered on PBS to some 40 million viewers. That made Burns and the Ken Burns Effect to motion editing with still images part of the American storytelling lexicon.

Erik is co-Director and editor on nearly all of Ken’s single and multi-episodic films, including “Baseball,” “The War,” “The Vietnam War,” “Country Music,” “Ernest Hemingway” and “Jazz.”

In 2015, Erik collaborated with Ken to create the two-hour PBS film The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, Science, serving as director and editor. Their partnership continues in an upcoming miniseries on America’s adult mental health crisis, and a documentary biography of Henry David Thoreau.

Erik has been nominated for more than seven personal and program Emmy Awards and has received one editing Emmy and three program Emmys, as well as two prestigious ACE Eddie Award nominations and one ACE for “Best Edited Documentary of 2015.”


Samantha Scholl

#396: How to Empower Mom & Pop Business Growth Through Storytelling

#396: How to Empower Mom & Pop Business Growth Through Storytelling

You have a promising Main Street business and you want to 10x the growth of your brand by telling your story.

But the storytelling thing isn’t happening because you’re swamped with other tasks to run a thriving business.

Where do you start? Where do you find your stories? How do you tell them with power?

Meet Samatha Scholl. She is the Director of Entrepreneur Programs for the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) directing the Empower by Go Daddy Main Street business incubator.


Sam is a passionate advocate for equitable access and opportunity for all entrepreneurs and is committed to empowering and supporting entrepreneurs throughout their journeys.

Sam, alongside her team, is responsible for the design and facilitation of entrepreneur programs that provide education, tools, resources, networking, and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs, nonprofits, small business owners, and her community.


Nancy Harhut

#395: How to Use Storytelling to Hack Human Behavior

#395: How to Use Storytelling to Hack Human Behavior

As a podcast host, you receive a lot of advertising, sales and marketing books to consider for your show.

But did you know that about 400,000 books are published every day? If just one percent of those are on sales and marketing, that’s 40,000 books in the category competing for attention and every 24 hours.

So you might imagine that most of them are rehashes of the same themes. You’d be right.

That’s why I love Nancy Harhut’s new book, Using Behavioral Science in Marketing: Drive customer action ad loyalty by prompting instinctive responses. She reveals how you can leverage the embedded behaviors or heuristics that motivate and drive consumer buying behaviors.

Nancy is the co-founder and chief creative officer of HBT Marketing. Getting people to take action is what Nancy is all about. Nancy has learned how people make buying decisions for emotional reasons and later justify those decisions with rational, logic-driven reasons. I always say, “Sell to the heart and the head will follow.”

Her specialty is blending best-of-breed creative with behavioral science to prompt response. She has held senior creative management positions with agencies within the IPG and Publicis networks.

Nancy and her teams have won over 200 international and national awards for marketing effectiveness. Along the way, she’s helped generate $68 million in incremental revenue for Nationwide, established seven controls for the GM Card, and created one of H&R Blocks’ most successful campaigns.


Sean Soth

#394: How Successful Associations Use Storytelling to Grow Membership

#394: How Successful Associations Use Storytelling to Grow Membership

For many, a successful business is all about scalability. You want to gain more customers, so you optimize your product offering, reduce inefficiencies, minimize costs, master your marketing funnel and sell more products to more customers. No problem. Now it’s even possible with some service-based businesses.

But having people buy into something more intangible – a mission – is a different animal.

Fortunately, the value of connection is more powerful than ever. People want to be part of something. They want something to believe in. Maybe they want to help make a difference. By utilizing the powers of story, connection, experience and community, your association can thrive and grow its membership, even in trying times.

Sean Soth is the Leadership Advisory Board Chair of Professionals for Association Revenue, a member organization focused on improving association revenue health through community and resources. Sean says your success is based on how well you tell the story of your organization through the amazing stories found in your community.

Sean is a recognized business development expert who has led multiple sales portfolios in a variety of industries including life sciences, legal, government contracting, association management, training and development, and healthcare. In these relationships, Sean’s teams surpass budget objectives, while launching new program and product development for hundreds of clients per year.

In addition to his role with Professionals for Association Revenue (PAR), Sean is owner of Hi-Fidelity Group, Inc. a managed sales and marketing firm focused on exhibit and sponsorship sales and a Co-Founder of Webvent, a digital platform for webcast management and online directories for associations.

If you’re trying to recruit, retain and grow your membership for a community or an association and you want to replace your boring, rational promotions with emotional triggers to get your prospects and members to act, then this show is for you.

Discussed in this episode:

  • How story can connect members and stakeholders to aligned outcomes
  • Why your mission story matters to build emotional connection with your membership
  • Why every association must embrace change
  • The differences between selling physical products vs. selling a mission and community
  • The art of establishing lasting connection to your brand through your stakeholders stories and experiences


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