Stories make our lives richer. They provide a function of memory not served by numbers and images. Stories are our legacy, much more than any material item we leave behind.

~Sarah Elkins- Your Stories Don’t Define You: How You Tell Them Will

By now most business owners are aware of how important storytelling is for their small businesses. Like never before, business owners are investing in storytelling in many forms, such as social media, video,  and podcasts, all in an effort to tell the story of their business. There is more awareness about how this ancient way of sharing information still holds true and resonates in our modern times. We are still inspired by stories, motivated by stories, enchanted by them, awed by them.

Books on storytelling often inspire me and my most recent read has been Sarah Elkins phenomenal,  “Your Stories Don’t Define You: How You Tell Them Will.” Elkins is a renowned storyteller who also has a wonderful podcast, and her stories are sure to inspire her readers. In her book she helps us, the reader, not just tell any story, but the best story. The main theme of her book is to help us “find the right personal story at the right time and with the right audience.” With this approach there is the opportunity to connect in a more authentic way.

Elkins’ book is a wealth of knowledge and will have readers approaching storytelling from different perspectives. For example, her definition of the perception gap, i.e., the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, is something important to consider when we decide what stories to share. Are the stories we are sharing, and how we are sharing them,  in line with how we want ourselves and our businesses to be seen? Do they support our personal brand? If not, our storytelling approach will have to change. Our storytelling approach can help demonstrate what our personal brand is and can help create connection and authenticity.

As Elkins said, “People need to trust you, believe in you and your ideas.” 

Looking for more reading material? Here’s a book review post from last year.