I read. A lot. And as a result, I pick up quotes and tidbits that I use in my business, in life and even with my teenagers. As someone who helps small business owners tell better stories, I have to spend some time getting their buy-in that telling a better brand story will actually help their business. There is an automatic wall that goes up because they don’t think they can do it, they don’t think they’ll be good at it, and it isn’t something that will necessarily give them a quick win.

My job is to help them overcome their inner critic and to begin to see themselves as a storyteller. Storytelling is a long-term marketing strategy for sure, but there are quick wins to be had, everyone can do it, and everyone has the potential to be good at it. Like most things, storytelling is a skill. So, when I set out to convince small business owners that a better brand story has the power to transform their business.

I use the following quotes to help me convince small business owners that a better brand story has the power to transform their business.

My 10 Favorite Business Storytelling Quotes

Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

Annette Simmons, Story Factor

“It is safe to assume that any individual or group you wish to influence has access to more wisdom than they currently use. It is also safe to assume that they also have considerably more facts than they can process effectively. Giving them, even more facts adds to the wrong pile. They don’t need more facts. They need help finding their wisdom. Contrary to popular belief, bad decisions are rarely made because people don’t have all the facts.”

Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

“The storytelling mind is allergic to uncertainty, randomness, and coincidence. It is addicted to meaning. If the storytelling mind cannot find meaningful patterns in the world, it will try to impose them. In short, the storytelling mind is a factory that churns out true stories when it can, but will manufacture lies when it can’t.”

Jonah Sachs, Winning the Story Wars

“Vanity sets in when you love what you’re selling so much that you assume everyone else will too. You start to believe your idea will sell itself if you can just reach out and tell people about it. You’re wrong.”

Lisa Cron, Wired for Story

“And the best preparation for writing any story is to know with clarity what your protagonists’ worldview is, and more to the point, where and why it’s off base. Thus you have a clear view of the world as your protagonist sees it and insight into how she therefore interprets and reacts to, everything that happens to her. It’s what allows you to construct a plot that forces her to reevaluate what she was so damn sure was true when the story began. That is what your story is really about, and what readers stay up long past their bedtime to find out.”

David Nihill, Do you Talk Funny?

“Combining storytelling, humanity, and laughter will give you a huge advantage in your public speaking and the odds are good that you already have all the raw material you need.”

Chip Heath, Made to Stick

“To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from “What information do I need to convey?” to “What questions do I want my audience to ask?”

Nancy Duarte, Resonate

“The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there.”

Robert Cialdini, Influence

“The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”

Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

“Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention…the capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”