Do you perhaps wonder how to find personal stories that you could use for business purposes? And you cannot think of any? Well, you are reading the idea article.

Don’t worry: I’m yet to meet anyone who wouldn’t have their own stories. Regardless of what you do, how educated you are, what your marital status is or your place of birth, it is possible to find a source for the story. If you take a systematic look at your life, you will find stories suitable for business storytelling.

When looking for inspiration in the field of business, think about an event for each of your employments or jobs (every opportunity you had for earning money) that could serve as the basis for your story. Find them and distribute them according to the five storytelling characters into: 
1. Pride stories – stories about what you’ve achieved, what you’re proud of and what an achievement meant to you. Perhaps it’s t how you helped someone achieve something, and why you are proud of that. Focus on your emotions and the satisfaction caused by this event. Pride stories are best suited for proving your credibility and professionalism, which makes them captivating for presentations. You can start a professional presentation in front of strangers with a story that demonstrates your expertise regarding a relevant topic or your commitment to a specific field.
2. Rebirth stories – stories about changes that had the biggest impact on your life. This certainly includes changes because of events that you couldn’t influence at all. Focus on your own emotions, anxiety, fear, expectations, and relief, which were present in these moments, and on new opportunities that followed from this. 
3. Disappointment stories – stories about the sad moments you’ve experienced, or even caused yourself, because you didn’t dare to take a different path or to make different decisions. This includes turning points in your life or tragic events. Focus on your own experience; what you learned from it and what important lessons you learned from it. 
4. Searching stories – stories about a long-term effort to achieve something, to discover your values and about events that restored order, either because of your engagement or due to circumstances. They can also include searching that in the end brought you to a different result than what you expected. Focus on the effort that you’ve invested in searching, and the feelings you’ve experienced once you found what you were searching for. Or the feelings you had once you realized that you’re searching for the wrong things all along.
5. Contradiction stories – stories about moments when you were torn between important decisions and you had to choose aside. This includes stories that tested your principles, either in your private life or business. A conflict that you’ve experienced can refer to interpersonal relations, religion, human versus nature conflict, or your inner contradictions. Such stories are especially suitable when you wish to strengthen interpersonal relations. Focus on your inner frictions and feelings. Profitable-storytelling-searching-inspiration. 


If you think you don’t know any stories that would be worth telling or could be used for business storytelling you are, of course, wrong.

Don’t look for inspiration only in the jobs you had so far, instead, look at the wider picture. Looking for inspiration and telling stories from your private life for your business purposes might seem unusual. But they can be an excellent source since they stem directly from you and are the most honest witness to who you are. They refer to your life experiences in another role. For example, a parent, child, neighbor, friend…, and not that of an entrepreneur. As regards your private life – when searching for stories, you can divide this into two big sources: family and friends, and add what inspires you in your free time. This means that you can look for stories not only by five characters but also in three different categories. Such a table can efficiently help you find starting points for business storytelling: 




















The difference among stories, your private life and your business life lies in the fact that when telling stories from your private life, you have to establish a connection between the moral of that story and the goal you wish to achieve in business – something I clearly explain in my book The Business of Storytelling. Stories from your private life are just as  effective for business storytelling – if anything, I’d say they’re often more effective and bring about even better results! That is why you can find a detailed explanation in the book as to when it is ideal to use stories from your private life and what to do if you find a story source that could fit into several fields in your table. 

Every entrepreneur should know that emotions are a tool that enables us to remember what we hear for longer. Whoever believes statistics says it all and that business partners should be excited over simple facts, can easily fail. Imagine a professional discussion with a dozen speakers that will address participants just one day. Which message do you think will they remember the most? The one that will touch them emotionally. 

At a marketing event on the Slovenian coast a few years ago, a foreign lecturer started his speech by claiming that half of all people working in marketing today completed their marketing studies with below-average grades. This statement evoked emotions and murmurs of discontent could be heard in the room. The statement was somehow left hanging in the air. After that, he explained that this was his aim – to gain their attention and evoke their emotions. And that this is a statistical and mathematical fact that is true for all study programs in the world. Half of students get below-average grades and half above average grades – that’s why it’s called an average. Of course, his audience remembered his lecture very well.


Storytelling is not a business like any other. You stand out by telling the right stories that touch people's emotions.

Stories will help you gain buyers’ trust, write excellent newsletters or on-line articles, prepare convincing project presentations, share your company’s values, and excel at job interviews. As it happens, storytelling is also a great tool for job interviews. Modern resumes are nothing else than stating statistical facts. The easiest way to show your potential employer that you’re trust-worthy, ready to learn or are a capable leader, is through an original story from your past. A résumé with information is only stating plain facts about you. And those are usually not enough to make you stand out from the crowd.

The proper structure of a story is also extremely important. The structure of storytelling hasn’t changed since the beginning of humanity. It’s composed of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. And although almost all the best solutions are simple and efficient at their core, this is useful only to those who know them and know how to use them. And it’s no different in storytelling – this is one of the many things you will learn in the book “The Business of Storytelling – Finding your Story to open Hearts and Wallets”. Finally, the story about your brand is a very crucial story when aiming for profitable storytelling. Since it’s unique, it’s the best way to show that you, your company or your brand are remarkable, well-known and trustworthy.
Now you know where to find the starting points and where and how to find ideas for your original stories. I wish you success in finding inspiration and a successful business of storytelling. 

Dušan Waldhütter, storytelling expert, WOW Stories


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