The best books on personal storytelling to grow your business

Mark Leruste Author Of Glow in the Dark: How Sharing Your Personal Story Can Transform Your Business and Change Your Life
By Mark Leruste

Who am I?

As a kid I used to sit around the table, hearing my French grandparents share stories about life during the Second World War and helping the French Resistance movement. I remember seeing my mum sitting down to interview my French grandad about his life and getting captured near Dunkirk as a young French soldier. That’s where my love for storytelling was born. By the age of 26 I had interviewed over 100+ government officials and business leaders across 7 countries. By 2021 my podcast The Unconventionalists won “best-interview podcast” at the podcasting for business awards. I wrote Glow in the Darkto help entrepreneurs and business leaders impact the world with their story.

I wrote...

Glow in the Dark: How Sharing Your Personal Story Can Transform Your Business and Change Your Life

By Mark Leruste,

Book cover of Glow in the Dark: How Sharing Your Personal Story Can Transform Your Business and Change Your Life

What is my book about?

If you knew how powerful your story was, you wouldn’t be sitting on it. What if you could make a connection instantly, effortlessly engaging your audience every time you introduced yourself and the work you do? And more importantly, what if you could get people to pay attention to what you had to say, share or sell?

In Glow in the Dark, Mark Leruste shows how to turn your myriad of life experiences into a memorable and magnetic origin story that people will remember, helping you generate opportunities, connections, and rewards beyond your wildest imagination. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling

Why did I love this book?

Matthew is a serial public speaking champion who basically should be entered in The Moth Hall of Fame asap. If you've never heard Matthew Dicks talk, pause this and go watch his videos online. He's that good. What I love about his book is that he shares how he crafts his own stories and shares some amazing tips on how to capture everyday events that can later on be turned into powerful stories. Although this book isn't so much geared towards business or work, I think everyone can learn a great deal from Matthew's impressive experience of making people pay attention and connect to what you say (both as a best-selling novelist, school teacher, and public speaking champion).

By Matthew Dicks,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Storyworthy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A five-time Moth GrandSLAM winner and bestselling novelist shows how to tell a great story — and why doing so matters.

Whether we realize it or not, we are always telling stories. On a first date or job interview, at a sales presentation or therapy appointment, with family or friends, we are constantly narrating events and interpreting emotions and actions. In this compelling book, storyteller extraordinaire Matthew Dicks presents wonderfully straightforward and engaging tips and techniques for constructing, telling, and polishing stories that will hold the attention of your audience (no matter how big or small). He shows that anyone…

Book cover of The Storyteller's Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don't

Why did I love this book?

I reviewed this book a while back (when I still had a hipster beard) but it's a great book that dives into why storytelling is so important and shares examples of leaders who have used storytelling as a great tool to influence and empower. It's also a powerful reminder that, as humans, we've been using storytelling since the dawn of time to communicate and influence. If you need convincing as to why you should add storytelling to your arsenal, read this book.

By Carmine Gallo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Storyteller's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did an American immigrant without a college education go from Venice Beach T-shirt vendor to television's most successful producer? How did a timid pastor's son surmount a paralysing fear of public speaking to sell out Yankee Stadium, twice? How did the city of Tokyo create a PowerPoint stunning enough to win them the chance to host the Olympics?

They told brilliant stories.

Whether your goal is to sell, educate, fundraise or entertain, your story is your most valuable asset: 'a strategic tool with irresistible power', according to the New York Times. Stories inspire; they persuade; they galvanize movements and…

Book cover of Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

Why did I love this book?

Chances are, if you're into business, marketing, and storytelling you've probably come across Donald Miller's best-selling book Storybrand. It's a clever book that's managed to distill and re-package some of the best core principles on storytelling from the likes of Joseph Campbell, Robert McKee, and Nancy Duarte. The idea that the customer is the hero not the company isn't new per se but it's a really powerful reminder that your attention and focus should be on your audience, not yourself. I think this book is a great companion book to my book as one of the core steps of Building a Storybrand is to position yourself as a compelling guide. And the way you do that is by making sure you know how to share your story in a powerful and engaging way. 

By Donald Miller,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Building a Storybrand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half-a-million business leaders have discovered the power of the StoryBrand Framework, created by New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Donald Miller. And they are making millions.

If you use the wrong words to talk about your product, nobody will buy it. Marketers and business owners struggle to effectively connect with their customers, costing them and their companies millions in lost revenue.

In a world filled with constant, on-demand distractions, it has become near-impossible for business owners to effectively cut through the noise to reach their customers, something Donald Miller knows first-hand. In this book, he shares…

Do Story

By Bobette Buster,

Book cover of Do Story

Why did I love this book?

Do Books are some of my favourite books, period. They're small, pocket size and beautifully designed by the team at Do Books who support great causes and authors. Bobette has decades of experience working with major brands and movie studios teaching core principles of storytelling to stand out in a noisy world. Filled with examples, exercises, and case studies, it's a great and quick book to get you started on your journey to tell more stories. 

By Bobette Buster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.' - Muriel Rukeyser. Today s world wants to know you and the real story behind why you do what you do. Whether you have a product to sell, a company mission to share or an audience to entertain, people are far more likely to engage and connect if you deliver a well-crafted story with an emotional core. Bobette Buster is a story consultant to major studios including Pixar, Disney and Sony Animation. In Do Story she teaches the art of telling powerful and engaging stories. With profiles of activists, leaders and visionaries,…

I Got There

By JeVon McCormick,

Book cover of I Got There

Why did I love this book?

If JeVon's life story was projected on a movie screen you'd be forgiven to think it was way over the top. But the truth is, JeVon's life story is incredible and true. His memoir is both shocking to read and unbelievably inspiring to hear. From homeless to award-winning executive, JeVon is the David Goggins of CEO's. What I love about this book is that its proof that owning and sharing your story authentically, warts and all, can be one of the most powerful things you do for yourself and your business. JeVon is proof of that 100%. You can listen to my conversation with JeVon on my award-winning podcast The Unconventionalists by clicking here

By JeVon McCormick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Got There as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I'm not a drug dealer. I'm not a rapper. I'm not an athlete. But I am very successful." That's not how you're supposed to open a speech if you're a successful businessman. Especially if you're a successful minority businessman in America. But I'm no ordinary businessman, this was no ordinary speech, and I've had no ordinary life. JT McCormick shouldn't have succeeded. He was born the mixed-race son of a negligent, drug-dealing pimp father and a struggling, single mother. He was raised in the slums of Dayton, Ohio, suffered incredible abuse and racism, and had multiple stints in the juvenile…

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