When’s the last time you experienced a novel? It’s possible you haven’t touched one since resentfully trudging through The Great Gatsby in high school English. Maybe you joined a book club going through Reese Witherspoon’s picks, inherited your friend’s C.J. Box collection, or picked up one of those crinkly-spined stock thrillers from the shelf of your seaside Airbnb. Most likely, you spent some portion of quarantine bingeing a television show or movie saga adapted from a popular book series.
Novels are lengthy stories, full of characters and concepts that collide with fascinating consequences. They capture our imagination and propel us through new and dazzling worlds with carefully-chosen words, opening doors to other lives and changing us.
Companies depend on lengthy stories, too. No business exists without a narrative to sell — something that its customers have to be intrigued by, comprehend, and ultimately believe in. It’s perfectly reasonable, then, to assume the following:
“If it’s true of a great novel, it’s true of a great business.”
That’s the premise we’re going to explore by unpacking these key quotes from four legendary storytellers.
Like Morrison’s novel, the core of your company’s greatest idea should be a compelling story you want to see in the world. Businesses empower you to mobilize other humans and weave them into that narrative you’ve dreamt about.
Whether or not you’re experiencing creative block, always be looking for a single, short message that’s soaked in integrity and resonates with your business’s core values.
Think of your story as a road for the customer to follow. You want to keep it paved, clearly lit, and as direct as possible. It can be easy to point out a million things about your company, but unless you provide guideposts to the few most important things, you end up diluting your message, creating confusion and disinterest, and ultimately losing your audience.
Between their ability to make us marvel at the technical possibilities of language, and their enormous capacity for generating empathy, it’s no wonder that novels form the basis of educational curricula and blockbuster movies.
Your company has a similar storytelling power. By studying the techniques of writers who know how to keep themselves inspired and focused — and their readers hooked — you can build stronger narratives into your business that truly make a difference in the direction of your dreams.
At Only Co., we help businesses find the laser-focused messaging that highlights their truth and tells a bestselling story. Get in touch today to learn how we can do the same for you.