Incorporating elements of your memoir in a business book and why it’s important. 

You know what my favorite part of the TV show Shark Tank is?

I’ll give you a hint – it’s the part that specifically validates my work as a memoir ghostwriter and book coach. It’s the part of the show where, before Mr. Wonderful, Barbara, Daymond and the others dive into the number crunching and business details, the sharks ask to hear about the human beings standing in front of them. They ask about their story, their passion, their purpose, and how they came up with their product or business idea.

Personal storytelling, also known as memoir, has been a theme on this hugely popular business themed television show, regularly seen by millions of people all over the world, for 13 years.

Yet, somewhat unbelievably, as a book writing coach and a ghostwriter, I still hear people in business, including founders, CEOs, and other leaders asking the question – Does anyone really care about my story? Why can’t I just focus on my business in my book? What’s the point of adding a memoir element to my book, isn’t that just self indulgent?

If that was the case, wouldn’t the sharks get right to the number crunching without any interest in the human aspect of the deal? The sharks are undoubtedly reflecting the perspective of other investors, and mirroring the attitude of book readers as well, including business book readers.

People are less likely to care about the awesome business you’ve built or are in the process of building, or the widget you’ve invented, without knowing the story of the person behind the scenes.

Humans are funny that way.

The memoir element of your business book matters. Note that I said the memoir element. I’m not saying that you need to write a full-on memoir to promote your business or brand. Simply add a memoir element to your business mix. 

Here are some ways to do this:

Open With It: Shockingly simple, right? Open your business-facing book by introducing yourself as a human being, rather than an automaton designed to reel off step-by-step business principles. We have enough of those books on the shelves. 

Share Your Stumbles: Use personal stories of your own business stumbles as examples of how NOT to execute on the business principles you’re teaching. You’ll score rapport points and even more importantly, the lessons you teach will be far more memorable and “sticky” in the minds of your readers.

Harness the Versatility of Your Story: Writing a standout business book, a fresh and compelling one anyway, isn’t the easiest task. As an author, it’s your job to break down the knowledge and ideas you’ve spent your career accumulating and fine tuning for ease of consumption by your readers. The more tidbits from your personal stories you share, the more relatable, meaningful tidbits you have to couple with your business points. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? 

Still on the fence about incorporating your personal story into your business pitch? Well – a stage full of sharks can’t all be wrong.

PS: Are you writing a business book, or thinking about it for 2023? Let’s talk about how to seamlessly weave a memoir element into your book to REALLY make it stand out from all the other business books! There are more than enough blah-blah business books out there – let’s make yours great!


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