One of the many questions I’m asked by aspiring authors when writing their business books is whether they should share their personal story within it. And if so, how much of their story should they share?
It’s a funny one, isn’t it? Because most of us feel imposter syndrome kick in and begin questioning whether people actually want to read our stories or whether it’s just a little bit self-indulgent.
But in my opinion, sharing your personal experiences, struggles, and triumphs can make your book more relatable, engaging, and impactful. In this blog post, we’ll explore the power of authenticity and why sharing your personal story can elevate your business book.
Let’s dive in.
Authenticity builds trust
People do business with people they know, like and trust, and authenticity is one of the most important factors that builds that trust. When you share your personal story, you show vulnerability and courage, which can help create a connection with your readers.
Now you know how I feel about vulnerability – I think it’s an essential part of any writer’s toolkit. No, it’s not always easy because it takes courage. But that courage can pay dividends in the future, connecting you to your audience and helping them feel as though you really understand what they’re going through and how you can help them.
By sharing your experiences, you show that you are not just a talking head but a real person who has experienced real challenges and overcome them. This can help your readers feel more connected to you and your message, which can build trust and loyalty.
Authenticity makes your book memorable
There are countless business books available on the market today, but only a handful of them are truly memorable. One way to make your book stand out is to incorporate your personal story into it.
One of my favourite examples of this is in ‘The 5-Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins. Mel gets honest; she gets emotional. She lays out the situation she was in, in a raw and honest way. From the drinking to the loss of her job to the staying in bed and the relationship problems she experienced as a result.
You feel such a connection to Mel and her story. And the most important bit? You can often see some of yourself in that story. You respect and appreciate her honesty. And most importantly, you want to find out how the heck she got out of that situation using the tools she’s about to explain.
By sharing your personal experiences, you create a unique narrative to help your book stand out. Your story can serve as a hook that draws readers in and keeps them engaged throughout. It can also help your readers remember your message long after they’ve finished reading it.
Authenticity inspires and motivates
As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories. Stories can inspire, motivate, and move us in ways that facts and figures can’t. When you share your personal story in your business book, you’re not only showing authenticity, but you’re also inspiring and motivating your readers.
I’m sure you can remember a book that truly changed your life. One that you come back to time and time again. It’s more than likely that the book contained a story – be it the author’s own or other people’s. One of the best writers to use story is Ryan Holiday – he knows we learn and connect best through story and engages the reader brilliantly throughout all his books.
Your story can serve as an example of how someone can overcome adversity, achieve their goals, and succeed in the face of challenges. It can also provide a sense of hope and optimism that can inspire and motivate your readers to take action and pursue their dreams.
Authenticity adds depth and dimension
When you share your personal story in your business book, you’re not just sharing your experiences, but you are also adding depth and dimension to your message. Your story can help illustrate the key points you’re trying to make and provide real-life examples of how your strategies and techniques work in practice.
It’s all well and good having theory to talk about and explain, but living that theory is something completely different – and can really resonate with your readers. You’re not just talking the talk; you’re walking the walk too. And that matters to people.
Your personal story can also provide context and perspective to help your readers better understand your message. By sharing your experiences, you are not just telling your readers what to do, but you are also showing them how to do it and why it’s important.
Sharing your personal story in your business book can be a powerful way to differentiate yourself, build trust, and connect with your readers. It can make your book more memorable, inspiring, and engaging and can help illustrate your message in a way that is relatable and actionable.
However, it would be remiss of me not to say that incorporating your personal story into your business book requires a delicate balance. You don’t want to overshare or make your book too personal, but you also don’t want it to be too dry or dull as dishwater.
The key is to find the right balance and to use your personal story to enhance your message rather than distract from it. When done brilliantly, sharing your personal story can be a powerful way to elevate your business book and make it stand out in a crowded market.
Creating Happy Writers Podcast – Episode #1 – Vulnerability
The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins
Ryan Holiday books
If you’d like support with bringing your story to life in your book – and find the right balance – get in touch and we can discuss the ways I can help you.