Stories for Self-Motivation in Business

Cathy Goodwin
2 min readJun 6

Business storytelling can be used for more than marketing. Tell these stories to yourself and see what happens.

Image by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

Motivation often gets presented as one of those “soft” topics, even as woo-woo. Yet researchers find that people who review a certain type of story before attacking a difficult task will enjoy increased productivity and better outcomes.

For instance, management researcher Adam Grant studied workers at call centers who solicited donations for scholarships. One group heard first-hand stories of how these funds have helped real people; the other got the usual training materials. The group who heard the stories raised significantly more money and spent more time on the phone.

In his book, Sell With A Story, Paul Smith calls this type of story the “inspiration story.” It’s the one you tell yourself when you need to rev up your passion for action. In his example, a biotech sales rep gets motivated from this customer’s story:

“Before my doctor prescribed your drug, I barely had enough energy to leave the house. Now I can sit my grandkids; I can get down on the floor to play with them; I can travel. So thank you. You gave me back my life.”

Your Own Motivation Story

Try this experiment. Keep a file of notes from grateful clients. Some can be turned into testimonials.

When you’re stuck on a project — anything from writing a blog post to creating a course — Look at your story file.

You may not feel any difference. But when you review your output and content production, don’t be surprised if you find you’re more productive after you’ve reviewed those stories.

I’m Dr. Cathy Goodwin, a copywriter, storyteller, and strategist. My clients are small business owners, entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and solopreneurs. I help them create a compelling marketing message that attracts their ideal clients by identifying their unique selling story.

Download free: 17 Surprising Ways To Use Storytelling To Grow Your Business.

The Strategic Storytelling podcast focuses on using stories strategically to grow your business. No campfire stories, no fairy tales, and absolutely no bedtime stories here!

My ebook gives you a step-by-step method to use stories for marketing your small business: Grow Your Business One Story At A Time.

Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story.