5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
“Ultramarathon Man” Dean Karnazes is a jerk. I say this jokingly because the year I ran my first marathon, he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. He’s also written several bestselling books about his trials and triumphs as an ultramarathon fanatic.
A business journey, like a marathon, can become quite rambly, yet you can make engaging, vibrant stories out of it. The key — and this is something people get horribly wrong every day — is respecting the difference between a story and a narrative.
The good news is you don’t need to be a creative genius to tell a story that makes people want to work with you. Simply understanding the distinction between a story and a narrative will help you construct higher-quality stories with greater ease. And that will help you grow your business.
Marathons as narratives
A marathon rarely makes for a great story. In fact, running 50 marathons could be fodder for 50 really bad stories. But that’s not what Karnazes did, which raises the question: How do you talk about running a marathon, whether a literal marathon or “marathon” as an analogy, in a way that keeps the audience engaged? Because if running a marathon is both