Business Fables—Top 3 Pitfalls
Every business lesson can be shared through a business parable.
Over the years, we had the honor of
working with several authors on their business fable books.
Business fables or business parables are
so much fun because they’re basically one long fictional story that happens to
tell business lessons. The bestselling books in this genre include:
- Who Moved My
- The Greatest
Salesman in the World,
by Og Mandino
- The Five
Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
My favorite thing to do is to
ghostwrite business fables from scratch. But sometimes authors come to us with
existing manuscripts. When coaching such authors, I find they often have several
Would you like to know?
We avoided these pitfalls with several
bestselling business parables we worked with authors on. Outsource or Else, by
Steve Mezak and Andy
Hillard, garnered 4.5
stars on Amazon.
We also turned a personal
finance book into a fun, yet valuable story. Family Banking with Purpose,
by Chris Bay, tells of one man’s journey to reconnect with his financially wise
grandfather. This book, too, has received great praise to date.
If you’d like to talk about your ideas
for a business fable, click here.
So what exactly are the pitfalls in
writing business fables?
These are the top 3:
Many business fable authors think the story is about the wise mentor who they have now become. But a compelling fable focuses on the student as they struggle and learn each lesson. This gives the story a sense of adventure and risk, as a reader wonders if the student will make it to the promise land of business.
No story arc.
story consist of a beginning, a middle and an end. Amateur business fable
writers are often more focused on sharing the business lessons than structuring
the story arc. Does your story have a clear beginning? Does it show a
compelling journey in the middle? And does it have a final climax battle and
resolution? If it does not, it probably falls flat and loses readers early on.
3. No universal
Business fables must resonate with reader’s hearts. They must have a universal
message, which we call the Heart Message™. This is your personal message which
ties the entire story together. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learned,
“There’s no place like home.” What is your universal message?
Are you writing a business parable? Or
are you thinking about it?
I’d be happy to chat more, so you
avoid the pitfalls of writing business fables.
by Helen Chang, ABM Editorial Director
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