"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Book Look With Writer Noelle Sterne

Book Review
of Margaret Rode’s Storytelling for Small Business:
Creating and Growing a Small Business Through the Power of Story
An EBook for Good

Many of us entrepreneurs and freelancers dislike, avoid, fear, even hate marketing ourselves. We love doing our work but put off actually broadcasting it.

In this book, Margaret Rode helps us get over our avoidance and resistant attitudes about marketing our work and ourselves. How? With an underlying premise that is generous, broad, passionate, and giving rather than getting: sharing. We are sharing our stories of what we love, what gives us great satisfaction, and what in turn we can share with others. In Margaret’s words about her own business, “Websites for Good,” “I help [people] to gather and tell their stories so they can build a business that makes a difference” (p. 6) One might say, this is the mission also of this e-book for good.

Unflinchingly sharing her own, story, Margaret addresses us as a compatriot and friend. She eases us into telling our stories, pointing out, in case we fear we are not creative, that we are all natural storytellers. She continues to insist that her approach is not “marketing”: Rather, “Storytelling . . . [is] the most valuable traveling companion you can have in your business journey” (p. 6). Not the traditional marketing approach of getting people to buy—with all kinds of tactics that many see through—Margaret’s outlook is one of sharing our stories and listening to others’ stories.” This is how we are authentic, caring, and build “a contented community of readers, buyers, clients, and fans” (p. 9).

Margaret fulfills these promises. She keeps reminding us that we want to help people with what we offer. What makes our businesses worthwhile is not being bottom-line oriented (although nothin’ wrong with makin’ money) but people- and heart-oriented. People want us, as Margaret says, to be on their side; and we want them to be on ours. “People want to interact with somebody who gives a damn about them” (p. 19).

From personal experience with Margaret, I know she does what she instructs. After I avoided a website for months in conjunction with publication of my first book, she designed my website to share my story. With great patience, understanding, appreciation of my message, tough questions, constant feedback, and relentless attention to detail for what I really wanted, Margaret fashioned a site that I still get compliments on, and she has become a cherished friend. And continues to be generous with her time and expertise whenever I beg for untangling of website mysteries.

So, I highly and heartily recommend this book for novice entrepreneurs and those more experienced (the book has reminded me of my own purposes and mission). I recommend too the companion, an ample workbook with a lot of those tough questions. With or without Margaret’s personal help, you will find many, many explanations, excellent examples, and techniques for designing and building your small business.

“What if,” she asks rhetorically, “we built as many mutually beneficial relationships with as many good people as possible, by learning and sharing one another's stories?” (p. 23). A worthy question to ponder for our businesses, our relationships, and our world. When you commit to mutually beneficial relationships, you will feel good about your business, gain clients and great satisfaction, and even make some wonderful friends through sharing your story.

© 2018 Noelle Sterne


Thoughts, readers? What are you reading these days?

Image credits: Pixabay.com



  1. You have brought up a very excellent points, appreciate it for
    the post.

  2. I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;
    ) Cheers!

  3. At first I couldn't figure out why you were using the backdrop of my blog in your post and than I realized I don't own the thing so I guess I can't charge rent. Nuts!

    In so many cases all it takes is one person, one idea, to change our lives. We go along thinking we have the answer until someone taps us on the shoulder reminding us how wrong we are.

    I'll have to check her book out. I've got a long ways to go. This could help. Thanks!!

    1. Ha! Too bad, right? :) Thanks for adding to the mix here, Bryan. Appreciate it.

  4. Thank you all. Yes, this book is a treasure, not only for website building but also for principles of living.