Lessons on Building Your Company Through Storytelling From Peter Guber

Peter Guber is the man behind the scenes. You’ve heard of Sony Entertainment, Mandalay Entertainment, the L.A. Dodgers, and the three-time NBA Championship team the Golden State Warriors. Guber has helped shape each of these companies and teams into the massive successes and household names we know them to be. But you’d never know it, because he’s more focused on his next big venture rather than the lime-light. He likes to give back and stay under the radar, lecturing for UCLA students he sees as our future.

After building up some of the largest production companies and winning numerous Oscars, Guber knows a thing or two about the power of storytelling and how to harness it for your business.

Guber’s 4 Rules

1. Have a generous goal.

We all know every good story needs a goal, whether it’s the story of why someone should buy your product, the origin story of your startup, or the book or movie you’re writing. But Guber explains to get people to invest themselves in your story, the goal must be generous, giving more than it plans on taking.

You need to show your audience why they should care and what their “victory” is before you can sell them on anything.

2. Be transparent.

People know when you’re being authentic and when you’re trying to sell to them. If you have a goal, be open with your audience about it. If your goal is generous, it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable to be transparent because your goal will benefit them as well.

3. Be interested not interesting.

Focus on what you’ve heard from your audience instead of what you want to tell them. Everyone wants to be cared for and listened to, so make sure your audience feels their best interests are at the root of your story. When you do this, you’ll find you have to focus less on trying to entertain and forcing a connection.

4. Be interactive.

Make sure your audience feels they’re a part of your story. When you include them in the storytelling, you make it easier for them to take ownership of your narrative and create loyalty to your brand.

When your company is one big story and your consumer becomes an audience, you have the opportunity to draw them in. Use Guber’s four rules to make your audience believe in you and your brand.   

Jessica Welch is the Content Marketing Associate at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Anthropology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Her business thought articles often appear on Business 2 Community, Born 2 Invest, and YF Entrepreneurs.