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Breaking Down the Business of Story with Park Howell
Episode 3524th February 2022 • Before It Happened • Donna Loughlin
00:00:00 00:37:47

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In this episode of Before IT Happened, entrepreneur, storytelling coach and bestselling author Park Howell joins the show to discuss the ‘Story Cycle System’ that he created to apply the full potential of ‘the hero’s journey’ to business and entrepreneurship. There is endless competition for our attention and it forces businesses to become acutely aware of the audience they're serving. This awareness leads to the possibility of crafting powerful stories. So join us and discover what good brand storytelling is all about and how you can make it come to life!

Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life. 


(01:39) - How Park Howell fell in love with music: “I’ve applied everything I've learned in [music] to the work I've done over the past 35 years in advertising and branding because everything is about flow and rhythm.”

(07:45) - Park’s early approaches to the art of storytelling - “I realized we've only been telling them intuitively, we've never told them intentionally, meaning I've never used a framework.”

(11:09) - The origins of the ‘Story Cycle System’ - “While he was going to school there, I said, ‘Parker, send me your textbooks since I'm paying for them. I want to know what Chapman University teaches you as a storyteller.”

(15:10) - Redefining the ‘Hero’s Journey’ - “Depending on where your audience is with you in the story cycle system journey, you want to share with them appropriate stories that they can relate to.”

(21:51) - How Park guides people to apply his framework to their brand’s story - “Take us to that problem, share that conflict or that contradiction. When you don't, you end up not telling a story. You think you're telling a story. All you're telling is the exposition of that story.”

(24:27) - Focusing on the problem you’re solving for your audience - “I want to know what this actually does for me. What do you actually make happen in my world? There's no list of features and functions that’s going to sell that for you.”

(26:42) - Crafting a focused narrative - “You're going to try to sell lots of different things in that ABT, but I want you to always boil it down to a singular narrative and that in this case is the companionship.”

(32:00) - The ABT, a versatile tool - “I've been using this ABT in my emails. I've cut my email writing time down by two thirds. People who receive them actually understand what I'm asking of them. And I have a built-in call to action in my therefore statement.”


Connect with Park Howell on Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin

Watch Park’s Ted Talk: Start Looking for Your Scenes and Your Story Will Find You

Read Park’s books: Brand Bewitchery and The Narrative Gym

Learn more about The Business of Story

Listen to Before IT Happened’s: Becoming Superhuman with Designer and Entrepreneur Donald Burlock, Jr.

Thank you for listening! Follow Before IT Happened on Instagram and Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share the show wherever you listen to podcasts! 

Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by nodalab. The Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood and all episodes are written by Jack Buehrer.