In his preface to The Gates of the Forest,Elie Weisel tells the story of four generations of rabbis, each seeking to follow a specific tradition designed to evoke a miracle that rescues their community.

The first rabbi meditates in a specific location in the forest, recites a specific prayer, using a specific candle lighting ceremony, and the miracle is granted. The next rabbi follows the ritual but leaves out one piece, and so it goes, diluting through the generations, until the last rabbi approaches God admitting that he knows neither the right place in the forest, the right candle ceremony, nor even the right prayer. So he does the only thing he can: he simply tells the story. And the miracle is granted.

The parable concludes, “God made man because he loves stories.”

We are all storytellers, every day of our lives.

We transmit our truth best person to person, because sharing our authentic selves, witnessing and being witnessed by others is a profoundly important part of our humanity. We don’t have to know the precise way or set formula to simply share a part of ourselves that is deeply personal.

Your story is your most powerful tool, because it tells the listener about you, about your decisions, your values, and your personal perspective.

For over twenty years in this business I have shared the simple story of how I started in network marketing. I was a new mother with a child with special needs. My dream of mothering a happy healthy baby was replaced by the reality of a medical quagmire, endless physical therapy sessions, and the door closing on my former work as a professor and social worker. Freshly moved into our first home, we needed my income.

I had no idea where to start, but started anyway. I ran my business from the phone through diaper changes, therapy for my baby, cooking dinner, and breaks for lullabies and playtime. My initial goal was grocery money. Then mortgage money. I earned $44,000 in my first year in network marketing, and over the next few years paid off our thirty-year mortgage and two cars—and spent every day reading to my child. I discovered that I didn’t have to “juggle” family and career. I went on to earn millions from my home—and never had to sacrifice the freedom to choose.

Network marketing is often misunderstood. Real stories, your stories, help people to understand it better.

Bestselling author Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection) describes authenticity as “the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” People don’t want polished delivery, they want authenticity and values they can believe in. We all want what stories provide: connection.

Is it any wonder that God granted the rabbi’s miracle?

ANA GABRIEL MANN, M.A., has been a network marketing leader for twenty years; she lives in Florida and Massachusetts with her husband, author John David Mann, and her beautiful daughter, Kaia.