To get people to buy into his nonprofit Charity: Water, founder Scott Harrison had to open up about his rocky past and what led him to start anew.

That kind of storytelling doesn't come naturally to most business owners, who would rather talk about their products, employees, or latest deals than their personal struggles. But, as Harrison can attest, getting personal can be a vital part of a good pitch. It's one of the reasons he appeared on this week's episode of What I Know.

Harrison was a club promoter for much of his 20s, but eventually found himself "morally and spiritually bankrupt" and in need of a complete life change. After starting Charity: Water, which provides clean water to around 11 million people a year, he found that most people were interested in learning about the organization by hearing his story, rather than just about clean water. "People want to connect to issues through the authenticity of people who care," he says.

Listen for this and more in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts. And please subscribe to What I Know, our new podcast in which entrepreneurs and visionaries recount how they've gotten where they are--and what they've discovered that helped them along the way.