Previously I shared Part 1 through 3 of a Hero’s Journey. To read Part 1, 2 and 3 click here. This is Part 4 of the 8 Steps of the Hero’s Journey.
No matter whether we are writing a novel or the story of our life, as a human being our lives revolve around the stories we tell and are told.
What can “story” teach us? Story is very powerful vehicle. For millennia, storytelling was the only vehicle for passing down information from generation to generation in ancient cultures. From the days of simple pictures inscribed on cave walls all the way to today’s multimillion dollar movie blockbusters, our ancestor’s drive for telling stories has been encoded onto our DNA.
Today, we all still connect quite powerfully through stories. Our daily personal and business lives are filled with stories. The news is made of stories. Media, advertising, novels, business bestsellers, famous speeches… all stories that we’re magnetically pulled into as if by an invisible thread. A connection of personal truth deep enough, or similar enough to our own experience, we as human beings are irresistibly and instantly connected through the power of story.
In crafting a powerful story…whether for a book you’re writing, a brand you are defining, a product or service you’re selling, or a platform you’re creating as a speaker; the Hero’s Journey is the most profound outline you can use to craft a compelling story. The journey concept, better known in literary circles as Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, The Hero’s Journey, is a basic pattern that is found in many narratives from around the world and throughout recorded history.
The hero’s journey is arguably the world’s oldest story or plot archetype. It’s a narrative pattern that’s found around the globe and is the foundation of classic, as well as, modern storytelling.
The fourth step of the Hero’s Journey: Meet New Allies
In every journey, success often results from the meeting of new friends and allies. Without new allies who understand an often unknown landscape of our endeavor, it would be impossible to find success. Allies light the way and open doors when our venture is all but lost.
If we continue with cinematic examples of this, Luke Skywalker being thrown together with Han Solo in Star Wars is a perfect example. Luke and Han initially don’t like each other, however, they learn over time that they need each other and a friendship and mutual respect is born. For Luke, who is the primary focus and hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo saves his life and acts as an example of how to survive an unknown and little understood universe.
How many other adventure stories can you think of where an ally saved the day for our hero? Sam for Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and another great example is Commissioner Gordon for Batman in The Dark Knight.
How about in real life? Many “heroes” of politics, business and life required allies to catapult them to the top. Even Elon Musk had Peter Thiel at Paypal, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak in the early years of Apple, and Bill Gates had Paul Allen at Microsoft.
Our lives and businesses are the same. When we make a decision to take a new or bold direction in our lives we will find ourselves in a new and potentially uncomfortable situation. We are stretching our boundaries and comfort zones. Will we decide to grow into a stronger, more resolute people just like the characters in our favorite stories, or will we shrink from the fight and quit altogether? This is the beauty of story as an allegory for life.
Consider how you can develop a compelling story around yourself, your brand, or your book. What if the story you weave could change the definition of how your brand…your product or service is accepted in the world?
In business, stories for personal branding are no different. Look at your product or service and your company in general. Where do you want to go and what would you like to achieve? What allies do you need to see your vision become reality. It’s impossible to do it alone, so develop a list of needs and find great candidates, allies, to fit those needs.
If you’re an aspiring speaker looking for a platform, or a novelist looking for book sales, evaluate who would be helpful to spread your message and help you complete your mission. What things are common for all of us on the Hero’s Journey? The human connection: all of us endure ups and downs, twists and turns….whether we are a billionaire or on our last dime, we all hold our breath this lifetime and hope it all comes out okay. We all need help through allies to see our dreams come true.
Business practices, marketing, business development and content delivery have all had gigantic evolutionary leaps as technology has changed the landscape. But even with all of our technology, hand-held devices, new media… the ancient patterns of storytelling have not changed. Businesses, entrepreneurs, speakers with a platform to build and authors with books to sell, must become skilled with utilizing and leveraging the classic archetypes. Using the steps of the Hero’s Journey is a brilliant way to structure your story in a way that connects with power to not only influence buying decisions of potential customers but impact brand loyalty for an established customer base.
“Whoever shares the greatest stories rules the world” ~ Justine Musk
The power of story is such a sexy topic whether we are talking about using storytelling in our personal lives to identify our own journey, or talking about how we can leverage our experience into a compelling tale giving us a platform as a speaker, writer, marketer, and entrepreneur. Our story has the power to connect us, our book, our message, or our product and service to support our value proposition to prospective customers.
Stay tuned to future posts as I explore with you all eight parts of The Hero’s Journey! Here’s to you and your journey… and remember YOU are the hero of your own story!