To be a hero, you don’t have to be a moody billionaire jiu jitsu master, a retired surgeon, or an alien god.
All you have to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the “like” button on every video!
I’m just kidding…..
You need to get bit by a radioactive spider.
“What’s up business heroes” is how I’ve been intro-ing most of my videos for a year now. Originally, I confess, I was just trying to be clever. If I’m a “sidekick,” then who am I sidekicking? I meant it though. I really do believe entrepreneurs and small business owners, side hustlers, or anyone with an idea and the drive to test it and take it to market in order to create value for themselves, their families, their customers… Those people are doing something big. Something brave. Something heroic.
Now, stick with me. I’m not here to flatter you and undeservingly lump you in the same category as Superman or 9/11 first responders.
I want to teach you something that I hope will give you a fresh perspective on your life and inspire you to do some of your most meaningful work yet.
I can hear your eyes rolling, so let me address that and let’s start by getting precise with our language.
The first definition Merriam Webster provides for “hero” is
1. a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
2. an illustrious warrior
That’s not what we’re talking about.
The third definition get’s us a little closer.
3. a person admired for achievements and noble qualities.
Fire fighters, our military, Captain Sully Sullenberger, my dad, the local man who rescued a cat from a tree – the people we look up to because of the great things they’ve done – often in the service to others.
Certainly this is a type of heroism we should aspire to, but it’s more circumstantial and it can cause problems when your identity is wrapped up in whether or not other people celebrate the good things you’ve done. For a number of reasons, that I won’t discuss right now. Because we have to move on to definition number 4.
4. One who shows great courage
This is a lot more in line with what I had in mind when I first started shouting out to “Business Heroes.” It takes courage to bet on yourself and make the leap into the uncertainty of self-employment. But you don’t need me to pat you on the back.
What you really need is a story.
Hero is also defined as:
This is what we’re going to dig into.
Donald Miller – Yes, another Donald Miller book. I swear to you I read other authors, I just really like the guy. Earlier this year, Donald Miller released “Hero on a Mission.”
Miller likes applying storytelling concepts to life and business. If you’re familiar with Building a Storybrand, you know what I’m talking about. In that book he teaches businesses to invite their customers into a story. The customer is the hero. The business is the guide helping them through a transformative journey. And he maps out what that journey looks like. Check it out.
Now, in his new book, he’s speaking to the individual. You are the hero. Or rather, you can choose to be the hero. Because there are other roles you can play.
Miller talks about 4 main character types: The hero, the villain, the victim, and the guide.
We wear all of these hats at some point in our life. But obviously, we should leaning into the hero role. Right? I’m not talking to any aspiring tyrants right now, am I?
A hero wants something in life, and they are willing to accept challenges… (read)
By contrast, a victim experiences challenges, and feels that there’s no way out. The cards have been stacked against them, and that’s the way it is. They don’t move forward unless someone or something else does the moving.
A villain actively pursues something, but they try to get what they want by taking it away from others. They appear bigger by making other people smaller. They are in the business of making victims
The guide, on the other hand, is in the business of making heroes. They help others advance. They’ve had or have their own hero’s journey, but they are focusing now on sharing their knowledge and resources to support other people in reaching their goals.
Again, we will play all of these roles off and on throughout our lives (and perhaps a few times each day). But if we want to live a story worth telling, we need to do it as a hero. You need to want something and you need to move towards it. Want something big. I want a snack right now. But I’m not living heroically by walking to the kitchen and eating a granola bar.
Dream of a better future for you and the people around you. What are you passionate about? What skills do you have? What gifts has God given you? If you used them to their fullest potential, unhindered by any obstacles real or imagined, what could you accomplish? What could you build, what could you write, who could you help?
Set goals, and take action. That’s the barebones recipe for a heroic life.
And that’s why I can confidently call you all “Business Heroes.”
Because you’re reading this post, which means you were looking for something – a solution to a problem or help with making a decision – a business bank account, marketing tips, something related to running a business.
Which means you’re going for it! Which is awesome!
The first half of the book unpacks the hero mindset. The second half is full of tools and templates that guide you through writing your own eulogy which then helps you define 10 year, 5 year, and 1 year visions; templates for setting and tracking goals; and even a daily planner to keep you focused and moving in the right direction. I love the planner. I actually did a video on the planner a year ago.
(Scratches head… A year ago? But this book just came out in January?)
A lot of this content was already made available in Business Made Simple University. This is essentially the book version of the online course that shares the same name. You can check that out and get access to a number of other courses on Business, Marketing, Communication, but this is cheaper.
I mentioned writing a eulogy. This is one of the more intriguing exercises in the book. Earlier I encouraged you to dream of a better future. Now dream of a future where you’re dead. And people have gathered at your funeral to celebrate a life well-lived. What do you want people to remember you for? What do you want them to say about you? How did you make people feel? What values did you stand for, and how was that made apparent through the way you lived and worked?
This is deep stuff. And it might be weird or even scary for a lot of to think on our own mortality. But the reality is, the clock is ticking, and we only have so many minutes on this planet. And none of them are guaranteed. So let’s take deliberate steps to make the most of the time we have. Starting your own business is not the only option… but it’s a really cool one.
If you are a business owner or aspire to be one – I’m rooting for you. I truly want to be a resource for you. Through Self-Employment Sidekick, through the coaching services my business partner are offering over at Brerro, and through the conversations that I would love to have with you.