SD #30: Finally! You're the Hero

business storytelling Feb 26, 2023

Read Time: 6.0 minutes

Everybody is the hero in their own story. You should be the hero on your own story. You should be. You should see yourself conquering the dramatic action of whatever you’re trying to do, so when you get to the crisis, you know how to deal with it. You should be able to do that. And there are people that come in and help you with your story, but you have to be the person who deals with the conflicts that are in place. There’s no deus ex machina that’s gonna come in and save it for you.

 Chadwick Boseman | Actor, The Black Panther and Other Roles


When it comes to business storytelling, the hero is your customer or whoever you're trying to influence or reach.

It's tempting to think that you're the hero or your business is, but as a StoryDirect subscriber, you know that's not the case. Making your audience the hero is cardinal rule No.1.

But is there ever a time when you get to be the hero? The answer is YES. You are the hero in your own story when it comes to navigating the world of work in fast-changing times.


What’s the Tip?

The tip is this: the same storytelling principles that help heroes (whether in fiction or in the form of your customers) can help you, too, as you drive your career path.


How Do You Use It? 

You're the Hero

Ok, you're finally the hero. Now, what?


You Want Something

Like any hero, you want something. For example, let's say you want to be better prepared for an uncertain job market.


But There's a Problem

How can you prepare for whatever's next in a time of uncertainty and disruption?


Do you see how this is shaping up as story? So, far we have a hero (that's you), a quest (better job preparation), a problem (uncertainty). Now, you need a mentor.



This is where your network comes in. The role of a mentor in storytelling is to help the hero get what he or she wants. Remember, in this scenario, the hero is you - and there is no better mentor for you than your network! This could include colleagues where you currently work, people you used to work with, fellow alums, social media followers, and or friends. 

By building that network, you'll have access to other perspectives, experiences, contacts, and more. 

Now, the story comes together!



With the help of your mentors, you're likely overcome problems and achieve your quest by receiving some helpful guidance. You may get feedback on your resume. You may be able to role play them for an upcoming interview. You may be introduced to a new job-hunting app for your field. You may discover new people to follow on LinkedIn and Twitter. You may also begin to comment more and post more yourself.

Instead of being on the sidelines wondering how to manage career choices in a world of unknowns, you now have strategy built into your quest - as with any other great story where the hero gets what he or she wants.


What are Some Examples?

 J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling had numerous obstacles on her way to fame and fortune as the author of the Harry Potter series. Those struggles included: poverty, depression, and rejection from publishers.

But throughout it all, her childhood friend, Sean Harris, served as her mentor, and was a source of inspiration for her and helped her build valuable resilience.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan loved basketball early on but encountered his share of obstacles. He wasn't cut from his high school basketball team but was demoted from varsity to JV to improve. To him, that probably felt the same as being cut.

The summer before his junior year, Jordan grew four inches, committed to a workout regimen, got stronger, averaging over 20 points a game - not on the JV team, but on varsity.

After his junior season, Jordan went to Coach Dean Smith's basketball camp at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

It was Coach Smith who mentored Jordan and helped Jordan begin his ascent to the pros. He's still considered by many to be the G.O.A.T. of basketball.


Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had his own set of challenges, including being fired from the company he co-founded. But he also had a great mentor in Intel co-founder, Robert Noyce, who encouraged Jobs to think differently and not be afraid to take risks. This ultimately led to the creation of Apple's first successful product, the Macintosh. 


What Are the Benefits to You?

The biggest benefits of applying storytelling principles to yourself, the hero of your own story, are anticipation, expectation, and being able to get outside yourself.

For example, as you pursue goals, you can expect challenges to get in your way. But you're also able to see them as challenges to overcome. You're able to see people who might be able to help you as mentors.

Applying storytelling principles to your own story helps with resilience and growth.  

We hope this issue has been helpful. We look forward to seeing you soon!

New Workshop: Craft Your Personal Narrative: Master Your Answer to "Tell Me About Yourself"

Are you interviewing and want to feel confident answering one of the most commonly asked questions, "tell me about yourself"? This question can be a real minefield - and your response can go really well, or really wrong. We'll teach you a storytelling framework to help you nail your response.

Explore the Workshop